How to Improve Your Carving

When you first learn to ski or snowboard, just getting down the slope without falling is an accomplishment. As your basic skills improve though, you need more advanced techniques to take on steeper runs and more technical terrain.

Enter carving.

Carving is a key skill for both skiing and snowboarding, and although many people can do it the difference between carving and carving well has a huge effect on your skiing and snowboarding.

That’s why the ASO Mammoth team has made a list of tips to improve your carving while skiing and snowboarding. Read all about it before your next day on the snow, and don’t forget to visit the ASO Mammoth shop for the best ski and snowboard rentals in Mammoth Lakes!

Use Your Edge and Only Your Edge

When you first learn to carve, it’s natural to not want to lean completely on your edge. However, to truly carve you must use your edge and only your edge.

For example, it’s very easy to skid turn while carving, which means using a combination of the base of your skis or snowboard to slow down and turn since you don’t have to lean as much on your edge.

Skid turns may feel more comfortable at first, but they slow you down, make your turning less precise, and make it more difficult to nail your next turn.

Lean into the Slope

One way to avoid skid turns is by leaning into the slope when you’re carving so that you put more weight on your edge and less on your base.

For snowboarders that means leaning more on their toes and heels depending on which one they’re turning on and using their edge to stay up. A skier can also lean into the slope, and one specific way to do so is by keeping their skis parallel with one another while turning.

Practice by Looking at the Lines Left Behind

An easy way to judge the quality of your carving is by looking at the lines you leave behind yourself in the snow.

If the lines are narrow and deep into the snow, then you know that you were putting more weight on your edge than the base of your gear. If the lines are wide and thin, then you know that you’re using more of your base than your edge.

Focus on Your Transition Between Edges

Once you fully commit to riding on your edges, you’ll feel your board or skis push back against you since your weight is being focused to specific areas, and you can use that pressure to carve better if you release it at the right time.

For example, if a snowboarder is riding their toe edge hard then once they release it, they will get a slight pop from the board. If you time that pop well enough to have it push you onto your other edge, then you’ll carve faster and with more precision.