Some basic skiing techniques include the parallel turn, the carve turn, snow plow and the telemark turn to name a few. Out of these the parallel turn is used mostly by advanced skiers. Which technique to use all depends on the terrain you are skiing in and your personal skiing ability.
Most of the time an advanced skier will use most techniques on a single run depending on the particular instance. Some advanced techniques also include:
Straight downhill running: This technique is basically to go straight down the slope without turning. There are a number of instances where a skier wants or needs to gather speed. This technique is ideal for getting across flat areas or areas with a slight incline.
Downhill traverse: The most common technique used for descending over a variety of diverse terrains. To traverse means to glide across the slope at a slight downward angle. When skiing at a resort a traverse is usually necessary to get from the chair lift to the tops of the ski runs. Skiers in the backcountry will traverse to travel over terrain easily and quickly.
Snowplow: Widely used for slowing down, stopping or controlling forward motion by bringing the tips of your skis together forming a “v” shape. This is the first turn a beginner skier learns since it provides the most stability and control , however, advanced skiers still use the snowplow when needed.
Side slipping: Another braking technique employing a sliding action that is used to descend short pitches that are to difficult to ski the conventional way. A skier stands perpendicular to the slope and slides sideways downhill, sliding down the slope a foot or two at a time.
Step turn: The step turn is used to make a 180 degree turn while standing on the spot. It is particularly useful for making a switchback on a trail while ski touring. A skier simply stand perpendicular to the slope and swings the downhill ski around 180 degrees.
Sidestep: used for ascending/climbing short, steep slope in a restricted space amidst logs, stumps and other obstructions. The skier stands perpendicular to the slope and takes a step uphill with the uphill ski and then follows with the downhill ski. This is repeated until the skier climbs to the desired point.
Straight uphill climbing: To ascend gentle and moderate slopes. This technique requires the use of “skins” on the base of the skis to grip the snow and allow the skier to move uphill. Skins are made from synthetic hairs that are placed on to an adhesive backing. The hairs are positioned to point to the back of the ski.
Hip Plant: The hip plant technique is used a lot by expert skiers to reduce speed quickly. When skiing on extreme slopes the hip plant is the safest way to reduce speed and regain control.
If you are a beginner the best way to get a thorough understanding of skiing and its numerous techniques is to enroll in a ski school at your local resort. Before attempting anything advanced it is important to have a good understanding of the basics. This is true in skiing and most other aspects of life. Once you can confidently perform the basics of skiing such as the snow plow or parallel turn then move on to more advanced skiing techniques.