Originally Posted by Ghost
My logic is flawless. Your argument is flawed, and the flaw is the false premise .
"If wider turns with more speed make crashes and injuries likely among "the best"....
Wider turns and more speed do not make crashes and injuries likely among "the best"
If you took your standard FIS GS and made the turns easier, the best skiers would be faster, but would not crash.
They need to lose speed in some parts of the course IN ORDER to be able to make it around the gates that are set to challenge them at the limits of their ability and equipment. Just like you need to slow down on the freeway when they put in a detour with a sharp bend. That doesn't mean you are driving out of control at regular highway speed when the detour is not there.
Even mediocre skiers can handle a gs pitch with turns that have a lot less offset than FIS courses, provided they have decent skis. All that is required is a clear field of view and sound judgement to determine that the lazy 1 or 1.5 g turns they are making (in full control) will suffice to avoid obstacles they can see and obstacles that might exist where they cannot see. Just because they can't make a 3g turn does not mean they are skiing out of control; they don't need to turn that sharp.
My premise is based on comments such as these by Ron LeMaster (my bold) concerning the new GS radiii: "In an effort to increase athlete safety, FIS sought to reduce what they believe to be significant injury risk factors: the forces on skiers in the turn, the aggressiveness with which the skis interact with the snow (that is, how abruptly they engage, and how difficult it is to make them release), and overall speeds in general...Since the new skis’ natural carving radii will be bigger, so will the turns set by the coaches, where practical. On moderate to flat terrain that isn’t too narrow, the sets will likely be straighter. The turns won’t come as far out of the fall line, so speeds will actually go up and, unless the rules for vertical distance between gates change, the rhythm will be quicker. On steeper pitches, where speed must be controlled, there will be little choice but to set gates that require more skidding than we’re used to seeing."
Or these on Epic by SkiRacer 55 (again, my bold): "...GS isn't even going to be recognizable as the same event at the FIS level. The Men's minimum was 185, it just went up to 195, and...get this...the sidecut minimum just went up from 27 meters to 40 meters. Did the FIS put together a study that proved, conclusively, that the new numbers were going to reduce injuries in GS by x percent? I'm assuming that the course setting rules will have to change for GS...or maybe they won't, because I don't think the FIS is that smart. Let's assume they do, and you now have the men skiing on 195s and 40m radius skis...the speeds will be almost what they are in Super G, and, unless I'm missing something, most of the knee injuries and other serious injuries were in the speed events last winter...so how is GS at 60 mph going to be safer?
Or this by Ted Ligety: "FIS claims that slowing down the racers (via drastic equipment
modification) will make the sport safer. But the reduction in speed
when using longer radius skis is inconsequential. When you crash,
what’s the difference if you are going 90kph or 80kph or in downhill,
140kph to 120kph? Plus coaches are now going to set straighter because
of the new rule changes so speed/danger really won’t decrease anyways."
Or this by Greg Needel: "...And, does anyone know if this will actually slow speeds in GS at all? I think it will on the steeper sections but I think the opposite will happen on the flat. Courses will straighten on the flats and will straighten sooner at the bottom of pitches to carry speed sooner and further across the flat. The straighter and longer ski will allow for more speed on those sections and carving but all with less control and ability to recover. Therefore, the possibility of more danger on flat sections is there.
So my premise is supported by statements by folks you may have heard of, all of which indicate that speed per se is a concern on GS courses. It is a concern not simply because of higher G-forces in the belly of the turn, which seems to be your hobbyhorse historically, but because higher speeds make recovery more difficult during transitions and when hitting ruts or debris. Higher speeds also generate higher forces when a fall occurs, thus higher risk of injury independent of whether the fall occurs in a turn or between turns. You may have a competing premise, which is fine, and obviously there are other issues about ski radii than just speed, but calling something false doesn't make it so, y'know.
More generally, I'd suggest that your model of skill sets and avoiding pedestrians - or gates - could benefit from including more than just biomechanics. There's this thing sitting atop our shoulders, recall, that provides physiological limits to those skill sets or stacking or any other musculo-skeletal response you can conceive of. Neurons that cause muscles to contract cannot conduct an impulse faster than about 120 m/sec. Neurons that are required for conscious thought or analysis meander along at a max of about 20 m/sec, and many in the grey matter only manage 1 m/sec. (Which is the basis of the aphorism that we can't learn anything new on the course. It's all just reflex on the course. Thinking and adjusting to those thoughts takes place elsewhere.)
The best simple reaction times (light stimulus to muscular initiation) we see in Olympic athletes are around .2 sec. And that's just pushing a button when you see a light. Changing the kinesthetics of your entire body at speed is a touch more complicated. If you add in issues of identifying and tracking a stimulus that's moving relative to you, and then doing the differential equations your brain handles unconsciously to determine future trajectories of you and an object both in motion, you've added another .1-.2 second. So we're up to a half second, even if your brain wasn't also having to handle the constantly shifting data from your body about the forces acting on it from a pair of skis. Those kinds of calculations get more complex as we add in more systems. Driving a car, for example, requires about 200 separate reactions/sec. Driving a motorcycle requires 2,000! Skis are much more like a motorcycle in this regard, since you have to deal with dynamic balance and more visual stimuli. All this has led neuroscientists to calculate that, for instance, we cannot experience a traumatic injury during a car accident because we require .3 to .5 sec to even process the stimuli and feel it, and by then the airbag's deployed, the engine's in our lap, and the accident is over. We live, in other words, a bit in the past. A few tenths behind what's actually happening.
Same in a race course. Which is why gates have to be fixed. (Funny image, moving gates.) We can just make the necessary calculations and reflexive responses to a fixed object in space at GS speeds. During that .3 to .5 second, at 50 mph we've traveled between 7 and 11 meters, or 1/3 to 1/2 of the average distance between GS gates. At 60 mph, it becomes impossible to react in time, so the gates have to be more open, eg, more like a SG.
Now you claim that a good skier can travel faster than that 50 mph on a slope where no turns are necessary. OK, imagine an open slope, very sparsely populated with civilians. The same 50 mph, the same immutable laws of neural physiology that don't give a rat's ass whether you're an expert or a beginner. Only the gates, so to speak, aren't fixed. They're now moving objects, and your brain is not capable of ever doing the calculations to predict all possible 1 second future positions of you and even one lone skier. The best you can manage is to assume your trajectory and theirs hold constant. Which is pretty much bs, of course, but it's all we have. Our calculations also cannot take into account changes in the slope's pitch, or surface irregularities. So this is your idea of control and safety, apparently, because you know how to stack properly.
It isn't "control," or skill. It's a probability statement that both you and this single moving object will behave in the immediate future as you have been in the immediate past, so that your overworked brain can tell your underworked muscles what to do. Or excise the civilians; it's a probability statement that the rutted icy place you can't see just below that slight dip will allow your body to behave in space as it has been. You cannot react in time. Your adjustments, such as they are, come after the event, eg recovery movements.
Now you want to sell the idea that a "good" skier, with inferior biomechanics to you, say, can safely ski faster than this 50 mph with more open turns. Say 60 mph. And lets get realistic and say that there are several skiers further down the slope. And the surface isn't perfect. So this "good" skier is now moving 27 m every second, and is no longer capable neurally of bending his ski into a GS turn anyway. In fact, if he does see something near him that he needs to identify and react to, he'll have traveled about 13 m before he can even begin to move a muscle. That's 1/7 the length of a football field. So his ability to control himself has zero, zilch, to do with the fact that he's in a more open radius turn.
Go think about this before you keep claiming that it's just all about G's...