Slalom, work on technique in the season 2018. Trajectory

In a free descent, the trajectory for me is not particularly important. But of course, I try to go as steep as possible. That is, carve round turns, but with the minimum possible radius. This is if the task is to raise the level of technique, but not just to fun 🙂

In general, one can proceed from the fact that everyone has his own arc of the minimum radius, which he can carve, determined by skis, the slope of the hill, the rigidity of the coating and the technique. If you try to carve steeper turn, then the skis will go into a skid.

In the note, I discuss the experience of the past (2018) season in transferring a section of such a clean arc into the slalom course.

Before this (2018) season

The theme of the trajectory of run in slalom course was considered for a long time, therefore discoveries are hardly possible. I’ll start with a note:  Slalom, work on technique in the season 2016. Trajectory. In this note, I have indicated the extreme cases between which the optimal trajectory lies.

The worst of the extreme cases is a too straight trajectory when the skier goes directly to the pole and immediately turns around it. Of course if you can turn, then there is nothing wrong with that. If the part of the route is open or the technique allows you to have a large edging, then why not? It’s bad if for some reason you can not turn clean.

Drift Дрифт

Then it remains to put the skis sideways (after the pole!) and scrape until you reach the next pole. In drift as such, there is nothing wrong. But not after the pole.

Too closed trajectory is when it takes out of the corridor of the track. In general, too, nothing good. Moreover, if it is strongly carried out of the corridor, then to return, it is again necessary to stop carving the arc and to brake with drift. By the way, about drifting in the understanding of notes here: Bricks from basement of ski technique.

Boris Proshlyakov alpine ski
Boris Proshlyakov

In that note from 2016, an important (though well known) idea, formulated for me by trainer Boris Proshlyakov, is accented: “Approaching to the pole, you need to insert a straight section across the slope, and a turn must be made before this”. This is the key for the trajectory, although it was necessary to lightly “lubricate the lock” for the application of this key 🙂

Descussion about the trajectory in slalom course “in general” is certainly not harmful, but they do not give much in specifics, since each skier has its own optimal trajectory. As already said, it strongly depends on what kind of arc he can cut. It depends mainly on the working angle of the edging, which he can give out. More information here: Ski sidecut radius and radius of a carved turn. For example, I can “hang” on a large part of the arc with an edging angle of 45 degrees.

Vadim Nikitin alpine ski
Vadim Nikitin, Kant, 24 Mar 2018. Photo – Sergey Komlev

Therefore, I have to proceed from the fact that my radius of carving turn is not much less than the radius of the sidecut of the ski. More precisely for a slalom ski with a side cutout radius of 12.5 m, the turning radius with a 45-degree edging is approximately 9 meters. Colleagues of a higher class easily (or does it just seem that easy?) give out angles of 60 degrees or more, and this gives a qualitative reduction in the turning radius (at 60 degrees 6 meters, at 70 degrees 4 meters).

Last season in the “Moscow giant” grabbed the construction of the trajectory “from the reverse”, that is, from what arc I can cut. More here:  Slalom skiing tips & tricks. Season 2017, section “Formation of trajectory from working section of the arc”. In the giant it is much easier than in the slalom to predict how skis will go along the arc, so you can feel the “favorite arc”. So, the task is to come to point where favorite arc begin, and then calmly press on this arc and go to the gates.

In this (2018) season

So, we proceed from the fact that every skier has his own arc, which he can cut (more precisely, we consider such skiers who can cut out arcs). The higher the class of a skier, the steeper the arc he can cut (due to a greater angle of the edge, for example). Let’s say that skiers of different classes have the same task: to approach the pole at 45 degrees across the slope. As for exercise.

The figure shows the data for the slalom course with parameters “between the gates 6.5 skis (10.7 m), corridor 2 skis (3.3 m)”. The condition is to cut a part of the arc, starting from 4 meters to the pole so as to pass the pole at an angle of 45 degrees across the slope. Three trajectories correspond to the edging angles of 60 degrees (carved radius 6.1 meters), 45 degrees (8.7 meters) and 70 degrees (4.2 meters). The working section of the trajectory is shown clearly, and the leading parts of the circle are “grounded”.

It should be noted that it is possible to speak about a carved arc “from a pole to a pole” for such a section of the route only at edging angles of more than 60 degrees (this corresponds to the conclusion of the note: Ski sidecut radius and radius of a carved turn). At 60 degrees, the “wiped” blue trajectory on the chart almost “reaches” to the previous pole, while the green (70 degrees) is in the “corridor” of the route with a margin. With an angle of 45 degrees, you can be at the beginning of the working area only in other ways (drift, unload-re-centering, etc.). Nevertheless, on an isolated working section of the arc for 4 meters before the pole at any of the presented edging angles trajectory can be cut on the arc. You just need to be at the right place and with the skis already set on the “right course”. Then you can safely put pressure on the skis.

That is, to perform such an exercise “on paper” you need to do so. Find your point, from which you can cut through the arc to the pole. Go to this point, depending on what angles you can give out the edges. And then all (skiers on the three trajectories in the figure) are pressed and cut completely.

