There are more and more freeskiers every single day of this season, and many of them discover NS. What is the easiest way to figure out a trick tip? Well, on here as of now, it's the trick tip cult. However, I feel that a beginner's guide in the forums would be a great use of space, rather than debating whether tight pants suck or whether someone should use poles or no poles. So if you're new to here, welcome! If you're not...well check this out anyways! Feel free to add suggestions, I’m no expert.
There are two main rules in skiing:
(1) Have fun
(2) Don't forget rule #1
If you forget those two ideas, then you have lost the entire purpose of skiing altogether.
I’m assuming you know how to ski if you're on newschoolers. You don't need much real turning or carving form to ski park, however, it DOES help. I suggest you don't spend all your time in the park and have some fun outside of jumps, rails, and other manmade features. Just watch Idea, a film by Eric Iberg, if you want to see how cool and fun that can be. Butters galore.
To start out, you should probably learn the basics: popping, spinning, and sliding rails.
This is the most essential skill in park skiing. Ultimately, when you approach the lip of a jump…jump! Use your quad muscles like you would to jump off the ground to do a slam dunk. Then bring your knees up a bit, and there you go. Steeeeezin.
Why: This skill helps you center yourself for spins, and also to balance yourself in the air. It also provides an element of safety, as it sets you up with the angle of the jump and the landing, rather than the jump throwing you wildly and you losing control, and possibly overshooting. A bit technical, but hey! Might as well throw in a bit.
Every spin has the same basic technique, especially after the 360. The basic technique is: wind up accordingly to how big your spin is, pop, spin, spot the landing, and stomp it.
180: The 180 is the easiest spin to do on small jumps. It’s just a half rotation, landing backwards. You might want to have some twintips before doing this (although I’m guessing you have some already.
When you get to the lip:
(1) pop, (2) look behind you to spot your landing, and (3) turn your shoulders that same way. Your skis should follow your shoulders. Keep on looking backwards until you stomp that 180 and then depending on how comfy you are with switch skiing, you can either turn around to normal stance again or stay in the switch position.
360: This has generally the same principle as any spin, although it is probably the most widely done “first trick” that a park skier, or any freeskier, learns.
When you get to the lip: (1) pop and tuck, (2) Turn your shoulders with your head, and try to look all the way back around you. Your skis should follow. Finally, (3) when you see your landing coming, straighten out your legs again and touch down smooth.
For going past the 360, you need to set your spins a bit harder. That means turning your shoulders a bit harder, and turning your head to search for that extra 180 or 360 degrees of rotation past the initial 360, to make a 540, 720, or even a 900. There are variations on spins too, such as corks and bios, which are off-axis rotations, and misties, rodeos, flatspins, and d-spins, which are all inverted spins.
The technique of sliding rails is much simpler than spins, in almost every way. However, rails are metal, and spins are in the air. Therefore, your surface is slippery and you will need good balance to be good at it.
What to do:
(1) Pop off the lip to the rail like you did for jumping
(2) Turn 90 degrees sideways, either left foot or right foot forward depending on how you naturally are inclined.
(3) Keep even balance on both feet. For me, I try to keep a bit more pressure on the forward foot, because it keeps me from slipping backwards off the rail.
(4) When you come to the end, hop off and turn 90 degrees again to land either switch or normal.
It may sound difficult, but it’s really not, depending on the rail. There are many variations as to what you can do on the rail, such as varied degrees of spins on and off rails, and switch-ups, which is when you are sliding a rail and you jump mid-slide and turn 180, landing mid-slide again on the same rail.
If you’re new to the backcountry, this is not always about fun. It’s sometimes about proving to yourself that you can do something, conquering a fear, or just going out there for bragging rights; skiing the gnarliest and the steepest lines.
There are basic guidelines you should know:
(1) ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a buddy
(2) If you can afford it, take a shove, probe, and transceiver. It’s worth it. Just read about all the people that die in avalanches and such.
(3) Look before you leap. Make sure you know where you’re going and don’t huck anything that you think could kill you. Unless you’re Seth, or some crazy dude like that. Even he looks before he jumps though, so…
This is by far the most fun aspect of skiing. Face shots, floating, whatever words that can maybe describe this heavenly experience of powder are not enough. But it is tough work to ski it, and even though you don’t have to know how to ski it, it’s here for you.
When you drop into a powder run, remember that falling doesn’t hurt. This means that you should play around as much as you can in the snow and try new things. It also means that it works your calf muscles…a lot.
(1) While skiing powder, you should keep a neutral stance, or even lean SLIGHTLY back. Too far back and it’s just bad form, especially when you want to hit a cliff, which I will talk about next.
(2) Use your ankles to push the nose of your skis upwards. You don’t want your tips to dive, because digging your skis out of powder is not fun.
(3) Try to keep your hands up and forward, and like skiing normally, use them to help you turn.
(4) Always face down the fall line (unless skiing switch).
Those are some basic tips, you can probably figure out yourself how to have a fun time in powder though. Stay chill!
Hucking cliffs is gnarly. And I mean, uber gnarly fun stuff. Not for n00bs at all.
Tips for hitting cliff (with help from Holte):
(1) Have your hands forward
(2) Be balanced
(3) Spot your landing when you are taking off, so that you can follow yourself all the way down.
(4) Don’t go slowly off of the lip. You may hit rocks or a hole at the bottom of the cliff if you do.
(5) Land as far forward as you can without risking tip dive into the snow. That can hurt. However, landing in the backseat (leaning back) can destroy your calf and knee muscles. In addition, you’ll be out of control the first few turns afterwards if you don’t injure yourself.
And that’s all I have for now, guys! Feel free to add in any tips you may have for BEGINNERS ONLY! Cork 7 tips can stay in the trick tip forum because…well simply put they aren’t for beginners.
Hope you all enjoyed.