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# Test Time - Page 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

No, I'd not say he was late.  He apexed the turn before this one right at the gate, he didn't come out of it low.

Having an apex of the turn right at the gate is a definition of being late. In the optimal racing line, most of the turning should be accomplished above the gate, not right at it.

P.S. To pre-empt further confusion, "apex" in ski racing is a misnomer, since, unlike in road racing, in skiing there is no road boundary. If one insists on using "apex", it should be defined as the "point in the turning trajectory with the smallest radius" (the proper term for which is actually "vertex", not "apex"). (Ironically, the original photo in the thread was taken in another vertex, this time in the point of trajectory with the largest radius, i.e. "transition")

Perhaps one needs to refresh on the basics of racing (and geometry) before we are presented with more of such "tests".

Edited by rush614 - 4/16/11 at 3:16pm

To those who read Rush's post, and feel a bit confused:

The apex of a turn is the point at which 1/2 of the total direction change of a turn is compete.  It also represents the outer most point in the arc.  Anything other than having the apex at the gate will usually be a slower line, because it moves the apex further out to the side, requiring the racer to travel a longer distance.  This is just as true for the high line, where the majority of turn is completed before reaching the gate, as it is for a low line, where the bulk of the turn is completed after the gate.

Here's a montage of how it should be done, with the apex right at the gate:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet

Originally Posted by Rick

No, I'd not say he was late.  He apexed the turn before this one right at the gate, he didn't come out of it low.  He simply came into this gate on a straight line that would make arc to arc impossible, and a pivot the only option.  There was a lot of offset, and if arc to arc were even possible, which I doubt, it would have required a much rounder line, which means turning out of the falline more, which means slowing yourself down.  Straight and pivot is often faster than round and clean.  That's why we see so much pivoting going on in World Cup slalom.  Here's another montage of it, by one of the best in the World.

Rick,

As these racers slide out to the side after these pivots, do they actively DO something to convert the slide into a carve?

In other words, do they actively move in some particular way to stop the slide and re-engage the skis?  If so, what do they do?

Or do the skis engage by themselves when enough speed is dumped, and the racer is predicting when this will be and adjusting the rate of that dump accordingly?  If that''s the case, how do they do that?

It's really just a edge control and feel, skill level thing, LF.  Hard to provide a step by step analysis of how it's done, as there's so much fine motor skill involved.  The better a racer is, the faster they can do it, and with less speed loss.  All the foundation edging skills/drills lead to a better ability to do this.  The sideslips, pivot slips, falling leafs, engage/release traverses, skid angle drills, all that stuff.   It helps develop the fine edge control skills required to feather well.  Then it's a matter of learning to time the pivot move properly too, which is where much of the problem lies when too much skid time happens.  if you pivot too early, you have no choice but to prolong your skid time, as you wait to get to the gate where you can begin to engage your carve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

The apex of a turn is the point at which 1/2 of the total direction change of a turn is compete.  It also represents the outer most point in the arc.  Anything other than having the apex at the gate will usually be a slower line, because it moves the apex further out to the side, requiring the racer to travel a longer distance.  This is just as true for the high line, where the majority of turn is completed before reaching the gate, as it is for a low line, where the bulk of the turn is completed after the gate.

Here's a montage of how it should be done, with the apex right at the gate:

Every sentence in the above paragraph is wrong. And the Ligety's photo clearly shows most of the turn completed above the gate, with the "apex" over a meter higher than the gate.

Hence my comment about maybe going back to revisit the basics. You see, spamming bunch of WorldCup photos is rather easy, interpreting them correctly, that is actually the difficult part.

So is this guy is late Rush? The apex seems to be slightly below the gate. Care to tell this guy how to ski a better line? He seems to be on line to me.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/16/11 at 5:57pm

Quote:Originally Posted by Rick

Snowfan, you may not have known the terminology, but you got the answer right anyway.  Cool.

It really was a guess but I am starting to see what the terminology represents. If someone asked me to define a pivot, brush, feather I could not. I'm beginning to get angulation, inclination, apex, vertex and several others partly or well understood.

