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The Need for Speed - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Although I have been trying hard to get more comfortable at speed, I still find myself skiing relatively slow (for example, I doubt I ever go faster than 40-50km/hr). It is kind of frustrating, because I do believe I am a better skier than many who bomb runs without a care in the world. But speed is also about comfort, not just skill.
I find going fast having a lot to do with strength. The dips and adjustments you have to make at speed put a lot of forces on you. Also having the right fitting boots and stable skis will make a big difference. IMHO
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
If you say so. :
I do.
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Although I have been trying hard to get more comfortable at speed, I still find myself skiing relatively slow (for example, I doubt I ever go faster than 40-50km/hr). It is kind of frustrating, because I do believe I am a better skier than many who bomb runs without a care in the world. But speed is also about comfort, not just skill.
Yeah, Tom, there definitely is a *breaching old comfort zones* factor involved in getting acclimated to higher speeds. Often the skills are there to support the higher speeds, but the confidence to explore the new speeds is not yet secure. There are techniques for getting there, for those who really want to.

- Make sure the base skills are solid.
- Get on a longer ski, with GS radius.
- Learn the "degree of turn" concept
- Play with the concept on easy terrain. Dropping to the 30 degree area.
- Gradually move up in slope steepness.
- Stop towards the bottom of a pitch. Finish out the bottom of pitch with 45 turns, knowing the flats are not far away.
- Each run start a little higher on the pitch.
- Repeat progression with a slightly smaller turn degree each time.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
I find going fast having a lot to do with strength. The dips and adjustments you have to make at speed put a lot of forces on you. Also having the right fitting boots and stable skis will make a big difference. IMHO
It really depends on the run. Some places going fast could do a number on your hamstrings or have you bust a gut; other places it's a case walk. Just make sure you don't bomb a run until you've been over it at least once.

Skis make a really big difference. The same runs at speeds that are a walk in the park on my old SGs feel very fast on the SCs. Definitely have good fitting boots before you try breaking the land speed record.
post #35 of 46
I really like what Rick is saying:

Quote:
Yeah, Tom, there definitely is a *breaching old comfort zones* factor involved in getting acclimated to higher speeds. Often the skills are there to support the higher speeds, but the confidence to explore the new speeds is not yet secure. There are techniques for getting there, for those who really want to.
As better balance and more efficient technique is incorporated into a person's skiing, it no longer feels like scarry fast skiing. It feels balanced, controled and solid even at termamol velosity on a moderate slope. Balanced expert skiers say "I feel like I can never go fast enough". They have been able to master balanced movements on skis.

RW
post #36 of 46
Rick, Ron,

I could not agree more about the comfort zone. I am just as uncomfortable at high speeds on the road bike. I never went faster than 72km/hr on a road bike, in fact. Maybe it is the age (45), because I was far more comfy at speeds when I was young.

While there is plenty of room for improvement, I think I do have the skills to carry some speed. I see the limitations of a short ski (such as my 165cm i.Supershape or my 170cm Elan M662).

I am working hard to get myself out of my comfort zone however. I often follow fast skiers down the hill and try to "enjoy" the ride. I feel nicely locked in, stable and in control, yet I cannot help think of "what if" scenarios.

But as Rick suggested, I need to move up by small steps.
post #37 of 46
To echo what others have said, the less skid the more speed. Speed may not be my goal, but it is often the result of better technique.

That being said, yesterday after a day of teaching, then clinicing, I took a fun easy run down the mountain. It's a windy narrow almost toboggan course that we sometimes have an Instructor's unofficial timed race on at the end of the season. I got going really fast, pure carved turns as it's not steep and I wasn't trying to make a lot of turns.

After taking a little air I came around a bend and lost my edge, fell sideways smacked the ground really hard - no ski release. Really rung my bell. The headache went away, but the first impact on my side has given me lower back pain that I still have.

Speed is very tempting, but sure can be risky! Not to mention if there was a kid around one of those blind bends!
post #38 of 46
My favorite terrain for skiing is multiple fall lines. I like trying to maintain as much speed as possible on the uphill side so I can get upside down. Yay!
post #39 of 46
Even when "skidding" speed is kind of a goal. Case in point the skidded turn around the end of the lift line into the gated maze to the chair. I made quite a few of those turns the other day. They were low speed on 21-m radius skis with low edge angle, definitely not carved. I still wanted to carry as much glide speed as possible so as to glide up to the chair, and whatever it is that makes that type of turn best in my mind also allows it to carry the most speed.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
My favorite terrain for skiing is multiple fall lines. I like trying to maintain as much speed as possible on the uphill side so I can get upside down. Yay!
- you must like park skiing
post #41 of 46
Only if the "park" is 30+ degrees steep!
post #42 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
Only if the "park" is 30+ degrees steep!
That would indeed be a pritty steap park.... or, early morning... -10degC... SG skis... no crowds... going fast down the WC run... making a hard left across the hotel run midway down.... entering the half pipe at 30mph... feeling the Gs as you climb the sidewall a bit only to adjust your line... straight down... hit the first box and see the whole park opening up for you in the moring sun
post #43 of 46
The very first time I ever tried a half pipe, quite a few years ago. I was just cruising down a run on my SGs, Probably doing about 50, saw this half pipe out of corner of my eye going off down a side trail on the left. Thought about it for .1 seconds, what the heck. I was a little too careful not to overshoot the lip and end up skewered on a tree beside the pipe, so I gave myself a good jump off the lift. I ended up coming down in the middle of the pipe from a very high elevation. Both my heels were so sore I had difficulty walking for about two weeks. Those cork insoles weren't made for landing big air on flat ice.
post #44 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The very first time I ever tried a half pipe, quite a few years ago. I was just cruising down a run on my SGs, Probably doing about 50, saw this half pipe out of corner of my eye going off down a side trail on the left. Thought about it for .1 seconds, what the heck. I was a little too careful not to overshoot the lip and end up skewered on a tree beside the pipe, so I gave myself a good jump off the lift. I ended up coming down in the middle of the pipe from a very high elevation. Both my heels were so sore I had difficulty walking for about two weeks. Those cork insoles weren't made for landing big air on flat ice.
Great story , just the kind of picture I was painting!

BTW, that happened to me as well except it was not my heels that were sore, it was my hips and shoulder from crashing down the icy middle of the pipe. Im an old windsurfer and I missjudged the vertical sidewall in the sence that as I whent off the lip and slipped into windsurfing mode I jumped with the wave except that the wave did not move with me. It stayed in place. Thats when I found out the difference between a halfpipe and a wave braking onto the shore. In the pipe you have to jump upwards in order to re-enter on the sidewall.
post #45 of 46
A mistake that only gets made once.
post #46 of 46
The key distinction to be made here is that between speed and speed control.
At higher levels, into alpine competition, it's one control/application of velocity that sets her or him apart from the field.
Imagine driving a car with no accelerator pedal, just a stop or "go fast" button, through the streets and back roads.
It's the application of that accelerator, and the converse application of the brake pedal, that sets two drivers of identical cars apart on a given course.
Likewise with skiing, our greater/finer control of velocity is the end goal of the bulk of our locomotive movements.
I coach Alpine snowboarding, full time (I'm taking the beginning of this season off due to injury), and the 'car' analogy is that which best impresses my athletes to remain passively conscious of their speed hunting/scrubbing process. In high-end recreational skiing, the juxtaposition of this regimen and attendant philosophy gains similar pertinence.
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