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Racing to park
So I've been ski racing pretty much all of my life and not gonna lie I'm pretty darn good at it. However I'm really interested in learning how to ski park. How many of you have made the switch? Or have you been skiing park this whole time? I know it has a lot to do with balls and I mean I have a nice pair I'm just not sure where to start...
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It's generally considered a bad idea to jump straight into park without a solid foundation of good ski technique. Plenty of great park skiers started as racers first. Having good fundamentals already will help you avoid common problems like shin bang, that a lot of park skiers have due to poor ski technique (backseating).
I'm not a racer but that's my overall impression. It certainly takes some balls to hit a feature for the first time, but from then on out it's just a matter of practice and getting comfortable. I recommend starting out by hitting sidehits around the mountain first to gain confidence before venturing into the park, which can be a hectic and intimidating place depending on the crowds and availability of entry level features.
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I think you'll be fine. It'll definitely be a whole lot easier than trying to learn how to ski and learn how to ski park at the same time. You know how to ski, are probably very coordinated, and I'm assuming you're very comfortable at moderately fast speeds. So it should be pretty easy for you to get into!
Boxes are your friends when you're learning. Try to learn natural and unnatural grinds at the same time. I never did and sliding unnatural is such a pain now. I wish I would have tried to learn it sooner. If you can't ski switch you should definitely work on that too. It's not very hard to learn- remember to look around your shoulder, don't just turn your head because that puts you in an awkward position. Stagger your skis so that your hips are open. When I'm turning to my left(while facing uphill) it's like turning to a downhill skiers right. So a left turn I look over my right shoulder and stagger my skis so that my right ski is farther downhill than my left. And then vice versa for a right turn. Take a few runs on an easy run and you'll have it down pretty well!
For jumps, shin pressure is super important. It helps you to stay balanced and in control. Definitely helps with toe/shin bang and landing backseat. You could try some easy grabs while straight airing. Saftey, critical, tail, and mute are pretty basic. Try some shiftys. Both way 180s and 360s are a good start.
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