Who better to take ski tips from the man, the myth, the Warren Miller movie legend himself Dan Egan? Egan stresses the importance of uphill ski pressure to control speed while skiing the steep and deep in the video below.
The idea might seem simple, but it’s a little bit difficult in practice as skiers naturally want to place more pressure on the downhill ski.
Take a look as he breaks down how to apply uphill pressure properly, and the benefits that come with it.
Dan Egan: “Uphill Ski Pressure allows the skier to decelerate at the end of the turn in deep powder or on steeps and provides a stable platform for moving through the transition in challenging terrain while entering the new turn. This drill requires you to handle acceleration, dynamic motion, isolation and separation of body parts, and knee angulation for edge pressure.
This drill complements so many drills in this program. Start by choosing the length of your turns on a wide-open slope. Now as you exit the belly of the turn and enter into the Lower Third phase of the turn, pressure your up-hill ski, by this I mean stand up and on the ski to release the pressure on the downhill ski.
We have been taught and programed that more pressure on the downhill ski equals more control. Many skiers over pressure the downhill ski in the lower third of the turn in a search for control. If the conditions are firm or even icy there is belief that more edge and pressure will control speed, however what happens is one, skier often over pressure the downhill ski and the lower leg stiffens and is pushed away from the further down the hill. Two, the ski can accelerate, I often joke, if edging was slow the top skier racers in the world wouldn’t do it. The third consequence for over pressuring the downhill ski in the lower third of the turn is when skiing in powder and or on the steeps the feet separate making your stance too wide and the result of this is the uphill ski has very little pressure and moves forward which straightens the ankle and puts the skier out of position.
So, a whole lot can go wrong when we over pressure the downhill ski and the desired result is not accomplished. So, what is the fix? Pressure on the uphill ski. This accomplishes the following, first, it moves the uphill leg into position under your hips, second it releases the pressure on the downhill ski which will eliminate unwanted acceleration. And thirdly it narrows your stance which provides a wider platform and more stability because now the skis are closer together the total width of both skis are acting as one, rather than two separate platforms when your skis are further apart.”