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"Modern" racing technique,help!.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I´ve just come back from a 5 day ski course,we did a bit of everything including some gates and video correction.
Emphasis was put into keeping skis hip-width apart,both carving through the turn (leaving those railroad tracks).
We were told to keep both feet even,not pulling the outside ski back,and to turn the hips in the direction we were turning,and parallel to the snow.
When i watch WC racers in video it seems they enter the turn with the outside ski further back,plus their torso-hips are counter-rotated (inside hand leads).
It just looks different from the ice hockey stance that is becoming the norm on "modernized" ski instructors.
Am i imagining things?.
post #2 of 12

Were these instructions for all your skiing? or just the gates? So your talking about having very little/no inside ski lead right?
Since inside ski lead is quite natural, I'm curious as to why you'd have to "pull back the outside ski".

I'm interested in this subject too, though I'm afraid I'll have few answers for you. Some now seem obsessed with this topic. I'm wondering if it has a lot to do with the extremely short lengths many are skiing now. (< 177cm) Was the instructor on short skis? Were these gs or slalom gates?

Having little inside ski lead usually entails pulling the inside foot back and keeping the hips more square to the skis no?
Was no reasoning given for this technique?

We're going to have to wait here for answers.
[stuck in a dark mineshaft voice:] "will someone please help?"

ps. where was your 5 day program? (I'll lite a candle)
post #3 of 12

while we're still waiting in this dark mineshaft, have a look at the photos here: http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000250.html

Actually, read that thread too.

In the top photo of Hermann, he seems not to have a lot of inside ski lead but still there's what 3" ? In the bottom photo the skier appears to have more lead 6" ? But it's rather hard to tell on both pictures because of the angle.

hmmm... i hear water dripping...

[I've returned with supplies:]

This from Bob B's comment on the above thread:
>>Also--don't try to get too countered, or too square. Allow your feet and legs to turn beneath your pelvis, and your stance will maintain the important alignment that allows all the athletic movement options you need for high-performance skiing, while remaining biomechanically strong and efficient. As in the photo of the Hermanator, your inside ski will lead slightly, as will the entire inside half of your body--knee, hip, shoulder, and hand.<< Bob B.

...perhaps key phrase is "your inside ski will lead slightly" emphasize slightly?

Now, how does this "square" with your ice hockey stance? And what you did in the 5 day program?

("don't worry, we can get through this"... drip...drip...drip...)

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[This message has been edited by Tog (edited March 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
-The instructor was on 175 extrem twin tips
-Gates were GS (very easy course set)
-Reason for keeping skis even:it is easier to apply pressure to both skis and keep them carving through the turn.If both skis are even, the hips will indeed have to be more square to the direction of travel,otherwise the outside ski will not get enough pressure (as soon as i lost my square hip position,the outside ski would drift away).
The program was in the spanish Pyrenees,the school instructors are ex-racers and mogul riders and the school follows Swiss-French doctrine.
post #5 of 12
I am not and probably never be one of the technically proficient ones on this forum.

I am just quoting from an article by A. J. Kitt with Bill Egan, US Mens Coach. It seems to answer your question.

"The myth of parallel shins".......

"(i.e. maintaining equal distance between both knees and feet), ...... he considers it a good teaching technique concept, he said it's nearly impossible to achieve on the hill. He suggested that getting a skier to match edge angles is more practical and beneficial. To do this, the skier should focus on driving the inside knee forward while allowing it to drop slightly to the inside. This will allow the hips, which are the core of each persons athleticism, to be alligned in a strong position."

If you stand with your skis at a "comfortable" or natural distance beneath you and roll them on their edges, they are at quite different angles and you have to advance one ski to achieve "matching". I was playing with this this week during a non racing drill, but it may apply to illustrate.
post #6 of 12
This is a big topic, to say the very least, but here's one coach's viewpoint: http://www.shapeski.com/
(He's really big on countered hips.)

Olle Larson is really big on drawing the outside foot back: http://www.rossignolracing.com/index.php3?XSession=a4ed3a598b9bbe905beeffce13ee43 97&template=waxroom/larsson_how01.html
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I´ll try to understand what you posted,right now you have me terrified!.
post #8 of 12
Couple of things I thought I add....

