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7 Easy Ways To Improve Your Park Skiing with Margaux Hackett

20 February 2020

SunGod Pro Freeskier Margaux Hackett shares her tried and tested park secrets…

All hail the sun and slush, spring is nearly upon us! Cue long days of wall-to-wall sunshine and park laps a plenty. Perhaps you’re dying to hit the park but don’t know where to start, or maybe you’ve hit a wall with your park progression - Here are 7 easy tips to step up your shred skills this spring, courtesy of Pro Freeskier Margaux Hackett…

Who is Margaux Hackett?

Born and raised in the French Alps, 20 year old Kiwi Freeskier and SunGod Pro Athlete, Margaux Hackett has exploded onto the freestyle scene. With her eye on qualification for the 2022 Olympics and her first X Games and Dew Tour under her belt and another X Games appearance due in March, we figure Margaux is well placed to be imparting her wisdom. We caught up with Margaux as she cools off her heels after a mad few weeks of competitions and she was only too happy to spill her shred secrets…

Margaux Hackett's freeski career is just getting started

1. Don’t neglect the basic skills

Before you think about entering the park, make sure you’ve got good speed control, balance and overall skiing technique. If not, then you’ll struggle to progress.

2. make sure you have the right equipment

Maybe an obvious one but make sure you’ve got the right skis for the job. Certainly twin tip skis will help, so you can be cool and land switch, and to be extra cool, wear a helmet!

Make sure you've got a handle on the basics before hitting the park

3. don't overthink it

To keep progressing, you have to let go of the fear that you might fall. You probably will fall and that’s all part of the process. To help relax and get in the zone I sometimes listen to music. Find a song that gets you in the mood to shred, my personal favourite - Gwen Stefani “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”…

4. Park laps are better with friends

Skiing with a good crew can make all the difference in the park. You’ll have heaps more fun, you’ll push one another to try new things and the peer pressure sometimes helps too!

Don't get psyched out or worry too much about falling. It's all part of the process!

5. Take it step by step

Start small and work your way up - don’t just throw yourself of the biggest kicker you can find. You’ll give yourself more chance of succeeding if you work on your basic skills on the smaller features, giving yourself confidence to nail the bigger features with style when you get to that point.

6. to nail the rails

There’s a fairly simple recipe to succeeding on the rails:
Start on the boxes: Slide them straight to start with, to get a feeling for them before progressing to sideways...
Weight distribution: This will make or break you! Keep most of your weight on your downhill ski.
Stay Balanced: Keep your stance wide and your arms low to keep your body stable and look at the end of the rail or box, not your skis!
Don’t forget the pop: Be nice and confident when you pop on to the rail - lift your legs up!

When sliding rails, keep your weight on the downhill ski and look at the end of the rail!

7. To send it (safely) to the moon…

Start small: And work your way up - The big kickers aren’t going anywhere!
Weight distribution: Keep your weight in front and don’t let yourself be thrown backwards as you take off. This will give you the best chance at nailing the landing.
Speed control: Always make sure you have control of your speed, being able to check your speed if you’re coming in too hot. Similarly make sure you’re not going too slowly, knuckling a jump isn’t pleasant… Practice makes perfect with this!
Experiment: Try some simple grabs and then start spinning. Again, make sure you start small when you start spicing up the tricks!

The secret to sending kickers is to make sure you understand how to be balanced over your skis, the rest comes with practice!

You can learn more about Margaux here. See her in action at the X Games here:

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