Tips From An Olympian

At Steamboat Springs, their is an icon Olympian that you can ski and learn from. Billy Kidd was a silver medalist in the 1964 Olympic slalom event and also competed in several events in the 1968. Injuries ended his competitive career and he has become an ambassador to Steamboat Springs and is now director of skiing. He loves promoting the sport and takes time many days to meet with skiers at the top of the Gondola.

While attending the Weather Summit recently, Billy took us around the mountain for first tracks in the morning. His tips are very basic but crucial and started when we first waiting to take off.

Tip # 1 - Stand as if you you were skiing before you start skiing. This means a good skiing posture, not leaning back, but being balanced forward. While standing there, shuffle your feet, feel your balance and swing your poles practicing touches. This creates muscle memory and preps you for your runs. If you lean back and slouch before skiing, you will probably fall back on that and will not have good turns on your way down.

Tip # 2 - When skiing, don't tuck your elbows into your body. Have them out and up. This creates a good white balanced stance and better allows you to shift your weight over the proper skis. I do have to admit, I used to tuck my arms in before this session and this really made a difference for me on the wide and fast turns. He made references to current Olympians and how they hold their arms.

Tip # 3 - Always plant your pole down the hill before making the turn. No exceptions, keep your body aimed down the hill with this with no exceptions. Even when cruising and relaxing still plant your poles.

These tips seem so simple, and I do have to say that after a couple hours with Billy there was a direct improvement in the skiing of many in our group.

For more information on skiing with Billy at Steamboat Springs, go to their website:

Happy Turns,

Joe Murgo

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