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GS Racing Line -- i just got some pics back from a race (help please)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventorder?photo=007X01DL05 0108&start=0&album=0&adjust=-1
http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventorder?photo=007X01DL05 0107&start=0&album=0&adjust=-1

AAAHHH. My technique's ok and i'm gettinga lot of angulation (hands are wild but whatever), but look how freakin' awful my line is! here's a picture of the dude that won the race (i was 25th but this was NE championships and 15 of the people ahead of me are racers with less than 80 FIS points)
http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventorder?photo=007X01DL05 0135&start=0&album=0&adjust=-1

I skied a clean line but i wasn't high or tight enough... how the heck do I get a tighter, higher line. at first I was somewhat pleased with my pics here, but then I saw where the gate was and I realized that I'm turning at/below/away from the gate and it's killing me. I looked at pictures of a lot of people that had similar times and my turn was a lot cleaner but a heckuva lot later. grrr.. advice, anyone?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 14, 2002 10:28 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #2 of 20
I'm not a racer but my friends that do or have gone to clinics tell me the way to ski a tighter line is don't aim at the gates but above the gate (about 1/3rd distance?)
post #3 of 20
I agree with dchan. it's a lot like line selection in mtb descending. here's what I've learned when improving my mtb descending on tough DH runs.

you must choose your line well before you get near the gate/turn. you must set up high and make your turn happen early, passing the gate at the end of your turn, not the beginning or middle.

btw, Glytch -- hands are wild "but whatever"? you're joking, right? drive and power are directly related to hand position.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
hey gonz... what I meant by 'but whatever' is that I usually have very strong hand positioning and that i just happened to be a little out of whack on that gate, and that I was very forward on my outside ski regardless of hand positioning. I just put a 3 degree edge bevel on my GS skis and it's helped me angulate so much (I can lay them out REALLY far and they are totally solid) that I actually think it's hurt my hand position (I can get a little sloppy). Moreover, I know that my hands were messy in the pictures, but I also know that far and wide the larger problem is my line (yucky). If anyone has advice besides '1/3 of the way up the hill' I'd be grateful (I've heard that once or 500 times [img]smile.gif[/img] )
post #5 of 20
Current general rule of thumb is to try to get 70% of the "direction change" completed above the gate so your line brings you outside-in tight up under the gate. Your photo looks as if you only have about 50% done by then, with a big tightening of arc made after the gate. Try to carve arc agressivly, but cleanly, as you turn down into the falline to maximize acceleration, on the gas, as your line goes out-and-around and back up under the gate. This line should allow you to start to open the arc after the gate as you aim for next edge change to carry max speed and minimize braking in bottom of turn (where you crank). Ski a tight top, open bottom -vs your open top, tight bottom turn shape.
Good Luck.

p.s. Beware the myth of "turning early"! Releasing to soon drops you into a narrow pinched line that forces you to ski past the gate before you can turn (your line?). The earlier you turn, the less direction change you can get above the gate. Hold edges a little longer until above next gate, so skis aim a little more to outside of course, then BOOM, change them quicker with minimal redirection in transition. arc2arc

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 14, 2002 11:56 AM: Message edited 2 times, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #6 of 20
I would tend to agree that your stance is pretty good, you're getting some nice angulation, however your hand are very wild, especially in the second pic. Your hand could have a lot to do with your line believe it or not. I believe that when you're driving up and in with your hands, you're head stays up more, and you're more likely to be spotting your ideal line.

Line is tricky, it's something that comes with practice and experience. It is by far my biggest weakness when I get in a race course. I try to think of starting my turn high, and ending it before or at least at the gate.. But it's a lot easier to say than to do.

About the winner's picture. On that particular turn he's definitely skiing tight. He might even be pinching a little too much. I think he could afford to get his skis a little farther out from the gate, and extend his body a little more. He seems like he's in the back seat a little. But it's really hard to tell without getting a look at where he's coming from and where he's going.. Anyone else agree?
post #7 of 20
It looks like you're coming into the turn a little too stiff legged and standing on your heel. Is your inside ski tip off the snow? In the first photo your skis aren't hooked up. They should be. The tip isn't being weighted as much as it should be and henceforth ain't hooking up and and cutting across the hill. I would say you have more of a turn shape problem than a line problem.

Are you on Salomon race boots? can you flex then?
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I believe that I started that turn really, really late; when the picture was taken I was just getting onto my edges (in a real hurry), and as a result I hadn't driven forward into my boots. yes, I'm on salomon race boots and sometimes I can get a decent amount of flex out of them and sometimes they're a bit too stiff (dep. on temperature), but I love them all the time. they're incredibly responsive and Smoooooth in and out of turns.

I just looked at that picture again and I think i was just engaging my outside edge. I could be a bit more forward; i think i drove forward a split second after the picture was taken. I think I might try holding my arcs for longer than usual (as someone suggested) as a method for keeping a higher line... I might be releasing a bit prematurely and not giving myself enough space to arc smoothly. Oh well. Imma try to work on this next time I ski GS. keep the good advice rolling!
post #9 of 20
I see that there are really 4 photos in sequence.

