The Unofficial Guide to Good Skiing

Visual Cues and Body Movements


Flex and extend the ankles, knees, hips and spine to balance over the whole foot as you flow with terrain and control pressure on the skis.

           The outside ski bends from the middle.

           The shins maintain contact with both boot tongues.

           The body flows continuously with the skis.

           The skis flow over the terrain. All of the joints work together evenly.

Use diagonal (forward and lateral) movements of the feet, legs and hips to engage and release the edges of the skis.

           The skis tip on edge early in a turn.

           The shins contact both boot shafts forward and laterally.

           The edges are released and engaged with one smooth movement.

           Ski lead change occurs prior to the fall line.

Direct your balance to the outside ski in a turn.

           The outside ski bends more than the inside ski in a turn.

           The shoulders stay level to the horizon or they level out through a turn.

           The inside half of the body leads the outside half through a turn.

           The inside leg is flexed more than the outside leg in a turn.

Turn your legs under your body to assist in guiding the skis through a turn.

           The legs turn more than the upper body.

           Turning movements originate in the feet and legs.

           The upper body is stable and quiet.

Direct your upper body and swing your pole to flow with the skis through turns.

           The hands are forward.

           Shoulder and hip lead through a turn.

           The shoulders are forward of the hips.

           The pole swings smoothly in the intended direction of travel.

           Vision is forward and the eyes look to the intended direction of travel,

           Pole touch or pole plant compliment the desired turning outcome.


This information is intended to be an analytical tool and a reference for good skiing in most ski instruction situations. This guide is not intended to describe every movement and position that very high-level skiers pass through in the extreme situations of World Cup racing and mogul skiing. The Unofficial Guide to Good Skiing does define the basics of skiing that should be the foundation of movement for all skiers including recreational skiers, instructors, racers, bump skiers and even extreme free skiers.

These mechanical elements do not in themselves make a great skier. They merely create a foundation for that intangible quality called 'touch": the profound connection of the skier with the skis, the snow, momentum and the mountain.