It's very enjoyable for me to explore and correlate the feel and/or movement to the definition, it helps alot in developing my understanding. I'll be focusing on this stuff next time I ski or race, instead of just blasting down the mountain or running my mouth as if I knew what I was doing.

I need to learn to control my speed efficiently, earlier. I often arc to arc until I cannot maintain the arc due to speed...that's when I should pivot, right? ...before skidding out and abruptly losing speed that can then not be recovered.

Running gates on Monster 82's might be part of the problem (slower edge to edge?). I've got new boards on the way.

The Race Camp was my second 'lesson' in 30 years. That, and threads like this, are upping my game.

Only 7 1/2 months before racing resumes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

So is this guy is late Rush? The apex seems to be slightly below the gate. Care to tell this guy how to ski a better line? He seems to be on line to me.

Yes, Raich is late on the red gate. Note the "stepping" motion he does in the 12th frame trying to get back on the line (he manages to catch up somewhat, he is a decent position on a bottom blue gate).

As to the "how to ski a better line"... If am not mistaken, this is Golden Eagle Jump section in Beaver Creek, perhaps some of the toughest sections in GS circuit. It is virtually impossible to execute a perfect line in this section. Raich made a slight mistake and setup an exit a little too straight after the blue gate (note his skis pointing right at the red gate in frame 4). He immediately reacted though and did a good job to get high enough to limit the damage (note him trying to "climb" with left arm and correct the line in frame 5).

Here is a better line executed by Maier in slightly easier section, couple of gates lower, in the same course. Compare the direction of skis of Raich exiting in frame 4 (straight at the red gate) and Maier in frame 2 (pointing away from the red gate, toward the "apex"). Raich is late and has to wave arms and do all kinds of stepping motions to correct. Maier is light on line.  Also compare the bend of the outside ski in Raich's frame 11 and Maier's last frame (as they are both in the same position, exiting the red gate).

Edited by rush614 - 4/16/11 at 7:01pm

Aare 2006 and BC. I see your point about the arm in frame 5 but at frame 12 the inside ski seems to track without any lateral displacement so are you saying he's shifting weight to it (ILE)? The resolution is pretty bad but the skis seem to be converging slightly from 11 through 13. The outside ski is bent so it's doing a lot of weight bearing until frame 13 but it doesn't seem to be tracking as cleanly as the inside ski. As far as Maier is that outside tip bouncing off the snow in the last frame? Raich seems to be lower to the ground as well. That why it's so hard to compare two different turns in two different races.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

Aare 2006 and BC. I see your point about the arm in frame 5 but at frame 12 the inside ski seems to track without any lateral displacement so are you saying he's shifting weight to it (ILE)? The resolution is pretty bad but the skis seem to be converging slightly from 11 through 13. The outside ski is bent so it's doing a lot of weight bearing until frame 13 but it doesn't seem to be tracking as cleanly as the inside ski.

As I said, Raich was late on the red gate and in frame 11 he tries to get back on line by aggressively pushing against the outside ski, with weight on the ball of the foot. As a result, front of the outer ski bends and it starts to converge with inside one. Inside ski "tracks cleanly" because there is little weight on it. Raich is less concerned with clean tracking, this is a very steep section, getting back on the optimal line ASAP is more important than maintaining a clean edge. Once he is satisfied with his new trajectory, he starts transferring weight on the inside ski (which is under him in frame 13), while the outside ski completes its comeback. In frame 14 he is in good neutral position, but he did lose some time here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

As far as Maier is that outside tip bouncing off the snow in the last frame?

No, it is not bouncing. Maier is exiting the turn with weight on his heels, with back of both skis loaded and accelerating him out of the turn. Take a look at the frame 2, as Maier exits blue gate. Weight on heels, equally distributed, fronts of the skis straight and off the snow.

This is a typical position for him, it was one of the reason he was so fast. Partially because he was so physically strong, he could "ride out" tails of both skis without being thrown back. But mostly because he was doing most of the turning above the gate and was free to accelerate right after it, with little to no correction of the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

Raich seems to be lower to the ground as well. That why it's so hard to compare two different turns in two different races.

