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V2 Finally Coming Around...

Mon, Oct  21, 2002 - By Jeff Potter

Jeff Potter was one of the skiers at the NordicSkiRacer.com 2002 Fall Dryland Race Camp. In his copious spare time, Jeff runs http://OutYourBackdoor.com --- "a friendly ezine of modern folkways and culture revival ... offering a line of alternative books and a world of bikes, boats, skis ... plus shops for great sleeper books, videos and music ... plus nationwide "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums for local-style fun, bumper stickers and a new social magnet game! ...Holy Smokes!!!"

OK, I'm finally getting the hang of the V2, I think.

I had, perhaps, a conceptual block---as usual.

For one thing, I couldn't really see why it was an improved mode for any kind of distance.

They say it just takes balance. Well, balances takes WORK, man! And I wasn't seeing the increased speed paying off beyond the increased work.

No, best ski technique ALWAYS increases stability, I suspect. So where is the stability in the V2? I couldn't find it. I was always poling too far over and getting my weight to the outside and losing it, having to hop. Or I wouldn't pole far enough and had a canted-in boot. So I thought it was a balance problem. But NO!!!

As usual the problem is both in my thick head and in the bad teaching/talking that goes on.

Why is V2-A (V2-alternate) cool? Because it has a great, restful floating HANG-TIME on the glide side. But there is no hang-time on its strong-side. That's ALL work. V1 has no real hang-time anywhere---except if you build it in with my Delay V1. (Hang V1?) Gosh, maybe I should just call it the Vaijda V1 and give credit where it's due! Matt would like that. : ) .

Well, John Downing at his clinic gave me the seed for what seems to be my improvement. He REALLY focused us all on LATERAL movement. ZERO stepping forward.

The Norgie tapes really emphasize keeping the HEEL down.

So I started combining those two things more exactly with the V2. Also, I did JD's "ski slow to ski fast" drill. PLUS! I used JD's dryland V2 circuit training drill, where you just step/hop laterally from one foot to the other using V2 poling and visualize you're skiing.

I finally found that there IS a hang-time for BOTH sides of the V2! And it happens right then you step over to the other ski after poling/kicking. Your arms are back and you can hang on the new ski for a moment. Then you can start your dynamic/unstable DP-kick to let you hang over onto the other ski. So that V2 actually does have an effective rest built in. And it's SUPERIOR to V2A because the rest is on BOTH sides! ---That's my new notion anyway.

It seems like you can only do this if you kick off your heel and use only lateral motion. Any kind of step forward puts you on the new ski in an unstable mode. Does me anyway. At this point in my learning anyway. (And I've been skiing V2 for over a decade, but just not for, say, 10 minutes at a stretch.) Kicking off the heel perhaps also lets you land on the heel of your new ski. Maybe it also helps one not to over kick or get over dynamic. I'm thinking I was using too much forefoot in both kick and glide phase and that my poling had to stay in motion always to keep up. That fed into the snowballing that I suspect many experience with V2. I couldn't do it slowly! It was an accelerating mode. There was no hang before, but now I found it and my V2 seems to have suddenly locked into a rock solid mode. I can hardly wait to explore it some more.

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