Change Edges without Pivoting
For More Accurate Carving
Most skiers, even the most accomplished, habitually pivot – even if just a little bit – between turns. This little – or sometimes big – rotation of the legs, feet and skis involves some degree of work, but provides some measure of security, especially for those linking turns for the first time. Sometimes this movement becomes habit, and persists well into the advanced levels, even when the goal is carving. The movement itself is not bad, or ineffective; it's simply not in line with the goal of carving. The main point of carving is to allow the ski design to shape the turn – if you edge the skis and engage the sidecut to shape the turn, you can turn the skis with virtually no work at all. If simply changing edges (while changing leads) will accomplish the goal – and do so more precisely – then why add extra work?
You can't carve throughout a whole turn if you don't start the turn with carving. Once you're in a turn, it's a lot easier to keep carving than it is to begin with pivoting and skidding and then start carving. To eliminate pivot between turns, try this simple drill.
Start with some larger arcing carved turns on gentle terrain. As you make the lead change and the edge change, try to go straight for three ski-lengths to take the pivot out of the lead change and get on the new edge sooner.
Once you're able to add a few metres of straightlining between turns, you'll probably also feel the benefit that the additional lateral (across the slope) momentum gives you in terms of having something to “stand against” once you've rolled onto the new edges. Try keeping the straight section between turns as you practise on gradually steeper terrain. As you get more comfortable initiating turns without a pivot, you can begin to link turns more directly, letting the skis do the work and producing a cleaner, more powerful carve.