If you’ve been looking to get into deep powder skiing but don’t know where to start – you’ve come to the right place. We have everything covered from the right techniques for the slopes to the right gear for in and out of the resort.

Without further ado, let’s look at all the techniques that can help you level up your deep powder skiing skills.

What Is Deep Powder Skiing?

Before we explain the top deep powder skiing techniques, we should explain what it is. Powder skiing simply refers to skiing in lighter, fluffier snow compared to the more groomed runs. It requires different techniques and sets of skills, which you can easily pick up (with some practice and guidance, of course).

As powder skiing often takes you away from the slopes, there are a few different places to take your newly found skills. These can include:

  • Easy-to-reach-backcountry: Also known as slackcountry, this tends to be an off-piste area just beyond the boundaries and marked areas of the ski resort.
  • Backcountry skiing: Skiing away from main ski resorts and slopes on unmarked or unpatrolled areas is what’s known as backcountry skiing. It’s essentially the opposite of alpine skiing, which refers to skiing on groomed trails that are regulated or patrolled.
  • Off-piste skiing: Skiing on unprepared and trackless areas, away from regular ski runs, is known as off-piste skiing.

The Top Tips for Deep Powder Skiing

Now that you know what deep powder skiing is and what it entails, let’s take a look at how you can improve your techniques on or off the slopes.

Create a Bounce

If you’re going backcountry skiing, you should understand the importance of the bounce. Before moving onto deep snow, first try it out in a straight line and in soft snow. Then, choose a gradient where you won’t pick up too much speed.

Also, when deep powder skiing, remember that the snow will act as a trampoline if you make the right moves to create a bounce. You’ll get the same effect from a rebound effect from the snowpack.

When learning how to ski on deep powder snow, remember to bounce on two feet, bend, and stretch your ankles, knees, and hips.

When Steering and Turning

In powder skiing, you shouldn’t be using the edge of your skis for grip, but instead, try steering with your legs and feet. You should guide your skis in the direction you want instead of creating big angles or engaging your edges. Even though at first it might feel a bit looser and closer to surfing than skiing, it’s a skill we’re sure you can pick up in no time.

Keep Your Balance

It can be difficult to keep your balance when you’re in deep powder, especially if you’re just starting and don’t feel relaxed. To alleviate the problem, you should try pumping your legs up and down during your turns. This small movement, coupled with a little bounce, can allow you to remain on top of the snow. The more you reinforce the movement, the better your balance will be.

Change Directions

When your skis are near the surface, you should gently tip your knees, ankles, and feet to one side in the light phase. As you begin sinking into the bounce, your tipped skis will start bending and deflecting in a gentle turn.

You can further help these movements by steering your legs around a C-shaped arc. Only turn a little and continue practising the gentle deflecting movement. You should keep doing so until you’re able to coordinate the gentle steering and tipping movements.

Speed Is Your Friend

When it comes to deep powder skiing, remember that speed is your friend. No matter the depth of the snow, if you slow down and lose speed, the weight of the coverage will start dragging you down.

Once that happens, you’ll find yourself trying to haul out of the heavy snow, which is a pretty difficult task. On the other hand, if you stay speedy and are light on your feet, you’ll be able to float along the top of the powder.

Pole Planting

To help your balance and rhythm, you can start using a well-time pole plant and think of your poles as timing devices that mark the beginning or end of each turn. As your balance and skills keep improving on the slopes, you can push further into the bounce and steer across the line. By pushing harder with your feet, you’ll help speed control and gradually increase the gradient.

However, if you start going too fast or lose your rhythm, take a few steps back, and start again. Think about where you are, and the skiing terrain, and keep practicing the movements to ensure your skills keep sharpening.

Mistakes to Avoid When Deep Powder Skiing

When it comes to skiing in deep powder, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. That said, there are a few mistakes you can be on the lookout for to help improve your skiing.

Leaning Backwards
One of the best skiing deep powder tips we can share is that you should avoid leaning back too far. By leaning backwards too much, you’ll lose your balance by applying too much force to the tail of your skis. All of these things will make your skis squirrely and incredibly difficult to control.

Over-rotating the Upper Body
If you find that your torso is facing the mountain after each turn, chances are you’re probably over-rotating your upper body. To avoid this pitfall, project your body downhill while being centred. Also, strengthen your core muscles to minimize this mistake.

Essential Gear for Deep Powder Skiing

Skiing in deep powder requires having the right gear. Even though you can go as complex and expensive as you want, don’t forget about the basics – your skis and outerwear.

Powder skis tend to be broader and longer compared to piste skis, ranging from around 110 mm to 140 mm in waist width. The reason behind the waist width is that you get more surface area.

Not only that but most powder skis utilize a camber profile that improves your float while in powder. That can include a rocker-raised tip and tail or even reverse camber. With powder skis, the tips and tails are higher than the contact point and form a sort of dished shape. All of these things combined will help you to manoeuvre better in the powder.

When it comes to outerwear, keep in mind that deep powder skiing requires your clothes to be waterproof and breathable. Powder snow can and will easily stick to your jacket and seep into the fibres, making you cold, wet, and most likely miserable.

Also, as powder skiing requires a lot of hard work, you’ll likely be working up a sweat, which is why your ski jackets and pants should breathe. That will help with temperature regulation while wicking away moisture and keeping you dry and cozy.

FAQs for Deep Powder Skiing

How is deep powder skiing different from regular skiing?
Deep powder skiing requires a different technique as you need to stay on top of the soft snow rather than sinking into it. It often involves using wider skis and adopting a more centred stance.

Do I need special boots or bindings for deep powder skiing?
While it’s not a prerequisite, some skiers prefer having boots with a more flexible forward lean and with easy-release binding in case of a fall.

Can beginners try deep powder skiing?
It’s recommended that you have some sort of skiing foundation before you attempt deep powder. You should take lessons and gradually progress to more challenging conditions.

Final Thoughts on Deep Powder Skiing

If you’re wondering where is the best powder skiing in the world – you can’t go wrong with any Club Med ski resorts. From Canada, Europe, and Asia, the Club Med ski resorts offer a variety of skiing opportunities, as well as a ton of fun activities.

Book your ski holiday with Club Med and start enjoying deep powder skiing today!