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How to Begin Skiing

Oct 26, 2007
Skiing is a wonderful sport, and well worth the effort in mastering its different facets.

Gripping the pole

No matter what kind of skiing you do, your pole should be there to assist you. The strap must he held correctly if the wrist is to obtain correct support.
1. Thrust your hand through the loop of the strap from below
2. With the thong round the wrist
3. Grip the pole and the thong firmly

Turning on the level

Let us assume that you have got your skis on, and your poles correctly held. Before setting off we'll practice a few quick turns on the level.

Raise the ski well off the ground, and with the poles to assist you in maintaining balance, you will have no difficulty in carrying out this turn.

1. Skis parallel and flat on the snow. Right pole pointing forward and near the tip of the ski, left pole near the heel of the ski. Support yourself on your poles.
2. Raise the left ski and swing it right the way round through 180 degrees.
3. Place the left ski down on the snow, parallel to the right ski.
4. Swing the right ski all the way round, and bring it along side the left. Your turn - the kick turn - has now been completed.

Skiing along the level

For those first steps across the level you will find the so-called diagonal gait the simplest and most natural way of skiing.

This really means, as in ordinary walking, moving opposite leg and aim forward. At the same time - right leg and left arm, followed by left leg and right arm, etc.

When skiing, it is the supple gliding movement which will give the characteristic effortless movement of the expert.


The "diagonal" is the most effective and effortless gait; try to aim at a long lithe step. Remember to use opposite arm and leg. Left leg and right arm forward.

A. Good push-off with the poles. After the push-off arm and pole should be extended in one straight line behind the body. Interchange of arm and leg with long gliding movement.

B. Double poling, with a one-step "take-off".
1. Ordinary diagonal gait as above.
2. Thrust both poles in front of the body into the ground, and propel the body forwards with the poles.
3. Arms well behind body, and knees flexed.
4. Resume the diagonal gait, with a marked increase of momentum.


Once you can move across level country on your skis, the time has come to attempt a steep climb. Frequently you will find it impossible to ski straight up a slope. Even with the assistance of poles and arms the going will be too heavy. "Herringboning" is an easy and efficient method of climbing.
1. Spread-eagle the skis in a V, transferring the weight from the lower to the upper ski.
2. Poles should be in position behind the body, to give support, and prevent you from sliding back.
3. Continue uphill, shoving off with each ski, and maintaining the V angle.

The skating turn

When touring across undulating country the skating turn is an effective method of negotiating trees and similar obstacles.

This turn enables the skier to change direction quickly, while at the same time increasing his speed. The skating turn should also be tried with a double poling action immediately before and after the actual turn.

1. Ordinary diagonal gait, with long gliding steps.
2. Transfer the weight to the left ski, and thrust the right ski out in the direction in which you wish to turn.
3. Transfer the weight to the right ski by pushing off in a powerful rhythmic movement from the left ski.
4. Bring the skis together again, and push off vigorously with both poles. Thus increasing your speed.

There are more aspects of skiing to learn, but these will set you off on the right foot.
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