Skis have been used for over five centuries for work, transportation, competition, and recreation. They have been an asset to people throughout the world, and with their development have evolved a number of different skiing techniques.
For cross-country skis, the classical technique is used by kicking straight back to create a gliding motion. If you want to generate speed, however, use the skate technique, which is performed by pushing backward and outward with each ski one at a time.
Alpine ski techniques include schussing, traversing, the wedge, and carved parallel. Schussing is performed by skiing straight down the “fall line” of the hill, and is the fastest way down.
Traversing is like schussing, but taking the hill at an angle down the fall line to control speed. When traversing, you can change direction, control speed, and maneuver around or over obstacles. In order to maintain speed, turn slightly downhill and switching directions every 20-30 feet.
The wedge technique is used primarily by beginners, and is the best way to control your speed when trying a new hill. In order to perform the wedge, make a V-shape with the ski tips angled toward each other and downhill. This is a great way to move slowly down the hill if you are a little bit hesitant to move more quickly. The wedge technique can also be used to stop slowly.
Lastly, carved parallel involves turning both skis sharply at the same time, and it is the most difficult technique to use. This is also the fastest method when schussing is unable to be performed, like when you’re traveling down a hill with moguls or other obstacles. Carved parallel also includes the hockey stop, where you turn both of your skis at the same time sharply to perpendicular to the hill in order to top yourself very quickly. This is the technique that most experts use, and should be practiced with care by beginners.