Outside Ski Turns

ATS Phase 2 | Ages 6-10 | 1-4 years skiing

Objective: To ski solely on the outside ski prior to, during and after the ski turn during medium radius highly carved turns.

Primary Skill: Edging

Justification: The ability to ski on the outside ski is essential to optimally maintain balance against extreme external forces created by tight turn radii and high speeds. Without an inside ski to assist with lateral balance and regulate pressure the ski racer is limited to their options with regards to what they can do with the ski.

Slope: Easy intermediate groomed terrain.


  • Skier makes eight carved GS radius turns with weight entirely over the outside ski
  • The inside ski is kept entirely off the snow during the turn
  • Skier stays on old outside ski for two ski lengths at the end of the turn
  • Skier makes an identifiable weight transfer
  • Skier initiates the new turn after a brief traverse of two ski lengths on the uphill (new outside) ski
  • Pole may only be used to swing and touch the snow, not for balance support against the snow

Criteria for Perfect Execution:

  • Inside ski carried off the snow 100% of the time
  • A deliberate weight transfer can be identified when the skier transfers pressure to the new outside ski
  • Prior to the turn, the new outside ski is skied for two ski lengths to indicate balance is solely on the new outside ski
  • After turn completion the outside ski is skied for two ski lengths to indicate balance is still 100% outside ski dominant
  • Turns are mainly carved
  • Speed is consistent throughout entire maneuver
  • Turn shape is relatively round
  • Ski poles are kept off the snow except if used for a pole plant

 Kid-Friendly Start Instructions:

  • Ski eight round, carved GS turns with all of your weight on your outside ski
  • Lift the inside ski off the snow for the whole turn
  • Between turns, step onto the uphill ski and lift the downhill as you traverse before you start into the turn
  • Your poles are only used for pole plants, do not drag them or use them for balance
  • Your speed is the same for all of the turns


Coaching Points:

  • While this drill fits in SkillsQuest as an edging drill, it also has significant components of pressure and rotary skills
  • This drill should be used often in this phase and in the next phases of the ATS, progressing into more difficult terrain
  • Progressions to prepare for this drill could include standing on one ski in a straight run, stepping from ski to ski in a straight run, traverses while lifting the uphill ski, traverses stepping from ski to ski, and 1000 steps (stepping from ski to ski through turns)
  • This drill can be done in a training course
  • If athletes are struggling with rotational balance while doing this drill, causing them to put the inside ski down, see if they are in a tight upper body position with elbows out. If so, ask them to ski with their hands outside the elbows
  • This is a core exercise for skiers who lean in or commit their hip to the inside too early in the turn

Outside Ski Turns

Check out the Outside Ski Turns exercise with demonstration 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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