Easy Does It And Find The Rhythm.

If you look at Henrik Kristoffersen here in the blue Norwegian National Team uniform doing slow turns, you will see the value of mechanics at a basic level.   

The important thing that I realized in watching Kristoffersen executing basic turn maneuvers at a very slow pace is that we all can work on basics at this speed.  It is important from time to time to practice the basics like this on gentle terrain. 

Another thing about turn speed is that it is a good idea to start each run with a slow series of turns.  When you start out too fast, and the terrain becomes more difficult, the turns are compromised.  It is better to start out slowly and make a series of good turns, then you can develop a rhythm which will take you smoothly through the run and not end up hitting the brakes to find your rhythm. 

Good smooth carved turns are executed when one starts out a run with deliberate slow turns.   Oftentimes I ski behind my wife and have her start out slowly.  I tell her to concentrate on the uphill edge which will become the downhill edge.   I call out the appropriate edge and she makes nice rounded turns with edge pressure control throughout the radius of her turns.  Try it sometime with someone  whom you are trying to move to the next level. 


  1. Dean Vosler says:

    It came to me one spring in Michigan slush that slow starts made soft snow skiing easy. And fun. The term I had heard was learn to surf the snow. Well surfing meant nothing until I realized the edges aren’t being used the bottom of the ski is what came into play with slushy spring snow. The slow start also made all turns more fluid even on Michigan hardpack.

  2. Slow speed turns are such a great drill to practice. .when it is just not all coming together or the snow is not particularly good, go here. Also very useful in getting more comfortable in the bumps.

  3. Richard Kavey says:

    Good article! Good advice. Easy, rather flat terrain is where skills are learned. Steep, difficult terrain challenges – and often interferes with – what we have learned in the easy terrain. When this happens, go back to the flat terrain.

    Unless you are a very accomplished skier, do not attempt to teach anyone – other than your goldfish – to ski. It’s a big mistake for many reasons.

    Rather than skiing behind someone shouting instructions, skiing in front is almost always better: a visual image for the learner to immediately copy is usually better. In addition, the coach then is able to chose the correct speed, radius of arc and line down the hill. These are also important components to learning.

  4. When I started my grandkids skiing I took them to a nearby ski hill that only had rope tows ( 4 Lakes, Lisle , Il.) we started at the beginner slope and I made a game of seeing how many turns (arcs) they could do on the slope.

  5. Sherm White says:

    Right on, Pat. Good images and words

  6. Suzanne Carey says:

    I’m 71 years old and haven’t skied for 25 years. Back then, I was a “sloppy intermediate.”
    I’d like to try it again but get no support from family and friends. Maybe a private lesson?

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