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FIS rules, why? - Page 2

post #31 of 54
that was 3-4 years back, it has been pretty consistent the last 2-3 years.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
what's ignorant about the fact that FIS arbitrarily implemented rules/standards that changed almost constantly every year so that parents/coaches/athletes never knew what was "legal" for their kid

and the rules may have been implemented after most of the skis for the upcoming year had been produced (i distinctly remember a Rossi GS ski and an atomic that were over height because of this)

somewhere along the evolution of thei thread the basic message i have ben tryingto point out is that FIS should stay out of ski design, period.

obviously there are some people on the forum who don't remember 13-14 year old kids running DH on 225s and GS on 210 skis evolved in a natural way right up to the implementation of height/width/length/radius rules now if blindfolded most people can't tell the difference between any of the current GS skis, how fun is that? no wonder race skis at retail have died to replaced by fat/midfat/fat carver/whatever
the Atomic issue was a boot, and never really was overheight.

Some of these rules are there (for instance minimum waist width, i believe is 62mm) to prevent unfair advantage. Remeber these rules are minimum so you can always going longer, wider or less sidecut, but not below the minimum.
post #33 of 54
FIS got into ski design for the same reason NASCAR got into car design: they didn't like the way races were going. With the short skis, too many racers were crashing, and those that finished were too close together. It made race results random. Longer skis just require more than the ability to carve clean turns, and that is what is required to make racing a test of skill.
As far as notice is concerned, if I recall we have always had over a years notice of the USSA rules.

BK
post #34 of 54
If memory serves, even Bode and Rhalves were arguing for the changes.
post #35 of 54
No one's asking that everything be equal. It is after all a competition. My kid has raced for years so we've put up with all sorts of interesting conditions and rules. You go from being the big kid in your age group and winning constently to being the little kid in the next group and and losing. Some kids grow fast, some don't and some will be small forever. That's life and the limitations of your body.

The point is safety...which I believe is the point of the FIS rules to begin with. Asking to be allowed to ski on equipment that's appropriate for your height and weight isn't the same as asking for the playing field to be changed. Skis are designed for a minimum weight that they expect you to be inorder to flex them. My kid has about 20 lbs UNDER that weight for her SL skis, not sure what the GS ones are. One of her former teammates was 40lbs under the specs.

On the other hand, there needs to be some regulation because people will take it to the other extreme, like the average size 18 yr old girl who ran SL on 135s. Great times...when she could actually finish. Fortunately, she never injured herself (badly) during her many DFNs. Do I know the answer, Nope. But my feeling is that the min lengths are either too high, or there needs to be another step between child and adult.
post #36 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOB
No one's asking that everything be equal. It is after all a competition. My kid has raced for years so we've put up with all sorts of interesting conditions and rules. You go from being the big kid in your age group and winning constently to being the little kid in the next group and and losing. Some kids grow fast, some don't and some will be small forever. That's life and the limitations of your body.

The point is safety...which I believe is the point of the FIS rules to begin with. Asking to be allowed to ski on equipment that's appropriate for your height and weight isn't the same as asking for the playing field to be changed. Skis are designed for a minimum weight that they expect you to be inorder to flex them. My kid has about 20 lbs UNDER that weight for her SL skis, not sure what the GS ones are. One of her former teammates was 40lbs under the specs.

On the other hand, there needs to be some regulation because people will take it to the other extreme, like the average size 18 yr old girl who ran SL on 135s. Great times...when she could actually finish. Fortunately, she never injured herself (badly) during her many DFNs. Do I know the answer, Nope. But my feeling is that the min lengths are either too high, or there needs to be another step between child and adult.
Here's your solution. Have her wear chain mail under the racing suit .
post #37 of 54
I have to take issue with the fact that length is the problem. it is not. After all we all skied on big stiff 210's in the day. My slaloms were 203cm.

sidecut is an important aspect. But FLEX is the the real underlying key here. if you get your kid on a ski that they can bend, they will be fine. the manufacturers have come a loong way towrds designing 21m GS or 155cm (women's slaloms)that are torsionally stiff yet longitudinally flexible.

