March 16, 2005

The reason for my aching neck

During yesterday's off-piste at Cote 2000 I had an interesting fall and when I woke this morning I had an aching neck and some thoughts on why it was so...

Whilst I skied well on the off-piste under the Cote 2000 chair I was less acomplished on the steeper section that I tried with Lucy. This morning it was quite obvious to me why that was and now I'm keen to get back in there to see if I can ski it better next time...

Thinking about yesterday's posting made it clear to me that I'd reverted to a comfort zone skiing style and that style didn't suit the terrain. My stance was OK, at least at the start of the turns, but the steepness made me switch back to my old way of thinking which involves me looking at the slope, thinking that I really need to commit to this turn and then diving into a turn that ends up way too big and which results in way too much speed. The size and speed then give me plenty of time to screw things up before I get back to a controlled state. Whilst it gets me down the slope it could be better controlled and it simply just wont work if the going gets narrow as the turns I was using yesterday take a lot of horizontal space. The problem with the kind of turn that I end up in in this situation is that it's big and although I move fast (down the slope) the turn itself is long and slow; and whilst I'm waiting for the skis to come around I'm covering a lot of ground. Yesterday's wrong turns were better than I've done before and had I kept my cool a little more I probably could have linked them and the result would have looked "all mountain" rather than "all over the place".

What I think I should have done is simply change my commitment moment from "got to commit to this turn" to "got to commit to these turns" and then jumped in with several small, quick turns to get down the steep face rather than one large, slow one. I needed faster feet and my commitment yesterday didn't lend itself to that; I got what I asked for, I dived in and followed through the turn when I should have dived in and then dived again, and again to descend in a series of smaller turns with more of the time being in a controlled state. I should been thinking a bit more "bracquage" rather than the big carve... The anoying thing is that I know this, it's the fear and excitement of actually being there that makes all the plans fade away and leaves you with what you do instinctively; I need to practice some more so that my instictive reation is the same as the right reaction...

Oh and I figure that not using my head as a brake will prevent the neck aches...


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Posted by Len at March 16, 2005 09:46 AM | Categories: General
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