Alex, Daisy Slalom

Fog and rain today prevented filming. Absence of a waterproof layer for some lead to a shortened session through wet cold. (Always carry a waterproof windbreaker in high mountains – when rain is forecast!)


The snow appeared to be a bit faster today so daisy immediately reverted to reaching for the poles with all the usual consequences.

Daisy was advised to refrain from hitting the poles for the time being and work on body management instead. It clearly wasn’t enough for her to just work on the adductor muscles – although that did improve stability. We had to take a look at the whole stance:

  • rolling the foot onto its inside edge near the heel
  • pulling inwards with the adductor muscles (more on the outside leg in the turn)
  • pulling the outside hip backwards, then towards the centre of the turn (pelvis facing outside of the turn particularly during the second half of the turn
  • keeping the shoulders facing the direction of travel (will not be so visible in very tight turns)

The above actions stack up the the body parts from the feet to the shoulders in the strongest and safest way possible whilst allowing inclination, angulation and complex maneuvering of the centre of mass relative to the ski and the slope.


Alex was working on staying forward to cope with higher speed. Although impressively fast at times he was still being spat out of the rhythmic course. Alex said the skis just didn’t seem to respond to pressure on the fronts. On our way to find shelter during a heavy spell of rain I watched free Alex ski from below while he was trying to keep pressure on the ski fronts. It was visible that Alex was trying to apply pressure from his shins through the boots – just by “pressing” with his legs.

During our wait indoors for the weather to clear I tried to explain to Alex how angulation is used during the turn to create forward pressure with the centre of mass – and how being both angulated and inclined exploits the front of the ski without putting the skier at risk of face planting. All it does is intensify the turning power. I’ve tried to explain this before but what seemed to connect with Alex here was that he now knew he wasn’t doing this – he was just trying to apply pressure to his shins. The outcome was that Alex was able to feel the centre of mass itself causing the pressure on the boots – and get a reaction from the ski fronts. This could be a game changer for Alex – skiing is all about using the centre of mass to work the skis.

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