Because of its speed and efficiency, the carved turn is fundamental to Alpine riding. While anyboard can carve, Alpine boards are designed to do specifically that.The differences between a carved andskidded turn are many, but can be largely defined by the board’s angle in the snow. When a board is tippedon edge, its design (namely sidecut and flex) facilitates the carve-the tail of the board theoretically passesthrough the exact same spot on the snow as the nose. At lower angles, a board is more likely to skid, the tailpivoting around the nose or front foot. A carve is much faster than a skid because the board always movesin the direction it’s pointed, the edge tracking cleanly through the snow rather than scraping along the top(creating friction) and sliding sideways. To get the feeling of a carve, traverse a moderate (blue) groomedslope. Gradually lean into the hill and concentrate on not making any extraneous movements, such as rotatingthe upper body or kicking out the back leg (both result in skidding). As you lean and lever against yourboots, the board will tip onto edge and its sidecut will take hold-turning you across, and slightly up, the hill.To verify whether a carve actually occurred, look back at the track that was left in the snow behind yourboard. A carve leaves a single thin line from the edge of the board; the wider or more fanned-out the trackappears, the more you skidded. When you’ve got the concept of carving during a traverse down, practicelinking carved turns together on a flat (green) run. Be aware that in addition to going faster, carving roundturns will take you across the slope laterally, requiring more space than a skid. Once you feel theacceleration and smooth dynamics of a carved turn-what your board was truly designed to do-you’ll be onyour way to a whole new world of snowboarding-Alpine.

-K.H.