Total Skiing Interview

Kathleen Roberts
Total Skiing cover

This Total Skiing interview will help skiers who want to improve their performance by learning more about their skier profile. This is the focus of Total Skiing by expert ski instructor Chris Fellows. Recently, LoveToKnow was able to speak with Chris about skier profiles and how you can improve yours.

Meet Author Chris Fellows

Total Skiing was written to help skiers assess their skier type and work on improving themselves. Author Chris Fellows has been a successful ski instructor for 25 years as well as a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America national Alpine team for eight years. Chris founded the North American Ski Training Center in 1994 where he shares his expertise through 28 courses world-wide.

In his book, Chris explains how to focus on ski fitness and master essential techniques. He shared some tips in the following Total Skiing interview.

Identify and Improve Your Skier Type

LoveToKnow (LTK): What is a skiing profile and how do people determine theirs?

Chris Fellows (CF): Most skiers classify themselves as a green circle, blue square or black diamond skier. Total Skiing's profile screens identify weaknesses in fitness, mobility, stability, equipment set up, ski technique and terrain tactics. Total Skiing takes a unique look at how to assess your total package as a skier. The screens are easy to take and the photos and exercise descriptions in the book will walk anyone through the process.

LTK: Can you explain the different types of skiers?

CF: The four types are:

Chris Fellows Author Chris Fellows
  1. The Overpowered Skier- This skier is fit and strong and able to ski hard all day, however the weaknesses show up in the functional mobility/stability screen. Tight muscles and over-stressed joints can sideline this skier type and limit his or her technique progress.
  2. The Underpowered Skier- This skier has great mobility/stability but shows weakness in strength and overall fitness. Being flexible and stable is important, but to keep your body moving athletically in a functional way with muscle tone and aerobic fitness is the real key.
  3. The Underskilled Skier- This skier has both fitness and good mobility/stability, but he or she has not logged the hours needed to hone his or her technique and tactics. This skier needs on-snow time to ingrain the fundamental skills for solid ski technique.
  4. The Combination Skier - The combination skier exhibits traits from a variety of the skier types mentioned already. He or she may have poor mobility and poor technique or poor fitness and poor technique or good technique but some mobility, stability and fitness limitations. Most skiers in this category often hit a plateau in their technique and never seem to find a way off it.

LTK: How do skiers improve their skier type?

CF: The process is simple. It starts with the screen which will help identify their weaknesses. After selecting the skier type that best resembles the skier, find and follow the exercises that are recommended for that specific skier type.

When the ski season starts, your workouts will be adjusted as described in the book and you will see how your pre-season work pays off with increased performance on the hill and durability in your body. Once the season begins, you will be prepared and ready to tackle the toughest slopes.

Fitness Is Key to Good Skiing

LTK: How important is fitness and off-season training?

CF: Many skiers try to "ski" into shape and there is some truth that skiing is the best sport to improve your skiing, however increased performance and injury prevention will come from a carefully designed off season program that addresses your weak areas.

You may hear "focus on your strengths." This is okay advice to an elite athlete who has already achieved a high level of fitness and functional integrity, but for most to see technical progress and an injury free season off the slope, training is very important.

LTK: What suggestions can you share to help skiers build their own fitness program that will improve their techniques and skills?

CF: Keep it in this order: Good functional mobility and stability supports good fitness which in turn acts as the foundation for excellent ski technique and tactical skills.

LTK: Do you have any other suggestions that you would like to share regarding skier types and improving performance?

CF: Everyone likes to work on their strengths. Make a promise to yourself this year to find out what your weaknesses are and commit to improving them. This will set you up for a long and healthy season that will be enlightening and FUN!

Become a Better Skier

Take these tips and suggestions and use them to improve you physique and technique. You can learn more about skier types and fitness by reading Total Skiing, available December of 2010 from Human Kinetics and on Amazon.

Total Skiing Interview