tdc coach Ben Langridge on the dry slopes

tdc coaching on the dendex
tdc coaching on the dendex

First turns of the season..… on Dendex.

I’m whiling away the rest of the autumn with a bit of coaching at the local dry ski slope.

I haven’t skied on the ‘mat’ for probably 5 years now – and I’d honestly forgotten how much fun it is.
I even managed to squeeze out 2 sets of 50 old school short swings in 100 meters!
Don’t ask me to carve though – I left all my kit in Val – so I’m donning some old rear entry hire boots and some health and safety conscious – you won’t cut your fingers on these edges – hire skis.

I’ve been asked to coach some slalom racing which is always a pleasure, starting with Portsmouth Uni who are training for the British Universities Champs – I took some photos of them through the gates which are now posted on the tdc photo gallery http://picasaweb.google.com/tdcski/
Unfortunately since we were skiing under the floodlights and the guys were so fast – I struggled to get really clear shots but some of them are ok, even when blurred however – you can still pick out good and bad technique, hopefully the team will find them useful.

Portsmouth Uni get some tdc coaching
Portsmouth Uni get some tdc coaching

I also set a slalom course for a Southern Region race – which had to start on a big 35 degree ramp. I was worried the kids would pick up too much speed so I set 4 big ‘Tomba turns’ at the top, unfortunately it was a touch too tight so I had to whittle it down to make it more manageable.
It was interesting for me to see that the kids were super comfortable and fast edge to edge – when the gates were more or less straight! But only a few could handle the bigger turns at the top which showed they didn’t have enough leg rotation. Often when ‘mat skiers’ get onto the snow they find it hard to maintain a constant speed because they’re not used to finishing their turns, the dry slopes being so much slower means that leg rotation is less important.

Anyway I hope I get the chance to work with these kids again, I’ve been scheming some drills and exercises just in case. In the meantime I’m getting ready for the winter – although I’m not looking forward to having to force on a pair of front entry boots – I can’t wait to get back on the snow, gonna try to beat 100 old school short swings on the ‘Village’! Enough rambling – I’m heading into Christchurch for a coffee… my round today then boys!

Cheers – Ben Langridge
tdc coach – www.tdcski.com

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