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How To Ski On One Ski? (Quick Guide)

How To Ski On One Ski? (Quick Guide)

It comes as common sense to all skiers (and to those of us who simply like to watch) that skiing requires two skis, which is also the standard we’re all used to.

But this beloved winter sport has had many interesting variations in method and technique, sometimes discovered by experienced skiers who try to understand and develop the sport.

Some of these variations and discoveries have become quite popular over the years. One such variation is mono skiing, which is the use of one wide ski for both legs. But that is not the only variation that involves one ski – there’s also skiing on one ski for improving technique, known as the One Ski Method (OSM).

This quick how to ski on one ski guide will explore both, and give you a detailed explanation on the two one-ski variations.

What Is Mono-Skiing?

As the name suggests, mono-skiing is using only one ski to slide down a snowy slope, instead of using the traditional two, for both feet.

The monoski technique, where you have a single large ski for both your feet which are placed parallel to one another, has existed for centuries and gained wide popularity in the 70s and 80s – by avid skiers like Jonathan Hritz.

Learning How To Mono-Ski 

Learning How To Mono-Ski 

Monoskiing uses a single wide ski with two bindings, and two poles to maneuver with and is much easier to learn than the regular form of skiing.

It is not so different from regular skiing, in fact, avid skiers who are used to the regular thing often find it surprisingly easy to maneuver turns on the first day itself.

The only difference is that you cannot move both your legs independently, and will have them firmly planted on the ski. Turning is done with the same technique as well, while simultaneously using the two poles for leaning and directing your ski.

Also read our guide on how to ski backwards

And what’s more, monoskiing is perfect for people with weak knees as well, since the ‘twisting of the feet’ no longer happens as it does in conventional skiing. 

What Is The One-Ski Method?

The one-ski method technique has a different purpose and was famously described by German researcher Kassat in his observations on ski training.

It is simply using one ski on one foot and leaving the other without a ski and is done mainly to improve technique.

Since its introduction, it has been an absolutely essential part of ski training as well – since it teaches skiers the importance of each ski.

How To Do The One Ski Method To Improve Technique

The One Ski Method (OSM) as introduced by Kassat, is an interesting technique for novice skiers who have trouble coordinating two skis.

The approach comes from the idea that instead of learning the complicated body skills on TWO skis independently, it is easier to first learn to balance and maneuver using one ski on one foot. This way, novice skiers can put their entire concentration on one ski.

Also read our guide on How to teach someone skiing

It is usually assisted with the use of a long pole (usually 6 ft long), instead of the usual two, and this pole helps create turns. It is held by both hands and is trailed onto the snow to create a smooth turn.

Unlike monoskiing, the one-ski method is a step along the way to the normal two-ski form. You will move from one ski and a pole to two skis and a pole, and finally, end up with two skis and two poles.

By practicing this, novice skiers get to see how each ski is important, and how balance and body movement assist in skiing. 

Bottom Line

You can ski using only one ski, and there are two methods to do this – the monoski and the one-ski method.

While the first form is an age-old tradition on its own that has been practiced for years, the second one is a training tool that will help you on the way to the regular two-ski form.

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Picture of 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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