A turn shape you want to add to your toolbox if you’re to master the whole mountain. A short turn is an essential skill to become an all-rounded skier. Useful for steeps, moguls, narrow slopes or getting yourself out of a tight spot. Here are the best tips and tricks for adding a short turn to your toolbox.

How To Make Short Turns

  • Separate Your Upper And Lower Body – When making short turns, you need quick feet. By stabilising your upper body and focusing on turning the skis using your lower body, you can direct the skis faster and more efficiently. Separation should occur at the hips. Hold some tension in your upper body to limit its rotation.


  • Pole Plant – Each turn should also get a pole plant. Not only does it help stabilise your upper body, but it also helps with timing and rhythm. Watch a good skier making short turns; they have great flow. Think about your pole plant matching a metronome. Every time you plant the pole, your upper body stabilises and gives you greater access to the lower body.

Instructor in blue jacket skiing deep powder

  • Roll Your Ankles – Even though you’re trying to turn the skis quickly, be careful not to twist the ski by pushing your feet from side to side. When you push, the ski will slide on the snow, and you’ll lose grip. Think about rolling your ankles into the new turn to create some edge grip and get the skis arcing around your body. The tip of the ski should lead the turn.


  • Move With The Skis – Short turns are fast, and you’ll be left behind if you don’t move forward with the skis. Stay flexed in your ankle, knee and hip and focus on maintaining some good shin contact. Create a sensation of falling down the hill and your skis will catch you as they turn across the slope. The steeper it gets, the quicker you’ve got to move.


  • Spray Snow To The Side – We need grip to control our speed and trajectory down the hill. As an external cue, spray snow to the side of the hill instead of downhill. Snow will be sprayed to the side when the edge of the ski penetrates the surface and grips. The earlier you can spray snow, the better. If you get it right, you shouldn’t be able to see the spray of snow as it will be behind you!


  • Foot To Foot – It is no different from any other turn, but it is imperative for a short turn. Quick transfer of weight from outside foot to outside foot will improve grip on even the firmest snow. Imagine jumping from foot to foot as you move down the hill. Your inside ski should feel light.

Female skier in red jacket in the Taynton Bowl

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice this on groomed runs and then take them into the moguls. All of these tips are transferable to good mogul skiing. A short turn is the best turn shape to manage speed on steeper slopes and gives you versatility when tackling narrow tree runs. Short turns are a difficult skill to master and take lots of practice, but by starting out slow on easy terrain, you’ll begin to pattern new moves that you can take with you onto more challenging terrain.

Short Turns For Beginners

A short turn is a difficult skill to develop as a beginner, but to start with, try focusing on something external, not internal. Imagine a corridor approximately 4 meters wide. Your goal is to make turns within the corridor. To be successful, you should feel some stability in your upper body and your lower body should feel more active in the turning effort of the skis. Practice this on a gentle slope to begin with so that it’s easier to control your speed. As you get more comfortable, you can try this on steeper slopes. Use the tips above to help you.

Interested In Taking A Course?

If you’re eager to develop your skiing skills or are interested in taking one of our instructor courses, take a look at some of our options:

3-5 Week CSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor Course

6 Week Advanced Level 3 Ski Instructor Course

8 Weeks Fast Track Level 1 & 2 Ski Instructor Course

10 Week BASI Level 1 & 2 Ski Instructor Course