Alex started today in a positive manner at the same level as he had finished with yesterday. This progress meat that we could move on to new aspects of technique. The fact that he is standing far better on his outside leg during the turns means that he is skiing much more symmetrically and his left pole is no longer stuck up in the air all the time as a result of reflexes – not a conscious change
I wanted Alex to improve his timing and feel for the turns – which in racing are far less rounded than for controlled recreational skiing. The apex of the turn should be to the outside of the pole (not below it) and the idea is to prevent any outwards drift beyond this apex and harness the force of the skis to slingshot back across the hill for the next turn. The corresponding mental image is of a vertical, concave “wall of death” to ride on each apex. You don’t hold on to the turn or try to start the next one by carving immediately – but instead you use the straight and direct slingshot across the hill (torso facing downhill still – in the direction of the course not the next pole) then slam the body over and the skis on edge for the next turn. If the skis need to face more downhill for this slam to be effective then you “stivot” – which is really just a pivot – pulling the skis inwards while slightly airborne. This minimises the distance travelled to get across the hill and maximises the grip that can be attained due to the extra momentum across the hill (Grip and pressure are increased with greater speed). We are more concerned with our velocity across the hill than down the hill. Alex was able to understand and see this – and felt the increased speed accordingly. GS skis are not designed to carve all turns – the minimum radius being limited for this reason. Getting maximum pressure on the skis when they point downhill seems to avoid loss of speed from from the skis digging in and carving all the way around – above and below the apex. When doing this in free skiing there is far greater ease skiing fast in rough terrain because you are not fighting gravity so much in the fall line.
Tallullah Mountain Biking
Tignes Val Claret bike trails…
Val d’Isère Glacier – viewed from La Grande Motte