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Male vs female base bevel difference on SL skis?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

This may really belong in the tuning section, but I was hoping for lots of discussion and debate......

 

At a tuning seminar with one of the top SWIX reps this weekend, a question was asked regarding the "standard" base bevel angle for Fischer race room skis (SL). His response was that after extensive testing among various ski teams, the men's skis come out with a .5 to .75 angle while the women's are offered with a .7 to 1.0 bevel. He mentioned that the women, in general, really disliked any of the skis they tested with less than a .7 angle.

 

I have my own theories on this, but I'd like to see some discussion regarding the possible mechanical/physical or other reasons for this preference. Please offer up your own theories!

 

Thanks, Kris

post #2 of 16

I have never seen or heard any similar data. Graham Lonetto who runs Edgewise in Stowe was the head tech for the US Women's Technical Team at the Salt Lake Olympics. He sets up my new GS and SL skis at .5. If many top level women skiers had an issue with bevels below .75, I think he would have discussed it with me. He has a lot of test data on different bevels and grinds in different settings. I wonder if the SWIX tech might be extrapolating a generality from a small sample or if the ski teams in his sample were mostly juniors? My experience with masters skiers is that .5 is fairly common in SL for M and W but I certainly did not do any real survey just my general impression from a few discussions.

post #3 of 16

I didn't see anything to support that data while working at Start Haus last year.

I think the desired tune is more individual based than it is gender based.

 

post #4 of 16

Have never heard of any such thing, cannot see any anatomical rationale for it. It's fashionable to assume a few degrees of femoral angle makes men and women have radically different mechanics, but the fashionistas tend to ignore the serious amount of overlap between sexes and the lack of supporting empirical data. Some differences in shear forces at the knee, but further down? Something that would uniquely affect edge to edge mechanics? Maybe I missed that class...

post #5 of 16

I hope someone won't understand this wrong way but... Top Swix rep and top Swix tech are two different things ;) Swix had only 2 techs for WC for last few years, and the guy responsible for most, if not all, goodies coming to alpine world (xc skiing was and still is priority for Swix) just left Swix after end of last season to join Finnish team. So for reliable source about WC data (that's where all testing is done anyway), you would need to get info from one of these two guys, and not from some sales representative ;) Unless this guy, you were talking with, is Slovenian, then I would take this info with "a bit" of reserve. Especially because from my info, these numbers are far from truth ;)

post #6 of 16

It is the athletes preference. At StartHaus last year year, we had an employee (male) make the US men's team, another (female) that has been on the Eu Cup and with a few WC starts, and a third (a customer, female) that also made the USST last year. Three different skiers, very different builds and body types and three different ski brands, and all three like 0.5X3. Yet another, a junior but one with a future, skis 0.7X4. (Although I do think her dad/coach overthinks things a bit.) 

 

 

SJ

post #7 of 16

I had my skis tuned by Mike De Santis from Ski MD.com.. He also was a former WC tech for the women of the USST/speed. Anyways, he set  mine @0.5&3.00.... While I don't have the experience of Jim above, or any of the techs mentioned here, I would listen to Primoz, who is on WC and sees these things daily.. Especially for tech events, 0.7 is and seems very slow, period. I was looking for this page of ski racing magazine..... It might explain more:

http://www.skiracing-digital.com/skiracing/20110207/?pg=43#pg43

 

In some cases I think someone on here suggested, that the WC athletes had even smaller, than 0.5 base bevel... Like 0.3/ and that was for GS, but I don't remember, name of the thread, or forum that reply was in/... But I wouldn't remember either, if it was for men or women..


Edited by andy4g63 - 10/4/11 at 4:20am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

I would listen to Primoz, who is on WC and sees these things daily..