Raich is generally lower to the ground at the exit, that's just how he is. Here, I'll make you life easier. Raich, same course, same race, same gate as Maier. Some small individual differences, but overall, quite similar, i.e. most of the turn is above the gate.

As a said, anyone can spam photos, seeing what's going on, that's another story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rush614

Yes, Raich is late on the red gate. Note the "stepping" motion he does in the 12th frame trying to get back on the line (he manages to catch up somewhat, he is a decent position on a bottom blue gate).

As to the "how to ski a better line"... If am not mistaken, this is Golden Eagle Jump section in Beaver Creek, perhaps some of the toughest sections in GS circuit. It is virtually impossible to execute a perfect line in this section. Raich made a slight mistake and setup an exit a little too straight after the blue gate (note his skis pointing right at the red gate in frame 4). He immediately reacted though and did a good job to get high enough to limit the damage (note him trying to "climb" with left arm and correct the line in frame 5).

Here is a better line executed by Maier in slightly easier section, couple of gates lower, in the same course. Compare the direction of skis of Raich exiting in frame 4 (straight at the red gate) and Maier in frame 2 (pointing away from the red gate, toward the "apex"). Raich is late and has to wave arms and do all kinds of stepping motions to correct. Maier is light on line.  Also compare the bend of the outside ski in Raich's frame 11 and Maier's last frame (as they are both in the same position, exiting the red gate).

I fail to see why a rounder line would be faster for Raich. In fact, Blardone who won this run had a straighter and slightly faster line than Raich.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamt

I fail to see why a rounder line would be faster for Raich. In fact, Blardone who won this run had a straighter and slightly faster line than Raich.

I said that Raich was late, not that he was too round. The fact that Blardone won the run is irrelevant, unless you have full slow-mo footage of both Raich and Blardone and we can do turn-by-turn analysis.

The fact is, round is almost always slower than straight, if a racer has the ability to stay clean in the carve through the smaller radius that a straight line requires.  Raich came into that gate on a fast (straight) line, centered the apex well (at the gate), but simply was not able to stay clean through the bottom of the turn.  If you want to win that's the line you have to go for, because the rest of the first seed will be too, and the winners will stay clean while doing it.

Getting the bulk of the turn done before the gate is almost always slower than centering the apex at the gate.  It requires a racer to travel further, and to turn more out of the falline.  It's old school advice given to kids with lower level skills, as a way to stay on a safe line.  Safe is not fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rush614

Quote:

I said that Raich was late, not that he was too round. The fact that Blardone won the run is irrelevant, unless you have full slow-mo footage of both Raich and Blardone and we can do turn-by-turn analysis.

I did not say that you said his line was too round. Quite the contrary, you talked about the direction of the skis and showed a rounder line by Maier. My interpretation of that was that you thought that a rounder line would be faster.

Here you have footage to analyze:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan

It really was a guess but I am starting to see what the terminology represents. If someone asked me to define a pivot, brush, feather I could not. I'm beginning to get angulation, inclination, apex, vertex and several others partly or well understood.

It's very enjoyable for me to explore and correlate the feel and/or movement to the definition, it helps alot in developing my understanding. I'll be focusing on this stuff next time I ski or race, instead of just blasting down the mountain or running my mouth as if I knew what I was doing.

I need to learn to control my speed efficiently, earlier. I often arc to arc until I cannot maintain the arc due to speed...that's when I should pivot, right? ...before skidding out and abruptly losing speed that can then not be recovered.

Running gates on Monster 82's might be part of the problem (slower edge to edge?). I've got new boards on the way.

The Race Camp was my second 'lesson' in 30 years. That, and threads like this, are upping my game.

If you find you are losing the line and ending up low for the next gate, you're probably coming in too straight.  You have a couple options to resolve the problem: 1) Turn a little rounder, and start your turn sooner, still keeping the turn arc to arc.  2) If the course is so steep and turny that arc to arc is not feasible, run a straightish line and pivot.

