Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hirscher not skiing like Hirscher: Something has changed in his boot set up.

After this series of 3 races where Hirscher had the worst results of his great career, he switched his set-up or went back to his old boots and won the last slalom at the World Cup Finals, to ice the Overall and Slalom Globes.  
In the years I have been studying Marcel Hirscher's skiing, I have never seen the following.

Up date: Fortunately they changed it back to the season beginning set up, before the last slalom of the season.

In these photo clips, he's extremely counter rotated, and knocked kneed, this is not how he was set up or how he naturally skis or how he skied at the beginning of the season. He is  adapting to boot changes, and not good ones. I don't know what,  exactly,  has happened to his boots. It could be a number of things.

1. The boots are breaking down.
2. He has new boots and the new set up has changed and it's not working.
3. Someone changed his present boot setup.
Which ever of the three has happened, it's not working.

The above photo is so untypical of Hirscher's skiing. He has never needed to counter rotate his hips like this, this is not functional, it is adaptive. An incorrect boot set up, cuff change or poor sole alignment can cause this. This is easy to fix, but no one has done anything in the last 4 races about it. I started to notice something wrong about 4 slaloms ago.

Here we see the same thing again and this is happening frequently in his last races. It's more obvious on his left leg, but his right side turn, it is also not as good as it was early in the season.

This set up is causing him to load the ski late and hard. He's atypically getting far back on his skis and often leaving the ground, normally he could absorb these impacts, not any longer. I'm afraid with his strength and will power, he will try to overcome this with brute force and it might result in injuries.

This again shows far too much leaning and rotation for typical Hirscher skiing.

Lots of comments are being made about Hirscher's skiing lately, on Universal sports and elsewhere.. Most has to do with the Olympics and his results being behind his rivals, due to "pressure to perform". I did an article about his lack of performance a month ago on this Blog. Things have not gotten better.  He has lost confidence because his skis are not performing the way he likes, but it's not the skis, it is the boots.

Marcel himself says he's not skiing loose. No one can ski loose when you are fighting a boot set up to this extent. 

No comments: