How to back up after falling on skis

WWhether you’re searching for a powder hound for that next killer bluebird day, or you’re more of a sit-by-the-fire type of skier after a run or two, hitting the slopes is an enjoyable way to spend a winter day. Bonus points: It doesn’t hurt that going to the top of a snowy mountain can bring some of the most stunning views in the world (looking at you, Teton Mountain Range.)

But it doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, it’s very common to get wiped out when you’re touring the slopes. and may be backed up Super Awkward and challenging.

We caught up with Janali Grover, a professional certified ski and snowboard instructor at Grand Targy Resort in Alta, Wyoming, who has been teaching snow sports for 15 years. Each season, he spends an average of 140 days on the mountain—including the occasional waterfall.

Grover teaches all types of skiers and snowboarders every day, and has a lot of experience helping them get back on their feet after a tumble. “In both skiing and snowboarding, you’re aligning your center of mass or your center of balance with the center of the board or skis,” she says. “You focus on maintaining an athletic stance, while also staying relaxed enough to allow your legs and lower body to flex and move—you can’t stay tight!”

First: Evaluate, and then change yourself

When you fall, always do a self-assessment to see where your body is. are you hurt Can you make it down the hill? If not, look for help, and ask someone to find the nearest ski patrol member.

When you’re good to go, readjust your skis or board so they’re at a 90-degree angle below you and down the hill, or lying horizontally across the slope. “When you stand up, you don’t want to go down,” Grover explains.

be short to get up

If you’re on skis, Grover says to pull your knees up to your chest and keep both arms at your sides and work forward, like you’re going to hug your knees.

“A lot of people try to reach behind them and push themselves up to do a backbend,” she says. But with that technique, you often sink into the snow and you can also put too much stress on your back.

The goal is to get your hands in front of you. “It’s about getting the whole body closer to the front of the skis to stand up,” she says. “Tighten your core and focus your core strength here, almost like a crunch, then pump it up.” Voila! You are up!

If it doesn’t work…

Another option is to always turn off your downhill skis. That way, “you have the ability to kneel on your uphill leg, then stand up and get back into your gear,” says Grover.

On a snowboard, get into a toe-side position

Snowboarding is a little easier after the fall. The same rules apply to realigning your snowboard at a 90-degree angle down a hill. Grover then asks his students to get into a “toe-side position.” If you’re not up to date with snowboard jargon, toe refers to the balance of your snowboard with the front edge of the board dug into the snow and your body facing uphill. (Heel direction is the opposite: your heels are dug into the snow with the back edge of your snowboard and your body is facing downhill.)

Kneel in the snow with your body facing uphill, straightening your legs and bracing your core to push until you regain your balance on the snowboard.

Don’t be embarrassed

Although they can be confusing, tumbles are something to embrace. “Falling is part of learning and there’s a way you can fall and fall safely, and then get back up and start again,” Grover said.

If you’re just starting out, find a ski resort like Grover’s home mountain known for light, fluffy snow that makes the fall more enjoyable. While you’re at it, book a lesson with the pros ready to teach you how it’s done

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