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 Conventional Skiing Wisdoms (CSW's) 

by Bill Jones, Ski Instructor
Certified Professional Ski Instructor (Registration #110478), Level III
private ski lessons at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, other areas

 CSW # 18: "Turn the outside ski first."

[The "outsideski" is the one that is on the outside of a turn, so a turn to the left would put your right ski on the outside. At the start of a turn this is often the uphill ski, a bit confusing because it had been the inside ski until the end of the last turn.]

An eyeball survey of alpine skiers reveals that most turn the outside ski first when turning. But some skiers--usually the ones appearing to have the most skill or the ones winning the races--turn the inside ski first. (For terminology, if you are turning to the right, the outside ski is the one on the left.) It seems turning the outside ski first is the most natural movement for people to make, and indeed telemark skiers do just this.

However, initiating a turn in this way will likely result in two undesirables: 1) the strong impulse started this way cannot be finessed as the turn progresses potentially resulting in an overturn or complete spin to the uphill side, and 2) somewhere in the turn the position of the skis must be reversed so that at completion the tip of the outside ski which is now downhill will be behind the uphill ski, causing an unneeded motion.

Turn the inside ski first; it will avoid the above two problems and will allow both skis to engage their edges in the snow earlier in the turn, causing the ski to turn you as it was designed to.

If in your skiing you have been turning the outside ski first, adapting to turning the inside first will likely be strange and seem wrong. Practice doing it anyway and observing the effect you get. But do this practice on terrain comfortable for you.

main CSW contents
prior CSW #17: "Bend your knees while you ski"
next CSW #19: "Skiing is Dangerous"

"SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT"--a skiing web manual:  Skiing Web Manual Contents   Why Read This Skiing Web Manual  That First Skiing Lesson  A Little Skiing History  Motion in Skiing  CONVENTIONAL SKIING WISDOMS  Skier Excuses   Fear in Skiing  Conditioning for Skiing   Equipment and Technique  Skiing Equipment  How Skis Work   How to Develop Balance on Skis  A Skiing Turn Simplified  The Final Skiing Skill: pressure management  Tactics for Terrains and Snow Textures and Racing  Skiing Tips and Tales--a potpourri    Exercises for Developing Skiing Skills  Children and Skiing  Age and Skiing  Gender & Skiing  Culture & Skiing  Skiing Ethics and Survival  Slope Safety   Skiing Environment  Glossary Acknowledgements SkiMyBest Website Contents  
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