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edging slalom drills?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I did a quick search through the site but couldn't find anything - but just link me on if there is something and I missed it.

BUT i've noticed with the spring conditions (icy in the morning) that I can hold an edge on GS turns where I can't with slalom turns. For approx the last week I've been thinking its because I'm not on a pair of slalom skis, but then it occured to me yesterday that maybe it was my skiing : .

Following this train of thought, I think it's because I'm 1) not tipping my skis on edge enough (and definitly not to the extent that I do with my GS turns where I can really feel my foot tipping inwards) and 2) not getting my feet out to the side enough (these are related I'm sure).

Does anyone know any good drills that will encourage me, or give me the feeling of getting my feet way out from underneath me, and/or setting a steep enough edge angle in slalom turns?

hmm.. this might be better suited to the racing technique page ... so feel free to move it. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahmskis View Post
For approx the last week I've been thinking its because I'm not on a pair of slalom skis, but then it occured to me yesterday that maybe it was my skiing : .
You are not on a pair of SL skis??!! On what kind of skis are you trying to ski SL? I whent out on sunday morning and it was icy and hard and I had problems skidding arround for the first hour. Then when we pulled out the video camera I swapped skis from left to right to be on my racing tuned edges and WOW, all of a sudden no slipping and a sliding . In my case it was all about tuning.

A drill for getting the skis out from underneath you is to try to stay low in the transition. Very low. This way you can extend your leggs out into the turn. You could make a very straight course with brushes or stubbies and try to move only your feet while upper body remains stable. Face forward with your upper body. Try to offset some of the gates and see if you can move your skis quick enough.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks tdk6!
I know tuning makes a difference (I demo'd a pair of spanking new atomic blackeyes(?)) and holy hell were they sharp). But I'm also pretty sure i'm not creating the same angles with my lower legs in slalom as I can with GS. Thanks for the drill - I don't have access to stubbys or brushes, but I can certainly picture them, and/or use some natural features of the hill to the same effect.

Not to re-open any weight distribution threads, but at some point of turn, no matter how far out you get your feet, the vast majority of your weight will be on the outside ski - right?
post #4 of 13
sarahmskis,

Carved slalom turns are a very different animal than gs. Some things to consider:
more open stance
very neutral stance _fore-aft and closer to 50-50 weight distribution.
patience in the transition
strong inside ski edging
stable upper body, but somewhat following the skis
hips over the feet

A drill? one footed skiing moving your body over the outside edge of the ski (left ski, left turn and right ski, right turn).

another drill On shallow terrain, stepping through a series of fall line turns making clean tracks as you step from ski to ski.

Hope this helps.

RW

PS: welcome to Epic!
post #5 of 13
Sarah,

In most cases, when going to a short radius turn, especially on that firm morning snow, the reason you might not be able to hold an edge is that you are still using the up-and-over move to initiate the turn that you use in longer turns. The problem with up-and-ove (a.k.a crossover) is that, at the top of the turn, when you try to engae the new turning edges, there's not enough ski to snow pressure, so the skis accelerate and start to skid. Then, as you come through the belly of the turn where the forces are the greatest and the speed has built up, the skis are pointed across the hill and all that force is too much and they skid.

The opposite of that up-and-over (crossover) move, is to initiate the turn using -what we like to call- crossunder. Basically, it means staying low as your body moved over the skis to get you on the (then) downhill edges, then extending into the new turn so that your legs are almost fully extended at the belly of the turn. This allows you to be heavier on your skis at the top of the turn, when gravity is assiting your turn into the fall line, and lighter on your skis at the bottom of the turn when you are trying to come out of the fall line but gravity is trying to pull you back into it.

Racers use this technique all the time, because (obviously) they need to hold an edge as much as possible.

Here's a visual of what I'm talking about:
http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...sl-1A-web.html

Notice that when she is on flat skis, transitioning from one set of edges to the other, that her thighs are almost horizontal. Then, as she's going around the gate her legs are as fully extended as they are going to get.

You'll see this in almost every set of images on Ron LeMaster's web site. Check 'em out.

If you've never done this before, it might be good to get a quick lesson, amking sure to ask for an instructor who knows what crossunder is and how to teach it, because it's an unusual feeling that doesn't feel right at first, and people have no idea whether they are getting it right.

