There are freestyle ski and board parks in almost every resort and you don't have to be an advanced-level skier to enjoy the obstacles you'll find in them. All you need is a bit of time, bags of determination and these tips from the freestyle skiing experts at the All Mountain Academy.
How to ride a rail/box
You want to start on a wide, low box that you ride rather than jump onto so there's less risk of you slipping off or coming down too hard. As you ski up to the obstacle, face forward, keep your feet together and the bases of your skis flat so as not to catch an edge. Ride onto it and keep looking at the end of the box to avoid drifting off to one side.
How to hit a wallride
Ride up the transition with a centered stance and your knees slightly bent. As you ski up it, you may feel as if you're getting pushed back onto your heels so, to counteract this, keep your weight over the middle of the skis. When you reach the top, a slight jump will push you just away from the wall so you get some air. As you land back in the transition, keep your feet centered over the skis and ride backwards down the feature.
How to ride a half pipe
First have a look at where other people are dropping in (entering the pipe) so you know where to start to get the right speed. When it's your time to go, make sure you don't ski in front of anyone and that you're noticed when dropping in (shouting 'dropping' should do it). To get air in the pipe, ride straight up one wall and pop (jump) with both skis as you reach the lip. Once you're airborne, look back down into the pipe in the direction you want to be heading.
How to air off a kicker
Find the smallest kicker in the park and ride around it several times so you can see how the landing and take-off work. The aim is to clear the flat section after the take-off and land on the down slope. To do this, work out how far up other people are starting their run up to the jump because this will help you judge how much speed you need. Approach the take off in low position. As you ride up it your weight should be over the middle of the skis. When you reach the lip, jump with a big extension of both legs, keeping your weight centered and arms forward, immediately look for your landing point. As you land, bend your knees to absorb any jolt and stay over the centre of your skis to avoid falling backwards or forwards.
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