I’m Mac Lyon from the Professional Ski Instructors
of America. Kick turns are awesome tools to be able to use to change direction without
losing any sort of elevation. I use kick turns whenever I encounter terrain that I don’t
want to ski. Whether that be cliff, or if the snow conditions aren’t very good. To do a kick turn, what I want to do is I
want to take my downhill hand and pole. Place it uphill and behind me. I’m using both of
my poles and my uphill foot to really establish my balance point. I’m trying to place my weight
evenly amongst those 3 points. I want to kick my downhill leg, move it forward and upward,
in a sweeping motion until my downhill foot is facing the opposite direction. I want to
shift my weight onto that downhill leg. Once you’ve found that balance point, pick your
uphill hand and foot, step them around to match the foot that you moved originally,
and push on out of the terrain. Kick turns are incredibly necessary in steep,
technical terrain, but are used everywhere on the ski hill. If I’m at the lodge and I
want to turn around quickly without running into anybody, I’m going to use a kick turn.
If I get off the chair, I’m facing the wrong way, and there’s people strapping in, I’m
going to use a kick turn. It’s really, really useful for day-to-day skiing.