The next step up to learning the parallel turn is sometimes referred to as a stem christie. Though not as widely taught as it once was, it’s still an effective way to learn how to achieve linked turns.


To perform the stem christie, start from a snowplow turn. Place most of your weight on your right ski, and only light weight on the left. This will immediately put you into a left-hand curve. As you arc to the left, about halfway through the turn pull your left, or inside, ski parallel to the outside ski. You’ll emerge from the turn with your skis in the parallel position.

It’s not necessary to lift the inside ski off the snow, as some once believed, to start the stem christie; simply keep most of your weight on the outside ski, and light weight on the inside ski.

With your skis parallel, again go into a snowplow. This time put your weight on the left ski, shoving the left tail out. As you arc easily to the right, bring the right ski parallel to the left ski when halfway through the turn.

Continue this series of stem christies, shifting weight, bringing both skis parallel, going into a snowplow, shifting your weight to the opposite side, bringing the skis parallel when halfway through the turn, then going into the snowplow again. Do it again.

Doesn’t that feel smooth and neat?

Except, just except, that if, while you were shifting weight, your hands forgot to hold onto the handlebars of the bicycle and went flailing in all directions, you probably did, too. Never mind. You know how to fall on your side. And get up.

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