Rippin Skier Strategy: Tuck

We’ve all been there: you’re hustling down a straightaway, skis forward, no turns, no will to stop. You want even more speed, but you’re going as fast as you possibly can. Then, you think of it: the tuck. Everyone who has witness a downhill race knows what a ski tuck is, but few of us actually know how to do it. Well, I’m pretty sure I have this one down, so I’ll help you understand a bit more about this speed-increasing strategy.

The point of a tuck is to go faster—duh. Unbeknownst to many, the tuck requires more than sticking out your butt and tucking your poles under your armpits. In fact, the stance necessitates a lot of muscle bulk and strength. The aerodynamic position is designed to minimize drag, allowing you to cruise down the mountain at maximum speed.

To get the speed advantage provided by the tuck, bring your elbows in as close as possible. Get your hands, holding the poles, in front of your nose, and squat down. If your thighs aren’t screaming, you aren’t doing it right. Here’s a step-by-step you can practice in front of a mirror at home.

  1. Separate your feet so that they are hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees into a squat and bring your hands forward.
  3. Draw in your abdominal muscles and round your back.
  4. Turning your palms upwards, flex the elbows and bring your hands toward the body, putting the poles behind you.

Try it a few times at home before pulling it out on the slopes, and do what you can to increase quadricep endurance. Skiing was already a killer on the thighs, but tucking really makes ’em scream. When you’re ready, fall into your best tuck and impress everyone on the mountain.