Getting Up

Getting up is something that many beginners find very difficult. The root of this problem is most commonly in the fact that they don't put themselves into the right position before they try to get up.

If you have fallen over, and want to get back up, there are a few stages to getting back upright.

You can be left in all sorts of positions after a crash

From whatever position you find yourself in, the first thing you need to do is bring yourself to the side of your skis if you are not like this already. Trying to stand up from sat on the back of the skis is extremely difficult, and not even worth trying. Then you need to make sure your skis are sideways to the slope with your body above the slope from them. Just like when you are putting your skis on, you do not want to start sliding away as you get up. This should put you into a position similar to the one shown by the 3D skier below.

You need to bring your skis sideways to the slope with your body further up the slope

Then you need to bring your body as close as possible to the skis. This is because when you try to get up, you just want to push yourself upwards if possible, not across. If you try to get up normally from lying down, you don't do a press up and try and throw yourself to upright, you bend your knees push yourself to upright while as low as possible and then stand up. We do exactly the same with skis on, except we have to get up sideways.

Bring your body as close to the skis as possible

You are now about ready to get up, although the problems are not over yet. To get up you will need to push yourself over the middle of the skis in a crouched position, before you can stand up. To do this requires a few things: You need to be able to push yourself over the skis, without running out of extension in your arm, and you need to bring your weight forwards over your ski boots, and not be over the back of the skis. So to do this you:

Hold your downhill arm out so that it is diagonally down the slope and over the ski boots. This brings your weight further over the middle of the skis, and means you won't have to push yourself up so far.

Hold your down hill arm over your ski boots diagonally down the slope

Then take you uphill arm and put your hand on the snow as close to the uphill ski as possible. We need the hand to be as close to the ski as possible or when you try and push yourself up, you arm will run out of extension before you have push your body to over the skis. Not having the hand close enough to the skis is one of the most commom mistakes made when people try to get up.

Push on the snow as close to the skis as you can

Then using you uphill arm push yourself up so that your body comes over the skis, keeping the downhill arm held out to make it easier, and staying in a crouched position.

Keep leaning forwards and stay crouched until you are over the skis properly

You can now stand up straight and get back to skiing.

Stand up once you have your balance

All this becomes very easy with a bit of practise, but a lot of people struggle with it at the start. There are ways to get up using your poles, but in ski lessons you will do a lot of excercises without poles, so you need to be able to get up without them. As you get more used to getting up you will be able to stand up more quickly and get away with not having the skis so sideways to the slope etc, this all comes with practise though and has to be figured out for yourself.

Common Mistakes:

  • Not judging the gradient of the slope properly - If you do not have your skis sideways to the local gradient, you will start to slide as you get up. It is important to work out which direction is down the slope where you are, not for the whole slope in general.
  • Not bringing the body close enough to the skis - Your body needs to be close to the skis or you will waste your strength pushing yourself across and not up.
  • Forgetting to lean forwards - Unless you get your weight over your ski boots you will just fall backwards as you try to get up.
  • Running out of extension in you arm, as you are pushing from too far away from the skis.

On to the Stem Turns section.

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