How Do I Go Faster?

Superman just pushes his fist farther in front and he speeds up. Not the same for ski racers unfortunately. However, there are some very little things we can do in order to go faster (or not lose any more speed).

#1: Clean Skis

This is absolutely critical for speed events. Skis, boots, ankles, knees, need to be doing mostly the same thing (parallel) so the edges can turn at the same time and not spray snow around. Snow spraying up means seconds lost. Having solid fundamentals and being able to pressure the outside ski going 60+ miles per hour will make this happen.

A lot of this comes down to how you 'feel' the snow. Subconsciously knowing where your skis are at and what they are doing is a skill developed after being on your skis for years and years. There's almost an 'Engaged Relaxation' going on in your ankles. Your ankles are strong and stable, but relaxed and able to adjust easily to the terrain, feel it, and allow the skis to 'run'.

Us coaches like to use cliche's like "Let them run" and "Look for speed." Letting them run means keeping your skis smooth in the transition and turn and don't take the turn too far across the hill. Looking for speed means looking for chances where you can grab an extremely low tuck, or where you can cut the line off (or go straighter).

#2 Weight on the Outside Ski

As mentioned above, being able to roll over and pressure the outside ski over a long arc in speed will have a clean turn and allow the skis to remain in the fall line for a longer portion of the turn.

#3 Adjusting Transition for Speed

We train and compete a lot in GS and slalom where we are always trying to get to the new outside ski as fast as possible and make an extremely fast transition. This is not as fast for SG and DH. Drawing out the transition to make it smoother will give you time to get to the outside ski for a clean arc, remain aerodynamic, and keep the skis in the fall line longer

#4 Aerodynamics

This is huge. World Cup athletes spend countless hours in the wind tunnel working on their tuck, equipment setups, and aerodynamics. You don't have a wind tunnel, but you can still be more aero. Don't wear a lot of layers under your speed suit, make sure nothing is bunched up eliminate any sleeve lines, wear the proper size of speed suit or a size too small, cover your top buckles with your speed suit, and wear smaller gloves. But above all, working on your tuck will do the most damage to your slow times. Hold tucks at home with your boots, poles, helmet and goggles on, take pictures and send them to me.


#5 Line

Line choice is too complicated and dynamic for an article. Your line will change as you improve your fundamentals. In the words of Erik Fischer the stronger your fundamentals, the more "Bad Boy" line you can take.

#6 Fast Skis

And of course, having fast skis is also very important. Wax your speed skis after every training day! Keep waxing them once a week when you're not skiing on them. Keep rust off and polish your edges.

Now go back and watch Paris Dominik win Kitzbuhel with a fresh eye. Look for how he does the above times. Then go watch some of your video and see how you can improve at these skills.

Remember, take advantage of every turn.

- Coach Tyson