Originally Posted by tdk6
Rick, IMHO the biggest difference between SL and GS other than the obvious length in distance between gates is the gate itself. Because of the construction you cannot block it like you can in SL. The result of this is that you need to ski further away from the gate in GS than what you do in SL. This is where most aspiring racers struggle. They come in too close and they cannot incline because their body will not be able to pass on the inside of the gate like in SL where you have to do it. You need to ski arround the gates in GS. Typical for low level GS club racing is that everyone skis very close to the gates causing a rutt to develop. And piles of soft snow is piled where you actually should be skiing. Especially in races were its snowing this is a problem.
Yep, right on. GS and SL are completely different animals for the very reason you state. This is also why narrowing foot separation is so much more important in slalom. In slalom, narrowing the stance allows the Center of Mass to take a more direct path down the hill. In GS it makes little difference because the gate imposes the limitation on where the Center of Mass must be. Moving the inside foot closer to the outside foot will not allow you to move your outside foot closer to the gate, like it will in slalom.
And right on about the bad ruts too. Pinching the gate causes the rut to be too close to the gate. It also causes the racer to get late and hard on the edge below the gate too, so the same gate can have multiple bad ruts. When I did this test, with all the various lines, it was in soft snow and I was constantly crossing ruts. I just barreled right through them. I had no choice.
So my definition of a straight line is what you Rick did when you skied "too close to the gates". Maybe my definition is wrong since you could ski the fast line slow and round but still end up close to the gates. I asumed you whent fearly straight at the gates.
Yes, I separate line from the distance you are from the gate while skiing that line. The same line can be skied at various distances from the gate. It just depends when you start your turn. The double turn is an example of starting too soon while trying to ski a particular line. Line simply refers to how round you turn, and where you place the apex. The straighter your line, the less you're fighting gravity, so the faster you go, as long as you can carry your higher speed through a clean turn. G forces go up with the speed that comes from a straighter line, and the need for superior strength and technical skills go up too.
My use of the word "tight" probably threw you. For clarity I should have said "straight". Though I tend to interchange tight and straight, tight can also have other meanings, such as in how a course is set.
I think that your experiment shows very clearly a learning curve. Start out skiing round and far away from the gates in an upright stance. Then try to go more straight and a bit closer but do not go very close in a half tuck. Then, for best performance you should be going as straight as possible and hit each gate with your hipp in a tuck.
Good catch, tdk6. This test was also suppose to represent a learning progression. Edited by Rick - 4/16/10 at 9:19am