Thursday, March 29, 2018



Ben was very unsure of being able to retain his hard won changes from the previous days. We took a few runs where Ben asked questions and we revised the relevant points and then Ben went into the gates for the first time to see what happened – focusing intensely in preparation. The outcome was that everything was there that we had worked on – the dynamics (including inclination), the “reverse banana”, hip angulation and control of the inside leg. That’s quite an achievement for only 5 days. Ben get’s a “9” for inclination here – ( 10 being the ultimate and 0 being totally upright.) We all have an unfortunate habit of flipping this scale around so it was either a 9 or a 1 – but we all know what we mean.

After the slalom we worked for a while on using pivoting to develop correct hip angulation (with good posture) with the aim of learning to use the angulation to pressure the fronts of the skis hard but safely through the end of the turn. Ben then tested this in the off piste and felt the strong but safe directional effect of the ski fronts in deep snow. The same applies in racing when a turn has to be closed off hard to get across the hill – usually on the steeps and after a rollover when there is a hidden banane put there by some psychopathic course setter.

Ben initially used no pressure on his poles – which weakens the motion of the centre of mass moving over the front of the downhill ski into the new turn – but this was quickly corrected and in the video clip he has strong pole use (only appropriate for pivoted/braking turns – used here for developing awareness). Ben correctly recognised that it’s not the whole body weight on the pole – it’s like you “rest” your weight on the pole. (Ben’s description)

If the fronts are used effectively then dynamics and rebound are more effective. Ben’s Salomon slalom skis are stiff in the front and should be very effective with pressure there.


Although Ben was both physically and mentally tired from the intense focus he was concerned at how he could generate speed on the flats. Just a few days earlier Ben was unable to skate or understand how skating and turning are related – due to his excessive counter rotation. This time – since the step forwards yesterday – skating and blending with dynamics – hence turning – was no problem. Ben could sense the power and timing in the skating action and how it fits in with the dynamics – and how you literally skate face first down a slalom course. What I like in Ben’s demonstration (video clip) is that he also retains his overall motion across the slope from turn to turn (apex to apex in a race course).

Sam didn’t know this exercise or why it was being done (the others did know) so he was slightly lost and used multiple skates in each turn – a useful exercise itself – but different. Next time he’ll get a proper explanation.

Alex, tired from travelling since early morning (not much sleep) was using his long new GS skis and as the snow was slow he struggled to bend them. He tried to get more pressure on the fronts to help to bend them but the snow was literally sticky so not really ideal for this. Ben had struggled to develop this exercise also a few days earlier on GS skis and the slalom skis made a big difference for this.


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