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My mission to go chook racing

Discussion in 'Events & FIS' started by Yardsale, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Well this weekend is it.... weekend 1 of masters for Flakes and myself.

    For those that don't know, I'm doing it all on tele skis. I have Dark One's old Fischer RC4's SL's and a pair of K2 Moto GSs (suplpied by Sandy-san) that are as stiff as hell. Both of them have Hammerheads with race springs on, all topped off by the trusty Garmont Energ boots I have had for about 5 years now.

    I got the SLs out for a run on Sun Run at Hotham last week. I started off thinking that they were short, skiddy and a bit loose, I had a few mysterious falls where I thought I had done nothing wrong... all in all, it felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew (like taking one piece off one of those giant 1 kelo toberones you can get at Easter). Near the bottom of the second lap of sun run, by back foot went completely loose and I ate it. My foot had completely come out of the binding.

    After closer examination I found that the bindings were quite loose. Of course, idiot me had left the manual for the binding down in Omeo - so I spend about 5 minutes, with the help of Flying Dutchman, trying to figure out how to tighten them. So after a bit of playing around, we had a better fit. The boots flexed better, and all of a sudden the skis had the same longitudinal stability my 10cm longer public enemies had - the benefit of a stiffer ski. Funnily enough, the also started to turn a little better.

    As my time on them wore on, I was getting lower, pushing into the front of the boots more, bringing the back leg forward more and they would hook up better. The run was a mix of groomed at the top, lumps in the middle, fresh under some parts of the snowmakers, ice under other areas. It did not matter one little bit for the SLs, it was like a axe that sliced through everything.

    On Saturday afternoon I had a quick session with one of the coaches, and adjusted the boots a bit. A few strips of tape under the liner just to straigthen up my stance a little bit. I also cranked the bindings up position 3 to 4 (out of 5). The next morning, the slight change paid dividends - with the skis hooking up even easier than the day before. I skied them alpine for a few runs to see how quick they really turned. The answer to that question is "faster than I can possibly perform a lead change". Time to find a hill or stairs and practise running up and down it with small steps I think!

    Either way, the SLs were fun. Its the GS skis I fear! I've not had the chance to get onto those yet. I'm off on leave this coming week and one day I am going to have to take them out for a fang..... I hope the summit opens soon so I can start somewhere flat!
     
  2. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Damn I have to get down to Hotham to watch this! [​IMG]
     
    #2 Telemark Phat, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  3. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Okay, trying to tele a flush is impossible.

    Well, Noni's coach doesn't seem to think it is, so there you go... I have no excuses. I just have to keep at it.

    Either way, I'm now two weekends into Masters training and have spent a lot of time on the RC4 SL's and like them the more
    a ski them. I am finding that towards the end of training I am completely dead and have to resort to downhill turns. Of course
    there are a number of drills you can't do in the telemark stance, so I do those downhill as well. After all, downhill turns are
    just one of the turns that you have in your bag of tricks (even though the purists see it as sacrilege).

    One of the things I found easiest was skiing downhill with your boots undone entirely. Yes I did try one telemark turn with just the top buckle undone and landed well and truely on my head and my rear foot just flexed forward out the and pushed my boot open. So the rest of the day was spent will a cold right foot from where the snow got in the boot. So I went back to skiing downhill and found that it made no difference to how I skiied downhill. Skiing downhill on tele skis forces you into a centered position to start with. (This lead me to trying out a pair of downhill skis and boots later on the week, and finding theer was a big difference in how hard you could drive the ski - a surprise to someone who has now had a grad total of 5 days on downhill gear).

    There was many things I did get to take away from it though. Upper body position being a big one - I worked on removing a bit of counter routation from the end of my truns. The result was a much more quite upper body, and better projection down the hill. I have worked more on fore-aft weighting through the turns - and when it's right, the inside ski springs out of the turn and helps you perform the lead change.

    On Saturday the folks at Hotham Events were good enough to hand over a third of Sun Run, first thing in the morning. So two sets of stubbies (short poles) and one set of full poles went in. I spent my time on the stubbies - half a run in doing tele and then hit the flush (when you get the double gates set really close) and lost it. So I need more practice on tighter turns and more angulation to get around that! So I went back to skiing downhill just to learn what it was all about. I'd have to say that doing gates is the most fun I have had on snow for a long time, it was something totally new and an absolute blast.

    Mikey Edwards is a great coach and an awesome skier. He does ski school during the week, so if you are up at Hotham and looking for a private lesson, ask for him. He is a living breathing example of why we should have some dry slopes in Australia. Simple time on snow, and lots of technical work make this guy a stunning skier.
     
  4. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I saw Shaggy's first run on a Race SL Tele setup. It was interesting!
     
