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IS A SLIDING SPORT":
by Bill Jones, Ski Instructor
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.
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
CONVENTIONAL SKIING WISDOMS
Skier Excuses Fear
Conditioning for Skiing
Equipment and Technique
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
for Developing Skiing Skills Children and Skiing
Gender & Skiing
Skiing Ethics and Survival
SkiMyBest Website Contents