How to Build Confidence in the Park on Your Skis

Published on 03/24/2023 · 7 min readWhether you're new to skiing or new to the park, Skiing Expert Charlie Turchetta has tips for you to build your confidence so you can nail your next big trick!
Charlie Turchetta, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Charlie Turchetta

Photo by Jörg Angeli

Park skiing, also known as freestyle skiing, involves performing tricks and jumps on specially designed terrain park features, such as rails, boxes, and jumps. It has become increasingly popular over the years, and requires a combination of skill, athleticism, and courage; skiers must navigate the features with speed and precision while performing complex tricks and jumps. But, with the right mindset and techniques, anyone can learn to ski in the terrain park and build their confidence as a freestyle skier.

And in this article, we will be exploring ways to do just that. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier, the following tips will help you take your park skiing to the next level and enjoy the slopes to the fullest.

Start Small

Photo by Jörg Angeli

If you are new to the terrain park, begin with the smallest jumps and rails. This will allow you to build your skills gradually and avoid injury. As you become more comfortable with smaller features, gradually increase the size and difficulty levels of those you’re targeting.

It is important to remember that freestyle skiing is a sport that requires a lot of practice, patience, and perseverance. Like all skills, if you keep practicing and working on your technique, you will gradually improve. Though even experienced skiers started as beginners, so do not be too hard on yourself if you are struggling with a particular trick or feature.

Take Lessons

Taking lessons from a professional instructor can be a great way to build your confidence in the terrain park. A qualified instructor will teach you the proper techniques and help you develop good habits, which will give you the confidence to tackle more challenging features.

Additionally, learning from an instructor can provide you with a structured environment and a clear progression plan. You can start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced maneuvers, all while receiving expert guidance and support. This can be especially helpful for beginners who may feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to start.

Moreover, instructors can offer valuable insights into the park's layout and features. They can help identify the best lines and jumps to hit, as well as teach you about proper etiquette and safety precautions. This knowledge will not only improve your performance, but also ensure that you and other riders stay safe in the park.

Remember, terrain parks are designed for skiers and snowboarders who have already mastered basic skills. So if you are a beginner, it is highly recommended that you take lessons from a qualified instructor before attempting any features in the park.

Visualize Success

Before you hit the park, take some time to mentally prepare yourself. Start by finding a quiet spot where you can sit down and relax. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Visualize yourself skiing through the features with ease and grace. Imagine yourself landing jumps perfectly and sliding rails smoothly.

As you continue to visualize, try to engage all of your senses. Feel the wind rushing past as you glide through the air. Hear the sound of your skis hitting the snow as you make your turns. Smell the crisp mountain air.

This positive visualization can help you overcome any fears or doubts you may have and build your confidence. It can also help you identify any potential problem areas and come up with strategies to address them. For example, if you are struggling with a particular trick, you can visualize yourself practicing it over and over again until you have it down pat.

Though it's also important to focus on physical preparation. So, before hitting the park, make sure to properly stretch and warm up.

Practice Your Technique

Photo by Jörg Angeli

The more you practice your technique, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Therefore, it is important to establish a consistent practice routine that includes both repetition and variation in your approach.

Start by perfecting your form and technique on smaller features before moving onto larger ones. Then, challenge yourself by attempting more difficult features. By pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will not only gain new skills but also develop a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Ski With Others

In addition to offering support and encouragement, skiing with a group can also provide opportunities for socializing and meeting new people who share your interests. Plus, a more experienced rider can guide you through difficult features and offer advice on how to improve your technique.

Additionally, skiing with others can be a great way to explore new terrain and discover hidden gems on the mountain. This can expand your horizons and encourage you to continue improving your abilities for years to come.

Stay Positive

When you're starting out in the terrain park, it can be easy to get discouraged. You might see other skiers doing tricks that seem impossible to you. But the truth is, every skier starts out as a beginner. You might not be able to hit every feature right away, but that doesn't mean you won't get there eventually.

So focus on the things you can do. Maybe you're not ready to hit the biggest jumps yet, but you can work on your balance or your speed control. And celebrate your progress, no matter how small it might seem. Every time you successfully land a new trick or improve your technique, you're taking a step towards your goals.

It's also important to maintain a positive attitude. Instead of getting frustrated when things don't go the way you want them to, try not to dwell on your mistakes. Instead, use them as a learning opportunity. Analyze what went wrong, and then figure out how you can do better next time. Remember that even the most experienced skiers make mistakes sometimes.

In short, building confidence in the terrain park takes time and patience. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get everything right away. Focus on your progress, stay positive, and keep working towards your goals. You'll get there eventually!

Take Breaks

Even if you're an experienced skier, sometimes the jumps can be too much to handle, and it's important to know your limits. If you feel tired, overwhelmed, or just need to collect your thoughts, take a break. Not only can it help you regain focus and energy, but it can also prevent injury.

During your break, take the time to assess the terrain and plan your next move. Are the jumps too big? Should you try a different line? Use this time to strategize and mentally prepare for your next run.

Remember, taking breaks isn’t a sign of weakness. It's a sign of self care and responsibility, which is important to your overall performance and enjoyment on the slopes.

Dress Appropriately

Photo by Jörg Angeli

Dressing appropriately for the weather conditions with warm, waterproof clothing and proper freestyle ski gear is essential. Further, consider layering your clothing to ensure proper insulation and ventilation, and don't forget to protect your head and eyes with a helmet and goggles.

And, don’t neglect proper hydration. Drinking enough water can help you avoid fatigue and maintain focus.

Plan Your Visit

Try to avoid peak times, such as weekends and holidays, when the park is likely to be crowded. Instead, consider going on a weekday, when the park may be less crowded, which will give you more time and space to practice your skills.

Next, purchase your lift ticket in advance to avoid long lines at the ticket window. And for those planning on skiing on a Friday night, be sure to check if the resort offers a "Friday Night Rider", which is often available at a discounted price.

Learn Tricks Safely

Learning tricks can be a fun and exciting addition to your freestyle skiing routine, but it is important to do so safely. Start with the basics and work your way up slowly. Always wear a helmet and other safety gear, and never attempt a trick beyond your abilities. And if you are attempting a trick for the first time, be sure to "lock" your eyes on the landing spot, which can help you to stay focused and in control.

Chat With a Real Expert

Building your confidence in the terrain park takes time and practice, but with the right mindset and techniques, it is completely achievable. Start small, take lessons, visualize success, practice your technique, ski with others, stay positive, take breaks, dress appropriately, find the right resort, rent the right equipment, plan your visit, and learn tricks safely. These tips will help you become a more confident freestyle skier and enjoy the terrain park to the fullest.

But if you still have any questions about freestyle skiing, or are looking for free, customized gear recommendations to get you started, reach out to a Curated Skiing Expert today. We’d love to chat.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Read next

New and Noteworthy