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Pressuring Front Boot Cuffs and Counter - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Quote:
today Bode Miller won the first GS race of the 2004-5 World Cup, today, at Soelden, Austria, and Eric Schlopy was 17th
Way to go Bode! And it sounds like Eric Schlopy is on the comeback after that nasty crash and injury last season. Best of luck to both of them!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Way to go Bode! And it sounds like Eric Schlopy is on the comeback after that nasty crash and injury last season. Best of luck to both of them!
Interestingly, Bode used yet another unconventional tactic to win by over a second: Judiciously throwing the skis sideways to deliberately skid on some left turns (on the right outside leg) to control speed to keep himself on a high line. Talk about an unconventional approach. Must have the Austrians chewing on their wax bars...

http://www.skiracing.com/news/news_display.php/1905/
post #33 of 51
It sounds like this partially is a function of some alignment discrepancy in his right leg. He says he has a lot less edge on his right ski. I interpret this as meaning he can't get as much edge on his right ski, for a reason he doesn't really explain.

It also sounds to me like he is just using redirection on his right footed turns which is nothing particularly new, but I think it is the way he alternates between clean carves and redirection at the top of the turn to scrub speed that is different and interesting.

You know it could also just be he is now on "ALL ATOMIC" (KIDDING!)
post #34 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
It sounds like this partially is a function of some alignment discrepancy in his right leg. He says he has a lot less edge on his right ski. I interpret this as meaning he can't get as much edge on his right ski, for a reason he doesn't really explain.

It also sounds to me like he is just using redirection on his right footed turns which is nothing particularly new, but I think it is the way he alternates between clean carves and redirection at the top of the turn to scrub speed that is different and interesting.

You know it could also just be he is now on "ALL ATOMIC" (KIDDING!)
I assumed Bode Miller's comment about "much less edge" on his right ski was purely a tuning issue: He has a different bevel set for his left ski (say, 4-5 degree side bevel) creating a much greater than 90 degree angle, making his left ski dig in and arc, while his right ski's bevel is set to be much less grabby. Clearly, when Bode Miller wants to arc with his right ski, he seems to be able to do it.

(I have a side-by-side video of Bode & me skiing a much, much easier course at the 2003 NASTAR Nationals. I can assure you that the only guy skidding around in that video is me, and that Bode Miller's clean carving technique, in that course, was a LOT faster than the guy flailing around with my bib number. Just for giggles, Dartfish artificially gives me a three gate head start, and Bode Miller still blows by me...)

And, just to rise to the jokingly dangled bait, I don't think its an Atomic thing--the article describing Bode's approach mentions he really pioneered it first to win a year ago at Soelden (thus, on Rossis) and the picture is from last year's GS at Park City (again, on Rossis.) But, on the subject of Atomics, I think we are going to see Bode Miller score much better in the speed events this year, now that he's on the red and black skis. Already, he's mentioned that in early season training, he's been a second and a half faster than Daron Rahlves in the speed events.
post #35 of 51
Interesting concept, but I don't think it flies.

Wouldn't his base bevel not his side edge make more of a difference in how much he would have to tip his ski to engage? Your side edge has no effect on skidding. Side edge bevel would be more a matter of when you get the edge engaged how it performs, the base bevel would dictate when the edge engages.
With that said it doesnt seem logical he has his skis tuned differently. How would he know where in the course he needs a different bevel. He may come to a right footed turn that he doesn't want to skid at the top of the turn or maybe a left footer that he does?

Why would he have choosen his right ski to be tuned differently?

Anyway, damn interesting discussion!

PS One additional issue, the course you that you both skied you said was easier. This is why Bode probably didn't have to slide any turns since it was not as steep and difficult as the Soelden course. There are many times even freeskiing where the terrain is just too steep to purely carve and you must redirect to control speed. This is also related to one's strength and ability to control the forces created.

A-man
post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Why would he have choosen his right ski to be tuned differently?

Anyway, damn interesting discussion!

PS One additional issue, the course you that you both skied you said was easier. This is why Bode probably didn't have to slide any turns since it was not as steep and difficult as the Soelden course. There are many times even freeskiing where the terrain is just too steep to purely carve and you must redirect to control speed. This is also related to one's strength and ability to control the forces created.

