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FIS to change GS specs...again? - Page 2

post #31 of 56

^^^  Basically true.  In order to separate the best from the better from the good, they needed to make it more difficult.   They could make the GS more like a SL and the SG more like a GS, or they could increase the radii of the skis.

post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

FIS got into regulating skis because they didn't want racers carving too easily.  When everyone can carve the whole course, the wax technicians are more important than the athletes, and you need a top 10 start position to have any chance of a podium.
When race skis first became more shapely, course setters responded by increasing the offset between gates, but they pretty quickly ran out of room on some of the narrow trails used for the most important races.  That also led to a safety problem because racers were crashing more across and off the course, instead of down the course.  The solution was less offset, and less shapely skis.  That seeemed to have been the only way keep it close to traditional GS racing.
Notwithstanding the controversy over the current straight GS skis (which ironically Ligety seems to have benefited the most from), FIS has mostly done the right by limiting skis.  It makes for a better best for athletes and a more competitive sport.    A few years ago there was an attempt in Europe to start a carving-only race series, but it never made it to North America, and I'm not sure if it's still going at all.  Maybe FIS knew what they were doing.

BK

Can't underestimate the 'Bode' effect & the fall out. As a former FIS coach, there was always that kid who wanted to run a SG on straight SL skis or that GS on hypercarvers. Can't blame em, Bode ripped on rec K2 Fours!

Safety is the most important item & while we may not agree on how, we see value.

FWIW: many factories still have yet to settle on a set of numbers:
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

I knew I should have stayed away... Ligety is one of best ever skiers, but he is also pretty good manipulating public opinion... especially of those who are blindly following everything what he says. ;) There were more then 2 sessions, and yes, not with WC skiers, but not because FIS or Salzburg Uni wouldn't invite them, but because every single one who they invited refused cooperation (reasons why are not all that important now). This was clearly stated in that Forum Alpinum in Soelden 2 years ago, and everyone, including Ligety confirmed this. I have no idea how many of you were there that time, but I was there and I heard those things myself. But nevermind about this. Only thing that still baffles me, with all the hate certain people here have against FIS, why do you guys even bother? Don't watch FIS world cup, or make your own league, if all this is so bad, and so against Americans, and I don't know what other conspiracies are still in play. I would say majority of you don't race FIS races, so why bothering if all is so bad. I guess you can do much better with all the knowledge and experiences you have ;)

Now you've got me interested. Since I'm a working scientist, I always perk up when I hear the "scientifically proven" buzz phrase. Since you "were there," perhaps you can cite the relevant study, hopefully refereed in a reputable journal, so we can look at the methods, materials, statistical analyses, etc. involved the decision. Othewise, some sort of vague allusion to "sessions," whether 2 or more than 2, and some in-house "study" involving what appears to be subjects who may or may not have been paid by companies with a financial interest in the outcome, all administered by officials who may or may not have vested interests in particular outcomes, wow. I'm smelling something, uh, non-fragrant and related to bovines. 

post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Now you've got me interested. Since I'm a working scientist, I always perk up when I hear the "scientifically proven" buzz phrase. Since you "were there," perhaps you can cite the relevant study, hopefully refereed in a reputable journal, so we can look at the methods, materials, statistical analyses, etc. involved the decision. Othewise, some sort of vague allusion to "sessions," whether 2 or more than 2, and some in-house "study" involving what appears to be subjects who may or may not have been paid by companies with a financial interest in the outcome, all administered by officials who may or may not have vested interests in particular outcomes, wow. I'm smelling something, uh, non-fragrant and related to bovines. 

beyond, let's not get carried away....we are talking the ski world here. FIS "scientists" were probably still confirming the earth being less than 6,000 yrs old when they we're given this task. Oh wait...I'm confusing them with US Politicians. huh...those guys used to be with the FIS?  ;)

 

Next up: FIS "scientists" look into the "Left" and "Right" of ski boots. Or is that the Congress I'm thinking of again?

 

I do agree with primoz in the absurdity of the conspiracy theories of all this.


Edited by Tog - 11/22/13 at 9:30am
post #35 of 56

Beyond, I don't feel like searching for study of Uni Salzburg on this, but I'm pretty sure you can find it easily if you want to. Is that scientifically enough or not, it's not up to me to decide. But there's one thing (yes as I wrote before, it's way to early to tell but still)... Until now it was about 8 to 9 injuries a year (in World cup only), where knee ligaments were damaged. Last there there were only 4, and even this, only one single one in GS, all other 3 were in speed (based on info from dr. Hans Spring, who is chief doctor of Swiss men team). So maybe all is not all that bad, or?

post #36 of 56

Anecdotally, there were more serious injuries this year in my son's academy pre-season camps, and all occured on the new GS skis. Was it because they are more prove to causing injury conditions or athletes not used to skiing them yet, are they too demanding for those less than Nor-Am/EC/WC calibre?

