by SkiNerd 

March 17, 2021

Turn Shape - Shoot for the Moon

There’s nothing like fresh corduroy first thing in the morning. Not only does the silky consistency feel great to slice through with your skis, it can also help to make your skiing objectives much less subjective. You can see exactly what turn shape you created by simply turning around and having a look back at your tracks.

Fresh Corduroy at Mount Washington, Vancouver Island, BC

Morning ‘Hero Snow’ at Mount Washington, Vancouver Island, Canada

Making it Measurable

A round turn shape is common goal for many skiers as speed can be managed through the entire arc and forces tend to come on progressively creating a smooth flow from one turn to the next.

With this in mind, when aiming for a steered short or medium sized turn, I often think about shooting for the moon! A crescent moon to be exact.

Between turns your tracks should be thin as your skis are traveling relatively straight. Then the track will get gradually thicker through the belly of the turn.

Skiing Objective - Moon Shaped Turn

Thick or Thin? The choice is yours...

More twisting or drift means the track will get quite wide through the apex, whereas a turn that is closer to carving will remain fairly thin. 

  • So if the objective is to control speed, you may want to aim for a thick bellied moon. 
  • If the objective is to preserve momentum, you can aim for a thin bellied moon by tipping the skis over more to take advantage of their design and the tails will more closely follow the tips through the arc.

If the tracks look more like a comma, a ’Z’ or an upside down comma that’s an indication the skis may be over-steering in one part of the turn and under-steering in another.

These sorts of turn shapes have their application and may be required in certain situations, however, a rounder turn arc usually makes pressure easier to manage.

So next time you find that perfect groomer... why not shoot for the moon?

skiing objectives - moonshaped turns
Science Friction - Ski Technique Diagnostics

Outsmart your ski instructor and troubleshoot your own ski technique

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About the author 


I like skiing, outdoorsy stuff, artsy stuff... and hanging with my family;)

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3 years ago

Always exciting content for the ski-Nerd!!
Loads of reflections stemmed from this articol!
Thank you again!

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Science Friction - Ski Technique Diagnostics

Outsmart your ski instructor and troubleshoot your own ski technique

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