Excellent teaching and coaching is at the heart of everything we do. Year on year people come back to see us to achieve changes in their skiing. We pride ourselves on helping our clients develop their skiing, enabling them to tackle new terrain, ski different conditions and have more fun on the slopes. Different courses have different focuses but we ground all our teaching in solid foundationsfoundat that when working properly allow you to choose how to ski and what you’d like to do on skis.
What we teach at the Academy
Academy Content (all courses)
Building and developing foundations
All courses have a focus on improving your skiing foundations. No matter what level you are, developing and instilling stronger foundations will give strength and confidence to your core skiing. A strong foundation will set the base to develop specific techniques and skills. Specific exercises and drills will be used that are relevant to your level and what you need to work on.
Before starting skiing each day we’ll go through a dynamic warm up routine to get you ready to ski. After skiing your coach will take you through a specific cool down and stretch routine to make sure your muscles are ready to ski the entire week (and longer). Physiology is integral to everything we teach at the Academy. All the techniques we promote aim to help you ski in a sounder, safer and stronger position. Allowing full muscular potential and minimising risk of injury is paramount to how we teach at the Academy.
At various times throughout the course, your coach will run through ski specific biomechanical tests to identify areas in your range of movement and mobility that will directly affect your skiing technique. You’ll be given specific off-snow exercises to help develop these ranges and areas. As with physiology, biomechanics is cemented into everything we teach and all the techniques we promote. We firmly believe that this is the only way to teach skiing to achieve real, lasting changes in a safe way.
A full equipment check will be carried out to make sure your skis, boots, bindings and poles are set up to give you a 100% safe and effective ride. Through the course you will also gain a better understanding of your kit and ski equipment in general.
Throughout the course you will be videoed. Your coaches will watch and analyse the videos in both a group setting, to learn from each other and gain confidence from the similarities. Also individually, gaining essential information to take away and put back into your skiing. The specific feedback you get from the video sessions will make a huge difference in changing your skiing after the session. At the end of the course you will be sent your videos as we encourage you to keep a video log of your progression to be able to track progress from season to season.
To ensure a positive result when trying out new movement ranges, the team will help you to gain valuable muscle memory using static and dynamic exercises in positions needed for good skiing.
A secure and confident entry into mogul skiing is given using specific pre-mogul skiing exercises. Dynamic mogul skiing development is also offered to help when skiing steeper and deeper cut moguls.
Off-piste and Powder
A common goal for many course participants is to be able to ski powder and off-piste terrain with skill and confidence. Academy courses are famous for achieving this, due to our focus on creating strong foundations we can set you up to achieve performance freeride skills. Whenever there’s powder all courses will shift their focus to developing and building specific powder skiing skills appropriate for your level.
Carving your turns
The course will help you feel the sensation of carving and feeling the skis grip earlier in the turn. We will help develop dynamic carved turns with a symmetrical power frame ski stance. Lateral leaning and loading of the skis is then introduced.
Preparation for steep terrain skiing takes place throughout the course. Steeper slopes are introduced at a progressive rate, appropriate to your ski ability and confidence level. More advanced skiers will be tested in steep, narrow couloirs and steeper off-piste areas. Once the required skills are working on piste and shallower gradients students will move to steeper terrain, challenging them whilst ensuring these new skills still work when the terrain gets harder.
Dry land training
A ski specific training programme to help develop your technique will be explained to you during the course. This will give you a plan to work through after the course and during your off snow time. Some of the courses (often summer courses) will run through the dry lang programme in the afternoons.
The Academy courses are a great way to meet likeminded people who have the same goal in common; improving their skiing. Many people keep in touch after the course and meet up outside of skiing or on future ski trips and holidays.
Powder course content
Some of our courses have a larger focus on powder skiing and are only available for skiers beyond L3 who have already engrained good piste foundations. The specific courses that have larger, powder specific content focuses are: Japan Powder camps, Canada Heli-skiing and the Supergroup/Super 4 courses.
