Luke Slalom day 3

Final day and mountain under threat of imminent closure – 40°C in the valley at 700m altitude. Luke and Leonie have different technical problems but gradually it became apparent that they have a common source and are just different expressions of the same basic issues. We focused on two fundamentals only:

  1. Really getting pressure on the fronts of the boots and skis safely
  2. Committing to really coming over the downhill ski

Those two issues are intimately related even though they can be separated. Leonie was stemming a lot to varying degrees but the cause of stemming is nearly always a failure to go far enough over the downhill ski to exit the existing turn. Luke was lifting up his inside ski tip quite high and simultaneously getting into the backs of his ski boots and skis. For Luke the lifting of the ski is a move he has learned will allow him to fall into the new turn – but it is much too slow and then serves instead just to get the ski out of the way and not help directly with dynamics. This needs to be replaced with a solid pressure on that downhill ski until the body passes over it even beyond perpendicularity – implying a true commitment to dynamics. Later on this can be refined with measured leg retraction at the right moment. We used the exercise of leaning hard forwards to feel pressure on the ski fronts – almost pulling the heels out of the boots – and even turning in this exaggerated stance just to feel the directional effect of the ski fronts. It is only safe to go hard on the fronts if good dynamics and angulation are already present so as to avoid being pitched over the ski tips. In Luke’s case the this worked a bit in reverse because getting forward allowed him to angulate better and produce better dynamics. In the verticale section of the slalom Luke was seriously allowing his skis to overturn and brake – which is why he was fighting to be quick enough to stay in the course and tending to lift the inside ski – but he still calmed this action down very well with just improved dynamics over his lower ski.Leonie was able to eliminate the worst of her stems and hopefully realised that “throwing herself downhill” really means using that downhill ski to come up out of the turn and over the ski. Remember that the ski lifts you up – so use it for that not just as a safety crutch for stemming.Both were looking like true skiers during the descent on the glass with Luke definitely on the fronts of his boots and standing well on his right hip.

Dead centre – observe the concentric rings on the glacier (you have to look carefully)

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