EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Drills for improving starts?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Drills for improving starts?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I tried racing last season and my weakest part was the start. I can get a solid initial push, but unless the there is a very steep hill right from the start I almost stall for a second. Most racing tracks I have access to are only around 25 seconds, so slow start is not an option no matter how well you do the rest.

I tried searching for drills for better starts but could not find anything. Are there any articles/videos/drills I could use? I guess I can start with getting my skating technique into a (much) better shape. I'd appreciate any info on how to do that and go beyond...

post #2 of 5

The key at the start is to be able to move your core forward with a kick-out with the feet, timed with a strong chest compression while propelling with the poles. From there, poling and skating combined allow for acceleration to the gate.

To cut down of trial and error, get some coaching on the kick-out start along with strong skating movements.

post #3 of 5

There's a tendency for some skiers to use the kick start that they see the pro racers use, but end up kicking their feet ahead of their upper body. When this happens, there's a stall transitioning from the initial push to the skate. If this is the problem, my recommendation would be to focus on using your poles during the initial push to keep your upper body ahead (and leaning forward) of your lower body. You have to hold your poles in the snow through the kick so that they are angled forward as you complete your push off them.

Skating is a drill we do to improve skiing skills. Hmm - this is a toughie - how do we do a drill for a drill?

The ley to skating is rolling onto the new edge before push off so that the upper body is already moving in the direction of the other ski before you shove off onto that ski. One weird drill for this is tractor tire. Find an almost flat trail that has snow soft enough to leave tracks in. Get in a wedge and go very slow but have one ski flat and one ski on edge. This causes your wedge to "crab" sideways a bit. Travel for a ski length, then abruptly switch the edged to ski to flat and the flat ski to edged. This will cause you to crab back in the other direction. The flat skis smears the snow and the edge ski leaves a straight line. After a series of these, you will have left straight lines in the snow that connect perpendicular to each other that will look like tractor tire tracks in the snow. This drill helps to isolate the same movements in skating but at a much lower intensity.

A drill that might help with "transitions" is skate to shape. Find an easy blue trail and start skating straight down the fall line and gradually turn the skate moves into short radius turns. The smoother you can make the transition so that it is hard to tell where the skating stops and the turning begins, the better your starts are going to be.

Does this help?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Looks like both responses got it right - my body is not forward enough and, as a result of that, I am not edging the ski before pushing of it. I tried fixing that and got immediate improvement, but that did not feel natural to me. I guess I'll just have to practice. My transitions also can be improved - I compared them to some race videos and noticed that where I just stop skating there are more steps involved (which I have not yet figured out).

post #5 of 5
Max, first I will venture to say your start is not the source of your "weakest part". A great start can look flamboyant and impressive, but in actuality it accounts for very little differnce in time, and if it's followed by a poor line and sloppy carving then any minimal gains are quickly long lost.

Watch Bode's start in a WC race sometime. In contrast to a Hermann's animal start with arms and legs going everywhere, and froth at the mouth,,, Bode simply tips out of the start with little passion and eases into the course.

Don't worry about a big kick start for now. A strong arm push start followed by a couple skates is all you really need to set yourself in motion. Then start focusing on what really matters for getting a good result: a good line and clean turns.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Drills for improving starts?