Originally Posted by Head first
There is nothing pretty about how the WC guys go down the slalom course. Take away the gates and you are right, it looks horrible.
True - GS is even worse. Hands flying everywhere, both skis off the snow, skis sidways, jumping into turns - even the best. But, the fastest times almost always are the guys who carve the greatest portion of the course, and the coaches who set the courses are usually challenging them. Not stylish, just fast.
"That looks like a good example of a carved short-radius turn. But if anyone actually free-skied like that, they'd be laughed off the mountain. It looks just horrible."
Yes, but carved turns can be done stylishly as well and you don't need to bash gates when free skiing. And it's efficient and can handle a surprising variety of conditions. That makes it easier for me to ski longer with greater pleasure.
"Also, that looks like it might be on a flat portion of a course. Could you make turns like that on the steeps?"
BTW, that video is at less than 1/2 speed. He was flying through those gates.
Well, at 49 maybe not just
like that whippersnapper ('Course that's a world- class athlete there). My slalom skis are 148s, have an 11m sidecut and are flexible for my weight. It's pretty scary what they can actually do, sort of like big snow blades or hockey skates, lol. They can arc quickly and deeply and are a pleasure to use, so on good race snow, perhaps not too far off.
But I guess in the end it's all a question of taste and individual preference. I swing-turned for long enough. The carving just feels great to me now, long turns or short (ok, maybe not as short as really, really short swing turns - but I don't often want to turn that quickly. I can do that if I need it in trees, rocks or the headwall at Tuck's). It's about the sensations. I enjoy it. That's just my taste. It doesn't need to be yours.