Riding the Tails in DH

Discussion in 'Racing and Competition' started by Speeder, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Speeder

    Speeder Booting up Skier

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    During the 2018 Kitzbhuel DH Steve Porino said that Svindal was a master of starting turns on the tail of his skis and thereby avoiding breaking action from being in a neutral or forward position. I have heard Tod Brooker say similar things about getting off the front of the ski on flat sections. All my coaches have said this is very wrong... any thoughts about riding the tails on the flats?
     
  2. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    Like everything else in life, it depends!

    All parts of the ski are meant to be used in different parts of the turn or in different turns, especially by racers, but if one can't manage to bend the tip of the ski at will, then the point is really mute: it's not like you have an option...

    It's true that you don't want to overturn on the flats and also that over-pressuring the tips will slow you down... But then, turning in general slows you down.... so where and how do you get "direction"?
     
  3. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Grab a friend of about the same size with skis waxed the same and find a nice, clear, long, flat spot. One of you tucks in the traditional manner. The other sits on the back of their skis while you both straight run. The one sitting on the tails will always go faster. Trouble in the course though is keeping things under control. ogsmile
     
    Speeder, Karl B and NE1 like this.
  4. Pete in Idaho

    Pete in Idaho Out on the slopes Skier

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    As stated above.

    Picture. You are skiing in a straight line at 70mph and on your tails. You hit an irregularity in the course, the snow changes slightly, the next Gate comes up quicker than you anticipated or "oh crap I forgot that little depression, fallaway, knoll etc.. Excepting a great Bode recovery you are in trouble and it happens really fast at 70.

    Don't ski 70 anywhere or anytime anymore and when I ski fast just work on a flat ski and stay centered.
     
  5. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    The funny thing is, unless you've been in a DH suit, almost nobody who thinks they've skied 70 actually has... even if their phone says they did. ogsmile
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018


  6. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    There are consequences to riding the tails. It is faster in general on flats. The wildcard is that you are more likely to catch an inside edge. This technique should only be employed by experienced downhillers that understand the trade off of 'juicing the ski' for that slight speed increase vs having a bit less stable ski.

    I don't advocate it for my athletes unless they are advanced, experienced and accept understand the risk vs benefit.
     
  7. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Amen.... agreed.
     
    Pete in Idaho likes this.
  8. Pete in Idaho

    Pete in Idaho Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have never been 70 on skis. Radar clocked at 61 in a race and the same thing applies at 40 50 60 or 70 for anyone as amateur like me or most of us.
     
  9. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

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    Well, you don't need a speed suit to hit 70 - some folks on TGR have done it with a radar gun I believe (straight-line tucking a steep smooth run). But it's not something I'll be trying any time soon. I feel like I scare myself enough when my phone-speed hits 50. :P
     
    François Pugh likes this.

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