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no downhill?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I saw the Olympic womans boarder-cross today. It took place on an interesting banked course with jumps. What I'm wondering is, how come there is not speed event like the DH for skiers. Why don't the boarders just race down the DH course?

Or is there one and I just missed it?
post #2 of 21
It's a very complicated process to get a new event into the Olympics. Aside from the host country getting to slide in any event they want to, the formula for getting a new event involves first and foremost a preexisting healthy international competitive environment. There is no such environment for downhill snowboard racing.
post #3 of 21
You guys are aware that there is a GS, right?
post #4 of 21
Bottom line here - It wouldn't be safe. The nature of the sport doesn't allow for the speeds seen in skiing. With skis, there are always two skis...if one leg disengages from the snow, there's another to compensate for the error.

Skiing DH is typically in excess of 130 km/hour. At this point (and likely, at any point), snowboards just cannot go that fast, and still be safe to ride flat on their base, which is a big part of any speed event.

Further, you cannot make a real tuck on a board. It can't be done. And tucking is a pretty integral part of DH.

The concept just doesn't make sense. It's right on up there with downhill snowshoeing, and downhill canoeing. Neither are made for DH.
post #5 of 21
: : : : : Whoa, sorry, but you are way out there. They have DH for snowboards. It works, and it works well. I am not sure where you got ANY of your info.

They just had a DH and SG at Aspen last week.

Check out Bomberonline.com to get info on snowboard racing.

Going fast on the base and tucking are a big part of it.

For comments that have no basis in fact.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FanOZakk
Bottom line here - It wouldn't be safe. The nature of the sport doesn't allow for the speeds seen in skiing. With skis, there are always two skis...if one leg disengages from the snow, there's another to compensate for the error.

Skiing DH is typically in excess of 130 km/hour. At this point (and likely, at any point), snowboards just cannot go that fast, and still be safe to ride flat on their base, which is a big part of any speed event.

Further, you cannot make a real tuck on a board. It can't be done. And tucking is a pretty integral part of DH.

The concept just doesn't make sense. It's right on up there with downhill snowshoeing, and downhill canoeing. Neither are made for DH.
Skiing and snowboarding are two completely different sports. They're just done at the same location(your local ski slopes). To compare snowboarding to snowshoeing is off the mark.
Your suggestion about safety is something that I don't understand. Aren't all of these olympic sports slightly risky?
And the speeds....Why would a snowboarder have to do the same speeds as the Down hill ski comp? Snowboarders would be in their own class not with the Ligety's of the world.
And the tuck....Why would they have to tuck like they were on skis? They wouldn't be on skis. So tuck like a snowboarder.

I think DH snowboarding could be done and it would be awesome to see. It wouldn't be the same "sport" as DH skiing, but who cares. A few years ago, all we heard about was the half pipe, and now there's so much more offered. Snow boarders are definitely making their mark! With the RIGHT ATTITUDE, it's very embracable

Also....as far as downhill canoeing.....Though we'll never see it in the olympics, we have downhill kayak races here once a year and it's a blast.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsthrills
You guys are aware that there is a GS, right?
It looks like the GS got replaced by boarderX
post #8 of 21
Let me clarify, since I seem to have inflamed a few people here...

You can do anything with anything, and call it a sport, and it might even be a cool, fresh idea for a sport...BUT, for it to become a successful sport, it has to make sense, be reasonably safe, and accessable to most anyone.

Simply put, snowboards do not lend themselves to going fast (relatively speaking, of course). To be able to go truly fast, you have to be able to glide flat on the base, since base glides better than edge in snow and ice. This is possible in skiing because of the skier's position on the equipment, and the fact that you have two skis under you should you hook an edge with one.

Further, to go faster, you have to be able to make yourself aerodynamic. This means tucking. Trouble is, by squatting down low on a board, you're losing a vast amount of your ability to control edge pressure...see above for my reasoning on hooking edges.

I just finished watching the olympic men's SG, and the very best skiers in the world were hooking edges like crazy. But that's what happens when you try to ride on a flat ski (or board). So trying to do this on something more prone to hooking doesn't make sense. It makes even less sense when you realise that there's only one snowboard under you...and two skis. Margin of safety? Priceless.

You can try to do a DH with damn near anything. Crazy Carpets and GT Sno-Racers, included...maybe people are doing it, too. But bottom line - they'll never gain the widespread success that Alpine Ski DH has gained, just like snowboard DH never will. It will never come close to the speeds skiers achieve...relegating it to wannabee status. It's a matter of the common-sense feasibility of the sport, something which seems to be lacking here, and without that simple ingredient, it will never achieve the critical mass needed to legitimize it as a truly worldwide sport, much less put it on the Olympic events list.

People need to realise that some sports will be seen in 2010, 2014, and further on from there...and it's for good reason.

People also need to realise that other sports will only be seen on ESPN2, and that's also for good reason.
post #9 of 21
GS is still in the Olympics. It was not replaced by boarderX - they now have both. Stay tuned...
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsthrills
GS is still in the Olympics. It was not replaced by boarderX - they now have both. Stay tuned...
I'm glad I got that wrong. The announcer said something about whether Jacobellis could win for an American sweep of the four snowboarding events. Some of the TV announcers are not well informed about some of the winter sports. Or maybe I mis-undersood, the idea being that they could sweep the first four of six events.

Do we have contenders/favorites in GS? I know it's a bigger deal in Europe (like alpine skiing, and nordic skiing, etc., etc.).

The snowboarders are getting results for the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association. Pretty dismal showing from the U.S. skiers so far, except for Toby Dawson and Ted Ligety. Thanks to White, Kass, Bleiler, Teter, Wescott, and Jacobelis for representing our sport so well.
post #11 of 21

It's time to set the record straight

FanOZakk,

If your logic were true, then football, both Aussi rules and American, rugby, hockey, any kind of alpine skiing (with maybe the exception of slalom), freestyle/mogul skiing, auto/motorcycle/boat racing, bobsled, skeleton, luge, pole vault, ski jumping, high dive, etc. the list could go on and on, would not currently be sports. Either too dangerous or not accessable enough to the masses. But somehow these are all sports and enjoy varrying degrees of popularity across the globe.

Snowboards do go fast. The 1999 world speed record for snowboarding is equivalent to 125 mph.: I've only gone that fast in a car and on a motorcycle. How 'bout you? I don't know what the current snowboard stats are if they are different, but the current ski speed record is only 29 mph higher at 154 mph (and the snowboard record is from 7 years ago).

I don't know if you've ridden a race snowboard, but you can tuck and get lower in the tuck than if on skis, therefore becoming more aerodynamic. As far as the lowered edge control, the same issue occurs for skiers. Skiers also don't stay in a tuck the whole race, they are forced out of it to mangage the turns (edge) and bumps and rutty terrain, so as far as a challenge for edging, it's no more of a challenge than what skiers go through. And that challenge is the idea of the sport: see who can make it down the course in the fastest time possible, managing the turns, slope, rutty terrain and equipment to the best of one's ability.

So my question to you is are your comments directly from experience, or just speculation?

A snowboard downhill racer would not choose a snowboard that has a sidecut that's "grabby". This wouldn't make sense. The board would be squirrelly at speed and not great for competition. Just like skis, snowboards are designed for their desired use. So a downhill snowboard would not have the sidecut that a slalom board would, just like skis. I just checked the specs of a race ski and race board from the same company and the ski is at 13.5m @170 and the board 12m @173. Crazy that they're almost identical. So I guess that the skis are just as prone to "hooking up" as the boards . Glad I only have to deal with one piece of dangerous equipment.
post #12 of 21
wrong - tucking on a raceboard is not at all as areodynamique as on skis - just think were your butt is sticking out. While your head may be lower (but even there I'm not sure) your definitely a lot more in the wind. I do lots of raceboarding and BX on a raceboard. And for sure I do tuck in front of the finish line - but its not the same. Tucking on a GS or SL raceboard is a lot harder then on a BX hardboot raceboard due to the torsional stiffness. It's pretty much impossible to go down a SuperG skiers course on a SG raceboard because speeds are so high that a snowboard is simply not stable anymore. Snowboards want to turn. Skis can turn and straighline. Daren Powell who holds the speed record on a snowboard did it on a 250cm long stick. Dunno the radius but pretty big. It was on ebay some month ago (thread on bol). there is no race ski with 170. Real race skis are allways 155,165 for slalom (with a radius around 12-13m) minimum of 175,185 (bigger is mens) for GS with a minimum of 21m radius, though most true race skis have 24-28m radius (mens). Downhill is around 210-215cm.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
It's a very complicated process to get a new event into the Olympics. Aside from the host country getting to slide in any event they want to, the formula for getting a new event involves first and foremost a preexisting healthy international competitive environment. There is no such environment for downhill snowboard racing.
actually, that's not the case.
pro snowboard DH was around LONG before there was such a thing as boardercross. The US open (snowboarding) featured the DH back in the eighties, and DH snowboarding has been a pro staple in europe for two decades.
The healthy international competitive environment for slalom, DH, SG, etc. snowboarding is still very much there, and has been for over 20 years.
Olympic DH boarding's NOT in there for the same reason Slalom snowboarding, super-G etc., aren't.
It bores most (not me) fans, and the industry controls the event content to a huge degree. The industry wants to homogenize the sport into all soft-boot/wideboard events so as to sell more product, overall.
anyone who believes big bid'nid doesn't control the olympics is seriously deluded.
post #14 of 21

set the record straight once again

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremecarver
wrong - tucking on a raceboard is not at all as areodynamique as on skis - just think were your butt is sticking out. While your head may be lower (but even there I'm not sure) your definitely a lot more in the wind. I do lots of raceboarding and BX on a raceboard. And for sure I do tuck in front of the finish line - but its not the same. Tucking on a GS or SL raceboard is a lot harder then on a BX hardboot raceboard due to the torsional stiffness. It's pretty much impossible to go down a SuperG skiers course on a SG raceboard because speeds are so high that a snowboard is simply not stable anymore. Snowboards want to turn. Skis can turn and straighline. Daren Powell who holds the speed record on a snowboard did it on a 250cm long stick. Dunno the radius but pretty big. It was on ebay some month ago (thread on bol). there is no race ski with 170. Real race skis are allways 155,165 for slalom (with a radius around 12-13m) minimum of 175,185 (bigger is mens) for GS with a minimum of 21m radius, though most true race skis have 24-28m radius (mens). Downhill is around 210-215cm.
i'd like to know how torsional stiffness has anything to do with whether or not I can flex my lower spine and knees inorder to get into a tuck. Also if you think of the general range of angles used on race boards (60+ with both feet) my butt is right behind my legs, not sticking out (unless i use poor technique). Tucking on the bdx board (again depending on angles) is tougher, because of the body having to twist counter to the lower body's arrangement on the board (bdx angles usually in the low 30's w/ soft gear for the front foot, even less for the back). I would have to work extra hard with lower (bdx style) angles to keep my butt out of the wind's way. So you have to twist and tuck in the bdx set-up. Not as much twist is necessary for the tuck in the race board set up.

Snowboards not stable at speeds? Funny I guess I have the only board on the planet that can go fast and keeps it's edge or stay off of it for that matter. It's almost as if it's on rails. It does exactly what it's designed to do. dig trenches (while going fast) and glide fast (while not digging trenches).

Actually there are race skis at the 170 length, just do some checking on the internet and you'll see some different race ski offerrings at a 170 length. Oh and they are both "real" race skis. Both have different sidecuts and for good reason. One is for quick, sharp turns and one is for more straight line action. Just like how race snowboards have different sidecuts for slalom and gs and such.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
I saw the Olympic womans boarder-cross today. It took place on an interesting banked course with jumps. What I'm wondering is, how come there is not speed event like the DH for skiers. Why don't the boarders just race down the DH course?

