Life After Carving

Having Trouble Carving the Whole Mountain?


Expert Skiing requires many ways to turn

Hi Rick,

Great vids! I'm inspired by the edge progression one particularly. I have a question for you and wondered if you can offer some advice. I am something of a novice but love my skiing and, having been on real snow for 10 days spent a year on my local dry slope learning to carve with some success. However when I went and tried out what I had learnt on real snow last season the carving worked fine until I got onto anything other than a smooth blue run. I found over bumps and on the reds and above the carving built up too much speed and got me into trouble. So my question is "How can I keep my speed under control"

Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated

Kind regards....Mark

Hi Mark,

This is  a really super question.  It shines a bright light on the importance of one of the primary principles of expert skiing I continually stress.  Carving is great fun.  It provides a thrilling experience on skis that is hard to rival.  But carving requires a complete basket of skiing skills to be able to do it safely and well, and it's not necessarily the best turn choice for every type of terrain or situation on the mountain.  To ski the entire mountain with confidence and precision, other types of turns besides carving need to be a part of every skier's skill repertoire. 

As a learning skier the steered turn is a foundational tool you want to learn and use.   With good steering skills you can turn on a dime.  You can make any type of turn shape you wish, and do it at any speed you desire.  Carving does not provide the same level of turn shape and speed control versatility that steering does.  With carving, your turn shape possibilities are bound by parameters dictated by the mechanical design properties of your skis.  There will always be a limit on both how gently or how sharply you can turn.  And for any particular shape of turn there will be no options in how fast you travel.  The speed will be auto-controlled by the steepness of the slope, and the radius and completeness of your turn.  

Steering imposes no such limitations on control of speed and turn shape.  When steering you can create a turn shape of any radius you like, and through the use of something called skid angle you can create enough edge drag to dump your speed down to a snails pace while skiing any shape turn.  Once you get your steering skill honed you can ski any slope on the mountain with confidence, because you can do it on any line of travel, and at any speed you desire.   Good steering skills provide the ability to quickly dump speed or change direction when carving, in the event an unnoticed obstacle or another skier suddenly requires you to change course.  Just knowing you have that ability is confidence inspiring when traveling at the high speeds associated with carving.  

Our Building Blocks Basic Edging DVD teaches all the steering skills needed to master this crucially important technical area.   Our Basic Balance DVD teach the sister skills that make success at completely mastering steering skills possible.  These 2 DVDs work hand in hand to provide the base skills needed to support higher forms of skill development are found in our advanced series, which is where learning to carve well is introduced. 

Mark, you have a taste for carving and know what fun it can be.  You've simple gotten ahead of yourself a bit and haven't yet developed the foundation skills needed to deal with faster speeds and new challenges it introduces.  And you're not sure what to do in those situations on the mountain where it's not really appropriate to carve.  Our Basic DVDs will take you back and fill in the holes that exist in your skill package.  With those holes filled you'll get to experience skiing, and carving, in a whole new way.  

Best of luck, and if there's any other questions I can answer for you please feel free to ask.  

Rick Schnellmann

Your Ski Coach