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I was just watching some old video of Hermann Maier and the commentator (Karen Lee Gartiner) mentioned that he had successfully improved his gliding skills between seasons. Beyond a slippery tuck and trying to keep your skis flat and swimming what elements make comprise good gliding skills. Equal weight distribution left and right? Neutral stance or weight back or forward? Wider than normal or usual stance? More suspension travel in the legs or a low tuck? What kind of things are useful to practice to improve gliding efficiency? I'm the just about the only one in my club interested in racing DH so I have to do it alone.
 

James

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@Doug Briggs will have some suggestions. You want stance width so skis are flat. Too wide and they're on edge. As for arms inside legs, in front, or outside, this may simply depend on body type.
It seems like the good gliders remain supple over bumps while still maintaining tension/strength. This may be pyschological, experience, and body type related. Can you be soft and relaxed at speed?

Check this out on tucking. Bully= bullet tuck.
http://www.modernskiracing.com/Bully.php
 
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oldschoolskier

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@Doug Briggs advice is likely better, but until he replies here my shot at it.

To achieve maximum glide you want to achieve the least resistance on the snow possible and this is not a one solution answer.

Consider as you gliding in any condition trying to achieve a lose ski condition (no edge engagement), floaty, rock back and forth, side to side and so on. When you feel that you don’t have control and the ski is getting ahead of you IMHO you likely have the start of a good glide.

Now as to body position....help.... I’ll defer that to someone with a better answer.
 

Dakine

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Run your base bevels about 1 cm into the Ptex so the steel edges are mostly off the snow when you are going straight.
Snow is fast, metal is slow.
Of course you have to be good enough to deal with really squirrely skis and delayed hookup but you want to go fast....
 

sugarloafer

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I am interested in this as well. Wind tunnel training was mentioned. Anyone have contact details for where I can rent access in the Northeast? @James, I'll bet you know...
 
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Run your base bevels about 1 cm into the Ptex so the steel edges are mostly off the snow when you are going straight.
Snow is fast, metal is slow.
Of course you have to be good enough to deal with really squirrely skis and delayed hookup but you want to go fast....
My base bevel is set at 1 degree, if I were to take a couple of strokes with a 0.75 degree bevel tool it would fair my 1 degree bevel into the ptex do you suppose that would improve glide without changing the hook up?
 

Dakine

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Going to 0.7 from 1 would probably get into the Ptex a couple of millimeters.
The skis could be faster but I bet you would notice the difference.
 

James

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The bringing your base edge into the ptex seems dubious to me. Your making less surface area which could be faster given a perfect flat surface. You're also increasing the tendency of the ski to wobble. Introducing side to side instability could slow you more than the reduced surface friction. Don't know. I would bet this has been tested fairly extensively.

Maybe @Primoz knows what they do for base tuning and whether they bring the base bevel into the ptex. If it was really faster, why not just design the ski base this way for speed skis? Landing jumps - not so good.

Why don't you just increase the bevel of the metal? Downhill uses bevels well beyond 1 degree.

JEFFREY MARLOW
SCIENCE 02.07.14

HOW SCIENCE TURNED A STRUGGLING PRO SKIER INTO AN OLYMPIC MEDAL CONTENDER

"He spends more time in the wind tunnels than anyone else. And he’s good at it. It turns out that standing still is a skill that is highly amenable to training. With enough strength, body control, and concentration you can learn how to be a statue in a hurricane. Then there are the subtler lessons. For example, the wind tunnel sessions helped Nyman discover that keeping his hands forward and his elbows together consistently reduces drag. In this position, wind slams into Nyman’s chest and funnels down between his legs; his arms and hands are essentially invisible, generating no additional resistance."
https://www.wired.com/2014/02/ski-run-nyman-sochi-olympics/

It's hard to interpret the above. The other style seems to be keeping elbows in front of knees or legs.

The description doesn't match the photos.

IMG_6486.JPG
IMG_6485.JPG


It's likely that less than five minutes talking with Daron or any of these guys would settle the issues.
Doing it in a course is another matter, and the best tucker/glider isn't necessarily the fastest. That's also why Hermann Maier preferred super g. "No boring gliding sections" as he said.

A study-
IMG_6487.jpg

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6404/38/2/024002/pdf
 

Doug Briggs

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I'm late to this party...

My experience was practice makes perfect. My buddies and I would race from the back of Cranmore along a road that was off camber. We learned a lot about the subtleties of riding a ski, drafting (not applicable to DH) and aerodynamics. We were always racing each other all over the mountain so we got lots of experience.

Later on wind-tunnel testing played a part. I was only in a tunnel once. It was a combination of testing materials, suit design test and personal skill improvement. It was fun but kind of spooking to look back and see the blades spinning behind you. Don't look back.

My present advice to athletes is to avoid bouncing movements and application of hard pressure when trying to glide. A supple suspension is imperative to fast gliding. You need to see and feel the terrain and compensate for it with your legs so that your contact with the snow is consistent. Lots of people will bounce up and down trying to get in the 'right' tuck position. That is slow. Bouncing affects aerodynamics negatively but also presses the skis into the snow unnecessarily, increasing friction, reducing speed.

