Parallel turns - ski technique

Phases of turns


      The turn in skiing can be defined as a change in direction of skis along a curved line or a path. On the bases of the definition it is clear that there are a great number of different turns, depending on the intention and knowledge of a skier, or rather the off-road conditions. We will analyse a parallel shift of a large radius on an arranged ski slope, as performed by a quality skier.

There are two phases of turns:

– transitional phase or a phase of transition and

– execution phase (realisation).


Transitional phase or phase of transition


 The transitional phase is characterised by:

     – Shifting from one edge of a ski to another,

     – shifting the body centre of gravity from the inside of the previous turn to the inner side of the next turn;

     The transitional phase begins by reducing the edging angle when a skier wants to make the following turn, but ends by setting the skis on opposite edges.


     The transitional phase begins by weakening centrifugal force and lasts until the moment in which the skis fully lean onto the edges of a new turn. When a skier decides to make a new turn, he/she ceases to oppose the centrifugal force, allowing that way the centre of gravity to shift downwards (towards the slope line) and in the direction of the next turn. When practicing this turn, everything is exaggerated and this may be a problem for beginners, as it is an unnatural position for them. This is overcome by practicing the turns to make them one of the basic movements performed routinely and spontaneously by a skier.

Why is this moment often unpleasant? Because it is necessary to let the body go down the hill from a position of safety, high resistance and balance, however momentarily reducing the pressure on skis and the feeling of falling down. A skier then performs an extension that reduces the pressure on skies until the beginning of the effect of centrifugal force as a result of ski turning to a new direction, or a new turn.

We conclude the following: in order for a skier to keep his body weight above the centre of the foot ( Ski balance) at a transition from a flat to sleet terrain, the body must move forward. The absence of such a movement leads to a pause (delay) of the body over skis, resulting in a loss of balance. With a steeper terrain, moving forward, in the direction of the next turn, must be more prominent, so that the skier could maintain the normal position with regards to the skis and the slope when entering the slope line.

      The extension is geared towards the following turn and it allows you to maintain pressure on the skis until the beginning of the centrifugal force in the turn.


     Execution phases


     The realisation phase is a much easier part of the turn if the transitional phase is carried out properly. By leaning the body towards the centre of a new turn, a skier already carries out the movement necessary to counter the increasing action of the centrifugal force. A stretching (extension) enables a skier to maintain adequate ski pressure onto the snow and it gives enough time for the body to mitigate the growing pressure in the final part of the turn with flexion towards the centre of the foot.

     We come to the following conclusion. When approaching the slope line, the ski pressure on the snow unexpectedly decreases, so the skier is “extended”. After passing the line, the ski pressure onto the snow suddenly increases (due to the effect of centrifugal force), so the skier performs flexion towards the centre of the foot to soften the sharp rise of pressure under the skis. The main task of a skier at this stage is to maintain the dynamic balance and control the pressure of skis onto the snow.

     Certainly, all of this seems to be merged into one dynamic movement when skiing, which, when performed correctly, creates a feeling of complete satisfaction. That is why a constant work on oneself and one’s skiing technique is very important and the improvement of technique and execution (performance) will move our boundaries. Let’s push ourselves towards progress and the satisfaction will be ours! (Push yourself forward into progress…




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Ski technique - parallel ski turns

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Parallel turns - ski technique

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