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Alignment Analysis

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Check out the "Slalom training-MA or TA" thread in 'Ski Technique and Analysis.'

Great footage for evaluating alignment. Could you help this skier without addressing technique or tactics? Can this skier's effectiveness and 'look' be improved dramatically through alignment/equipment adaptation?

What do you see? What would you ask? What would you do?

Bud? Mosh? Jdistefa?
post #2 of 6
IMO, you can't separate technique, tactics, and alignment in this clip.

Good skiing, but needs to let the body go - release the CM to travel across the feet and 'free fall' down the corridor, ahead of the equipment from the top of the arc to the fall line.

As it stands right now, the body is tense and 'captured' behind the feet, which results in late pressure - braking, grinding under the gate and reduces the possible choices re. tactics/line.

It is possible that the skier is undercanted, but hips behind the feet can exacerbate the appearance of a-framing (and I don't think a-framing is "bad", especially during the loading phase at the fall line/gate).

What would I do? I would test 0.5-1 degree of positive cant, and set longer (11-12m) to allow the skier to free fall from arc to arc, looking for speed with the CM, rather than skiing the gate (defensively).
post #3 of 6
Jim looks a little A framey, but this may be more a case of lazy inside leg than undercanting? If his canting is off, it probably isn't by much. Another area I would evaluate is Jim's fore/aft. A possible reason for the hips staying back a bit could be caused by too steep of a delta angle so shimming under the toe to see if this felt better to him would be another test I would do.

If skiing with him, I would experiment with cant shims as well as delta shims to zero in on his best settings.

If in my shop I would evaluate his whole set up, assessing his foot and ankle, footbed, ramp, net forward lean needs, static fore/aft in his skis, cuff alignment, canting internal and external. Then ideally out on the snow do some drills to elicit alignment accuracy and dynamic balance, then make any final tweaks to suit his needs.

Jim is certainly in the ball park and would probably need only minor tweaking to optimize his set up if any thing at all.
post #4 of 6
Well said jdistefa,
Determining the most likely cause should be inclusive of all probable causes, not exclusive. Especially in this case, I completely agree with you that the pelvis never projecting into the turns could be a probable cause. So if an on the snow alignment exercise or two doesn't show much, then it would have to be either tactics or technique...
post #5 of 6
And here the ultimate package is created by including technique analysis and alignment assessment together to optimize skier performance!

Shouldn't every ski instructor seek this knowledge and offer this service?...
post #6 of 6
As an adaptive instructor I believe that you have to have at least a rudimentary understanding of alignment. You have to be able to separate physical effects caused by alignment from the typical teaching quirks that we see.

Sometimes you end up with a student/client with a disability that affects alignment in some way; feet, ankles, legs, knees, etc. Being able to see what is going on and offer some help can make a world of difference to an adaptive skier. It can be as simple as adding a heel lift to a recommendation to see a qualified alignment specialist.
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