How Do You Slow Down When Skiing Fast?

Published by Harry Sowers on

How to slow down when skiing

While you can control your movement down the slope when skiing, it is hard to go against the force of gravity. So what happens is that the force of gravity will work to propel you down the slope, and as if that is not enough some riders will move their bodies forward to move even faster. If you are still new on the slopes and are afraid of the injuries that might result from moving faster during skiing, you can minimize the wax on your skis which will then increase the frictional force and will consequently slow you down. 

Well, the above is not necessary if you can learn the various techniques employed by skiers to control skiing speed. so once you get on the ice, the most important thing is to achieve total control of your movement to prevent moving too fast and losing control. 

Techniques for slowing down when skiing fast 

man skiing fast

Whenever you are skiing and you turn it helps to control your speed as you will be inadvertently forced to ski a line that is not as steep making you slow down.

You can also initiate the snowplough, and this where the riders make a wedged pizza shape with their skis, which they achieve by pushing the ski out to form a triangle. 

Parallel Turn to Slow Down

By doing the above, the ski will create friction with the snow and you will, therefore, start to slow down. The pizza (snowplough) maneuver is also a perfect way for the riders to come to a stop when skiing.  There is also the parallel turn used by professional skiers whenever they want to slow down, the parallel turn also allows riders to tackle slopes with ease. 

For the beginners, if you can learn to initiate the parallel turn then you will be able to rotate your skis simultaneously at a 90° angle to the gradient of the slope. The above offers the twin function of slowing you down, and at the same time allow you to smoothly traverse the slopes. 

Before you get to parallel skiing, you will have to go through the wedged turn, and here the rides are normally set on following one direction. The wedged turn does offer some interesting stunts and here you will have to put more pressure on the inside edge of one of the skis on one leg, which will then create more friction on the snow and consequently make you rotate. 

You will put more weight on the respective inside edge of the ski to either move to the right or the left. As a beginner skier, you should also make efforts to learn how to pivotal, as it will enable you traverse across the slope. Diagonal movements on the slopes mean less momentum, which then thus pulls you forward, a maneuver that will naturally slow your skiing. 

And if that is not enough, and you need to slow down more, just make the moves closer to 90° across the slope, and if you need to slow down any faster, point your skis uphill but be careful not to fall on your back.  

Categories: How toSki


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.