Originally Posted by SkierScott
Ski Racing - Line Selection
* You need to select the line that matches the terrain, the course set and your abilities. When in doubt, see 1st bullet.
* If you are low & late, it's better to pivot and skid or ski a rounder line above the next gate or two than to ski and brake below the current gate.
Thanks SkierScott. Good references. I enojyed Jesse's drill, and have watched Trevor's drill trained, with timing. Very educational for the coach and athlete. It can address what I highlighted above.
I have no formal car line training. But, growing up as a racer, I used to drive very hard. The commonality between gate line and car line is looking for your line, and hitting it.
In skiing, it is about momentum. Gravity is your ally. That's your engine. The mountain has alot of speed to give you. Can you harness it?
The steepest traverse angle from one gate to the next would be the fastest line from gate to gate. Remember, gravity is the engine. So, I want to link steep traverses. Watch Bode. Ah yes. That's how you win.
Unfortunately, there are turns between the steep traverses. So, I need to understand the turn as it relates to gravity to minimize speed loss thru the arc.
Gravity draws my skis down the hill. Unless I'm really sloppy, I don't lose much time in the top of the turn, because gravity is working with me. But, if my skis are not carving through turn exit, I'm gonna lose all kinds of time. At the bottom of the turn, gravity wants to pull my skis downhill, yet I need to go across.
Simply, I need to run a line that allows me to carve my turn exits, attempting to link the steepest traverses. Skidding my turn exits will insure slow times.
Always switch your edges by halfway to the next gate. An edge switch later than halfway between the gates is mis-timed and late. Slalom is earlier than halfway.
Understand that you ski around the gates. The gate is not where I aim my skis. My ski tips are always targeted outside the gate on approach. Aiming my skis at the gates is too direct and will cause me too severe of a re-direction after the gate, or as R-R has to "slam on the brakes."
Give yourself room to angulate next to the gate. If my skis are right next to the gate, I have no room to tip, my skis will be flat, I'll be skidding and my momentum is gone. My outside ski target is 3 feet away from the gate on every turn. This is a good starting reference.
Your turn target is the point directly underneath the gate that is as high on the line as possible, to create the steepest traverse angle to the next turning target as possible. "Maintain elevation."
Look Ahead. You must always have two gates in your vision. If your focus is your current gate, then you're late.
See SkierScott's reference above: Your line is based on your ability. We can't ski as direct as the World Cuppers but we can do the same things: Run a line that allows you to go arc to arc. Aim outside, slide in, carve out. Eliminate braking. Look ahead. Look ahead. Look ahead.