Cut and Pitch: Bode Miller describes his giant slalom techniqueOne year ago this week, Bode Miller won the giant slalom at SÃ¶lden, Austria. Not long after that race, Miller described one feature of his unconventional GS technique in an interview with Ski Racing‘s Nate Vinton.
SKI RACING: World Cup coaches have pointed out that more than many of your peers, you skid the top portion of the turn.
BODE MILLER: I have basically two different turns. I have a clean turn and then I have a skidded turn. Or a speed-control turn. I could run clean again the next turn, but generally I would just be going too fast.
It’s usually not the line necessarily, although the two are directly connected, if you have too much speed you go down the hill too far for how much across the hill you get. That’s obviously line. Not making the next gate is line.
But it comes from having too much speed. The pitching that I do, I usually do on my right foot. It’s sort of by design. I have a lot less edge on my right foot, and more edge on my left foot. I end up skiing clean on my left foot a lot, and I go in just as tight, really.
I go in just as tight and ski clean and come out with much more speed, and come out on a much lower line because of the speed. And then I’m able to pitch on my right foot because I have a lot less edge, so I can have a high edge angle and slide into the turn, killing some speed but having basic control over it, and then drop everything in at once.
And because I have less edge, I’m inside enough that I can cut off the top 15 feet of the turn, and by carrying the speed out of the turn before, I can make up time. So I kind of make up time on both ways. I make up time on the clean side by going faster, and then on the other turn by cutting off so much of the line. It works out well.
Because I’m going so much slower because of that slide I’m able to come in really direct and come out high and then arc the next turn again. Because I’m so high, I can arc really direct down the hill. It’s a trick that works really hard at a place like Soelden, down the pitch, where everyone has to slide, because if you arc two turns in a row, you’re going way too fast to make the next gate.
Guys do it on both sides. They end up sliding every turn down because it’s really intimidating, that hill. It’s icy and bumpy and you can’t see anything. For me, it’s nice. I can do at least one, and then the other. Mix it up a little bitâ€¦.
SR: You said your younger teammate T.J. Lanning saw you do it and tried to imitate the move.
BM: He watched me in training. They had the perfect conditions for that. I did that down the whole pitch. Just cut the left-hand turns, and then pitched it. It was really direct. I was on every gate the whole way down the pitch.
Some guys would make one turn and then they’d try to make two turns clean, and they’d end up doing the full hand-up-launch-sideways-out-of-the-course-slide-sideways-and-get-back-in. That was where I made up the time.
T.J. must have watched it 15 times, and he was like, ‘I’m going to do that.’ And he went into the race and he didn’t seem to understand the whole concept. He was just pitching them sideways on every turn. It was painful to watch. The whole idea is to solve an issue, and I don’t think he was really solving an issue there.