  5. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go Yardsale. I missed the first training weekend at Perisher due to study commitments. I'm looking forward to the next one though.
     
  6. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    OOo, I forget last week's.... here it is. This weekend's one will be some time tonight


    Last Sunday I swapped groups to the group that is doing a bit more technique work - rather than going hard. My right knee is not liking
    me at the moment, so a bit of preservation is in order. I'm also one of those people that needs to do stuff over and over to get it right. The big thing to work on is keeping that outside hip forward - so some reason I am dropping it and loosing a bit of the carve in the process. I think I need a good video and sit down session to look at what I am doing.

    So, Saturday was straight out and into the SL gates on Sun Run. Hotham Events had given us a few hours to go a bash gates, and the race club set up as many as we could. The Master's course was a dozen or so gates followed by about a half dozen stubbies. No flushes were set up, and the gates were a little wider apart than the stubbies course. There were a few "oh crap" parallel turns made, but most of them were in the tele stance. As gates got in the way, I knocked them out of the road - but in the end it was pretty much inside hand only - rather than proper cross blocking. So I am nowhere near far enough over, and sliding more than I would like, rather than a neat carve. Flakes spent her time 'pocking' her way down the tighter stubbies course and was looking smoother each run.

    We did a quick time trial over the top half of the course - which I was significantly slower than everyone else in. But hey, alpine skis
    vs teles, people who have been doing this for a long time, vs a newbie. All I can say is "I suck at gates better than everyone else!".

    In the afternoon we went out on the GS skis. I'd never used them before - and was just a little nervous. I quickly found out I love them as much
    as tele on SLs. The turns are slower, but they are so stable. We were doing some alpine turns, inside ski only, and you could just stand
    on the inside ski with the outside one out like a dog taking a leak - and then just step over onto the other side when you felt like it. Trying
    to make faster turns though - not so easy, but you can still slide them around to weave your way though the crowds. If only I had access to runs like the back of Valluga down to Stuben @ St Anton!

    We were joking on the lift about equipping googles with GPSs to record the course - and play it back. Ironic that something like that
    would have been useful on Sunday. So my first crack at a GS course would be 10 gates, fog, and skis I had about 2 hours experience on.
    Yeah! Lets do it the easy way. Once again though, no gates missed, a couple of oops alpine turns, but in the end 5 decent goes at it.
    I'm sure I would have been slower than everyone else, and that my line would have been junk.

    After that, coffee, drills, lunch, drills and a bit of free skiing. My right knee gave out and I had to call it a bit early. Meh. Thems
    the breaks.
     
  7. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Okay, slow off the mark with this post again...

    As per last weekend, we did some warm ups on Saturday morning, and then into the gates set up on Sun run. This time it was a bit more turny with some tricky fast stuff - some of which I struggled with, but in the end got in a couple of good runs. Still blocking the gates on the inside hand, but hey, I was feeling more comfortable about it. When I was coming up the playground double chair I noticed Dark One (who was once a regular posted here) on the ground. He has exceeded the "30 second get-up rule" so ski patrol was called.

    I helped sort out Dark One's stuff (got his boots back to the race hut and go some sneakers down to hil at the medical center). After lunch, we headed out for some GS gliding work on the summit. The drills were all about positioning, gliding and getting tucked up and filled out the rest of the day nicely.

    It was Snowgeek's birthday - so we finished off the day by going back to CSIR, relaxing and then heading out to The Whiteroom. The food was some of the best I have had in a long time - so if you have a bit of cash to splash... go and enjoy!

    Sunday was the same plan of attack - this time with gates on Sundowner. More space between gates, pitch changes and a rock hard surface, in short brilliant fun. During the first run, I managed to run over a gate and fell. I ripped my boot clean out of my bindings. So the answer to question "will a hammerhead with race springs really let go of a boot in a bad fall" - is yes. It did hurt my ankle a bit, I was hobbling around Sunday night. It's come good as the week has gone on though. I got in about 4 more laps of the gates, and managed to get far enough over to cross block a couple of them.

    After lunch we headed out for more GS gliding, this time with gates, on the summit. The focus was keeping that outside hip forward and gradually getting in closer to the gates. Flakey was clipping each gate as she zapped by them - she found out later that there is a reason why some of the guys where padded under-armour. The bruises have come up nicely!
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    So you like those GS skis??? Fast, stable, precise, predictable.....

