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How does weight effect race performance?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've always thought that on steeper courses weight was less of an issue.  On your typical NASTAR course, set on a blue with basically no technically difficult turns, doesn't weight equate to more speed?  Also, what about the hills we have in the midwest where we try to make them longer by lengthening them into the flats at the bottom.  My beer league hill is steep at the top, first five or six gates, and flat on the bottom, five or six gates.  The key, obviously, is not to get late on the top so as to not lose any speed.  Also you need to carry that speed at the bottom.

 

I've seen some of our better women racers use diving belts.

 

Thoughts? 

 

Should I eat more cheese burgers and wash them down with pale ales? 

post #2 of 12

Even in the beer league scenario that you're talking about, the best skier, not the heaviest skier, is still going to win. If you want to spend $$$ on something that might make a difference, get a fresh base grind, put your skis in a hot box for an afternoon, and save your pennies for some fluorocarbons...

smile.gif

 

post #3 of 12

I'm sure there must have been threads on this you could check out. Basically, heavier is better on any course from a tough slalom to a easy downhill. However, while being fat will help, especially in speed events, you need to be strong enough to efficiently move your mass. This is easier as you get bigger, so a modestly athletic 200+ lb person still has an advantage over a super athletic 130 lb person. But if you can't hold top form, which is very physically demanding, then being lighter could help. It's no mistake that the weights of the top men on the WC has steadily increased. I should also add that the increased air resistance, friction, etc. from being bigger doesn't even come close to making as much of a difference as the increased force from gravity.

 

Having said all that, you shouldn't assume someone is beating you because of their weight you unless after putting videos side by side they're clearly not doing anything better than you or the times are ridiculously close. Bottom line, get bigger by getting stronger and just don't actively try to get super lean. I wouldn't try to get fat to get fast.

post #4 of 12

All things being equal, the heavier skier will be faster.  The gap will be bigger for faster events.

 

Back when I was younger, there was a guy who would always win the speed events at our local hill, even though we was in the bottom third as far as technical skills went, because he outweighed everyone else by about 40 pounds.  In slalom and GS he'd get his ass kicked.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hexagenia View Post

 

Thoughts? 

 

Should I eat more cheese burgers and wash them down with pale ales? 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Even in the beer league scenario that you're talking about, the best skier, not the heaviest skier, is still going to win. If you want to spend $$$ on something that might make a difference, get a fresh base grind, put your skis in a hot box for an afternoon, and save your pennies for some fluorocarbons...

smile.gif

 


What size of glass for the fluorcarbons and do they go with cheeseburgers?  beercheer.gif

 

post #6 of 12

Fluorocarbons fit in any glass, except when it's cold, dry Rocky Mountain snow, like right now. Yep, weight does make a difference.  I have about 35 pounds on one of my teammates, and at the top of the National DH at Cooper last year, which is very flat, he was clocked at 43 mph, and I was clocked at 54 mph...roughly the same ski setup. In Beer League racing, as someone said, weight with strength counts for something. But before you head off in that direction, for Beer League, the low hanging fruit is still good technique (including an explosive start), a clean line, and immaculate ski prep...

 

biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 


What size of glass for the fluorcarbons and do they go with cheeseburgers?  beercheer.gif

 



 

post #7 of 12

My kid's coach, an ex-national team and ex- Olympic racer suggested that in speed events (SG and DH) that weight makes a difference.  His thought is that for two equally skilled skiers with equal equipment, the difference on a speed course would be about one second per 10 pounds.  The weight advantage is greater in the flatter sections of courses, and a heavier person would have an advantage is a GS race that had a steeper start and a longish flat section.  However, skill makes a huge difference too.  Last year at a SG race, one of our clubs first year K2 girls who is smaller than most of the other girls dominated a SG event and finished up to 1.5 seconds faster than others in the field.  The course was a rather turny SG course but was withing FIS standards. -  As events become more technical  the weight advantage diminishes.  At a K2 level, I often see the bigger boys win GS (unless a smaller boy is really talented) and smaller skiers have a greater chance in SL. 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Fluorocarbons fit in any glass, except when it's cold, dry Rocky Mountain snow, like right now. Yep, weight does make a difference.  I have about 35 pounds on one of my teammates, and at the top of the National DH at Cooper last year, which is very flat, he was clocked at 43 mph, and I was clocked at 54 mph...roughly the same ski setup. In Beer League racing, as someone said, weight with strength counts for something. But before you head off in that direction, for Beer League, the low hanging fruit is still good technique (including an explosive start), a clean line, and immaculate ski prep...

 

biggrin.gif

 



 

 

amen brothericon14.gif.....even if the first rule of masters racing is to try to buy improvement first...  smile.gif

 

 

for current snow conditions here, only one wax to use, Holmenkohl Blue
 

 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

for current snow conditions here, only one wax to use, Holmenkohl Blue
 

 



ROTF.gif

 

Maybe if you're waxing the fat guy's skis..

post #10 of 12

Hey, i resemble that remark!   smile.gif

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

Hey, i resemble that remark!   smile.gif


Hands down the best cold weather glide I've ever used..   Temps above 20 f not so good though..

I used almost exclusively Holmenkol blue (sometimes Toko when H wasn't available) January thru Feb back in Minnesota from 77-82.  I haven't experienced a NC ski day that cold (yet), although it was quite nippy one day at Blue Knob PA a couple years ago. 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Interesting comments...I noticed that one of the guys who finishes near me and sometimes beats me is carrying a little more beef.  I'd say about 20 pounds worth.  In our modified GS courses I'm ususally a couple of tens over a 20 second course ahead.  We do an end of season combined...SG and SL.  In the SG he had me by a second as did most of the guys that I beat.  In the SL I made it up plus a lot more on all but the top guy.  I'm going with the Big Mac diet and beefing up befoe the combined this year...puttings rocks in my pockets.

 

The hill is exactly as mentioned steep and then really flat where carrying speed is critical.

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