Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Mastering the art of ski carving

Learn to carve on the ski slopes. Discover effective carving tips and techniques to improve your control and fluidity on the slopes. 

Are you hitting the slopes this winter and want to improve your skiing? Have you heard the term “carving” but don’t really know what it means? Don’t worry, this article explains it all.

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

What is carving in skiing?

Ski carving consists of moving parallel down the slope in an S shape. This movement is achieved thanks to the edges of the skis, which trace a slight arc in the snow. The edges steer the skis, making it easier to execute turns. Carving turns are very similar to parallel turns except that the skis do not slide sideways. 

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Why carving is essential for all skiers?

Carving, also known as the cut turn technique, is essential for all skiers to improve their technical skills. It’s all about carving turns – making turns entirely on the edge of the skis. The goal? To achieve maximum efficiency and control during your ski outings. 

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Basic carving techniques

Exceptional gliding guaranteed. Once you’ve mastered the movement, you’ll feel like you’re skiing on rails.

Basic stance and balance

Your skis should be parallel and shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent, your shins pressed forward in your ski boots, and your weight should be centered on your outside ski. Your upper body should be upright and facing forward, your shoulders flat in the direction of the skis, with your hands in front of you.

Controlling the angle and pressure of your skis

Your outside ski is your main tool for making turns. By transferring your weight to it, you place pressure on the ski, enabling you to make your turns. Conversely, the inside ski is slightly relieved of weight, adding stability and control. The knee of this leg naturally bends during the movement.
As for your upper body, it plays a crucial role in staying balanced. Your torso acts as a pivot, helping to maintain stability, while your legs provide direction. It's important to keep your legs parallel to the piste to maintain correct posture.

Efficient use of poles

Poles have no place in classic carving, they are only useful for balancing.

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Improve your carving

Carving is something anyone can do. With a little practice and the right exercises, you’ll soon be a pro!

Exercises to improve carving

1. To improve your technique, start by opting for wide, consistent terrain with a steep enough slope so you have enough speed to carve. To be able to pull your hip down and close to the ground, you'll need speed.

2. Second, lift your inner ski to bring your knee towards your torso for better positioning. When practicing, don't forget the importance of proper alignment. Ankles, knees and hips must all be aligned.

3. For the last exercise, once you've engaged your skis and are in the curve, opt for resistance. It's important to resist the center of gravity throughout the curve.

How to increase speed and precision?

Speed and precision are two key factors in successful carving. But before you increase your speed, make sure you concentrate on these two steps: the fluidity and precision of your turns. Speed will come naturally later!

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Common mistakes and how to avoid them

1. First and foremost, the most common mistake to avoid is poor body posture. If you’re not properly aligned, you could lose balance and control during turns.

2. Another mistake to avoid is putting too much pressure on your skis. You risk increasing your speed and losing control while trying to turn. 

3. Making movements that are too wide. If you move your skis too wide when turning, you may lose your grip on the snow.

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Training and conditioning to improve your carving on skis

Here are a few tips to build muscle strength and improve your carving!

Exercises to strengthen the muscles used most while skiing 

During your ski outings, the muscles you'll feel working most are the quadriceps and hamstrings. You can perform strengthening exercises targeting these muscle groups, while integrating a cardio workout to increase your endurance. Use our Decathlon Coach app to help guide your workout sessions.

The importance of agility and flexibility

More technically advanced than snowboarding or slalom, the carving technique gives a great feeling of agility and control on the snow. Staying flexible and nimble will allow you to make beautiful turns.

Comment carver en ski : Conseils pour réussir ses virages coupés

Discover Decathlon’s downhill ski equipment

Skis, boots, clothing and accessories: discover everything you need for downhill skiing at Decathlon!

Our selection of skis

For carving, it's important to have a pair of skis designed specifically for that purpose. In general, opt for skis with great stability and a good grip on the terrain. At Décathlon, we offer a range of alpine skis for beginners and experts alike!

The importance of boots and bindings for good carving

Opt for ski boots that guarantee optimum support, allowing you to make turns with precision and ease. Bindings also play an important role, giving you greater control over your speed and direction while ensuring the necessary stability.

Now that you know all the techniques for successful carving, all you have to do is try! Don't forget to wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a fall. Have fun on the slopes!

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