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 Conventional Skiing Wisdoms (CSW's) 

by Bill Jones, Ski Instructor
Certified Professional Ski Instructor (Registration #110478), Level III
private ski lessons at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, other areas

CSW #29: "Skiing slowly is safer"

Surely one does not want to exceed a safe speed for conditions, gear limits, or one's skill level, but the safest speed may not be the slowest but be one that is consistent with that of other skiers on a given slope, for then  all the parties will be traveling at a similar speed. Faster skiers will have greater probability of overtaking slower skiers. Slower skiers are more likely to be in the paths of others. It's the same as on some highways that have posted minimum and maximum speed levels.

Too, to get the best performance from skis, the best speed for that may not be the slowest. A somewhat faster speed will give the skier more options while traveling. The least safe situation may be standing on a ski slope and not being able to move quickly to avoid others, whereas if one were moving one could dodge out of the way quicker. That's a bit like traveling down a river in a kayak at the same speed as the water and thus not having the momentum to redirect the boat around a rock or other obstacle.

It is also true that lateral stability increases with speed on skis, just as it does on a bicycle, which is hard to keep in balance while going too slowly. This phenomenon relates to a principle of physics and also works on iced skates, skateboards, in-line skates, etc.


main CSW contents
prior CSW #28: "Buckle your boots tightly to make your boots stiff"
next C SW #30: "The Skier's Responsibility Code will keep me safe"

"SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT"--a skiing web manual:     Skiing Web Manual Contents   Why Read This Skiing Web Manual That First Skiing Lesson  A Little Skiing History  Motion in Skiing  CONVENTIONAL SKIING WISDOMS  Skier Excuses   Fear in Skiing  Conditioning for Skiing   Equipment and Technique  Skiing Equipment  How Skis Work   How to Develop Balance on Skis  A Skiing Turn Simplified  The Final Skiing Skill: pressure management  Tactics for Terrains and Snow Textures and Racing  Skiing Tips and Tales--a potpourri  Exercises for Developing Skiing Skills   Children and Skiing  Gender & Skiing   Skiing Ethics and Survival  Glossary  Skiing Environment   Acknowledgements SkiMyBest Website Contents  
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