OLR = Outside Leg Release(or Relax?)
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Coolness. If I remember back to the original posting on this (a hard thing to do if you're in Masters Men's Class 7...), part of the deal with handling the "washing at the end of the turn" problem is the fear thing that causes skiers to lean in and back, taking the pressure off the outside ski and causing it to wash. Once a skier gets the idea that a carving ski that you can direct where you want can control speed at least as well, and maybe even better, than windshield wiper turns, you can do the tactical exercise of "ski fast on a slow line", which I use a lot. In other words, find something steep and wide, with no traffic, and make big, round GS turns where you can come well out of the fall line, then rocket across the hill on a pretty steep traverse, then make another big, round turn and rocket back the other way. As opposed to making great carved turns close to the fall line and risking having the skis accelerate away from you.
This also teaches skiers that momentum is your friend. Or, as a friend of mine used to say, "If you're not turning, go faster." Momentum, properly controlled and applied, is an external force that you can use to get your skis to turn you. If your momentum is suboptimal for the situation, now you need internal (essentially muscular) forces to make the ski turn. Which isn't bad...there are times when that's the only game in town. All things considered, however, as a (ahem) Chronologically Challenged alpine racer, I'd prefer to have the skis turn me...
- (2) At the bottom third of the arc, where you're coming out of the fall line, you also want to be easing off on the pressure and rolling off the edge to a neutral ski...tracking out of the turn, in other words. This is my greatest sin, and why I can be slow in the course, which is that I often enjoy my turns so much that I spend half my life in them. Once the ski has turned the corner, track out of the turn, don't grind against the combined forces of momentum and gravity.
Okay...I'm likely to mess this up, but here goes. I can already hear the Screams of the Doomed, but I'll give it a shot. This'll be a little esoteric, but bear with me. I'm like LeMaster, I see a lot of great skiing on the WC, but there's usually a number of athletes that, I just like the way they ski, and then I try to figure out what they're doing. Here's Jean Baptiste (JB) Grange, winning at Zagreb last year.
The guy is a great, soccer-style quickness athlete, and in any slalom course, things are happening incredibly quickly...but compared to most of the other guys, JB looks incredibly loose, relaxed, and balanced...and he never looks rushed. He rarely has to pull a major recovery move because he's always balanced and where he wants to be in his line up above the gate, before the meat of the turn really happens. How does he do it? Well, I often think of skiing in terms of music, specifically tempo...fast, slow, and so forth. Even in terms of time signature. To me, a lot of the other guys are skiing in 4/4 time...one, two, three, four, very quick into one turn and then immediately out of it into the next. I think JB skis in 3/4 time, which is really closer to the movement pattern and rhythm you often see in GS...and, yes, IMHO, SL, as it is currently best practiced, is really mini-GS in a lot of ways.
I talked a lot above about how well balanced and relaxed he is, but look at his progress down the hill. Yes, he's obviously going fast, but I really don't see anywhere where his skis get going way too fast and he has to tromp on the brake. I think he's doing what you want to do, which is ski slow on a fast line. So even if he's skiing perhaps "slower" than the other guys, he's able to maintain a cleaner, more direct line, so he gets to the finish faster.
One of the things about the French, and this is true of their tennis players, too, is that they are real stylists. As a group, IMHO, they ski very elegantly and precisely. I have a ski instructor background before I got into Masters racing about 20 years ago, and I had to spend a lot of time unlearning how to ski pretty and figuring out how to go fast.
Having said all that...I think there's a case for skiing precisely, and I'm thinking of what Stenmark used to do when he was having problems, which was to slow down, make precise turns where he could feel the whole turn and the accompanying body movements until he got everything resynched and back on track. So here's a drill I invented...or probably, I just discovered it, and somebody else already has the patent, which I've been doing a lot lately that I think gets to the heart of what you're looking for. Which I call the "3 click" or 'click, click, click" turn. Three distinct moves, 3/4 time, right?
So here it is. I'm at that phase in the turn, probably in the last 3rd like we've been saying, where I've got max edge angle and pressure. Turn done, or close to it, I now need to stop turning, transition, and get the carve the other way going. So here's the three clicks, where it's foot oriented, but the body has to balance:
- Click 1, I roll off the major league edge angle to a flat ski, hips also move so that they're centered between the skis, weight more or less even on both skis. This is the "go to neutral" phase I do to get off the edge, and I have to go through it...I can't just jump to the next set of edges. Or maybe I could, but I probably wouldn't be in balance, and I'd probably land pretty harshly on the new edge.
- Click 2, roll just slightly to the new edge, the body starts toppling to the inside of the turn. A lot of people, and I think this is the 4/4 time thing, feel like you want to immediately go to a major edge angle. I'd prefer to do as Rick has suggested in some of his posts, and get the edge tracking lightly...I'm feathering from a flat ski to the new edge, I'm not trying to butcher my way to the new edge. The ski starts the arc because, thanks to today's sidecuts, even a little edge and pressure starts what LeMaster calls the "self steering" effect.
- Click 3, thanks to self-steering, I'm in the fall line. I could just let the ski keep tracking lightly, but that would keep me in the fall line for a while longer than maybe I want, and my speed could get away from me, and I might get jacked in the back seat. So I click over to a big edge angle, hips move way inside the turn (but I'm angulating out to put max pressure on the outside ski), and lo and behold, I complete a clean arc, I'm balanced and I have momentum, but it's under control, and I repeat the 3 clicks the other way.
I'm not saying this should be mechanical. You don't want to park and ride at each one of the clicks. But you do want to feel each phase distinctly. But once again, go back and look at what Grange is doing. Whatever he's doing, I think this is what we're looking for in this thread. My words, above, and the above drill are just my way of trying to find for myself what he's doing. If somebody else sees it a different way, so be it...just one more data point, on my part...