When learning to ski, individuals use a V formation, often called the snowplow, to maintain control and check speed. As they become more comfortable on the slopes, they can begin to work toward the parallel skiing technique, in which skis sit parallel to each other. This positioning allows skiers to move faster, turn more quickly, and look more capable on the slopes.
Fundamental to mastering parallel skiing is gaining the ability to balance on the outside ski when turning. The snowplow position allows for even weight balance in turns, but parallel skiing demands more control. When entering a turn, bend your knees and shift all your weight to the outside ski in a gentle motion. You’ll return to an even weight distribution as you exit the turn.
When shifting weight during a turn, skiers generally press the inside edge of the outside ski into the snow. Through edging, you can turn quickly and with little effort, but you must learn the balance of weight necessary to do so. This technique takes a great deal of practice to master.
By using your weight, you can make gravity do all of the work. Eventually, intermediate skiers learn how to bend their knees and shift their weight in a way that allows them complete control over their path.