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Leverage Position: A massive treatise for 15 offers

Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
edited July 2012 in Technique & Theory
Wrote this on a long train ride back in April but kept forgetting to post. Recently a few folks have requested it.

So here it is!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oDlyJi8MRdF9t8uQcEMCUEGsivhQ2tP7qOO6HfPgCDg/edit
Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
Ed_JohnsonskifreaksunvalleylawcrashmanMarcotravnewsctsmithSkiOrDie
«1345

Comments

  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    @Than Bogan, With your permission, I am going to link to this thread in my request for fundamentals thread so folks can find it that way too, K?
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    @Than, Oh, and thank you very much!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @sunvalleylaw Please do!

    And you're welcome. I truly hope this helps some people.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    sunvalleylaw
  • 94009400 Posts: 626 Crazy Baller
    Very nicely written. I could have used that 20 years ago. Shoot, I could have used that early this year.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,212 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Than...really good job!

    That article passes on very important information with a great deal of clarity, well done!
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 444 Crazy Baller
    @Than Great article. This is exactly where I'm at. I'm comforted by the fact that I have been working with these thoughts, in this direction, and with the practice that you have suggested. I'm discouraged by how long it is taking me to master this but I have started to feel it (unfortunately not very consistently).
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @fu_man Thanks.

    Do not get discouraged! I skied in a very poor position for about 15 years (age 5 to age 20) and so I had a LOT to un-learn when I first started getting into tournament slalom. I worked on almost nothing but leverage position for at least 5 years, and believe me I still haven't "mastered it" -- every shortening is a new opportunity to watch your weak leverage position crumble...
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    sunvalleylaw
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    @Than, just getting into really reading it now, on a short break on a busy work day. Very cool! I will learn much from this. Nicely written. I also am very analytical, being a lawyer (wow, I actually admitted that?), and a ski coach. I like how you describe the literal and figurative foundational qualities of a good leveraged position.

    The first thing that is opening my eyes is the difference between cross course speed, and down course speed, which causes slack. I had not thought about it that way before. Outside of the course, historically, if I am skiing well, I don't get lots of slack. In the course, it has often been a different matter.

    Elements of Position - first thing that hits me is the soft knees. I have tried to have this for years. Usually do ok, but can maybe be over stiff at times if I am pulling hard, and again, if I am in a hurry to finish my turn, I can tend to lock out my legs and push the ski around, rather than let it do its job.

    Hips not bent - I get that in pulling, but I see some variations of what I would call a "chair position" in some of the pics on the BOS site. I suppose that is what big dawgs do once they are big dawgs, and us mere mortals should try to maintain good position first and get to that stuff later. As in snow skiing, my students are not Bode Miller, and they should not try to copy Bode whilst developing fundamentals.

    That is all that I can really analyze or comment on for now, though I can see that as I get back into it, your sections on finding your position on the ground (reminds me of something I saw on an old Gordon Rathbun tape a long time ago), and symptoms to look for etc. are really going to help me find my position especially on a new ski. Off the top, I really like the little section of being open to the boat in a practical way rather than worrying about being entirely square to the boat. That makes good sense.

    Thanks again, Than (I saw somewhere else you prefer this to Nathaniel), for sharing this with us! I personally hope you find time to write at least some of your other chapters, particularly "Reach and Reconnect", "Pre-Turn", and "Handle Control", but really the whole enchilada. :-)
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    edited July 2012
    @sunvalleylaw - What you have to be careful of when looking at those pics you referenced of the Big Dawg's "sitting in a chair" is that it's a snapshot in time. Of one specific spot. Their base position isn't that. They're only letting the knees rebound and dampen the shock as the hydrodynamic pressure releases the ski from one edge to the other. So as soon as the ski comes back down onto it's turning edge, they're still standing tall in a stacked position. Also, when that rebound does occur, you can still draw a line from their ankles up through their hips and through their shoulders and...... wait for it........ their core never falls behind the handle while this process happens. Big difference from getting bent at the hips where the hips end up trailing a line drawn from the ankles to the shoulders.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    Than_Bogancondorpilot
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    @ShaneH, very good point and well said. I get that explanation. Thanks.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @ShaneH Exactly. Perhaps I should point that out somewhere in my piece, as I bet that is a common source of confusion.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    sunvalleylaw
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    @Than absolutely awesome. And thanks for supporting the 15 off club so much. I'm always trying to remember that everybody has different rates of progression and that I'm not some kid starting all my habits from scratch- I have 25+ years of bad habits to "undo" and it's great to hear some perspective from somebody who's been there. It also occurs to me that most skiers never even try a course and that most of the guys on this site are the "top one percenters" of slalom skiing. I've noticed that at this point in my skiing about every blown pass starts with bent arms/pulling on the handle with my biceps. Better go hit the course tonight and work on some straight arms.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
    sunvalleylaw
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    @Than I love this... I think that i need to re-evaluate my position now!! Reading this, Asher came to mind the way you were describing what you want to look like when you are across the wakes. Tall, knees with a little bend, ankles bent, arms down and straight, shoulders "open" to the boat. Please finish this!!! good stuff!!!
    sunvalleylaw
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 342 Solid Baller
    @Than. Tremendous article my technical buddy. I too am into the details of the sport we enjoy and your explanations of a key part to good short line slalom were righT and easy to understand.