Or is there one and I just missed it?
Baggy pants catch too much wind.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremecarver
wrong - tucking on a raceboard is not at all as areodynamique as on skis - just think were your butt is sticking out. While your head may be lower (but even there I'm not sure) your definitely a lot more in the wind. I do lots of raceboarding and BX on a raceboard. And for sure I do tuck in front of the finish line - but its not the same. Tucking on a GS or SL raceboard is a lot harder then on a BX hardboot raceboard due to the torsional stiffness. It's pretty much impossible to go down a SuperG skiers course on a SG raceboard because speeds are so high that a snowboard is simply not stable anymore. Snowboards want to turn. Skis can turn and straighline. Daren Powell who holds the speed record on a snowboard did it on a 250cm long stick. Dunno the radius but pretty big. It was on ebay some month ago (thread on bol). there is no race ski with 170. Real race skis are allways 155,165 for slalom (with a radius around 12-13m) minimum of 175,185 (bigger is mens) for GS with a minimum of 21m radius, though most true race skis have 24-28m radius (mens). Downhill is around 210-215cm.
what are you talking about? when i trained WC, it was on ski courses, we trained super-G and DH, and in the earlier US opens, we raced very fast DHes.
further, manufacturers made specific boards for DH, racestock stuff.
I raced on them.
while asym boards were never any good for DH or SG (they wanted to 'hammerhead' out of the straight line), a good symmetric longboard is fine in the DH.
Dh snowboard speeds got pretty close to ski DH speeds...not quite there, but close enough.
I can promise you that DH on a snowboard is much scarier than on skis (I've competed in both DHes), and you don't have the luxury of micro-stance-adjustment with your feet that you have on skiis, when on a board.
still DH snowboarding is a very viable, albeit scary, sport, and one which those who've actually competed in should be commenting on.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
actually, that's not the case.
pro snowboard DH was around LONG before there was such a thing as boardercross. The US open (snowboarding) featured the DH back in the eighties, and DH snowboarding has been a pro staple in europe for two decades.
The healthy international competitive environment for slalom, DH, SG, etc. snowboarding is still very much there, and has been for over 20 years.
Olympic DH boarding's NOT in there for the same reason Slalom snowboarding, super-G etc., aren't.
It bores most (not me) fans, and the industry controls the event content to a huge degree. The industry wants to homogenize the sport into all soft-boot/wideboard events so as to sell more product, overall.
anyone who believes big bid'nid doesn't control the olympics is seriously deluded.
Vlad,
We're saying the same thing. I did not say there was not ANY competition. When I said not healthy, I meant not healthy primarily in the sense that the participation in competitions and participation in non-competitive versions of the sport are either already a significant percentage of the population or growing in popularity. Also, worldwide there has to be a network of established national federations for the sport. My point was that it's a complicated process. You additional observations about fan support and industry control are good examples of what I'm trying to say.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Vlad,
We're saying the same thing. I did not say there was not ANY competition. When I said not healthy, I meant not healthy primarily in the sense that the participation in competitions and participation in non-competitive versions of the sport are either already a significant percentage of the population or growing in popularity. Also, worldwide there has to be a network of established national federations for the sport. My point was that it's a complicated process. You additional observations about fan support and industry control are good examples of what I'm trying to say.
i'm an as shole. i realized we might be saying the same thing, after i poste dthat. hey, it was early.
oddly the us open, which originally featured the dh, no longer has one, i'm told. probably for the better.
that's one scary event, and it's the event i did best in, by far.
it was seeing 'dog' coughlin train/race in the '87 open that made me realize
i needed to do THAT for a living.
he was riding 210 cm, zebra-striped burton 'taboggans' straight down 'national' at stratton at about 85 mph.
i shuddered, got goosebumps, and immediately looked at my 223 volkls with something akin to newfound disdain, from high up in the gondola.
i visited andy at 'the boarding house' and bummed one of his trainer boarsd for a few weeks.
post #19 of 21
Not really.

It's interesting comparing your downhill memories with mine. Mine is forcing a 65 year old lady to straight run our beginner trail. She started screaming after the first 75 feet. I may not be a competitor, but I can be a real *hole as a coach
post #20 of 21
i was under the impression that the snowboard GS had been replaced by a parallel SL format at the olympics?
post #21 of 21
Hey guys, it's really simple to find out what sports are in the Olympics:

Click
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