Switch To Shaped Skis

Turning Points
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Turning Points

So, you've demoed shaped skis but don't "get" the difference. Maybe it's because you're trying to ski them like you would conventional skis. No worries: All you need to do is make some adjustments to your technique. In the large images, demonstrator Eva Merriam is making a shaped-ski turn; in the inset photos she's making a turn as she would on conventional skis. Notice how much more dynamic her turn is on shaped skis. Here's why.

A The deep sidecut in shaped skis makes them want to turn. In fact, enjoying shaped skis is as easy as trusting the edge and committing to the turn. Notice that Eva's stance is wide, making her athletic and stable, and enabling her to put a lot of pressure on the outside ski. To turn conventional skis (see C), she has to rise up to unweight the skis. Then she can flatten them to pivot into the new turn. On shaped skis, Eva shifts her weight from side to side to turn¿not up and down. She simply rolls from one set of edges to the other by moving her hips and upper body away from the hill. This tips the new outside ski on edge so she can just pressure that edge.

B As long as she keeps her shaped skis edged, they'll keep turning, and she can just enjoy the ride.

The Next Step The more time you spend on your shaped skis, the more you'll allow your feet to go out from under you. Try to find empty runs, so you can use the entire width of the run to get a feel for your skis' capabilities. Vary the speed and size of your turns. To tighten a turn, simply pressure the outside ski. To widen the turn, just reduce pressure. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be hooked on the carving sensation. Then, all of a sudden, "the difference" will make perfect sense.