Sunday, February 24, 2013

Use the "Phantom Move" to increase your tipping and angles.

Here are two movements you need with your inside foot, ski and leg. 
Small and simple movements with the correct body parts make efficient skiing.
 When the inside ski is light, off the snow,  like in these two photos, you can tip it easily.
Also notice how he hold that inside ski and ski boot back. Don't let that inside ski slide forward if you want a quicker turn.
Here you can see the effect of tipping. The inside ski base is visible and his body moved to the inside of the turn, the outside ski is angled and pressured.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

All of what you want to know about a world cup slalom turn.

This photo just about tells you the whole story. 

-Tip the lower ski toward it's little toe edge before putting the upper ski on edge.
Don't move your upper body, keep it facing the same way as you were at the end of the previous turn, until you set the new outside ski on edge.

-Keep the skis pointed toward a target to the side of the slope, straight ahead. Do not turn your skis or pivot your skis. Just tip them onto new edge angles with the lower body.

-Stay bent and keep your skis light until you are in the falline.

-Notice how he has changed ski angles, with his retraction and leg tipping, yet has not changed direction. Lower level skiers and racers, will try to pivot and turn the skis here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Counter balance, isn't accomplished by doing a few exercises, it's technique that you have to build.

Counter Balanced

Not Counter Balanced

                                           Counter balanced, yet over or too extremely counter acted.

Marcel Hirscher: What else would you expect, perfect counter balance, perfect counter acting.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Leaning in slalom, no longer wins on the world Cup!

Leaning the upper body toward the gate. Not much technical progression or evolution from this skier, he's the same skier as in the bottom photo years before. This shows the coaches are not aware of the evolving technique of the better skiers.

Keeping the head upright and the torso vertical. This is counter balance and today's technique.

Even guys who used to get on the podium have mistakes in their technique.
A straight line from the armpit to the outside ankle means he's leaning. This causes the stance to become too wide, because the weight is shifting to the inside ski too early, and reduces valuable pressure on the outside ski. Therefore; the outside ski doesn't bend as much or as quickly as for those racers who don't lean.

 This makes the turns longer and the skier has less rebound at the release. It also causes more often than not, a stepping movement out of the turn, which makes for a really slow late transition. This type of technique can easily cost 1.5 second a run.

Views of my You Tube videos from all over the word!

Gaining momentum every year and more developed videos coming for next season.

Hirscher poses like most gymnasts can't! Amazing body control.

Two more "Essentials" demonstrated clearly that no one else can accomplish in slalom except maybe his training partner Felix Neureuther. Counter balance and counter acting. Also inside leg flexing.

Skiing isn't about just strength, if you don't have flexibility you are not in the slalom game.

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. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

When ski boot brands make a difference!

OK, Let's keep this really simple: look at every one of these photos and evaluate the outside knee relative to the inside knee. These guys all know how to ski. Yet there is a distinct similarity in their stance. Knees together and what we call an "A-Frame". There is also a common ski boot in this equation, it's a Fischer Boot!
                                                        Late release, knee inside!
                                          Huge counter, reverse or counter hip, "A' frame.

 Outside ski going straight, upper body rotated! J. P. Grange, previously a great slalom skier, on Fischer boots now.

Wow, Fisher boots again, Huge "A' frame. Manny!
More of the same!

Notice the difference in leg angles compared to the above skiers, these guys are winning. 

Now let's look at the difference: "A" Frame here!

(Above) Knocked-kneeed or "A frame"

        Notice the difference in leg angles compared to the above skiers, these guys are winning. 

Much of this has to do with boot design and boot set up by manufacturer's boot reps.

 Felix Neureuther has a great set up, as do most of the Nordica skiers in tech events. .
 His legs or shin angles are very close to always being parallel. In big vertical separation situations;  is when you can really notice what the boots and movements create. The above photo shows his inside leg and ski more tipped and diverging. This is hard to do. But it's excellent, because it brings the hips lower to the side, and more access to bigger angles on the outside leg.