 

All I really can say for sure, it was 1) Expensive to replace skis, and 2) a PITA because some manufacturers didn't produce enough skis and it has been a struggle to get them, in my case, I cannot get SG skis.

 

Now it is going to be helmets for next season. What other piece of equipment is going to hit my wallet as a race parent?

post #37 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
 

Anecdotally, there were more serious injuries this year in my son's academy pre-season camps, and all occured on the new GS skis. Was it because they are more prove to causing injury conditions or athletes not used to skiing them yet, are they too demanding for those less than Nor-Am/EC/WC calibre?

 

All I really can say for sure, it was 1) Expensive to replace skis, and 2) a PITA because some manufacturers didn't produce enough skis and it has been a struggle to get them, in my case, I cannot get SG skis.

 

Now it is going to be helmets for next season. What other piece of equipment is going to hit my wallet as a race parent?

That was where I was headed with this whole thing. I haven't seen the details of the study, all I saw was the foilware...but I'd challenge the FIS's position that it's been "scientifically proven" that the new GS reqs are safer. The issue is still there, IMHO, for WC. The FIS never looked ahead to how this was going to filter down to the lower levels...specifically junior racers...and we're now seeing the fallout. I'm a Masters racer, and we're never going to follow the FIS regs, but what about the juniors? If I were a ski racing parent, given the potential for injury and the $$$ involved, I'd seriously consider telling my kids to take up tennis...

post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
 

I haven't seen the details of the study, all I saw was the foilware...but I'd challenge the FIS's position that it's been "scientifically proven" that the new GS reqs are safer. The issue is still there, IMHO, for WC. The FIS never looked ahead to how this was going to filter down to the lower levels...specifically junior racers...and we're now seeing the fallout.

I was a J3 coach when they first required longer skis for juniors.  I don't think the safety issue was properly understood.  It was not that straighter skis were safer per se, but that they allowed courses with less gate offset, in which racers crashed more downhill and less into the trees.  But when the parents heard "safety", everybody adopted a zero tolerance policy for shorter skis, which really hurt the smaller kids.  My solution (which everyone ignored) was for the coaches to agree to challenge equipment only after a racer finished.  That way at least the small kids got to play, even if the were DQed for short skis if they finished well.  That mostly applied to first year kids.  If a kid didn't grow into legal skis by the time he was a second year J3, he wasn't going much further anyway.

 

BK 

post #40 of 56


Those articles pretty old. I wonder what Ligety thinks of straight skis now.

 

BK

post #41 of 56

Well this video from last October by Warner Nickerson gets some opinions.

Ligety thought that as long as the course wasn't 24 meters they would be faster.

He says he would've been faster the year before with the 35m skis on maybe 40% of the courses.

 

Interesting. Certainly not the howls of horror that they're bad. Seems to be agreement about the soft snow - they're bad.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HtEUEfzTE

post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Well this video from last October by Warner Nickerson gets some opinions.

Ligety thought that as long as the course wasn't 24 meters they would be faster.

He says he would've been faster the year before with the 35m skis on maybe 40% of the courses.

 

Interesting. Certainly not the howls of horror that they're bad. Seems to be agreement about the soft snow - they're bad.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HtEUEfzTE

Yep, I've seen that piece...just a couple of notes:

 

- So 40% of the time, the big sticks would be faster...and 60% of the time, not so. In Ted's case, maybe not slower, because he's figure out how to carve more of the turn than anyone else.

 

- Remember that the FIS didn't jump from 27M to 35M. I forget the progression, but I think it went from 21 to 23 to 25 to 27 before jumping to 35. I didn't see any data that said why the FIS was changing the rules like that, so I don't know what they were thinking. But the manufacturers obviously weren't happy...about in the middle of this progression, the manufacturers got with the FIS and basically said "You're putting us in the poorhouse"...which the FIS completely ignored, of course.

 

- Even before the numbers went up to 27M, Ted and most of the guys on the WC were already using skis that were 29 or 30M in sidecut, and either 188 or 191 depending on the course and the set. Yes, the course setters have figured out how to set for the 35M skis...but my guess is that, if as Bode recommended, the FIS were to lift all regs on all skis for all disciplines, most of the guys would go back to 29/30M and 190ish in length.

