Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Getting to your favorite run often means cruising catwalks. Though we usually glide along mindlessly, traversing offers the perfect opportunity to get to know our skis and to practice carving.
Every ski has a specific turning arc built into its curved sidewall. This sidecut is dramatic in shaped skis. To experience your ski’s natural turning radius, simply roll it up on edge by pushing your knee to the inside and tilting your lower leg. Be sure to stay balanced on the ski’s center. Almost immediately, the ski will start to carve, leaving a sharp, skidless curve in the snow behind you. Now try it in the other direction. You’re making pure carved turns.
You can tighten the arc to make a shorter skidless turn by applying more pressure to the edge. As you do this, you might feel your shoulder tilt toward the ski.
Next, experiment with applying more pressure on the tip. When you exert pressure forward of the ski’s center, the tip will hold and the tail will release and skid. This shortens the turn and slows you down.
Apply more pressure toward the tail, and you’ll be able to hold your edge in a long carve without killing speed. Pushing through your heel lengthens the turn, slowing direction change. But beware: If you move too far back, the ski will just want to run straight.