Lesson Seven: Proper Weight Distribution

Probably the biggest obstacle to skiing well is having one’s weight in the wrong place. The next time you go skiing, spend some time watching other skiers – preferably from the side of a run. Notice how they position their bodies over their skis. Watch a beginning skier. He will most likely ski with his butt far too back. Now watch an advanced skier. He will stand relaxed, knees slightly bent- his body almost perpendicular to the hill.

The difference is in the center of gravity! To achieve optimal control, your weight must be on the leading surface of both skis. You should have as little weight as possible on the tails. By having your weight forward, you have your leading ski edges in full contact with the snow surface. The fronts of yours skis, when properly weighted, is where the control comes from.

Make a concerted effort to maintain your weight on the balls of your feet. Don’t ski flat-footed, and definitely don’t ski on your heels.

The moment you stand on the balls of your feet, your weight will shift forward. Try this little test right now. Stand up with your feet flat on the floor – the way you would normally stand. Note how your knees feel locked slightly backwards. Now, shift your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. Notice how your center of gravity shift slightly forwards. Notice how your knees unlock and your heels lift off the floor. You are now in the correct posture. With your knees slightly bent, your legs are ready to absorb any shocks created by skiing on uneven snow. Your weight is forward…which forces the front of your skis into the snow.

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted close to 14,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.