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Head iSL RD ... a WC Slalom ski in a 168cm? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

I am curious to hear opinions on the 165cm rule.  Does it really enhance safety?  

 

For example... I am 5'7", 150 lbs, P/T instructor, 55 with perfect knees  (void of superstition), quick and agile but not powerful.  Never raced (hence the knees) but I was thinking of club racing so the guys told me I should get 155's and go (some even suggested women's FIS) but I feel more confident on the FIS 165.  --I try to get season-old Rossi's so they are a bit forgiving.

 

So if I want 85% safety, 15% performance, should I stick to the 165? I wonder if the lighter racers ever complain that the 165 is no safer- or even riskier...


If you are going to stick to SL courses, get the 155.  If you are going to take them free skiing, where the temptation to ski them faster than they were designed for (the skis will feel fine doing so) is ever-present, 165 is better and safer.

post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


If you are going to stick to SL courses, get the 155.  If you are going to take them free skiing, where the temptation to ski them faster than they were designed for (the skis will feel fine doing so) is ever-present, 165 is better and safer.

That sounds right, thanks.  I do use them as a 'freeski' because mogul skis really only feel right in mogul courses, which I rarely do; they carve medium radius turns just fine; and, they are more fun than any softer or longer ski I have tried.  

 

By contrast, I would never use a FIS GS ski freeskiing.  I suppose the issues might be reversed for 200+ lb'ers.

post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee View Post
 

I know there is difference in flex/construction between a 155 and a 160, and between a 160 and a 165.  If I had to guess I say the 168 is designed for more "gravitationally challenged" skiers, but I'd like to know the details.

 

 

 

Don't have this year's specs yet but when the 160 first came out, it was the 165 that was just shortened by 5 cm...no change to flex pattern & minimal change to dimensions.

It actually skied stiffer than the 165.

 

The 156 was proportionally smaller through key dimensions.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post

 

For example... I am 5'7", 150 lbs, P/T instructor, 55 with perfect knees  (void of superstition), quick and agile but not powerful.  Never raced (hence the knees) but I was thinking of club racing so the guys told me I should get 155's and go (some even suggested women's FIS) but I feel more confident on the FIS 165.  --I try to get season-old Rossi's so they are a bit forgiving.

 

 

The 165 is a 12.8m ski, the 156 is I think 11.5m or 11.8m.  Key thing is that it's natural radius is shorter than the 165.

 

If you're going to race, there's a good chance you'll have courses with gates set at 10, 11 & 12 meters.

That means you've got to bend the 165 a fair bit tighter than it's natural radius.

 

This is something that takes a good amount of skill, strength, and weight (and generally in that order).

You'll likely have a lot more success bending the 156 to the course radius, rather than skidding out on the 165.

Only guessing at your skill level, and by no means intending to under-rate you :)

 

The 156 will be a somewhat specialized race SL ski, but if that's your goal, that's the ski.

 

As Ghost suggested, the 165 will give you more versatility for an all-round short radius ski.

post #34 of 58

Thanks, that's also helpful.  I don't know- but would guess- that extremely light male elite racers could apply for an exemption in SL, like the very tall ice hockey players get to use longer-than-max sticks. 

post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

Thanks, that's also helpful.  I don't know- but would guess- that extremely light male elite racers could apply for an exemption in SL, like the very tall ice hockey players get to use longer-than-max sticks. 


No exemptions in the FIS ICR, but this is where skill, strength & weight, in that order, come in:  the small elite skiers are skilled & strong enough that they'll build and carry enough speed to generate the kinetic energy needed to bend the full size ski.

 

Edit:  but there are allowances in the Masters categories...

post #36 of 58

But if they needed to impose a minimum- purportedly for safety- and the heavier skiers have a natural minimum anyway (F1's still have to make it through the chicane)... aren't the smaller skiers at a disadvantage, because they need to devote more strength/weight to bending the longer ski- and have less 'resource' available for other functions?  Although the racers all ski the same course at about the same speed, I don't see how the safety issues can be identical for the range of, say, 135 lbs to the heaviest SL racer.

 

...The medical/pharmaceutical profession has been slow to realize the minima and maxima for almost all drugs need to be scaled to adult body weight.

post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

But if they needed to impose a minimum- purportedly for safety- and the heavier skiers have a natural minimum anyway (F1's still have to make it through the chicane)... aren't the smaller skiers at a disadvantage, because they need to devote more strength/weight to bending the longer ski- and have less 'resource' available for other functions?  Although the racers all ski the same course at about the same speed, I don't see how the safety issues can be identical for the range of, say, 135 lbs to the heaviest SL racer.

