How To Get Up After a Fall Without Taking Off Your Skis

Every Skier Falls and Here's a Safe and Easy Way to Get Back Up

A skier skiing
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Martin Heckelman, known as ‘Mr. Ski Tips’, is the author of‘ The New Guide To Skiing’, ‘The Hamlyn Guide To Skiing’ and ‘Step-by-Step Skiing Skills’.

He is also the instructor and demonstrator in the 'Ski Tips' series of videos and DVDs as well as the recently released 'Ski Tips' Apps series for smartphones. He is based in Val d’Isere, France, one of the world’s top ski resorts. If you are planning to visit Val d’Isere you can contact Martin at mheckelman@aol.com and he will be happy to assist you.

How To Get Up After A Fall Without Taking Off Your Skis

Every skier falls and the fact that you fall is nothing to be embarrassed about. However, flailing around on the ground can produce some chuckles from your friends. Martin Heckelman explains a quick, easy and graceful way to get back up without taking off your skis.

From Martin Heckelman:

After a fall trying to get back up incorrectly and inefficiently can be very tiring, frustrating and, yes embarrassing. Getting up quickly and correctly without taking off your skis may not look easy at first, but with a little practice, it will become a habit and not difficult at all.

As a beginner, you will know when you are about to fall and when you feel that moment coming on try to fall sideways with your skis straight ahead and together. Of course, there will be times when you just fall all jumbled. If your skis have not released, maneuver yourself so you are sitting on the hill with your skis together and across the fall line.

Of course, there will be times when you just fall all jumbled but if your skis have not released maneuver yourself so you are sitting on the hill with your skis together and across the fall line.

Step one is to bend your knees and bring them close to your chest. Remove your hands from the pole straps and place both ski poles in front of your chest with the tips in the snow next to your uphill thigh, just above the knee.

Now place one hand on top of the ski pole grips and the other hand on the poles just above the baskets - or, if the snow is firm you can put that on the snow at your uphill side.

Now place one hand on top of the ski pole grips and the other hand on the poles just above the baskets - or, if the snow is firm you can put that on the snow at your uphill side.

This is the "ready" position as in ready to launch. The trick to getting up effortlessly from the 'ready' position is to lean your chest forward toward the tips of your skis through the entire movement.

So:

  • Sitting sideways across the hill skis together
  • Pole tips in the snow above the uphill knee
  • One hand on the grips other above the basket or on the snow

Now, in one fluid movement push yourself upward with the bottom hand while pressing down on the pole grips. Remember, the secret - keep leaning your torso forward as this rolls that part of your upper body weight ahead of the pushing effort and makes it much easier to push up. As you start to become standing make sure your ski edges get a grip so your skis don't slip out and put yourself back on your bottom.

Two Special Tips:

  • Gravity makes it easier to get up while on an incline so be sure to maneuver so your skis are below you, down the hill.
  • If you find it too difficult to get up the quick and easy way with your skis on, then remove the skis.

If you remove the skis on the hill, point them across the hill, perpendicular to the fall line, and stand next to them on the uphill side. Use your poles for support and step into the downhill binding first. Keeping your weight on the downhill ski, roll the ski on to its edge so that it grips in the snow, then step into the uphill binding.

Now collect your thoughts, smile and - Happy Skiing!

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