How To Ski Backwards

how to ski backwards

If you’ve ever been skiing before, you know that it’s not always as easy as it looks. But, skiing backwards? 

That’s a whole different story. Skiing backwards is a skill that takes time, practice, and patience to master. But once you get the hang of it, it’s incredibly easy!

In this post, we will guide you through how to ski backwards, step-by-step. From proper form to helpful tips and tricks, and the common mistakes beginners make and what to look out for.

Is it Difficult To Ski Backwards? 

Learning how to ski in reverse, also known as switching, is an important skill to acquire if your goal is to become an expert skier. You won’t be able to master certain tricks without it, and it will help you become a more versatile skier overall. 

Nevertheless, learning how to ski backwards can be difficult and even dangerous. Make sure you learn how to stop on skis first.

Is it Difficult To Ski Backwards

Learning how to ski backwards can help you feel more at ease and in control while you’re on the slopes, but there are a lot of things to keep in mind while you’re still getting the hang of it.

Why Do Skiers Ski Backwards? 

Many skiers take the time to learn how to carve backwards because, once mastered, it opens up a whole new world of skiing possibilities. Because you are already familiar with the fundamentals of a 180, the most appealing benefit of their newly acquired skills is the addition of new spin tricks. 

It helps transition from skiing forward to skiing backwards in a seamless manner by combining the pop of a jump with the turn of a backward carve. However, backward skiing is also practiced by skiers because it can be used to get out of tricky situations

When you least expect it, you might find yourself trapped in a thicket of trees or perched on the edge of a cliff. Skiing backwards to reach safer terrain is the only way to escape these kinds of terrible situations. 

Lastly, if you are attempting to teach young children to ski, skiing backwards will enable you to face your child and prevent face plants that would otherwise discourage your child from skiing. 

How To Ski Backwards

It’s a ton of fun to ski downhill backwards. Here are a few techniques that you can use to ski backwards without falling or breaking a leg. 

Start From A Stable Position 

After you have ensured that you are using the correct skis and located a secure location on the bunny slope, you should begin your descent from a position in which you are perfectly still

Maintain a parallel position between your skis and keep your feet shoulder-width apart when you are skiing. Make sure that the center of your weight is directly above your skis.

Bend Your Knees

As the force of gravity begins to drag you down the slope, you should significantly bend your knees and hinge slightly forward at the torso. 

Stagger your right ski back. Your hips will widen up as a result, which will make it easier for you to gaze over your right shoulder.

Keep Your Arms Forward 

Avoid Backseat skiing

You should try to keep your arms from flapping around and should keep them in front of you at all times. The more they move about, the more your carving will be affected by their movement. 

Roll your knees over the inside border of your right foot, maintaining the alignment of your knees with your ankles. Because of this, you will be forced to turn to the skier’s right. But avoid skiing in the backseat

Continue to glance over your right shoulder, but as you turn back towards the skier’s left, slightly stagger the backward movement of your left foot and roll your knees over the inside edge of your left ski. This is how you get started making slow and progressive turns in the other direction.

Ski Once And Pause

Getting a moderate amount of speed, carving the turn once, and then coming to complete halt benefits you the most. Before attempting to travel down the run, this is a great method to refine your edge skills and get ready for the challenge. 

Just keep in mind that how you place your body is the most important thing and that your lower body will follow the position of your upper body.

Check Both Shoulders

As soon as you feel like you have the hang of making these short turns, you may begin to switch from looking over your right shoulder to your left shoulder as you transition from right to left turns. Turn your head to glance over your left shoulder as you finish making a turn from the skier’s right and start to stagger your left foot backwards.

When Should You Ski Without Ski Poles

Be conscious of the fact that every time you switch shoulders, you give yourself a significantly larger blind spot to worry about. Make sure you are aware of who is in your immediate vicinity and whether or not any other skiers have moved into your blind spot.

Don’t Rush

Reduce your speed to the absolute minimum until you reach a point where you are comfortable and in control of the situation. 

The ability to master these spins while keeping your head over the same shoulder is fantastic preparation for heading into jumps; yet, relying solely on one shoulder can become a negative habit if it is not broken.

Common Mistakes

The following is a list of numerous common mistakes that should be avoided to develop good habits. 

common mistakes when sking backwards
  • Ignoring the fact that you have a blind spot.
  • Excessively forward-leaning or backseat skiing.
  • Use of both of the inside edges as a way to slow down
  • Not paying attention to where you’re going by staring too far behind your back. 
  • Your entire body, not just your head, MUST be bent.
  • Attempting to rotate your torso by putting one ski in front of the other.

You should be able to comfortably ski backwards without any trouble at all if you pay attention to the common mistakes that were listed above and avoid committing them. 

When should I start to learn to Ski backwards?

You shouldn’t ski backwards until you’ve mastered parallel skiing and hockey stops with complete confidence. If you start learning how to ski backwards too soon, it could slow down your progression in forwarding skiing – even though you probably won’t spend much more time doing it unless you’re very committed to it.

Do you need twin tips to ski backwards?

You can ski switch on any style of ski, but having a set of twin-tip skis will make skiing switch considerably easier.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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