 

...The medical/pharmaceutical profession has been slow to realize the minima and maxima for almost all drugs need to be scaled to adult body weight.


Well, yes heavier skiers have an advantage.  Taller basketball players have an advantage.  Swimmers with longer legs arms and feet have an advantage.

 

The turn radius limit has to do with what happens if for a split second the ski "hooks up" at a high edge angle, dialing up a very small turn while moving at a much higher speed than the turn can be made at due to the laws of physics.   Racer's might just, if left to their own devises, choose to ignore the danger in an effort to win and go with too small a radius.   You need to tip your skis to a high enough angle to hold a turn at a given radius and speed without the ski sliding out of it's groove (critical angle or more), and the more you tip the skis, the smaller the turn radius they will try to make.

post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


Well, yes heavier skiers have an advantage.  Taller basketball players have an advantage.  Swimmers with longer legs arms and feet have an advantage.

 

That's why slalom was invented.  That's why there are hammer, javelin, and discus throws and not merely shot put.  If you made the javelin much heavier, the shot-putters would win.  If you made the Tour De France riders use 50 lb bikes (say, because they are allegedly safer on descents) the climbers would no longer win.

 

As you say, the laws of physics don't change.  The safe angles you describe depend on the forces at work.  And the forces change depending on the weight of the skier.

post #39 of 58
As posted. If you are going to be in the gates, you'll appreciate the 155cm much more. Free skiing and gates are totally different animals.

If you are a stronger skier I'd go 155 FIS for sure.

As for GS skis, I find the FIS GS skis just fine to really rip on open groomers. Don't need to be a hulk just comfortable with some speed.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


Well, yes heavier skiers have an advantage.  Taller basketball players have an advantage.  Swimmers with longer legs arms and feet have an advantage.

 

That's why slalom was invented.  That's why there are hammer, javelin, and discus throws and not merely shot put.  If you made the javelin much heavier, the shot-putters would win.  If you made the Tour De France riders use 50 lb bikes (say, because they are allegedly safer on descents) the climbers would no longer win.

 

As you say, the laws of physics don't change.  The safe angles you describe depend on the forces at work.  And the forces change depending on the weight of the skier.


The forces change, but the actual angles vary only slightly with mass because mass acts with gravity just as it does with inertia (or centrifugal force if you prefer).  What lighter skiers need is slightly softer flexing ski, not one with a different sidecut.   Speed does matter, if you are taking turns at the higher speeds, you need to tip more to balance the forces and that will give you the turn radius you need with the 13 m ski; if you are taking the same turns at lower speeds, you tip less and need to start off with a smaller side-cut radius ski. 

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post

As for GS skis, I find the FIS GS skis just fine to really rip on open groomers. 

Sure, but the FIS Sl's are just fine on anything but the tightest bump line.

post #42 of 58

 "the actual angles vary only slightly"

 

Understood, but the race timer is in /1000 sec.

post #43 of 58

When they allowed inverted aerials in mogul competition, that changed the skill set on the podium.  Of course it only came in with well-manicured kickers.  You don't want to force a 180 lb man to risk using too short a ski to compete, but that ski may not be too short for the 140 lb'er.  As you note, he must use a softer ski to compete on the same level, or add to his risk by staying stiff.

post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post

As for GS skis, I find the FIS GS skis just fine to really rip on open groomers. 

Sure, but the FIS Sl's are just fine on anything but the tightest bump line.


While it may feel great making a 30 m radius turn down a run at 60 mph (a 2.3 g turn btw), on a racing SL ski, it is anything but safe.  If your ski should happen to dig in, while tipped over enough to hold those turn forces, it will dial up a wicked sharp turn that your body won't make.   Normally turn forces required to hold the dialed up turn at that tipping angle force a skid, but bumps and dynamic loading could cause a momentary grip, long enough to either remove the ski or break your leg.

post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


While it may feel great making a 30 m radius turn down a run at 60 mph (a 2.3 g turn btw), on a racing SL ski,

I can't imagine that feeling great for the skier, the other skiers on the slope, or the ski patrol.  "Freeskiing" for me is not that, but getting into the trees, the bumps, the bowls, and a couple warm-ups on the groomers without needing to swap skis each run to feel safe and have fun. 

