INGEMAR STENMARK’S SECRET TECHNIQUE


From his debut in World Cup competition in 1973, Swedish racer, Ingemar Stenmark, won far more international races than any other alpine skier in history; 86 wins (46 giant slaloms and 40 slaloms). He dominated World Cup GS and slalom for 10 years, often by such wide margins that he ended up competing with himself. It was obvious, or at least it should have been obvious, that Stenmark was skiing a far more effective technique than that of his competition. Yet, even the best coaches in the world either seemed to be unable to figure out what Stenmark was doing or disinterested in figuring it out. When the video clip of Stenmark (below) is compared to the clip of Bridget Currier (EXTENSION/PENDULUM EFFECTS – THE MOVIE), Stenmark’s technique should be obvious.

 

“A man (or coach) should look for what is, and not what he thinks it should be.” – Albert Einstein

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. Looks like an Early Alberto Tomba Move . Using the lower tails of the ski to generate power to the next ski . Forcing the Turn High in Phase Three. Always Remembered how coaches and instructors were teaching it wrong in the eightys ,,, Amazing how it took until Tomba to figure out another lapse from Stenmark to Him .

    Giardelli Mastered it ,,,,, So Did Vongernigan, So Did Ammodt and Kjus ,,, and now Bode Miller and Ligety have Tailored it

    1. There is huge interest in the Stenmark post. So I am writing a follow-up post called STENMARK DEMYSTIFIED. While I could see that Stenmark was doing something different than his competition when he was actively racing, it was not obvious to me what it was. It wasn’t until much later, when I had a VHS player with sophisticated slow speed viewing, that I first noticed what I call the skimove in Erika Hess at the 1987 World Championships. Even after I saw the skimove, it took me a long time to figure out the associated mechanics, biomechanics and physics. When I tried to point out the move to the inside ski while it was still on its inside edge, my observation was dismissed as the racer simply finishing the turn on their inside ski. In my opinion, the huge lapse between Stenmark and Tomba and the recent inability to see the obvious difference in the moves of Ligety and Shiffrin and their competitors is that the sole criteria for validating ski technique and/or equipment is the ability to win a race. As far as I have been able to tell, little or no effort is made to apply established principles of science to analyze racers and formulate sound technique using an optimal model as a reference.

  2. Clip brings back memories:-) That said.. particularly like slow- mo of Stenmark at turn apec left left support foot going away. you can easily see joint/leg rotation in transition to new ski. THE SKI MOVE! I I think this pretty much establishes your observation that today technique fundamentally is not new!
    Enjoy video with athlete ‘coming at you’… but believe video shot from behind clearly shows not only joint rotary movements but very real discrepancies left side/right side w

    1. I agree with you regarding the importance of a rear camera angle. In an ideal world, there would be two critical camera views, 1) a first camera moving beside the racer looking directly at the racer and moving at the same speed similar to the cameras on rails used at events like track and speed skating and, 2) a second camera directly behind the racer on the same trajectory. When I start analyzing short clips or stills from World Cup races it will become apparent that even a whole event sequence from a single camera at a decent angle is rare. Close-up camera views tend to switch part way through the critical transition phase leading up to ski flat (Event 3). Most racers tend to look reasonably similar in the apex of a turn. So if they make a move to their inside ski while it is still on its inside edge, the start of a transition move usually looks good. The key events occur around Event 3, Ski Flat (before and after). For reasons I will provide in future posts, a racer (or any skier) has to arrive at Ski Flat with the pelvis square to their trajectory (i.e. neutral) with W and R over their foot and then perfectly execute Event 4. If the racer misses Event 4, it is impossible for the racer to make Events 5 through 9 happen.

  3. http://sport.orf.at/stories/2222284/

    Unrelated. She blames it on her boots. You got that one right

    Stenmark was a genius but he was a master of the A frame which was in then. He has 2 mm wedges on the outside of the soles of his Caber boots, He.would be a winner today as well but with a different technique.

    1. Labelling what Stenmark did the A-Frame technique was in my opinion nothing more than a ploy to create an illusion of knowledge where none existed. It is called The Dunning-Kruger Effect.

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