The Stem Christie
is a technique in skiing
for turning. It is a refinement of the basic stem
technique, where prior to the turn the uphill ski is stemmed
(tail skidded outward) from being parallel with the downhill ski to form a V shape.
The turn was named after Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway, where the name Kristianiasving was used for the parallel turn, differentiating it from the Telemark turn.
The technique was introduced to central Europe in 1910 by the Austrian ski guide Johannes Schneider. Along with the other two stem techniques, it formed the basis of his Arlberg technique and instruction method.
The technique was popular and widely used up until the late 1960s, when its use diminished in favor of the parallel turn, inspired mostly by ski racers. Radical side-cut skis, developed in the late 1990s, have accelerated the obsolescence of the Stem Christie.
It is still occasionally taught to intermediate and advanced skiers to demonstrate the difference in efficient movements with less efficient movements.
Uphill ski: is the ski that is in a position higher up the hill. Downhill ski: is the ski that lower on the hill. Outside ski: is the ski farthest from the center of the circle the skier is turning aboutInside ski: is the ski closest to the center of the circle the skier is turning about
Having brought the skis into the V shape mentioned above, more pressure is applied to the uphill (or outside) ski which causes the skier to turn in the other direction.
Once the turn has commenced, the new uphill ski is stepped (lifted and rotated) to be parallel with the stemmed ski as the turn is made so that at the end of the turn both skis are parallel and pointing in the new desired direction of travel.