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Differences in GS technique

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

As this came up in another thread and I have certain gaps in understanding, can someone with serious racing/coaching background please contribute in summarizing differences in GS technique, specifically in gates, as compared to SL.

 

By SL technique, I specifically mean these points:

skis are turned by lower legs tipping them under a stable upper body

flexing to release is preferred, (large?) up movements are not

upper body facing down the slope for the most part, resulting in strong counter-action and angulation

upper body travels down the slope without extension, in the midlde of the corridor

 

Here's a great video, purposefuly of non-racing SL turns that emphasize the above points:

 

 

and here is a GS explained video to get us going (perhaps choosing Ted not the best idea for a discussion between mortals):

 

 

pretty please?

post #2 of 16

I certainly do not have the background you seek, but isn't the radius of the GS ski now roughly 3x that of the slalom ski?  That alone should explain for the difference in technique.  A 40m radius is pretty straight, and those GS skis have to be bent a lot to carve those turns.  That isn't going to happen by just rolling knees.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good point - so here's a further clarification:

 

A. There is clearly a difference when the skis cannot be bent in the radius of the set (rule of thumb vertical distance equals radius of ski), so lesser skiers (i.e. mortals) steer more than carve, speed-controlling stivots notwithstanding.

 

B. However, let's focus on the simpler case of a masters' or U14's 19m ski in a 22m set - this can be "carved cleanly", but how should his technique/approach differ from SL?

 

thanks

post #4 of 16

Hi Razie, 

 

Here are my thoughts based on what I got out of our course as a failure of a SL race coach and a barely passable GS coach 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by razie View Post
 

As this came up in another thread and I have certain gaps in understanding, can someone with serious racing/coaching background please contribute in summarizing differences in GS technique, specifically in gates, as compared to SL.

 

By SL technique, I specifically mean these points:

skis are turned by lower legs tipping them under a stable upper body - SAME, in both cases steering happens by tipping and turning (pressuring front of ski)

flexing to release is preferred, (large?) up movements are not - My impression, not from the course but elsewhere, is the release ideally happens by letting centre of mass move downhill through tipping; flex to release versus extend to release affect pressure generation, both can be situationally useful in GS or SL. If you must always extend to release, something's broken in the mechanics, same if you must always flex to release

upper body facing down the slope for the most part, resulting in strong counter-action and angulation - SAME in both, I think of this idea as coiling

upper body travels down the slope without extension, in the midlde of the corridor - You extend through the start of the turn to generate force in SL and GS. Your centre of mass generally won't stay in the absolute middle of the corridor in GS since the corridor's so much wider :) the skier's upper body moves downhill ahead of skis at the start of the turn. 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Overall, I am satisfied with flexing to release, in both GS and SL - I don't feel like I need to push much. Also, a light touch at the beginning of the turn, not really pushing against that - I can explain that as more like counteracting the skis into the snow as opposed to hard edge set, if that makes sense. Sure, some turns I screw up and have to push early and reach out and forward to get ahead of the skis or get setup better for what's coming in SL (like the exit of a flush or something), but on the average I look for pressure in the fall line, maybe pushing against that to get the body across the hill.

 

Turns are started in both cases with tipping of the foot and my new found focus on and pulling back of the inside foot at the beginning of the turn (and throughout) is followed religiously in both SL and GS as is tipping it. I am not conciously throwing my body ahead and letting it pull the skis or tipping them... not as far as I can tell.

 

As I started my masters training, in SL, I am a few seconds faster on course than last year (when I couldn't really ski but pretended to, heh). I am very low on average - so much so that I ended up cross-blocking some stubies at the last set (and promptly wiped out into a fence, heh).

 

I don't see a big difference in GS versus SL technique - not really that I am aware. I mean the timing is obviously different, there's a bigger arc and you need to draw out the transition to really get the skis across the hill, but other than that I have the same movement pattern.

 

The patience required in GS is killing me. Yes, you do get low and compact at the gate and then rather "extend" I guess back to normal, but that's mostly with the arms...?

 

I am a lot more aware of the counter-acting than in SL. I mean in SL the momentum pretty much makes counteracting "natural" but in GS, due to the long drown aut movements, you have to counteract (coil) quite conciously and keep your upper body angulated and counteracted forcefully while say coming under the gate or gliding/floating across the hill. The results of coiling are also more pronounced, as is the "pinch" of the middle body.

 

I was indeed taught at a (that) course to get a more pronounced "up and forward move" followed by getting small at the gate in GS. I don't quite understand how that helps me, but it does - is it possible for it to be a timing device? I do use it to "stomp" on the skis on the way down but it feels like I can do without almost as well.

 

Haven't been in GS gates since and didn't get many chances to ski GS since I have to use the short skis to demo stuff on a daily basis...

post #6 of 16

I hope I can make this understandable.

 

With slalom turns, at the transition, the path of your CM and the path of the skis can be really divergent. It's OK because as soon as your CM is below your skis the skis tip on edge and with some early (turn initiation) extension, you can make the skis come around and get back under your CM. Actually, the skis will cross under your CM and diverge the other way.

