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ALPINE SKI LESSONS: KICK-TURNS
A technique for all levels
Executing a kick-turn, just like snowplough turns, is a technique that skiers tend to snub, probably deeming it too old fashioned. It's a pity though, because executing a kick-turn can come in very handy at times where executing a real turn is hard.

Beginners can use this technique to turn around in steep slopes or in difficult snows. An inexperienced skier that knows how to kick-turn and traverse will pretty much be able ski any run...

Advanced skiers will use this technique mostly for off-piste skiing, on uneven and rugged grounds, when real or even jumped turns are impossible to put in.
How do I kick-turn?
The goal is to, while stopped, turn around your skis to face the opposite direction.

Start with a gentle slope and then gradually increase the slope's angle while practising kick-turns.
Step 1
While stopped, skis perpendicular to the slope and upper body facing it, firmly plant your uphill pole close to your uphill ski's spatulas and your downhill pole close to the downhill ski's tail.
Step 2
Swing your downhill ski off the snow while leaning on the poles and place its tail on the snow where the spatula used to be. Replace the downhill ski parallel to the uphill ski but facing in the opposite direction.
Step 3
You are in an uncomfortable position: your skis are facing opposite direction, your position is unstable, so it's a good thing your poles are providing a strong support. Rest assured, the hardest is over. As soon as the downhill ski (the one that you just moved) is back on the snow, transfer your weight to it, lean forward on it towards its spatula so that the uphill ski swings around the downhill ski, and bring the uphill ski parallel to the other one.

During this step, the second ski you swing (the uphill ski) becomes the downhill ski as soon as you set it down. It's absolutely normal : you have changed directions, and therefore the downhill and uphill skis swap roles...
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