“Garlands are sometimes called “chicken out” turns because you aren’t fully turning in a new direction. You’ll get the feeling of doing a real parallel turn in a nice controlled rhythm without having to deal with picking up speed in the fall line. This is a real confidence builder for easing into the parallel turn.
Find a spot where you can do a nice long French Fries traverse without worrying about traffic from above. Ski across a slope with your uphill edges engaged so they are biting into the snow. Next, slowly get TALL, gently roll your ankles downhill, and release your edges. You’ll feel yourself starting to tip down the slope. This is how a parallel turn starts. Just let it happen as you gently guide your feet downhill.”
“No need to do everything at once. Spread your moves out over the whole turn. Turn your feet and legs little by little, move between TALL and SMALL the whole time. Tip on and off your edges bit by bit. Find a flow and soon it’ll feel smooth and graceful. When you feel good with the great big S turns try making snappy little s turns. You’ll probably find that small and medium turns (smedium) will control your speed the best, especially on steeper Blue runs.”
“Start out with nice wide graceful giant S curves on easy terrain. Remember all the basics: keep your hands out front, look where you’re going, get TALL at the beginning and SMALL at the end, balance over your outside ski, and use big toe-little toe to get the edges to bite the right amount. And smile!”
“It’s a great accomplishment when you can move beyond the Pizza wedge and start turning with French Fries. From here on out, you can use this advanced skill for pretty much all your skiing. If you have taken plenty of time to have fun with all the stuff up to this point, the parallel turn will come easily.”