Slash Turns - As Featured in Fall Line Magazine

» Telemark Technique Tips » How to Make a Slash Turn on Telemark Skis».

Slash Turns aren't Just about Taking the Photo of the Season...

Slash turns are not just about taking the photo of the season, they’re great fun in a range of situations and can really help your overall technique. Don’t just keep them in reserve for deep powder days, use them in slush, in the bumps and on the piste. Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be spotting turns all over the mountain and slashing at every opportunity.

Tactics- Pick Your Spot

First of all, pick your spot. If you’re in deep powder this will take a little more planning, look for crests of powder, little wind lips and ridges and if you’re taking some photos, choose a location with a stunning backdrop, the closer and steeper the backdrop the better.

Get the Approach Right

Make sure your photographer knows exactly where you’re going to turn, throw a snowball to mark the spot and line up your approach. The biggest mistake most people make is on the approach itself, make sure it’s steep enough to give you enough speed, if you’re in deep snow this can be hard to gauge. Better to have a little too much which you can control with a small turn or two on the run-in.

Control Your Impulse

A slash turn has a ‘J’ shape, although you may need to open it out a little depending on snow conditions and terrain. So line up your turn shape carefully. I prefer to approach in an ‘Alpine’ or parallel stance - this gives more control over the impulse on the slash as I lead change into a telemark stance.

As you near the spot start tightening the arc, then sink down into a tele stance while simultaneously twisting both skis, both the lead change and the rotation must be simultaneous.

Match the Rate and Range of the Lead Change

As with all telemark turns, match the rate and range of lead change to the radius of the arc. For a slash turn the impulse needs to be sharp, but be sure to maintain balance, if the impulse is too aggressive you’ll eat snow.

Control Your Rotation

Rotate the skis predominantly from the legs, then let your upper body follow round to finish the turn. If you over rotate the upper body on telemark skis, you’ll lose balance over the inside ski, finishing your move with a head plant.

Control Those Edges

Edge control is key, don’t be too aggressive with your edge angles, try to let the skis drift on a relatively flat ski, the edge angle will build naturally as you turn the skis to tighten the radius.

Send up Some Smoke

Send up as much smoke as possible and if the light is coming from the right direction you can get some amazing shots.

If you found this useful - share the love....

Send up as much cold powder smoke as possible and if the light is coming from the right direction you can get some amazing shots....

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Great insight, Nicko got straight to the point and highlighted my flaws, then he set about constructively changing them. I can now handle the deep stuff so much better! Geoff Shepherd

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