Five tips to become a better freeskier in one day

All it takes is one day to add some much-needed confidence to your freeskiing. Here’s how.
Freeskier Christof Schenk performs a backflip at the Jon Olsson Invitational 2014
Backflips will always be cool © Kyle Meyr
By Kyle Meyr

Many of us would-be freeskiers wrongly tend to skip the basics before taking on rails and jumps. This is a mistake. We just look awkward flailing around as if swatting imaginary flies on every switch-up, 720 and landing. It's time to get our act together and take some pride in our skiing!

Admit it, you're one of these skiers; you saw twin-tips and immediately gave it a try as if you were hot stuff. Eventually, you learned, but it's obvious you skipped a few steps. Well, we're here to remind you that even the best skiers need to go back to the basics now and then to clean up their act.

So here are five tips on how to become a better freeskier in just one day.

Lars Tynes performs a 180 Japan in Hafjell, Norway
Slow down your spins and focus on the grab © Kyle Meyr

1. Teach someone to ski

Volunteer to give an hour-long lesson to one of your novice friends, and really think critically about what it takes to initiate turns and link them. Think hard about the way your head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet move during a turn, and then try to explain it to your friend. Only when you can explain it to a five-year-old do you really understand how it works.

Jesper Tjäder performs a Switch Triple Frontflip at JOI 2014.
Takes notes from the king of air-awareness © Kyle Meyr

2. Ski switch for one full hour

This one is all about discipline. You may need to avoid the park entirely, but you should take a full hour to exclusively ski backwards. Hopefully within one run you will realise that you aren't such a hotshot, and that you do need to work on your switch skiing after all. This is the reason you bought twin-tips, so focus on linking turns and make it happen.

3. Go unnatural for an hour

This one is for the more advanced guys who know they might have skipped a step on their way to landing 900s. Spend one hour in the park spinning and grinding exclusively to your unnatural side. Start at 180 degrees and work your way up when you feel confident enough to move on to the next spin.

Martin Stadheim performs a 360 tail grab.
Every grab can be made to look cooler © Kyle Meyr

4. Stick to 360s

Give up trying to spin into the future and bring it back to the 360. Besides being the most fun rotation there is, it is a great opportunity to reintroduce yourself to the art of grabbing and carving. Try every grab you can and more – with both carved and uncarved 360s to remind yourself that if you don't grab, it doesn't count.

5. Backflip (but only if you’re good enough)

Aside from helping with your inverted air-awareness, backflips will remind you of why you got on twin-tips in the first place… it's just plain fun! Nothing says you're having a good time like a backflip. Just make sure you've developed the skill-set – nothing says you're not talented enough like a badly-failed backflip.

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