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Off Piste Skiing for Beginners – How to Get Started With Powder Skiing

  • Filip 
Beginner skiing off piste powder

Off piste skiing is a different experience rather than sticking the pole on groomed slopes.

If you are skier with some experience under your sleeve, you may be thinking about taking skiing to the next level and find a patch of fresh snow where you can carve out some new tracks, off piste.

However, it is believed that even the best of on-piste skier feel like a beginner after stepping on the fresh powder. If you are somehow thinking to learn this new technique, there are a few things you need to consider first. In this article, you can have the insight to start with powder skiing.

Before you get started

The primary goal of experiencing off piste skiing is to enjoy the natural beauty of snow in a untouched manner.

Most people assume that they would be skiing through waist-high on the powder, but this is not the case. So, the technique means a certain ability to tackle any kind of terrain nature presents you. If you are trying it for the first time, it is wise to take a small detour of the area and feel the powder.

The area near the groomed surface isn’t quite soft and can be easy to manage. Remember that off piste skiing is often not covered by insurance policy even when you have opted for winter sports coverage.

Getting started with off-piste skiing for beginners

If you are interested in off piste skiing but didn’t try out yet, you need to start by learning the sport as much as you can. Here are some basic tips for you to get started with this adventure sport.

Never get alone on the fresh snow

When you follow proper precaution, off-piste skiing becomes safer. Yet, there are inherent dangers connected with backcountry snow. Hence, you shouldn’t attempt to have fun all by yourself, especially during the first few runs.

Intimate people of your plans

Although there are risks associated with skiing alone, many people still ski alone. If you made up your mind to ski alone on off-piste trails, it is quite important to tell people about your plans. As such, if something happens, people would know that you are missing. They might have an idea about where to find you.

Have proper planning

Do not head over to off-piste skiing without having a plan. Find yourself a local, print guide, or other resources that explain the region better where you have the best ski areas and terrains to avoid. If you find yourself entangled in some sort of crisis, this information would be valuable.

Carry the right equipment

Every skier should have the basic tools and equipment to assist them in the backcountry. Among all the necessary tools, the most important consists of a helmet, a beacon, in case if you are buried under an avalanche, a shovel, a backpack with water and food, and lots of clothing to keep you warm.

Having the right type of skis is also a requirement for off piste powder skiing.

Find a proper route

Finding the right path is quite important while skiing. He hyperactive and try to find a line where you have the confidence to go down smoothly. This way, it helps you to manage your turns and control your speed levels.

Welcome the speed

You may not like it, but you are going to pick up some speed while maneuvering on fresh snow. Don’t get afraid of speed, and let it float you to the surface where you can turn easily.

Get the posture right

Posture is important when it comes to skiing. A slight imbalance could cause you to fall and have major injuries. You should take a narrow stance and crouched with your body weight pushed forward on your feet.

Keeping a narrow stance prevents you form spinning around and fall due to one of your skis sinks down in the snow.

Make sure to have a nice relaxed posture, like when you ski in the piste, and don’t lean backwards so much. If you lean backwards to much you will have a hard time making turns, because the end of the ski is stuck in the snow behind you.

Review snow conditions

To minimize the risks connected with this kind of skiing, you need to review snow conditions before hitting the slopes. There are many levels of avalanche danger and they can change throughout the day.

Don’t stop on wrong places

Stopping on fresh snow is not always recommended. That’s because you may find it harder to start over again and achieve the desired speed.

Longer flat surfaces or before an uphill are the perfect examples where you want to remain som speed.

Instead, make a stop just before the slope gets steeper or in the middle of the steeper part, this will help you get going again easier.

Enjoy the experience

Finally, don’t forget to look around and enjoy the mesmerizing views. Off-piste skiing provides remarkable views, and you don’t want to engage in your technique only to miss them.

How to turn in powder snow

Another feature of backcountry terrain is the narrow areas such as couloirs, chutes, or gullies. These are the places where you don’t get the liberty to take wide turns. Before maneuvering this type of terrain, you have to master the art of taking turns.

The two kinds of turns involved are the hop and kick turns. The hop turns involve hopping off the ground while you make the turn. To maneuver this step, crouch low and spring into the turn. Again crouch into the turn to land safely without hurting the knees.

Kick turns are pretty much easier. Begin by standing still and the ski perpendicular to the fall line of the slope. Place the downhill pole against your top ski so that both the ski poles are uphill. Starting with the downhill pole, kick’ the skis up until both of them are facing the other way.

The original downhill ski would now become your uphill one. To have a better grasp of the scene, check this video below.

How to slow down when skiing in powder

When you are unable to control your speed and stop, chances are that you may hurt yourself and other people.

To slow down while you are skiing on powder snow, you can make a turn. The sharper turn you make, the more speed you loose.

Sometimes by leaning backwards you can create more recistance between your skis and the snow, depending on snow depth and type of the snow, you can slow down by leaning backwards.

Powder tends to slow your skis, and so you don’t have to worry much about slowing down towards the end.

Take a look at this video here.


It takes years to get hold of off-piste skiing. But, it is possible to learn how to maneuver the steps with basic techniques. If you haven’t considered off-piste skiing, this is the best time to make it happen.