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Skiers carving, carving tracks in the snow
Carving track with visible edge change at the beginning of the turn
Carving development, difference between drifting and carving
different techniques
Carving buoys course

Carving (from English to carve - to carve) is a further development of the "cut turn " in skiing , in which the turns are driven entirely on the steel edges instead of drifting through the curve . Since the skis are no longer positioned at an angle to the direction of travel, even with short turns, as when drifting, there is no braking effect when cornering. Modern carving skis enable this new skiing technique through a stronger sidecut , adapted parameters of the ski structure (soft flex with high torsional rigidity at the same time ) and a corresponding overall geometry. When carving, the edge of the ski makes clear marks in the snow. The name of the technology is derived from the “carving” of these traces.


Based on the skis that were further developed in the 1980s and were called Border, Barder, Curver and Carver at the time, users launched carving as an independent discipline . In this case, cuts of athletes on the ski edges extremely driving, downhill slope along and performs narrowest cornering. Initially, the new technology was initially used more for recreational sports, where snowboarding made the carving technique attractive thanks to a different movement pattern. Only after carving had established itself as a new trend for the general public did racers also increasingly use tapered and shorter skis. Bode Miller is considered to be the first racer to master a pioneering carving technique . Carving found its way into competitive sport in the 1999/2000 winter season with a separate FIS Carving Cup in which 30 racers took part. A world champion in extreme carving was presented as early as 2001 .

As a special distinguishing feature from normal alpine skiing, carving is carried out without ski poles and without a racing suit. Cornering is not done by turning the upper body, but by tilting the knees, an even crouch with skis widely spaced is the best posture.

Only licensed athletes with a valid athlete declaration who appear in the national carving list are allowed to take part in international competitions. You start from a box or at least from a defined start area. A jury at the event location, consisting of the race director, a slope manager and the technical delegate of the FIS, monitors correct behavior.

Carving technique

Carven means the ski aufzukanten and his waist to take advantage of tax. The stronger the edging angle, the sleeker and tighter the curves are drawn. This requires increased speed and advanced skiing technique. According to the Austrian ski curriculum (2009), the carving turn consists of the following criteria:

  • A steady, stable body position above the skis, ready to move
  • Driving along the ski waist of both skis in a clearly open track
  • The outside ski is more loaded and takes over the majority of the steering work
  • The inner ski is also loaded according to the situation
  • When edging, the inner and outer legs have approximately the same tilt angle.
  • The aim is to keep both skis in constant contact with the ground
  • The goal is economical driving with even pressure build-up without abrupt changes in load

Edging takes place at the beginning of the turn and represents the actual turn initiation with the associated change of direction (due to the waist of the ski) and the subsequent pressure build-up.

Modern race carving
Modern race carving with a body kink

To check the correct driving position, a check is usually done while standing. Depending on the slope, skis, knees, hips and shoulders are slightly turned towards the valley at the same angle and the upper body leaned a little forward. This attitude is called alpine driving behavior.

A distinction is made between two basic techniques that are used depending on the situation:

  • Inclination or "driving over position"
  • Angulation or "driving with a hip bend"

Carving in different terrain

In addition to carving in the snow, there are vehicles that enable or support carving on solid ground. For example, the manufacturer TRIKKE with its HPV models for purely manual use and the eV (electric vehicle) which is electrically powered.

Carving Cup

Both the procedure and the regulations are completely different to the alpine ski races. It is not about time, but about points collected within a time limit. Instead of poles, you will drive around buoys anchored in the snow, 8 to 16 of which are distributed over the slope. The buoys can stand at a distance of 1.5 to 5 m from each other. There are points for reaching the respective buoys; the one furthest outwards has the highest degree of difficulty (5 points); The athlete can recognize the value by the color: red = 5, blue = 4, yellow = 3. In addition, the competition course should allow a flat jump (not higher than 1 m) and the course setter can judge the weather, snow conditions and ability the participant contain adapted obstacle, e.g. B. small jump, steep wall curve, wave tracks. The winner is determined in the knockout system . Because the race initially held by athletes one after the other was completely unattractive for the spectators (the winner is not immediately recognizable), the regulations were changed in 2001 to include a carve duel : two carvers drive directly against each other on two slopes, the better one advance one round at a time. The top runners have to start up to about five times in a row. In the final, the slope can be equipped with a 1 m high snow jump. Mats and fencing must be placed against spectators and near trees, rocks, etc.

The Carving Cup mode rewards a spectacularly carved line selection. Shortly after the Carving Cup established itself internationally, it was taken over by the international ski association FIS , which, however, hardly sponsors the Carving Cup. Races are mainly held in Switzerland and Italy. The participants often belong to small corporate teams and can be viewed as pure amateurs.


As with many new trends, there were very different opinions about possible applications and safety when it came to carving.

risk of injury

It was often assumed that the incidence of injuries from carving skis and carving was increased. These theories have meanwhile been refuted by numerous studies, according to which the number of skiing accidents has declined in recent years. Sports medicine, safety and ski experts also consider the widespread opinion that carving skis pose a risk to safety on the slopes to be wrong.

Increased risk of falling due to blending

The opinion that when carving there is an increased risk of falling due to cutting on the edge stems from the early days of carving ski development, when there were sometimes very aggressive skis on the market. The structure of these skis was poorly matched to the new geometry - the most common mistake was excessive torsional rigidity - and were offered with very high elevation plates, which often made the feedback from the ski to the driver very unclear. Both extremely challenging skis and oversized elevation plates have been removed from the offer as they have not proven to be useful. Adapted, modern edge tuning, in which the edges are removed from the base side in order to make the ski less aggressive, is now standard in every ski grinding company.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Mogasi Magazine: Carving Technique: The short turn ( carving short). In: Mogasi magazine. Retrieved March 23, 2022 .
  2. a b Austrian ski curriculum. (No longer available online.) Association of Salzburg Professional Ski Instructors, p. 9 , archived from the original on March 15, 2016 ; accessed on March 23, 2016 .
  3. Austrian ski curriculum. (No longer available online.) Association of Salzburg Professional Ski Instructors, p. 42 , archived from the original on March 15, 2016 ; accessed on March 23, 2017 .
  4. Carving Tutorial: The Right Technique. In: CheckYeti Blog. Retrieved March 23, 2016 .
  5. ^ Report of the Ärzte Zeitung