5 Non-Skiing Activities to Boost your Ski Performance
European Snowsport advises you on how to boost your ski performance in the off-season.
This week, I would like to introduce you to European Snowsport (ES), an international ski and snowboard school with bases across Switzerland and France in Verbier, Nendaz, Zermatt, St. Moritz, Chamonix & Val d'Isere. Having previously worked for ES in Verbier, I can attest that their friendly and qualified instructors know the resorts inside out, ensuring you get the most out of your time in the mountains. Private instructors will be happy to meet you the evening before your lesson to introduce themselves and plan your time on the snow.
To help you prepare for the upcoming winter season, ES have provided some useful advice on how to improve your skiing before even setting foot on the snow. Then, once you are back in the mountains, your ES instructor can help you take the next steps to skiing confidently and with style. So, without further ado, here are ES' "Top 5 Non-Skiing Activities to Boost your Ski Performance."
1. Ice Skating
Ice skating is brilliant for core skiing skills and there are many indoor ice rinks open during the summer months for you to hone your skills. After the first wobbly steps you will feel your balance improve quickly and don't forget to practice your co-ordination for skating on skis. Improved skills here will also help you enjoy the outdoor rinks in top resorts. Outdoor skating in winter is available (and recommended) in Verbier, Zermatt, St. Moritz, Chamonix and Val d'Isere.
2. Horse Riding
For dynamic balance skills, it is hard to to beat horse riding. An experienced horse rider will usually make an impressive start as a skier and the skills at all levels of riding will help with balance and co-ordination when skiing. You will be used to training your core to micro-adjust to changes in balance when on a horse and this will help you hone your technique on the snow.
Sadly, many skiers let themselves down with their fitness and tend to flag before the end of the day. It's easy to see why; many of us have desk jobs and are muscles are not taxed by sitting in a chair all day. This is where cycling comes in; improving leg strength by cycling over the inter-season will help keep your legs mountain ready, allowing you to have fun skiing for longer.
We know not everyone has access to this, although there are more centres opening up all the time in lakes and reservoirs. However, wakeboarding is used by many competitive skiers during the off-season to help keep their balance and agility in top form away from the snow. For a first-timer, it can be easier to get going on a wakeboard than on waterskis, but the stance is more similar to snowboard. That being said, the balance and agility skills in either sport will help you once you are back on the slopes.
Balance, balance, balance - slacklining can be done almost anywhere and many people have them set up in the garden between trees or fence posts. As a beginner, keep it low to the ground and accessible and hop up any time you can for a little practise. Don't be discouraged, just keep having a few seconds or minutes of practise whenever you can and your skills will quickly improve. The skills you learn here will help you feel more stable, responsive and agile on your skis.