I think the suggested technique is good for an easy (NASTAR type) GS set. If you are on shaped skis all you have to do is tuck at the first gate and you can make nice carved turns all the way to the bottom just by swinging your butt back and forth.... errr, I mean "turning your hips in the direction you are going" . However it would hardly work on a steeper and tighter set when you have to work hard to make a turn. I'd say the tighter the turn you are making the more you lead with your inside hip, the further you pull your outside ski back, the more weight you have on your outside ski. Pulling your outside ski back puts more pressure on the tip of the ski, making an arc tighter.

I can only take your word on what is the becoming a norm in the ski instruction nowadays, but the explanation to what you are describing is in the G-force difference and skier background. When you teach a recreational skier how to use the new equipment correctly, you need to break the "throw-them-sideways-and-skid" habbit. One way to accomplish it is make sure the ski is not pushed around. Hence weigh them equally, all work is in the hips, do not move your feet back and forth so there is no chance of steering, etc.

On FIS type course you do have to put alot of pressure on the ski to make the turn. The ski does get pushed. The difference is that there is no margin for error when you do that pushing. Little bit forward or little bit back from the sweeet spot and the ski goes into skid. You can no longer do equal pressure on both skis, first, because twice the weight on one ski makes it bend more and thus carve tighter. Second, because on a watered down course twice the weight means better grip. Third, because at the middle of a turn the body angulation is such that outside knee is almost fully extended and the inside knee is almost fully bent; as a result your bent leg is much weaker and can not put the same pressure as the straight outside one. Once again here is the link to the picture that dispells the myth of "always equal pressure" http://www.fis-ski.com/mediaworld/image.sps?id=2003601 .

Also when you are in the middle of a World Cup turn your inside foot has to go forward the length of the boot, because due to the high angulation there no space between the outside leg and the snow. However here lies a very common mistake. You do not want to think about driving your inside foot forward. If you do just that, it will actually extend your inside knee and push your inside hip back. The goal is to drive inside knee forward while keeping the inside foot back (a boot length ahead of outside foot), thus putting pressure on the front of the boot (your shin got to feel it). That will bring your hips in the right position.

.... did I just make things even more complicated .....


PS: Pierre, I saw your post only after I submitted mine. Sorry if I repeated you in some way.

Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
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[This message has been edited by VK (edited March 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 12
VK, just a comment on that Michael von Gruenigan shot. In this shot his outside ski is overedged, he is losing grip by edge shearing the snow. On anything less than a salted and waterd ice course he will lose the outside ski and have to step on the inside ski to pull him out.

Having watched von Gruenigan for years, that is no big problem for him. I just thought that this particular shot poorly illustrated a railed carved turn.


I edited it to put up a link http://www.fis-ski.com/mediaworld/image.sps?id=2005743 in which I think that the ski edge angle is at it's optimum for carving a solid turn.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Ott Gangl (edited March 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #10 of 12

Pierre went way off to the technical side. We tend to do this here because most of the readers have been here long enough to be able to decipher it. Here it is again:

When the skis are flat on the snow (90 degrees to the snow surface), there should not be any tip lead. However, tip lead is a result of counter, not there for its own sake. So what Pierre is saying is that when you are in the middle of the transition from one turn to the next, two things should be occurring; 1) The skis should be flat on the snow because your mass should be directly on top of the skis (relative to the hill, not vertical), and the hips and torso should be facing the direction that the skis are traveling - there should be no countering at that point, and therefore, no tip lead.

And just in case you are not sure what I mean by "countering", it's the twisting, or seperation, of the upper and lower body. For example, when the skis are pointed across the hill, and the hips and torso are pointed more down the hill than the skis, the body is in a "countered" position. Countering is the motion of getting into that position.

I hope this helps clear things up a bit.

post #11 of 12
Pierre, I see what you're saying. Yeah, I'll go along with everything except the last statement (and even then, I only halfway disagree):

"There is also tip lead as a result, except on very long radius rail road turns."

The radius has nothing to do with it. The "rail road" (pure carved) turns is the operative. A short radius rail road turn should be performed the same way as a long radius one.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody.
By the way,i was thinking of buying the "skiing and the art of carving" book and maybe the video too.Are they worth it?.
I allready have "the skier´s edge" and i think it is pretty good,the insistence of the instructor´s in this course about having no tip lead had me thinking it was maybe outdated (it was written in 1999!) but your posts have put me more at ease.
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