Today, everybody wants to do tricks. It's easy to forget that the key to doing tricks is air control. This is also the most difficult part, but it 's what separates the rippers from the crowd. Air control is the key to style, and combined with speed, the key to big air. In my opinion, a big stylish straight air is often more impressive than a semi-big, bad ass flip with poles and skis waving around like they're in the way.
Wherever you go: backcountry, slopes, moguls. Go for air on every little hit there is. Hit it as you go by, don't stop. The more you're in the air, the better you'll get! Discover the joy of flying. Don't kill yourself by jumping off table tops or big jumps unless you know you can get over them.
The better the kicker, the easier it is to go big. When it comes to kickers, I'm super picky. A good kicker should have a long and natural bow and transition, so you can just glide off. When entering the transition, be sure to keep your weight in the middle of your skis, your knees slightly bent, and your body in a steady position. When you're about to fly off, keep your legs straight. That means you'll launch off into the air at the same angle the end of the kicker is pointing. If your launch is good, you should have a comfortable flight. While in the air, try to relax and hang up there as long as possible, don't land before you have to!
Keep a clean edge up the wall, and stretch your legs as far as you can in the launch. For height, it doesn't matter how much speed you take if you can't stand against the compression of the wall! Look to where you want to be, and don't focus on the landing until you're in the air!
Descender Issue 4: