A carving ski is in acceleration rather than in deceleration (until it starts turning back up the hill, but then you've overturned). On a true bulletproof ice day, very few people (i.e. almost none) are going to be able to carve steeper blues and maintain a safe speed.
Situationally, carving is great fun. I enjoy carving many of the black runs at mont sainte anne when the hill has new snow or great conditions. But when it gets icy, purely carving those runs creates too much speed and pressure underfoot for me to manage. Instead of rocketing out of control, I can feather/drift the top of the turn to manage speed, then carve the remainder of the turn to accelerate and redirect momentum. (A true expert can push this threshold much farther than me, but there's always a point at which it becomes impossible for a given person to carve due to the conditions and pitch.)
For a self-study skier, the expert threshold is probably far, far away. But know that as skiers improve, they carve further and further up the fall line. However, in my experience, skiers really do need lots of coaching from a skilled instructor to get there. (I know that goes against HH's selling points. And yet he acknowledges that lots of skiers think they're doing his movements but they're actually not, demonstrating that self-study skiing is largely ineffective. Go figure.) And while one could go the HH route, it's certainly not the only way, and for many people not the most practical or functional way.
Originally Posted by TheRusty
It's pretty simple. Look at the turning radius of your skis. If you're on a slalom ski it's going to be anywhere from 9 - 20 meters (I have a pair of 130cm rental skis that have a 9m radius). 9m is about 29 feet. If you're trying to carve a turn with less than a 60 foot diameter, you might be able to bend the ski and get a slightly smaller turning radius, but basically if you see an expert making turns less than two groomer tracks wide, there must be some amount of skidding going on. Now there are a 100+ different opinions about what is "good skidding" and what is "bad skidding". The arguments can get pretty tiring. In my lessons I find it a lot more productive to focus on the movements that can produce the desired blend of skidding and carving from zero to 100% of each. If you can do that, you can be your own expert.
The 29 foot radius applies when the ski stays flat. When you tip it on the edge and bend it with body weight multiplied due to centrifugal forces, you drastically shorten the radius (though it'd be nice to get a physics-based measurement of just how much for a given amount of tipping. Maybe LeMaster explores this - I'll go look it up when I'm back home). All that said, I appreciate your point that a blended turn will give a skier far more versatility in their turns and get them through terrain they just couldn't manage with pure carving.
Many CSIA instructors talk about steering rather than skidding, and I've been corrected by our top demo team member for using the term "skidded". Maybe it's semantic but I like distinguishing steering as it infers controlling the angular momentum through the turn; from what I've taken away, skidding refers to no angular momentum (e.g. when a car loses its traction, it skids; in a severe skid, the car is sliding sideways and the driver has no control over its angular momentum). This may be a PSIA/CSIA semantic difference; if so, please shout back to let me know.