A-man
Atomicman, you're dead on: The Soelden GS course is one of the steepest and most difficult on the World Cup, and this year the American coach set the gates, presumably with Bode and this technique in mind. So Bode knew ahead of time essentially how the gates would be set, and could have his skis tuned to maximize carving on one side and skidding/sliding on the other side, since Bode's coach was going to set the course ideally to facilitate top performance with exactly this technique.

And most courses set for the rest of us (or even on the World Cup) aren't so steep and difficult, and thus don't encourage or require an every-other-turn slide in order to finish with the fastest time.

I defer to your knowledge about whether it was the base bevel or the side bevel that was tweaked. Interesting, though: What do you think the consequences are in going from 1 degree base bevel 3 degrees side bevel to 1.5 degrees base bevel, 3 degrees side? (I'm thinking of doing that this year.)
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean
I defer to your knowledge about whether it was the base bevel or the side bevel that was tweaked. Interesting, though: What do you think the consequences are in going from 1 degree base bevel 3 degrees side bevel to 1.5 degrees base bevel, 3 degrees side? (I'm thinking of doing that this year.)
Don't use a 1.5 degree. I don't think you'll care for it. It will take more inclination to get your skis to hook up. You will find them squirrly on hardpack. You will have "Farther" to tip your ski on each side to get to the side edge. If you were racing downhill on a gliding course or had big powder skis maybe. But all of our Atomic Speed skis & powder skis have a 1/3, in fact all of our Atomics have a 1 & 3. Check out some of Skidocs posts, this is also his recommendation.
post #38 of 51
[quote=Atomicman]It sounds like this partially is a function of some alignment discrepancy in his right leg. He says he has a lot less edge on his right ski. I interpret this as meaning he can't get as much edge on his right ski, for a reason he doesn't really explain.

QUOTE]
That's the way I read it too. I don't know anyone who skis both sides the same. I asked a three time olympian to to help me get my sides more equal and he just said "don't worry, everybody has a strong and weak side" .

Still, that article blew me away.

Newf
post #39 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Don't use a 1.5 degree. I don't think you'll care for it. It will take more inclination to get your skis to hook up. You will find them squirrly on hardpack. You will have "Farther" to tip your ski on each side to get to the side edge. If you were racing downhill on a gliding course or had big powder skis maybe. But all of our Atomic Speed skis & powder skis have a 1/3, in fact all of our Atomics have a 1 & 3. Check out some of Skidocs posts, this is also his recommendation.
Thanks! You've saved me from a mistake. (And, frankly, I expect my bag of mistakes to be rather full here, already, at the beginning of the year...)
post #40 of 51
Pressureing the front boot cuff and using lateral pressure is a matter of degree. Sometimes slight pressure under foot is enough to get the skis on the edge you need to make the turn you want. Sometimes you need to put more force on the front edge. You do what you have to to get the force you need for the movement you desire. If you have to get your super-g to make a hard tight turn because you see a stump comming at you at 60 mph, you drive the front edge in as hard as you can using everything you can. If your making a medium radius turn at slow speed on a shaped slalom ski on groomed snow, you don't have to do much.

I'm a recreational skier. I've often used the exact same techniques which I have just now read about in this thread describing racing skiers. I don't really think there is a big difference in technique for recreational skiing and racing (except of course for making contact with gates). It's just simple physics. The greater your momentum changes are the greater forces you will need to exert between the snow and the skis. Sometimes you may want to bend the front part of your ski more than it likes to be bent, at these times it's nice to have the leverage offered by a good stiff boot (as compared to the old ankle high leather lace ups).

Scrubbing off speed by deleberately slipping at the end of a turn is just as easy as maintaining speed with turns. It's sort of like litely applying the brakes. I'm not surprised a reacer might see it as an easy way to loose some speed. Lazy recreational skiers do it all the time.
post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

Scrubbing off speed by deleberately slipping at the end of a turn is just as easy as maintaining speed with turns. It's sort of like litely applying the brakes. I'm not surprised a reacer might see it as an easy way to loose some speed. Lazy recreational skiers do it all the time.
What blows me away is that Bode is out there skiing weirdly and winning by seconds. You don't usually win races by hitting the brakes, and Bodie is not known for holding back. As said before, he usually crash or wins, sometimes does both in the same race.
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
What blows me away is that Bode is out there skiing weirdly and winning by seconds. You don't usually win races by hitting the brakes, and Bodie is not known for holding back. As said before, he usually crash or wins, sometimes does both in the same race.
It's interesting--the Americans are now the cutting edge of skiing technique. In 2000, when Daron Rahlves won the Downhill at Kvitjfell, Norway and placed 5th in the Super-G, the Austrian coach was quoted that he had "never seen anyone ski like that." Rahlves explained afterward that the comment was not intended as a compliment: His line was relatively straight at the gates, something completely heretical--to the point of being regarded as a bizarre, blatant error--in speed events.

