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How do you choose a line?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Looks like another post from 2002 on this topic has floated up - is this advice still relevant? (namely come in high)

 

I know nothing about line choice, despite completing the CSCF level 1 this year. Every time I've raced, I've just kind of "guessed" by taking the median of what everyone else has skied (the law of averages stating that the average response is typically among the most accurate. This applies in everything from jellybean counting to... .. well, so far, it's helped with my lines.).

 

But what's the optimal way to choose a line? I know you can come into a gate high or low, but... how do you know? And what's the optimal turn width? Are the principles the same or different between Super-G versus SL?

post #2 of 15

Generally, a centered line that puts the apex of the turn at the gate will be the fastest.  A high or low line will require you to ski a longer distance.

 

 A high line (apex above the gate) is generally a safer but slower line.  Use it for gates leading into rhythm and pitch changes, such as going onto a pitch from the flats.

 

A low line is equally slow to the high line, but more dangerous.  Get low and it's easy to blow out of the course, or have to check speed.  Sometimes it's useful, such as when coming off a pitch to carry speed onto the flats (if course set permits),,, and also almost always for the open gate before a delay gate.

 

A centered line can be straight or round.  Straighter is faster, as long as you can stay clean and not end up dropping the apex low.  Your skiing skills, and the course set, determine how straight you can go.  

 

All this stuff will be explained in great detail on my new "Intro To Racing" DVD, which is almost completed.  It has loads of drawing, graphics, and World Cup photos and video clips to help explain all the concepts of line.  

 

 

post #3 of 15

Hey Rick,

 

Don't want to step on any toes, so do you maybe want to explain the Rise Line concept to the OP?

post #4 of 15

Line should be tied directly to technique. As a (general) rule, the shortest line, skied cleanly, will be the fastest. The shortest line for you will be the line that requires you to make the tightest turns that you are able to make at each gate, meaning that your ideal line is going to be different than anyone else's, and will change as your skills change. If you go straighter than this optimal line, you will be unable to make the turn cleanly and will scrub speed/blow out. If you go too round, you are skiing farther than you need to.

 

 

Of course, such a lined matched with your best possible turns is the platonic ideal, and isn't really attainable. Perhaps it is best to think of this line as the upper limit. The best racers will stay as close to this limit as possible.

post #5 of 15

What they said...very good input in this thread.  I think Rick has provided the best short summary of line I've heard in a while, Atomicman is indicating that there's more detail to be had, and, as ausgeschieden indicates, there's the line we'd all like to ski vs. the one we're capable of.  Personally, I'd get Rick's Intro to Racing DVD...he knows his stuff, and it'll probably be the most comprehensive discussion you can fine...

 

biggrin.gif

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys! These ideas really help my mental model of how to approach gates. 

 

Rick, I hope you let us know when your racing DVD comes out. 

post #7 of 15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 

A low line is equally slow to the high line, but more dangerous.  Get low and it's easy to blow out of the course, or have to check speed.  Sometimes it's useful, such as when coming off a pitch to carry speed onto the flats (if course set permits),,, and also almost always for the open gate before a delay gate.

 

 

 


 

We call this a "deep" line, when a lower line is picked on purpose (i.e. not just a consequence of being late).  It's a tactical approach to certain course sections/sets (such as the examples you noted).  The other key characteristic of a deep line is letting the skis run in the fall line longer to gain speed, and when you think about this, you'll see that a deep line does carry risks.
 

 

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

Rick, I hope you let us know when your racing DVD comes out. 



I will.  

post #9 of 15
post #10 of 15

post #11 of 15
I want to add one thing to post #4 (nice post by the way)

Your ideal line will be different than anyone else's and will change as your skills change and your gear changes

Different skis will have a different turn radius and will be able to handle different lines differently than other skis.
post #12 of 15

Wow, that video above is freaking awesome....smile.gifsmile.gif

 

Thanks everyone for the input, it's great....

Rick give me a PM when your DVD is out, thanks...

post #13 of 15

Cool video!

 

Since I couldn't get Rick to chime in, I want to briefly come back to Rise Line. It is the one of if not the  most important element of skiing the line. . I really don't thnik this is over the OP's head and not that detailed.

 

The Rise Line is a conitinuation of the fall line up the hill from the turning poel wjre the fall line is down the hill from the turning pole.

 

Whether you are on a high line or a low line you must not start your turn until you've reached the rise line.  Many race teams train their young racers to identifiy the rise line with a marker placed

 

above each gate.

 

So, to help you ski a better line you must imagine and identify the rise line above the gate and have the discipline to begin your turn at the moment you inersect it.

 

I find most less experienced racers (I am one of them) tend too go to straight and get drawn too  direct to the gate, this is generally caused by impatience and not waiting for the rise line. It also

 

causes you to get very late and scrub speed instead of gaining speed to the next gate. You become defensive in the course instead of offensive.

 

You want to finish your turn around the gate and even better is skiing a bit from behind and finisihing just under the gate.

 

One other pointer that helped me quite a bit is that you need to be looking farther ahead! It is crucial. The gate after the gate you are skiing to is extremely important. The more that 2nd gate is

 

offset, the more you must point your tips away from the direction of the gate you are currently skiing to.

 

My other easily said but difficult to do advice ties in with this thought; ski thorugh the gate not to it!  This also goes hand in hand with extending your vision down the course farther!

 

DISCLAIMER!: ALL OF THE ABOVE IS EASIER SAId THEN DONE!

 

 


Edited by Atomicman - 5/14/11 at 8:12pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

Rick, I hope you let us know when your racing DVD comes out. 


Hi Metaphor.  My Introduction To Racing DVD is now done and for sale on my website.  Here's a link:  

 

http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/Learn_Alpine_Snow_Ski_Racing_by_DVD.html

 

And here's a picture of it.  

 

Introduction%20to%20Racing%20cover.png

 

post #15 of 15

June 16, 2011

 

Hi Racing Bears:

 

Great video and impressive skiing and racing.  Makes one wonder if the "chaser" with the video could "out race" Ted, since he/she was so tight on Ted's butt while shooting a video so he/she didn't have poles/arms to balance and/or to pole plant with.  Yea, yea, yea.  I know the chaser probably was going straight down the course and not making turns, but the speed which both of them were going is kind of scary eek.gifnonono2.gif.  

 

Hi Rick:

 

As SR55 said:  Great summary of line.icon14.gif

 

Hi augeschieden:

 

I really enjoyed how you described "best" racers:   "... Perhaps it is best to think of this line as the upper limit. The best racers will stay as close to this limit as possible". Thinking about it, that's what it is all about, doing the best you canicon14.gif.  So in some sense, we can all obtain "Best racer" status, only we will have "slower lines" to stay close tobiggrin.gif.

 

Think snow,

 

CP
 

 

 

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