 

- We're talking about how well or poorly the WC athletes are adapting to the new regs...and, clearly, some are doing it better than others. There is a subtext to this, which is that the FIS decided that GS skis were carving too much, and were accordingly unsafe, so it was straighten things out...really? What about slalom? What about the changes the FIS made to SG and DH, where they made the minimum width less and started horsing around with the plate height...was that safer?  Where's the data? I also heard a story from a ski rep that the FIS thought the young guys were making such great carved turns that the FIS thought they'd take them down a peg...there, carve on these 35M monstrosities...which Ted did! So now what happens?

 

Remember, I started this whole discussion by saying "A little bird told me that the FIS is going to go back in time with the GS regs...can anybody confirm or deny?" I'm still waiting for the answer on that one...

 

:cool

post #43 of 56

Has anybody actually skied them?

I did, and they are not that bad.

I tested the 2014 blizzard GS skis in the WC flex spec and while I completely sucked in the gates I LOVED them free skiing.
If the set is tight it's really really hard to make them carve, you need a LOT of speed, and a LOT of angulation. But in a wider set they are good.
I found them to be significantly lighter on my feet than the old 27m and fast. All of that on sucky summer snow...

In fact, after talking to a few WC guys, I decided to use them over the 27m and I'm testing different plates on the 27m to see if I can make them ski better...

I suggest you give them a try and figure it out for yourself. ;)

YMMV

post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp View Post

Has anybody actually skied them?


I did, and they are not that bad.
I tested the 2014 blizzard GS skis in the WC flex spec and while I completely sucked in the gates I LOVED them free skiing.

If the set is tight it's really really hard to make them carve, you need a LOT of speed, and a LOT of angulation. But in a wider set they are good.

I found them to be significantly lighter on my feet than the old 27m and fast. All of that on sucky summer snow...


In fact, after talking to a few WC guys, I decided to use them over the 27m and I'm testing different plates on the 27m to see if I can make them ski better...


I suggest you give them a try and figure it out for yourself. wink.gif


YMMV

Similar exp, fun on the hill, yet a struggle in gates. Not as big a deal for masters w exp in skiing SG.
post #45 of 56

I've been on the new skis quite a bit (bc I have to...).

 

They're pretty good on hard snow, especially at speed. However, in soft snow, and the first few turns before you're up to speed, they are awful. This year's skis have better flex patterns than last year so they ski much better.

 

Still, you need to muscle the ski much more and they're not nearly as fun/easy to ski if you're not in the gym a lot, or if you're a smaller athlete (like me). And if you're even smaller, and a 16 year old who hasn't grown into his body yet, it could be a death sentence.

post #46 of 56
I skied old straight skis until 2011/2012 season because I loved them. They required the skill to ski. The skis had about a 45m R and and while not as shaped and tight radius as the new 35m GS skis I suspect that the same skills are needed as the old with all of the benefits of the new. Teds figured out the balance. My current skis are of a shorter R and love them for the change they made in my technique. The ability of being able to ski both has greatly improved my skill set on both skis.

As to the risk of injury I can personally say that the shaped skis are more subject to catching the inside edge of the of the uphill ski and loading the ACL. Got lucky but understand the risk. Subjective evidence only no hard facts other than over 45 years of experience.
post #47 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post

I've been on the new skis quite a bit (bc I have to...).

They're pretty good on hard snow, especially at speed. However, in soft snow, and the first few turns before you're up to speed, they are awful. This year's skis have better flex patterns than last year so they ski much better.

Still, you need to muscle the ski much more and they're not nearly as fun/easy to ski if you're not in the gym a lot, or if you're a smaller athlete (like me). And if you're even smaller, and a 16 year old who hasn't grown into his body yet, it could be a death sentence.
I agree, new models have much better flex and if you don't have "muscle" it's going to be hard. Although the new 30m skis seem to be much better than the old 27m even for lighter smaller skiers.
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post
 

I've been on the new skis quite a bit (bc I have to...).

 

They're pretty good on hard snow, especially at speed. However, in soft snow, and the first few turns before you're up to speed, they are awful. This year's skis have better flex patterns than last year so they ski much better.

 

Still, you need to muscle the ski much more and they're not nearly as fun/easy to ski if you're not in the gym a lot, or if you're a smaller athlete (like me). And if you're even smaller, and a 16 year old who hasn't grown into his body yet, it could be a death sentence.

That was my point, above. Let's stop talking about the WC for a minute and think about what's happening to J1s and J2s in the light of bruins14sammy's post...

 

:(

post #49 of 56

Why do J1 and J2's have to be using FIS spec skis?

Isn't this the problem for USSA to deal with?