A year and a half ago, someone in Skiing magazine said of the 2003 NASTAR Nationals, that the new school pacesetters of Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves (and the multitude of U.S. juniors) had a completely different line (more straight at the gates) than the top skiers of just a couple of years before, like A.J. Kitt.

And Bode Miller is now the guy that everyone else watches on videotape, because he does things no one else is doing. (The link below is to an analysis of his fore-and-aft balance and how that makes his CM travel a shorter line between slalom gates, even compared with other top World Cup racers)

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/instruc...429772,00.html

Sure, any intermediate skier knows that when you throw the skis sideways, that slows you down. What's amazing about Bode Miller's using this technique is that it is absolutely contrary to the bible of accepted wisdom that racers are taught from, which is that you're to skid as little as possible and still stay on the course. (Which is, by the way, still good advice on most places in most courses.)

Bode Miller is a great athlete with great balance who tries new things. This year, skiing on Atomics in the speed events, if he stays healthy he should win the overall title going away: None of the Austrians were in the top four in the Soelden GS, although Hans Knauss, who was fifth, also does speed events. Hermann Maier (no slouch, and with amazing balance himself) said, after finishing over 2 seconds behind Miller in Sunday's GS at Soelden, "It would be very hard for me, maybe inpossible, to be winning again the giant slalom, to be as good as in former times. I don't have much of a chance to win a GS in the future."

http://www.skiracing.com/finish_line...ayFl.php/1906/
post #43 of 51
This discussion has turned a very interesting direction. It really brings to light a point I have often made--that, while the top World Cup racers are clearly the best technicians in the world, it is dangerous to assume that everything they do is something we should emulate as "basic turning technique." Racers may make the best turns in the world but, contrary to popular opinion, racing is not all about making perfect carved turns. It's also about line, precision, tactics, and making it to the finish line without missing a gate. So what we see in races includes everything from carving to braking, as well as some often spectacular recoveries. Like racing cars, expert and tactically appropriate braking is as important as pressing the accelerator and turning the steering wheel.

"Because Bode does it" is an EXCELLENT reason to practice a particular move and develop a skill, but it is not always a good reason to try to incorporate any particular move into our "regular" turns.

"Because Bode does it" is an excellent reason to practice skiing on either ski or both, in balance and way in the back seat or forward, with high edge angles and just tipping, and with powerful, twisting rotary movements. But "because Bode does it" does NOT support an argument that any of these things is fundamental, "correct," or ultimate way to make a turn.

And it has always been this way. I've often raised the example of Phil and Steve Mahre's so-called "White Pass Turn." It was a turn with a very late transfer of weight to the outside ski, somewhere in the middle of the turn. They insist that they never did it on purpose, and that they never practiced it intentionally, and to this day, they are firm advocates of a weight transfer at the transition (not necessarily an active one), and that turns are ideally made mostly balanced on the outside ski all the way through. They never practiced the turn itself, but they DID practice skiing on the outside ski, the inside ski, both skis, and just one ski, so they did develop incredible skill and comfort on either ski at any time.

When the Mahres "accidentally" made "White Pass Turns" in races they won, instructors, coaches, and athletes all over the world took note, and started INTENTIONALLY emulating the move, and calling it "cutting edge technique." Which was, obviously, just the opposite of what the Mahres actually did--and it rarely worked!

This is very much like the story Bode tells of T.J. Lanning watching Bode's skidded turns and trying to imitate them, without success:

"T.J. must have watched it 15 times, and he was like, “I’m going to do that.” And he went into the race and he didn’t seem to understand the whole concept. He was just pitching them sideways on every turn. It was painful to watch. The whole idea is to solve an issue, and I don’t think he was really solving an issue there." (From SkiRacing.com)

So, one of the best things to observe when watching World Cup racing is the versatility that they demonstrate, the full skill set to "solve many issues"--including, but going well beyond, making great turns!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #44 of 51
Thread Starter 
Bob Barnes--

I agree with everything you've said (as usual, quite eloquently.)

