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3 top tips to improve your off piste skiing – by heli ski guide Roko

You wake up, look out of the window, and there’s a pristine blanket of fresh white snow covering everything in sight. To make the most of those unforgettable powder days, here are some top tips to help improve your off piste skiing & heli skiing techniques – pulled together with the help of one of CMH heli skiing most experienced guides, Roko Koell.

1. Rhythm is the heartbeat of powder skiing
Rhythmic up-and-down motions are key when it comes to how to ski off piste. Begin with the ankles, knees and hips comfortably compact. Then extend upward, gradually flexing and extending the ankles, knees and hips, but stopping before the body is fully erect.  Create a consistent up-and-down rhythm while moving only within this range, always keeping your hands forward. If you stand up too tall your body will hang back whilst your skis accelerate forward – causing the infamous backward lean and resultant burning thigh muscles.

Top tip: the more equal both skis are weighted, the easier it is to maintain balance and to link turns together harmoniously and therefore the easier it is to off piste ski. The first turn is the most important turn, as it helps set your rhythm right; concentrating on proper pole plants will help you to maintain you rhythm and link your turns together.  Just following these simple instructions will greatly improve your off piste skiing technique.

 

2. Timing is everything: patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet
When off piste skiing in the powder you need to exaggerate your movements, ski with longer turning movements and feel the sensation of skiing in slow motion. Patience and persistence are crucial factors when turning in deep snow to improve your off piste skiing technique. You need to push your feet gradually and continually against the snow in order to complete each turn. If you give up on your turning movement too soon, your skis will accelerate and run away from underneath you, resulting in an incomplete turn, the dreaded backward lean, and loss of control.

Top tip: to make nice round turns in the powder, count slowly to yourself “One, two, turn.”; be patient when beginning the turn and assertive when completing it. Resist the urge to force your turns to happen too soon, as this causes you to over-rotate.

3. Remember – speed is your friend
Just as an airplane is able to lift off at a certain speed and a speedboat rides on top of the water, skis float up and out of the soft mass of snow when propelled by proper speed. Powder snow produces resistance against our skis, boots and lower legs, making balancing and turning a great challenge for the novice powder skier. The solution is reaching a proper skiing speed, which reduces resistance between skis and the soft mass of the snow.
This “up-floating” speed promotes turning and balance (equal weighting over both skis) and allows you to get a rhythm going.

Top tip: until the appropriate speed is established with confidence, all effort and exercise is hard work and physically exhausting – don’t despair, have the confidence to get your speed up; think about skiing with a guide or instructor for a couple of hours to help build your confidence up and pull you out of your comfort zone.

Roko Koell is a CMH Heli Skiing guide and founded CMH’s Powder Introduction programme. Roko is a fully qualified U.I.A.G.M Mountain and Ski Guide, Level 4 Ski Instructor and Ski Racing Coach.

Check out Roko’s CMH Heli-Skiing Powder Introduction film…

For more information and details of our trips, check out our heli skiing trips and our off piste skiing trips.  Or, to find out more have a read of our what is heli skiing page.

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

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Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

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Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

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Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

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Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

We’ve updated our top 10 favourite ski blogs which bring you the latest ski news, top tips and fashionable destinations.  Get your powder fix today and whet your appetite for the season ahead…  powdermatt.com/   To kick off the list we have this cracking a blog by Matt Mosteller – one year, while his friends were busy getting […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

How is snow formed?

As skiers we are obsessed with those tiny little flakes falling from the sky – constantly on the lookout for the next powder dump and eagerly awaiting those cold mornings when you wake up to find a white blanket covering everything and the perfect powder skiing conditions! But a question we often ask ourselves is […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Do I have to break the bank to go heli skiing in Canada?

Floating through knee-deep powder with only your buddies to keep you company.  A helicopter waiting at the bottom of each run.  Being whisked up to the top of another glorious powder filled peak.  That’s what dreams are made of – but the key question is do you have to break the bank to make making […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

The Ultimate Ski Bucket List – Telegraph October 2016

Canadian Mountain Holidays named one of The Telegraph’s Ultimate Ski Bucket List: ‘The tension of waiting for the weather to break, the expectation as the helicopter rotors begin to spin, the eagle’s eye view of pristine wilderness peaks as you’re flown 
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Posted by: Zillah Bell

Heli Skiing in Iceland – An Adventure of a Lifetime

The Telegraph have named heli skiing in Iceland one of their 50 adventures of a lifetime. ‘Ski from the mountain peaks down to the sea or fly-fish for salmon in glacial rivers accessed only by helicopters. You’ll be staying at Deplar Farm, the ultimate wilderness retreat located in a remote valley in north-west Iceland, surrounded […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder Sponsoring London Screening of ‘Ruin and Rose’

Come and join us on Friday 11th November at The Ham Yard Hotel, Central London for an exclusive viewing of MSP Films newest movie “Ruin and Rose”. We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring “Ruin and Rose” alongside Surefoot London for the second year in a row.  This new 4K HD definition film features jaw-dropping action […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Ski Blogs

Back in November 2010 we blogged about the ‘best ski blogs in the business’ and now, after some extensive research and deliberation we bring you our newest, hottest top 10 list… These blogs are set to bring you the latest news, fashionable destinations and first-rate tips and advice.  They are 100% guaranteed to whet your […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s CMH Heli Skiing UK Tour – October 2016

CMH Heli Skiing Presentations:  For over 35 years,  Pure Powder have been the exclusive UK representatives of CMH Heli Skiing in Canada – the largest heli ski operator in the world.   Each year Pure Powder team up with one of the CMH heli ski mountain guides and set about spreading the love for powder skiing on a […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell