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Getting up to speed in SL?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing 3 sl races this season. The first went well, the second so so, and the third today I felt that I just skied slow.

Today I was 1 sec behind the guy I was head to head with the first race.

 

What's the difference?

The first race was much straighter than the second and the third race. Easy course with high speed fits me.

Secondly, I've been trying to use a better line, and really visualize the course. To improve.

 

It seems to me like when I just carve adrenaline pumped, I go much faster even if I get one or two gates late, than if I try to ski cleanly and fast.

 

Is this normal? Should I just stop worrying about the line and make it or break it, or is there some way to get the better line working? Might it be that I'm worthless in stivoting that's the problem?

 

Happy for any insight.

post #2 of 9

It sounds like what you're doing is beer league racing.  Kind of a different animal than Masters SL, or FIS SL.  I've been racing Masters for 20 years, training 4 days a week plus races for most of that time.  It's only been last year and this year that I've really started to feel like I have my equipment setup, technique, and line going well in SL.  And it's only been this year that I've finally started skiing fast in SL.  If you're looking for a second in a beer league race, there's probably a lot of stuff that might produce short term results.  If you're trying to ski well in SL...well, that's probably a longer journey...

 

biggrin.gif

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi :)

 

Yes, beer league might be the correct term. It's a fun race kind of class mostly.

It's the district races that are being held in our part of the country, where we are racing in 3 different places. The classes are 0-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-. The last class is where the coaches and parents join the race.

There are both SL and GS. Some of the racers between 13 and 16 are quite good, placing decent in national races.

 

There's a masters series I'm tempted to join in on a couple of hours from here.

post #4 of 9

As I thought.  If you want to go faster in beer league whatever, the lowest hanging fruit on the tree is as follows:

 

- Spend some money on overlays.  If you have the fastest fluoro, it might make the difference. 

 

- Get some really long poles, and work on your start.  You can win a beer league race with a fast start. 

 

- Forget technique, go as straight as possible.  You'll get people who will disagree with this, but most beer league sets are pretty trivial...you won't see any flushes, delays, etc.  So just pull the pin and hope for the best. 

 

Masters SL, a whole different animal.  Now you need to be a ski racer, so get your equipment wired, spend a lot of time (including free skiing) working on technique under a good coach, and start working on SL tactics...

 

yahoo.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

Hi :)

 

Yes, beer league might be the correct term. It's a fun race kind of class mostly.

It's the district races that are being held in our part of the country, where we are racing in 3 different places. The classes are 0-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-. The last class is where the coaches and parents join the race.

There are both SL and GS. Some of the racers between 13 and 16 are quite good, placing decent in national races.

 

There's a masters series I'm tempted to join in on a couple of hours from here.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hmm strange. My impression has been that the waxing does surprisingly little. In fact, when I've been posting the best relative times I've been having a less stellar glide. But I might be wrong. Yesterday the course was really flat.

 

I do already have long poles both for GS and SL. And unfortunately the SL courses always contains flushes and delays. The GS courses are usually easier.

 

I do think that start technique is where I got properly beaten in GS yesterday, but my main problem in SL is in getting the angles early and minimize the skidding when I pivot. Especially problematic is long turns after doubles or triples. I think also that I stand up to much and dont get enough inside leg angle.

 

I'm going to snatch my wifes Rossi FIS SL 155 skis for next practice to see if they are noticably quicker from edge to edge than my B5i. They are same radius (11m)

post #6 of 9

Remember, we're talking about quick fixes in beer league racing, not figuring out how to ski fast in a 45 gate course with combinations on a steep, icy hill.  Wax won't make all that much difference, but it will make some difference, just as a speed suit will (4 to 6%).  If you have flushes and delays in SL, forget what I said about long poles.  In fact, if your poles are too long, this alone could be holding you back (can make you stand up too straight).  Just get a good start. 

