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Advice on improving carving technique

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi All,


I've been skiing for around 5 years and recently I'm beginning to find that my skiing level has started to plateau.


This is a recent video of me doing some medium / long radius turns on a ~25 degree slope.



Looking at it, I think my major problem is that I not angulating my upper body enough during the turns.

I think there is also a hint of an A frame there too. 


This is something that I've been really trying to work on, but as much as it feels like I am doing all the right things when I'm skiing, I'm always surprised and disappointed to see a video and find that this is not really the case...


I'd really appreciate some advice on what I could do to improve my technique. I'm lucky enough to be living near some mountains this winter, so I have plenty of time to practice any drills which you might think would be helpful.


Thanks for your advice!

post #2 of 5

Your neutral position and balance over the skis in the sagital plane seems ok, but you lack skills/movements to angulate the skis effectively. There are three main ways of regulating how much you angulate the skis:


- knees

- hips

- full body lean


You are using a lot of full body lean but rather little hip and almost no knee at all. Full body lean is a very powerful movement, but it doesn't allow fine control. What is happening is that you are throwing yourself into the inside of the turn and overpowering the skis, which skid in the initiation phase of the turn. You will also tend to end up with too much weight on the inner ski and that also means more skidding.


What you need to work on is to bring the knees and hips into the game. The knees especially will give you the fine control which you are missing, allow you to initiate the turn smoothly and keep your balance over the outside ski.




- Ski hands on knees and push them towards the way you want to turn.

- Side slipping stop-go using the knees to set the edges.

- Ski arms out like an areoplane and dip the outside arm down to your knee in each turn. This stops you using full body lean and forces the other angulators to do the work and also keeps you over the outside ski.

- Ski with a pole held in both hands and try to keep it horizontal. This promotes upper and lower body separation and gets the hips working.

post #3 of 5

What I see lacking is upper and lower body separation and so the resultant faults. This so-called separation is what allows a skier to develop a certain amount of (varying) counter and hence better maintenance of balance throughout a carved turn. It requires a certain amount of tension between the upper and lower body. It is what enables a more controlled lateral movement to engage the edges (as opposed to just pitching your whole body from side to side) and allows the kind of fine adjustment alluded to earlier to maintain balance throughout a carved turn. Oddly enough this is just the same kind of skill application involved in the leg rotation and active guided steering experienced in a very low speed wedge turn. The same skill develops into a means of guiding the upper body, with respect to the turning of the skis at higher speeds. Rather than actively guiding the skis at these speeds, the skill is used to maintain what is perhaps mistakenly referred to as "upper and lower body separation" (mistaken because the evident separation is really a controlled movement which actively connects the upper and lower body). If we achieved a high skill level in  this in our wedge turns and continued to develop it as our skiing developed, rather than scrapping it, as many seem to do, we would develop this ability to move, balance and carve at a high level of skiing. Its somewhat rare to see this kind of skill in non racers I think. There's a reason why so many of those carving shots we see of recreational skiers show the skier balancing against a lot of very soft snow.

post #4 of 5

To my (relatively untrained) eye, it would appear that, as hypercub and oisin were saying, you are out of balance laterally (too much weight on the inside ski) through large sections of your turns due to the fact that you have excessive inclination and very little angulation in your upper body.  Hypercub suggested a number of excellent drills for developing good upper body mechanics so I won't go into more detail there.


I also noticed that your body seems to be very static through each turn.  You get the skis up on edge and then more-or-less hold the same body body position until it's time to transition to the next turn.  It would be great to see some more dynamic movements in your skiing during the turn.  You will notice that good skiers actively control the pressure on their skis by varying how much they flex or extend their leg joints through the course of the turn, giving them very precise control over what their skis are doing at any given point in the turn.  This is arguably a more advanced skill though and it may be difficult or even impossible for you to perform these movements correctly until you work out your angulation issues.  Still, dynamic skiing is a good concept to think about as you progress and improve your carved turns.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Guys, thanks so much for the advice! It's really helpful to get some expert opinions. 


Hyperkub, thanks for those drills. It gives me something concrete to work on next time I'm on the mountain rather than just doing the same old thing.


Hopefully I can post a much better video in the next month or so, showing the fruits of my labour.


Thanks again!

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