Skiing on shaped skis has made it very easy to carve parallel turns. Even beginners can
do it. All one has to do to initiate a turn and control the arc of the turn is place the
skis on their edges and apply downward pressure to the skis. In today’s tip we focus
on developing correct feet and ankle movements and upper body position for the
carving turn and demonstrate how easily the skis turn when you perform those two simple
movements – ‘edging’ and ‘pressure’. .
Two very good exercises that I regularly use to have skiers experience the sensation of
the skis carving are ‘Hands on Knees’ and ‘Touching the Boot’. As you do these exercises
you’ll be unconsciously applying edging and pressure and the skis will seem to magically
turn by themselves. It’s best to perform these exercises turning uphill.
I would recommend that you watch the ‘Edging and Pressure’ video first as seeing it
performed and explained will make it easier to understand.
Touching the Boot
Practice on an uncrowded, wide, gentle slope. Assume a good traverse position with most
of your weight over your downhill ski. Spread your skis a bit less than hip distance
apart and start to ski on a medium-steep traverse. As you are traversing the slope place
your uphill hand on your uphill knee and then roll your feet and knees uphill – that
movement is very important! Reach down with your downhill hand and touch your downhill
boot (the lower on the boot the better). Keep you weight mainly over your downhill ski &
hold that position and the skis will turn up the hill in a smooth parallel arc and will
stop by themselves.
Hands on Knee
As in the first exercise, practice on an uncrowded, wide, gentle slope. Assume a good
traverse position with most of your weight over your downhill ski. Spread your skis a
bit less than hip distance apart and start to ski on a medium-steep traverse. As you are
traversing the slope, roll your feet and ankles up the hill and touch the outside of
your downhill knee with your downhill hand. Then reach across your body and place your
uphill hand over the other hand. Hold that position and the skis will turn up the hill
in a smooth parallel arc and will stop by themselves. If you look back at your tracks
they should look like two perfectly parallel rail tracks.
- Before setting off always look above you to make sure there is no one that might ski into you.
- At all times, keep your shins leaning forward and lightly pressing the tongues of your
- The reason the skis turn in the above exercises is that, in the first exercise, when you
reach down to touch your downhill boot, you are lowering your hips and automatically
applying pressure to the ski edges. And in the second exercise, when you reach across
your body to place your hand on your lower knee you again are automatically applying
pressure to the skis edges.
- In order to perform both of the exercises your upper body will have to bend down the
hill which will result in you having your weight principally over your downhill ski.
This will help you develop a proper upper body position for the carving turns.
- Practice both exercises in both directions.