Hard day working on special slalom! Alex worked very had doing over 40 runs. Fortunately he rapidly abandoned his “plastic” skiing nonsense – but not before breaking one slalom pole with his ski boot. Beyond this he was stuck skiing as if he was in GS and that isn’t really ideal – because it all happens so rapidly in slalom. In the video he is trying various ways to exit the turns – leg retraction and just moving rapidly over the lower ski – but is nearly always late. Part of the problem is that he is distracted by the poles and wants to ski around them as he does in slalom. Although the still photo here looks good the right hand should be to the inside of the ski pole not reaching outwards – this should be helping to drive his centre of mass into the turn. The arm is part of the body and so the arm sticking out contributes to his center of mass going the wrong way. Much of today was just about desperately needed experience in the poles and getting used to them. It takes a while to adapt and start to ignore the actual poles then focus on good skiing principles. The body moving across and into the turn should put the arms in the right place. Alex was shaping his turns and moving his body as if he was in GS and then relying on “stivoting” when it was all too late. Fortunately we still have tomorrow to work on this.
After training we worked on skating timing during the run back into Tignes. This should help immensely in slalom – just like understanding the Centre of Mass helped him in GS. Alex started to feel how the turn was formed from a single skate and how this projected him (sideways – relative to the torso) across the slope at the end of each turn. Lateral speed – across the hill – generates pressure on the turn to the outside of the pole bringing the turn apex higher up instead of beneath the pole. I’d already explained how each turn has to be seen in 3D as a sort of scoop on the outside of each pole – a banked track spitting you across to the other side of the course – not a flat turn. If Alex can get this timing tomorrow then he will be set – but that is really asking a lot. In reality he is already doing very well because slalom on the steep like this is extremely difficult.