Finally, "the" CARVING guide we have all been waiting for. It took me a while to shoot and edit, almost three months, but I wanted to make it comprehensive, yet simple. I have also, as requested by many in the past, included parts of the script here below. For full script mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy and stay ALIVE!
DISCLAIMER: CARVING is fun but has its dangers. Ski slowly, watch out for other people on the slope, always use a helmet and a spine protector and be sure your bindings are set up properly.
LEVEL 1: BASICS / BASICS OF CARVING
DRILL #1 (X-Country Double Pole
Take a shoulder wide stance and push yourself forwards across a mildly slanted slope. Much like in cross country skiing. Do this in both directions back and forth for as many times needed. The success of your carving will be written in the tracks you leave behind in the snow.
DRILL #2 (Fishhook’s)
Instead of pushing yourself forwards across the slope, start out more in the fall line. As you do this drill back and forth across the hill, gradually point your skis further and further down in the fall line at the start. Be aware of other people on the same slope as they will not expect you to be turning uphill into on-coming traffic.
DRILL #3 (Arc2Arc / Laying Rail-Road Tracks)
When you are comfortable with ARCING back and forth across the hill, it’s time to start LINKING your FISHHOOKS into properly CARVED turns. We call these turns Arc2Arc
as you go from one ARC to another. Start out in the fall line and TIP your skis on edge like you did in the FISH HOOK DRILL but as you come out of your first ARC, instead of continuing across the slope until you stop, ROLL your skis from their UPHILL edges to their DOWNHILL edges. Be sure to ROLL your skis onto their new edges BEFORE you slow down too much as you need to keep your speed up. Repeat these movements in a relaxed and controlled manner turning back and forth across the slope. Congratulations, you are now CARVING Arc2Arc. No skidding, pivoting or drifting. If you look back at your tracks’ they should resemble RAILROAD TRACKS snaking down the hill.
LEVEL 2: INTERMEDIATE / DYNAMIC CARVING
DRILL #4 (The JAVELIN
While CARVING on a very easy groomer, at the end of a turn, pick your DOWNHILL OUTSIDE SKI up off the snow and place it diagonally over your UPHILL INSIDE SKI so that the tips overlap but no more, TIP it at the same time into the turn while firmly holding it back and pressed against you NEW OUTSIDE ski boot. You want one solid package with both skis
close to each other. ANGULATE at the hip and keep your SHOULDER LINE LEVELED. At the end of the turn, place the lifted SKI back onto the snow and repeat the same movements in the other direction.
DRILL #5 (PARALLEL SHINS)
For this next drill you need to ditch your ski poles for a while. Place your inside hand on the outside of your inside knee and apply pressure. The natural reaction of your inside leg muscles will be to resist this force and push your inside knee back in the opposite direction, towards the inside of the turn. This drill will activate the outside abductors of your inside leg and help keep your inside ski engaged and carving. Check out my video on how to rid A-framing for a more in-depth lesson on the topic of PARALLEL SHINS & HOW TO RID A-FRAMING. Link here above.
LEVEL 3: ADVANCED / EXPERT SKIING
DRILL #6 (Flexing Through Transition)
For many FLEXING THROUGH THE TRANSITION is counter intuitive as it is the complete opposite from what they are used to. They need to rid the habit of always extending to start a turn. Start out by skiing across the hill in a squatted flexed position with your arms down low. As you start tipping into the turn extend your legs gradually. At the end of the turn, flex back into a low position. A typical mistake in this drill is that you don’t bend from your knees. You need to bend both at the knees and at your waist. When done correctly the result will be surprisingly big edge angles and tight turns.
DRILL #7 (DOUBLE POLE DRAG) (Drill #3 in 14 Essential Drills for Ski-racers)
Another great drill for staying low is CARVING down a moderately steep slope while dragging both of your ski poles in the snow on each side. Grab your ski poles the other way around for proper form. This will teach you many things but fore mostly to stay low through the transition with a LEVELED SHOULDER LINE and keeping all the action in your legs.
DRILL #8 (SHORT TURNS)
In short turns we keep our upper body trawling straight down in the fall line while our legs cross back and forth underneath. Here we need to initiate our turns by ROTATING our femurs to crank our knees back and forth from side to side. This is a great DRILL for activating our KNEES and FEET and creating separation between our upper and lower body. These turns are also commonly referred to as RETRACTION TURNS.