Skiing is an open sport with many different variables, levels, and abilities so it is often hard to generalize or find a ‘magic wand’ when talking ski tips. It is also very hard to define what ‘good’ skiing is and opinions can be subjective. However, here are some general principles:


Conditioning – skiing is a sport, not a leisure activity. Being physically ready to ski is so important and it’s hard to get better if you are not. If you can’t get up from a lying position to standing without using your hands then it’s not a good sign!

Equipment – Make sure that boots fit, skis are sharp!

Align the joints – Try to use your ankles, knees, and hips so that your head stays over the feet. As soon as you allow your center of mass to get too far back or forward you are in trouble. You should try to be in the middle of the ski as much as possible in all-terrain.

Outside ski to outside ski – Generally, we want most of our weight balanced early in the turn on the outside ski. This then changes as we transition and start another turn. Work on Javelin turns at a slow speed in order to feel a ‘pedaling’ movement from one outside ski to the other. Javelin turns are also really good to work on the above-mentioned aligning of joints.

We use our legs to turn and upper body to balance and the lower legs should turn more in general than the upper body. Skiing without poles is a good way to help improve this and identify how much we might negatively use our poles to balance or swing around the turn with the upper body.

Output focus – don’t always focus on the inputs. Try to match the turn shape to the terrain you ski. For example, if your turns are too short and zig-zagy then you make things harder in terms of technique/inputs. Focus on a constant rate of descent with a turn shape that allows for this. It is also good to look at varying your corridor length.

Ski slow on ice. If you really want immediate feedback without a coach then this will certainly let you know about it! If you can nail your turns at a slower speed on ice then you have the skills to ski anywhere.

Ski bumps and crud – I can’t think of anything better than having to adapt to challenging terrain and use skills in order. Instead of just straight-lining the piste to the lift, jump in some bumps/moguls runs to get some intrinsic feedback!

Video – as with all sports, having external feedback is really good so get your friend to shoot some phone video and have a look on the lift, it’s often surprising the difference between what you see and what you feel! If you want to go 1 step further, I often use coaches-eye as an analysis tool.

Lastly, if you feel a plateau then it’s good to get a coach/instructor to help you develop your skills further.