Some of the topics covered will include:
Achieving correct flex pattern for powder:
One of the biggest areas of development of Powder technique is Ankle Flex development. Most skiers join us with a lack of ankle flex and an inability to open and close the ankle joint effectively at the appropriate point in the turns. Often skiers flex at the knee more than the ankle, this puts the skiers weight back throughout the entire turn. Once your weight is back it is harder to steer and almost impossible to ski steeps and freeride terrain. Your thighs end up being used to help you stand up rather than being used to help you steer the skis. Other skiers try and stay too connected to the front of the boot at all times and end up over-flexing at inappropriate times in the turn; this causes big problems in varied terrain and powder.
Maintaining a consistent width of stance from turn to turn in powder and freeride terrain is one of the most challenging skills to acquire. If the width of the feet fluctuates too much in changeable terrain it severely affects performance as ski’s will split and create an unstable platform in an already unstable environment. We will give you the specific movements and biomechanical knowledge to prevent this from happening and ensure the skeleton is aligned correctly throughout the turn.
Power Leg Steering:
Many skiers suffer from throwing the arms, shoulders and hips around when initiating a turn. This causes a skier to lose a powerful edge hold and throw the weight too much onto the inside ski. Overall, a skier will feel vulnerable in powder when initiating. We’ll unlock the correct way to initiate your steering action and switch on pure leg steering. This will give immense confidence on initiation of a powder turn and put you in control.
Middle Body Strength:
Nearly all skiers that join the Academy courses are never using their middle body strength to its full potential. Many skiers break at the waist when skiing powder or varied terrain. The more dynamic skiing becomes the more you need to activate your core whilst skiing to keep the middle body strong and avoid it collapsing. On the course you’ll learn how to activate your core whilst skiing with simple exercises that are easy to integrate into your normal skiing technique.
Pole plant & full body approach:
The upper body is equally as important as the lower body when skiing in freeride terrain. We will introduce an arm carriage position and an effective pole plant that can be used to assist with rhythm, timing, middle body strength and gives the confidence to move the body laterally towards the new turn.
Confidence and motivation:
Technique is important but having the confidence in yourself to apply the right movements at the right time in a challenging environment can be the difference between a good run and a bad one. The Academy will motivate and inspire each individual to make sure that everyone is peaked and ready to take on each run with a new found confidence in their abilities.
Mogul course content
Our Mogul Academy courses and 1 day UK mogul courses are specifically designed to help improve your mogul skiing. For this reason they have very specific mogul course content:
Speed of movement
To ski the bumps quickly requires fast, correct movements. We will work on the piste/flat as well as in the moguls with specific drills to increase the speed of movement in the correct way.
Range of movement.
Moguls require a maximum range of movement in the correct way. This is done with the legs rather than the upper body. We will do specific on piste/flat drills to increase the range of movement in the legs and then take it successfully into the moguls.
Pole plants and arms
Mogul specific pole plants are different to general ski technique. We will show you the correct way to plant your poles and carry your arms enabling you to move quickly.
Control of speed and line
There are many different ways to ski moguls. Some ways are easier than others depending on the size and shape of the bump and the steepness of the slope. We will teach you both tactically and technically different ways to ski the bumps to maintain control and ultimately enjoy them.
Looking in the correct place when skiing the bumps will enable you to anticipate your line and trajectory early enough. This is easier said than done and requires a lot of work.
Being able to recover from mistakes quickly is key in bumps. Knowing how and when to adjust your body in the correct way to achieve recovery will be covered on the bumps week.
Choosing a line tactically to make a strong fluid run is quite difficult. We will help you to achieve “bumps skiers eye” enabling you to pick a line with a good rhythm. Tactics will also cover the way you approach a bump run mentally increasing confidence.
Instructor training courses
Please see the instructor training course page for extensive information on these courses.