Learn to Ski Freestyle
By Dan Shuffleton

Many people think that there is only one way to learn to ski: call your favorite local mountain and set up a ski school lesson. While this is probably best for the skier/snowboarder that skis or rides once every few years, this is also a great way to try these sports for the first or second time. Aside from your annual or maybe biannual trip to the mountains for a fun day with the family, joining a ski team or program that you attend every weekend, or maybe more, is the best way to ensure that learning and developing skills in these sports will happen consistently, safely and at the speed of the individual. Just like most other traditional sports it’s hard to progress if you only engage in the sport once in a while. Having fun is the most important thing when learning a new sport and the best way to have fun is to consistently improve you skills every time you participate.

Improving your skills can happen at any age and in any discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Ski clubs typically offer groups for all ages.  For example BBTS Snowsports club, located in Waterville Valley, is one of the oldest and most successful ski clubs in the country.  The club has some of the best competitive results possible in skiing and snowboarding—locally, nationally and internationally. BBTS and other ski clubs offer programming for young children (Mighty Mites), adolescents (WVA) and adults (Masters).  

In recent years Freestyle/Freeskiing has been one of the fastest growing outdoor sports. People may have the misconception that you cannot learn to ski and learn freestyle ski techniques at the same time.  Skiing backwards, sliding rails and doing tricks off of jumps involve inherent risk, but can also be very safe if it is managed properly.  Freestyle/Freeskiing clubs across the country have highly skilled and trained coaches and are dedicated to safe progressions for all athletes young and old alike. Programs like BBTS are an amazing and safe way to get kids involved in outdoor sports and keep them physically fit and engaged in something positive throughout the winter season. With many training opportunities available at BBTS year round you or your young athlete can experience Freestyle/Freeskiing and other snowsports in a safe and fun environment.

Have a great winter, consider a ski club and most importantly go ski!

Dan Shuffleton
Freeskiing/Freestyle Program Director 
2014 USSA  Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year