Italy’s Carlo Allias, currently ranked fifth on the men’s elite slalom list, apparently blew an O-ring while competing at the Masters Last Chance Qualifier last May at Sunset Lakes in Groveland, Florida. “I pulled too long into 1 ball at 41, and waited for the line to get tight after the buoy,” Allias explains. Down course and skiing fast, he connected back to the handle with his free hand and was of to the races. “Unfortunately, most of the load was on my left shoulder and arm out of the turn,” he says.
Remember that even when running late in the course, it’s best to have equal pressure in both arms and focus on being centered on the ski with your hips up. Let the pull come from your core, not your upper body.
Italian skier Carlo Allias wiping out at last years LCQ after pulling too long into 1 ball at 41off. photo: Bill Doster
However, if you’re past the point of no return, and a crash is inevitable, there are some precautionary measures you can take. It’s not easy, but try to stay on your back and keep your ski and your arms from penetrating deep into the water. Exhaling through the impact can also reduce the chances of having the wind knocked out of you. “Looking at this crash sequence makes my body ache,” Allias says. “But I walked away in one piece.”