Sure, things such as sharp edges help a little, but it's almost always operator input that allows it to happen or not. I can take a pretty dull pair of skis and make them hold on hard snow if I ski it correctly. If I don't ski it correctly, even a Gillette Mach 3 isn't going to hold.
post #6 of 13
The images are an excellent example, but bring with them some added baggage -- inclination. The skier is leaning ALOT towards the inside of the turn, note the hand positions, outside high, inside low.

This would not be the first way I'd try to do it, but the images still are very valuable.

The images show a very nice flex to release, she stays low, and sarahmskis should do the same. The drill I suggest here would be to touch the outside boot with your outside hand as you extend the legs into the turn, and keep the inside arm level across the hill.

This will cause a "crunch" on your outside obliques. The goal for the upper body is to remain vertical, the eyes 'level' unlike the skier in the montage. Do not to bend at the waist. It is ok to touch only the outside knee at first, to get used to this sensation. You can go lower as you "get it'.

Another drill, perhaps to start getting the hand down, is (without poles) to put the outside hand on your hip while the inside arm reaches into the turn. Press on the outside hip to cause a "break" at the hip. The edge angles will increase.

Both drills create angulation. This will get you higher edges than inclination, and it's easier to control it's effects than inclination, which commits the entire body to a somewhat static position.

Try them both. They're fun!
post #7 of 13
BigE,

Are you getting your threads mixed up? This not the inclination/banking/angulation thread. This is about edge hold. Granted, more angulation helps build higher edge angles, but I'm going for seeing if a cossunder move will help Sarah.

Also, in those images, Zettel's shoulders are very level. I don't see a high outside hand, except in the frames where she's cross blocking the gate. At the blue gate, she's got HUGE angles. But that's for the other thread.

As for teaching crossunder, it's very hard to do on the computer, because it feels so weird the first time someone does it. Trying to touch the outside boot with the outside hand works for angulation, but makes it almost impossible to do crossunder, because that hand would need to be touching the boot when the legs are extended. If you are planning on teaching angulation, I find dragging the outside pole (or both poles) firmly in the snow works really well, and doesn't get people all hinged at the waist.
post #8 of 13

Some thoughts...

...if you had video, it would help. A couple of years back, it was felt that slalom was becoming mini-GS. Now SL and GS are maybe diverging, and in a course I see it happening because even though modern GS is more and more offset, modern SL is ridiculously offset. Still, if you're holding in GS turns but not in SL, my guess is one (or maybe more) of the following is true:

- You're holding in your GS turns, but only because there's not a lot of direction change out of the fall line, so you don't need a lot of edge angle/pressure to make it happen. When you try to tighten the radius to make SL turns, it ain't gonna happen.

- Per what somebody said above, you can kind of make SL turns on GS skis...but not really. If I really want to make SL turns, I do it on SL skis.

- Lots of good advice in the preceding threads. I've been skiing really well in Super G and DH this season; decent but not outstanding in GS, either really good or really horrible in SL. I figured out why. In speed events, I'm looking ahead at my line. In tech events, I'm getting gate fixation, so I'm following my skis and leaning in. We have the season ending Rocky Mountain Masters SL championships coming up this weekend, so I was not happy when I started sucking a wet mop (again) in SL training last Sunday. One of my coaches said "I'm going to change your life...stop coco-butting the gates with your head, and instead focus on putting your hip into the gate." Works like a charm, because my hips stay low in the transition, I angulate and don't tip in, and it's a lot easier to move down the hill. I also get the little toe rolling over thing going easier. A lot of people tell you to focus on rolling the little toe over and getting the body inside to start the turn. I'd say that that's where you want to go, because you get against the edged ski, not over it. But every time I think in those terms, I end up tipping in and following my skis. So put your hip into the turn, and see if that works for you...
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
BigE,

Are you getting your threads mixed up? This not the inclination/banking/angulation thread. This is about edge hold. Granted, more angulation helps build higher edge angles, but I'm going for seeing if a cossunder move will help Sarah.

Also, in those images, Zettel's shoulders are very level. I don't see a high outside hand, except in the frames where she's cross blocking the gate. At the blue gate, she's got HUGE angles. But that's for the other thread.

