Pedal For Power

Turning Points

Add strength to your turns by using the same pedaling motion as riding a bike. When the inside leg is short, the outside leg should be long-and strong.As new skis get shapelier and shorter, they slice better and slip less. Their carving ability, even in relatively short arcs, feels very secure. But skidless turns exert more pressure on your legs, which have to withstand more centrifugal force.

Obviously, in order to make strong turns, you need to be fit. But there’s something else you can do to achieve a strong stance: Keep the outside leg long. An extended leg lets you use your skeleton to better support your weight and the added forces of the turn. In other words, stand on your bones, don’t hang on your muscles.

In linked, carved turns the sensation is like pedaling a bike. As one leg gets short, the other becomes long. Keep in mind that the short leg is never completely flexed, and the long leg is never fully extended to the point where the knee joint is locked.

A. Amy pushes down on the left ski to turn right. See how beautifully balanced she is on that pedal. All forces are concentrated on the ski’s edge. She can add or absorb pressure by adjusting the length of her leg.

B. As she turns back to the left, her right leg gets active (and longer), while her left leg turns passive (shorter). The apparent pedaling is actually a weight shift or transfer of pressure from one ski to the other.

Develop this sensation of pedaling, and you will be stronger, your timing will improve, you will be more balanced, and you will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Demonstrated by Amy Livran, SKI Test Team. Have an instruction question for Stu Campbell? Email him at