Are you itching to hit the slopes this winter? If so, you’ll need to brush up on your skiing skills. After all, it’s not as easy as it looks. Even if you’re super excited about hitting the snow and can’t wait to throw on your favorite ski outfits, there is much more to it than meets the eye. You see, parallel skiing requires a different skill set than classic skiing. If you are serious about exploring all your options for a fantastic winter season, we have some good news! You can learn how to parallel ski with ease.
What is Parallel Skiing?
Parallel skiing is similar to classic skiing in gliding on skis with edges instead of wheels. However, there are some critical differences between the two styles. Parallel skis are more extended than classic skis and have a wider stance.
This makes parallel skis better for covering long distances in ski resorts with many groomed trails. Parallel skis are also commonly used in freestyle skiing and alpine skiing events like giant slaloms.
Parallel skiing is an excellent option for beginners because the skis are longer, making it easier to stay upright. When you first learn how to parallel ski, you’ll be gliding with the side of your ski by the side. This makes it easier to maintain your balance because there is no need to turn as you would with classic skis.
How To Parallel Ski? Parallel Turns
With parallel skis, you can turn by simply angling your skis in opposite directions. This is known as parallel turning, a great way to learn how to parallel ski.
This turning method is the same way that you would turn if you were to ride a snowboard. When you are ready to turn, push one ski forward and one ski back. You’ll turn in the direction of the ski that you pushed forward. For example, if you push the left ski forward and the right ski back, you will begin to turn right.
Because these turns are more accessible than classic turns, you’ll be able to focus on building your confidence while out on the slopes. Plus, once you have the hang of things, you can move on to more advanced turning methods.
Tips for Learning How to Parallel Ski
As with any new skill, it’s best to start with the basics. The following tips will help you to get your feet wet.
- Find a flat slope – Before you get on the slopes, you will want to find a suitable place to practice your parallel skiing. Look for a flat slope without too many moguls so that you can get the hang of things without the added challenge.
- Start with an instructor – When you’re first learning how to parallel ski, it is best to take a lesson with a professional instructor. This way, you can focus on learning how to ski instead of worrying about falling and getting injured.
- Wear the right ski gear – Wearing the proper ski gear is essential when first learning how to ski parallel. Your ski pants should be fitted but not too tight. They should also be long enough to cover your ankles.
- Practice on flat terrain – It can be tempting to head straight for the most challenging terrain as soon as you are confident with your skills, but this is a bad idea. You want to build your confidence before increasing the challenge.
- Have fun! – At the end of the day, you are skiing for fun. So, don’t be too rigid when first learning to ski parallel. Instead, focus on having a good time and enjoying your time on the slopes!