Couldn't there be a "world cup" and then everyone else rule? I guess NorAm and Europa would have to be in the Wcup rules.

post #50 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Why do J1 and J2's have to be using FIS spec skis?

Isn't this the problem for USSA to deal with?

Couldn't there be a "world cup" and then everyone else rule? I guess NorAm and Europa would have to be in the Wcup rules.

See the following:

 

http://ussa.org/sites/default/files/documents/athletics/alpine/2013-14/documents/2014_alp_equipment_final.pdf

 

So, no, for U18s, the 35M rule doesn't apply. However, for FIS level races, which many U18s also want to race, sooner or later, the 35M/195 cm rule does apply. There was a whole discussion in Ski Racing last year re what coaches were doing with their 16/17 year olds...having them ski on the 35M? Switching off between >21M and 35M? There's obviously no good answer, which is why someone in this forum said that there are some non-US juniors who are bagging GS, and will only race SG and SL. A FIS race, whether it's in the U. S. or not, has to obey FIS regs, which are the same for FIS (this year) as WC (last year it was only WC). So there it is...we're the FIS, we don't care, we don't have to...

 

:(

post #51 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

I knew I should have stayed away... Ligety is one of best ever skiers, but he is also pretty good manipulating public opinion... especially of those who are blindly following everything what he says. ;) There were more then 2 sessions, and yes, not with WC skiers, but not because FIS or Salzburg Uni wouldn't invite them, but because every single one who they invited refused cooperation (reasons why are not all that important now). This was clearly stated in that Forum Alpinum in Soelden 2 years ago, and everyone, including Ligety confirmed this. I have no idea how many of you were there that time, but I was there and I heard those things myself. But nevermind about this. Only thing that still baffles me, with all the hate certain people here have against FIS, why do you guys even bother? Don't watch FIS world cup, or make your own league, if all this is so bad, and so against Americans, and I don't know what other conspiracies are still in play. I would say majority of you don't race FIS races, so why bothering if all is so bad. I guess you can do much better with all the knowledge and experiences you have ;)

It's made for some great skiing.  One of the biggest changes is also to take dryland training even further away from a strength and power focus, towards more of an endurance focus, because of the endurance demands of skiing on the new skis.  Leaner, even fitter racers and more athletic racing.  So, not all bad at all.

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
 

See the following:

 

http://ussa.org/sites/default/files/documents/athletics/alpine/2013-14/documents/2014_alp_equipment_final.pdf

 

So, no, for U18s, the 35M rule doesn't apply. However, for FIS level races, which many U18s also want to race, sooner or later, the 35M/195 cm rule does apply. There was a whole discussion in Ski Racing last year re what coaches were doing with their 16/17 year olds...having them ski on the 35M? Switching off between >21M and 35M? There's obviously no good answer, which is why someone in this forum said that there are some non-US juniors who are bagging GS, and will only race SG and SL. A FIS race, whether it's in the U. S. or not, has to obey FIS regs, which are the same for FIS (this year) as WC (last year it was only WC). So there it is...we're the FIS, we don't care, we don't have to...

 

:(

 

 

 

Correct, for FIS-sanctioned races, FIS rules must be followed, and this is where my 16yr old falls. For Club/HS/USSA/local whatever, you can apply whatever rules you want. This year my guy jumps from U-16 - almost no rules for equipment - using 182/23m FIS GS to 190/35 (using the -5cm allowance). Big change for them because almost everyone was on those skis, with only a few of the biggest kids on 27m skis, but usually not because of the way courses were set. A lot will struggle this year, and I think that injuries may actually increase in the lower echelons.

 

I am certainly not convinced that FIS was thorough in thinking all the way down through the ranks and how it would affect lower tiers and lower age groups when making this decision.

post #53 of 56

A 25 year study (1980-2005) of ACL injuries on the French National teams:

 

http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/35/7/1070.abstract

post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

See the following:

http://ussa.org/sites/default/files/documents/athletics/alpine/2013-14/documents/2014_alp_equipment_final.pdf

So, no, for U18s, the 35M rule doesn't apply. However, for FIS level races, which many U18s also want to race, sooner or later, the 35M/195 cm rule does apply. There was a whole discussion in Ski Racing last year re what coaches were doing with their 16/17 year olds...having them ski on the 35M? Switching off between >21M and 35M? There's obviously no good answer, which is why someone in this forum said that there are some non-US juniors who are bagging GS, and will only race SG and SL. A FIS race, whether it's in the U. S. or not, has to obey FIS regs, which are the same for FIS (this year) as WC (last year it was only WC). So there it is...we're the FIS, we don't care, we don't have to...

