How to Ski Steep and Deep Safely with Extremely Canadian
Meet Extremely Canadian—the original Big Mountain ski and snowboard clinic based in Whistler, Canada. Founded by renegade freeskiers, Peter Smart and Jill Dunnigan, Extremely Canadian has a reputation for chasing powder and perfecting your off-piste technique.
From deep powder to steep couloirs, the team at Extremely Canadian pressure-tests their knees, hips and backs on the daily. And they rely on their K1s to do it safely.
We chatted* with founder, Peter Smart, on his approach to safe skiing and the role his K1s play in this.
The Big Mountain ski world is rife with injury—how do you stay injury-free?
Know your own personal limits. This plays a huge role in mitigating risk for injury. You have to properly understand your physical and mental limits before you can push them. Put simply, you’ve got to know the rules to break them.
Know the limits of the terrain. In Big Mountain skiing, you’re at the mercy of the mountain. There’s always going to be some level of risk and unpredictability when you go off-piste—so respecting the mountain is key.
Tell us about your experience skiing with K1s?
When you’ve been skiing as long as I have, you become tuned-in to all the variables that make a great ski day—I can tell from the moment I put my skis on the type of day I’m about to have. When I wear my K1s, I feel confident—confident that my body is going to perform for me, because it’s supported.
In skiing we talk a lot about being in “ready position”—knees slightly bent, body weight balanced. When I wear my K1s, I’m in a ready position.
Let’s talk tech. How has tech changed skiing?
Like everything, tech has revolutionized the way we ski.
The benefits of tech in skiing are limitless—better avalanche safety, lighter skis, heated boots, warmer gear—and of course—the K1s.
The pitfalls of tech to the ski world can be summed up into feeling—false confidence. Just because you’re wearing a helmet and an avi airbag doesn’t mean the mountain can’t put you in your place.
Something we like to ask everyone is: what does movement mean to you?
One word: balance. It’s really that simple. Consistent movement gives you physical balance, mental balance and emotional balance—something we strive for everyday at Extremely Canadian.
Feeling inspired to polish up your skiing chops? Extremely Canadian offers ski and snowboard clinics that can help you push your limits and perform your best.
*Note: When calling Smart to chat, he initially missed our call. His follow up text read: “Can I call you from the chair on the next run?”. Now THAT’S walking the walk.