Ski Techniques and Tips for Carving - 1 Feeling the Carve
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Feeling the Carve - Quality not Quantity
To achieve a carved turn, it is wise to make a plan for yourself to first feel the sensation of the ski carving; locked into a smooth arc in the snow.
Rather than trying to make 10 linked turns together, break the turn down. Start off by making a ¼ turn just to get the basic feel. Don’t rush it. Practice it till you feel a pure carve throughout the whole manoeuvre. As you start off, slowly allow yourself to move your uphill side hip progressively into the hill. Don’t make it a rushed movement, just smooth and progressive. It will only take a little movement to get the skis to tilt more and carve effectively.
When this is achieved go for the ½ turn, again practicing till you feel it carve with no sideways, outward skid. Make sure you practice this exercise in both directions. Next go for the ¾ arc shape. And then for the whole turn.
Be sure to find a flattish terrain to practice this. Your speed will want to increase the more complete the turn becomes and on a red run you’ll be going to fast to feel it. Stick to the Green and Blue runs.
You should now have a good feel for the basic sensation of your skis carving across the hill.
Track check – self feedback
While practicing the previous exercise it’s a good idea to check out what’s going on with the tracks you are leaving in the snow. You should be able to see if you're making a pure carve or skidding slightly. If you are skidding, you should see what part of the turn the skid is occurring. Once you have this feedback you’ll quickly start to improve the area of the turn showing the skid.
Now that you’ve got a feel for the pure carve, try linking a few together. Again for this, at first try it on a flattish terrain. Make your manoeuvre progressive slowly allowing your hips to move across your feet.
Skis turning capabilities
The reason the ski can turn so much across the hill with just a small movement onto the skis edge is that all skis have a certain built in turning capability. Some have more than others. Most skis are wider at the tip and tail than they are at the waist. This means they have a shape. It’s important that you get to know that built in turn shape so that you can use it to your advantage.
Discuss Ski Technique with Warren Smith
If you would like to ask Warren any questions about the ski techniques or exercises described above, or otherwise discuss them, please write in to our Ski Technique Forum.