frown.gif

Correct. The reality I am seeing however is that most coaches are encouraging their athletes to be on the new equipment regardless. As ZG noted the 190/35 looks like the most common choice so far. (At mammoth yesterday and teams from mammoth, Kim's,gms among others training and they were all on the new spec ski) . The other part of the equation is of course that most manufacturers are only producing/importing the new spec ski, soooooo if you are going to be on new gear you don't have much choice! If you look through the catalogs you will see there are some 182/183 ish stuff at sensible radii...initial thought is....great we can still get these. However close inspection is that these are designed for u16s and below. So, those master racers that had thought this was an option, forget it unless you are 120-130 #, they simply are not designed To stand up to us heavier people. There are a few masters specific skis out there but not many so if regs don't change it will get harder for us to find suitable gear.

Jzamp, I haven't been on the latest 30m skis but had heard similar to your comment that they had improved. Need to try some soon to see how they work for a rather more mature (old!) athlete! Will be interesting to see how they have adjusted the flex to ease initiation without losing stability in the course.
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

See the following:

http://ussa.org/sites/default/files/documents/athletics/alpine/2013-14/documents/2014_alp_equipment_final.pdf

So, no, for U18s, the 35M rule doesn't apply. However, for FIS level races, which many U18s also want to race, sooner or later, the 35M/195 cm rule does apply. There was a whole discussion in Ski Racing last year re what coaches were doing with their 16/17 year olds...having them ski on the 35M? Switching off between >21M and 35M? There's obviously no good answer, which is why someone in this forum said that there are some non-US juniors who are bagging GS, and will only race SG and SL. A FIS race, whether it's in the U. S. or not, has to obey FIS regs, which are the same for FIS (this year) as WC (last year it was only WC). So there it is...we're the FIS, we don't care, we don't have to...

frown.gif

Correct. The reality I am seeing however is that most coaches are encouraging their athletes to be on the new equipment regardless. As ZG noted the 190/35 looks like the most common choice so far. (At mammoth yesterday and teams from mammoth, Kim's,gms among others training and they were all on the new spec ski) . The other part of the equation is of course that most manufacturers are only producing/importing the new spec ski, soooooo if you are going to be on new gear you don't have much choice! If you look through the catalogs you will see there are some 182/183 ish stuff at sensible radii...initial thought is....great we can still get these. However close inspection is that these are designed for u16s and below. So, those master racers that had thought this was an option, forget it unless you are 120-130 #, they simply are not designed To stand up to us heavier people. There are a few masters specific skis out there but not many so if regs don't change it will get harder for us to find suitable gear.

Jzamp, I haven't been on the latest 30m skis but had heard similar to your comment that they had improved. Need to try some soon to see how they work for a rather more mature (old!) athlete! Will be interesting to see how they have adjusted the flex to ease initiation without losing stability in the course.

I know that blizzard makes two slightly different skis (35m) the FIS spec and the WC spec, with the tip of the WC spec being a little thinner and a softer, more progressive flex. So i guess you have to "find" the right pair, but there has definitely been an improvement in materials and construction!

post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post


Correct. The reality I am seeing however is that most coaches are encouraging their athletes to be on the new equipment regardless. As ZG noted the 190/35 looks like the most common choice so far. (At mammoth yesterday and teams from mammoth, Kim's,gms among others training and they were all on the new spec ski) . The other part of the equation is of course that most manufacturers are only producing/importing the new spec ski, soooooo if you are going to be on new gear you don't have much choice! If you look through the catalogs you will see there are some 182/183 ish stuff at sensible radii...initial thought is....great we can still get these. However close inspection is that these are designed for u16s and below. So, those master racers that had thought this was an option, forget it unless you are 120-130 #, they simply are not designed To stand up to us heavier people. There are a few masters specific skis out there but not many so if regs don't change it will get harder for us to find suitable gear.

Jzamp, I haven't been on the latest 30m skis but had heard similar to your comment that they had improved. Need to try some soon to see how they work for a rather more mature (old!) athlete! Will be interesting to see how they have adjusted the flex to ease initiation without losing stability in the course.

 

Before I decided to race FIS again this year (was considering dropping FIS to race USSA only) I tried the 188/30 ski. Loved them, more than my old 187/27. Makes sense, as the shape is largely the same, but the ski is much easier to bend into an arc, since it's designed for women who are coming off of a ~183/23 ski. Really fun ski, and I think for most Masters it makes much more sense than an old 27m ski. Not as friendly as the old 23m skis that were a Masters favorite, but still a friendly ski. 

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