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The 3 techniques for stopping in skiing

You want to learn how to stop once on your skis but you do not know how to do it? In this article, we reveal the 3 techniques to stop on skis: snowploughing, turning and skidding.


Stopping for safe skiing

Skiing in a straight line can be fun in theory, but in practice knowing how to stop is essential for safe skiing. Being able to adapt your speed to the situation is the basis of mastering this beautiful discipline that is skiing.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to remember that the best way to learn to stop is to take ski lessons with a professional. This article cannot replace the advice and expertise that the physical presence of an instructor will bring to you during a lesson.

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Technique #1: The snowplow

This is the first thing you are taught when you start skiing: the snowplow! Indeed, the advantage of this technique is that it is easy to do.

To stop in snowplough: bend your legs on the front of your boots, keep your back straight and then bring the tip of your skis closer together while spreading your heels. Your skis should form a sort of triangle. The more you spread your heels, the more you slow down.

There you go! You know how to stop on the slopes.

Be careful not to cross your skis, you may fall. This technique has the advantage of being quick and easy to learn, but produces a gradual braking action, so you won't be able to stop in a hurry with the snowplow. More experienced skiers prefer to use other stopping techniques.

photo cours enfant ski

Technique #2: Turn!

Now that you have mastered the snowplow technique you can use it to turn.

To do this, start slowing down in a snowplow and then point the tip of your skis to one side. To turn, you must shift your body weight to the outside ski. When turning left, shift your body weight to your right ski and vice versa for the right turn.

By turning into the snowplow position you know how to decelerate and make your first turns, you now know the basic techniques for skiing.

It is important to remember that you are not alone on the slopes, so watch out for other skiers when making turns on the slope. Also, be careful of the edges of the slope, stop before or plan to turn before you reach the edge of the slope, or you will join the trees outside the slope.

Start by practicing on gentle terrain, there are beginner areas with free lifts at the bottom of most resorts.


Technique #3: The skid!

Skidding is a widely used technique, from beginners to the most experienced skiers all use it. It allows you to stop quickly, turn or avoid an obstacle.

To master it, you must succeed in keeping your skis parallel to each other and detach yourself from the snowplough technique you learned earlier. This technique consists in quickly turning both skis perpendicular to the slope. It requires good control of the skis and good coordination.

To skid, keep your torso facing the slope, legs bent over the front of your boots and turn both skis at the same time perpendicular to the slope. Then the work is done by your knees and the distribution of your weight on the skis.

To slow down, shift your weight and push your knees up (to the top of the track) and conversely to slide, shift your weight slightly down (the bottom of the track) while pushing your knees in the same direction.

In practice, to perform a left skid to stop abruptly, you must turn your skis to the left and shift all your weight onto your left ski by pushing your knees towards the slope.

Cours privés Risoul


You now know how to brake on skis, you know the theory to practice the 3 basic ski techniques! Start by learning the snowplow, then try turning and finally practice skidding.

Don't forget that you are not alone on the slopes and that dedicated beginner slopes will allow you to learn these techniques more safely.

Finally, nothing can replace ski lessons with a professional. You can choose to book a group lesson or a private lesson with one of Ski Family's partner schools. You can also read an article on how a ski lesson is done or how to teach your child to ski.

Enjoy your skiing!

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We are a group of outdoor and sliding enthusiasts, convinced that the mountain opens the mind and must be shared! Station experiments can sometimes be complicated. The Ski Family is there to guide you and meet you in this grandiose environment with such a special atmosphere

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