Originally Posted by TomB
And for those of you who think WC racers ski blue ice, stop kidding yourselves. Even racers would quickly lose control and hurt/kill themselves if they hit blue ice at those speeds.
I stand corrected. (That'll teach a Western U.S. skier to talk about ice...) You're right, WC racers ski on snow that's been water injected. It's hard, it's called ice, but you're right, it's not transparent blue ice.
On the question of one footed vs. two-footed skiing, in one of his online slide shows (Alpine Racing Technique), Ron LeMaster discusses how contemporary WC technique is more two-footed than it used to be, and why. Specifically, he says modern technique involves "more pressure on inside ski" than old school technique, but notes that use of (weight on) the inside ski is "definitely increasing" but that it "varies" from World Cup skier to skier and also "varies with snow and pitch". LeMaster says there are five reasons to put weight on the inside ski:
Provides support in the first half of the turn, before the outside ski hooks up fully.
It's the safety valve for overestimating grip (my translation: if your outside ski slips instead of bites, you can try to use the edge of the inside ski to stay up instead of sliding out into boot out city/race over)
Facilitates manipulation of outside ski (my translation: you can still adjust your line/increase steering angle relatively late)
Assists fore-and-aft pressure control (e.g., better balance means more consistent ability to properly keep weight forward early in the turn to carve, with weight back late to release)"
Avoids "brutalizing softer snow" (over pressuring in softer snow conditions, leading to chatter/skid)
LeMaster notes that equipment- and technique-driven "better holding" leads to more use of the inside ski. (E.g., because a skier can put more weight on the inside ski, retaining better balance, while still arcing and staying on the course.)http://www.ronlemaster.com/presentat...nique-2003.pdf
There's a nice quote in Modern Technique about contemporary weighting:
"The top racers have on average 80:20 ratio of outside to inside ski pressure in Slalom and 70:30 in GS. This ratio is constantly changing throughout the turn. Normally the turn is started above the fall line with 90% of pressure on the outside ski. Upon entering the fall line inside ski is starting to carry more load while it is not only assisting in maintaining lateral balance but is actively contributing to carving. It is normal to see a ratio of 60:40 in the second part of a turn. It could even be 50:50 throughout the most of a turn, but only on the flat less turny sections of a course. Loading of inside ski works and produces speed advantage only if skis are kept parallel throughout the entire turn. "http://www.youcanski.com/english/coa..._technique.htm
In general, conventional wisdom is that in softer snow (and especially powder) skiing is more two-footed, but on hard pack or boilerplate, it's more one footed, but this is a matter of degree and emphasis. A common problem pointed out in race clinics I've attended (with Masters, club, and junior racers) is insufficient commitment to the outside ski.