Speed Control: Carve Up The Hill

While carved turns are the proficient rider’s preference, the speed associated with themcreates a unique challenge. Because of a great reduction in friction compared to the common skidded turn,carved turns cause a rider to continually accelerate at the hands of gravity. For this reason, most recreationalcarvers tend toward moderate groomed runs where their speed can be controlled, or they carve a coupleturns and then revert to skidding.

The most effective way to control speed and continue carving is by altering the shape of the carve. Rounder, more complete turns will carry a rider across, and even up, the slope, tapering speed before a new turn starts. When imagining the shape of a turn, think of a “C” (for control andcompletion)-that’s what your track in the snow should resemble. Once you’ve begun a carve, continue ridingthe edge until your board is pointed across the slope, then gradually rise up, and change edges only aftercrossing the fall-line.

If you stay on edge, drawing out a turn’s finish, not only will you spend more time in atraverse, but your board’s sidecut will also start to turn you up the slope, slowing you down. When yourspeed diminishes-but before it’s gone-go directly onto the other edge. An early initiation will allow you toguide the board throughout the course of the carve, controlling turn shape from start to finish. Because thereare many forces at play when crossing the fall-line in a carve (where most racers fall), you have to be activeand dynamic during that part of the turn. Start by eliminating your skidded turns on a beginner slope andeventually you’ll be able to carve down even the steepest runs without letting off the