Unbuckle boots for cold ski lesson

Here's a tip that probably will help your skiing but may give you cold feet at the same time. For years, it seems to me, I've heard ski instructors and read ski magazines that suggested unbuckling your boots for a meaningful ski lesson. I finally tried it, as recommended, on a gentle slope. After three runs my skiing had become several times faster and more secure and my right foot several times colder and less dry. I don't know whether snow in your boot is a necessary evil of this learning aid, but I must admit that the improvement in precise and quick turning of the skis was sufficiently dramatic to make me almost not care.

Start on a gentle slope without a boot buckle in place. You'll probably feel like you're swimming in your boots at first and may even be tempted to feel panicky. But assuming the pitch is gentle and there aren't people above or below to distract or worry you, persist.

What this exercise does is to increase one's sensitivity to pressure changes under the foot. If you're overdepending on your eyes for reacting to changes in terrain, you'll be late making corrections of your body position and thus always fighting for better balance.

Without the leverage of a tightly buckled boot, however, your body will quickly inform you there isn't time for the luxury of seeing changes in terrain. You must feel them underfoot and make instantaneous corrections of body position to adjust balance. the eyes are then free to look further ahead for bigger items, like the best line or other skiers.

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