 

The problem is the "all-mountains" don't carve it to my liking, and the GS's don't like trees, ever. Bump skis will only carve with supreme devotion, and they don't really like the back country much. Of course I try whenever possible to swap at lunch...

post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


While it may feel great making a 30 m radius turn down a run at 60 mph (a 2.3 g turn btw), on a racing SL ski, it is anything but safe.  If your ski should happen to dig in, while tipped over enough to hold those turn forces, it will dial up a wicked sharp turn that your body won't make.   Normally turn forces required to hold the dialed up turn at that tipping angle force a skid, but bumps and dynamic loading could cause a momentary grip, long enough to either remove the ski or break your leg.
This, completely. With the caveat that very few skiers on this site will hit 60 mph on a 155-165 ski while trying to carve a 30 m recreational turn. Few years back a Japanese WC skier was clocked at 55 free skiing on his SL's after a race. Unless there are some WC racers lurking, not sure it's an issue for Epic members, however mechanically real the risk. (Space for inevitable 6 pages on how everyone routinely hits 60 and pulls 2+ G's on rec carvers according to their GPS). (Before they teach Ironman how to demolish tall buildings.)
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


While it may feel great making a 30 m radius turn down a run at 60 mph (a 2.3 g turn btw), on a racing SL ski,

I can't imagine that feeling great for the skier, the other skiers on the slope, or the ski patrol.  "Freeskiing" for me is not that, but getting into the trees, the bumps, the bowls, and a couple warm-ups on the groomers without needing to swap skis each run to feel safe and have fun. 

 

The problem is the "all-mountains" don't carve it to my liking, and the GS's don't like trees, ever. Bump skis will only carve with supreme devotion, and they don't really like the back country much. Of course I try whenever possible to swap at lunch...


Perspective is all about experience.  Someone who's spent a couple of decades with a pair of SGs as a one-ski quiver before switching over to shaped skis, may be more apt to engoy speeding.   If you are sure not to exceed 40 mph on those 155 SL race skis you'll be fine.  A bit of extra length would be more versatile though.  Swapping is a good ideaThumbs Up.  

post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

  Someone who's spent a couple of decades with a pair of SGs as a one-ski quiver before switching over to shaped skis, may be more apt to engoy speeding.   If you are sure not to exceed 40 mph on those 155 SL race skis you'll be fine.  A bit of extra length would be more versatile though.   

I believe those who enjoy 40 mph in the trees have a death wish.

My Trace Snow app says I hit 54, sustained 47.5.  I'm pretty sure the 54 was on Rossi Pursuit 18's (stiff for Rossi).  My ski of choice was the FIS SL 165, which has yet to hook me up and holds fine on the runouts, although it wants to carve a turn.  The tip rocker is great. It works.

post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

  Someone who's spent a couple of decades with a pair of SGs as a one-ski quiver before switching over to shaped skis, may be more apt to engoy speeding.   If you are sure not to exceed 40 mph on those 155 SL race skis you'll be fine.  A bit of extra length would be more versatile though.   

I believe those who enjoy 40 mph in the trees have a death wish.

My Trace Snow app says I hit 54, sustained 47.5.  I'm pretty sure the 54 was on Rossi Pursuit 18's (stiff for Rossi).  My ski of choice was the FIS SL 165, which has yet to hook me up and holds fine on the runouts, although it wants to carve a turn.  The tip rocker is great. It works.


It took me a few of seasons on the shaped skis before catching on that bump and discover that my feet wouldn't move fast enough to keep up with my body sans skis at the speeds I was enjoying, on open empty trails.   I keep my SL sized turn radius skis at SL speeds now (for the most part).  I don't ski tight trees at high speed anymore either; been there done that, maybe had a death wish, maybe just trying to convince myself of something; in a slightly different head space now.

 

If you are a lighter skier, maybe you should consider the one step down from FIS, Fischer RC4 WC SC (they call it non-FIS race), but it's still 13 m side cut radius at 165 cm length, just a little softer.

post #50 of 58

Better than the Rossi Hero Elite ST 2016?   I have Fischer vacuums, but I haven't been on their skis in about 40 years...

post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

Better than the Rossi Hero Elite ST 2016?   I have Fischer vacuums, but I haven't been on their skis in about 40 years...


In my not so humble opinion, yes, much better, unless you like the feel of tip rocker smoothing out your turn initiations at transition.

post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Space for inevitable 6 pages on how everyone ...

 

Beauty Thumbs Up

post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

But if they needed to impose a minimum- purportedly for safety- and the heavier skiers have a natural minimum anyway (F1's still have to make it through the chicane)... aren't the smaller skiers at a disadvantage, because they need to devote more strength/weight to bending the longer ski- and have less 'resource' available for other functions?  Although the racers all ski the same course at about the same speed, I don't see how the safety issues can be identical for the range of, say, 135 lbs to the heaviest SL racer.

