5 Things You Need to Know About Doing a Kick Turn in Skiing

5 Things You Need to Know About Doing a Kick Turn in Skiing
While everyone knows that alpine skiing is a downhill sport, every once and awhile unfortunate and unexpected events occur that literally turn the skier around. For example, close encounters with either other snow sliders or inanimate objects such as trees or lift poles might create enough force to turn a skier in the opposite direction.

Since most people are not keen on the idea of sliding backwards down a steep slope, these types of situations may cause mild panic attacks. Fortunately, help is on the way. It comes in the form of the kick turn.

A kick turn can also help you change direction in areas where the trail is too narrow to make a real turn. For example, let's say that you're skiing along a narrow cat track in search of the perfect line. However, each drop-off point offers steeper terrain, and you're beginning to wonder why you didn't take that nice, wide, blue line you saw awhile back. If you tried to do a full turn on this cat track, you might fall off and end up on the double black mogul run that's ahead of you. The kick turn then becomes your hero.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Check your alignment. You will need to be standing with your weight evenly distributed on both skis.
Step 2
Plant your ski poles uphill. This gets them out of the way of your skis, and enables them to be used for balance and support.
Step 3
Lift your downhill ski from the snow, and place it on its tail. It should be in alignment with the tip of your other ski.
Step 4
Rotate the downhill ski 180 degrees, and carefully lower it onto the snow. Transfer your weight to that ski.
Step 5
Lift your uphill ski and swing it around so that it is parallel to your downhill ski.

Tips & Warnings

Ask a ski instructor to teach you exercises such as the Falling Leaf. Such exercises also help you turn around from a backwards position.
If it's crowded on the slopes, wait for the crowds to pass before performing the kick turn.


Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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