Becoming a better skier doesn't mean you always have to go bigger or throw in more spins. Being able to add in effortless style, flow and control through slashing is a sure-fire way to show off your skiing ability all around the mountain.
Slashing is where you turn your skis out to push and kick up snow. In deeper snow, this will give you one of the best feelings possible on skis, a face-shot! Deep powder isn't necessary to slash however, practicing this motion in all snow conditions is still tonnes of fun and will improve your muscle memory for the skill.
(Narrating/Skiing: Dean Bercovitch. Film/Edit: Vince Emond. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
Where To Start?
Before getting a face load of the white stuff, there are a couple of basic skills that you should get dialled in first. Having the following skills already mastered will help you to learn slashing much faster and with fewer bails:
- Hockey stoping in a low position.
- Maintaining good Edge Control.
- Being able to throw Shifty's comfortably.
Dean showing off the perfect shifty.
The Basic Slash
To begin with, face down the hill, allowing yourself to pick up some speed. When ready, turn your skis into a side slip using counter-rotation, before coming to a complete stop.
How to get properly counter-rotated for slashing.
Start to slide downhill in a side slip again. Once you've gained a little momentum, turn your skis to be pointing downhill through reversing your counter-rotated body position.
Put it all together and voila, the basic slash! Start to add a little more speed to this drill while staying light on your edges.
Once you're feeling more confident, start edging harder and extend your legs during the slash in order to spray more of that sweet stuff into the air. To regain control during the slash, simply pull your extended legs back under your body and exit the slash.
Looking good mate.
In most cases, having your weight slightly backseat and more over your heels is a good way to avoid catching your edges while slashing.
The Carve Slash
Another great way to slash is by carving into it. As you're skiing down, lay hard into a wide carve and release your edges as you come across the slope. Using the same basic skills as above, release your edges, extend and counter-rotate your body, all at the same time. This will cause your heels to kick out and initiate the slash.
The Carve Slash
The Scrub Slash
Slashing over a roller looks awesome but takes a slightly different approach. Unlike other types of slashing, you'll want to initiate this slash while already being in the extended position. As a result of this, you'll have the ability to bend your knees and absorb up and over the roller. Being backseat will also help as it'll allow you to have the maximum range of motion with absorbing bigger rollers.
The Real Fun Starts Here
Powder is where slashes look and feel even cooler. When slashing in powder, your skis will act like a plow, tossing snow up into the air. This is how you'll achieve the 'classic' face-shot. That's what you're here for right?...
- When trying this, make sure you're sitting even more backseat in your boots in order to avoid your tips sinking below the snow.
- Keep your legs closer together when slashing in powder to avoid one leg from sinking in and pulling your body out of line.
This could be you...
Carving in Powder
In deep powder, a carve on it's own will still throw up a decent amount of snow. However, following the same technique as on firm terrain, you should treat yourself to the best possible face-shot by throwing in a slash right at the end of your carve.
Once you're feeling comfortable with slashing in powder, it's time to make the most of your slashes! Airing into the snow at high speed is the best way to throw up the maximum amount of snow. As you approach, pop into a shifty and hold that position all the way into the landing. Once you feel as deep as possible, pull in your knees and straighten your skis to be facing downhill again in order to keep your momentum.
There you go, your free ticket to the 'White Room' awaits! Want to add in more tricks to your skiing and unlock your full potential? Check out our Tramp Skis and Freestyle Tutorials to push you further in 2019!
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