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Spring Skiing 101

In slushy conditions, lift and swivel!

Spring is just around the corner! Hopefully, by now you have made it to the ski resorts enough times to have your “ski legs underneath you”. Building enough strength through your legs to maneuver various types of terrain and steep angles without getting injured is key to having a successful day on the slopes. But, are your ski legs ready for some spring skiing?

With the weather warming and less fresh snow falling, the consistency of the snow will rapidly begin to change. Your ski day might kick off with hard-packed snow. But by noon, the sunny facing slopes will quickly turn to slush. If you have never skied in slushy snow before, get ready to engage your quads, keep your knees bent, and turn with intention. It isn’t always easy!

Recently, we stumbled across a New York Times article from 1989 that has been archived and revived. Entitled, “In Slushy Conditions, Lift and Swivel”, it offers some helpful tips on how to make successful turns in the spring slush:

  • Be patient because it takes longer for skis to engage in heavy snow.
  • The easiest way to get the hang of skiing spring slush is to think in terms of big, round turns. Because the snow is deep and heavy, speed is reduced.
  • With skis fairly close together and equally weighted, start with bent ankles and knees. Then straighten and lift. This down-up motion should be very strong.
  • As you progress into a turn, bank your upper body into the hill, in the same manner as riding a bike. You have to lean into the hill, so your skis push against the snow.
  • Keep your arms held out to maintain balance and stability. This is particularly helpful when settling down into a low position on skis.
  • Practice slush turns in the morning when the surface is beginning to loosen but has not yet become heavy. By the time conditions are mushy around noon, you'll have the turn mastered.

Ready to put these tips into action? Be sure to start the day by applying sunscreen and end the day when your legs are feeling tired. A recovery beer will be waiting on a sunny deck at the base of the hill when you are ready for it!

Outpost Sunsport will continue to provide ski and snowboard rentals and tuning services for the remainder of the season. Swing by if you need assistance with either.

Ski Tuning: Warm-weather or universal wax can help to keep your skis moving through the adverse snow conditions. If you haven’t had your skis tuned yet this year, bring them in to get them waxed and ready for some spring skiing!

Ski and Snowboard Rentals: We still have a wide variety of ski and snowboard rentals available for the entire family. Whether you need them for a day or an entire week, swing by and we can gear you up.


Archived NY Times Article

(Image of the original New York Times article.)

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