You just have to get the right combo for the right racer within the parameters you have to work with. No different then boot flex. (Oh God, I didn't mean to say that, I don't wnat to give FIS any ideas about measuring Newtons per centimeter of bootflex). They already allow some amount of pressure on the rod for the boot standheight measuring device to compress the footbed which of course is now limited to 45mm.
post #38 of 54
Ahhh reading all this crap makes me so happy I quit racing. Free skiing is so much more enjoyable (admitedly, with the skills I gained from racing).
post #39 of 54
Waxman,

Your ignorance to racing shows (not watching it). Oh, and btw, I'm not on a national team so I must suck... guilty as charged. If you will notice I never claimed to be a top 100 racer. HEAR THAT EVERYONE? IF YOU'RE NOT ON A NATIONAL TEAM YOU SUCK!

I'm not a FIS athlete if thats what you're asking, but I am not hindered by the rules, and I know few racers who are. And while I'm at it, hop off my... I'm not your average college student.

The rules are the rules. Luckily racers don't bitch half as much as you do. Or are the racers the problem - damned people listening to FIS rules. If you think you're so important then go change them - tell FIS that they are wrong - and that only the manufacturers should be able to determine what we are racing on. Then watch as the ski designs change drastically every year, so we keep having to get the latest greatest ski to be competative.

Or should I have a full sponsorship so that I get handed 8+ pairs of skis each year and won't have to worry about it? Well, I guess I still suck. I'm glad you made me realize that. I'm sure I will never have your inside view of the ski industry. Are you pleased with yourself now?

For the record, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between several of the top GS models. Some are similar - all do basically the same thing - but they feel very different doing it. Do you even ski? I figured someone with your expertise regarding the design of skis would have known that.

Later

GREG
post #40 of 54

3 to 2 transition

It took some time for the companies to offer a flex to match the weight of most of the kids and still be legal .... but it has happened.

The bad news is that IF you are lucky, you are dealing with a coach or shop that has the inside line, is aware of the product and has the ability to obtain it.

If you are not ... you are probably still scratching where it itches trying to get it and hoping that your $600+ is well spent.

At the end of last season my son was probably in the 135 pound range. His coach tossed him a bone .... his personal SL's @ 166. Coach was a 240 pounder. The good news was that his skiing got better and smoother and in retrospect, he had probably been living on the wrong side of the curve while all of the 3's becoming 2's were in panic mode and clinging to their shorties.
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Waxman,

Your ignorance to racing shows (not watching it). Oh, and btw, I'm not on a national team so I must suck... guilty as charged. If you will notice I never claimed to be a top 100 racer. HEAR THAT EVERYONE? IF YOU'RE NOT ON A NATIONAL TEAM YOU SUCK!

I'm not a FIS athlete if thats what you're asking, but I am not hindered by the rules, and I know few racers who are. And while I'm at it, hop off my... I'm not your average college student.

The rules are the rules. Luckily racers don't bitch half as much as you do. Or are the racers the problem - damned people listening to FIS rules. If you think you're so important then go change them - tell FIS that they are wrong - and that only the manufacturers should be able to determine what we are racing on. Then watch as the ski designs change drastically every year, so we keep having to get the latest greatest ski to be competative.

Or should I have a full sponsorship so that I get handed 8+ pairs of skis each year and won't have to worry about it? Well, I guess I still suck. I'm glad you made me realize that. I'm sure I will never have your inside view of the ski industry. Are you pleased with yourself now?

For the record, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between several of the top GS models. Some are similar - all do basically the same thing - but they feel very different doing it. Do you even ski? I figured someone with your expertise regarding the design of skis would have known that.

Later

GREG
Right on! And of course the GS skis all ski differently. Just because they say <= to 21m does not mean they have the same shape, flex or flex pattern, construction material, core, plate or binding placement or that they are 21M just <= to 21M is the required marking.
post #42 of 54
Hey Atomicman. <=21 meter is illegal. You meant >=21m.
post #43 of 54
I love it!! Chain mail. Artificially increase her weight. This could be an untapped market for a new line of clothes. Forget pockets for goggles, you can have one to hold weights.

Yuki, can you recommend a GS with a soft flex? She got a pair of Race Tigers at Hood this year and if the new skis don't work, mom will inherit them (I hope) and I'll get her a new pair. Not sure what I'll use for money, but heck, we really don't need to eat this month anyway.
post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOB
Yuki, can you recommend a GS with a soft flex? She got a pair of Race Tigers at Hood this year and if the new skis don't work, mom will inherit them (I hope) and I'll get her a new pair. Not sure what I'll use for money, but heck, we really don't need to eat this month anyway.
KOB- I hope you reconsider your bad idea to blow your grocery budget on new skis for your daughter. Anorexia is epidemic among teenage girls, and it will only make her racing situation worse with respect to the new minimum lengths. The obvious solution is to use some of your ski budget to bulk her up on Twinkies, Coke and McDonalds.

