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FIS lengths revision for 12-13 World Cup season - Page 8

post #211 of 224
Originally Posted by NE Racer View Post
Why does the FIS address ACL injuries and not head injuries?  Think of Marco Sullivan, Hans Grugger, or Daniel Albrecht and their horrible crashes of the past couple of seasons.  More could be done with course setting than ski design in preventing these types of injuries, or maybe even investigating helmet technology.  I'd rather blow out my ACL than suffer a TBI.  I'm sure most of you would agree.  What about event safety in general?  Why was there no immediate med-flight chopper for Mattias Lanzinger in Norway a couple of years ago?  Why are we only talking about skis (a small part of the equation) when these more dangerous topics are there for all to see?

They actually do. They are developing sort of airbag with Dainese for last few years, but I guess we can all agree, developing something so new and never used before, might take a bit longer then week or two. Next to that... they already changed rules for WC races (I know there's lot of injures happening also on lower lever races, but lets be real... it's kinda hard to demand same level or security for lower end races as WC races has), and nowadays fully medical equipped helicopter is obligatory, just as well as trained trauma surgeon (preferably more then one) on spot. In days of Lanzinger, neither of these two things was case. Helicopters were there, but they could be regular choppers not medical ones. In Kvitfjell they lost a whole lot of time rearranging chopper to fit Lanzinger in. Next to that, there was no surgeon on spot (since it was not obligatory and neither recommended), but there was normal doctor, who didn't know what to do, and who didn't dare to do some risky stuff because he was scarred of legal consequences if something would go wrong.

And last thing... I don't remember all that well details of Sullivan fall, but both, Grugger and Albrecht were pure riders error. Albrecht fell on one of easiest Zielschuss jumps that there were in last 10 or 15 years. He came wrong out of compression, and instead of saving situation (similar to what Paerson did on Olympics), he kept pushing (even though it was training) and fall was result of this. Grugger came to Mausefalle with 10-15km/h higher speed then anyone else, and even that on wrong line. Compared to Albrecht, he really didn't have any other chance once he was there, so nothing could change outcome (except for maybe those airbags I was talking about on beginning, but unfortunately they are not here yet). But nevertheless, this was his mistake, and pretty much everyone were surprised about speed and how aggressive line he took for first training run on Streif.

And now really last thing... Marco Buchel wrote on his comment to Warner Nickerson blog exactly what I wrote here few weeks ago, when this topic was raised. I hope his words have more weight then mine, and even if he's not American, I guess we can all agree his expertise and experiences in WC are "a bit" bigger then the ones of Warner. ;) He also wrote, something I didn't want to mention, but since it's public now what the hell... Racers were invited to join tests, and more or less noone decided to join this. Now everyone are bitching how noone asks them about their opinion. And same guys bitching how FIS doesn't do anything for their safety, are now really loud against FIS doing something for their safety. So please decide what you really want.

post #212 of 224


The FIS has published the data behind the regulations governing skis here:


post #213 of 224

Well, now we know what Hitler thinks about it.



post #214 of 224
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Well, now we know what Hitler thinks about it.






"Last time I checked they were building kickers at the finish line in Kitzbuehel.

Maybe I'll just race Nastar, they aren't a bunch of babies"





post #215 of 224
post #216 of 224

Just reading the article about the new GW specs in the first issue of the season from Ski Racing magazine and still can't believe that FIS is actually moving forward with these changes.  I seriously hope they find the error of their ways before too long.  Ought to be an interesting season to watch GS....

post #217 of 224

I think it would take a lot, at this point, for the FIS to change its position. Not saying it won't happen, though. What I got from the new Ski Racing is that many of the racers are struggling with the new GS skis...what a surprise! I'm pretty sure the FIS could care less about the racers' problems. Remember, however, that this was allegedly done all in the name of increased safety. There's already been at least one blown knee that I know of on the new skis in summer training. So essentially, it would appear that knee injuries in GS would have to increase (which is what David Dodge believe is possible, and so do I...) for anyone, including the FIS, to take notice. And even if knee injuries in GS do increase...well, the FIS can always make up some kind of story about how it isn't the new GS regs, it's A, B, C, or D. Yet it appears that the athletes are struggling with the new skis, and any time an athlete is struggling...well, that leads to mistakes when you're trying to push the line and win, and that usually leads to injuries. 


There is another possibility for another look at the new skis, however, which Svindal talked about in Ski Racing. Namely, it's apparently so difficult to get the new skis to initiate, and you have to be ultra precise and balanced, that only clean, hard snow will produce a fair race...and what are the chances for that happening on a regular basis? Let's leave out "fair" for a minute...there are all kinds of indications that the FIS was pressured by some manufacturers, namely Atomic, and some national organizations, namely the Austrians, who wanted the change because it would favor their racers. That seems like a pretty ridiculous assumption to me, even though I think Raich (under pressure from Atomic?) said that he thought he'd be faster on the new skis. I'm finding it really difficult to believe, however, that a strong little guy with incredible flexibility who uses high edge angles to arc the ski...like Marcel Hirscher, last year's WC overall winner...is going to benefit from the new regs, but I could be wrong. I think the new skis give the advantage to big, strong guys like Svindal.  We'll see, obviously, apart from the injury question, if you see a big shakeup in GS results for both men and women, I'm pretty sure you're going to hear the losers crying foul.


Apart from what the new regs will or will not do on the WC level, as we've all known and as Ski Racing reported, the effects on the rest of ski racing are possibly even more catastrophic. Some coaches are telling their junior racers to make the switch now, others are saying to wait a while. Still others are saying to keep new reg/old reg skis in the quiver, and switch back and forth as needed to make the transition. That might work and it might not in terms of results. But if WC athletes are struggling with the new skis and as Dave Dodge and others think, there might be an increase in knee injuries for WC athletes...what do we think is going to happen to junior racers, who are years away from their physical maturity? 


