Learn about skiing: techniques, equipment and instruction
If you've never set foot in skis before, this article will instruct you on the basics of putting on your equipment, getting on and off the ski lift, and going down the mountain for the first time.
It's a cold winter day and here you are standing on top of a steep snow covered hill with nothing but a pair of thin boards on your feet. Relax you're going to be just fine, in fact you might even enjoy yourself. So take a deep breath and let's start to ski.
By now you've got your equipment, you must have asked the teenager in the red and blue jester's hat in the ski-shop before you got on the ski-lift to face your doom, but for those just joining us lets take a look at exactly what you should be wearing. You will need a pair of well fitting ski-boots. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and are available at your local sporting goods store. Some boots are heat fitted to specially mold to your feet. Next you'll need skis. Skis are typically long and straight. Some skis are curved at the ends. Most modern skis have a contraption in the center that hooks on to your boots. Use your pole or lean on someone's shoulder and step toe first into the contraption. When you have placed your toe under the bar, next apply pressure to the center of your foot. It should click into place. Lift your foot up, and if the ski comes with it, you did this correctly. Repeat with the other foot.
Now considering it is winter, and this is a snowy mountain side, we'll assume you've dressed warmly for the occasion. It's best to dress in layers. Start with long-johns which is what my grandfather called flannel underwear, then maybe a tee-shirt, jeans, a sweater, etc. The key is to have many thin layers so you can strip them off one by one if you get too warm. Some skiers prefer not to wear cotton and opt for flannel, wool, and fleece because cotton absorbs a lot of water, and this is not good when you're trying to stay warm. This is especially important when it comes to your socks. Wear at least two pairs and bring an extra two. Nothing can spoil a fun day of skiing like a pair of wet socks! On top of your bottom layers you'll need a warm winter coat and ski-pants - preferably made of nylon, or some water resistant fabric. Make sure you tuck your regular pants into the boot, but let your ski pants hang over. This will help to prevent wet socks. It's also best to tuck your mittens and scarf in tightly as well. Every now and then in skiing you do fall, and what you going to fall in? Cold wet stuff! It's best to keep it outside your clothes, trust me you'll be much happier.
Okay speaking of mittens, you'll need a pair. Some people prefer gloves, but I know from personal experience that mittens keep your hands alot warmer. Your fingers' body heat works together to keep them all warm, gloves separate your fingers depriving them of that natural source of warmth. You're also going to want a neck warmer or a scarf. I prefer a neck warmer, because there not as easy to loose, and you can pull it up over the bottom of your face to protect it from the cold blasts of wind that often meet you when you get up off the ski-lift really far up. Also you will need a hat, or ear warmers. Your ears are extra prone to these cold blasts, and they will be ringing and stinging if you don't cover them up.
So let's see ? you're dressed warmly in layers, you've got your hat, mittens, neck warmer, ski boots and skis?I'd say your ready to go. The easiest way to move around on flat ground is to walk in your ski boots and wait until you're close to the lift to put on your skis. Otherwise you can use your ski sticks to push yourself forward.
The key to not getting run over by the ski lift chair is to all about timing. Wait for the chair above you to leave the launch spot. There should be some kind of line indicating where you should stand, then quickly move to this line and look over your shoulder, when the chair is just about to hit the back of your thighs, sit down. Wait until you have cleared the launch area to pull down the safety bar. While riding on the lift hold tight to your possessions and refrain from sticking your wet tongue on the cold metal bars of the lift as it will get stuck.
Getting off the lift without getting run over is indeed an art. Pull the safety bar off well before you reach the landing spot. Slide your butt to the edge of the seat and bend your legs at the knees. As soon as you feel your skis touch ground, STAND UP, keep your knees bent and point your toes together. This is called the snow plow position. It will slow you down. Be sure to glide out of the way of the landing spot, because, if you don't you can be hit by the next lift.
Now this is where we saw you last, standing at the top of the hill, looking down and cringing. Again I tell you, relax - it will be fine. Resume the snow plow position. Make sure to bend your knees and hang your butt back like you're about to sit down. This position is called snow plow for a reason, if you slide a little way on your skis you'll find that by pointing your toes in it will slow you down.
This is your first time on the mountain so we're going to keep the first lesson simple, all you have to do is get from here, all the way to down to the bottom where your friends are standing with the video camera and those big grins on their faces?come on you can do it. Keep your toes together and make big zig-zags down the mountain. This is called a sloum. If you go all the way from one side of the trail to the other, you should find that your speed will be slow enough you won't loose control. If you find your self losing control relax and go with gravity. You'll find that you fall much more when you fight gravity. One of the most important lessons of skiing is trusting yourself. If you keep to this simple maneuver you'll gain balance and confidence and will be able to move on to lesson two in no time. Good luck and Relax!
There are many ways to tie a tie, but the three main ways of doing it shall be discussed below. No matter which method is being used, the criteria to have a good knot are based on the size of the knot against the dress shirts collar size and how snugly fit the knot is between the collar points.
The three popular methods of tying a tie would be four-in-hand (the most popular), the Windsor, and the half-Windsor.
The most common way to tie a tie for decades is the four-in-hand probably due to the easier way of executing the knot. There is a slight asymmetrical appearance for the four-in-hand that gives it a less formal appeal.
The smaller and narrower triangle knot created fits into almost all types of collars like the straight-point, tab or even the pin collars. The only collars not suitable would be the spread or wide spread collars.
There is a common problem faced by most inexperienced men tying the four-in-hand would be missing the V-shaped triangular knot as well as creating a distorted knotting eventually.
The trick in arriving one nice V-shape knot with a dimple is to have it tightly knotted. When passing the top blade into the partially formed knot, hold the top blade on both edges and then pulling it down gently until the top blade starts to tighten and has a slight convex close to the knot.
Using your thumb and forefinger to press the bottom of the knot into a V-shape and the convex will deepen to form the dimple. Then continue to lift the knot up to your collar by using on hand to pull the bottom blade while the other hand holding on to the knot.
Generally, in order to succeed to tie a tie this way, the hand of the fabric (explained in the details of ties) is very important. Heavier hand ties will take into V-shape knot and the dimple very easily and with style. Those lighter hand ties will do better with the Windsor or half-Windsor to create a fuller knot.
This knot is named after the Duke of Windsor who popularized it. Generally to tie a tie this way would preferably for suits with wider lapels or dress shirt collars that are wide spread.
The Windsor has a tendency to create larger triangular shaped knots. The knot will also be more symmetrical with more horizontal geometry.
However, Windsor is not suitable for heavier hand ties since it would lead to really huge knots. The thin or light hand ties would definitely benefit in getting better V-shaped knots with a Windsor.
This is a version that is half of the Windsor as suggested by its name. It would be considered as in-between in the size of the knot compared to both the Windsor and four-in-hand. The types of collars suitable for the Half-Windsor would be spread collars as well as wide spread depending on the hand of the tie.
Pratt (Shelby) Knot
This is close to the half-Windsor and my preferred way to tie a tie compared to the half-Windsor.
The tying method is simpler and has an easier way to create the dimple. The tie will also be more symmetrical like that of a Windsor but with a size knot of the half-Windsor.
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