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Can a SL ski be used for GS Masters racing?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've suggested some of the better recreational SL skis for GS masters racing in the Midwest. My opinion is based on the quality of the skis and the slower speeds found on Masters race courses.

The 12 to 14 meter turn radius of the Atomic SL11 or the Fischer Worldcup SC should make these models friendly and fast for new-to-racing Masters.

Any opinions?

Cheers,

Michael
post #2 of 20
I usually prefer to not have new racers on short, highly sidecut skis for GS, as they tend to develop park and ride habits- just riding from arc to arc on the sidecut alone. There's also the issue of fore-aft stability and edge hold at speed/longer radius turns.

I generally point skiers in this case towards a "cheater GS" or supercross ski, with a 16-19M radius. The sidecut still allows for error, but they have to work them somewhat to get the turn. I still haven't found a 21M GS ski that I would consider a good, universal beginner-intermediate race ski, although some have come close. I still think the old BetaRace 9.20 (GS9) is a hell of a introductory GS ski.

For dual duty, a longer SL ski with a 14-16M radius isn't too bad, but you won't be happy in either discipline.

In my Thursday night league on a tiny hill, I set more NASTAR-esque courses, with 18-19M between turning poles and 3-5M offset. The average GS course is 14 gates, with the fastest times coming in around 27 seconds. This actually levels the playing field between the faster guys on FIS race skis and the slower guys on race carvers and rec skis, as you have to work a 21M ski to get it around the gates cleanly on such a small/flat hill. The fastest guys are still the fastest guys, but they are challenged more and the gaps aren't quite as disheartening to the slower racers.
post #3 of 20
This question was a spin off from a conversation barretscv and I were having in the gear reviews section. I am going to be getting into CMSC racing here in the midwest. The race will be regularly held on probably the bare minimum slope needed for a race. The fastest GS course times are around 16 seconds, SL around 18.

I have heard it go both ways on this topic. I am actually looking to pick up a supercross ski (Head XRC 1100 RD or 1200 SW) for it but wasn't going to be in a huge hurry if a higher end recreational SL ski can fit the bill.

The GS9 is an interesting option. I don't plan on going out there and being the fastest guy on the hill in my first season, but I would like to give myself the best shot at being competitive.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
This question was a spin off from a conversation barretscv and I were having in the gear reviews section. I am going to be getting into CMSC racing here in the midwest. The race will be regularly held on probably the bare minimum slope needed for a race. The fastest GS course times are around 16 seconds, SL around 18.

I have heard it go both ways on this topic. I am actually looking to pick up a supercross ski (Head XRC 1100 RD or 1200 SW) for it but wasn't going to be in a huge hurry if a higher end recreational SL ski can fit the bill.

The GS9 is an interesting option. I don't plan on going out there and being the fastest guy on the hill in my first season, but I would like to give myself the best shot at being competitive.
GS9 can found at very good prices on eBay, sometimes $150 new without bindings/ New bindings will double that. This might even eliminate the need for the SuperSport.

Cheers,

Michael
post #5 of 20
I already own the Atomic SL:9 @ 160cm. It would seem to me that I would probably want to get the GS:9 @ 180cm since I would really be trying to specialize it to a longer radius hard snow carver. I don't really need the GS ski to be all that versatile and being cheaper is better. The SL9 and Monster 88 would be my go to skis for freeskiing.

What got me thinking about this in the first place was a friend who has done CMSC racing in the past on an SL:9 (although his was the 150) who said it was a bit too short for the GS races. He now uses the SX:11. Barret seems to be suggesting the opposite though and I might not have any real need for them. Alaska Mike seems to have split the difference with a bias towards getting a "cheater" GS ski.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
I already own the Atomic SL:9 @ 160cm. It would seem to me that I would probably want to get the GS:9 @ 180cm since I would really be trying to specialize it to a longer radius hard snow carver. I don't really need the GS ski to be all that versatile and being cheaper is better. The SL9 and Monster 88 would be my go to skis for freeskiing.

