Stop, stop, you're blowing my mind. Just kidding! I actually think this is a really valuable discussion...I just dunno if we're going to get agreement on what SL skiing is, or should be. Some thoughts:
- We started this all off with the question of "Go round? Or go straight?" It's a little hard to figure this one out, because "round" is a turn shape...but as Rick said in one of his posts, we think of a "round" line
as one where you use lots of real estate to make sure you make all the gates and stay in plenty of control...a fine idea, unless you are a ski racer, because a round line is usually pretty slow.
So to a large extent, it's kind of a self-answering question, because the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so we ought to be going straight, right? A fine idea, except if you try to go too
straight, as a race car driver or a ski racer, you wind up in the weeds.
- So we kind of want to go as straight as possible but still make all the gates. Go back and take a look at my Loveland post re Mario Matt. I really wish I had some video, because I can only report what I *think* I saw, which is that Matt was making round turns, all right, but they were little
round turns, with the apex more or less right at the gate (50% of the turn above the gate, 50% below), with lots of opportunity to go straight and gain speed between these little round arcs.
If I'm right in what I saw, this also accords with what Rick has said, and I totally agree, and this was my original problem in both SL and GS, which is trying to have way
too round a line and starting the turn way
too early. As Rick points out, if you make a clean, early, round turn, you often wind up turning inside the gate, and you have to back off and double turn to get around it.
So now we're getting into turn shape plus tactics. I still think the old saw of "start the turn at the rise line" is a good starting place (joke, ha, ha). If you start the turn before the rise line, you do what Rick was talking about, which is risk skiing inside the gate. If you start the turn after the rise line, you risk getting low and having to put in a J turn or something similar.
I'm not gonna use the word "deep", but you can see where I'm going from here. The drill we were talking about above with the stubbies is what Ron LeMaster also called the "Trevor Wagner" drill, because he is often accredited with using it early on in its existence. I've done it, and what that drill can teach you to do is to aim lower
(closer to the gate) on the rise line. I don't really have it wired in SL yet...but it's helped me a ton in GS. After you do the drill, you can convince yourself that you actually can enter the rise line lower (which saves real estate)...but what you also realize is that it's probably a good idea to exit the "reverse rise line" (rise line going below the gate) a little higher (closer to the gate) as well. I can make a great turn by going straight at the gate and entering the rise line two inches above the gate...but the chances are it's the only turn I'll make.
Note that we're talking aboiut two things in this thread: (1) What the best in the world are doing in SL, or what we think they are doing and (2) What the rest of us are doing. All disciplines are getting so fast that the gates come up at you quickly in GS and above, as well as in SL. But for whatever reason, for Yours Truly, the seem to come up the fastest in SL. So I'd really like to see this discussion continue in terms of (1), because I *thought* I had a pretty good set of eyes...but now I'm not really sure why the fastest in the world in SL are, well, that fast
. But for (2), specifically my skiing...why turn if you don't have to? I'm going to take up speed skiing! Just kidding! What I'm actually going to do (we only just start running gates tomorrow...) is try to get it going in GS, and then imagine that, for Yours Truly, good SL is really just mini-GS, so I'm going to work on making a round SL turn in as little
vertical distance as possible and sticking the apex of that turn right at the gate, 50% of the turn above the gate, 50% below. And if that doesn't work, I'm going to take up bowling...watch this space for details....