Pizza French Fry Skiing
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Pizza French Fry Skiing

Pizza and french fry skiing are two different ways to describe skiing for beginners. They are so called because of the shape of the skis resembling a pizza slice when using the snow plough to stop or slow down, and resembling french fries when the skis are more parallel for gaining speed and going forward.

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You have just forked out hundreds of pounds for you and your family to rent skis for the week. After having spent the best part of half an hour trundling around the resort, eventually you work out which brightly coloured flag you need to stand by for your lessons. You stand there in your pre-booked lesson listening to the young, newly qualified ski instructor droning on about pizzas and chips, while you gaze up to the top of the mountain, plotting your route to skiing a black run in your first week.

The truth is, this pizza and french fries speech that your seemingly inexperienced and a little bit annoying instructor is talking about, is key to learning how to ski, as patronizing as it may be. Although it sounds like children's story time to keep the kids entertained and make skiing sound fun (when there is really no need to), keeping your skis in either the pizza position or the french fries position will help you learn how to stop and start while you ski down the hill.

What Does Pizza Mean in Skiing?

When someone refers to pizza skiing or snowplough, this is a technique in skiing used by beginners to controls their speed, for turning, and for coming to a complete stop. By angling your skis inwards to create a point in front of you, and leaning on the inside edges of your skis, you will be able to control your skiing and your speed much easier, and this is the first step to learning to ski. Don’t be put off by the rather patronising name of pizza skiing! The simple reason it is called pizza is because of the shape of the skis closely resembling the shape of a pizza slice!

What Does French Fries Mean in Skiing?

As with pizza in skiing, french fries when used in a skiing context despite being a seemingly unrelated topic to skiing, is essential for earning to ski as a beginner. French fries is essentially the opposite stance to skiing pizza. The idea as a beginner skier is to switch between these two stances of ‘pizza’ and ‘french fries’. The ‘pizza’ position of your skis where your skis are held in a wedge, with the tips of your skis close together in front of you will help you turn and slow down, and give you great control at slow speeds, however if you want to speed up, you will need to slowly adjust your skis into more of a parallel position to pick up more pace.

This is where ‘french fries’ gets its name from, because it somewhat (vaguely I know) looks like 2 parallel french fries as opposed to a pizza slice! By sticking to using this technique, which can also be referred to as the ‘snow plough’ for obvious reasons, in that when you have your skis in a wedge as with the pizza slice described above, it looks similar to a snow plough, which shovels the sow out of the way.

What Colour is the Easiest Ski Run?

The internationally recognised easiest ski run is the green ski slopes, as marked on ski resort maps and sign posted at every resort. This is one thing that ski resorts around the world have joined forces on in order to make it nice and easy for beginner to stay safe and know where they can ski and where they cant ski. This is not to say that all green ski runs are made equally. There can be some disparity between different green ski slopes both within resorts, between different resorts, and between different countries, which means just because you can complete a green run, doesn’t mean you will be comfortable on all green runs necessarily. There are some easy green runs and some more difficult green runs.

Once you have mastered the green ski runs, the next colour you want to look out for and maybe try to ski if you are feeling comfortable is the blue ski runs. Again, blue graded ski runs exist all around the world conveniently as well, meaning it is easy to see your progression as a beginner once you have ski ed the greens and need a new challenge. Blue runs have an even larger range of difficulty between them than green runs do. Blue ski runs are classed as intermediate. The next coloured ski run to look out for are red runs. These red ski runs unfortunately do not exist all over the world, as American ski resorts do not tend to use this colour to classify their ski runs, but instead go directly from Blue to black runs. This can mean black ski runs in America are easier than some black runs in Europe, however there will also be plenty of black ski runs that are comparable or even more difficult than those found in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

What is the Easiest ski run?

The easiest ski run on any mountain will be found in the beginner's area at the bottom of the mountain. This is what is known as the Bunny hill, which is a small area designated to learning how to ski, with small obstacles, very easy green ski runs, and a short button lift to make it easy and quick for skiers and snowboarders to ski down the bunny hill to get as much practise as possible, before moving to the rest of the mountain to try more challenging ski slopes and more difficult terrain. Don’t let the name bunny hill put you off learning to ski in this area if you are a beginner! It's important to begin with the easiest ski runs on the mountain!