 

GS skis react to slowly to get away with that. You have to get the paths of your CM and the skis more aligned. I, personally, prefer to finish a GS turn by doing a strong push on the LTE of the inside ski while simultaneously bringing the outside hip forward. It's a quick, impulsive movement that gets my CM and skis moving on similar paths. The final part of the turn is to relax the legs just enough to let the energy in the skis release so my CM moves across the path of the skis.

 

If you're having trouble with patience at the start of your GS turns, I think it might be the result of not finishing your turns lined up. To put it another way, with GS turns, you should be able finish a turn and just go straight. If you're using the end of one turn to throw you into the beginning of the next turn you're going to run into situations where you feel like there's nothing to push against at the start of your turns.

 

for clarity: CM = center of mass

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:

GS skis react to slowly to get away with that. You have to get the paths of your CM and the skis more aligned.

 

 

yeah - I like that - paints a good picture - thanks. The forward movement of the body is less pronounced as well, compared to the movement across the hill, since you're moving from outside of the gate to the outside of the next gate, rather than through between the gates. cool.

 

Quote:

If you're having trouble with patience at the start of your GS turns, I think it might be the result of not finishing your turns lined up. To put it another way, with GS turns, you should be able finish a turn and just go straight. If you're using the end of one turn to throw you into the beginning of the next turn you're going to run into situations where you feel like there's nothing to push against at the start of your turns.

 

 

Indeed, I have the biggest issues with patience or timing on the first few runs after switching to the longboards...

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroEric View Post
 

 

 

for clarity: CM = center of mass

 

For more clarity: LTE = ???

 

Sorry for noob question.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post
 

 

For more clarity: LTE = ???

 

Sorry for noob question.

 

Sorry about that.

 

LTE = Little Toe Edge

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 

Good point - so here's a further clarification:

 

A. There is clearly a difference when the skis cannot be bent in the radius of the set (rule of thumb vertical distance equals radius of ski), so lesser skiers (i.e. mortals) steer more than carve, speed-controlling stivots notwithstanding.

 

B. However, let's focus on the simpler case of a masters' or U14's 19m ski in a 22m set - this can be "carved cleanly", but how should his technique/approach differ from SL?

 

thanks

 

The biggest difference IMO is that in SL you ski a line that passes the gate at the base. In GS you need to pick a line far away from the gate. This also causes GS skis to track a wider rounder path through the track while SL skis go straighter. The other significant difference is what RetroEric mentioned, that in GS you need to more often finish your turns lined up while in SL you can more often link turns to each other with transitions feeding on rebound due to shorter gate distance. Has to do with gravity.

 

Releasing the old outside ski at the end of the turn does not automatically mean that you flex deep through the transition. All it means is that as you release the outside ski BTE by flexing your outside leg you end up on your inside skis LTE.

 

Get a video of yourself and we can give you some specific comments and suggestions.

 

T

post #11 of 16

I think the biggest difference is this SL turns are seriously a transition to the shaping part of the turn, where as GS goes transition, initiation, shaping, finish. In SL you basically skip 2 of hte phase and just jump on your edges.....

post #12 of 16

As I said in my PM to the OP, the basics are the same. I just think of GS as happening in 3/4 time, while SL is 4/4 time. The basics work for SG and DH, too. One thing I strongly advise is that about once a week or so, go cruising on some flat, buffed out stuff on a pair of big skis, where a 201 SG is the minimum opening bet. You quickly find out what works and what doesn't and how to use the forces available and ski design to get the ski to turn you. Which is what I'm going to do after GS training today...

 

:ski

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
 

As I said in my PM to the OP, the basics are the same. I just think of GS as happening in 3/4 time, while SL is 4/4 time. The basics work for SG and DH, too. One thing I strongly advise is that about once a week or so, go cruising on some flat, buffed out stuff on a pair of big skis, where a 201 SG is the minimum opening bet. You quickly find out what works and what doesn't and how to use the forces available and ski design to get the ski to turn you. Which is what I'm going to do after GS training today...

 

:ski

Music analogy, come on, you mean 2/4 vs. 4/4!.. 2/4 also known as cut time! It's in half!

 

You compared a waltz (3/4 Slalom) to a disco beat (4/4 GS) 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

Music analogy, come on, you mean 2/4 vs. 4/4!.. 2/4 also known as cut time! It's in half!

 

You compared a waltz (3/4 Slalom) to a disco beat (4/4 GS) 

 

Not to beat the musical accuracy thing to death, but cut time is 2/2, not 2/4.

 

Basically everything is hurried along in SL much more than in GS. I think an accurate comparison could be 2/2 vs 4/4 ... in GS you have time to noticeably execute all phases of the turn, SL is much more rapid foot-to-foot.

post #15 of 16

SL - Art Tatum

GS - Vlad Horowitz

SG - Jack DeJohnette

DH - Bill Evans (or Chris Anderson)

 

:)

post #16 of 16
You were on a first name basis with Vladimir Horowitz? Say more.
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