Nasty face slappers, forehead busters and bloody noses can be avoided with good technique. If your’s is a bit on the shaky side, try another precaution. Make sure your boom is at the right height. Here are a few general rules:
* The higher the boom, the slower you can go and the “easier” your falls will be.
* The lower the boom, the faster you have to go. Thus, expect the worst and pack an ice bag.
* When learning any new trick, set the boom up as high as possible. Have your driver go as slow as possible, too. This ensures that while you’re learning (and falling a lot), your body won’t take too much punishment. Once your falls are cut to a minimum, lower the boom and add speed.
* When you can accomplish a trick on a low boom, at the higher speeds needed, you are ready to start doing the trick on the extension, then on the long rope. This process is especially important when learning to barefoot forward and backward for the first time.
* When you are learning front and back one-foots, where you have to go so much faster than when you ski on both feet, the high boom/slow speed process is especially important.
Two-time world champion Mike Seipel continues to teach and write about the essentials of strong footing.