Resources | Ski Glossary | Letter S
Skiing straight down the fall-line with the
skis parallel. From the German word meaning
Slowing oneself when descending by the use
of poles as braking devices, or using some
other available device such as an ice axe.
Sequential leg movement
Moving the legs one at a time in sequence,
as opposed to moving them together, or
Machine-prepared tracks suitable for
cross-country skiing, sometimes referred to
as loipe. Not to be confused with trails,
which are merely defined paths that may be
Grip waxes with specific temperature ranges,
used primarily by racers for maximum
Tight-radius parallel turning, used mostly
in narrow gulleys, or steep slopes.
From the widest point of the front section
of the ski, known as the shoulder, to the
The amount of 'waisting' in a ski,
determined by the difference between the
widest (at both ends of the ski) and the
narrowest (in the mid-section) points of a
ski. See also waist.
Allowing the skis to slip sideways downhill,
either directly down the fall-line, or at an
angle to the fall-line.
Stepping (with skis parallel) either on the
flat, or up or down a hill.
See half skating.
Simultaneous leg movement
Moving the legs together at the same time,
as opposed to moving them one after the
other, or sequentially.
A ski with an even flex from tip to tail,
and can be either soft or hard.
The Scandinavian's preferred term for a
variation of two-skating.
A flat terrain or downhill turn, executed by
one or more skating steps towards the new
direction. It is considered an accelerating
turn, unlike step turning.
A collection of divergent ski techniques
where the skier pushes each ski to the side
and not directly backwards.
A more durable glide wax applied to the
running surface of skating skis.
Ski Boot Footbeds
Ski boot footbeds are inserts (orthotics)
molded to bring the load bearing parts of
the foot in sync with the gravitational
force of the skeletal system. A ski boot
footbed is molded from a semi-rigid material
which distributes the forces developed on
the foot during a ski turn.
A form of ski jumping where the distance
from take-off to the norm point is greater
than 90 meters.
A Nordic discipline in which jumps are made
from a specially-constructed jumping hill.
Points are awarded for distance and style.
Mountain-climbing in winter, using Alpine
skis (with special Alpine ski bindings which
allow a type of walking movement) where
In Europe this term refers to Ski
Mountaineering, but in most English-speaking
countries this term refers to backcountry
skiing - the use of Nordic skis for touring
away from resorts and set tracks.
A competitive event with a ski race, ski
jumping, and a slalom all in one race, and
using only one set of equipment.
The process of allowing (or forcing) a ski
to travel sideways over the snow in relation
to the direction of travel, as opposed to
These days they are a nylon substitute for
seal mohair, and are a strip of material
either strapped or glued to ski bases to
provide phenomenal grip for climbing.
Invented by Arnold Lunn from the Norwegian
word 'slalom', and to describe the method of
descending by running through a series of
gates (around poles or markers) set into the
A forward or backward movement of the skis,
with no skidding.
The point at which a slope noticeably
changes angle from either steep to gentle,
or vice versa.
The snow plow is one of the first techniques
a beginner skier learns. The front tips of
the skis are almost touching, which slows
the skier and helps maintain control.
The term often used to distinguish skating
on Nordic skis from that of ice skating.
Performing a snowplough glide with the
inside edges of the skis biting into the
snow to produce a braking force, and thus
Placing the skis in a convergent position,
and flat on the snow, whilst descending a
packed powder slope.
A snowplough glidewith weight-transfer onto
one ski and then the other, to produce a
series of controlled and stable turns. Known
as wedge turning in USA.
Speed skiing is the art of going downhill
through a straight measured course with the
object of attaining the highest speed
Something of little interest to the better
Also known as clock turning, this is a
linked series of step turns (either
convergent or divergent) on the flat to
change direction, lifting the tips or the
tails, or the whole ski.
Often referred to as survival skiing, using
turning techniques that ensure a safe
arrival at the bottom of the slope, but
should also be extended to include
techniques for climbing such slopes.
A rotation of the legs or body to produce a
turning force on the skis.
A skidding or sometimes stepping of the ski
out into a convergent position, resulting in
a situation where the stemmed ski is on its
Downhill turning in which the uphill, or
outside ski is angled out (either by lifting
or skidding), pointing more towards the new
direction, at the start of the turn.
A linked series of steps, by lifting one ski
from a parallel position (relative to the
other ski) to either a divergent or
convergent position, and then bringing the
remaining ski back to the parallel position.
Step Parallel turning
Parallel turning with one ski being lifted
out to a new parallel position, allowing a
greater turning force to be applied to the
skis. Often used when skiing through slalom
gates, or on difficult snow.
Step Telemark turning
Telemark turning with one ski being lifted
out into a telemark position, thus allowing
a greater turning force to be applied to the
skis. Also used in the same manner as
A weight-transfer from one ski to the other,
and lifting (stepping) one ski into a new
position before transferring weight again,
as opposed to skidding.
Stepping against the uphill ski
A weight-transfer from the downhill to the
uphill ski, which is on its downhill edge.
Descending directly down the fall-line with
A movement of sliding one ski forwards and
applying pressure onto it by a weight shift,
followed by a resultant glide.
A stride onto one foot, followed by a double
pole action. In its simpler form, this is
repeated onto the same foot each time, but
to balance the work performed by the legs,
alternate foot striding is used by advanced
The distance traveled between one stride and
the next (not the distance between each foot
in a given stride).