In this instalment of our trick series, we spice things up a little and learn how to add some tricks to that sweet air time! We will go through three easy to learn tricks and techniques that can add a lot of style and fun to your skiing!
We will start with the basics, helping you build your confidence and teach you the best easy air tricks to learn on skis. This way, you can expand your ski trick skill set and learn to dominate on the mountain. The entire mountain will be yours to explore in the most creative way before you know it.
First up is the Ollie. We have previously learned how to hit jumps with the pop technique. Ollie is a similar move, it is basically a pop done from the tail of your skis.
And it looks a bit cooler and locks up a whole new bag of tricks you can do with it.
Start standing still with your skis close together. Then put pressure on the nose of your skis by leaning forwards.
Then move the pressure back to the tails of your skis by rolling your hip back over the tails with bent knees.
Slide your feet forward at the same time to help transfer your weight to the back of your skis.
Then pop by extending your knees fully, leaning your shoulders forward and raising your arms.
And congratulations, you just did your first Ollie!
And for a good landing, make sure to push your hips forward when the skis have left the ground.
Once you feel comfortable with doing Ollies standing still, take them to the slopes and have fun with them!
Check out this video for a breakdown of the Ollie.
The shifty… What is there to say. It might be one of the most useful techniques you can learn on skis. And as if that was not enough, you can make it look really cool.
The shifty is a counter-rotation technique, meaning that you spin your upper and lower body in two different directions.
Besides that shifty is a cool trick, you can also use the technique to save over or under-rotated spins, hitting rails and a whole lot more.
Convinced yet? Let’s learn some shifty!
To start practising Shifty you should know what a pop is and how to use it.
You practising this by doing the pop technique in your ski boots only.
Pop and twist your feet, knees and hip one way and at the same time counter-rotate by twisting your upper body and arms to the other way.
Example, twist your feet, knees and hip to the left. Twist your upper body and arms to the right.
Then before you land, unwind the twist and land with your skis and upper body straight forward again.
When you got this unlocked, which is fairly easy if you know how to pop on skis already, let’s start drilling it on the slopes!
Start with finding a jump with a size that you are already comfortable with, do a perfectly timed pop as we learnt in the first ski trick series.
Once you start leaving the jump, do exactly like you practised in your ski boots. You can start small and do minor shifty’s. And as you get more comfortable, counter-rotate more and more until you have a tweaked shifty.
Once you have this technique, you can use it to save an under-rotated spin, just counter-rotate (do a shifty) so that your legs rotate more than your upper body. And boom, you just saved yourself from crashing.
You can also use the technique to hit rails and boxes. Pop before the rail and do a shifty so that your skis hit the rail with a 90-degree angle and your upper body is pointing forward. And then counter-rotate when leaving the rail to land parallel with the slope.
This video shows good examples of Shiftys and how to practice them.
There are probably a million ways you can spice up your shiftys, but a shifty tail drag is a really cool looking trick that is fairly easy to learn once you mastered the shifty.
Before you start practising shifty tail drags, make sure that you practised your shifty’s to the point where you are comfortable doing them on different features.
Rollers are a good spot to practice shifty tail drags, a roller is a big knuckle on which a kicker is placed.
But instead of hitting the jump on the roller, you go on the side of the jump and pop over the roller.
This will give you quite a bit of airtime, but you will be close to the roller at all times.
You want to time the pop so that you before the top of the roller. This way you will be close enough to drag the tails. If you time the pop like a normal jump from the top of the roller you won’t be able to drag your tails.
Now when you know what a roller is and how to time your pop in it, you do a shifty.
And when you clear the roller with your shifty, start dragging your tails on the roller.
When your drag is coming to an end, untwist your body.
Shifty tail drag is the first trick explained in this video, check it out!
You might need to practice this quite a bit, but once you start to understand the move you will feel that it is actually quite easy. And then the fun part begins.
Start playing around with the shifty tail drag, do it all over the mountain and try it in all different scenarios.
That’s how you really learn to master the trick.