Aerodynamics is crucial and Nyman's example above at being obsessed with 'getting small' is an imperative for big guys to go fast. The crazy thing, though, is that there are guys (at least in Rocky Mt. Masters) with horrid body position that rock the flats.

Effective ski/snow contact is essential to gliding fast.
 

Primoz

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Gliding is one small, and relatively irrelevant part of the job... regardless how this sounds now. Few years ago, some Swiss Uni made research and in Wengen, which is super long and considered as one of races, where glide is more important, and they found out, skis are flat on for whole 7 sec. In 2min 30sec long race, they had pure glide for about 4% of time. Sure it's enough to to determine winner, of both skiers had same skiing for other 2min 23sec, but even on "glide" DH races, there's more important factors then glide.
Otherwise, I would say boots are thing that make biggest difference. Setup for perfect glide is anything but setup for perfect skiing for rest of course. So finding right compromise between these two, completely opposite thing, which allows you to be fast in corners and still enable you to glide relatively well is crucial, but not really easy thing to do.
 
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The bringing your base edge into the ptex seems dubious to me. Your making less surface area which could be faster given a perfect flat surface. You're also increasing the tendency of the ski to wobble. Introducing side to side instability could slow you more than the reduced surface friction. Don't know. I would bet this has been tested fairly extensively.

Maybe @Primoz knows what they do for base tuning and whether they bring the base bevel into the ptex. If it was really faster, why not just design the ski base this way for speed skis? Landing jumps - not so good.

Why don't you just increase the bevel of the metal? Downhill uses bevels well beyond 1 degree.

JEFFREY MARLOW
SCIENCE 02.07.14

HOW SCIENCE TURNED A STRUGGLING PRO SKIER INTO AN OLYMPIC MEDAL CONTENDER

"He spends more time in the wind tunnels than anyone else. And he’s good at it. It turns out that standing still is a skill that is highly amenable to training. With enough strength, body control, and concentration you can learn how to be a statue in a hurricane. Then there are the subtler lessons. For example, the wind tunnel sessions helped Nyman discover that keeping his hands forward and his elbows together consistently reduces drag. In this position, wind slams into Nyman’s chest and funnels down between his legs; his arms and hands are essentially invisible, generating no additional resistance."
https://www.wired.com/2014/02/ski-run-nyman-sochi-olympics/

It's hard to interpret the above. The other style seems to be keeping elbows in front of knees or legs.

The description doesn't match the photos.

View attachment 74309 View attachment 74308

It's likely that less than five minutes talking with Daron or any of these guys would settle the issues.
Doing it in a course is another matter, and the best tucker/glider isn't necessarily the fastest. That's also why Hermann Maier preferred super g. "No boring gliding sections" as he said.

A study-
View attachment 74310
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6404/38/2/024002/pdf
Thanks for the link. I have always thought that an arm position similar to the one you naturally assume diving into water would offer the least drag, that's what they're describing in the article but most DH guys on TV seem to keep their hands tight to their faces.
 

Doug Briggs

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Thanks for the link. I have always thought that an arm position similar to the one you naturally assume diving into water would offer the least drag, that's what they're describing in the article but most DH guys on TV seem to keep their hands tight to their faces.
I'd say up at the level of their face, but not necessarily 'tight to'. My mantra for my athletes looking for more speed is you want to see and be looking over your gloves as much as possible. How far ahead the hands are is a matter of personal preference.
 

James

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IMG_6499.JPG


Some numbers. This is a cross country study. There's coefficient of drag, which surprisingly the standing tuck is the lowest, but has a large area so drag force is greater.

IMG_6500.JPG

IMG_6501.JPG


Here's numbers from Nyman and Doug Lewis
IMG_6502.PNG

Originally posted xcountry study here:
Reading the articles, the US went to custom tailored speed suits instead of fixed sizes.

It's hard to get actual numbers for alpine tuck comparisons. There's also a lifting force involved.
This crosscountry study put some numbers to it. 14 m/s is about 31mph.

Tuck a has a higher drag coeffiecient than b,c, or d ! but less area. It's still more drag force than b,c. Tuck b even had a higher drag coeff than d!
Tuck b barely wins here.

View attachment 64937
View attachment 64938

https://res.mdpi.com/proceedings/proceedings-02-00313/article_deploy/proceedings-02-00313-v2.pdf?filename=&attachment=1
 
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Thread Starter
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Gliding is one small, and relatively irrelevant part of the job... regardless how this sounds now. Few years ago, some Swiss Uni made research and in Wengen, which is super long and considered as one of races, where glide is more important, and they found out, skis are flat on for whole 7 sec. In 2min 30sec long race, they had pure glide for about 4% of time. Sure it's enough to to determine winner, of both skiers had same skiing for other 2min 23sec, but even on "glide" DH races, there's more important factors then glide.
Otherwise, I would say boots are thing that make biggest difference. Setup for perfect glide is anything but setup for perfect skiing for rest of course. So finding right compromise between these two, completely opposite thing, which allows you to be fast in corners and still enable you to glide relatively well is crucial, but not really easy thing to do.
I presume then that a perfect boot setup for gliding is extremely soft whereas a slightly stiffer boot would be better in the turny sections. Is that correct?
 
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