 

 

The rules:  FIS ICR (Comp Eqpt supplement) says only that a men's SL ski must be minimum 165 cm length, and minimum 63 mm width underfoot.

No radius minimum actually for SL, and no stated maximum for shovel width which will influence radius.

 

The typical 13 meter radius of a men's SL ski is what works pretty well for the way courses will be set with SL rules.

Shorter radius would not actually be an advantage:  the typical sized racer would end up overturning/double turning & from there skiing slower.

 

Don't know of any WC racers (men) as small as 135 lbs, but you would see first year FIS racers (16 yr olds) at that size.

Some are ready for a full on men's FIS ski, and will get competitive finishes.

The ones who aren't quite there yet might get a recommendation to ski National Points races which don't enforce the 165 cm rule so strictly.

 

 

For first year FIS racers, you'll see a range of sizes from 140 to 180 or so, but size doesn't give you a prediction of success.

At WC level, Hirscher is one of the smaller racers but he's been winning against bigger racers since his first WC start.

 

With only those guidelines, manufacturers have a lot of leeway in what they can produce

post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

 

Shorter radius would not actually be an advantage:  the typical sized racer would end up overturning/double turning & from there skiing slower.

 

 

So then why the need for the rule?  Why wouldn't the racer choose the safest ski, since falling means you can't win anyway?

 

Maybe the reason there are no WC slalom racers at 135lbs is because they can't handle the longer ski...

 

Wiki says the great Henri Duvillard is/was 143 lbs, but I think he was lighter.

 

The proof is that the 165 length is not enforced for juniors.  If it were really about safety, then juniors should be on the safest equipment.  Presumably, forcing a junior onto a 165 would be UNSAFE, so they don't do it.  The same would hold for very light elites.

post #55 of 58

You will have to ask FIS.  My guess is (for sl), they just want to make it harder so that they can separate the field and not have too many ties.

post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

So then why the need for the rule?  Why wouldn't the racer choose the safest ski, since falling means you can't win anyway?

 

Maybe the reason there are no WC slalom racers at 135lbs is because they can't handle the longer ski...

 

Wiki says the great Henri Duvillard is/was 143 lbs, but I think he was lighter.

 

The proof is that the 165 length is not enforced for juniors.  If it were really about safety, then juniors should be on the safest equipment.  Presumably, forcing a junior onto a 165 would be UNSAFE, so they don't do it.  The same would hold for very light elites.

 

The safety aspect generates a lot of discussion, especially in GS (and that's another fun discussion in itself...).

 

For SL, a very light U16/U18 racer on a 165 cm full FIS ski won't be risking safety, but he might be sliding out of a lot of gates, especially through combinations & on steeper pitches.

That's not good for development, so in those cases the athletes stick to a shorter ski to build good mechanics & technical skills.

When physical size & strength catch up, it's a natural progression to the longer & stiffer ski.

 

Again, skill, strength & weight, in that order.  If there is a 135 lb racer who has a WC start, he will have a lot more skill & be much stronger than the still developing U18 racer of the same size, and will manage the required ski length just fine.  Just guessing but I think Hirscher was lighter than his current 165 lbs in his first WC season, and he pulled off a couple of podium finishes.

post #57 of 58

What if the rules said all basketball players' shoes must be size 11 or less, because players often land on someone's foot and sprain their ankles...:rules:

 

Anyway the 165 feels safer for my skiing, but I don't run gates much.  If I did, my first concern would be not falling or getting torqued.  I would think SOME of the safety issues would favor a shorter ski.  I understand that safety at World Cup speeds might vary from that at Masters' or club speeds...

post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiii View Post
 

Anyway the 165 feels safer for my skiing, but I don't run gates much.  If I did, my first concern would be not falling or getting torqued.  I would think SOME of the safety issues would favor a shorter ski.  I understand that safety at World Cup speeds might vary from that at Masters' or club speeds...

 

If you want to just let the ski run and push higher speeds on a SL ski, the 165 might well be safer for general free skiing.

 

But that doesn't necessarily translate into safer in a race course -- the set of the SL course is the governor on the racer's speed.

 

So, if your goal is to be fast in the race course, pick the shorter ski for the race course, and accept that it will have a narrower range of application for general freeskiing.

 

If your goal is to have a great short radius ski for general skiing, pick the longer ski, and accept that it will give you slower results for the occasional run through the gates.

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