The most important thing while skiing is to stay in control, and this means having a handle on your speed. This prevents you from going too fast and losing control. Turning helps you control your speed by forcing you to ski a line that’s not as steep, as well as forcing you to slow down with every turn.
It’s fine to ski fast, but you should only ski as fast as you’re capable of skiing while still maintaining control. Starting a new turn before you’ve rounded out your last turn will cause you to gradually pick up speed. At some point, you’ll be going too fast and you’ll be forced to stop.
By completing each turn, you’ll set yourself up to make a good turn the next time around without going too fast and losing control. The steeper the slope is or the slower you want to go, you’ll angle your skis more uphill as you pull out of the turn, to slow yourself down. This doesn’t mean you have to stop at the end of every turn – if you’re doing it right, your turns should link seamlessly together.
A common mistake made by intermediate skiers is to forget about the inside leg when turning. As you turn, both edges, especially the edge of your inside ski (the one that’s newly uphill) should be gripping the snow. You might have to consciously roll your knees and ankles towards the mountain to achieve this, but it will help you to keep control and keep your skis parallel. Remember not to lean back while skiing, as this will make it harder to control your skis.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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