Everything you need to know about powder skiing + 10 Pro tips!

Discover everything you need to know about powder skiing now!

Oh, the world of the white untamed slopes. Here’s our introduction to powder skiing. We’ve put together information that we think would be handy for you to know, especially if you’re new to the world of powder. We’ve got tips on how to ski on powder and where to ski on powder, useful exercises and the differences between heli skiing and cat skiing.

We’ve also got some recommendations for ski jackets for men and women as well as other clothing essentials. Remember however glorious powder skiing may be, it does come with risks so be careful out there, follow guidelines and listen to those in the know!
What is powder?
What is powder skiing?
How to ski powder
Tips by Protest riders Andri and Camille
Best powder skiing spots in Europe
Powder skiing lessons
Powder skiing exercises
Heli skiing vs. Cat skiing
Avalanche awareness
What equipment do you need?
What kind of clothing do you need?
Conclusion

What is powder?

What is powder you ask? Powder is the best thing ever. It’s the freshly fallen, just-arrived new snow. Crispy and ‘dry’. Yeah.

Powder is the best thing ever.

What is powder skiing?

Powder skiing is when you ski in open terrain on new powder. This is a dream for many skiers and snowboarders – skiing down untouched slopes covered in fresh powder snow. But you will need to know how to ski or board through it. It hasn’t been compressed by the grommers so it reacts differently and so will you.

How to ski powder

When skiing in open terrain, it’s essential to learn the right techniques for skiing in powder snow. The movements that you make when skiing in fresh powder are very different from those you make on groomed slopes. Bearing this in mind, we recommend powder skiing with an experienced guide. Guides will know the locations, techniques and precautions to take when skiing powder.

The movements that you make when skiing in fresh powder are very different from those you make on groomed slopes.

Before you hit the powder you do need to be able to parallel ski and to perform the hockey or parallel stop. The parallel stop is the fastest way to come to a stop and important to learn so that you can avoid collisions and keep yourself out of danger. Also you should have good balance as well as good control of your skis. Start off with a shallow layer of powder so that you can learn how your skis react before you go out in the deep deep pow. Once you feel comfortable, it’s time to head out in that winter wonderland.

Before you hit the powder you do need to be able to parallel ski and to perform the hockey or parallel stop.

We’re a punch of powder enthusiasts here at Protest so we put together our own list of top tips for skiing in awesome fresh powder. Here goes.

1. Choose the right terrain
Deep fresh pow will slow you down. So you can try leaving your comfort zone for steeper terrain.
2. Speed is good
Relating to no.1 on our list, a steeper terrain will create more speed. And speed is good because it’ll help you stay on the surface while turning. Powder will slow you down and if you’re going too slow you’ll be sinking when turning and it will be difficult to change direction. Point your skis further downhill than you normally would to create more speed. Now you’ll be floating on that powder.
3. Try even pressure
When skiing in powder, the outside of your skis can start sliding into the snow. To avoid this situation, it helps to apply more even pressure on both skis, which will help to create a larger surface area to stand on.
4. Find your rhythm
Make you turns wide, curvy and graceful, this will allow the energy from one turn to help you into the next.
5. Use your core strength
Work on your core because using these muscles will help you when you’re riding the pow. Powder is often irregular and sometimes bumpy, so keep your core tight and this will help you stay stable if you hit an unexpected bump.
6. Don’t lean back
It’ll tire you out and you won’t have full control over your skis.
7. Narrow your stance
Ski with your skis closer together than you normally would, think about 10cm closer. This will stop your skis from drifting apart and sending you into the snow.
8. And relax
Before you set off into the wonderland of crispy white pow, take a couple of deep breathes and try to relax your body. Don’t worry about falling, you’ll be landing in soft clouds of fluff.

Tips by Protest team riders Andri and Camille

9. Andri Ragettli:
“Powder skiiing is fun but always be save out there!”
10. Camille Armand:
“Ahh good tips to learn how to progress in powder, first of all having a freeride ski or snowboard (so a ski or a snowboard bigger than average and wide).

Best powder skiing spots in Europe

You never know when and where you will have the good fortune of skiing or boarding across some fresh pow but in these locations, you’ll have an above average chance so the odds are in your favour. We asked Protest team rider and professional boarder Camille Armand, which were his picks for the best powder spots in Europe for some freeriding. (Freeriding is cruising through fresh powder without a set course). Here’s his list.
1: Chamonix Mont-Blanc (France)
2: Verbier (Switzerland)
3: Helbronner (Italy)
4: Engelberg (Switzerland)
5: La Grave (France)

Powder skiing lessons

Are you going in search of some powder this winter? Remember as much as it’s amazing out there on the pow, it’s a risky business so be safe and be cautious. A good way to take some of the risk out of is taking along an instructor. Some resorts offer lessons in powder skiing and also in how to survive an avalanche.

Remember as much as it’s amazing out there on the pow, it’s a risky business.