Photo 111) You are late for the gate. Outside hand is too high, push that hand down and you'll get more pressure on outside ski. Bring the inside hand up and forward its kind of pulling your shoulder down and back.

Tactics) You can make a tight turn easier on the flat than on the steep. So sometimes it works out better to go straighter on the last turn(s) on a steepand carry the speed into the flat.

photo 110) Hey keep that inside ski on the snow. That left leg should be flexed, not almost fully extended. Roll more edge to edge don't unweight so much. You should be extending right leg and flexing left leg. Upper body should moving across skis. This transition from one turn to another is taking too long and will mess you up on the next gate.

Photo 109) In the backseat a little. Outside hand/shoulders should be pushed down, this will increase angulation angle (decrease upper body lean) and increase pressure on outside ski. The outside ski should be pressured in this photo. A modern GS ski wants to be pressured as some as it gets on edge. So hit the edge pretty hard in or even before the fall line.
Tactics) The hill just flattened out you should be crushing that gate to recover your line.

108) Skis are not parallel so you may have just chattered or washed skis in bottom part of turn, otherwise you are setting up a converging step turn. Maybe too much pressure or too abrupt pressure for skis to hold or not using whole edge effectively. Should have had that pressure happening earlier in the turn. Inside ski is off snow at least the tip is so you may still be in the backseat. It may be a small roll in the hill.
post #10 of 20
It just looks to me like you aren't doing enough of your turn above the gate. Ski high above the gate and tight at the gate. Take a look at the picture of you before the gate and the picture of the other guy at the gate. There is no way he came in as straight as you. From the two pictures you have it looks like you must have come in too straight put them sideways at the gate and then carved out.

Mabye some guys ski a straighter line then you, but they are not skiing straight everywhere. They know the sections where they can get which sections away with it.

Still looks nice in the second shot. Separation could be better but you have a good long leg.
post #11 of 20
A single picture doesn't give a lot of info. What it looks like to me is turning into the panel too early(pinching). Also it appears that you may have started the turn from the "backseat". Both are common errors for second seed racers.
A phrase I try to avoid is,"turn early". Most people thinks this means turn sooner. It does not and is very confusing for most people especially young kids. You should turn in to the panel on the "rise line"(imaginary line up from the turning pole). This requires completing the previous turn more and "waiting" until the "rise line". If you do this your turn goes out beyond the gate and brings you to the gate with the "direction" you need("coming from behind")and the vertical height.
Second, turns need tobe started on the front of the ski. Either move the hips over or ahead of the feet or move the feet behind the hips.(six of one 1/2 dozen of the other). Ron LeMaster points out that the front part of the ski is pointing in the direction you want to turn, the back the opposite. Use the front part of the ski to carve the direction change, then the tail to stop turning and accelerate to the next turn-in point.
Hands are "balance adjusters". You can't fix the hands unless you fix the balance problem. Arcmiester has some great balance drills in other threads. Check them out and practice them to perfection.
GOOD LUCK [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 20
I think SLATZ has the right idea. Starting a turn too early will force you to lay off the carve until clear and then try to get it back.

In your first pic,(it looks like) if you were hooked up and carving you would plow into the panel and probably hook the gate, so you are having to wait on the hookup, but then again a still doesn't tell the story of how you got there...
post #13 of 20
Okay, I'm not a racer, but...

This is what I see. I'm using picture 108 as the most prominent example (although the others are similar).

Take your thumbs and cover up your arms in the picture. What do you see? Everything except your right leg is trying to go to the right. Your shoulders, hips, even your left ski. I can understand a bit of false counter to clear a gate (as the guy who won is doing), but you are constantly in that position. No matter how much you want to go to the left, if your entire body is trying to go to the right, it's going to take you longer to get there, and you are going to have to throw your body all over the place to keep your balance and change direction.

You are in a GS course with skis that have a lot of side cut. I would suggest that you train your upper body to lead your skis a bit more, rather than having it always trying to catch up. It'll be a lot smoother, and you'll be able to keep your balance much better. Try having (as we like to call it) a stronger inside half, and getting your inside ski to lead, not follow. This will help pull your hips and shoulders along, and you'll probably find it easier to keep a good hand position.

Another thing that may help, which I think has already been suggested, it to try to be a bit more compact. The long outside leg will not be able to hold the line quite as well, and you also have to have your feet further from the gate if you don't want to wrap yourself around it. Being that tall through the turn also means that you have a bigger move to make to get your CM to the other side of the skis, making it take longer to make the turn.

