Kick turn

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A kick turn is a survival turn for skiers. It is a way to turn to face the opposite direction while stationary on the snow. If done correctly it is rock solid, and can be used to turn on slopes of almost any steepness. It is useful if you find yourself outside your comfort zone and are using sideslips or a series of traverses to get to somewhere happier.

To perform the turn stand with your skis across the fall line. Lift your downhill ski, and rotate it through 180 degrees. Put it down parallel and below the uphill ski. This sounds impossible, but it is surprisingly easy unless you are completely inflexible. Stick the tail in the snow, and let it flop around. The tip of the rotated ski will be in the vicinity of the tail of the old uphill ski. Lift the old uphill ski, rotate it through 180 degrees and put it down again. You will have reversed direction and can head off for a new traverse.

Demonstration