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Slalom MA please

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just been at my second local race now. I've got some slalom footage and I'd be delighted to hear your opinions.
I'm sorry for the pain in your eyes, but the outfit is from 15 years ago when I raced snowboards. Need to do something about it. ;)

What's my weak points and how should I train to improve? Also I'd like to know your opinion about how i move my hands.

The long turn after the first vertical combination is unfortunately not in focus and I had problems there. The first run I had to climb, so this second run I dealt with it the best way I could. Really don't know how I should have approaced that one.

And in slomo

post #2 of 8
Looking good, Karl.  Here are a couple things to focus on:

Most important is the reaching you're doing across your body with your outside hand to clear the gate.  It's rotating your body towards the gate, which is brushing your tails out into a bit of a skid.  That brushing does cause the skis to come around for you, but in a manner that results in an immediate speed dump.  Getting rid of that skidding, and cleaning up your carves, will result in faster times.  

Here's how to do it.  Drive your inside hip forward as you initiate your turns.  That will do 2 things for you.  First, it will put you into a slight countered position, the exact opposite of the rotated stance you end up in when you reach.  Holding that position as you go around the gate will eliminate the tail wash.  Second, it will pull your pelvis forward. Currently your pelvis is perpetually trailing your feet.  Moving your pelvis forward and into the turn will load the front of your skis more at turn initation, which will sharpen your arc and allow you to drop your hips and body inside the gate more.  And the counter you create with the inside hip drive will allow you to more easily stay outside ski balanced as you drop inside the gate, and onto a higher edge angle.  With your body inside the gate, the need to reach will be gone, and so will the skid.  

The turns you encounter in a race course will not always be offset enough to allow the body to move inside the gate as I've described above.  In those instances you have two choices.  One is to inside hand clear, as you did a few times in the video.  The other is to reach slightly with the outside hand, but via arm reach.  Do not allow your body to rotate with the reach.  Reach only the amount that the arm will allow on its own, without affecting your body position.  When you get this right you will feel the enhanced cleanness of your carve, and the associated increase in speed.  

Once you experience it, you will know what you're striving for, and will know immediately when the skid creeps back in.  

By the way, did you know you DSQ'd in that run, Karl?  Skied right over a gate with your inside ski.  You never skipped a beat though, so I bet they didn't catch it.  Have a look.  

Karl Straddle.png
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
That is excellent advice Rick. I totally relate to what you are saying.
The feeling I had skiing this course was that I was higher than I like, and practicing the thursday before I had similar problems of getting the COM down. The last run the thursday practice I think I shaped up the way you are describing with a more vertical upper body and the arms less seeking the gates.
I understand the tail wash you are describing as I felt there was something wrong with my turns in the first part but couldn't pinpoint what I was doing wrong. Thank you very very much for the insight!!
I also saw the tip over the gate on the video. :D
I didn't feel it when I raced at all, so I was very surprised to see me running over the gate. DSQ wouldn't matter much to me as I was dead last from the first run having to climb up a missed gate. I'm curious, when I step frames on the video at home, i can see that the ski slips to the correct side in the next frame and that both feet pass the gate on the outside. What does the rules say in this situation?

Edited by Carl R - 3/21/10 at 2:12am
post #4 of 8
Looking good Carl.

My quick comments.
You are not using your skis the right way. Lets say your skis are not tracking correctly. The reason is offcourse what Rick said but I think its very important to watch the skis and try to make some assumptions. Lets start with the skis. Are they suitable for what you are doing? Are they the right shape and flex? Are they tuned correctly? Are you bindings placed correctly? Are you stand hight correct? Your delta angle correct? Your boots correct? Your canting correct? Things to give a thaught. Bad choise of any of above will ruin your run. Your skis are skidding but maybe you are staying square to the skis and rotating your hips out because your skis are badly tuned? A guy skiing with some older Fischers tried my this year Blizzard Mags and told me they were soft but that they turned very nicely and held on ice like no other ski he had been skiing with. The ski is very stiff, its just that its tuned and balanced correctly. I did some work with it including a piston plate.

When it comes to your technique I need more time to look at your video closely. However, at a quick glanze and without reading what Rick had to say I would say that your edge angles are too low. Its becaue you do not project into the turn enough. And that means not early enough. And that means that you need a quicker edge change. And that means that you need to be turning tighter. And that means that you need to be a bit more patient with your approach and let things happen at the gate. Hit the gate more in the fall line. And it means you need to be lower in transiton in order to reach out with your feet. Better upper and lower body separation. How do I know all this? Simple, that is what Im working on myself. Except you have your young age at your advantage.

Your blocking is off but that is because you are not inside the turn enough. Try to ski on the wrong side of the gate with your upper body and your blocking will be more automatic. Try to make your skis carve and track round turns. It all boils down to the fact that your edge angles are too low. Thats why you are also skidding. Lower with your hips into the turn. Try not to square up after the gate. Keep your upper body turned down hill. Hit the gate in the fall line. If you hit the gate past the fall line you must reach and that will drag your hips out.

Hope this helps.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I think this particular course had quite small horizontal and vertical distance between the gates. Tight and straight except for the long turn.
I find it much more difficult with such a course than a course with greater horizontal distance. I would prefer longer vertical distance as well, but I think that the horizontal distance is most important currently for my current technique to work.

Probably this boils down to lacking experience.

Being really fast from edge to edge would help a lot in this particular course I guess.

Does my problems make sense with this kind of course?
post #6 of 8
I think that in this kind of course you would gain a lot by keeping CoM much lower most of the time. Around 90 degree knee angles in transition. This would allow you to have the CoM much more inside the turn as you extend agressively into the turn. Without this you cannot have high edge angles in this flat hill.

I sense that you are much less agressive than in your free skiing.

I also have a feeling that you are focusing on the next gate rather than 3-4 gates ahead.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Jämt, Ok. I'll have those 90 degrees in my mind next time!
Currently I feel that I need a few runs to get into rhythm in order to get the CoM down. But since I started boxing gates just a few weeks ago I feel that it's ok. For next year I know what to focus on now and I'll be practicing from when the snow falls.

If I have the luck to get a "good" run on film I'll upload it too. However, I think analyzing this movie was more interesting than if I had done better in the course. :)
post #8 of 8
Jamt, good feedback. I remember when I asked some jr coaches for feedback on my skiing on the SL course back when I started and they told me my edge angles were to low. I was puzzled because the course was pritty straight and I was carving. It took me several years to figure it out myselfe because no coach was able to or bothered to tell me how. You nailed it in your posting. You need to be much lower. You need to flex and retract your legs upwards through the transition and extend and reach out arround the gates with your legs and skis. In a way you cannot be low enough with your hip in the turn. Like the hard right turn in Carls video. The ide is to increase speed on the course so by doing that edge angles need to be increased even more and the CoM needs to be lowered even more to compensate for the added turn forces. As everything speeds up all unnessesary movements need to be eliminated. Try to keep as much of your mass as stable as possible. That means your torso. Move it as little as possible up and down and sideways. Try to keep the movement in your legs.
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