Snow Carving Techniques

July 9, 2007 by  
Filed under features

The growing enthusiasm surrounding snow carving or ski carving is growing rapidly every day. It is a style of skiing that takes practice and effort, but is thoroughly enjoyed once skiers have mastered their snow carving skills. To assist skiers with this new form of fun, snow carving skis have been developed along with specialized bindings. Ski carving can be practiced by following a few simple snow carving guidelines and exercises

Snow carving on ski surfaces such as groomed snow does not take much effort or skill, as carving a turn is done by many skiers. Skill and precision is needed on harder surfaces such as ice and hardpack. This is where problems occur with body positioning, breaking loose of ski tails and ending up on the back of your boots. Ski carving does need a little aggression and following snow carving guidelines and tips could be to your advantage. Snow carving is the art of riding on the arc of a ski, with the ski’s edge cutting into the snow surface, without skidding between turns.

By placing your skis in a parallel position before gaining speed is the start of an easy exercise. Once up to speed, turn your ski onto its edge, with the edge in the surface of the snow. This will automatically alter your direction. Keep on changing feet until you are comfortable with the exercise. To avoid falling, you can practice on a clear slope by leaning your body over, into a near-fall position, and keeping it there. Try not to move your feet when carving and let the ski do all the work. Also practice your hip movements, which are vital in carving. When you are ready, you can experiment with increasing the edge on your skis as soon as you start turning. By doing this, you will be able to carve an arc. Different snow textures will need more aggressive and powerful edging, but all the techniques in regard to carving come with practice.

Some skiers find that they end up skiing on the backs of their ski boots. To correct this, always ensure that your shins are lightly touching the tongues of the boots. Play around with leaning forward and backward until you have found your correct position. Stiff, straight legs can be corrected by bending your knees and touching the front of your boots. It is always important to remember when practicing snow carving, pressure and steering are essential, as you don’t want to loose your friends on the slopes and you also want to ensure a fun and safe run for all involved.

Asking for advice from other skiers can also be to your advantage, as you might just pick up on some advice or other snow carving guidelines that will make carving easier for you or can improve your skills. Never forget, you are not alone on the slopes and safety for yourself and others is your first priority. Always ensure that you practice on a clear, obstacle free slope until you have mastered your snow carving techniques.