Ski Tips #012 – Starting a Parallel Turn


The other day I was skiing with some people and we were working on parallel skiing. We were focusing at the start of the turn because that’s where something new needs to happen. To turn your skis parallel you need to simply do that, turn them together. Sounds easy enough eh? Well, it is if you can do one thing first, your skis need to be flat against the snow.

There’s a few different ways to start a turn, you can twist with your upper body to try and get you skis around. This isn’t so good because what it does is puts you out of balance to the inside and you’ll lose edge grip. You can pull with your shoulders, but unfortunately this pretty much does the same thing as twisting your upper body and that makes them out of balance most of the time. You could step your ski out then stand on it, this is a little better but it’s not a parallel turn. Or, the best way, you could steer your skis to flat underneath you.

So, how does that happen, how do you steer your skis to flat? Here’s a really simple drill that will give you the right sensations, hopping. Next time you’re out sliding maybe when you’re warming up and two or three hops in between your turns, it’ll almost feel like your hopping from the end of one turn into the beginning of the next. It’s important to do a few hops, the reason being is that it’s the hopping that is what allows your skis to become flat underneath you and then from there you can turn them together, parallel. This is something also called coming to “neutral”, your feet will be right underneath you and that releases the edges from the previous turn as well.

Give that one a go; I hope it works for you. There’s lots of great skiing left this season and tons of fun activities happening on the mountain, be sure to check out for all the details.

Josh Foster – Director of Snow Sports

Big White Ski School

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