    Great stuff!

    Where did you say that slalom manual is available? Lol
    Eagerly awaiting more chapters...
    Gary.
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
    sunvalleylaw
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    Crap. My worst fear is confirmed: People actually like it! Now I'm gonna feel guilty if I don't make more of it. But it's not that easy to find a 7 hour block like a train ride to DC...
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,823 Mega Baller
    @sunvalleylaw - take a look at the Nate Smith video set. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St-4N5CN0j8) In particular try to pause the video the moment the lean starts. This is the position that Than is writing about. Even at -41, Nate has to hit this position to get to each following buoy. Then, try to pause the video right off the second wake. This is the middle of the edge change. This does look like a "chair" position. There are many reasons why this is the correct position at this time. But, to go back to Than's primary point - it is the position at start of the lean that determines the position throughout the lean which serves as the foundation of slalom success.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    ScarletArrow
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,823 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    @Than wrote:
    " * Knees soft. I hesitate slightly to use the word “bent” here, because the degree of bending can vary quite a lot among successful skiers, and over-bending can make it impossible to achieve other elements of this position. They key is that your legs are not locked, so that you can use the largest muscles in your body (most of which lie between your knees and your navel) to apply pressure to the ski. Note that to maintain balance with knees soft, you’ll have to also bend at your ankles. Some skiers find it useful to focus on the ankle bend itself rather than the knee bend.
    * Hips not bent. Well, bent as little as comfortable. The less you resemble a sitting position, the better. From your knees to your head, you want to be at tall as possible."


    Than - I find that skiers stuck in this phase rarely have their knees locked straight when crossing the wake. Thus, I focus significantly on ankles, and mostly on the front ankle. I tell them that when you are standing and I say, bend your knees, your body automatically bends the hips, too. This is what we want to avoid - hip bend. So, I have them bend their front ankle. The result is that the knees will soften automatically due to the front ankle bend. Further, the back ankle and knee move too due to the focus on the front ankle. So, lean = no bend at the hips/waist, but front ankle bend.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    sunvalleylaw
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @kfennel That's kind of a different topic, but personally I have no clue where to do edge changes. I'm not a skier who does a conscious edge change -- the edge change is a result of other things I am focusing on. (Or I assume it is -- my ski seems to change edges somewhere between approaching 1 and approaching 2 :) )
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,823 Mega Baller
    Oh, and I totally agree - the one thing that is most consistently found in all top skiers is their lean position at the 1st wake. There are many, drastic variations elsewhere, but they all have a solid lean position as they approach the first wake.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    @kfennel Rossi told me once that the edge change isn't something you do. It's something that happens based on things that you've done prior to it. When max pressure against the ski is achieved, the ski will edge change. If max pressure is achieved early, the ski rolls too early. If max pressure against the ski is achieved late, the edge change happens late. Ideally, you should edge change like Seth does in his 30mph 15 off video. That's because he's taking a lot of angle to the white water while in good body position and the ski releases at centerline and starts it's outward arc.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    HipsupThan_Bogan
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    @kfennel if you are coming into 1 with too much down course speed your issue isn't your edge change but your gate. I believe (without seeing you ski) that you need to be much wider at the gates. If you are fast at 1 you are too narrow. Get good width at the pullout, work hard behind the boat through the whitewater after the second wake then change edges.
    Mark Shaffer
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,433 Crazy Baller
    Awesome timing @Than! This is precisely what I was told to focus on last weekend. Are there any tricks or cues that might assist in getting stacked as you head for the gates?

    I've taken to squeezin' my peaches and looking peripherally to make sure my ski is between me and the boat.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @kfennell That is completely awesome! Way to go! 36 is quite a beast. It's huge to get through that. -22 is actually not THAT much harder. Then at -28 you'll need to learn some new tricks. Getting high on the gate is a great start.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    @Than I'm really trying to work on this believe me I am. I feel like I have it figured out on dry land, as long as the handle is hooked up to my trailer ball I'm a slalom superstar but when I try to apply it on the water I just feel like I'm leaning back onto my back foot and riding the tail of the ski especially as I come out of the turn- any tips about that?
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,097
    edited July 2012
    @crashman Think about making yourself 6 inches tallerby straightening your back leg more. In seeing your video in another thread, your position is that of someone almost sitting in a chair with your butt about a foot behind your knees and ankles. Knee bend is fine, but any time you bend your knees your ankles must also flex forward otherwise you end up with your butt back. If you were to make yourself taller, it might take some of that knee bend/butt drop away.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    sunvalleylaw
  • davemacdavemac Posts: 451 Baller
    Crash...We had a clinic at the lake recently w/ a well known pro. On a free ski session, he ripped it up with his rear foot out of the RTP. Sadly, looked better than us "students" w/ both feet in. Might be a "drill" to try, to establish some feel/control with that front foot.
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