Ski tips from Mark Gear
How to ski off a drop off this season without hurting yourself. Of course no guarantees!
This is what the ski movie guys do, they don't just jump and hope.
Here are a few top tips for how to ski a drop off. Watch the sequence of shots.
- Pick your jump carefully. Jumping can be dangerous. Its always best to start small.
- Always visually check out a jump or drop is safe before leaping off. The landing and run-out should be clear of obstacles and allow you enough space to land and make turns to slow down. Speed picks up fast in the air so you will need plenty of open space for confidence to land well and ski away.
- It is important to ensure that the landing is not flat. The landing area should slope away from the jump. Flat landings should be avoided as the impact is greater.
- Snow texture and depth should be checked before jumping so you know what to expect when you land. For example, deep and heavy snow will slow you down on landing and could throw you forwards over the skis as you land. Hard snow is going to offer a fast landing and a harder impact. If the snow is hard, you may want to find a smaller drop.
- Once you are happy that all you are going to hit if you get it wrong is snow, there's not alot to it other than take a deep breath, point the skis and jump!
- Take enough of a run up to get some speed off the jump. It really helps to make a positive, intentional jump upwards and forwards into the air.
- Hold the hands forwards for the flight also pulling your knees up towards your chest. This will help keep your balance and stability in the air, also setting you up for the landing phase of your drop.
- Whilst in the air, you will need to angle your skis to match the angle of the slope gradient. You don't want to land too far forwards or backwards on the skis.
- When coming into land, allow your legs to extend a little. This is like droping your landing gear. It will set you up for absorbtion on landing.
- Land absorbing the impact, standing up and skiing away hearing the applause from the nearby chair lift.
Mark runs off piste & freeride ski courses in Chamonix where you can actually learn how to do this. Of course, you choose the size of your jump.