How to Snow Plow

How to Snow Plow
Whether you're just learning how to ski or have been schussing for years, there's one indispensable skiing technique that you can't live without--the snowplow. In the early days of skiing, students were taught how to snowplow in preparation for turning. These days, students are often taught the "direct parallel" method of turning, but still depend on the snowplow for controlling speed in tight places, like lift-line mazes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

The Correct Skiing Stance

Step 1
Stand directly over your skis with your weight evenly distributed between your toes and your heels. Your feet should be underneath your hips as if you were standing in line for a movie.
Step 2
Bend your ankles, knees and hips so that your lower body can move like a large coil spring. You should feel constant pressure between the front of your shins and the tongues of your boots.
Step 3
Stand tall and look straight ahead, approximately 10 to 15 yards in front of you. Standing tall will help you to maintain your balance once you begin to move.
Step 4
Hold your hands in front of your waist, with your arms at your side--like you're holding onto the ends of bicycle handlebars.

Performing the Snowplow

Step 1
Begin sliding straight ahead with your feet parallel to each other. Choose a very flat slope to minimize your speed.
Step 2
Push your heels away from each other, while maintaining the distance between the tips of your skis. Imagine that they are physically connected to each other, only allowing the tails to move. By spreading the tails of your skis, the inside edges of your skis will scrape against the surface of the snow, slowing your speed.
Step 3
Continue pushing the tails of your skis away from each other until you come to a complete stop. The snowplow can be used to either control your speed to come to a complete stop. To reduce your speed, push the tails of the skis apart. To resume speed, allow the tails of the skis to come together until the skis are parallel. To come to a complete stop, push the tails of the skis as far away as you can from each other.

Tips & Warnings

Resist the urge to sit back while spreading the tails of your skis.

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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