Friday, January 18, 2013

World Cup skiing technique, what separates the top 10??

Marcel Hirscher uses all the Essentials of skiing, and he does them better than everyone else on the World Cup. The Essentials are, Tipping the boots, feet and legs, (especially the inside boot) Counter balancing the upper body, Counter-acting the torso and hips, Flexing one leg while lengthening the other, and using Fore/aft balance.
 In this first clip from video we see his classic upper body counter balancing and counter acting.
 In the second slide he increases counter balancing and counter acting to prepare for the flexing and releasing of the outside leg. His pressure and weight shifts to the little toe edge of the uphill  ski.
Notice how there is no extension of either leg.  He has shifted his weight to the up hill ski and has retracted the outside leg to prepare for transition. He holds his Counter acting while tipping his legs off the edges of the ski.

Marcel uses all the Essentials and he creates them more cleanly while holding them and using them with perfect timing. No other skier, tips the inside ski as far and keeps it as close to the outside ski as Hirscher. This is only one of his huge advantages he uses over the competition.

Here is an example of his inside ski tipped to a high degree, his inside leg flexed and the long outside leg. Again here you see his strong counter balance of the torso. His torso is vertical, legs and skis are at high angles. Many coaches think this is old school, I think it's an Essential every skier must have. He rarely  rotates his body when blocking, or steps his inside ski out of the turn. He keeps both skis and feet close and finishes by transferring to the little toe edge.

If you spread or step your inside ski, it takes much long to transition and you lose speed and pressure.

 Notice the hands and poles are high and the pole bottoms are forward. Hirscher holds strong counteracting to keep the torso supporting his engaged tipping skis.

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