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Arc With Both Skis

Arc With Both Skis

Turning Points
By Sarah Schleper
posted: 11/15/2001

I got my first skis for my second birthday, was racing at age 11, made my World Cup debut at 16 and have been battling to be the best in the world ever since.

This picture brings back great memories. It was the first race I won against a world-class field. But in looking at this shot, I also see several things I have been trying to iron out in my technique-little details my coaches won't let me forget until I perfect them. See how my left arm trails behind me? My habit of leaving it back, which can twist my body to the left, often gets me in trouble. Both hands should be driving forward.

Also, look at the position of my hips. They look low, almost too low. When your hips are too low, a small mistake can make you fall. Fortunately I stayed upright, and immediately after the apex of this turn I came up and stood over my new outside ski. This is where you get all the power and speed out of any turn. If you let your butt stay low, you'll lose a lot of speed.

Despite the problem with my arms and hips, my skis are doing good things. They match up parallel. That's the best way to utilize the new sidecut of the short slalom skis. To get both skis to arc simultaneously, you need to create identical angles in both knees and both ankles. You can practice this technique on a flat slope by rolling your knees in unison, making railroad-track arcs in the snow. As you do this, move only your knees and ankles. Keep the rest of your body quiet, and seek speed. That, after all, is what really matters in a ski race.

Have an instruction question? Email Stu Campbell at stucski@aol.com.

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