Turning technique on video
The term carving turns has nudged aside parallel turns as the objective of assured skiing, leading to higher speeds, better control, less effort and more enjoyment. Essentially, it is the same thing.
The arrival of carving skis has helped turn the corner. This year, 90 per cent of skis sold in Britain will be carvers.
These skis are shorter, with wider tips, narrower waists and wider tails and are specifically designed to make turning easier, particularly for intermediate skiers.
However, carvers are unlikely to affect most school groups, who will continue to slip and skid round turns, as will most teachers in charge. It is reckoned 80 per cent of skiers with carvers still do not carve.
In many, if not most, school resorts the new equipment will be kept firmly in the racks and it could be a few years before pupils or their teachers experience the easy turners. Schools tend to be issued with the old gear.
None the less, knowing what makes for good skiing is important and many learners remain in the dark. Martin Bell's video helps to explain some of the mystery.
There are various ways to learn and Bell, our best downhiller over the past 10 years, focuses on current British teaching methods, including how you stand on skis and body position. He breaks down the essentials that lead to carving turns and does his best to explain the subtle but important differences between skidding and carving in new snow in Saas Fee, Switzerland.
It is a commercial teaching video, interspersed with the usual shots of breathtaking jumps and deep powder, borrowed from stock videos.
Carving Skills with Martin Bell (40 minutes) is available from Paul Paley Productions, tel: 0171 229 7712, price Pounds 14.99, plus postage