Basic Parallel

Activity Description:
Basic Parallel Turns are linked, skidded, round turns in which the skis maintain a parallel relationship and consistent stance width through all phases of the turn. Speed control is maintained through turn shape. A variety of turn shapes should be explored.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

The ability to ski Parallel turns is a major milestone for skiers. This basic blend of skills is a foundation for higher levels of skiing.

What The Skis Do (EFECT):

• Skis leave skidded tracks in the snow through turn phases (brushed tracks)
• Skis maintain a parallel relationship and consistent stance width
• Skis are tipped at a similar rate and time
• Skis are turned and at similar rate and time
• Pivot point is roughly under foot

How The Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Flexion/extension movements of legs facilitate edge change and move the body forward with the path of the skis.
• Lateral tipping/rolling movements of the feet/ankles/legs adjusts edge angles of skis
• Hip angulation allows the upper body to direct pressure to the outside ski.
• Both legs turn in the hip sockets under stable upper body to control turn size and shape.
• Fore/aft adjustments maintain Center of mass over base of support
• Pole swing and touch enhances rhythm, flow, and timing

Smooth green (Level 1) or gentler blue terrain (Level 2)
For L3: should be adaptable to be skied on side-hill terrain or at angle to fall line and in ungroomed terrain

Teaching/Learning Cues:

• Ski uphill skidded arcs managing tension of foot/ankle tipping (on a low edge angle). Blend tipping and turning movements to create controlled skidding of the skis. Consider using a fan progression to build to skiing whole turns in both directions.
• Create awareness of employing efficient and effective edging movements: Both skis release and engage at the similar time. This practice builds movement patterns that lead to simultaneous edge change and parallel skiing.
• Progressively fan partial arcs into and through the fall line to develop complete skidded turns
• Practice prolonging the duration of time spent on 4 edges (the bases) from transitions to fall line to learn to manage rotary and not rapidly pivot skis to start turns.
• Explore range of legs turning separate from the upper body to use appropriate degrees of separation without excessive wind-up of legs thru finish that would over rotate the skis into a skidded, tail out initiation.

© Professional Ski instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors - Central Division