In addition, two other cautions about over-relying on a still photo of a great racer and trying to base technique around it (fully aware of the irony of that statement given my posts on this very thread about counter):

1. A montage (like Ron LeMaster puts together) is a much better representation of the dynamic changes of position throughout the turns and a good illustration of how briefly these racers actually are in certain positions. It is very easy to be misled, looking at stills of World Cup racers, into believing that you should be in a certain position through a turn, when in reality it is a momentary phase passed through by these racers in a 45 mph turn.

2. Sometimes, a ski racer is recovering from a near fall or making some other desperation move to make a gate, and World Cup skiers typically have extraordinary balance and core strength, which leads to really astonishing moves when combined with their low center of gravity due to ski boot/ski weight--so while what they're doing may be the best, or only, option under the circumstances--it is not ideal technique for other situations, and may not even be reproduceable by many of the rest of us.
post #45 of 51
Thank you, sfdean. Great points! And, to your first "caution," I'll add this thought: Most still photographs that make it into print show only the most extreme, most dramatic, moments in those turns. As you point out, it was just an isolated moment--certainly not a "position" the skier held for any length of time. Yet we so commonly see racer "wannabees" out there posing like those radical still photographs, all the way through their turns. While the racers they're trying to emulate flowed through those moments with constant motion, their imitators seem to have only two positions--one for the right turn, and one for the left. Couldn't be more different!

Beware of "proving" a point about good technique with still photographs--and even video--of even the world's best skiers. With the right clip of Hermann Maier, you could "prove" that Olympic champions ski upside down!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #46 of 51
Beware of "proving" a point about good technique with still photographs--and even video--of even the world's best skiers. With the right clip of Hermann Maier, you could "prove" that Olympic champions ski upside down!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes[/quote]Well said & truly funny finish!
post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Beware of "proving" a point about good technique with still photographs--and even video--of even the world's best skiers. With the right clip of Hermann Maier, you could "prove" that Olympic champions ski upside down!
Yep--although I think the key point I think we can all learn about Olympic champions from that particular photo/video isn't technique, it's the mental and physical toughness demonstrated by the aftermath: After a scary wipeout at about 70 mph in the downhill, through one snow fence and into another, Hermann Maier came back and _the next day_ took gold in Super G. At the time, his then-teammate Stephan Eberharter said "I'm the best skier on earth. But Hermann Maier--he's from another planet."

I don't know how many people remember that clip vividly (Hermann Maier's airborne inverted barrel-roll in the Nagano Olympics Downhill.) I was struck by the mid-flight change in plan: Up to a certain point, Maier was trying to save it, trying to extend and get his skis down on the snow. Then, after it becomes completely clear he's not going to save it, he retracts his legs to increase spin speed, so he won't land upside-down on his neck. That's how I remember it, anyway...

Austrian Airways picture here:

http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/feat...408091,00.html

(Showing, in addition to Bob Barnes' anti-gravity point, that World Cup champions don't always ski with near-identical edge angles, and occasionally even have a rather substantial tip lead...)
post #48 of 51
They obviously don't ski parallel, either. But that's some severe inclination, and you've got to love that arm-flapping "wing" technique! Maybe if he'd flapped just a little harder....



Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #49 of 51
It's worth noting that Eric Schlopy has been working on a similar technique, but (let's hope) he has abandoned it this season!

Best,
Bob
post #50 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
It's worth noting that Eric Schlopy has been working on a similar technique, but (let's hope) he has abandoned it this season!

Best,
Bob
Demonstrating a key difference between "camber" and "reverse camber" and (getting back to the original topic here) a radically different approach to pressuring the tip...
post #51 of 51
Thread Starter 
It's also worth noting that for this year Eric Schlopy has looked _very closely_ at what his new Nordica skis do at different points of the turn (using the US Ski Team's 500 frame/second video) to check out torsional and longitudinal flex:

http://www.skiracing.com/profiles/ne...ofile.php/1892
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