One Ski Skiing

ATS Phase 3 | Girls Ages 10-13, Boys Ages 11-14 | 4-8 years skiing

Objective: To ski solely on one ski connecting medium radius turns (15-18m turn apex to turn apex).

Primary Skill: Edging

Justification: The ability to adjust pressure fore and aft as well as regulate pressure through the transition and turn are essential for ski racing. Having one ski eliminates the balance advantage of being able to move from foot to foot and demands that the ski racer adjust their center-of-mass from one ski only.

Slope: Intermediate groomed terrain.


  • Skier wears one ski
  • Foot without ski is held exclusively off the snow and maintains a non-swinging position
  • Each leg shall be demonstrated with 8 to 12 linked medium radius turns (15-18 meters from turn apex to turn apex)
  • Drill is performed with left and right leg on separate trials

Criteria for Perfect Execution:

  • Free ski boot never touches the snow
  • Free ski boot is not used for fore/aft balance adjustment
  • Speed is consistent throughout entire maneuver
  • Turn shape is relatively round
  • Ski poles not used inappropriately for balance

Kid-Friendly Start Instructions:

  • Ski on one ski for 8-12 medium size turns, with the other ski off
  • Do not touch your free boot on the snow or swing your foot
  • Turns are round, carved, and the same size
  • Keep your speed up through all the turns
  • You may plant your pole to turn, but do not drag your poles or use them for balance
  • Switch legs and repeat


Coaching Points:

  • One Ski Skiing is one of the primary exercises done by the U.S. Ski Team to promote ankle flexion, the skier's ability to effectively use both edges, balance and many other positive skiing characteristics.
  • Young skiers can gain comfort on one ski by playing games in a flat area like tag or racing around a course they set up with their ski poles. Slowly introduce a small slope to the playing area.
  • These are some skiing exercises with two skis on that help prepare skiers for one ski skiing: traverses on uphill and downhill ski only, thumper turns, outside ski turns, White Pass turns, whirlybirds, garlands with uphill ski or downhill ski lifted.
  • Check with your ski area's policy on loading the chairlift with one ski.
  • Never leave the skis taken off to do one ski skiing on the snow in the way of other skiers. Put in a ski rack or standing up off of the trail.

One Ski Skiing Demonstration

Check out the One Ski Skiing exercise with demonstrations by Olympians Erik Schlopy and Doug Lewis.

Break it Down on COE TV

Go straight to the footage and find key frame analysis and related drills on Center of Excellence TV.

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