How to Become a Better Skier

As John Snow would say, “winter is coming.” Yes this may be an exaggeration, but with October coming to an end, ski season is upon us. For those of us looking to take their skiing to the next level, take a look at these seven helpful tips in how to improve your skiing. In this article, I highlight a variety of guidelines and strategies of how you can improve your ski game every time you hit the slopes. 

1. Buy the Correct Gear

First and foremost, understand that this is an outdoor sport. Many people either underestimate or overestimate the amount of layers they need to wear. When you are out on mountain, you want to feel as comfortable as possible. Make sure you are wearing a variety of layers. Do not make the mistake of overdoing this. Wearing too many bulky layers can oftentimes compromise your mobility.

As for equipment, this tip is tailored more for the advanced skiers out there. Start off by backwards planning which mountain you are looking to ski. Whether you are focused on skiing freestyle runs, skiing in the backcountry, or hitting kickers in the park, it is crucial you know the terrain. Having knowledge of that type of style and setting will help you with your decision in which ski equipment you want to get. If you want to learn more about ski gear, check out the link here

2. Know the Basics, Practice the Fundamentals

Unless you took an introduction class on skiing that goes over the turns, stops, and jumps, you will never be able to ski better than what you are now. Practicing these rudimentary ski skills will allow you to manipulate your game for the better. To do this, start off by pushing yourself little by little.  For example, if you have a tendency to make wide long terns, push yourself to make shorter quick turns instead. 

3. Get Fit and Increase your Strength

Skiing is an incredibly strenuous sport. While at times it can be done for leisure, the setting and muscle strength you need to perform is incredibly high. Skiing requires that you have strong legs, abs, and chest. It is therefore imperative for you to keep a good level of fitness. The main areas to work on in the gym are increasing your overall core strength, flexibility, agility, and most importantly your leg strength. 

4. Push Yourself Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Like any thing in life, if you want to master something, you need to test yourself beyond the boundaries every so often to develop your skills, confidence, and strength. One way to become a stronger skier is to follow and watch skiers who are more advanced than you. Learn from them. Ask them questions. And if possible, try and see if you can ride the slopes with them. Remember, as good as you are, you always want to adapt your style. Good skiers are able to perform at a variety of conditions and terrains. 

5. Take a Lesson

No matter how much skiing and training you have done, you can always learn something new and improve your skills. Remember, even professional skiers have coaches and trainers by their side to help them improve their game. Take a look into short private lessons or a 10 or 12-week course. You will be shocked at how much you can improve. 

6. Be realistic with your Goal

It is fantastic that you want to improve your skiing, but at the end of the day you want to be realistic of your abilities. Keep in mind how long it took you to master just going up and down the hill. Be tangible and choose goals that you can achieve. In addition, make sure they are challenging enough to push you as a skier.  

7. Be Confident and Push Yourself

When learning or improving a skill, people often find the task to be difficult and, at times, frustrating. Try not to let this bring you down. There is a strong learning curve, but it does not mean it is impossible. Do not underestimate your ability to learn. Focus on the positive aspects of your skiing and learn from the negatives. Use those negatives as opportunities for growth. And of course practice!

California Ski Destinations

California has plenty of options to offer when searching for a destination to ski. It is important to first decide what it is that you are looking for when planning a ski trip to California. Are you hoping for the big mountain feel or a small and intimate local atmosphere?

This list exemplifies just a few of the numerous locations California has to offer it’s skiing community.

Badger Pass Ski Area – California’s original ski area, Badger Pass, is located in one of California’s most beautiful national parks, Yosemite. Badger Pass is a full-service ski resort who offers ski and snowboard instruction, rental equipment, childcare, and even a cafeteria/lounge. If you are a beginner skier or just not yet as comfortable on the slopes as you would like to be, then Badger Pass is the place for you, with 85 percent of its’ slopes devoted to beginner and intermediate levels. They also offer a course for mini skiers ages 4-6 called Badger Pups, making Badger Pass a great destination to travel with the whole family.

Heavenly – Heavenly Ski Resort is located on the California-Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. Heavenly is one of the world’s largest ski resorts, set on Tahoe Lake’s south shore. With its’ spectacular views, the resort has the largest snowmaking and grooming fleet on the West Coast. It features multiple terrain parks, 94 trails and a 3,500-foot vertical drop.

Mammoth – Mammoth is located in Eastern California along the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It features 1,000’s of acres of terrain and an altitude that keeps things white into summer making it one of the longest ski seasons in North America. Mammoth has about 300 days of sunshine a year, so don’t forget the sunscreen as a part of your ski gear.

