To fully enjoy a powder day, you need to really know how to ski in the deep, fluffy snow. Powder days have become a sort of cultural phenomenon for skiing communities. Every time a snow storm comes through a ski town, skiers flock to the mountain to try to make fresh tracks on the slopes. A ride down an untouched ski slope is to skiers as a perfect wave is to surfers. What makes skiing in powder so fun? Everyone will give you a different explanation, but it will usually have to do with the “floating” feeling. The fact of the matter is that not everyone really knows how to ski in powder. Make the most out of powder days with these skiing tips:

Get Up Early: Keep in mind that there are thousands of other skiers in the area that are hoping to take advantage of the powder. If you want to get in as many powder runs as possible, you need to wake up before the lifts open. Waking up early makes a huge difference in the number and quality of powder runs you can fit into your day.

Choose Runs Wisely: Skiing in deep snow is very different from skiing in other conditions. If you aren’t used to skiing in powder make sure you start your day on easier runs. Also, fresh powder can cover natural obstacles on slopes like rocks and roots. Powder days in the early winter can be dangerous because runs don’t have a base of snow under the fresh powder yet. When choosing runs be aware of the conditions before the snowstorm. Also, try to minimize your time on lifts. One of the best ski tricks is to get to a fast lift, higher up on the mountain if possible, and cycle the lift for a few hours. You will figure out which runs are getting less traffic and enjoy the powder for longer.

Technique: In the end, actually knowing how to ski in the powder will make your day the most fun. There are two great skiing techniques that can help you adjust to powder. First, distribute your weight equally on each ski and move them as a single unit. If you ever ski powder with a snowboarder, you’ll see how easy it is for them to glide over the powder. Snowboards have more surface area than skis which prevents them from dipping down into the snow. Wide skis are more effective in snow for this reason, but any skis can work if you distribute your weight equally on each one. Another method you can use to fight the nose-diving tendencies of skis is to lean back in your ski boots. You don’t need to spend your whole ride sitting back, but bring more weight towards your heels if you feel yourself dipping into the snow. To become a great powder skier get out on the slopes on a powder day and shred it up!

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