Last month, I was lucky enough to meet and ski with many of California's female ski patrollers, at the Western Female Ski Patrol Summit at Northstar Resort. The focus of our clinic was trying to ski more efficiently.
Ski Patrollers have huge workdays on snow. At any time they could be required to sled an injured guest down the hill, rescue someone from challenging terrain or perform first aid. They need to use their energy wisely and skiing efficiently can make a huge difference to their muscles and body when working all day on the slopes.
During our clinic we worked on our stance, more specifically how we stand on our skis. We spoke about our 3 skiing joints, our ankles, knees, and hips, and how if they work together and bend evenly we can ski in a centered position. Which allows our muscles to work together more efficiently.
We tried to achieve this by experimenting with bending each joint individually and exaggerating these movements whilst skiing to gain an understanding of our position and the feelings we get when we are forward and back on our skis.
The patrollers were then challenged to describe what part of their feet they were balanced on when back, forward, and centered. Many described back as being balanced on their heels, feeling forward as being balanced on their toes, and centered as balance along the whole foot.
With this awareness, we went skiing and we tried to keep the flex of our skiing joints even and tried to feel our balance along the whole foot to achieve more efficient skiing and hopefully less tired legs at the end of the day!