When parallel turning on a downhill (groomed) slope, I noticed that my downhill leg is almost fully extended and doing all of the braking, while my uphill leg is bent with a big distance from the downhill leg.

Someone gave a tip that both the legs should be bent, and they should stay relatively close to each other.

Is that true?

  • I assume you mean it's doing all the braking, rather than all the breaking? Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 17:33
  • When you say "downhill" and "uphill" legs, do you really mean outside and inside legs? I know some instructors use the terms uphill and downhill but i think that is very problematic. During a turn there is always an outside leg and an inside leg. Either one can be variously uphill, downhill, or in between, relative to the other, depending on where in the curve you are..
    – Martin F
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 23:57

2 Answers 2


There are multiple aspects to this question and no definitive answer. Be aware, that it is also difficult to give technique improvements based on a 2 sentence verbal description.

  • there is a style of skiing that is characterized by keeping both legs close together and doing short turns. This fell out of fashion with the advent of carving skis, but can still be seen pretty often with older skiers
  • Your knee is most stable when slightly bent and therefore the risk of injury is reduced compared to fully bent or fully upright
  • In carving technique, it is not necessary to keep both legs close together as the main work is done by the outer ski. However, if you keep them too far apart, you run the risk of putting too much weight on your inner ski and get out of balance. If this is a problem (can be spottet by a fully extent outer leg and fully bent inner leg), get both legs together a bit closer

No, it isn't true.

Check out downhill racers, especially professionals - when leaning over to make exceedingly fast or sharp turns, if your legs were together, your outside ski would not be able to touch the ground. So what they do is bend the inside leg to get the inside ski out the way, and ensure they can put pressure through the outside ski.

Some people do like to ski with both legs together, and that is fine, but it won't work well on ice, or when trying to make high speed turns. I keep my legs relatively close when skiing in powder, or heading down a gentle slope slowly, but as soon as I want to go at speed and lean into turns, I do things the way you do.

  • I don't think OP is yet at a level where they can do fast or sharp turns.
    – ahron
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 4:47

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