What got me thinking about this in the first place was a friend who has done CMSC racing in the past on an SL:9 (although his was the 150) who said it was a bit too short for the GS races. He now uses the SX:11. Barret seems to be suggesting the opposite though and I might not have any real need for them. Alaska Mike seems to have split the difference with a bias towards getting a "cheater" GS ski.
I have an immaculate pair of 180cm SX11 supercross with matching SX-6.14 indings I want to sell. never skied on fresh tune. Skis look like new and have the Race Dept. soft rubber tip protectors

email me at Atomicman52@comcast.net if interested.
post #7 of 20
I started racing small GS and SL courses last season in high school. For GS there is no doubt that a cheater ski is a great option. I personally used the 1100 sw in 170, which worked well, however I wish I would've gotten the 177 for stability reasons. In the end, I'm just glad I decided to race and I think any first time racer will gain a greater love for skiing by competing, regardless of the equipment.
post #8 of 20
Just from observation, it seems as if the most popular GS ski among the Masters I've seen (at least all but the very top ones and the young ones) is a "cheater" ski, e.g. the Atomic SX11 or the Fischer GC. I did notice a guy at a race on a longer SL9, which was interesting. Personally, I've been using a "non-cheater" Atomic 10.22, but that's because I'm a cheapskate rather than as a matter of choice. I came very close to going and getting a pair of 170 cm SL9s out of the car for a second run once.
post #9 of 20
The GS9 has carbon Beta Lobes and I believe the SX11 has Titanium or some such metal in there. The GS9 is a little softer and a little easier to ski in longer lengths than the SX11, without losing a whole lot of stability at speed. It really is a personal preference thing. I really like how both skis flex and hook up in the turn and release smoothly. The Fischer WC RC is a pretty darn stiff ski for a race carver, but it certainly deserves consideration. I know I've skied mine just about to death and they still have enough pop left in them to throw me on my butt when I'm not looking.

For cheater GS skis, I have a pair of Dynamic VR27s that were cheap and fun in addition to some $150 Atomic GS:Rs and the WC RCs. All of them ski differently, despite having similar measurements. Certainly fun to play with.

Even in my molehill race league, I have found that I can lose up to a second running SL skis over even a well-prepped rec ski. I usually do the last race on rentals (prepared by me) for giggles, and I'm fairly sure I'm faster on them than on a slalom. I freeski my slaloms at speed often, but in a course, making those turns at that speed, a longer/longer radius ski just works better.

The SX11 is a popular Masters cheater ski at Alyeska, although since Atomic started making their retail GS11s cheaters I've been seeing less of them. Definitely a strong possibility for a hard snow/medium turn ski.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
I've suggested some of the better recreational SL skis for GS masters racing in the Midwest. My opinion is based on the quality of the skis and the slower speeds found on Masters race courses.
I raced in the Ottawa Masters Series where the caliber of racers is varied (from never raced to ex-national team). It depends of the type of course set. The GS set are rarely what I would call a FIS GS, sometimes we get GS course that would fit more the description of a Glalom.

I personally prefer a GS ski (10:22) for GS. There are maybe of 1/4 of us who are on real GS skis while maybe half of them are actually skiing a Slalom ski. The other 1/4 would on cheaters like SX11 type ski.

Some of the top racers in our group actually use a Slalom for GS, however I've always been concern that in GS with a short slalom I would ended up on my ass if I sit back too much.

www.ottawamasters.ca
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
I raced in the Ottawa Masters Series where the caliber of racers is varied (from never raced to ex-national team). It depends of the type of course set. The GS set are rarely what I would call a FIS GS, sometimes we get GS course that would fit more the description of a Glalom.

I personally prefer a GS ski (10:22) for GS. There are maybe of 1/4 of us who are on real GS skis while maybe half of them are actually skiing a Slalom ski. The other 1/4 would on cheaters like SX11 type ski.

