The carving ski technique

Applying resistance in the carving ski technique


        Using resistance is the basis for all forms of control in skiing. There are several things to consider in skiing: gravity, angular momentum and the resistance of skis.

Starting from the fact that we ski in the real world (three-dimensional), when determining the direction, we have to take three axes in consideration. Along each axis we can do the following:   

  • accelerate,

  • decelerate, 

  • maintain constant speed.


        With the carving technique, we use resistance in a slightly different way, because we use the geometry of skis to change direction, whereby skis do not have traction. When we tilt the skis on the edges, they “bend”, so that the edge of a ski has its own course in the snow. This technique uses this course for turns and for controlling the course of movement. With this technique, we basically press the edges of one side of a ski into the snow, so that the skis turn us in a certain direction. Once we turn enough in this direction, we swap the edges, therefore the edges of the other ski are pushed into the snow, turning us in another direction, after which all the above is repeated.

       Carving technique is the most effective way of skiing energy-wise, because the ski always moves along its entire length, causing the least possible resistance (course of the least resistance) which is why this technique is used by competitors. Due to the fact that in this technique we use the ski edges to control our course, the weight transfer does not have the same effect as in other cases, because we don’t use it in the same way to change the course of movement.

       Ski racers want to move as fast as possible without using any resistance towards the ski path, as that would slow them down. All they want is to make lateral resistance, in order to ski on ski slopes and through the gates. Therefore, they use the techniques that push them to the side as much as possible, transferring body weight so that the centre of gravity is above the part of the ski most inclined laterally against the slope.

       It should be noted that the movements need to be taken as the movement of the mass over the skis and not as pushing the skis. That is because in basic manoeuvres, there is not enough speed or gravity effect for the body centre of gravity to be taken from its equilibrium position. While the weight of the body is mainly above the skis, the control is mostly achieved by placing the maximum weight of the body onto the “right” ski. Pressing the ski is used only when the body is inclined enough for a skier to decide which ski to transfer the weight to, with almost the same outcome, i.e. in the carving technique or with the parallel turns at higher speeds.



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the carving ski technique

Carving ski technique

Skiing tips