World Cup Movement Analysis – What We Can Learn from the Best in the Business
PSIA-AASI member and Level III-certified alpine instructor Paul Bussi is also a premier ski racing photographer who often uses his amazing imagery to help illustrate how the Alpine Skiing Fundamentals apply to the highest levels of the sport.
He graciously shared the accompanying image from the Lake Louise World Cup Downhill in Canada last week, showing race winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway navigating the Fall Away section of the challenging course.
Bussi said, “My thoughts on this turn transition go along with Zoe Mavis’s article in the Fall 22 issue of 32 Degrees (‘How to Apply Pressure Control in the Bumps’), and the emphasis on skill movements. In these images, we see the best in the world controlling edge angle through an A-frame stance and controlling ski rotation, creating a converging stem.”
Referencing two Alpine Skiing Fundamentals in particular, Bussi said the image shows how Kilde:
- Controls edge angles through a combination of inclination and angulation.
- Controls the skis’ rotation with leg rotation, separate from the upper body.
“My emphasis in teaching has always been on skills to do what we want to accomplish,” he said. “Of course, Kilde could ski with perfectly aligned shafts, edges at the same edge angle, and skis parallel. But in this situation, he reflexively makes different movements to accomplish his goals. For me, it’s fun to play with the range of movements – such as rocking fore and aft, skiing on one ski, rotating the shoulders to move into a turn or to allow the skis to finish the turn more.”
Bussi likens the ability of a skier to adjust their skiing to the terrain or given situation to being a skilled ballroom dancer, who makes different moves than a skilled two-stepper or jitterbug dancer… “yet can probably pull off the other dancing moves if they want.”
He adds, “If the goal of recreational skiing is to have fun and enjoy the mountain experience, I wonder if sometimes it would be okay to suggest alternative approaches and let students decide if they want to ski ballroom (GS turns in the bumps) or jitterbug the steeps?”