Finally, there was a thread running through the Ski Racing article that regardless of how fast (or not) or how safe (or not) the new skis are, they are absolutely no fun at all.  Great...it's a struggle for most parents to fund ski racing right now for their kids, if it becomes "more dangerous/less fun", then you're going to have the junior base in this country...and perhaps around the world...significantly erode as racers and their supporters decide that there are much better, safer, and more fun ways to spend money on athletics.


And for those of us in the Chronologically Challenged (Masters) racer category, this could be an issue, too.  I dunno what the regs are or will  be for International Masters competitions, but for USSA Masters, it is still "use whatever you want...we don't expect women in Class 9 to be on 30 meter sidecut skis." But are last year's skis going to continue to be available? I've stocked up on 3 pairs of 183, 24.3 M GS skis...but what happens when those are gone?  And I've heard similar stories of other Masters racers putting several copies of today's skis in their closets. Masters racing is struggling in the U. S., and if the FIS's heavy-handed approach, which doesn't appear to be based on any real evidence, filters down to Masters racing in whatever form...well, you might be looking at the demise of ski racing at several levels in the US and around the world.


Originally Posted by golson99 View Post

Just reading the article about the new GW specs in the first issue of the season from Ski Racing magazine and still can't believe that FIS is actually moving forward with these changes.  I seriously hope they find the error of their ways before too long.  Ought to be an interesting season to watch GS....

post #218 of 224

I think testing has shown that for a lot of athletes, the new product is faster, but a bunch more work. I've seen (on their websites) reports from Ligety, and Svindal that the new product is a lot faster in GS for them, but a TON more work, and that fatigue will be a major factor this year (especially if somebody sets a GS like Kostelic set the 1st run at Alta Badia last year ...). Jon Olsson also says that he's faster on the new product, and he exemplifies someone who's much smaller and shines at throwing the ski up on a really high angle to pull radius. One thing to note about these three athletes is that they're all on Head. I think the new skis benefit the tacticians and people who are incredibly precise in their skiing more than just people who are strong. Everything I've heard about the new product is that it skis fine if you're INCREDIBLY precise about the initiation. Then you stomp on the ski hard through the fall line and the new skis really accelerate down the hill. It's a livelier ski that takes MUCH more energy to control.


So the new product is faster - but is it safer? That remains to be seen. Also, it remains to be seen how they will hold up in soft snow (the ANC results suggest that they hold up poorly), with lower ranked skiers pulling excellent results on 27m skis. However ... the real problem (in my eyes) is what happens at the lower levels of the sport. At regional FIS races, for example. On slopes that are not injected, where they will run 200+ men and women on the same course, and the last person to run (on 195 cm, 35m skis) is a 5'3" 120 lb 16 year old boy in his first FIS race. As Aksel has pointed out, the ability to be safe on these skis is even more on the onus of proper hill/snow preparation ... and I don't think that's smart. It's hard enough to get a good surface as it is.


On the side of Masters racing, however, I think it will grow. Non-NorAm/EC level skiers will stop racing USSA/FIS and join Masters as early as they can to get back to skiing GS on a reasonable radius ski (assuming the manufacturers continue to make masters GS skis in the 18-25m zone) and bringing the fun back into GS. Finding skis might get tough, but I doubt it will be much of a problem. There are always pairs of 2-4 year old skis floating around.

post #219 of 224

I might be talking to wrong people, or at least to a whole lot different people then Ski racing, which I don't read, so I have no idea with who they were talking, but pretty much every single one of guys and girls I was talking with, is telling today, that they like new skis, and they are faster on new skis. And 90% of guys and girls I have been talking with, are everything but big and heavy. Considering this, I don't really expect all that much of shakeups in coming GS WC season. There might be some shakeups considering Atomic is struggling making good skis at the moment, but other then that I don't see much of change coming through. Biggest complain I have heard is, that you need few days to get used to new skis, and even then, they feel kinda boring. Also there was not so many injuries as everyone were expecting in this training period, so maybe things are not all that bad afterall.

Personally I have been expecting much different feeling on new GS skis, but when I have been skiing with them last February, I was surprised how little difference there was between, at that time current WC GS ski and this new one.

post #220 of 224

I recently read the Ski Racing article and it pretty much confirmed what most people have been talking about in this and many other forums. One other thing

that was mentioned in the article is fatigue as the new dimension skis take more energy. Seems like an obvious conclusion that fatigue at the end of a run may

contribute to more injuries not less.


I pity the poor parents who are bankrolling their junior athletes-"gee Dad, I need two more pairs of skis this year in addtion to the two you bought me last year". "Son/Daughter,

maybe you should try a different sport".


Frankly, I'm a 60 year old/ age class 8 beer league and local Masters racer, so none of the changes apply to me-I can run whatever I brung. I'll echo SR55's concern about gear availability

for the future, although some mrfs. like Rossi are offering a "Masters" ski. It'll be interesting to see the comments as the World Cup season unfolds.

post #221 of 224

All well stated SkiRacer55.  I'm having a hard time finding the silver lining in this cloud. 

post #222 of 224

SkiRacing.com has some footage of Ligety on the new skis. It looks pretty good to me. We'll see what happens when it gets steeper and icier.

post #223 of 224

I think the ice won't be a problem. Ligety says they aren't so hot in soft snow. The real downside is how kids are going to go from sub 35m to 35m when they age and/or progress to higher race series. It is just going to suck the life blood out of racing by creating ridiculous hurdles for the up and coming racers.

post #224 of 224

Here's a data point from a WC racer actually on the new skis:





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