BK
post #45 of 54
KOB: Rossignol makes very soft race skis (although I have heard that has changed this year, but have no first hand experience as of yet). Volkl seems to be a good choice for girls, as they seem to be building softer race stock skis than in the past. Salomon may also be worth a look, but I recall finding short lengths to be a challenge. I have also heard good things about Atomic's newer women's skis. The retail skis are VERY soft and easy to bend, but I don't know if they conform to the rules for radius.
Later
GREG
post #46 of 54
K2 is also a nice soft ski. I had a couple of runs on them last year and they're not bad skis at all...VERY easy. And Dynastar may be worth checking out as well. But K2 is definitely the easiest, followed by previous years' Rossis (I don't know about this year's).
post #47 of 54
Thanks for the ski advice, I'm going to pass it on to the high school coaches and the college coach.

And thanks for the twinkie advice, but I've tried it already. During race season, she's skiing 6 days/week and racing at night when it's bitter cold so she just can't keep the weight on. I spend the winter baking granola bars with chocolate chips, nuts and raisins for snacks and also and making baked ziti before each race. I'm getting better at high caloried and decent nutrition because she only lost 7 lbs last race season.
post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Hey Atomicman. <=21 meter is illegal. You meant >=21m.
Oops! I always get that confused!
post #49 of 54
A few things here:

1. I agree with the "it's the flex" issue with regard to FIS/USSA length restrictions for J2s and older. But I think part of the issue is that there's too much of an emphasis on getting these kids onto race stock skis as soon as they hit the J2 range.

Some of the manfacturers are taking this into account (witness the Atomic LT and ST skis), but it seems that not enough emphasis is being put into developing the softer skis for the lighter weight kids.

Maybe the USSA should adope the full FIS rule, but only for J1/A and those J2s who qualify for the FIS series.

2. And waxman: again, don't belittle the college racers. College racers in the top 20 programs tend to be really fast skiers. They've been known to school USST racers in nationals, and they know how to get a lot out of their skis.

I do agree that the lighter-weight racers are getting a bit screwed by the rather arbitrary nature of the USSA rules. It seems to fall into the USSA's misguided emphasis on moving kids up the ladder too quickly, denying them the chance to both develop sound technique and to enjoy racing.

Watching J2 racers in Vermont and Pennsylvania last winter, there were a lot of racers who were out of their depth because they were skiing on boards that were obviously hindering their feel for the snow, thus retarding their technical development. These kids would have runs that saw them being thrown around by the stiffer, FIX-compliant, race stock skis, and after crossing the finish line they'd be dejected. A lot of times, these were kids who were either on the short side or on the tall-and-lanky side (i.e. just had a typical teenage growth spurt and hadn't "grown into" the new height), and who excelled as J3s.

The J2s who did well were often those who were further along in their physical development. They weren't necessarily as technically adept, but they had the size (both in terms of height, weight and muscle tone) to get something out of the skis. However, they were often just "riding the sidecut," not doing anything dynamic. Had the "smaller" J2s been able to properly work their skis, then the pecking order would've probably been the same as when the whole lot were J3s and on equipment more suited to their builds.

All that said, I agree with the FIS rules for J1s and As, as well as the J2s who qualify for FIS races. But the equipment shouldn't hinder the development of the racers, and it shouldn't get rid of the fun aspects of junior racing. The USSA needs to reassess the situation, for sure.
post #50 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOB
I love it!! Chain mail. Artificially increase her weight. This could be an untapped market for a new line of clothes. Forget pockets for goggles, you can have one to hold weights.

Yuki, can you recommend a GS with a soft flex? She got a pair of Race Tigers at Hood this year and if the new skis don't work, mom will inherit them (I hope) and I'll get her a new pair. Not sure what I'll use for money, but heck, we really don't need to eat this month anyway.
Goggles: ? I always thought pockets were for putting sand in.

Rossi and Solomon used to be pretty soft, but I may be out of date, and with their new focus Lab vs run of the mill, Solomon might be changing too.
post #51 of 54
"Miller is an expert at deconstructing FIS rules, teasing out their inherent contradictions. He gets especially upset when he feels an infraction has a disproportionate penalty.

