I am not a great skier. I learned to ski in my 20's and have really not improved a ton. And...I am comfortable with where I am. Blue runs are my thing. I don't want to go fast down black runs, I don't want to hike a mile to do one run, I don't want to do mogals. I like to cruise. Guess what, I'm not alone. A lot of women want to get out and enjoy themselves and the scenery and get more comfortable on their skis, but they don't need their husbands or boyfriends yelling "go faster, straighten out your skis, you can do this run...". So, I signed up for a Just for Women ski class at Deer Valley. My goal was just to get a little less "robotic" in my stance and improve my comfort. We met every Wednesday for 5 weeks and yes, I did improve. Am I ready to enter a race like my 7 year old daughter, no; but that was not my goal.
There were five ladies in my group along with out instructor, Megan. On the first day, we split into groups of advanced vs intermediate levels and the instructors watch us come down the hill and group us into abilities. Now I know how my kids felt all these years. We discuss what we'd like to learn by the end and away we go. The second week we were videotaped (yikes) and had a look right after to see what we were doing right and wrong. After all, we all think we look good until we see the video. OK, so I ski with my upper body stiff like a board...help me! Even though we were in a group, Megan would watch us individually and point out things to work on. Of course being at Deer Valley, I have to mention that all the food is awesome and my favorite is at Empire Canyon Grill where they have the best paninis. Any restaurant or facility at Deer Valley is always top notch.
Megan passed along a great article on the difference in men and women. I've also included her video of her "correct" skiing. I don't look like this, but can try :)
Tips and things to keep in mind:
1. If your thighs are burning after every run, you are leaning down too far over your bottom-you're in the "backseat"
2. Try to pole plant or tap your pole on every turn-the downhill pole-it will pull you around.
3. You should rise tall on your turn and down a little.
4.A way to stop the robot-hold your poles out and in front like a picture frame. Your upper body should always be holding those fairly straight down the mountain with the bottom of the slope in the "picture frame"
5. This is the way you know the lower part of your body is moving more. When you sit on the chair lift, turn your foot side to side, that is how you should turn your skis not your whole body in one unit.
6. Push toward the front of your boots/toes. As I've heard with my kids, pretend you have a penny in the front of your boot at the top and hold it there with the weight of your legs. Your skis are longer in the front for a reason.
7. Most of all...relax and have fun!
The difference in Men and Women, Women tend to really want to enjoy themselves and the experience. We don't need to go all the way to the bottom without a single turn. We don't need to compete with the others in our group. We want to keep up without being scared. We want to ski in control.
You don't need to do weekly lessons, there are weekend retreats as well. One more coming up the first weekend in March for Deer Valley.
Alta offers great options for Women throughtout the season.
Sundance has a chance for you to put the kids in lessons and Mom enjoys her lesson.
Brighton has women series ongoing.
Snowbird has a 4 day camp coming up.
Snowbasin offers snow divas.
Canyons has a 3 day lesson coming up!
Powder Mountain has 1/2 day lessons.