Ski tips for skiing powder

Off piste ski tips for skiing deep powder by top level off piste ski instructor Mark Gear.

Learning how to ski off piste in deep powder snow can make fairly accomplished groomed run skiers feel somewhat like beginers again. 

The following off piste skiing tips will help you cut through the frustration quicker and help you on your way to skiing deep powder snow with the flow and comfort you would like to feel.


Off Piste Ski Tip # 1 - Deep Powder Snow

Use a two footed platform of pressure

Aim to push both skis into the snow when intitiating your turns, this will help distribute pressure onto both skis which provides a more predictable feeling with the skis when deep in the snow.  This is because snow creates resistance around the skis.  The deeper the skis are in the snow, the more snow resistance is felt by the skier around the skis. By pushing both skis into the snow with a more equal distribution of pressure, the snow resistance around each ski also becomes more equal, thus making it much easier for the skier to make both skis do the same thing at the same time.


Off Piste Ski Tip # 2 - Deep Powder Snow

Make smooth shaped turns

Go for smooth fluid movements and turns with a smooth, curved shape.  This will encourage a more fluid off piste skiing run.  Any abrupt movements or turns will have an abrupt effect on your balance.  Smooth turns and a good rhythm are essential for a fluid powder skiing run.

Off Piste Ski Tip # 3 - Deep Powder Snow

Push the heels downwards

Not to be confused with leaning back!  Dont lean back!

In very deep snow, we should aim to push the heels downwards a little to help keep the ski tips up out of the snow.  This movement is very subtle, but very effective.  It WILL stop the feeling of the ski tips wanting to dive deep into the powder snow which is oftern followed by the well known forward face plant.  This movement of pushing the heels down also allows the skier to maintain a relativley centered balance point along the skis length, which is far more comfortable than leaning back.


Off Piste Ski Tip # 4 - Deep Powder Snow

Remember to pole plant

Smooth, coordinated and well timed pole plants are a very important part to off piste and powder skiing. This will help you to build fluidity and rhythm into your run.  The pole plant also helps for commiting to the turn and helps the skier move the body forwards and in the direction of the new turn.


Off piste ski tips by elite ski instructor Mark Gear.


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