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Thread: To tuck or not to tuck

  1. #1
    Senior Member IN.racer's Avatar
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    To tuck or not to tuck

    While racing on a modified slalom set last week I couldn't help but notice all the tuckers. The course was a fairly tight very rythmic set, about 13 gates with approx 14/15 meter turns. Just about every racer immediately dropped into a tuck right at the first gate. I stayed upright, hands up and had the fastest time. I missed a platinum by .09 handicap. The pace setter did get me by <2 tenths.

    Tucking may seem fast cause you stay low, but I was edging much better and was not skidding my tails. Not many people can stay in a tuck and use their edges effectively. Maybe tuck the last gate or two if it's a straight shot, but IMO, staying up and attacking is the way to go.
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  2. #2
    Administrator JTBear's Avatar
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    Here's my thoughts.......

    Russ:

    On any flat course, I always lower my center of gravity and drop into a tuck! At the Rocky Mountain Regional Pacesetting trials this past Wednesday, Jake Fiala was in a tuck on every gate possible!! The last 4 gates had crankers (very turny) so he had to stand up & out of the tuck. I'd say the top 5-10 fastest guys all employed a tuck for the balance of the course.

    Lower body will always yield a better drag coefficient and make you faster. WIth my small stature, I need every possible technique I can muster to hide my frame from the wind resistance!!

    Your's truly at the 2005 National Championships - Park City (photo compliments of my favorite Police Officer - bmorecopper!!) :wink:




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  3. #3
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    Here is the main thing to remember..... NEVER sacrifice a turn for a tuck. If you can still carve cleanly in a tuck, then fine. But if it causes you to skid, it isn't worth the small aerodynamic advantage.
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  4. #4
    Administrator JTBear's Avatar
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    Thanks Jamie

    Great point Jamie!!

    Thanks!
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  5. #5
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    Pic of Nationals

    Just curious about the picture of the nationals - was the course longer than a typical nastar?

  6. #6
    Administrator JTBear's Avatar
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    Yes, they are are a bit longer

    Hi and welcome to the Forum!!

    Yes, the race courses at the National Championships are a bit longer than most resort courses, but not necessarily any steeper or more difficult.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for welcome

    Thank you very much JT. The Barking Bear forum lead me here via Gary's interesting posts.

    I was an enthusiastic Nastar racer back in the mid 90s but did not ski much these last 10 years. During that time the ski area that offered Nastar changed ownership and Nastar was dropped. Very disappointing and currently no Nastar offered in the whole state! :cry:

    Will hope to race Nastar when I get over to Utah. Does MSRT offer one day Nastar clinics? I stay and ski at Deer Valley and although they have a short Nastar style course it is apparently not affiliated with the program.

    Really enjoyed seeing the pics and article on Rennstall. When I was there over Xmas they also had the new Vist skis which came with Vist bindings and plate as a package for a bit over 1K. Almost bit on them but did not have time to demo as it was the last day when I found Rennstall.

    Now own 3 pairs of skis that should be suitable for Nastar: Volkl 6 Star in 182 and 175 plus Fischer WC GS in 183. Have no idea which pair would be best but all should work.

    Hoping to race some Masters SL this year but it sure would be nice to have the Nastar again to augment the Masters format. Other reasons I liked Nastar: it was less formal and one could just drop in; yet within this less formal atmosphere there was more sponsorship, swag and events which made it alot of fun for the participants . :)

    Thanks again for the interesting forum!

  8. #8
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    Re: Thanks for welcome

    Thank you very much for your kind offer Gary. I hope to get back over there this spring.

    One thing that I struggle with and have not seen discussed on the forums is physical health issues that limit time on snow. The reason I enquired about day clinics is that due to health issues I can no longer ski day after day. This has forced me to become strategic in choosing when to ski so as to get the most bang for the buck. Maybe this is the reason I appreciate so very much when there is an opportunity to run gates and get some coaching. Also it makes the cost of training less of an issue. Recently I attended the first day of a weekend slalom camp for Masters out here. At the sign in there was a young man in front of me trying very hard to argue the poor gal doing the administrative work into giving him a discount. I finally just said "we're Masters for chrissakes if we can't afford the $40 we shouldn't be here!" Later he confided in me that he was an airline pilot, had plenty of money but is just cheap by nature. That seemed pretty pathetic to me since it is so difficult to find training opportunities in this day and age with liability issues and all the other activities competing for space at the areas.

  9. #9
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    Good answers have been provided here to the question of tucking. A couple things I'll add.

    A pole with some curve to it will allow you to get your arms in a better aerodynamic position than straight poles will. With straight poles the elbows can't be pulled in as they should be.

    In a high, turning tuck, elbows out makes for a slow tuck because air gets caught in the chest. Elbows pulled in deflects the wind down and between the legs, reducing drag. I've personally verified this in the Calspan wind tunnel in Buffalo NY.

    Finally, here's a big secret. If you really want to maximize your aerodynamic efficiency, shedding the parka and warmups and racing in a speed suit will have much more of an impact on your time than tucking will. Very few NASTAR racers do this.

    I'm finding that in a 20 second NASTAR course it cuts about 3/4 of a second off my time. That's about 4 handicap points. That's significant! Check my race results, you can see the difference in my last runs where I put my jacket and pants back on.

    http://nastar.com/index.jsp?pagename=resul...p&compid=483750

    Makes for a cold lift ride if you don't have someone to shuttle your clothes down to you after each run, which I usually don't, so I just hike the course and stay toasty warm and loose.
    GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, GO FAST !!

    www.YourSkiCoach.com

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