Originally Posted by Rick
Tog, we also call that pivoting. In almost every turn he lets his tails drift out before engaging, that's how he's able to go so direct at the gate. Some would call that pivoting a mistake, or a corrective action for a prior error. What do you think? Repetitive mistakes, or good skiing? Imagine the line he'd have to take if he tried to ski it arc to arc. It would be much rounder and higher.
I hope everyone can see the pivoting in these turns. It's pretty significant. When you're working with students, and trying to develop the ability to ski arc to arc, you need to have an eye to be able see if any form of rotary redirection at initiation is taking place. While certainly a legitimate transition type, it's not arc to arc. If you're shooting for arc to arc transitions with your students, it constitutes a mistake.
I don't know whether it's a mistake or a recovery from a prior mistake (i.e., getting late/low) but it's darned athletic skiing, and it looks more athletically taxing but less technically demanding than ripping through those gates with a steeper edge angle (and greater inclination and angulation) in more arc-to-arc skiing with a higher line. That is, this kind of skiing seems possible if you are strong and athletic and reasonably agile with good balance skills but are not actually skilled enough to carve more arc to arc in the same course.
And it seems to me a reasonably good kludge (clunky and inelegant but reasonable work-around fix) for getting a little later/lower in the course than you wanted to be. (Which happens to me, say, with some frequency. OK--almost universal frequency.) It's a better alternative than what I often do when it looks like I won't otherwise make the next gate, which is to jam the heel after
redirecting the ski. (Slow, slow, S-L-O-W. And loud. And not all that effective, because not having that forward boot cuff pressure early means I'm not getting as much turning power out of the ski.)
I suppose we're all drawn to techniques which (A) seem more achievable, (B) match our personalities, and (C) reflect our current mistakes but are executed much more competently--so I actually liked that skiing. It looked like something I could almost do with some work, even if I don't see myself capable of ripping through those gates looking more like Ted Ligety or Benni Raich with a more extreme edge angle and the skis spending much more time on the snow.
So, I'd go with (1) probably a mistake, at least compared to skiing a little more arc to arc, (2) but one I'd happily embrace today, because it seems much faster than my current cluster of mistakes, but actually almost achievable.
I know we've recently had some extensive discussions here that the WC racers strive to ski arc-to-arc whenever possible, but these airborn ski pivots are unlike my understanding of what a stivot is, and for a lot of us, we have to have a pretty big initial steering angle to make the gates in slalom