Parallel Skiing Vs Carving

Parallel turn is a very popular term for skiers. It is a very effective turning technique in skiing. Parallel skiing may seem a very complex tern but it becomes very easier once you have successfully learnt it. This allows skiers to take a turn very easily even on complex slopes. On the other hand, the carving is another common skiing turn in which skiers stand on the skis much more than regular time and take perfect turns without sliding. Parallel skiing vs carving, may seem very identical but actually, there are some significant differences between these two. Many people get confused regarding these two terms and find the differences between them. In this article, we will discuss both of these skiing turns and find out the major differences between them. So, keep reading to clear up your confusion.

intermediate vs advanced skier

What is Parallel Skiing?

Parallel skiing is keeping your skis in a parallel position when you are turning. It is a very significant skiing technique. By this technique, you can simply slow down by putting pressure on your skis. Parallel skiing is not only important for controlling the direction, but it also helps skiers to control their speed and avoid different types of obstacles on the way. When you are learning skiing, it’s a mandatory task to learn how to parallel skiing. The easiest way to do parallel skiing is when you are taking a turn, lift up your mountainside ski and move the back ski in the line as much as you can. Don’t keep too much close your pair of skis. Closing your skis too much can cause loss of balance and deadly accidents. If you are a beginner and want to learn this technique, should try the easy mountain slope. When you will successfully conduct parallel skiing, it will form an ‘S-shaped arc on the way.


There are many significant advantages of parallel skiing. Among those, here the most notable importances are given below:

  • One can conduct parallel skiing in any terrain s/he wants.
  • Parallel skiing is the basic or foundation skill for all advanced skills in this sport.
  • It helps to learn how to carve properly very easily.
  • Overall, parallel turns help skiers learn how to balance and grow confidence which helps make you ultimately a good skier.


Parallel skiing also has drawbacks. However, these are very minor but as a beginner, you should also know these. So, the most significant disadvantages are as follows:

  • Parallel skiing doesn’t combine speed and control at a time.
  • In the beginning, it seems very difficult to keep two skis parallel when they are turning.
  • Though it is a technique for any kind of terrain, it doesn’t work efficiently in all places.

What is Carving?

Carving means standing on much more edges of the skis than the regular time to take a turn without sliding. It is tilting your skis onto the edge of the skis before beginning the turn and completing the turn on the edge of the skis. It also forms arcs behind you. In this technique, you will feel that gravity is pushing you from the back. Carving is one of the best feelings you can get in skiing. Moving too fast, and carving on the beautiful track will give you a feel as if you are floating on the mountain slopes. This technique has taken skiing to another level. In general, the carving is used in maintaining proper control during ski racing. Here, the theory is very simple. When you are carving, the edges reduce fraction which helps to push you across the mountain. In ski racing, this technique is very popular. Carving helps you boost your speed. More carving increases your speed much here. That is why, in racing, skiers try to carve their skis as much as they can.


Carving has also many good sides that help skiers in skiing. The most notable good sides or advantages are as follows:

  • Carving is the most efficient way to boost the speed of skiing.
  • The ski itself helps to take turns when you are craving.
  • Carving makes sure that you don’t slide on the snow.
  • This one is the best way of turning in skiing.


There are some major drawbacks of carving that we all should know. These drawbacks are given below:

  • Carving is not appropriate for all terrains; that means you will not be able to do carving wherever you want.
  • This technique is very complex for beginners. If you are not efficient in basic parallel skiing, you will not be able to do the carving.
  • You may need carving skis because most of the skis are not capable of skiing.
  • You may need to repair your skis because carving damages the edge of the skis a lot. 

Conclusion of Parallel Skiing Vs Carving

Well, now you know all the required information about both parallel skiing and carving. After reading this article, you should understand the basic differences between these two. However, for your better understanding, we are providing the key differences here. These are as follows:


You can conduct parallel skiing on any terrain you want. On the other hand, the carving is only applicable in some appropriate places for you. More clearly, you will need a customized place for carving.

Required Gears

Parallel skiing doesn’t require any extra gear. You can do it with your existing skis. However, you may need extra skis which are appropriate for carving. In carving, skis need to take huge pressure. All types of skis are unable to survive under those pressure. That is why you may need to purchase carving skis for it.


Parallel skiing is a basic turning technique which is generally used for proper control. On the other hand, the carving is an advanced technique which is basically used to increase speed and proper balancing in ski racing. So, there is a slight difference between their usage. Before learning to carve, you need to learn parallel skiing as it is a basic skill that is required in carving.

Ability required

Normally, beginners cannot go for carving. At first, they need to gain some basic skills and then try carving. On the other hand, parallel skiing is highly appropriate for beginners. To be professional in skiing, you must learn parallel turns first.

Repairing Needed

In the case of carving, there may be huge damage to skis. As here you need to take a turn on the edge of the skis, you may need to repair your skis (sharpen the edges) frequently. On the other hand, in parallel skiing, skis don’t get damaged for a long time if any accident does not happen. That is why here you don’t need any frequent repair of your skis. So, these are basically the key differences between parallel skiing and carving. Hopefully, now you have fully understood the comparison. Then again, if you have any confusion, feel free to ask in the comment section. Have a good day.