It’s happened to the best of us – you’re shredding down the hill and suddenly you catch an edge skiing and fall down face first. It’s not a fun experience, and it can really put a damper on your day. So how can you not catch an edge skiing?
In this post, I’ll go through what catching an edge means in skiing and why you catch an edge. Plus, I’ll give you some tips on how to avoid catching an edge while skiing.
What Is Catching An Edge In Skiing?
Catching an edge is a common slang among skiers, when an edge of the ski digs into the snow and loses control over turning (kind of locked) as you desire.
The skier is most likely to lose balance and fall after catching an edge. Your legs will go in different directions and there is no way to stop or regain control. It is more safe to intentionally fall down rather than trying to fight and get yourself injured.
Not only beginners but even the pros who know how to parallel ski, often face this annoying and dangerous situation while skiing. If you are skiing with friends or other skiers, they might collide with you.
Worst case is getting yourself injured, especially your knees and ankles. (Read if you can ski with fused ankle here)
Why Do You Catch An Edge?
There are several reasons for catching an edge while skiing. Here are the most common ones:
Technique And Balance
The most probable cause would be your movement technique and balance. If you are trying to turn without the correct angle and timing, the skis will get out of control quickly.
Also while adjusting speed on slopes, the weight distribution on skis needs to be precise. If you put more weight to the front, there is a chance to catch an edge.
Quick Or Sharp Turns
Sudden changes of the path can be another reason. When you are going down the slope at a normal speed and unexpectedly there is an obstacle or a hard turn in the way.
The skier will panic and try to change the direction quickly, causing the skis to dig into the snow and get stuck.
Ski Edges Too Sharp
Some experienced skiers claim that there is a possibility of catching an edge if your skis have sharper edges.
That can be true because it is more likely for the skis to go through and dig the snow with sharp edges. (Think of a sharp knife vs a blunt knife cutting through bread).
Just like rust on ski edges is bad, super sharp ski edges are bad too.
How To Avoid Catching An Edge Skiing
Here are some tips to avoid catching an edge while skiing.
Firstly, you need to get your stance correctly and balance your body on the skis. This will require patience and a lot of practice which you will gain with time.
A wider,balanced stance with slightly bent knees help to get more control over turning the skis. Distributing body weight accordingly is another useful method to evade catching edges while turning.
It is also important to have a good understanding of your path. When you know the route well, such as where the hard turns are and where the slopes are steep, it is easier to get ready. The more you get familiar with the path, it is less likely to do unexpected turns and catch an edge.
If your skis are new and have sharper edges, you might consider detuning it. That means dulling the flat part at the nose and tail of a ski where it contacts the snow. This will give the skis better contact with the surface and avoid unexpected sliding. But if you have no idea on this it is better to get an expert’s help to detune.
Catching an edge is a typical incident that happens to skiers, when the skis suddenly get stuck into the snow while trying to change the direction. You will eventually lose control and fall down.
There are few reasons why this happens, such as lack of experience, wrong ski techniques and quick turns. Plus, the condition of the ski equipment plays a role in catching edges. With better practice and understanding of the path, you can avoid catching edges while skiing.
If you are still a beginner and feel like you need more advice and training, do not hesitate to seek help from an experienced coach or a friend.