I think it's fair to mention this, so that someone might not get wrong ideas. Nowadays I don't have anything to do with WC. At least in sport way, so this quoted statement is not entirely true :) I'm shooting whole bunch of WC races for one photo agency, and that's only official "connection" I have with WC. 10 or so years ago (actually now it's more like 12 already) I was serviceman in WC, and even before that I was racing myself (only EC races were unfortunately best I could do). So most of my "inside" info I have nowadays about this, comes from few really good friends (ranging from WC and EC racers, coaches, to servicemen of World's best racers), who are still in this business. On the other side, I'm still interested in these things, and, at least I would say so, my previous experiences come quite handy evaluating info I get nowadays.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies so far. He was speaking of the highest levels of competition and I was skeptical when he said it, but the guy is VERY reputable and I have no reason to doubt his statement. (shrug) 

 

Sitll, I have theories on why it MIGHT be so.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post

Thanks for the replies so far. He was speaking of the highest levels of competition and I was skeptical when he said it, but the guy is VERY reputable and I have no reason to doubt his statement. (shrug) 

 

Sitll, I have theories on why it MIGHT be so.

What are your theories?  
 

 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post

Sitll, I have theories on why it MIGHT be so.


Seriously, stop being coy. What are they? biggrin.gif

 

post #12 of 16

Here is a theory.  I have no connection to the world cup, just a theory.  Look at the difference between zero degree base and 0.3 and 0.5 and so on up to 1.  What happens when you add base angle?  It is like having a steering wheel in your car with absolutely no play when set at dead centre, versus one with a little play and more play at dead centre and so on.  What happens with less base angle?  The skis respond more quickly to any change through flat.  If the changes are too abrupt the skiing can get rough, but if you have quicker reflexes you can adapt faster to these sudden changes.  On average do males have quicker reflexes than females?  I think so (on average).  Therefore top level performing males (on average) can handle closer to 0 degrees base bevel. 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
On average do males have quicker reflexes than females?  I think so (on average).   


On average, for simple reaction times, first trial, age group 15-30, yes. As in statistically significant in large samples. Gets more pronounced by age 50, but women make fewer errors even when slower. Also we're talking mean differences of 40-200 millseconds, depending on the study. Not sure that translates to any meaningful difference in actually moving skis around. Could. But I'd assume that a lot of other variables - technique, leg strength, strategy - are more relevant. Moreover, a lot of variance, meaning overlap between sexes. Interestingly, if you look at reactions involving choice, women are slower at first, but some studies show women become faster than men after a few trials. Others don't show this. There seems to be a training effect; differences diminish in sports where women have early sustained exposure to training. So that piece of variance ain't genetic. Not sure whether gates involve simple reflex, or choice, or something else. But lot of trials over a lot of years. Would not want to bet my salary that Vonn is slower edge to edge than the US men... 

 

Oh, and women have finer control over small muscle groups, which might or might not offset male advantage in simple reaction time. 

post #14 of 16

What I'm thinking of is not really a thought process; the thinking has been done ahead of time.  And Von may use a smaller base angle on a given course than most men too.  Which brings out the point.  It doesn't matter what the average male or female top athlete is using; it only matters what is best for the particular athlete in question.

post #15 of 16

^^^^^ Gotta use your first sentence on my office door, good? biggrin.gif (My office door also has Einstein, Feynman, and Marx (Groucho), so you're in good company.) Pet peeve of mine with these kinds of questions is that people are conditioned by media to think in terms of averages, eg means, and ignore variance. If there's enough noise, or overlap, or spread, who cares what the averages are? At the elite level, what's separating individual skiers is not reaction time in a psych lab...or .025 of a base edge angle.

post #16 of 16



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 Pet peeve of mine with these kinds of questions is that people are conditioned by media to think in terms of averages, eg means, and ignore variance. If there's enough noise, or overlap, or spread, who cares what the averages are?

 

Well, we do really, since the averages and means will speak to the selection process.    

 

Neither the male nor the female athletes will have been randomly selected from a general population,  therefore attempting to apply the central limit theorem is totally unwarranted.   Which means that the bell curve is irrelevant so we really need to see both box and whiskers.

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