How to Get Up After Falling on Skis

Every skier falls at some point. Even the most experienced people on the slopes will wipe out every once in a while. And no matter how bad you fall, you need to get back up on your skis and enjoy the rest of your time in the snow. 

I’ve been skiing for nearly my entire life, and I’ve fallen hundreds, probably thousands, of times over the years. I learned how to get up after wiping out when I was young, and I always like to help beginner skiers learn this.

This post will teach you how to get up after falling on skis. It might not seem like much of a skill at first, but there is definitely some technique involved in standing up on a steep slope in the snow.

Let’s dive in. 

A Quick Word on Falling

One of my first ski instructors would always that, “if you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning.” It was an important piece of wisdom that kept me focused and motivated even if I fell a lot while learning a new technique or how to ski difficult terrain. 

You shouldn’t worry about falling because it’s a fundamental part of learning how to ski. We all do it, and we all started somewhere. It can be difficult to stand back up after a fall if you don’t know the proper way to do it. 

But it’s always important to keep trying and put in the effort. Learning any new skill can take time. So don’t get frustrated with yourself. Just stand back up and keep skiing!

How to Get Up After Falling on Skis

There are three different ways that I like to teach people how to get up after falling on skis. These methods are all pretty simple, but you might fun one easier than another, depending on how far along you are with learning how to ski. 

Method 1 – The Parallel Stand Up

The Parallel Stand Up is the most effective way to get back up after falling. But it’s not always the easiest way for complete newbies. Basically, you reorient your body and skis parallel to the slope and stand up. 

To to the parallel stand up, follow these steps: 

  1. The key to this step is getting both of your skis downhill below your body after a fall. So swing your legs and body around until you are laying on your side with your skis below you and parallel to the slope. 
  1. Place your hands and/or ski poles on the ground in front of you and push up while still keeping your skis parallel to the slope. 
  1. As you push up off the snow, bend your knees slightly and use the momentum from the push to stand back up.
  1. Walk your hands and/or poles towards your legs and skis to naturally come into an upright position. 
  1. Keep skiing.

Method 2 – The Reverse Snowplow

This method is probably the easiest for beginners to get the hang of. You make a reverse snowplow shape with your skis to prevent your body from sliding while giving you enough time to stand up. 

The stand up using the reverse snowplow, follow these steps: 

  1. Position your skis downhill of your body. This step uses gravity to assist you, and it won’t work if your skis aren’t below the rest of you. 
  1. Lay out flat on the front of your body while making a wide reverse snowplow shape with your skis. Your knees will stay on the ground but bring the tails of your skis close together and spread the tips out wide to your sides. 
  1. Place your hands in front of you in a push-up position and keep your arms and knees up off the snow. 
  1. Walk your hands towards your feet while keeping the reverse snowplow shape in place. Do this until you stand back up. 
  1. Keep skiing. 

Method 3 – Remove One Ski

If you are struggling to stand up after a fall, it might be easiest to remove one of your skis to give you more freedom of movement. This method also works when you lose your skis after a fall. 

To stand up using the remove one ski method, follow these steps: 

  1. Position your skis and feet on the downhill side of your body. 
  1. Make sure your skis and body are parallel to the slope. 
  1. Take off your uphill ski using your hand or ski pole to release the binding by pressing it down. 
  1. Now use your free leg and your hands and/or poles to work your way up into a standing position. 
  1. Step back into the other ski. 
  1. Keep skiing.

Final Thoughts

You’ll notice that every method I showed you here starts with getting your skis and body into a parallel position with the slope. If you don’t do that, you will slip and slide around the mountain, making it really difficult to stand back up. 

Sometimes when you fall, you will lose both of your skis and maybe your poles too. You might need to climb across the run to gather all of your gear. Take your time when doing this, so you don’t get too tired. And don’t get frustrated; it happens to all of us sometimes. 

If you take a nasty fall, you might need to take a minute to gather yourself or catch your breath. If you are going to do this, it’s always a good idea to stick your skis in the snow in an X shape to let other skiers know you are sitting there and not skiing.

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