Sugar Bowl – Sugar Bowl is located in Norden, California. If you are particularly fond of backcountry skiing, then Sugar Bowl is the place for you. Sugar Bowl’s backcountry tours are professionally guided and give people the chance to participate in educational seminars, snowshoe hikes, and much more.

Boreal Mountain Resort – If you are looking for a smaller more intimate skiing experience, you must go to Boreal Mountain. Located just 80 miles from Sacramento, Boreal Mountain provides its’ skiers with night lighting and a sound system on the mountain to enhance your skiing experience. How cool is that?!

Top 5 Skiing Resorts in Switzerland

Jack Ryger nyc

Are you an experienced or expert skier looking for your next, new ski resort to hit this winter? Travel to Switzerland to experience the beauty of the country while enjoying some of the best and most beautiful slopes in the world. Here is a countdown of five of the country’s resorts to visit this winter if you’re still deciding your vacation (most are on the more expensive side, but they’re worth the price.):

1. Verbier

Though particularly popular with its French-speaking clientele, all are still welcomed to Verbier with its network of cable cars and gondolas giving you convenient access to more resorts including Veysonnaz and La Tzoumaz. After you day skiing, you can relax and enjoy some of the most creative and delicious cuisine. If you’re also a food connoisseur then this is your resort as the others serve simple and typical ski resort menus.

2. St. Moritz

Jack Ryger nycHaving more of an Austrian influence compared to the other resorts on this list, St. Mortiz showcases authentic medieval architecture including folkloric fixtures, hand-carved paneling, and local granite throughout. There are slopes for all levels here. The Corvigilia, located just above St. Moritz is the most suitable for new or beginner skiers. If you’re looking for more of a challenge then head over to Sils Maria (Corvatsh) or Pontresina (Diavolezza). Both feature difficult slopes that you will challenge you all day long. Intermediate-level skiers should take the one cable-care connection to Piz Corvatsch and ski all the way back to St. Moritz’s lake.

3. Arosa

Relatively new to the scene amongst the ski resorts, Arosa is one of the most isolated and quiet vacations spots you’ll find. If you’re a nature lover then escape here as you head in on the one the road that leads to town. Lined with alpine meadows as far as your eye can see, Arosa couldn’t been any more serene.

4. Zermatt

In the Southwest region of Switzerland, Zermatt is located on a high-altitude plateau. It’s known for its slopes just as much as its party scene with beer-drinking heading into the early hours of the morning. Primarily tailored to intermediate skiers, it also feature a difficult course with a drop of (3,280ft) from start to finish.

5. Gstaad

Located in Saaneland, Gstaad is a cool option with plenty of action off the slopes as much as there is on them. During your downtime, you can attend music festivals, shop till you drop, and people-watch. You can people watch there for hours or enjoy the view as the sun goes down.

Brighton Mountain Ski Resort

Brighton Mountain in Utah is a favorite amongst skiiers of all ages. With an average of 500 inches of light, fluffy snow each winter, the mountain is a lot like heaven for those who love to ski. Since Brighton is located in a pathway of winter storms and sits at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the snowfall is great and plenty for all to enjoy.

Jack Ryger nyc IMG_0596

Brighton Resort is a great place to stay if you want to plan a ski trip on the mountain. The resort has access to 100% of Brighton’s terrain by five high speed quads. Along with 1,875 vertical feet dedicated to the wonders of Utah skiing, Brighton Resort also has 1,050 acre of trip and magic carpet service. You can also find day lodges, rentals, a ski and snowboarding school, lockers, cafeterias, a pub, and bus transportation to the downtown Salt Lake City area as part of the resort’s amenities.

In order to maintain safety precautions and offer its guests the best quality ski and snowboard trails, Bright Resort’s grooming is consistently top quality. Beginner, intermediate, and expert trails are all groomed as needed and if you’re ever wondering how your trail looks for the day, a grooming report is posted daily, which details the conditions of each trail.

Jack Ryger nyc

Jack Ryger skiing on Brighton Mountain in Utah

In addition, Brighton Resort has terrain parks, which are great for those who enjoy freestyle riding and skiing. There are four terrain parks available for every ability level, and with a supreme terrain park crew, the parks’ features move and improve as often as possible.

Brighton Resort offers hours of operation all seven days of the week from the middle of November through mid-April. In addition to the daily hours of operation for 9 am to 4pm, the resort offers night skiing from 4pm until 9pm every day except for sunday from December until March. So if you want to get the most out of your ski vacation, Brighton Resort is undoubtedly the place for you.

Jack Ryger nyc IMG_0593

For more information about Brighton Resort and the Brighton Mountain, please visit their website here. Happy skiing!