How to overcome 2 common carving mistakes
For this article, we’ve teamed up with Stomp It Tutorials, who teach millions of skiers every year how to improve their skiing and learn new tricks on snow with their extensive library of online ski coaching tutorials.
Ski coaches Jens and Josh also lead in-person technique camps in Zermatt, Switzerland. Check out their Ski Technique Camps this November, and experience in-person coaching combined with using Carv.
Use discount code CARV at checkout to save €100.
Carving turns are the holy grail of ski technique. There’s no better feeling than when everything is in sync, and you’re working with the technology of the ski to produce perfect sweeping turns that slice through the snow.
However, carving is not the easiest ski technique to grasp. It takes confidence to keep control of your skis and allow your edges to engage and accelerate out of each turn.
To carve correctly, your whole body needs to work in synchronicity. It takes practice to perfect what can sometimes feel like an unnatural movement.
It’s also easy to find yourself plateauing on your skiing journey. Once you reach a point where you’re comfortable tackling most of what you encounter in the resort, you can find yourself sitting back (both figuratively and literally...) and letting your technique suffer.
So no matter what level you’re at, it’s always worth taking the time to assess the areas of your carving that could use a little work.
To stay on that upwards trajectory, join a Stomp It Ski Technique Camp where in-person coaching is combined with using Carv, and improve your skiing like William in the video.
Use the discount code CARV at checkout to save €100.
In this video, our ski coach Josh looks at two common carving mistakes to help William - a member of the Stomp It Tutorials Technique Camp - to improve his carving technique. Read on to find out how you can beat these mistakes too!
Getting in the mood…
To get the most out of these tips, find yourself a quiet piste that you’re comfortable on and that isn’t too steep or icy - you don’t want to be on a mogul field!
This will allow you to dedicate some time to putting the following exercises into practice without worrying about getting down the run. Let's get into the mistakes...
Mistake 1: Inconsistent Stance
The first mistake people often make is having an inconsistent stance.
Depending on when and where you first learnt, you may have been taught to keep your skis very close together when skiing. However, modern skis have a sidecut and camber, which is what allows them to carve when on edge and pressure is applied during a turn.
Widening your stance
To get the full benefit of this, a wider stance is necessary. Your feet should be shoulder to hip-width apart. This will also make you more stable.
If you’re new to carving it can be difficult to maintain a consistent posture through your turns - you might find your skis drift further apart and back together.
To correct this, try exaggerating the distance between your skis for a few runs. This overcorrection might help you to settle into a better stance.
Follow the railroad...
Another aspect of stance which causes issues when carving is rotating the legs and boots into a turn. This creates a drifting motion, and rather than allowing the edge of the ski to cut into the snow and carve a turn, will cause you to skid.
To help counteract this you can try a ‘Rail Road’ drill where you mimic train tracks with your skis - keeping them the same width apart during the entire turn and perfectly parallel.
This will help you to focus on synchronisation and allow your skis to follow in perfect unison. You should also try to keep the same distance between your knees to help facilitate this.
The Carv Parallel Index Monitor, which gives a score between 0-100, is a perfect tool for monitoring this. It can also give an indication of whether one direction of turn is weaker than the other, which tends to be the case as most skiers will have a stronger leg!
Mistake 2: Low Edge Angles
The second mistake which prevents people from progressing their carving technique is the angle at which their edges meet the snow.
A low edge angle means that although you may be making parallel turns, you’re not carving. As mentioned previously, the design of modern skis causes them to flex when force is applied to their edge. This will shorten the turning radius giving you those lovely carves through the corduroy.
Use your poles
To do this properly you need to get up onto the edges of your skis as you enter a turn. An exercise that can help achieve this is to hold your poles out wide and drag them over the snow on the outside of each turn:
This exercise encourages a sideways bend in the hips away from the turn - you’re looking to create a ‘C’ shape with your body. In turn, this will force you to put more pressure on the outside ski and increase your edge angle.
If you have telescopic poles, shortening them will make this exercise more challenging, or you could borrow a shorter friend’s poles for a couple of runs!
It's all in the hips
Another drill that you can try which will help you think about your edges is to press your hand into your outside hip as you head into a turn. At the same time, bring your other hand across your body with a slight downhill orientation, as shown below. This will have the effect of causing your hips to tip in towards the inside of your turn and your boots and edges should follow.
If you have Carv, the Edge Angle Monitor will read out your edge angle for each turn. This is an ideal way to monitor your progress in real-time, giving you instant feedback as you put your hips into practice.
Improve your own carving
Your Carv Ski:IQ™ score is a great tool to measure your overall development as you use our tips to improve your carving. Sometimes it can be hard to gauge how much progress you’ve made over a day or week of skiing, so accurate data gives a clear indication of where you’re at. That and the impressed looks on your friends' faces as you carve flawlessly down to the apres bar 😉.
So there you go - easy tips and exercises that you can put into practice next time you hit the slopes which will help to address two of the most common problems skiers face when trying to perfect their carving turns. You’ll be carving like a Winter Olympian in no time...
Stomp It Tutorials are running Ski Technique Camps in Zermatt, Switzerland this November. At these camps, their instructors use Carv in the boots of all the guests in combination with in-person coaching to push your skiing technique to the next level.
Sign up now and use the discount code CARV to save €100.
Written by: Stomp It Tutorials