How To Stop On Skis? – Beginners To Expert Guide

how to stop on skis

One of the essential things about skiing is knowing how to stop on skis. It might be easy for some people to generate plenty of speed when skiing. You could also understand how the slopes work. Yet, you need to understand the fundamentals of stopping. Knowing when and how to stop can save your life as well.

For beginners, skis can be hard to figure out. There are plenty of maneuvers and techniques that can be used for going over slopes and generating some additional speed. However, stopping with skis will be one of the most crucial skills you should learn. It is potentially the most important and one of the first things to invest time into.

If you are not sure about stopping with skis, this article is for you. There are plenty of techniques you could potentially follow, but we will look at some of the safest. This article aims to help you become a safe skier and understand some of the fundamentals of stopping. Safety is the thing we value the most when skiing.

Why You Need To Learn How to Stop on Skis

Ski slopes can be fun, and you will always have a great experience if you understand what you are doing. While it might be more daunting for some people to learn the ropes, stopping is one of the fundamentals you need to understand. There are a variety of different techniques, and these will all depend on the situation.

To be a better skier, it is best to have some basic knowledge of all these techniques. You might want to consider beginner techniques. You will eventually find yourself in some challenging situations. If you know to stop with different techniques, you should be able to get yourself out of every situation. Reducing speed also becomes easier.

skiier breaking on a steep slope

How to Stop on Skis –Top 3 Techniques

As mentioned, various techniques can be used for stopping on skis and you must have a good understanding of them all. The following section explores the top techniques the most skiers use, and we will look at how it works. It should make it possible for you to stop on your skis without hesitation:

1. The Snow Plough Method

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the snowplough method is one of the first methods that you will learn when it comes to stopping your skis. It is one of the easiest methods, and when it is executed correctly, you should not have any issues coming to a complete stop on your skis. You should be safe when stopping as well.

When performing the snowplough method, you will be creating a triangle with your skis. This means that you will be angling the front part of the skis to one another. Doing this creates a triangle. The triangle should ensure plenty of friction, and the abrasion will slow you down. It is one of the best methods for beginners to get started.

How to Use the Snow Plough Method

To ensure that you understand how the triangle method works, here is how you can use this technique efficiently:

  • Push the back of the skis outward: The best way to incorporate the snowplough method is to start by pushing the rear of the skis outward. By pushing them outward, you will be bringing the front of the skis together. Doing this will create a triangle.
  • Ride the resistance: Once you have mastered the triangle, you will feel some of the abrasion. The aversion will build up, and your speed should come down significantly with each yard.
  • Increase triangle size: As you become slower and slower, you might want to increase the size of the triangle. The bigger you make the size of the triangle, the more abrasion and better stopping will be created.

Common Mistakes Using This Method

Much like any other form of skiing, it will take some practice to master the technique efficiently. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid.

  • Leaning Back: While you will need to lean back, you should not lean back too much. Leaning back too much hinders the skis from creating friction.
  • Small Triangle: Unfortunately, the triangle is one of the essential parts. If the triangle you create is too small, it might not help you stop.
  • Using The Ski Poles: One of the worst things you can do is being stuck in with your ski poles. These might trip you up.
  • Steep Slopes: If the slopes are too steep, you might generate too much speed, and means that the snowplough method might not work for these situations.

Basic Tips to Master the Snow Plough Method

The snowplough technique is one of the top methods you can follow, and while it is for beginners, even experts can still use it. To master the snowplough method, you should start as soon as possible. This means that as the slope begins to flatten, you need to start implementing it. If you start early, you will be generating plenty of friction once you hit the flat sections.

2. Turning Across the Slope

The following method is a little more advanced. You will find that intermediate skiers use it more than the standard snowplough method. The technique is harder to master. However, once you master the technique, you should be able to easily maneuver around objects. It should also allow you to learn how to stop on skis.

To use this method, you need to understand the snowplough method and it will be the same as the snowplough method. However, you will be turning to one of the sides and allow the skis to dig in a little to ensure that you create some friction. The triangle from the snowplough method is still present and should be incorporated to create as much friction as possible.

