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Step Turns

Level: beginner intermediate

cross country ski step turn
A Step Turn is a series of short consecutive steps.

Step turns are something every skier should have in their repertoire. It's an effective way to handle corners in all types of conditions and also develops the necessary edging and turning skills for skating. It's also the same skill that allows you to step out of a ski track.

If you already mastered the Tip around Tail turn from our previous lesson then your half way there. The Tip around Tail turn reverses our direction in flat terrain by keeping our tails in contact with the snow while moving our ski tips into the new direction. It's pretty much the same movement but done while gliding slowly over the snow.

To review, lift up the your left ski tip off the snow a few inches while keeping the skis' tail on the snow. Now move the ski tip side to side and notice that you need to keep your heel pressed on the ski to keep the tail in contact with the snow. With the ski tip up, try to balance on the opposite leg for a few moments and begin a body checklist which includes: flexed knees and ankles, rounded shoulders with weight toward the heels.

xc ski step turning

A true step turn does not increase our speed but helps us maintain control while changing direction.

For the step turn, as you balance on your right leg start to flex that knee and ankle to the left until the ski ends up on edge (Top photo 1-2). This will begin a natural body lean to the inside for a balanced weight transfer to the left ski. Edging this outside ski provides the stable platform to step from.

Now, lets try a step turn while gliding down a gentle slope. Always start with your feet close together and skis parallel. With hands forward and directed toward our intended turn, start with one short step, making sure to bring the skis close together and parallel before the next step (Photo 6). Our eventual goal is to take many short consecutive steps toward our new direction.



CLASSIC TECHNIQUE: Diagonal Stride; Adjusting Pole Straps; Arm Swing; Double Pole; Kick-Double Pole. CLASSIC UPHILL TECHNIQUE: Classic Uphill Diagonal; Edging; Side Step; Herringbone. DOWNHILLS AND TURNING: Getting up from a fall; Kick Turn; Track Snowplow; Five Tips for the Diagonal Stride; Kick Double Pole. SKATE SKIING: Ten Tips for the V-1; V-2 skate technique; Marathon Skate. ALL AROUND: Stationary Turns; Step Turns. RESOURCES: Nordic Glossary; 20 Q and A; History of Cross Country Skiing

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