How straight of a line you're able to run and keep it arc to arc is very much governed by how high an edge angle you can create and turn well with.

You're right, those Monster 82's are not the premium tool for the task.

If you run into some terminology snags, here's a resource for you:  http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Glossary.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt

I did not say that you said his line was too round. Quite the contrary, you talked about the direction of the skis and showed a rounder line by Maier. My interpretation of that was that you thought that a rounder line would be faster.

Here you have footage to analyze:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/articles/extension-retraction-SR3-07.pdf

What the footage shows to me is that Blardone went even straighter than Raich and, as a result, ended up even lower after the red gate. But Blardone is smaller, lighter and quicker than Raich, so he managed to get forward even faster (compare arm positions of Blardone and Raich in the third frame from the bottom).

0.07 sec difference can be due to wax choice.

I dont race but what i would do is get weight to the inside edge of the outside ski while trying to keep a high edge angle to promote a sharper turn.( knees & hips I would angle in to turn while upper body angle to outside of turn)

I would also want more weight @ tip of ski @ begginning of turn. The body taking a shorter path then the skis puts more weight on ski tip @ beginning of a turn. (really notice it on short turns) Knees forward & shoulders over knees stacked position

I like the A / B comparison JamT. Higher and rounder didn't make much difference through the red gate but slowly Blardone creeps ahead slightly by the blue gate, even though both he and Raich ski almost the same line. I did notice Blardone's line is slightly lower at frame 13 but by frame 14 they are on exactly the same line with Blardone maybe as little as an inch or two ahead. By the exit from last the blue gate Blardone seems to have increased his lead to about six inches. So how did that occur if their moves were nearly identical from frame 14 on? I suspect it has more to do with what occured around frame 12. Was it a function of Raich moving his body uphill at frame 12 and very slightly decreasing his forward momentum? Was it Raich's outside ski not maintaining a clean edge and causing him to slow down ever so slightly? Was it Blardone's ever so slightly lower line in frame 13? I suspect it's a combination of the first two since their lines are so similar.

Am I incorrect in thinking that you can have the same size and shape turn and be early or late?  Early, to me, is where I bend the ski in the turn and if I want to do it above the gate I have to have everything else in place as well (counter, etc.)   Also, it is a lot easier and probably faster for most of us to go straighter if you are too early vs. turn more if you are too late.

Straight line vs round line

Round and Early/Late is not the same. You can ski round but not being early or late. At pro level skiers ski round and a they are usually a bit late. At amateur level its better to be a bit early.

Pivot

When looking for pivots and brushed turns pay close attention to how much tipping is going on. Not much. The more a skier is tipped the less likely it is that he is pivotting. If you contrast the photos I posted earlier to the ones Rick eventually did you can see the difference between initiating a clean turn entry or a pivot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster

Am I incorrect in thinking that you can have the same size and shape turn and be early or late?  Early, to me, is where I bend the ski in the turn and if I want to do it above the gate I have to have everything else in place as well (counter, etc.)   Also, it is a lot easier and probably faster for most of us to go straighter if you are too early vs. turn more if you are too late.

That's right, CrudBuster.  Draw a course on a piece of paper, then draw a high line through it.  You can take that same line and slide it down the paper (down the course), and it will become a low/late line.  You can't do the same if you draw a round line with apex at the gate though.  If you slide that line up or down the course it won't make the gates.  That's why you can't just ski a higher line without having to also ski wider.

Tdk6 is right.  Round vs straight does not address high vs low vs centered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

Tdk6 is right.  Round vs straight does not address high vs low vs centered.

I agree that there is not a one to one correspondence, but as you wrote in your earlier post, if you come in late (low) chances are you had a too straight line between the gates.

In GS if you are early you most likely will not be able to commit to the turn with the same intencity as if you are just on time or a bit late. The problem with being late is that you panic. Usually if you are late if you just keep your cool and stay on a clean line chanses are you are not going to loose that much time because you are fast. However, the real problem with being late is that it late adds at every gate. This is a problem to skiers that are trying to carve cleanly every turn. Its better to tweek your line every once in a while.

