What Are Carving Skis?

Wondering what are carving skis? Carving skis are designed to have a shape similar to a snowboard and became popular in the early 1990s. Before carving skis typical skies had straight, parallel edges. Then came snowboards with their speed and agility that manu skiers wished to copy.

With snowboards came the ability to carve a turn or the technique of turning where the ski (or snowboard) shifts from one side to the other on its edges. This method of turning gives the skier no loss of speed unlike traditional skis that can only do parallel turns. This turning method was why the first carving skis where marketed so such. It was also to differentiate the skis from the more traditional straight-edge skis.

Carving skies are also known as shaped skis or parabolic skis. This design of ski was developed in 1988 by Jurij Franko in Slovenian ski producing company Elan. Franko calculated a flex pattern with the aid of his colleague Pavel Skofic. A project named SideCut Extreme–SCX–was created to produce the first prototypes for carving skis.

Learning to ski on carving skis was also an easier task. Carving involves making a series of Cs or half circles on a downward slope. Many instructors teach students to think of these half circles as a clock.

The curved shape of carve skis were a lot easier for beginning skiers to turn. This made them extremely popular very quickly. They became so popular, in fact, that most modern skis today are carve skis. Since very few of the older straight-edged skies remain, the distinction between the types is no longer widely known.