How To Ski Backwards

How To Ski Backwards

Learning how to ski switch or backwards skiing is going to unlock a whole new world of skiing for you!

Skiing switch is not only a fun technique to down the slope but will enable you to do multiple new tricks.

And if that was not enough to convince you to learn switch skiing, well it looks pretty damn cool as well!

Convinced yet? Good, let’s go! 

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Skiing Switch

Before we even start talking about skiing switch, you need to master skiing forward with turning and carving. 

But if you are looking to learn switch skiing you probably already know all about skiing forwards, so let’s just turn it around!

You should first find a really gentle slope with almost no elevation at all. When you first start skiing switch you can feel that it is a bit scary to slow down at first. So you do not want to start learning in a slope where you gain speed fast.

You should also have a pair of twin-tip skis, you can ski switch with any type of ski, but a pair of twin-tip skis will make your life much easier when skiing switch.

The basic position is the same when you are skiing switch as when you are skiing forwards. Do not ski with your legs straight, you need to bend your knees and your ankles.

When you start sliding backwards it is important that you start your carving straight away. You do not want to just slide backwards with you skis straight down the slope.

Carving Switch

To get into the turn, just slowly push your left foot backwards. This will position your left ski a bit further down the slope compared to your right ski. 

Then slowly turn your hips to your left and let your shoulders follow. Then look over your left shoulder.

Just like when you are skiing forwards, your weight should be on the ski that is outside of the turn. Your outer ski.

Have a look at this short and to the point video about switch skiing. Many of the pointers mentioned above are in this video.

To initiate another turn you do it the same way like skiing forwards, a slight roll on the knees to the edge of your ski. 

It is important that you practice this from both ways from the beginning so you do not end up only being able to ski switch on your left or right side.

So now just repeat the process but the other way around.

Start slowly turning your hips towards the right, push back your right foot and let your shoulders follow and look over your right shoulder. Be sure to move your weight to the right ski which is now the outer ski.

Good to think about when skiing switch

Forget all about the fries and pizza principle when skiing switch, it will do more damage than good. If you are not familiar with this, the pizza is when you shape your skis like a V to slow down and the fries is when you have your skis straight to go faster. 

The reason for this is that it will be very hard to slow down with the pizza or V principle when you have high speed. So the best is to avoid this from the very beginning even though it might be tempting at first.

Instead to slow down or speed check, scoot a bit to your side the same way you would do to spray your friend with snow while skiing forwards. But do it more subtle, and backwards.

How to transition to forward skiing

When you want to turn from switch skiing to forward skiing, the most simple way is to just turn around with both skis at the same time.

To do this, start turning your hips and shoulders towards the way you wish to turn. Then move your weight all the way to the tails of the skis. You will feel how your skis almost spin back on their own.

Once you have this technique locked down, you should start practicing to do pop and Ollie 180s as a transition from switch skiing to forwards skiing.

Once you are comfortable with skiing switch, start having fun and play around with it to progress more! Try pop or Ollie 180s as a transition from forward to switch skiing. 

Once you have this unlocked, try landing switch after hitting jumps, and feel how a new world of skiing opens up for you!

Check out some more of our awesome skiing styles here!​

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