Running Down Sand Dunes

Running Down Sand Dunes

April 30, 2013 |  by Phil Smith  |  Technical

We can all walk and we can all run and we can all speed up, slow down and change direction whilst walking or running. We can also all walk downhill, run downhill, speed up, slow down and change direction. As a child you learnt to walk, run and change direction and now you just do it as adults, you don’t need to think HOW! All you need is a good pair of trainers or a good pair of hiking boots with good grip on the sole.

Now supposing some smart Alec decides to replace the sole of your running or walking shoes with something quite slippery so you could no longer use the sole as they slip all the time. You like the feeling of this slipping but you need some control so this smart Alec decides to stick some rubber grip on the inside of your feet so you can slip on the sole and grip with the inside of your foot when needed.

Great you can now walk, run and change direction as you did before, slipping on the soles and gripping with the inside of each foot.

Now lets go back to the surface and instead of the surface being hard ground lets replace it with something that ‘gives’ a bit more, something like sand. Now you can walk, run and change direction down a sand dune but instead of using the sole of each foot as it’s slippery, you now use the inside of each foot. Every time you use the inside of your foot the sand moves and ‘gives’.

You’re loving this running down sand on the inside of your feet and you love the way the sand gives. It’s a great feeling but the walking up each time is a bit of a bore so you stick a chairlift in and sell ‘running down sand dune holidays’ and call it ‘sand running’. It takes off as everyone can do it. The same smart Alec decides that if we used something more slippery than sand like snow, which still ‘gives’ a bit so you can still grip with the inside of your feet to control your descent it would be even more fun and even more popular. Now the same bright spark decides to extend the length of your running shoes, turn up the front, make them a bit wider, maintain a similar shape to your foot, narrower in the middle and wide at the front, keep the soles slippy and the edges grippy and call this new invention ‘skiing’. It’s great, really takes off and the best thing – you don’t have to learn anything new as you learnt to walk, run and change direction as a child, the only difference is you’ve got bigger feet with slippery soles and grippy insides and you do it on snow!

The moral of this story is you all learnt the skills of skiing when you learnt to walk, run, speed up, slow down and change direction as a 2 year old kid.

Snoworks runs Ski Courses where you can use all the skills you learnt as a kid to ski the mountain.
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