Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Key points to watch for in successful slalom skiers.

In this post I'll point out the key "Essentials of Slalom Skiing". These are common amongst the top three or four racers. The racers that keep these elements together for most of their runs usually are near the top 3. For the racers that lose or where the Essentials break down, time is lost and positions drop.

 (Above) Neureuther uses his bending and tipping of the inside ski to set up the outside extended leg. The ruts on the inside of his hand on the snow are from previous racers moving the hand forward through the arc.
 (Above) This is Marc Gini, no longer a consistently top slalom skier, but very talented. He lifts the old outside ski while holding the tipped angle to transfer, to the previous inside ski. This ski has to be tipped toward it's little toe edge throughout the arc, but held to the angle, at the end of the arc, to except the transfer at the release.
(Above) Felix, again exceptional skiing. Inside ski tipped and leg bent or flexed. Notice his hand is down on the snow, but he is not leaning his upper body toward that side. Many of the big errors happen when the upper body leans in, this is called "lack of counter balance". Many slalom skiers skied out of the course in the first run of Kitz because they leaned their upper body away from the outside ski.  I see this in juniors often, rather than creating "Counter Balance" with the upper body, they are trying to reach for the snow with the inside hand. Big mistake.

Here again Felix performing perfect Essentials, the hand closer to the gate should lead and the leg closer to the gate should lead the tipping into the new turn to develop the correct angles. In the essentials this is called strong arm (creating counter acting) and inside ski tipping. His upper body remains in the same relationship to the skis as at the end of the previous turn until the skis begin the top of the new turn.

The Essentials discussed here are: Tipping, Flexing, Counter acting and Counter balance. The only one of the 5 Essentials we did not mention here is Fore/aft Balance. Which I have discussed on the Blog in other posts. With some training these Essentials are recognizable and easily learned by skiers. 

1 comment:

Feonica Martinez said...

I really don't know what is it all about, not until I've found your blog post about slalom skiing. I think this would be helpful as I was a having a ski vacation this coming weekend, thanks for sharing!