Updated: Dec 8, 2019
How to improve your ski carving is a subject much misunderstood.
What is carving skiing?
What IS 'carving'? Before discussing what you need to do, let's investigate what it is.
This is simple to say, and difficult to do. The main reason for the difficulty is that you will likely be travelling at higher speed. Very highly skilful skiers can carve at lower speeds, but that is even more difficult. It requires very precise and delicate technical skill.
Coaches like me, more so than instructors refer to the process as sliding rather than 'carving'. It's a bit of pedantry but is nevertheless an important differentiation.
When a ski is 'carving' it is travelling with high precision directly along its length with no skidding. You can find a simple and clear detailed explanation of the process on pages 88 to 93.
When a ski does this sliding, it will not slow down if it is in the slightest way heading down slope. It will only slow down if it heads directly across at right angles to the slope line (and then not much). It will slow down more rapidly if the arc it describes heads uphill, as its impetus “runs out of steam”.
What are the behavioural characteristics of a ski that is “carving”?
The ski will be tilted laterally.
The ski tip will be making very positive contact with the snow, and cutting-in.
If will not be pivoted across its line of travel. At all.
It will be fully in snow contact along its entire length.
It will be bent in a concave shape.
How to carve on skis
Now let's look at you rather than the ski. What do you need to do to carve on skis?
You need excellent skiing posture
Ankles flexed forward.
Shins pressing the front of your boots
Flexed forward at the hips with your back inclined.
You will need to have your pelvis on the inside of the arc your skis are describing.
Do not do this with a side-wards bending at your waist – that is the old “angulation” idea touted by ski instructors of the past, and it's wrong.
Take a look at the cover pictures on the front of any of my books on Amazon “Skiing:from Greens to Reds and Beyond...” either version; and Ski In Control which has different pictures on the covers of the Kindle, and Paperback versions. They all show you these postural aspects very well. Just search Amazon books for Bob Trueman.
To learn advanced ski carving you need to discard a lot of older ideas. In particular you need to discard the idea that there is “this” kind of 'turn', and “that” kind of 'turn'. Think instead of arcs. Arcs are what your ski describe in the snow when you execute carving skiing. You do not 'turn' your skis. Nor do you pivot them across your line of travel.
No “tips and tricks”.
Looking for tips and tricks won't improve your carve skiing. That is looking for shortcuts and there are very few shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
So don't fall for the blandishments of the “just do this little trick and you'll transform you skiing” brigade. Instead invest your time better by learning how skis do what they do.
There are many places you can start that process, clicking on Bobski.com is one of them.
Take a look at my training videos or buy the books! Or both even.