This season was crazy for me, I went from not being able to k-fed, to both way 2 p 4, all 8 swap 2s out, and all double swaps. On top of that, I couldn’t cork or spin more than a 5. I landed cork 5s 7s 9s, switch cork 5s 7s, and misty 7. I wanted to make this article to help some other skiers progress as fast as I did, and have fun while doing it.
I want to start with rails. Rails you have to keep alive and have to practice a lot. Something that helped for me was hiking. I hiked a lot of rails, and each day I came up on the hill I’d have an idea for a new trick to learn. It doesn’t matter if the trick is a fs, or a 2 on kfed, each day try to learn something new. On top of this, practice both ways. So if you land natural kfed, try unnatural. This way you get a lot more comfortable spinning and swapping both ways. Practicing and keeping unnatural tricks, or even just sliding rails unnatural, is one of the easiest ways to progress quickly in rail skiing. Last tip for rails is to be patient. Come into the season thinking of simple tricks, and build up. Do not come into the season wanting to land 2 p 4 if you haven’t gotten comfortable with swaps and 2s out. For me, I started with learning kfed, then fs f2, then bs f2, and so on until I reached unnatural. Then each day I came up I’d learn something new and once I go all those, I set another goal to learn switch 2 on and so on until I got to 2 p 4s. Start small, and be patient, it helps a lot in the longer run of progression.
For jumps, make sure you are comfortable with your air awareness. It doesn’t matter if it’s from bag or tramp, but be comfortable with the trick before throwing on snow. Build your way up slow. I did not learn any new jump tricks for the first few months of this season. Get comfortable with tricks you can do and take them off bigger jumps. Try new grabs and make those tricks automatic. Once those tricks feel comfortable, then move on to 720. Then, after 720 you can cork and try to throw new tricks. With jump tricks, be confident and calculated in your attempts, and visualize what’s going to happen. This part helped me a lot. Also, do not force multiple tricks in a day if you are not comfortable sending them. You’ll find that over time you get more comfortable flipping and then before long you’ll try another trick. Being patient with jump progression is very important because if you are not careful and comfortable when trying tricks, you can hurt yourself and then stop progression and fun completely.
Finally, have friends to ski with, or keep track of progress. For me, I would ask friends about tricks to try, or tell people I was going to try a trick to kind of get myself to commit to it when I was ready. Having friends to track progression makes it so much easier to progress, and it makes the feeling of landing new tricks even better.
Good luck next year, or the end of this year starting progression. Always remember to have fun on the hill, do not torture yourself about tricks or progression. Having fun will help your progression the most. Send me messages on insta @gmantrooper and I’ll be sure to help keep you motivated and give you some trick ideas.