A carved turn is a skiing term, used to refer to a turning technique in which the ski shifts to one side or the other on its edges. When edged, the sidecut geometry causes the ski to bend into an arc, and the ski naturally follows this arc shape to produce a turning motion. The carve is very efficient and allows the skier to maintain their speed, unlike older techniques like the stem Christie and parallel turns based on stemming which can create significant drag.
The technique was not simple to learn before the introduction of "shaped skis" in the 1990s. Since then, it has become common to teach carving as a form of parallel skiing, as opposed to the "classic" parallel technique.
Modern downhill technique is generally a combination of carving and skidding, varying the ratio between the two when rapid control over the turn or speed is required. Nevertheless, pure carving and pure stemming are used in certain circumstances. Pure carving is a useful technique on slopes of moderate steepness and smooth snowâ€”"groomer carving" is widespread and there are skis dedicated to this style. However, competitive mogul skiing remains an almost pure parallel Christie technique, although the turn initiation is aided by the moguls themselves.