Originally Posted by Richr
When I clear with my inside hand, the gate slaps down on top of my skis. This doesnt happen when I clear with my outside hand.
Any ideas why?
Two possible reasons:
1. When you are clearing with your inside hand, your arm is bent at the elbow
and hits the gate more down the fall line than across the fall line. If your arm remains fairly straight, it'll act more like a deflector and will send the gate to the side, rather than down and across your skis. With an extreme bend in the elbow, your forearm will hit the gate at a more-or-less perpendicular angle to the fall line, sending it crashing across your skis as they travel across the gate's path. This can sometimes cause your skis to lose their edge grip on really hard snow - no fun!
Again, even though these pics are from a previous era of slalom technique, it's good to look at the master of the inside-arm clear for guidance: Marc Girardelli.
First, a shot from the 1989-1990 season:
Note how his inside arm is fairly straight, with little bend in the elbow.
Now, a shot from the 1991-1992 season, when he was cross-blocking - but still used the inside-arm clear when needed:
Again: a rather straight inside arm that brushes the gate to the side.
You can see some old (ca. 1985) footage of Girardelli in action by clicking here
(AVI file). There's similar footage of Phil Mahre (ca. 1983) at this link
. Both are good examples of inside-arm clearing, if really dated in terms of ski handling technique.
Allowing the gate to slide to the side is also a lot more efficient in terms of drag, though that's less of an issue for most folks who aren't at the upper levels of slalom racing.
2. Your line is a bit late
, so your turn isn't far enough along when you clear. This is usually more of a problem with outside-arm clearing (cross-blocking), though.