Advanced skiing, while fun, can be intimidating for beginners. Long, steep runs are fun to ride down, but only if you have the necessary abilities to handle such terrain. Getting to that point takes time, but it is more than worth it.
If you’re a beginner or intermediate skier, you may have yet to ski down a black diamond. Such runs tend to be steep and technical in a way that makes them best for advanced or expert level skiers. However, you shouldn’t let that discourage you. If you put in hard work and practice the tips outlined in this guide, you too will be able to one day tackle a black diamond.
Earn Your Turns
When it comes to conquering a black diamond, you first need to gain experience on the snow. That means putting in a lot of time and effort on improving your abilities. There is simply no other way to reach a high level. The more comfortable you feel on your skis, the more easily you’ll be able to handle any terrain that comes your way.
That being said, there are certain ways to prepare for a black diamond. First, always challenge yourself to become a better skier. If you’re an intermediate skier who’s close to considering black diamonds but not quite ready, keep finding steep and challenging blue runs. Though you might first need to take it easy, you’ll never truly improve until you move outside of your comfort zone.
If you find a challenging run, do your best to ski it several times a day. Such repetition will lead to direct improvement and enable you to inch closer to that coveted black diamond run.
Focus on Form
In order to ski advanced and expert level runs, you need to ski like an advanced or expert skier. That means proper technique is a must. If you attempt a black diamond with sloppy form, you’re asking for trouble. I’ve seen many people injure themselves attempting those runs before they are ready.
Proper form means you should always keep your body active and engaged. Keep your knees, hips, and ankles bent so you can move quickly and react to steep and varying conditions. You also want to keep your hands and poles out in front of you so you can stay balanced and turn quickly.
In addition, plan your ski line out ahead of time. Some skiers like to pick their entire route or line down a difficult run, and that helps you anticipate each and every turn that will come your way. Personally, I only plan several turns ahead, but that still allows me to stay focused on the run.
Good form and proper preparation both allow you to more easily tackle difficult terrain. They also increase your awareness and reaction time, two essential aspects needed for black diamond runs.
Take a Lesson/Ski With Friends
Another great way to learn how to ski black diamond runs is to take a ski lesson or ski with more advanced friends. A good ski instructor can offer valuable insight that you will not be able to learn on your own. They will also be able to assess your abilities to determine if you’re ready for a black diamond run or if you need more work.
Skiing with friends also helps because it gives you a way to push or challenge yourself into becoming a better skier. Sometimes, and this happens to all of us, we get in our head and cannot conquer a big task. Your friends can help you push past those restrictions and get you through something you might not be able to do on your own.
While you should never try to attempt something too far beyond your abilities, having a ski instructor or friend alongside can help you to attempt things you might not consider when skiing by yourself. That push to step outside of your comfort zone is a very effective way to increase your skiing abilities to the levels needed to ski a black diamond.
If you’re patient, dedicated, and follow the suggestions listed in this guide, I can nearly guarantee that you will be able to ski a black diamond run at some point in the near future.
Remember to play it safe and stay within your skill level, but also remember that you need to steadily challenge or push your limits. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you get out there and try!
Do you remember your first Black Diamond run? How did it feel? Let us know below.