    Work them hard, and you will get good stuff back from them!!!! Be lazy and you will fall down!!! [​IMG]
     
    #8 Sandy, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  9. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good stuff Yardy, slalom starts to feel good once you get the cross blocking going. I don't think I understand what you mean IRT "keeping the outside hip forward", that happens naturally in a tele turn. If you think you're GS boards are stable wait until you mount up some SG skis tele [​IMG]
     
    #9 Telemark Phat, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  10. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    I had my first training of the season last weekend, I missed out on the first weekend since I got a scholarship to go to ANSTO to learn about nuclear techniques. Both days were 7am starts with beautiful sunrises. Saturday was slalom. There was a line of stubbies followed by a line of gates on the flat bit at the top of Zali's. This line I was cross blocking happily and I managed to not get confused blocking in the flush. Next we had a line of stubbies on the top half of the first pitch of Zali's and then gates for the rest of the run. I managed to cross block the gates on my left turns but struggled on the other side. I got late in the first run and got spat out of the flush at the bottom. On the rest of the runs I just tried to get more angle and hold my line.

    [​IMG]
    The bottom of the course on Zali's

    [​IMG]
    Stubbies at the top of Zali's

    On Sunday it was GS. We had a easy line at the top of Zali's and then the proper course for the rest of the run. On the top third I was able to hold a good line, but I then struggled with the rest of the course on the first couple of runs. By the end of the session I was finding a good line in the bottom 1/3 of the course but the middle section kept evading me. After the gates we worked on laying over our turns more, setting up my hips in the transition before trying to angulate clicked for me and I was consistently brushing the snow with my inside knee, now all I have to do is ski like that in the gates.

    [​IMG]
    The GS course on Zali's

    More pics and skiing from last weekend here
     
    #10 Telemark Phat, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  11. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Well done on the scholarship.

    WRT the outside hip forward, I think I was just extending the front leg a little too much in hindsight. Rather than saying "bring it back" I think, he identified why I was doing it (fear of getting to the next gate too fast), and told me to solve the problem by driving myself forward.

    We got no gate time in this weekend at all. Saturday was basically working on keeping the core steady through the junky snow. Sunday the visibility and snow conditions were too bad for gates... so we had to ski the powder. Damn :p We have a week off this week - not making up to perisher for the masters this year unfortunately. 4 of the other Masters guys are heading up - so we will have a small contingent there, if you run into them say hi.
     
  12. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Perisher and National Masters were held at Perisher on Friday and Saturday. SL on Lindner run on Fri and GS on Zali's on Sat. Sadly the SG was cancelled. I came second out of two in the SL, but I was very happy on my improved times from last year. In the In the GS the other racer in my age group (much better than me) fell on his first run, handing me a Bradbury victory. It was a ball again and I strongly encourage anyone who thinks they might like to race or would like to really improve their skiing to get involved. Full Report

    [​IMG]
    Me in the SL course on Lindner Run

    [​IMG]
    More telemarking in the gates. The Zali's GS course this time.
     
    #12 Telemark Phat, Aug 9, 2010
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  13. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Good work. Wish we had have been able to make it up to the Perisher masters this year. Maybe next year when things aren't so flat out. really I wanted to get a bit more gate time before I tried a real race anyway.

    Flakey and myself spent the weekend out doing drills on the drift, and a bit of social skiing. Back into it next week - with GS all weekend. I'm hoping that we get some more snow - it will mean that Orchard can open and spread the crowd out a bit more.

    It was good to run into Brett Sergent on the weekend too. I did a weekend tele clinic with him about 5 years ago, which was awesome. Maybe the ski school needs to get another one organised - the tele contingent at Hotham has grown markedly in the past few years!
     
  14. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers Yardy, I hope there is a race at Hotham for me to go to next year.
     
  15. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Yeah so do we!
     
  16. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Plans are hatching. There might be a contigent organised for thredbo cup -> masters week -> perisher masters races for next year.
     
  17. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    Well, we had another weekend of wet snow and limited training time. We got to use Snake Gully until 8:30 on Saturday and Sunday, so we were all at the bottom of the lifts at 7am (which meant we were out of bed at 5:30am).

    Saturday was nice and hard and a ton of fun. The GS skis hook up well on the firm snow and allow you attack the course pretty hard. It is an eye opener as to how hard you can actually tele. Sunday saw a bit of fresh snow on the ground, which we had to move off the course - so a few laps of side slipping were done. The rest of the day was spent focusing on individual things that we needed to sort out. Unfortunately the weather on both days had closed in and we were unable to use the drift as a training venue.

    Sunday after the course was torn down was skills and general skiing on the fat planks. Every time I get on them now, they feel like floppy useless things until I get a bit less aggressive with them. We hit a few of the runs that we don't get the chance to hit, in normal training (top of wendix, the lines thu the trees off the side of canyon).
     
  18. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ya gotta love racing hey!?


    Put on some alpine gear now and you'll feel like the god of edging!
     
    #18 sly_karma, Aug 18, 2010
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  19. Flakey

    Flakey First Runs

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    5.30am ... that's for pussies. This last week has been 4.15am! [​IMG]
     
    #19 Flakey, Aug 23, 2010
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