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Time to develop gate clearing tactics?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, 

 

After learning to ski a fairly clean line in stubbies and wide in gates, I'm now learning to clear the gates in order to take a tighter line. However, I find that after clearing a few gates, I might not clear one very well. At that point my self-preservation instinct kicks in and I start to hyperforcus on the immediate gate coming towards my face--rather than seeing the line. 

 

Presumably skiers' eyes and reflexes improve over time... how long is that transition period generally? Are there tactics I can use to speed up my eyes and get back into the game? 

post #2 of 19
1. Look at your line, not at the gate. Don't get gate fixation.

2. Keep your hands where you can see them. Whatever volunteers first...inside hand guard, outside hand guard, either shin guard, face bar (you'd better be wearing one...) is the right answer.

3. Look ahead, which is an extension of #1. In an open gate sequence, there are two corridors...the left and the right. At the gate, you should be looking down the corridor at the next gate in the corridor, not at the next gate in the other corridor. When I'm skiing well in slalom, I contact the gates, but I only see them in my peripheral vision...

biggrin.gif
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

1 and 3 already happen when I'm in stubbies or in GS gate run, but not when in a slalom gate run due to fear/self-preservation instincts... What's the time to develop past this? 

 

For #2, you remind me that I really should get a face guard. 

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

1 and 3 already happen when I'm in stubbies or in GS gate run, but not when in a slalom gate run due to fear/self-preservation instincts... What's the time to develop past this? 

 

For #2, you remind me that I really should get a face guard. 


A standard drill is to hold your poles horizontally in front of you and run a series of gates, slowly, so you get the feeling of contacting a gate and realize it ain't no big thing...

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, our ski club coach had me do this last weekend and it improved my confidence a bit. Still got hung up watching the gate rather than skiing well, but it was an improvement.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

Thanks, our ski club coach had me do this last weekend and it improved my confidence a bit. Still got hung up watching the gate rather than skiing well, but it was an improvement.


As one of my coaches once said, "Slalom is an ugly, gnarly sport." It takes a looooong time to fall in love with slalom, if you ever do. Just remember that regardless of discipline, ski racing is a full contact sport. Example: I went into the nets doing about 70 in the DH at the Master's Nationals at Big Sky in March 2013. Result: blown knee, but I'm rehabbed and back. So pad yourself up, get into some SL gates, and bite down harder...

 

:cool

post #7 of 19

First of all -  are you wearing armor?  Shins, pole guards, chin bar?  Suit or stealth?  

 

If not, I would be intimidated too.  If you are padded up, the noise is the worst part.  

 

Get your belly button on the other side of the gate from your feet and keep your hands up.  Dont let your hands cross the zipper and NEVER reach.

 

Got get 'em.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
 

First of all -  are you wearing armor?  Shins, pole guards, chin bar?  Suit or stealth?  

 

If not, I would be intimidated too.  If you are padded up, the noise is the worst part.  

 

Get your belly button on the other side of the gate from your feet and keep your hands up.  Dont let your hands cross the zipper and NEVER reach.

 

Got get 'em.


There it is...go big or take up shuffleboard...

post #9 of 19

A face bar has saved me many a time. Shin, Pole, and face are the bare minimums for protection. I'm still hurting from forgetting my shinguards for SL practice 2 weeks ago. Once you get used to the knocking on your body occasionally, it gets really fun.

 

I took me 15 years to like slalom, now I can't get enough. 

 

Go rip it up! Enjoy it!

post #10 of 19

Also, occasionally the back side of my hips are hurting from training and I don't train in a padded suit.  On video, you can see the cleared gate coming back up and whacking your hip.  So if you start getting sore hips, you might think about training in a padded suit or padded training pants.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
 

Get your belly button on the other side of the gate from your feet and keep your hands up.  Dont let your hands cross the zipper and NEVER reach.

 

By zipper do you mean your fly? And do you just mean don't drop the hands? (I can't imagine dropping them since I'm keeping them in front of my face...)

post #12 of 19
coat zipper. Hands should be fairlly static and upper body quiet.
post #13 of 19
Get full armor to reduce stress. Focus on shinning the gate and put your body inside enough to warrant cross blocking otherwise just clear the gate with the inside hand.

