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Up and over vs. Leg extension and Contraction.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm confused over these two techniques in GS turns. I was taugh to come up, roll skiis, transfer weight and finish the turn (abbreviated description). But racers seem to change edges by pulling up their legs and extending them to the opposite side in a very fluid motion. Is that techniquie better than the old school I was taught?
post #2 of 4
"Better" is only relative to what you are trying to accomplish.

The "up & over" can work ok in a variety od situations, if you want to lengthen the time the skis are flat and/or unloaded them to assist re-directing them to start a turn, if that is what you want to do. Hop turns in steep, narrow, ugly snow conditions?

With "down & across", the down regulates pressure entering the transition and releases the body mass diagonally across skis toward inside of next turn. This also allows a quicker edge change, with minimal loss of ski/snow engagment (minimal re-balancing), after which the legs extend to pressure skis as needed to facilitate carving in top of turn as they arc into the falline.

I teach the 'down & across' pattern first, regardless of the skiers level, as it provides an easier (relaxing vs. extending)release of both edges and body from turn to turn. I teach 'up & over' as an option, but not as the primary movement pattern.
post #3 of 4
An explanation that I was given to balance the use of either method was describing it as the risk line. The line the COG travels on a vertical plane corresponds to the risk. If the COG remains undisturbed and travels in a relatively flat line down the hill this can be very fast as it disturbs the COG the least and keeps all the momentum travelling down the hill. It is also very risky as the moves to control this effort need to be very precise and the forces threatening to affect fore/aft balance are considerable. If you watch World Cup GS you will see them ski the flats with little upward movement as they round the gates and their feet slink around the gates with considerable lateral extension/flexion visible . As they hit the steeps or more demanding turns you will see the hips rising for more of an up and over movement. This reduces the risk where the balance point is more demanding or tenuous (the steeps). This corresponds with the old saying 'you race the flats and ski the steeps'. The winner of the race is the one who can better push that 'risk line' on the more demanding terrain without going too far and making a speed scrubbing mistake. I always thought this put a good perspective on the blending of various skills and/or techniques and their application in various conditions. Race or otherwise.
post #4 of 4
The greats such as Alberto Tomba, Dianne Roffe, Marc Girardelli, and the current American Great Bode Miller [ see Feb 2000 issue of Ski Mag.,p.90,] seem to use a minimum of verticle body extension to get the job done. The upper body while strong, is very quite.If you look at the sequence of photos, the level of Bode Miller's head stays about the same, it all happens below the waist.

So you choose TamSki, what technique you want to use. I believe world class ski racers choose the technique that is most efficient to get the job done. Bode Miller,is currently the USA's best hope in mens alpine skiing, for any top three placement.
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