After the basic «wedge» technique, a new, exciting challenge awaits beginners: the parallel turn! In this case, turns are drawn in the snow with skis that are always parallel. This is how you glide elegantly and quickly down the ski slope.
In contrast to the plow, the skis always stay parallel to each other in parallel turns, as the name suggests. The legs are hip-width apart, as this guarantees the freedom of movement required for the parallel turn.
Parallel ski training only requires simple slopes and, if possible, long, uncomplicated trails. This is the main thing because the skier must perform movements without deviating too much from the slope line, at speed slightly exceeding the rate of descent of the «stubborn» skier. At the same time, the speed should be low, as for a beginner skier.
Suppose you consider yourself capable and brave enough and are ready to know how to parallel ski to start directly mastering the parallel skiing technique, then in order to achieve a good performance of several methods. In that case, you will still have to work for a long time on relatively easy slopes.
What Is Parallel Skiing?
Before you start mastering parallel skiing, it is essential to know what this concept is. This concept is familiar to many newcomers to skiing. Skiing with the «wedge» method is a particular position in which the athlete holds the skis with their tips pointing towards each other.
Parallel skiing is a method where skis move parallel to one another. At turns, they will not be directed at each other but will walk side by side. Confident skiers, unlike beginners, use the technique of turning on parallel skis and have already forgotten what a «wedge» turn is. To move to a new, medium difficulty level usually requires one or two lessons.
The parallel turn ski technique is a tricky art that needs to be improved every time. Consequently, in the beginning, you should learn how to ride parallel on your skis later to become a master in turns.
How To Parallel Ski
When it comes to comprehending parallel skiing, it is essential to learn some basic techniques. They will help you become a real professional, and in the future, the skier will be able to perform complex tricks with the execution of a parallel turn.
Narrow The Wedge
So, to begin with, do not forget about the «wedge» riding method. This means that the skis will naturally be guided while riding. Nevertheless, the initial step towards perfect parallel lines while skiing narrows the width of the «wedge» in which the skis sit. This is the essential step that will kick off a smooth ride.
This can be done in such an easy way:
- Get on the skis so that your feet are not so far separated.
- Rotate your heels closer together so that they are not tilted in opposite directions.
- Continue to practice narrowing.
It is essential to repeat this maneuver for muscle memory to work. This way, your legs can get used to this position of the skis, and then it will be simpler for you to accommodate parallel skiing.
Note, nevertheless, that it will be complicated to make the parallel turns skiing right away! And this is not necessary until you can thoroughly comprehend the skill of direct skiing. Work first to reduce the gap between the back of the skis. Then you can experience the beauty of the parallel skiing method. The foremost thing is to exercise a lot!
Turn With Your Legs
The following part is a movement that requires skill. It can take more time to descend since it is not at all like the primary point. So what is it? First of all, you need to make sure that your legs make the central part of the turn and not your torso when skiing parallel.
Usually, when a person is standing or walking, he tends to turn his core or his whole body at once, for example, to draw attention to something. Nonetheless, it would help if you forgot about such habits while skiing. In such a case, if the person starts the turn with their upper body and allows the lower half to follow it, by the time their legs are engaged in the rotation, the parallel turns skiing will be almost complete.
It is worth remembering that skiing requires the identical work of legs, feet, and torso, so all body parts must be equally engaged. Turning around allows your feet and skis to finish shortly. At the same time, the correct rounding of the turn will be perfectly smooth and without mistakes. When the skier allows his feet to turn, it also gives a chance to feel the center of gravity more precisely.
Flatten Your Skis
When a skier makes a wedge turn, the edges of his skis will immerse into the snow. As a consequence, the skis will slide on the snow when cornering.
If the skis are at an angle, it will be more difficult to rotate the legs and adjust the position of the skis, which will make «narrowing the wedge» more difficult. Nevertheless, keeping your skis flat on the ground will give you more control. This method of flat skis will limit the resistance during the turn and will be easier to implement:
- To practice flat skis, it is worth practicing while moving and adjusting the support and position of the skis.
- It would be best if you only practiced on a flat surface.
- This will give you a chance to feel the skis’ correct orientation should be during movement.
Shifting Your Weight
After mastering the skiing turning techniques of the correct position of the legs, you can begin to comprehend how to maintain your weight. When a person is skiing straight, he must be sure that the weight will be proportionately distributed over the two skis. This will help to counterbalance the center of gravity and maintain speed on the parallel skis.
At the time of the turn, you only need to shift the weight towards the turn. Shifting the weight will help control the direction of the turn and give you the chance to move one ski parallel to the other.
Putting it All Together
The last step is to put all the ingredients into one great recipe! Namely: you have separate tips for different parts of the body. Now it’s essential to combine them to get the perfect parallel skiing:
- When a skier drives straight, his skis will form a wedge.
- Align the skis so that the edges do not sink completely into the snow.
- On flat skis, narrow the wedge.
The turn should be done with your feet, and at the same time, transfer the weight to the outside leg while continuing to regulate the weight. Now you can consider yourself a professional parallel skating!
Having comprehended the theoretical part well, get down to practice and train despite significant and minor setbacks. They are the ones who create the path to perfect parallel skiing.
Parallel Skiing: In Conclusion
Parallel skiing can seem like a complicated business! Nevertheless, everything is not as challenging as it looks. Once the skier can master the basic rules of parallel skiing, skiing will become more enjoyable and comfortable.
You can always try to become extreme and experiment with pulling the skis to a parallel position at different points of the turns. The key to this is getting used to footwork and weight transfer. Correct parallel skiing technique and consistent practice are the recipes for successful parallel skiing.
Remember, the principal thing in sports is practice. Practice every day, recollect the significant points in your memory — skiing will bring you absolute satisfaction when you dedicate yourself to this business.