Powder skiing exercises

Your time on the mountain is precious and too short. You don’t want to spend any of that time with sore muscles. So what can you do? Be in shape before you hit the slopes! We’ve made a short list of exercises that you can do at home to prepare you for the fun to come. The following three exercises are our recommendations and then think about building your condition by running or swimming.

1. Lunges
Lunges are a great exercise because they train your balance as well as your strength
2. Press-ups
An awesome exercise for training your core
3. Squats
Your thighs do a lot of the work when it comes to skiing so it’s important to train these big muscles

Heli skiing vs. Cat skiing

You’ll hear both of these terms while you’re up on the mountain. These are two awesome ways to ski fresh powder not accessible by the masses. Should you have the chance to do one or the other, let us help you out with a comparison of the two powder-chasing activities. So let’s start…

Heli Skiing
You could describe Heli-skiing simply as backcountry downhill skiing in a location that you have accessed by helicopter. Yeah.

Pros
– A fantastic combination of a helicopter ride plus fantastic near-vertical skiing.
– You can ski in places that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to – not even with a snowcat.
– You’ll get away from the crowds and the queues.
– Heli skiing generally averages more vertical descent than a cat skiing.
Cons
– Helicopters are often grounded due to the weather.
– Heli skiing is more expensive than cat skiing. This is often the reason that puts people off.
– Limited space on the helicopter means that you have to pack light so try and dress well because your daypack might have to be small.

Cat skiing
You could describe cat skiing as backcountry downhill skiing in a location that you have accessed with a snowcat. Yeah again. What’s a snowcat? It looks a bit like a snow groomer. It’s an enclosed cab on tracks, which can take 5 to 12 people to top powder locations not accessible by lifts.

Pros
– Snowcats are pretty much weatherproof.
– The ride to the top with your fellow powder worshippers, leads to good conversation and general bonding.
– Cat skiing is usually about half the price of Heli skiing.
– You can bring more gear, clothing and snacks as you’ve got a lot more space and a greater weight allowance.
Cons
– Snowcats are a slower ride than a helicopter (and the views might not be quite as awesome).
– Snowcats can’t always get you to the same locations a helicopter can, although you’d be surprised how far they can go.

Both heli skiing and cat skiing are amazing experiences and it really comes down to your budget and the terrain that you would like to ski. Whichever you do, it’s going to be mind-boggling!

Both heli skiing and cat skiing are amazing experiences.

Avalanche awareness

Safety is paramount when it comes to riding in powder. Ignoring alpine safety instructions can have very serious consequences. Every skier is responsible for his/her own safety. How do you do this? Stay informed about the risks and possible natural hazards before to going out on the snow. Courses are available to educate skiers on how to be prepared for a possible avalanche. These courses will teach participants how to ski safely in powder zones, what are the different types of snow conditions, how weather conditions affect powder skiing and how best to prepare for a trip out in the powder.

What equipment do you need to powder ski?

To truly enjoy you time on the powder, it’s important to have the right equipment. Your tools are skis, ski shoes, a helmet and ski poles (with optional snow baskets). Because you’re going into ‘ungroomed’ territory, it’s a must to wear protective gear like your helmet. Although not necessary, wide powder skis and powder baskets will help you glide across that powder. The difference between powder skis and regular skis is, amongst other things, their shape. Powder skis are wider to allow for more bounce and lift, which will help you move through the new snow.

What kind of clothing do you need for powder skiing?

To truly enjoy your time on the powder, you need to dress for the weather. That means breathable and water-resistant outerwear with warm, quick drying layers underneath. Luckily you’re in the right place. Protest’s new winter collection is jam-packed with the essential clothing you’ll need for the mountain. For the men we have jackets with superior breathability and water resistance. Check out the MOUNT 19 and the CLAVIN 19 ski and snowboard jackets with 20.000mm water resistance.

For the ladies, from our extensive range of women’s jackets, check out the REVET and the CUTIE ski and snowboard jackets. We have ski and snowboard trousers for both men and women. Under your outerwear, it’s important to have warm and breathable layers. We have some awesome mid layers for men and women as well as base layers for both men and women. Don’t forget warm and breathable socks and gloves. Now you’re dressed for the fun.

Mount 19 Puffer ski jacket Brown
Price 5,658.14
Color: Golden
Size
Clavin 19 Ski jacket Black
Price 5,143.74
Color: True Black
Size
Sale
Revet Leopard print ski jacket Brown
Sale price3,471.94 Regaular Price4,372.14
Color: Granola
Size
Cutie Corduroy ski jacket Pink
Price 5,143.74
Color: Think Pink
Size

Conclusion

So there you have it. There’s a lot to say about powder skiing. We’ve gone through things like how to powder ski, where to powder ski, what kind of equipment you need and which exercises will best have you ready for the slopes. Always remember that powder skiing comes with safety risks so be clever, be cautious and stay informed. Let the hunt for powder begin, stay frosty and be prepared.