As for teaching crossunder, it's very hard to do on the computer, because it feels so weird the first time someone does it. Trying to touch the outside boot with the outside hand works for angulation, but makes it almost impossible to do crossunder, because that hand would need to be touching the boot when the legs are extended. If you are planning on teaching angulation, I find dragging the outside pole (or both poles) firmly in the snow works really well, and doesn't get people all hinged at the waist.
I'd go purely for the edge hold of the fully angulated position, which in my opinion, is a requirement before you address cross-under. Cross-under is greatly assisted by rebound, and rebound is derived from good edge grip, which is enhanced through angulation in various ways:

1) there is lower torque on the ankle, so it is easier to maintain the edge.
2) the skiers balance improves with angulation, making the edges set deeper and more assertive
3) from an angulated position, edge enhancement moves like counter-rotation (or counteraction) can occur.
4) outside leg extension will drive the eversion of the foot into a more powerful prosition, extracting more performance from the ski. Much more difficult when inclined.

I believe angulation outght to be learned prior to the cross-under, which ought to happen quite naturally, once the skier is comfortable with angulation and starts to feel the performance of the ski. All you really have to do is stay low when flexing if you've got some rebound energy. The trick is to get that energy happening.

As far as zeta's shoulders being level, they are so only in transition. Look at the final frame - perfectly level. Preceding that, there is inclination, and even more so in the frame at the gate. That is the trend these days -- incline more in slalom turns. It does some good stuff, but it's harder to do well. I'd learn angulation first, before attempting deep inclination.

The pictures are good to show low in transition and cross-under, but these to elements by themselves won't enhance the slalom edging like angulation drills do. Angulation drills acheive high edge angles and extract performance from the skiis.

re: The goal of touching the outside boot at apex. I did suggest that touching the outside knee is good enough at first, and did not suggest that bending at the waist is the solution. To be clear, it's about reaching down to the outside of the turn to touch the boot of a very extended eg. This is the opposite direction to inclination - a reverse airplane if you will.

To touch the boot, the skier will unconsciously rotate the body somewhat to the outside of the turn. This counter-rotation is another element that will enhance slalom edging.

I guess we're just thinking of it from two different places. Cross-under requires good edging, so why not just go directly at the edging first?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahmskis View Post
Not to re-open any weight distribution threads, but at some point of turn, no matter how far out you get your feet, the vast majority of your weight will be on the outside ski - right?
Yes!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Yes!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4YzgmhwW0

Watch inside ski being lifted. The guy who posted this, "Snowbaka," is good for lots of other SL (and other race) footage if you look at all his videos.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
snip
1) there is lower torque on the ankle, so it is easier to maintain the edge.
2) the skiers balance improves with angulation, making the edges set deeper and more assertive
3) from an angulated position, edge enhancement moves like counter-rotation (or counteraction) can occur.
4) outside leg extension will drive the eversion of the foot into a more powerful prosition, extracting more performance from the ski. Much more difficult when inclined.
snip
BigE,

I agree with everything you said. And not having seen her ski, it's hard to say which might better benefit her. I'm just not married to teaching one before the other, either way.

Good post.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
wow thanks guys! i've taken notes for this weekend (and will try to get some video). I was messing around with slalom turns a bit on Thursday pm but without much greater success. I'll try it thinking of the cross-under and then thinking of angulation, and then think of the 'hip approach / toe roll' ... although it sounds like that's just a different mental way of getting to the desired angulation. BigE, I do do those drills with my GS skiing, but haven't tried it with slalom (for the hip one, I'm not sure I can switch off my hands that fast but can probably do the boot/knee one.

In terms of the cross under, i might have to bug one of the higher level coaches if I'm still not getting a good feel out of my skis (good feel = holding an edge, getting a reaction from the ski, not losing my balance). I think when I try to do cross under, I have a tendency to start sitting back, as I usually use the extension in my turn to get forward into the next turn. From reading various posts here and on the web, i think one is supposed to overcome that by 'drawing the feet back in/under at the end of the turn' but uhmmm...i have trouble thinking of all that in one slalom turn

Thanks again, its great to have all sorts of different approaches to try to take. Hopefully one of them works!
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