Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Brian Day 3

  • First video scene is of pivoting in a wide stance with independent leg action and all of the features from yesterday’s skiing included – working the skis. The focus here is on arm carriage and pole use.
  • Scene two has a short push up from the lower ski at the end to control speed better.
  • Scene three is Brian’s fastest run in the slalom.
  • Scene four is working on slalom timing and the body moving across the hill.
  • Scene five is also working on slalom timing but with both legs working together.

High speed ski removal technique …


Wide Stance Pivot – Working the skis

Brian’s pivoting has been relatively weak so we worked on incorporating yesterday's progress directly into the wide stance pivot. The feet should constantly remain side by side across the hill – but Brian has a tendency to let one go below the other during the turn. This prevents clear separation/independence of the leg actions. The body should also travel directly down the fall-line. However all the timing that was developed yesterday was being applied with a focus on moving the body across the lower ski.

Wide Stance Pivot – adding strong pole use and arm control

The poles are planted by a motion of the body – not by the arms. If the upper-body is tilted forwards and moves across the lower ski – then the pole plant is made. I asked Brian to coordinate this with the extension of the uphill leg forcing the body downhill and downwards. This can only be easily done in pivoting with the legs wide apart (otherwise you tend to just pop upwards).

Wide Stance Pivot – adding push up to check speed

A sharp push up from the lower leg was added right at the end of the turn. This checks the downhill speed of the centre of mass and so controls overall speed down the hill – but without altering the overall timing.

Moving Centre of Mass directly to make short turns

Skiing down from The Grande Motte I asked Brian to initiate dynamic short turns by focusing on moving his body. Directing attention to moving the centre of mass – after all the training with moving the body across the skis with independent leg action – alters the emphasis. The legs tend to do the job with an unconscious bidding and the centre of mass leads. This is how it should be. It is invisible to anybody watching.

Slalom 26.99 secs – 4 runs, one crash

The course was not in great condition for learning!

Slalom Timing – body moving across the hill

Timing is slalom has to be adjusted away from the common recreational need for braking. Gravity has maximum effect on turning power at the end of a turn. The skier has to avoid making the apex of the turn at the end because all the energy from momentum and muscle power if synchronised with the max load of gravity, slows the skier down in a braking effect. The energy from gravity and momentum + leg spring need to be separated with the apex of the turn being brought to alongside the outside of the gate. This makes the maximum load at speed tend to be when the skis point almost straight downhill – not across the hill (extremely useful when skiing tricky off piste too!).

The upper-body travels across the hill from apex to apex. Underpinning all of this is a strong skating action. The skier is trying to skate from the start of the turn to the end of it with the top leg at turn initiation going out across the hill as the torso goes face first down the hill – aiming for the apex with the flexed ski arcing around and pointing downhill.

Slalom Timing – Legs working together

Rather than allow the legs to split during the skate the inside leg follows the outside one. This can be done with a double carving action and when strong two legged leg retraction is used both legs can be used to actually skate.

Gripping on Ice in tight turns – Balls of the feet

Going down the Face at the end of the day I mentioned to Brian that you get a more consistent grip with the edge on steep icy slopes by standing on the ball of the foot. It allows pressure to be more central on the ski and for a more predictable outcome – preventing the tail skidding out etc.

Brian impressively survives losing a ski – but not for long…

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