“If you look at the rules, they make no sense,” he said. Unintentional infractions carry a disqualification, he said, but “if they think you were trying to sneak something into your sock, the worst thing they can do is DQ you.”"
post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
"Manufacturers should not be responsible for what lengths and sidecuts are used." yeah you are right, why would you want the guys responsible for making the skis to have any input.
...except that a really good product development team can work within limits to make a better product. go look at most race ski collections - there is no sidecut marked and generally also no tip/waist/tail dimensions...know why? they change constantly as the design team tries to design the most effective product...
post #53 of 54

Application of the rules

Sorry to reasurrect this thread but in my quest for more information I came across it and it brings up a lot of very good points. (I am sorry if this information has been rehashed a zillion times but it is new to me...).

I can see from the discussion here and also from the FIS website that one of the primary reasons for these regulations is SAFETY (amongst other concerns). The problem is that this flies in the face of proper equipment fit in smaller lighter kids at the J2 level and up and actually puts them on more DANGEROUS equipment! I think nobody (well maybe some..) wants to break the rules on purpose but if you are not the proper weight or height to be on longer GS skis that are much stiffer and that you cannot flex it just doesn't make sense to risk an injury. I just don't understand why the FIS and USSA are not taking this into account if they are so concerned about safety? There should be some sort of guideline for applying these rules to kids looking for recreational racing and those starting out. Is it really all or nothing?

Problem is that there is just so much conflicting information out there on the proper equipment for these kids that fall into the gray area. As a parent new to racing with a second year J2 (141 lb.) and a second year J3 (147 lb.) (first year racing, many years skiing) I am receiving a lot of different advice on equiment, GS skis especially.

-I will hear that in the case of smaller lighter kids the coaches will look the other way, then I hear that there are no exceptions to the rule and kids will be disqualified.

-I hear that unless you are in the top 15 nobody really cares, then I hear that it is closely watched, especially if you are moving up.

-I will hear that lighter kids will perform better on a cheater GS ski and then hear just the opposite, that they will be held back.

-I will hear that a FIS legal stock GS ski is too much for lighter kids and will hold them back developmentally, then I hear that they will never learn to ski one unless they are on one.

-I will hear that there is no way they will be able to flex a stock ski (even the softer ones) in that length. Then I hear others say they will learn, and then hear of even lighter kids on those skis.

-Oh and by the way the fact that the FIS rules seem to change every year just makes it even more difficult. ie. the 21m radius rule on GS changing to 27 next year, etc. Is this taken literally by everyone out there in these state racing associations? Or is the length more of the concern and the radius isn't followed as strictly? (One ski shop told me yes, that the top kids are buying not only 2 but 4 or more sets of skis every year....) (that should help sales...)

Can you see why I am confused? I would love to hear from any race parents, coaches, and racers themselves especially in NH about what is really going on at these races (which we have never been to). Are most of the kids on legal equiment, even the smaller lighter ones? Or am I worrying too much? We don't want to get out there on something our local shop deemed safe size wise only to be hassled and disqualified. On the other hand we don't want to sacrifice safety and development to follow these regulations when they aren't going to matter. Oh and at those weights are they really going to have a problem with a FIS legal GS ski?

Thanks in advance!

(PS and since I have no idea if my boys will be mid pack, below or above I will tell you my older son raced high school varsity last year and did fairly well, got bitten by the race bug and is obsessed with it. Went out to Mt. Hood for camp and loved it. But first time doing NHARA races - wish I knew where he is going to end up in the rankings? - that would help this decision a little bit I know.....)
post #54 of 54
waxman, you make some good points. There are faster skis out there than those being used by WC racers. Many of those skis are being sold by the manufacturers as non FIS legal GS skis. Why, because the companies designed skis that they thought would be legal and fast. FIS changed the rules and the companies had to get some money out the the designs. However, there needs to be uniformity is skis for groups competing. Without some form of rules it would be all about the ski and not the athlete. I want FIS to back out of the rule making but there need to be rules to keep the competition fair. I say let the manufacturers design their new skis, let the rules committe implement rules that are reasonable and designed by administrators, ski companies, and some athletes. I guarantee you that we would see some pretty radical changes made in the rules but that there would be rules in place to maintain uniformity. The current rules stink...the don't allow for technology to push the envelope.
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