Originally Posted by LiquidFeet
Turning the legs under a stable upper body is the way to STEER your turns. The skis grip the snow somewhat while slipping/skidding as they turn. Steered turns are quite versatile when the skier learns how to adjust their edge angles and leg-turning movements. Steering allows a skier to ski all over the mountain at different speeds, turning within narrow lines and very small turns when necessary.
Tipping the skis while balancing on them is the way to CARVE your turns. To carve, you must not turn the skis manually, not even a wee little bit; just tip them. Carving is fast. Carving is what racers do on closed courses without any traffic below the racer. Recreational skiers who know how to carve need to have a clear slope ahead of them without traffic in order to not be a hazard to others. Carving is a safety issue on groomed slopes when there are crowds; it's hard to avoid moving obstacles when you are carving, unless you're very very good at it.
Steering offers much more finesse options for speed control than carving, and is the way most recreational skiers learn to ski. Thus the focus on this forum on learning to finesse your steered turns. Carving is an advanced skill usually learned once skiers have accumulated lots of mileage while steering their turns.
Online technical discussions about the two tend to get muddled up in semantics since they don't have the benefit of on-snow demos. Both types of turns involve edging the skis and making movements to control that edging. You can steer the top of a turn and carve the bottom of it, for instance. What kind of turn is that? I'd call it a steered turn, but others would call it carved.
Prepare to get confused!
Haha thanks for the heads up, I am indeed a bit confused! :D
But I do somewhat understand what you explained.
So you are saying that carving is a hazard when not on a clear hill, I tend to agree based on logic and all, but isn't it the skier's choice whether to carve or steer?
What im trying to say is, even if you start carving down the hill and see that there are some crowds ahead of you, you can then start to steer the turns instead and have better control to avoid those crowds till you get past it where its safe to start carving again.
I have one more question, your speed on the skis is limited based on ur skis and wax right? it shouldn't exceed some speed based on all of that plus the steepness of the hill, but if you think about it, what if the hill was almost 90 degrees, you would reach insane amount of speeds then no matter ur wax or ur skis right?
What speeds would you say you can achieve on slalom skis on intermediate steep hills? Also you can reach higher speeds while carving compared to steering right?
The reason im asking this is to know if once you reach a certain skill level and are comfortable with a certain speed, and if you can't really exceed that speed on slalom skis on such hills you don't need to worry much about steering in order to control ur speed since you can't exceed that speed anyway? Or can you still reach very high speeds even with slalom skis so that you always need to control ur speed?
Also slalom skis probably are not very comfortable at higher speeds, I assume it would be really hard to ski on slalom skis with a speed they reach in downhill races ( if that is even possible to reach with them that is ), what speed would you say that slalom skis start to get too uncontrolable to be considered safe anymore?
Edited by iLoveSkiing - 11/27/13 at 10:22am