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May 2012 Issue
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How to do a kick turn

A kick turn is an invaluable skill used to change direction to get out of awkward situations, usually on steeper slopes, when simply skiing away is not the safest option. If you’re planning to explore the Southern Alps’ trickier terrain – like the Mt Brewster backcountry – then you’ll want to master this first. Liz Mathieson explains how.

Step 1


Plant your uphill ski firmly in the snow, parallel to the slope so you won’t slide forwards or backwards.

Step 2


Plant your poles wide to the sides of your body on the uphill side for balance. Lift your downhill ski and turn the tip so it’s parallel to the uphill ski and facing the other direction. This is the most difficult step as you may feel out of balance for a moment until the move is complete.

Step 3


Bring your uphill ski around to join your downhill ski and move your pole to the downhill side for balance.

Step 4:


Now you’re ready to go!