Ask coach to set intro to cross blocking sets with gates at an angle, easy corridor etc

Spend some time in stubies as well to shin them without the added stress of the full gates coming at you

Clear only the left gates then only the right for a while.

Good luck
Edited by razie - 2/6/15 at 12:43pm
post #14 of 19


Don't try to get your skis too close to the gate!   You need to give yourself room to get an angle across it.  Too close and you end up too upright.  Look for the skis being about 18 inches out.  

 

Also, and I find this is the most common issue I see with slalom newbies in full gates (and unfortunately us oldies as well from time to time when we forget)  

 

MAKE THE POLE PLANT!

 

Too often people start focusing on clearing the aft and all the hand action goes to that.  As a result the pole plant is forgotten.  Get your pole plant right and the angle across the gate and you will find tent your pole is clearing it without any extra movement or effort.  

 

Also, the armor is essential.  Then you can focus on your line and angle and don't have to worry if you are clearing the gate with your body, head, pole or shinguard!!   :D

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post


Don't try to get your skis too close to the gate!   You need to give yourself room to get an angle across it.  Too close and you end up too upright.  Look for the skis being about 18 inches out.  
while I agree he shouldnt pinch at the gate, getting the body inside the gate is paramount so it is a matter of how he skis slalom. This is a very good article that represents my view as well

http://www.ski.bg/wmview_en.php?ArtID=950

The photos in part 2 show what you mean and also the body inside the gate:

http://www.ski.bg/wmview_en.php?ArtID=951

Cheers.

Pole-plants: TOTALLY !!!
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post


while I agree he shouldnt pinch at the gate, getting the body inside the gate is paramount so it is a matter of how he skis slalom. This is a very good article that represents my view as well

http://www.ski.bg/wmview_en.php?ArtID=950

The photos in part 2 show what you mean and also the body inside the gate:

http://www.ski.bg/wmview_en.php?ArtID=951

Cheers.

Pole-plants: TOTALLY !!!


yes, if you look at the top picture in your first link, you will see how the pole plant naturally brings his body across and inside and the other hand naturally clears.

 

I will stress again getting the skis out from the gate.  This is a key element!  If you are pinching the gate it is virtually impossible, (unless you are WC level and boot-topping (which actually if you watch doesn' happen that often these days as it can actually slow you down) you are not going to be physically able to get your body inside the gate

 

Watch tyro slalom racers and you will see it.  Feet close to the gate, body upright and reaching across to "cross block".  All down to thinking they need to be close to the gate

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post

Get full armor to reduce stress. Focus on shinning the gate and put your body inside enough to warrant cross blocking otherwise just clear the gate with the inside hand.

Ask coach to set intro to cross blocking sets with gates at an angle, easy corridor etc

Spend some time in stubies as well to shin them without the added stress of the full gates coming at you

Clear only the left gates then only the right for a while.

Good luck

 

Razie, you're on the money. Our coach did a set this week that was stubbies for the first half, and gates for the second half. What a great way to build your confidence before having to clear the gates. This week I was almost never freaked out at all.

 

(The flush was frightening and I didn't bother clearing it.)

 

It's amazing how just a couple of training sessions with the right tactics can change your outlook on gates!

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


(The flush was frightening and I didn't bother clearing it.)!

You can start blocking just the entry gate and brush the doubles with the shoulders etc or raise both hands up and block everything

The good way to block a hairpin or flush is to leave up the same hand you used at the first gate and just wiggle the feet

There is a great full day is masters SL training with a level 4 - awesome coach too, if you can get out and join me I will forward you the info...

I highly recommend it
they will have 4-5 environments and awesome coaching.

Cheers
Edited by razie - 2/9/15 at 4:43am
post #19 of 19
I haven't run gates in a long time, but when I did, helmets, face guards (wasn't that what goggle did) body protection?, non of this did't exist. Gates were also a lot tougher and really hurt. Part of learning gates was how to block with the least impact.

SS comment about the line is actually very good, applied then and applies now. Pole plant and correct body position regardless of gates is utmost. Ski to ski the gates just mark the path.
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