Some of the top racers in our group actually use a Slalom for GS, however I've always been concern that in GS with a short slalom I would ended up on my ass if I sit back too much.

www.ottawamasters.ca
Skied a 155cm Volkl P60SL in a GS course with no fear of loosing control but have been told a 170cm ski would be the ideal length. Not sure of what difference there is to finishing time between the SL and GS skis on the same course but I am a beginner racer so technique would have the greatest influence in my case.
post #12 of 20
For club racing (where the "GS" course sets vary greatly, and sometime resemble a slalom course, set for speed control or other considerations beyond my ken...) I use an SL 9 for slalom and an SX:11 "cheater" ski for GS (or "galom" as someone coined above), with a GS 11 ski only for the annual Super-G.

Slalom skis are great to train on (can achieve higher edge angles), but they aren't as stable at high speeds, they aren't as fun to ski on, and demand more fore-and-aft balance when you get into trouble.

I'd go with the SX:11s for anything even close to a GS course or all mountain free skiing. At 180 cms, they have a natural sidecut of 18 meters, which is a lot better than the 21 m true GS skis. Plus, they rip. (My lifelong dream has been to someday get nearly as fast as my equipment.) Starting to think snow.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
(My lifelong dream has been to someday get nearly as fast as my equipment.)
How far ahead of you does your equipment usually finish?

I have finished ahead of my eqiupment (or the majority of it) more than once, and behind it at least once!
post #14 of 20

Come race in Rocky Mountain Masters...

...you'll want a 185 GS with FIS legal sidecut...
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
I am going to be getting into CMSC racing here in the midwest.
For the races at Wilmot, an SL ski will be fine, but if you plan on traveling to the races at Brule or Marquette (which I HIGHLY recommend..lot's of fun), a GS would be more appropriate.

Send me an email if you are heading to Brule or Marquette. I'll be racing in both.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Send me an email if you are heading to Brule or Marquette. I'll be racing in both.
Brule is probably a no go, but Marquette is something I would really like to do. The couple that is introducing me to CMSC racing love that race and so we are going to try and make it happen. I'll let you know!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
...you'll want a 185 GS with FIS legal sidecut...
Like Skiracer55 says, if you are going to race Masters in the Rockies go with the FIS GS you will need them, this is no place for Sl,the speeds are too high.Now Nastar is a different animal, the courses vary so much from resort to resort.Some courses will be faster with a GS ski, some are quicker with a Sl. If you are a serious Nastar racer you will need both a GS and an Sl ski.
post #18 of 20
You should have both, but a 16-18M GS ski (Like an Atomic SX11 is plenty fast & stable)
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1 View Post
How far ahead of you does your equipment usually finish?

I have finished ahead of my eqiupment (or the majority of it) more than once, and behind it at least once!
I resemble that remark.

In order of competence:

1) The picture of me, in the ski movie that runs only in my head, but never quite makes it to the mountain, where that clown with my same bib number always shows up to do a bad impression of me, with silly bad habits exaggerated for effect through mime artistry.*

2) The equipment, capable of waaay better skiing than mime artist, above.

3) Me.

In order of actual finish: Various.

I prefer finishing in the same zip code as equipment, but intention isn't the same as practice (see above). Dread the day when our ski league schedules a race at Heavenly, where there's the theoretical possibility of actually finishing a run in a different state than my equipment. (Other than, of course, the state of good repair, where I and my equipment also frequently differ, to my detriment.)

Once, at the NASTAR nationals, lost a ski and tried to do a Bode, but only got another gate and a half.

And at a league race, I once shattered my glasses with face clear on fourth slalom gate and finished the run with goggles around neck and broken glasses in one hand, pulling a Mr. Magoo of watching the ski tracks in the snow ahead of my tips to find my way, doing all the gate clears with the other hand. Was slow, was ugly, and really horrifying part is that it was the only run, of the two, that I finished by going around all the sticks with both feet on the same side....

Really looking forward to snow, but I must do something this year about getting the movie self there into the start gate instead of that goofy mime...

*"mime artistry"--there's a self-cancelling phrase for you. Like those sentences the British folks trot out, with the adjectives running eagerly in opposite directions: "terribly good" "frighfully tired" "American Presidential eloquence." But I digress.

Think snow, everyone. Running into the flag at the golf course just doesn't come with the same thrill.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
...the theoretical possibility of actually finishing a run in a different state than my equipment.
Hah!!! LOL with tears at the thought.
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