How to Use This Method

To ensure that you understand how to use this method correctly, you should understand some of these steps to make it easier:

  • Start with the snowplough: It is vital that when you get started, you start with the snowplough method we learned as the first technique.
  • Create a large triangle: While going into the snowplough method, you should create a triangle as large as possible that keeps you in control.
  • Start turning: Next, you will need to start turning to one of the sides. You should consider the triangle you created as an arrow, and it should point in a direction to the side.
  • Dig in: Once you have one of the skis at the bottom and you have turned, you will need to dig in with the bottom ski. This will create some friction that will bring you to a stop.
  • Balance until you completely stop: Once you notice the friction created, you will start going slower. You should maintain your balance on the skis until you come to a complete stop.

Common Mistakes Using This Method

Unfortunately, you can make a few mistakes. If you want to turn across the slope for stopping, here are some mistakes you will need to avoid:

  • Weight Distribution: One of the biggest mistakes made by many beginners is the distribution of their weight. You should keep enough weight on the bottom ski. The pressure will create friction and bring you to a stop.
  • Leaning Back: It might feel natural to lean back. However, you should shift your weight forward to help you turn. When leaning backward, you might not have enough force to turn across the slope.
  • Using The Poles: Another common mistake is that individuals might feel more comfortable using their poles to turn, and this removes the control you have with your core and could lead to you falling.

Basic Tips to Master the ‘Turn Across Slope’ Method

If you want to come to a complete stop rapidly, you might need to consider practicing this method more than any other. However, you should use some common sense and understand that weight distribution is what allows you to create friction and brings the skis to a stop. You must spread the weight evenly.

Additionally, you might find that you don’t slow down fast enough. However, you will regain more control over the skis the better you become at stopping with your skis. If you feel that you need more friction, you can turn more. You might even be facing up the slope. However, it should be done with caution, and you need to be careful as you might tip over and fall the rest of the slope.

skiier breaking hard in deep snow

3. The Parallel Stop (Hockey Stop)

If you have ever wondered how to stop on skis like the professionals, this is the method you might need to consider practicing. The parallel stop is the fastest way to halt your skis when you are going down a slope. However, it is also one of the most demanding techniques that you can try to master. It is also perfect for turning.

When looking at the parallel stop method, you will notice how much friction you are generating. You should come to an immediate stop, but you need to place some emphasis on the positioning and where you might need to place your body. In essence, you will be turning horizontally on the slope and digging in the skis to come to a stop.

How to Use the Parallel Stop Method

Since this is one of the harder techniques, you will need some practice. However, here is how you can start doing it:

  • Turn your feet on the slopes: As you are coming down the slope, you will need to determine which way you want to turn. The goal is to simultaneously turn the skis to one side when they are flat in the snow.
  • Dig in the edges: Once you have turned, you want to dig in with both of your skis and you might want to lean back a little bit with your knees bent.
  • Shift your weight: As you start to slow down and regain some control over the skis, you want to shift your weight to the lower ski to compensate for not falling backward.

Common Mistakes Using This Method

While performing the parallel stop, you will notice there is no room for error. Mistakes might cost you and you need to be perfect:

  • Being Too Slow: Yes, for this method to work, you need to have plenty of speed. You will only fall over if you don’t have enough speed generated.
  • Leaning Back Too Much: Another issue is with people leaning back too much. By leaning back too much you won’t be able to shift your weight and you will fall over.
  • Not Keeping Your Body Straight: Finally, you will need some great core strength and you don’t want to shift your body too much to fall over.

Basic Tips to Master the Parallel Stop Method

There aren’t many tips that we could give to help you master the parallel stop method. It is important that you just keep practicing. One of the biggest issues we have seen with beginners is that they cannot generate enough speed to make the method work. You will need to generate enough speed if you want to do this method.


Skiing can be fun, but there are also plenty of dangers that you need to look out for. You must be confident in your skills before you try all of these stopping techniques. However, once you have mastered how to stop on skis with some of these top techniques, you will be more comfortable going at faster speeds and clearing obstacles. It might take some time and practice to find the one that suits you the most.

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