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Last week I wrote about my lack of gliding skills and how frustrating it was to get killed on easy flat downhills. Some of the best gliding advise I gotten, was from Hans Olsson (one of the World’s Best Gliders) last year when he said I should point my toes in my boots when gliding which has helped. Normally I ski with dorsi flexion (pulling toes up) to get more ankle flexion and have better edge control, but this has turned out to be slow when gliding. Seemingly in response to last weeks post Hans posted “Tuck like a champion” on his blog: Hans-Olsson.com

Copied from his page

Tuck like a champion. November 18, 2011
Coming up on the mountain this morning, things were not looking very good. 15cm of fresh powder on top of our freshly injected hill, is normally = f####g Disaster!! I know you can do a lot if you get access to a ratrac & good coaches to give instructions, but today a new level of amazingness was reached. They turned up side down on the whole situation & took out some “gandalf the grey” magic & turned the hill into the icy pist we were looking for!!

Gs went well I must say. Feeling good with the setup.

Yes I´m in a Finish suit, my bag is still missing from my Frankfurt-Calgary flight, but they say its on the way now!!
I´m really satisfied how the DH skis felt on the test track today. although the snow was cold & aggressive they felt slippery & fast!!

So lets go over to some tucking instructions…
Are you a ski racer & have a hard time killing the flats, well listen up…

Tucking ABC..

What NOT to do.
*Do not go to deep in the tuck! That way you can´t absorb all the small bumps & its very hard to move smoothly during a turn.
*Do not lean forward & have pressure on the front of the skis. That makes the skis want to turn instead of floating nice on top of the snow.
*Do not dip you ass low to get the pressure on you tails, that makes your aerodynamic suck nuts+ you can´t absorb bumps in a effective way!
Do not go to a wind tunnel & try to find the best tuck possible. Just because its the best aerodynamic position dosen´t mean its the fastest position while skiing! Your stans, pressure points, absorbing abilities are way more important factors in the search of speed!

What to do…
*Try to have your ass as high up as possible, without dipping your arms & upper body to low. That creates a aerodynamic position that still allows you to move freely & relaxed!
*Make sure you have your knees in a perfect straight parallel position, imagen your self being a sled!
*Make sure to have properly bent poles that fits your tuck!
*Focus while tucking, use every little bump as your friend & try to create speed instead of loosing speed on them!

*If your not fast on the flats & you think its boring to work on your gliding skills… Well go & have some MC Donalds, make sure to super size your meals. Yes thats right, “meals” & not meal, one meal is for sure not enough!!

Questions will for sure be answered by Dr Liontuck!

/Hans

Ted loves to Shred. He's an Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion ski racer, all-mountain ripper and loves to push his body's limits.

Today we trained for the first time at our new US training base in Copper Mtn. The training center is mostly based around creating early season speed training, which is a rarity and even more so if it’s good. This is where Copper steps in, since Copper is at around 10,000 feet they almost always have the mountain open in early November, just in time to prep for the first World Cup speed races. This year we have our own run and lift, complete with A-net, new snow making and the works. This should be a major boon for us for years to come.

Downhill has always been a little perplexing to me, especially gliding. Put me on a steep turny course and I can hang with the best of them but if it’s soft and flat, guys that would be lucky to break top 400 in the world in GS can crush me. (I’m not referring to the guys skiing today but past skiers.) It can be a little frustrating. Watching the best downhill gliders in the world I see that I have to unlearn everything I have worked on in my skiing, instead of being over the outside ski you need to lean in and rotate to start the turn, instead of taking the turns deep you need to take a shallower line. Sprinkle on a little magic and you’re a glider. All so counterintuitive and all things that wouldn’t allow you to buy a GS turn.

On to today, the new speed track here in Copper has a sizable amount of flats at the top and with that it’s snowed a bunch over the last couple days so it’s pretty soft, not exactly my specialty. For not being on downhill skis in a while and not being a glider I felt pretty good and consistent. I figured I’d be a little ways off the fastest guys but not seconds with an emphasis on the plurality of the word. (Austrians trained with us so there was a good gauge of fast.) When I finally saw the times a few hours after training the perplexity of downhill really set in; it was a 90 second course, I ranged between 2-4 seconds out with no rhyme or reason. Riddle me that. After watching Kroell and others I see that I still need to rotate and lean in more while going shallower. I’ve yet to hear a coach tangibly explain glide turns, for example they say less edge angle then you can’t make the radius/next gate. Gliders aren’t much better at explaining it either. A two second disparity between seemingly similar runs really makes me glad I’m not solely a speed skier. In tech being fast is so tangible, arc more, go straighter, take it deeper etc. I can watch GS and SL races and with phenomenal accuracy guess peoples times within tenths. When you’re slow the reasons are mostly obvious and the things to work on are easy to grasp. In speed two seemingly identical runs can be seconds apart which might as well be worlds.

Ted loves to Shred. He's an Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion ski racer, all-mountain ripper and loves to push his body's limits.

Jimmy and I have have improved upon our backpack mount. I tried it in GS too but it sticks out a few feet off our back so it hits too many gates or I have to ski 4 feet off the gates.

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Ted loves to Shred. He's an Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion ski racer, all-mountain ripper and loves to push his body's limits.
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