 

Gear is really important, starting with boots.  If you're not fitted, and in the right boot, set up for your anatomy, doesn't matter what skis you're on. 165 cm. FIS legal is pretty much the only choice if you want to ski well in SL. Your wife's skis may help some in the short run, but, as I suspected, it's mostly technique.  You already know what the issues are...standing up too straight, not getting enough edge angle (and pressure, I suspect) early enough, making you skid, and probably making you low and late.  So there it is...you want to get faster, become a better skier...outside the course, and then bring it into the course.  You need to train, under a good coach, 2 to 4 days a week. This is a 2 to 5 year project, but it's worth it.  Remember that GS is the key to all the other events.  Go find some opportunities to train fast, full length GS (50 to 60 seconds) on a steep, icy, difficult hill.  It'll help your SL immeasurably...

 

cool.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

Hmm strange. My impression has been that the waxing does surprisingly little. In fact, when I've been posting the best relative times I've been having a less stellar glide. But I might be wrong. Yesterday the course was really flat.

 

I do already have long poles both for GS and SL. And unfortunately the SL courses always contains flushes and delays. The GS courses are usually easier.

 

I do think that start technique is where I got properly beaten in GS yesterday, but my main problem in SL is in getting the angles early and minimize the skidding when I pivot. Especially problematic is long turns after doubles or triples. I think also that I stand up to much and dont get enough inside leg angle.

 

I'm going to snatch my wifes Rossi FIS SL 155 skis for next practice to see if they are noticably quicker from edge to edge than my B5i. They are same radius (11m)

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Here's a video of the SL in the first race for reference.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/100316/slalom-ma-again-please

 

From there I have been working 3 days a week on getting forward and down. But it feels I'm going the wrong way.

 

See when I ride without gates, I can ski very wide, even with the pole handle in the snow, still countering. I can follow my own tracks for ride after ride. But if I place gates inside my tracks, I can't ride the same track if I look at the gates. It's like that when I try to arc a really tight turn, the ski stutters, but as soon as I'm outside the last gate I can tighten up and turn much tighter again without stutter or hesitation.

There's some blockage or something. There's easily one sec just in my head somewhere.

post #8 of 9

Actually, quite good skiing.  I can see some stuff that can make you faster; a lot of it comes from my own experience over the last two years, a lot of it comes from what our head coach in our Masters program has had us working on for the last two seasons.  He is the real thing as a ski racer (he's 43, the best tech skier in Rocky Mountain Masters, and also races FIS and has 50 FIS points in SL), and is also a great coach.  Send me a Private Message to skiracer55, and I will get you hooked up with my thoughts and his...

 

biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

Here's a video of the SL in the first race for reference.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/100316/slalom-ma-again-please

 

From there I have been working 3 days a week on getting forward and down. But it feels I'm going the wrong way.

 

See when I ride without gates, I can ski very wide, even with the pole handle in the snow, still countering. I can follow my own tracks for ride after ride. But if I place gates inside my tracks, I can't ride the same track if I look at the gates. It's like that when I try to arc a really tight turn, the ski stutters, but as soon as I'm outside the last gate I can tighten up and turn much tighter again without stutter or hesitation.

There's some blockage or something. There's easily one sec just in my head somewhere.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

This evenings testing restored my faith in my skiing. My wifes skis were simply astonishing. They are exactly the same radius, but turns in with less effort and being so light they were possible to toss around when I needed to tighten up a line.

I found them so inviting to push I booted out twice completely, sliding down a couple of gates and this is on a blue bunny hill.

 

One thing came to my mind that I'd like to hear some opinion on:

When I'm late in the gates at a race, I think I ski with a different line, changing edges earlier. I think that my edge set might occur right between gates when I'm late. But when I'm not late, it seems I delay the real angles until I'm closer to the gate. I think I'm afraid I'm going to turn right into the gate.

In order for me to arc a tight wide course, I felt I could do this if I changed strategy and tried to ski like if I was late.

It think I was successful because the inspected tracks looked rounder from start and I could do this for several runs. It felt strange just throwing the skis out when I wasn't late for the gate.

 

I'd be very happy to hear if someone else has had theese kind of experiences and could shed some light on the costs and the benefits.


Edited by Carl R - 2/1/11 at 4:00pm
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