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World Championship Slaloms

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
It seems all one can get on TV these days is downhill, but I had the good luck to get a tape of both the men’s and women’s slalom at the Are World championships.

Fun things to watch:

The Schild Technique:

Marlies Schild won four slaloms this year and was second at the worlds. She is using a technique I saw last year among some men, where she stomps down on her inside ski just as soon as the tip clears the gate. The ski hooks and her skis split to a V, giving her a move like the old step up to a higher line we used to in the straight ski era, except that it is done by weighting the ski, not picking it up. I don’t know if there was a side hill element at Are, but she only did that with her right ski, all the way down. The picture below she is doing it with her left in Spain this week.

Sarka Zahrobska won the race with a different technique. She was the textbook example of cross under skiing, absolutely no up motion and skis just floating from side to side.

The men’s race was demolished by Mario Matt. He won the worlds six years ago with a technique which was attributed at the time to growing up on modern skis. He looks for all the world as though he on rollerblades, feet apart, weight even, no tip lead at all. He also keeps his upper body kind of rounded forward, and never jetted out. He faded away for a few years, but is back with a vengence, winning this week as well as his 1.9 second win at the worlds. .

Interesting to note that another wide track skier, the weirdo Manfred Pranger was in the thick of it. His style drew the disdain and ridicule of Harold Harb, and when he faded from the scene Harb was quick to point it out. He was fifth, showing there are many ways to ski fast.

post #2 of 12
Both Matt and Pranger look way different than they did in their "heydays". The difference is that they've ditched that wide "cowboy" stance (as Benni Raich did last year). I've watched lots of WCSN footage of slalom and even use Matt as a model for my kids, pointing out the lack of "daylight" between his legs.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I noticed some of that, Pranger for sure looked narrower than in the past. Matt is not that wide, but they never come together either. They just stay put at one spacing and work together. Still looks like a rollerblader and stands wider than many of the skiers who use more of boot-top the pole and jam in the turn technique.
post #4 of 12
The problem with a wide stance if IMO much more that the coaches hate it and that they don't know what drills are needed with a little wider stance. Slalom courses are much straighter than 5 years ago too. The more edge changes you have to make, the slower a wide stance in theory, but then the benefits skiing a semi-wide stance like Matt far outweigh the cons IMO.
Especially if your no worldcupper I'ld say go for a wider stance, though it might be slightly slower, you gain so much more security that its worth it.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SLATZ View Post
they've ditched that wide "cowboy" stance (as Benni Raich did last year). .
I was thinking about that cowboy stance some more....Raich was skiing way over canted a few years ago, thinking it gave hime a quicker edge set. It almost worked. He eliminated that and definitely gained some consistancy. I think the extra canting made him keep daylight between the knees.
post #6 of 12
Right now in slalom (which used to be my top discipline but has now fallen prey to me focusing on speed) im trying to have a "floating" stance. where its hovering between slightly wide and narrow all the time.

Now that I look at those it doesnt really show what I mean... I do have a video that would be perfect though...

Edit: I am in no way trying to compare myself to a worldcupper just exploring something
post #7 of 12
For me that's a very thight stance.
post #8 of 12
newfy say: Marlies Schild won four slaloms this year and was second at the worlds. She is using a technique I saw last year among some men, where she stomps down on her inside ski just as soon as the tip clears the gate.
That is something Tichy stressed which I found out later is controversial. When newfy articulates it so well and put it into context make me think it was probably misunderstood by SPAC parents and/or coaches. Hard to argue with it when the best SL skier in the world uses it.

extremecarver say: Slalom courses are much straighter than 5 years ago too.
Whoa, hold on a minute - I thought SL courses were much more offset today? Keep hearing coaches mention that in context of new ski tech and new technique tech. Thought it was in response to the higher speeds? :

Anyway you sure cain't take anything away from Pranger, very wide, or especially Matt who is also fairly wide.

Here is top 30 after Garmisch -Cochran and the Swede are tied - gotta luv ol Mike Janyk, he is always in there, a true SL journeyman:

2 RAICH Benjamin AUT
3 MATT Mario AUT
7 JANYK Michael CAN
9 MOELGG Manfred ITA
10 ROCCA Giorgio ITA
12 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste FRA
14 PRANGER Manfred AUT
16 DEVILLE Cristian ITA
17 GRANDI Thomas CAN
19 SVINDAL Aksel Lund NOR
21 GINI Marc SUI
25 VOGL Alois GER
26 HERBST Reinfried AUT
27 VAJDIC Bernard SLO

- Fossil
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by extremecarver View Post
For me that's a very thight stance.
Thats what im trying to say the pictures didnt help though, I mean that my stance changes from tight to wide-ish as the conditions require it... wouldnt it be the best of both worlds?
post #10 of 12
Overcanting will cause the skis to come together naturally. The knees have to be held apart to keep the skis apart. No one is nearly as wide all the time as they were a few years ago. The skis get apart during vertical separation and sometimes don't get right back together in transition. Most of the time the downhill ski is picked up and moved next to the other as the turn is initiated. (Or you could say the uphill ski is weighted or "stomped" and the unweighted ski natually closes up. I detect a tipping of the unweighted ski a lot of times though.)
I don't think the courses have become straighter, in fact, I've heard they are tighter to trip up Bode. The big difference is that when those guys were skiing really wide they were on 155s. When 165s came in their style changed. Schoenfelder was the first one to "close up" during mid-season. The year he won the SL cup I compared his first race to his last and there was quite a bit of difference in his stance width.
post #11 of 12
... wouldnt it be the best of both worlds?

Not if it results in a push-off or divergence of the skis.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good grief, this is real dominance!

"Marlies Schild claimed her seventh victory in eight slaloms this season by over two seconds in Zwiesel and took the overall World Cup lead away from Austrian team-mate Nicole Hosp in the process after she finished only 11th.

The Austrian, who is on course to equal the record of eight slalom wins in a single season, led from the first leg, as has become her habit, and outclassed all her rivals."
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