Photo Friday – Alignment

Photo Friday is a quick blog capturing skiers on the slopes. It’s a journal of present and past photographs captured from resorts across North America.


Situation

Here’s a set of photographs of a junior skier during a GS Race. The skier skis very well throughout this run and is quite advanced for their age. She exhibits some great fundamentals showing speed, strength and agility.

The purpose of the article is to help other skiers see what’s happening at certain portions of the turn and begin understanding what biomechanical movements are required at different parts of the turn – “Where in the body” & “Where in the turn”.

Type of Turns

This skier was racing in a Giant Slalom race.

Time of Year

This photo was taken in late March at 10:14am at Craigleith Ski Club, Ontario, Canada.

Slope

The photo was captured on a Black diamond slope.

Snow Conditions

Conditions were mid season, groomed firm.

Camera Settings

  • Camera: Nikon D500
  • Canon Zoom Lens: AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm – f/2.8 ED VR II
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Shutter: 1/1000 sec

Photo Sequence

Fig 1.
Good balance over outside ski showing separation
Fig 2.
Upper body begins to lean in prematurely.
Normally smaller joints are decreasing the turn shape.
Fig 3.
Balance over outside foot being affected by “leaning-in” with upper body
Fig 4.
The cross over begins – Outside leg (her left) begins to soften as her upper body begins to ‘cross over’ the base of support.
Fig 5.
The cross over still happening, but her hip alignment is a little behind the feet.
Fig 6.
Downhill ski begins to lose grip as the mass is behind (Alignment)
Fig 7.
The centre is behind as the skis accelerate and push her further back.
Fig 8.
The skis “jet” out in front of her. The good news is, she recovered from this and pushed her upper body ahead to regain a strong balance over her right foot on the next gate. “Whew”

PHOTO TIP:

The photographer positioned himself in line with the skier and the gate. The photographer wanted to capture the skier almost coming directly towards the camera.

Andrew Elsdon

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