Cross-blocking is the method that a slalom ski-racer uses to draw his body's center of gravity closer to the skiing and increase his speed. This is done by diverting gates with his outer hand or arm (normally protected from the impact by a pole guard). The racer's feet get sufficiently close to the pole that, due to inward lean, the racer's entire upper body would actually pass through the pole if it were not moved out of the way. Thus they hit the pole (modern ones are designed to easily bend) with their outside hand to move it out of the way. Usually, the skier's shin guard will then push the gate down further.
- Guardian article on ski racing
- To cross-block or not to cross-block? - a 1996 article published in Professional Skier magazine
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