Originally Posted by PRAGMATICSKIER
Regarding speed with and with body suits. Several years ago I went to the amateur downhill at Jay. The course was run on Hayes (CanAm was as usual too icy). Fastest speed through I saw was 86 mph, some semi-pro in full race gear. I also saw a local in blue jeans, old non-skiing parker and old long skis go through the traps at 68 mph. From nearby neither looked unreasonably fast (quicker than a regular skier but not by a lot). From the lift looking through the trees, two trails over, they looked very fast.
I've been reading and haven't gotten to the final post yet, but had to comment on this. That "local" could have been me on my 208 Kaestle Super Gs.
Was the local also wearing work mits?
Heres some relavent data from Ski Press Fall 2004 gear test. They were testing SL and GS ski's so they were going in the range of speeds these skis were designed for. Had they been testing DH and Super G ski's they would have been going faster.http://www.skipressworld.com/ca/en/m...04Vol19No1.pdf
Go to page 29. The testers averaged between 44 and 54 kph. (about 25-35 mph) The fastest speed was 86 kph (about 54 mph)
Most people ski between 25 and 35 mph and think they are going fast. And they are going fast...for someone on slalom skis. 50 mph is easily within reach. 70 mph is atainable in a parka given the right conditions.
Just a couple of points that people seem to have overlooked:
Longer skis Will go faster than shorter skis on the same slope with the same skill level.
Racing organizations don't want their racers dying off like flys. For this reason, they sometimes deliberately set the course to Keep the speeds exciting, but reasonable.
If all you want to do is reach a high speed, you just need fast conditions, some long DH or SG skis, more balls than brains and very cold day, or a day with freezing rain. There is no sanctioning body going to put a corner in where you don't want one, and they won't cancel your shush because of icy conditions. You have to be a little crazy to shush and then brake before you have to turn at speed on ice, but you can do it. Unfortunately, these conditiions do not favour setting up a race course with proper turns.
Average data from ski hills is very diffferent from the data collected by people making a special attempt at a top speed. How fast someone skis on a crowded ski hill, when they are skiing with someone else has nothing to do with how fast someone skis when they are determined to ski as fast as they can.
Modern GPS is pretty accurate. If you have a decent unit it should give you lat. long. and alt. and with a 3-D position your straightline distance should be used to calculate the speed. The timing is precise, so allowing for a doubling of the distance error, you should still be way ahead of car speedometers in accuracy. I'd bet to the nearest mph at least.
There is no need to worry about those parabolic skis tossing you at high speeds, they don't have the grip to grab at high speeds. You might not be able to make the corner though. They are better than the old slalom skis at turning at high GS speeds though.
PS. You know your going fast if you have to tape up the ventilation holes on you goggles to keep from tearing.
PPS. Having you goggles fog up at high speeds because you taped up the ventilation holes is not a good thing.