The end of the ski season marks a tragic feeling: far too many months away from the beauty that is a ski hill. Not to mention the blistering humidity, and if you’re a student, the vast void left by what used to be a busy schedule of juggling school work and a ski racing regime. But, hey, there’s always a silver lining. Summer offers the perfect opportunity to explore other leisurely activities while at the same time sharpening your ski racing skills in more subtle ways. Have you heard of cross-training? If you’re a tennis player, playing golf might help you reach a break-through in tennis. Likewise, the following sports may offer some insight into your ski racing prowess. Here’s 6 summer activities fro ski racers:
Sailing is a beautiful, technically challenging activity. It’s also supremely satisfying to be able to control a vessel in conditions that are unpredictable (re: ski racing). Sailing is expensive; it’s barrier of entry is fairly high. However, there are many clubs and organizations that allow you to rent boats and take lessons for fairly cheap. Find a good teacher, and learn the ways of the sea.
The parallels to ski racing are obvious; the benefits not as much. Rollerblading is a phenomenal way to build balance. It’s a low impact exercise (saving your knees for race season). It is a great cardio workout, and it also builds leg muscle and core stability. Most importantly, rollerblading is fun. It’s really hard to frown while rollerblading. Another benefit: you can get a decent pair of rollerblades for fairly cheap.
Hiking is one of the most underrated and most rewarding forms of warm weather activity. It gives your body an incredible muscular and cardiovascular workout while being low impact, and it gives your mind a rest. Please, don’t bring your phone. Placate your mind with the solitude of nature, and explore the what’s amazing about nature and our earth. Perk: hiking is free.
Apart from looking cool as hell, long boarding is another fantastic method of cross training for ski racing. It includes an element of risk. You’re flying vulnerably down concrete streets (wear a helmet), using your balance, core stability, legs, and turning technique to keep you in control. Apart from the concrete, it sounds a lot like racing, eh? Long boards also have the added benefit of being a transportation device. Not a bad investment!
Kayaking is all about core stability and back strength (lower, middle, upper, everything). The training it gives your muscle is great, but don’t overlook how fun and relaxing it is. Bring a few friends out on the river or lake, rent a kayak (there are always specials and places that rent for cheap prices), and give your mind and body a dream workout.
6. Frisbee Golf
Okay, Frisbee Golf might not have the most to do with skiing. But it’s really fun. And it’s super relaxing. It’s a newer sport, and it’s still slightly underground, but there are myriads of beautiful courses throughout America. You can even think of Frisbee Golf as a more technically challenging version of hiking. There is one parallel to ski racing: subtle tweaks in your technique lead to huge differences in outcome. Focus on the subtleties, and you’ll be on the road to mastery.
Have a good summer!
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