Ski Racing Transitions
Base Transition and Active Transition
Base Transition is simply finishing one turn and moving into an athletic position to start the next turn. Transition is defined as the phase linking of two turns. As athlete progresses the transition becomes more active. Athletes at the national and elite levels use (Active) transition phase to harvest speed and gain a tactical advantage by extending their legs into a higher line while letting their CoM move downhill with a steeper attack angle . We will define the three phases of transition here. We will go more in depth to active transition in this section after line and tactics. Active transition should only be incorporated after an athlete can execute solid turn consistently while free skiing.
The transition is divided into three distinct phases.
Release, Neutral, Extension
Ted Ligety’s Giant Slalom Video example 1:01-1:12
It is crucial in modern racing that vertical movement is minimized (Up and Down)
Release : This is a critical component of the energy and line between turns. The athlete is coming off the edge and the direction change is made. Rather than extending vertically. The upper and lower body literally begin a swapping of position. This also were some problems can arise from jamming the end of the turn to start the initiation.
Neutral This is an unnatural position the faster the racers goes. In modern World Cup racing body is compressed and often the skis can lose contact with the snow although this is not desirable. The skis move from the completion of the prior turn and projected / extended into the next turn. The upper body continues to track the upcoming gate and fall line.
Extension. The lower and upper body are moving in opposite directions. The skis are extended into the initiation while the upper body moves downhill toward the center of the turn.