Skiing powder can be an eye opening experience for skiers who are used to hard packed, icy, or groomed trails. If you're planning a trip, or new to the powder skiing game, this guide is for you.
How to Ski Powder
The immediate reaction of most skiers and snowboarding upon watching their tips dive under the snow is to tense up. Without relaxed legs, it's going to be a very jarring ride down as you'll encounter unseen bumps and varied terrain buried under the snow.
Keep your weight centered over both skis
Avoid leaning back (if you find yourself consistently in the back seat on powder days it's probably time for a wider set of skis) and try to distribute weight more evenly between your downhill and uphill skis. In powder, you can initiate turns by simply 'tipping' the ski - anything more and you'll be sent tumbling over your downhill ski.
Start slow, and with small turns. It's going to feel awkward at first, so better to try tackling low consequence terrain before heading up the bootpack.
Keep everything pointing (and looking) in the direction you want to go
Start out by aiming for exaggerated, round turns all the way down. It will feel unnatural, but these wider turns enable you to maintain control through the powder.
You'll notice pretty quickly that skiing powder is an unforgiving endeavor. You'll need to start planning two or three turns ahead, as last minute adjustments are often out of the question. Map our your route before you drop, and try to stick to it as closely as possible.
Pedal to metal
Speed is your friend in the powder. Your skis will naturally rise to the surface as you gain speed, and as a result you'll have more control at faster speeds. It can take some getting used to, but don't be afraid to open up the throttle.
Here's a great video to reinforce some of these principles: