10 Things You Need to Know About Taking Air

Random facts and knowledge about taking your skis off the snow.
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Random facts and knowledge about taking your skis off the snow.
Cody Barnhill, with textbook form, at Alta, Utah.

10 Things You Need To Know:

1. Gravity accelerates objects (such as people) at roughly 9.8 meters per square second, depending on one’s location on earth.

2. The variance in gravitational pull throughout the world isn’t significant enough to blame a slam on “not being used to the gravity here.” Sorry.

3. In 2008, Norway’s Fred Syversen set the world record for the biggest cliff launched by a skier when he missed his line and accidentally jumped a 351-foot cliff. The lesson? Scout your line.

4. Airs tend to look smaller from the bottom. Whenever possible, get perspectives from multiple angles (from the side or above) so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

5. Drive your hands forward while you’re in the air. This will move your hips forward and increase your odds of stomping the landing.

6. For cliffs over 50 feet, make sure you can stick your entire pole and most of your arm into the snow without hitting any hard layers (including the ground).

7. When possible, inspect landings and takeoffs before it snows, making sure to check for hazards that could be easily buried. That way, you’re ready to hit airs on the first run of a powder day.

8. Think of your body as a spring—the longer it is initially, the more force it can absorb. Extend your legs and torso just before landing and you’ll be able to absorb the impact more efficiently.

9. “Back slapping” refers to hitting your back on the snow, popping up, and skiing away. While technically not a crash, this is far from an ideal landing.

10. You can’t get hurt in the air.