Carving technique: The Short Turn


We all enjoy taking tracks in the snow, wether on freshly groomed slopes or off-piste. Skiing requires high coordinative skills from us. When you reach the point where your motions while skiing are automated, you can face new challenges. One of those is the Short Turn.

The beginner slopes are usually very wide and shallow (blue slopes). In order to ski technically challenging terrains, it is important to master the turns you learned in different radii.

What is the goal of the Short Turn?

The aim of the Short Turn is a rythmic oscillation of the legs under a calm upper body. Modern carving skis allow you to control turns precisely. This is a development of the classic wedeln.

Why you should master the Short TurnKurzschwung Meisterklasse  wedeln

The Short Turn is celebrated as the parade turn in Tirol’s ski schoold. The technique requires basic athletic conditions, a high degree of coordination and a sense of rythm.

If you feel swamped by that for now, we can soothe you right away. Everyone can learn the Short Turn and it opens up a new level of ski experience. It is a prerequisite to ski down moguls, steep troughs or simply at the side of a slope when it is busy.

Technical structure of the Turn

In order to learn a Short Turn, you have to be able to ski long turns safely. For this purpose you can shorten the radius with excercises,

Start with your regular turn and try to make your movements quicker. If you give the turn enough direction by steering, this will lead into a shortening of the turn.

If you are still practicing, you can make it easier by initiating the turn with a clear vertical movement (going up/down).

It is very important that you try ski with the same speed without getting faster on steeper hills. Therefore it is necessary that you steer the turns well and give them enough direction crossing the hill. You can do that by rotating the legs further from the fall line especially on steep hills.

The ski poles serve as clock generator and supports the balance, if they are set at the right time. The correct timing is when changing the edges.

Common mistakes when carving with short radii

  • Upper body rotation – Your upper body rotates doing turns.
  • Laying back – Your center of gravity is not in the center of your body, e.g. you stand on your heels.
  • No control of the speed – You are not steering the turn enough.
  • The timing of the pole insertion is not correct.

Exercises & Training:

  • Hold the poles in front of you directed down the fall line or the valley, so your upper body remains calm.
  • Put your hands on your knees to lower your center of gravity and avoid laying backwards and stabilize your upper body.
  • Ski a slalom, in the master level the turn is done with gates.

The perfect Short Turn is skied on the edge, hence it is called carving with short radii. With increasing skills, the turn is initiated by the previous turns rebound due to the pressure from steering. Once you have reached this point, it is a very athletic and safe turn.

The fastest was to learn this technique is with a ski instructor, who can analyze mistakes in your sequence of motions and can give you appropriate exercises.

How long did it take you to learn a Short Turn? How did you learn it? Let us know in the comments below.

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