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New to slalom

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

First year training slalom, I'm having a terrible time trying to keep my body facing downhill and letting my legs do the work.. I twist from the wait/hips? Also keeping my poles in front of me "Like I'm driving a car" throws me off quite a bit. I haven't learned to crossblock yet. My coach told me to take "a more athletic stance" but any tips would be great on how to embrace the course instead of flailing around in the ruts and turning my body with my skis.

Is this something you just catch on to or are there any miracle tips that can help prepare me for my race Saturday?

Thanks,

K

post #2 of 8

You have to get your skiing outside the gates wired first, then take it into a SL course. Good luck in your first race, but don't go in with any expectations...just get used to racing SL and take it from there...which will take time. I've been racing Masters for 25 years, all events, but it's only been the last couple that I've gotten comfortable going fast in SL. It'll take time.  Also watch some World Cup...especially the women, especially Mikela Shiffrin, who is skiing unbelievably well right now...and probably isn't much older than you are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaddicted View Post

First year training slalom, I'm having a terrible time trying to keep my body facing downhill and letting my legs do the work.. I twist from the wait/hips? Also keeping my poles in front of me "Like I'm driving a car" throws me off quite a bit. I haven't learned to crossblock yet. My coach told me to take "a more athletic stance" but any tips would be great on how to embrace the course instead of flailing around in the ruts and turning my body with my skis.

Is this something you just catch on to or are there any miracle tips that can help prepare me for my race Saturday?

Thanks,

K

post #3 of 8

Yep. Good advice from skiracer 55. You won't sort out basic skiing issues in the gates. Focused free skiing, then brushies, then back into it... and out as needed. 

 

It'd be cool if they could get some of that 4000 frame per second film of Mikaela's skiing. It really is mind blowing.

post #4 of 8

One prescription I've found that's almost always successful is to master hop turns (some call them x's).  Basically, it's a very athletic skill that shares many skill components with slalom, save for the speed.  To name a few, upper and lower body separation, brief high pressuring, timing, alignment, and as you say, upper body facing down the hill.  Many deficiencies, especially fore-aft ones, present in a technique are rather quickly revealed with this one.  It's also nice because you don't need an actual slalom course to develop a great deal of slalom skills.

post #5 of 8

Pole plant, pole plant, pole plant...

post #6 of 8

Good advice above from SR55 and markojp

 

Sounds like when you are in gates you are making most of the turn below the gate and once you get late like that it continues all the way down (been there too often :(  ).  When you  are training keep working on getting most of the turn pressure above the gate.  As you come through it you should be starting the switch.  

 

Also wrt crossblocking it is less about "learning" it than it is about getting your body positioned inside the gate and it just becomes a natural by product.  If you are not inside the gate and you try reaching to cross block you lose the pressure required on the ski.  

 

Stubbies and brushes can be of benefit in overcoming the initial mental block of getting the body across.  They don't work well for me personally as I need the muscle memory experience of driving through the full gate and using stubbies and brushes can sometimes lead you down a  path where you dont carry enough forward momentum through the impact but for the most part they are a good tool

 

And i also second the experience of SR55, it took me several seasons to make a breakthrough and get comfortable in SL gates.   Spent a long time still skiing it like the old bamboo.... :)

post #7 of 8

   Work outside the gates with your coach--try to get tour technique more dialed in (upper body rotation outside the gates, for instance, means even more in them) . Practice in the stubbys/brushes, watch LOTS of WC racer video, and DONT get discouraged in your first race! You just need some mileage, that's all. That's the best part about it...the more you learn...the more you WANT to learn biggrin.gif

 

    zenny

post #8 of 8

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rise To The Top View Post

Pole plant, pole plant, pole plant...

 

 

RTTT makes the point very pointedly. BTW so does SS

 

Cross block, will sort of occur correctly as your hand is coming forward to initiate the pole plant.  Don't worry about trying to force your hands forward, worry about the pole plant. 

 

My take on it is if you are missing it, your turn and timing is late in the gate.  The hardest thing to learn is turn a lot earlier than you would think is required. Most of turn is initiated and completed above the gate not at the gate. (Don't look at the skis but the body position, while the skis are doing the turning they are just following the body so to speak).

 

You will see this as the exit tracks are are already heading in a line well above the next gate (from the top skiers).

 

One of the things you see when skiers crash and burn in SL (applies to GS as well), is that the turns get later and later until the turn initiates just as the skier is reaching the gate and wipe-out occurs as the skier exits trying to tighten the turn (been there, done that, learned it the hard way, more than once frown.gif as I learned it on my own, no I didn't have a coach.  I also learned by the face method (no helmet/face guards back in day) one or two Bamboo gates in the face, gets your hand out pretty quick eek.gif and reinforces early turns.  I'm sure that comment will bring back some unpleasant memories for a few of the older skiers).

 

Go on youtube and watch both good runs and crashes.  The crashes actually show you what is wrong which is easier to see than when a skier skis perfectly (as you focus on the perfection and beauty of the turn and not the cause of perfection, well at least I do).

 

Side note, does anyone remember when they used Aluminum gates for a short period in the late 70's early '80 on some hills.  Oh did they hurt! Made Bamboo a pleasant experience.

 

Sorry realized a typo.


Edited by oldschoolskier - 1/17/13 at 8:32am
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