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Ski Tips with Dan Egan

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Reaching for your pole plants will keep you in the “power position.” PHOTO BY JEN BENNETT, RUMBLE PRODUCTIONS

The power of dynamic motion

By Dan Egan EBS CONTRIBUTOR

The essence of skiing is in the turn—that time and space when your body experiences a sublime mix of gravity, friction, centrifugal force and acceleration that creates a power only skiers can feel.

This elemental power can be fluid and graceful, or explosive and dynamic. Each skier hides his or her own power within, shaping and expressing it as movement, and leaving behind only a path in the snow. Many come away from fresh corduroy or intensely demanding steeps feeling not tired, but exhilarated, and brimming with this power. Hours and even days later they carry it into their daily lives as a sustaining energy.

“Wow, you look different there,” people often say when they see a photo of me skiing.

“Of course,” I say. “When I put on my skis, I’m in the moment, soaking up joy and confidence that stays with me in everything I do. It makes me feel alive.”

Accessing this kind of power in your skiing is about balance first. To remain in balance, you must stay forward and over your feet. If your feet get out in front of your body, you’ll be off balance. I like to say, “The feet can follow the body, the body struggles with following the feet.”

When you add power to this equation, you must do two major things:

1. Press your upper body forward from the hips, shoulders, arms and hands.

2. Actively adjust your position to stay in balance, because balance is a roaming, moving position, not a static stance.

An athletic stance is a powerful stance. PHOTO BY JEN BENNETT, RUMBLE PRODUCTIONS

Consider, if you will, a basketball player shooting a ball. Her eyes are on the basket. Her shoulders, arms and hands are reaching up and out, away from her body, while her legs sink down into an athletic position in preparation for springing up and forward. This is dynamic motion, and it is powerful. Dynamic motion creates a power position. But many people ski instead with dynamic tension in a static position. Dynamic tension takes more energy and is weaker because it restricts a skier’s ability to adjust his balance.

Dynamic motion is vital for all-terrain skiing. It also allows you to master the techniques of sliding, edging and carving, which make up the foundation of control. My camps and clinics are focused on these basic foundational balance movements, helping participants access dynamic movement on their skis. As result, they’re able to explore new, challenging terrain with confidence.

Extreme skiing pioneer Dan Egan has appeared in 12 Warren Miller ski films and countless others. Today, he teaches clinics and guides trips around the world. He’ll be teaching in Big Sky this Feb. 20-22, Feb. 27-29 and March 5-7. For other camp dates and locations, online coaching, tips, photos and information visit skiclinics.com.

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