Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When trying to achieve world class skiing, "early pressure" on the ski is the wrong message.

When you watch Universal Sports skiing broadcasts, Doug Lewis is constantly repeating the wrong and the same message about what is happening. His redundant messages about what the skiers are doing and how they do it, are wrong. I'm not saying Doug is a bad guy, he's just misguided. He just doesn't understand technical skiing. Coaches, parents, USSA and racers need to understand what is really happening.

Let's have a look at the favorite message presented on the Universal Sports skiing coverage and that is.
                                                                 "Early Pressure"

What needs to be early in a turn, isn't pressure. What is happening and what the best skiers in the world are doing in these photos is creating early tipping angles, that is what is needed. Tipping the skis to early angles is what is happening, not early pressure.  Don't think this is semantics "early pressure" and "early angles",  are totally different.

Here in this photo, there is no pressure on the skis, but look at the fantastic angles from the best skier in the world. This is above the gate.

Now this is where the pressure comes back into the body from the skis on edge, from gravity, not from forcing or pushing to achieve early pressure..Frame A, 3

Frame B,1
Above: Here is the same example with the "right" turn. No early pressure, but definitely here are early angles.

Frame B,2
"Above", Pressure is now achieved due to early angles, not early pressure.

Many of the things the ski commentators on Universal Sports say about the skiing is wrong and misguided. I know these incorrect messages are going out to our young skiers and coaches. The damage will take forever to reverse, if it ever happens. Many will think this is just another attempt to attack, the talking heads. It's not about the talking heads, it's about the future of US skiing and the efforts put into it by our athletes. We are moving backward, with this kind of commentary.

Some baffun on Facebook already posted that because these were, "still pictures" that they didn't have merit and that early pressure is the right way. Case in point, because USSA isn't doing it's job of properly educating coaches, with facts and biomechanics, you can have cranks like Doug Lewis dictating and  perpetuating bad skiing information. US skiing is on the wrong road on many different levels and this observer isn't seeing the corrections to the course of the ship happening.


Unknown said...

Great post, Harald. You are right about this. Words matter.

Joan Gómez said...

so you mean create early angles by inclination? after that you have to press the outside ski tip isn't it?

Harald Harb said...

Joan, inclination is leaning the whole body, lower body tipping is what Hirscher is doing here. Initiation is by tipping off the outside ski (big toe edge) and converting this ski toward it's new angle, inside edge (little toe edge.

cranks0 said...

I gently press the outside ski tip early turn too when I'm on a set of skis with a bigger (20>) radius so it bends and creates a tighter effective radius and bites into the snow better when tipped. I don't need to do it with smaller radius skis, at least consciously. Is this "early pressure"?

Tommy Kirchhoff said...

Tipping is affected by adducting the inside hip and abducting the outside hip; it can also come from inclination, but this is much riskier. "Pressure" is a fairly vapid and inane word that only means "dropping the body weight."

Josh Christopherson said...

Really like this post. Artificial and/or manufactured pressure high c kills the turn!

Josh Christopherson said...

Really like this post. Artificial and/or manufactured outside ski pressuring high c kills the rest of the turn!

Josh Christopherson said...

Nice post. Artificial and/or manufactured pressuring of the outside ski high c kills the turn before it has a chance to mature!

Debra Phillis said...

coming for boots in dumont soon. your videos helped this granny, and i'm pleased to say your words, 'you finish the turn with the same foot as you began-release then little toe edge,' was my first eureka moment several years ago.

Eddie Black said...

hi harald, but many instructor tell me to push on the outside ski for arch this ski before the gates(gs) and use the inertia for gain speed is incorrect?