Резаный поворотThis is the turn in the course, built from the “favorite arc”. The only question is how to find this point from which you can “uncompromisingly” load skis. Unfortunately, by the middle of the season, having tried many variants, I came to the conclusion that in no way. This point in the slalom track could not be found even after repeated passage of the same route. And in the competitions and even more so. That is, in the “Moscow” giant it turned out to be found at the level of sensations, but in slalom not. I must say that our “Moscow” giant is between a “real” giant and slalom. Read more here: “Skis for giant slalom from small hills“. So it’s strange that in slalom does not work.

I’ll write a little, just how it does not work. Suppose the skier can keep the maximum edge angle of 45 degrees. If he goes to the “magic point”, then further cuts the arc to the pole. In the figure, this trajectory is indicated by violet.

But, since this magic point is not known, it is possible to go wrong and go inside. In the figure, such a trajectory is indicated by a yellow dotted line. This trajectory leads to the non-passage of the gate, so as soon as it becomes clear, the pressure on the skis and the edging will be reduced and the trajectory will straighten. But in order to return to the trajectory after the pole it is necessary to increase the angle of the edge again, and even more than was at the entrance to the this part of arc. And at the entrance was at the maximum possible. Therefore, this skier will go to skid, and after the pole. That is, the turn will be blurred.

If you make a mistake in the other side and go “too far”, then the pole will be passed correctly, but will start to take out of the corridor of the route. Return without slipping, too, will not work, because the edging was on limit for the current level of technique. Therefore, again, the skis will be put sideways in the drift.

In general, in fact the construction of the trajectory “from the beloved arc” leads to a noticeable decrease in the angles of the edging as compared to those that you can give out in a free descent. This, I emphasize once again, in slalom, on a typical “our” (rather closed) course. In the Moscow giants or in more open slalom, the picture is much better. Although the main goal: to drift before the pole, or rather, “not to drift after the pole,” I have achieved from the very beginning of the 2018 season.

Finally, I go to good news. Calculating the arc in the slalom could be and even quite simple. It was necessary only to hear the knowledge gained before. For example, advice from Boris Proshlyakov, cited above. Or from  Self-study slalom trainings from 2017: Trainings on the slalom course and free skiing, where it was formulated: “In a free descent, one must try to ensure that according to the “internal coordinate system” each turn ends across the slope”.

I gave to myself a rigid task: to pass close under each pole exactly across the slope. That is, do not aim at 45 degrees, but completely across, starting right from the first pole (well, sometimes with the second, if you really need to push from the start). And, as you go across the slope, you can approach the pole with good angles of the edge and take it by the middle of the knee protection. In such a beautiful pose, as usual photographed the best skiers of the planet.

Dave Ryding

Here, for example, Dave Riding. A wonderful dynamic photo. But if you ride to a pole exactly across the slope, then on a steep slope you can even stop in such position.

Why is it much easier to build a trajectory with an end strictly across the slope? First, do not aim to the supposed unknown ideal point. Secondly, because on the approach to the pole it is not necessary to match the arc with the following turns (no matter how profane it sounds :)). Indeed, there is a separation in the construction of the trajectory “on the fly.” On the pole, the previous turn ends, and after the pole, after this horizontal section across the slope you can count further, but so that to the next pole again to be across the slope. And on skis it is good to press when you go across. And if there is a drift, it remains strictly before the pole. In general, solid pluses, except that you go across instead of how all normal skiers go down 🙂

Anyway, I decided to go for a while in such manner in order to get out of the bad habit by scraping after the pole. But I liked it! “Return” to the old did not want to. Complex parts of the courses began to pass easily.

This season we shot a lot of each other on video. Polina Nechayeva took videos most of all, I take this opportunity for thank once again 🙂

Polina Nechayeva alpine ski
Polina Nechayeva, Kant (Moscow) 4 Apr 2018

Polina has thought up to shoot others during the ascent up on ski lift, since this slope can be clearly seen. Therefore, it was not necessary to shoot instead of skiing. Polina shot almost at every ascent, in general, the video was a lot, much more than last season.

When I looked at the video how the run look with the feeling “near pole skis are exactly across the slope” it turned out that there was no “across”. Shock! Feeling “across” it as a powerful deception of the coordinate system, which goes with me on skis. The maximum angle across the slope was just considered above 45 degrees. And if a little “released” when approaching the pole, then in general it looks like a open trajectory.

I suspected this before, but I did not think that to such an extent. So, I can recommend this trajectory construction not only to myself. What I did in the season 🙂 Works for others 🙂 Interestingly, this technique does not depend on the level of technique of the skier. Available to everyone!

In a giant slalom (at least in Moscow), you can also build a trajectory in such a way as to “dive” under the gate across the slope, but there is a specificity. The fact is that in the giant overload significantly more than in slalom, so such put ski across “at any cost” can lead to excessive drift before of the gate. But in the giant and the place more and more time to make a decision. Therefore, you can go abruptly, and if you understand that the ski-skier can not cope with the overload, then just let release a bit and “lower” the trajectory.

Вадим Никитин горные лыжиVadim Nikitin




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