Just (Terrain) Park It at Lake Louise Resort
How do you build the skill set to hit the terrain park and take air? Tina Belay finds out, with a Lake Louise park lesson.
Lake Louise, AB - Getting air while skiing can be intimidating and instantly comes with a lot of questions: “Am I going to land OK?” “How fast do I take this jump?” "How are my skis placed?”
Calgary’s Tina Belay had all of these questions. She's an intermediate skier with almost four years’ experience on the snow, but her big question was: “How do I even start to build my skill set for the park?”
What’s been continually ranked as one of the world’s top resorts, Lake Louise Ski Resort not only offers beginner lessons but also advanced lessons for those looking to up their game, and score a few “air miles.”
“For years my friends and I would pass around pictures or video clips of people jumping or taking on park features and when I’d ski by the park I’d always wonder when I could, or even if I could go in there,” says Belay.
But once she signed up for Lake Louise’s terrain park progression private ski lesson, her world on snow changed immediately. “It was cool to see how with just a few tips, I was able to hit the jumps and over the course of the lesson, I scored that real feeling of progression. I always thought jumps were so hard to do and wondered coming into the lesson how much that would change.”
How to Park It at Lake Louise
Here are Belay's top tips from her park progression Lake Louise ski lesson:
- When landing, don’t look at your feet. - “It was natural for me to look at my feet (it’s like a safety) – it’s better if you look forward."
- Engage your core. - “Bending down helps with stability, stay low and use your core – ensure your shins are on the front of your boots. I found it provides that stability both in the air and as you come in for your landing.”
- Keep your skis close together. – “On the features with that engaged core - skis close together - provides the foundation you need to make it across the entire feature.”
Belay recommends anyone visiting Lake Louise to take a lesson, no matter what their ski level.
“It's awesome to see how stoked my students get when it clicks,” says Belay's 21-year ski instructor, Kyle Armstrong. “It doesn’t matter if it's a new trick or a manoeuvre that helps them access new terrain; it's like it unlocks a new adventure for them.”
Bels remembers her early days of skiing. “When I started skiing, I was really miserable. We went on a blue run instead of a green and I was terrified, but for some reason I wanted to stick with it.”
Belay’s parents immigrated to Calgary from Ethiopia in the late ‘90s so you can appreciate that snow and skiing weren’t exactly experiences that were “in the family.”
But in the few years she’s been skiing she’s come a long way on the slopes and her Lake Louise terrain park experience left her inspired.
“I look forward to continuing to step up my game through this season, and now I have my sights set on doing my first black diamond.”
If you share Belay's goal in mastering some park progression or tackling your first black diamond, the instructor team at Lake Louise’s snow school are ready to help you unlock the doors to the slopes you might not know exist.
Pro tips for improving at park skiing
Here are Armstrong’s top tips for improving your park savvy:
- Don't do the "huck and hope" approach – 10 per cent of the time it works, 90 per cent of the time ends in disaster. Which leads into No. 2.
- Every trick has certain components to it. For example, to do a grab you have your in-run, your "pop," your grab, and your landing/out-run. Practice each component in a safe environment before performing it on a feature.
- Build up your tricks and performance. Start with features and tricks that you know you can do. If you start with your end goal you may get frustrated, or worse, hurt yourself. Build your confidence and get good sensations of your movements gradually. When you’re at your peak performance do your new tricks.
- Bonus tip: Taking instruction is not a sign of weakness. Going out with a pro can improve your skills faster, it’s safer and it’s customized to your needs.
Learning to ski at Lake Louise just got a whole lot easier with the recent edition of their Juniper chair with new runs.
WANT TO TAKE A SKI LESSON?
SnowSeekers’ #NewSkiAB can get you and your significant other or you and a buddy on the slopes for your first lessons at Lake Louise.
Sign up today for Lake Louise's private ski or snowboard lessons to up those skills and your love of winter.
SnowSeekers is stoked to partner with HEAD Skis, Lake Louise Ski Resort and our friends at Immigrant Services Calgary. Through #NewSkiAB our aim is to welcome more diversity to Western Canada’s slopes.
WHEN YOU GO
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If you're new to Canada or just new to skiing and snowboarding, #NewSkiAB has tips and stories to help inspire your progression - no matter your ability level. See what else Lake Louise has in store for adventurous new skiers.