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Tips for Skiing and Snowboarding on Powder

Posted by Jackie on Thursday, November 14, 2013

With snowfall reports coming in more frequently around the country, it’s time to launch into ski and snowboard season. While we’re more than ready to head to our favorite mountains for some time on the slopes, it’s easy to forget that some conditions require a bit of a different approach – especially fresh powder. Read on for some tips for conquering powder and staying upright throughout your run. Trust us, your body will thank you the next day.

Some simple tweaks to your stance and/or equipment can mean the difference between successfully navigating your run and ending up like this guy:

There’s a debate on whether or not you should lean back on your skis as you head downhill on powder, but the general consensus among the pros is that you should keep your weight fairly centered and maintain a bit of a squat. Lean too far back or forward, and you’re bound to topple over. In terms of speed, the faster the better. Moving too slowly will cause you to sink. If you move faster, you’ll stay on top of the powder, allowing you to turn more easily.

Having trouble turning? Again, speed is key. Instead of turning with your torso, use your thighs to push your way through turns. Try to take longer turns instead of short and choppy ones, allowing your outside arm to direct the turn. Keep the pressure even across both skis.

Fat skis or rocker skis can make powder skiing less daunting. With rocker skis, the center of the ski is what makes contact with the ground, while the tips do not, making it easier to float on powder.

If you’re snowboarding, be sure to keep your weight on your back leg, especially during turns, and use your knees to absorb the shock from bumps along the way.

Hopefully, these tips give you the foundation needed to master powder skiing and boarding. Here are some more resources that give more detail on stance, turns, and gear, including tips from professionals:

Skiing Magazine

Snowboard Pro Camp


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