I think that mr Reich line in the GS montage is as close to perfect you can get. See how he committed to the turn at the red gate and look at his edge angles and how low to the snow his hips are.

Cannot be edge to edge as both skis are off the snow.

The anticpation of the upper body and leg retraction leads me to look for a pivot

Not sure what you mean by brushed or pushed, but if the edge angle/ snow sheer strength/leg strength of the skier are in adequate this could happen at the completion of the pivot.

The fact that he is in the air does not mean that he cant make an arc to arc clean transition and turn entry. But you are right that the big ammount of anticipation will have a strong desire to unwind and cause a pivot once the skis come off the snow. Insted of bringing the hips accross the skis he recenters his skis under his hips. At the same time the skis pivot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt

I agree that there is not a one to one correspondence, but as you wrote in your earlier post, if you come in late (low) chances are you had a too straight line between the gates.

Yep, you're right, Jamt.  Come in too straight on a gate and the result is ending up with the turn drifting low.  Too straight can come from not having the skill to pull off the turn, or the course set just not allowing for such a straight line.   That's an important thing (the connection between straight and low) to point out, Jamt,  and I'm glad you did.

What I was trying to highlight with my statement was the fact that a turn with the apex centered on the gate can be straight or round, with the straight being the faster alternative if the racer can keep the apex at the gate while doing it.  Same with a high (safe) line.  It can be round or straight.  The rounder you turn, the higher up the hill you cross the rise line.  The rise line is an imaginary line that projects out of the gate and up the falline.  And,,, the rounder you turn, the earlier you have to initiate it, and the longer you have to continue turning after passing the gate.

BTW,,, round and straight lines are not 2 distinct options.  They're simply terms that represent opposite ends of a spectrum of line possibilities.

Edited by Rick - 4/18/11 at 11:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6

The problem with being late is that you panic. Usually if you are late if you just keep your cool and stay on a clean line chanses are you are not going to loose that much time because you are fast.

At the Epic race camp we had at Breckenridge this season this is one of the things I worked on with my students.  I actually had them intentionally skiing a low line, with the objective being to have them desensitize to the innate "panic" reaction, and instead learn to just relax and ride it out, holding the carve.

Edited by Rick - 4/18/11 at 11:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom

Cannot be edge to edge as both skis are off the snow.

The anticpation of the upper body and leg retraction leads me to look for a pivot

Not sure what you mean by brushed or pushed, but if the edge angle/ snow sheer strength/leg strength of the skier are in adequate this could happen at the completion of the pivot.

Hi, uboom.  By now you've probably paged down to the answer and discovered that you got it right.  Well done!  So far the campers are acing the test!

Brush/push is redirecting the skis while they're weighted.  It's a much slower way to redirect the skis than an unweighted pivot, because of the extra sideways skidding time involved.  In the test photo the skis are off the snow, so brush/push was not happening, it was an obvious pivot because the skis were unweighted.  When you have to redirect through the transition, pivoting is the fast way to do it, brush/push is slow.  Retraction creates the needed unweighting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

At the Epic race camp we had at Breckenridge this season this is one of the things I worked on with my students.  I actually had them intentionally skiing a low line, with the objective being to have them desensitize to the innate "panic" reaction, and instead learn to just relax and ride it out, holding the carve.

Here's another shot to look at.  It's of Kasper Nolan, a young US Ski Team skier who shows talent in a slalom course, to a level I haven't seen in a US racer for some time.

At this point, I'm sure those who participated in this thread will be able to see that a pivot is about to happen.  Kasper had a big break out season this year by learning to get more aggressive and straighten his line.  Part of that line change of course involved having to do more pivoting.  Watch the following run, in which he employs a ton of pivots, and uses anticipation to do so.

Great video. Kasper seems cleaner, quieter than the other two guys. In the slo-mo at 3:03 it appears as though a huge amount of speed is lost. What do you call that? Overturning????

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