If you’ve ever been skiing or are looking to improve your form and technique, learning how to carve ski is incredibly important.
If you’ve ever seen a professional skier gliding down the mountain almost sideways, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Not only does carving look awesome but it’s very practical and helps you travel down the slopes.
In this quick guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about carve skiing and by the end, you’ll know everything you need to get started. Let’s jump straight into it.
Carve skiing is essentially a tight turn when you’re skiing. You dig the edges of the skis into the snow and use this technique to turn with the least amount of friction.
When you’re carve skiing, your skis essentially turn sideways. This might seem impractical at first, as you’ll be off balance. However, by digging in the edges this way, you lose less energy and move quicker as the skis are moving less snow. It’s all to do with physics!
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits before moving on with proper form and technique:
Now for the nitty-gritty of the article. If you’re looking to improve your skiing, learning carving techniques is going to help tremendously. Without further ado, here’s a few ways you can start carve skiing the next time you’re on the snow.
Before you go shooting off downhill without any clue what you’re doing, you need to experiment with positioning and technique whilst standing still.
This might sound counterintuitive because you’ll have to be turning whilst your carving. However, learning how the skis will dig into the snow is crucial if you’re to master this movement.
Start by standing sideways on the slope. Then step up the slope without the skis sliding down. You’ll notice that digging the sides of the skis into the slope creates grip. This is the exact position you’ll want to be in when you’re moving around the snow.
Take a few moments to familiarise before moving on to actual movement.
When you’ve mustered up the courage to get moving, you’ll want to learn how to bend into the corner. The best way to do this is through rolling your knees as the skis begin to dig into the snow.
By rolling, we mean you need to really turn the skis on their side so there is enough of an edge to grip the corner. If you don’t roll your knees to the side, the skis won’t find grip and you’ll probably end up in a slide.
This is the scary part because you have to trust that your skis will find an edge. However, with a bit of faith and grit, you’ll find your skis have all they need to carve through the snow. So, trust them.
We shouldn’t have to tell you that balance is key when you’re doing this. Once you’ve got some movement on the go and have rolled your knees enough so you can find some grip, you’ll want to find your centre of gravity.
As your body begins to lean against the corner, you’ll want to create a solid centre of gravity by keeping your body inline with your skis. As your knees rolls into the slope, your body must not follow.
Stay rigid and counterbalance as the skis begin to turn. This is a difficult thing to teach but practice makes perfect. The best way to gain balance is by experimenting with the movement and finding that sweet spot for you and your body.
A lot of people will want to go slow when they’re trying out carving. Although it is recommended to start slow to master the foundations, getting some speed up can actually make carving easier.
Because the edges of the skis need to dig into the snow, if you’re going fast, they’ll be able to find more traction. Your downward momentum will push the skis harder, and you’ll find the whole experience a lot easier.
Once you have the confidence, experiment with faster carving. It might seem scary, but you’ll feel your skis working harder and gaining more grip.
Although you can do carving with all skis, you will have a slight advantage if you get skis with sharper edges. Specifically, having a smaller sidecut will allow the skis to dig into the snow and turn with greater precision.
Generally, all skis will allow you to carve so you don’t need to get new ones if you’re looking to learn the technique. In fact, you can use your existing skis and do some tuning. Take a look at the edges of your skis and see if there are any scratches or scrapes that need attention. Sometimes, a little TLC is all you need.
If you’re looking to start carve skiing, this guide should have everything you need to get started. The real trick is just getting on the slopes and trying it yourself. You learn best when you’re actually doing it, so don’t be afraid to get messy!