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Ski Racing Basics SL

Slalom skiing is a rapid turn, mostly single gate race event.  Different that GS where the better skiers are actually going right at the gate and blocking it to try and take the best, fastest line down the race course.  

Below is a video of Mekaela Shiffrin at last years World Championships.  Like the GS video we DO NOT ski courses this long in EMBLW.  However this is a great video to see what it takes to be a great SL skier.

Some additional information below:

One way to better understanding racing fundamentals is to watch World Cup slalom racing. First watch only at the shoulders of a few racers. The differences that let you identify one skier’s style from another disappear. You notice their shoulders are always facing down, and roughly parallel to, the fall line of the hill.

The arms move in different ways to clear the gates but remain in front of the body , for the most part, relaxed. The legs are moving at blinding speed side to side, feet forward and back, but the shoulders (and the rest of the torso) will seem very still, and very similar from racer to racer. Another important point is that they reach for the gate to clear it but don’t reach so far as to alter the angle of the shoulders.

The same exercise can be done for head position, hips, shins, feet, location of racers center mass over the ski. There will be subtle differences, but for the most part they will appear to all be doing the same thing. If you notice a major difference, we call that a mistake;-)

Eyes parallel to fall line

Arms in front of the body and relaxed

Upper body remains, roughly, vertical to the fall line

Hips roughly parallel to the fall line, and facing down the fall line

Shins are roughly parallel

Outside ankle flexes and foot moves back to start the turn, the other foot will flex back at the end of the turn to initiate the next.

If you don’t have a chance to see a race on TV ask a coach to point out some good examples on the hill, or to demonstrate it themselves.

Good examples:

Good Example 1

Good Example 2

Good Example 3

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