Speed is a regular part of skiing, and once you get used to it, it can be one of the most exhilarating experiences and THE main attraction of the sport.
But if you are a novice skier or thinking about learning how to ski from the basics, flying down those snowy slopes at high speeds can sound a little frightening or even downright dangerous to you.
And this fear might affect your progress, or result in giving up on the entire sport. And let’s not forget – skis are DESIGNED to accelerate, so skiing too fast is natural and part of the game!
But we’re here to tell you that there are several ways to counter this fear, and actually master it in your journey toward becoming a pro skier. Once you learn how to handle and make use of speed, it will be your friend AND a symbol of your prowess, as you learn how to swiftly glide and sail over those snowy slopes.
We’ve compiled a set of tips for you below, which will doubtlessly help you understand and get over the fear of skiing too fast this season.
Holding Onto The Basics
If you’re a new skier who has moved onto intermediate or advanced terrain recently, and the mere thought of skiing too fast is making you shiver, We suggest you head back to the more basic slopes.
There is nothing shameful or problematic about going back to basics because this move will actually give you time to master everything and THEN move on to the more demanding terrains.
Read our guide on beginner ski slope colors here.
And always remember what you have learned while you were in basic training because the rules in skiing seldom change, they are simply modified to fit the specific terrain you’re skiing in.
Learning From The Best
Get guidance from an experienced and professional skier if you can. If you cannot afford one, make sure that the person you’re getting advice from is someone who has been skiing for quite some time and therefore has adequate knowledge about the sport and skiing fast.
But if you are starting out as a novice skier, the best option is to take lessons from a professional ski instructor, since it will be a worthy investment for the future as well because BASICS MATTER!
Also read how much to tip a ski instructor here.
Start Slow And Safe
Do not assume that you will be able to master speed in a matter of minutes or hours. You will have to start slow, and on relatively less challenging terrain and then slowly shift to a more intense level.
Always observe safety precautions and make sure that you have somebody responsible around (like your instructor). And as you understand that you are getting the hang of it, you can then start increasing the speed in SAFE doses.
There’s a learning curve that you must be aware of, and patience really counts when trying to master a certain sport. And keep on practicing!
Find Calmer Hills
Getting over the fear of skiing too fast requires a lot of practice, the ideal location to do that is somewhere with a lot of space and NO crowds.
When there are people around, you will tend to feel nervous and unable to concentrate. And with multiple skiers moving about you, you will not have enough space to properly practice either.
So find a slope, or area of the slope that does not attract a lot of skiers – mostly a less challenging terrain with a friendlier angle (since most skiers tend to go for steep slopes with obstacles).
Being afraid of high speed can often lead to feeling insecure and overthinking. Being afraid of high speed is a very common fear that MOST skiers go through, and it is very easy to overcome if you put in the work.
Do not put too much thought into the process, simply let your mind and body work in unison. For this to happen, you need to RELAX, so take a few deep breaths, have a good connection with your instructor, and then start your practice.
You will fail the first few times, but that is absolutely NECESSARY for your improvement.
One major mistake a lot of skiers don’t consider is forgetting to anticipate acceleration. Once you start skiing, your skis will automatically lead to acceleration since they are built for it!
Not being ready for this will catch you off guard instantly, and this can lead to injuries and accidents. Always be aware of the acceleration that is to come, and act accordingly.
It is difficult to maneuver your body right at the movement since skiing calls for calculated movements. So being aware really helps.
Learn How To Stop To Avoid Injury
Stopping on skis is like hitting the brakes while you’re learning to drive. It may not be that easy, but it will keep you safe and injury-free while you are learning.
There are three ways to halt while skiing:
The Snow Plow
The snowplow stop is when you bring your skis together and slowly spread your heels. Your ski tips should be firmly touching each other, while the back ends are away from each other – forming the figure of a triangle.
For this, you will need to start off with a snowplow, and then slowly start turning to one side. While you’re turning, apply your body weight to the outer ski.
This will bring you to a halt as well. But make sure that you do not accidentally cross your skis over each other since this WILL make you fall over.
The basic idea behind this is to create the most resistance within the shortest time. To do this, keep your skis together, bend down and over your boots, and quickly turn your skis till they come to a perpendicular angle to the slope at the same time.
We’ve covered all these 3 methods in greater detail in our guide on how to stop on skis.
Head Out This Season!
Now that you know how to get over the fear of skiing too fast, head out to the slopes this season with your instructor or family members and test things out.
And always be aware that there are other skiers out on the slopes who are also enjoying themselves, so be respectful of their space. And enjoy yourself!
Getting over the fear of skiing too fast doesn’t have to be a mechanical and serious process. Simply have fun while being aware of the safety protocols.