You know, it also looks like the guy who won was also a little late for that gate. I can't tell where the next gate is, but by the time you are on a gate, you should be facing the next gate (continuing to turn until you are facing the high mark above the gate).
post #14 of 20
This is really a 4 photo sequence isn't it?
starting from Picture 111 to 108?
Course transitions from steep to flat?
If that is the case then one of the reasons the winner is on a low line is that he intended to suck the speed off the steep and turn in the flats.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello all... yes, this is a sequence (I guess...) a pro photographer (www.thsphoto.com)was taking these and gave me a card at the end of the race telling me where to go on the internet to find them.
I have no idea what I was doing on that blue gate... actually now that I think about it, the red before that blue was a real cranker right next to the fence so I tried to stick to a carve on it but it made me really late for the blue. I know that my hands were wild this race (usually arent)... I seem to have a myriad of problems that I havent had in the past (done video, etc), but at the same time some of my older issues (breaking at the waist) arent there. This is the first time I've had so much leg extension and I think it's because I moved up my bevel to a 3 degree edge (from a 2) and I could hold much more solidly and really power my skis... that's the reason I'm a bit countered. I didnt chatter out on my inside ski; consciously I was being very one-footed because I slid out in my first GS race this year on my inside ski and screwed my team over pretty badly (I'm the #1 gs seed) so I wasn't going to risk that again. I laughed really hard when I saw that picture with my foot in the air. I have no idea at all what I was doing... probably losing any remnant of technique that I have when I'm not concentrating so damn hard [img]smile.gif[/img] and this straight-leg business.... this is a new thing in my skiing; I'm happy with it in picture 108 (as I am with my counter.. I didn't slide out and kept my carve going that turn), but going around the blue gate I'm a total mess with a straight leg. hmm. I also have no idea why I was engaging my edges like that; usually I roll edge to edge... however someone's suspicion that I drifted sideways before I engaged wasn't the case... I just rolled engaged my edges in a umm hokey manner. [img]smile.gif[/img] Oh... the pitch was consistent throughout where these pictures were taken... if anything, actually, the red was a bit steeper. the reason I was so late is that I held my carve as long as I could... I think I started it too late however, the whole one ski off of the ground doing god knows what thing in my transition after the blue gate probably wasnt so good. I was, however, pleased with the bit of counter I had because I was able to put a lot more pressure on the ski than I would have been able to otherwise. thanks again for the advice and keep it coming!
post #16 of 20
I am not a racer but have been involved in racing , both boys race and i have been a race chair for 10 years. some good advice here some bad first the fellow talking about rise line is giving you a big key to general line, second I wasnt going to respond until i read your last post . you talk about hanging on to the carve a long time and that was why you got late. one of the keys to being fast is to have a very small C and get back on your skis going straight you might feel fast arching but your probably over turning beinng on your edges slows you down. the guy with the smallest cleanest C will win.

back to rise line the steeper the pitch the higher in the rise line you intiate your turn the flatter the lower you go.if you go to ski racing there was a great article about 2 years ago on rise line maybe they will help you locate it

by the way it looks like you were just late
and almost double turned but i think impossible to tell. where are your coaches do they talk about rise line redirection etc.
and if your losing to real 80 point fis racers no shame in that

good luck
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
yeah the guy who won has like 60 gs points i think... he got 2nd in the Sl for the day, too [img]smile.gif[/img] yeah we're completely out of our league when we race NE's... my school can't compete against the FIS teams of Holderness, Gould, Proctor, etc... they dont send their kids that race in HS leagues, they send the kids who have 8 pairs of skis a year and are trying to get recruited to UVm and Dartmouth... oh well. hopefully I'll be able to race D3 in college... it's a good goal anyway.
post #18 of 20
Every one is saying get higher get more of your turn done earlier. That's great and that is what needs to be done. What hasn't been said is how to do it. Just saying get higher and turn ealier doen't really mean much if you still point your skis at the gate after you've gotten higher.

Here are my thoughts on the pictures.

1. Your skis are doing great things. I like the fact that you've got both edges (uphill and downhill) engaged in the turn.
2. The down hill leg is nice and long/sraight for the most part, enabling you to take full advantage of the ski. The more angles in the downhill leg the less snap you will get.
3a. Hands do what hands do to stay balanced.
b. That being said, you still need to get the hands forward and drive that downhill hand down into the turn and get the uphill had higher and in front of you more.
4. You seem to be a bit counter rotated. Stop that. In GS there isn't to much of that going on anymore.

About Line
1. Getting higher is not nessecarely the best way to put it. Especialy on the steeps you need to get your skis across the fall line more. What usually gets people late is that their skis are pointed at or close to the next gate. Pic a land mark, ie. a tree, boulder, out side panel to really get those skis pointing away from the turning gate.
2. Turn at the rise line and come up tight underneith the turning gate. Repeat all the way down the coarse.

On Flats
If you've carried a good line and good speed into the flats it is possible to run the late line and actually gain speed. This, however, may lead to problems if you don't ski smartly and know when to get the proper line back.

I thought your first pic looked pretty good actually. If you don't pay attention to the upper body and just look at the skis, I would think you had a great run.

Well these are my thoughts and comments. If I wasn't clear on anything please mention it and I'll try to clarify. Good luck with the rest of your season.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 21, 2002 01:40 PM: Message edited 2 times, by CERA F ]</font>
post #19 of 20

I'm interested in the detail of this post. (Even though it is 9 years old).

However, the photos are no longer in place.

"This photo is no longer available"

Any chance of re-publishing them?


post #20 of 20

You should probably just go straighter. taking it deep and turning earlier is gonna shorten the distance you travel therefore shortening your time. 

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