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FIS equipment rule changes, 2003/4 season

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Under current (for 2002/3) rules, there are "minimum ski lengths" only for SL (155cm for men, 150cm for women) and for children's skis. The reason these new rules regarding ski length for other disciplines will not be in effect THIS year because, basically, manufacturers aren't ready to produce the equipment.
The new rules stem from safety concerns that "radical sidecut skis" can make the sport more dangerous at the highest levels. Standheight and boot sole thickness have also come under scrutiny.

The 2003/4 rules:

M DH: minimum radius=45m; minimum length=215cm
W DH: mr=45m; ml=210cm
M SG: mr=33m; ml=205
W SG: 33, 200
M GS: 21, 185
W GS: 21, 180
M SL: (no min. rad.); 165 (currently 155)
W SL: (no min. rad.); 155 (currently 150)
post #2 of 10
They are increasing the lengths of the SL skis? People sometimes laugh when I take them ski shopping and I dismiss a pair of skis because they are ten cm's too long and I show them how large (or is it how small ? ) ten cm's really is, but those ten really do make a huge difference at that level of skill and competition. It looked to me at the olympics, (though I was watching on a television from several thousand miles away...) that some of the skier's GS sticks weren't all that much longer than 165 cm's. I am very glad I just subscribed to Outdoor Life Network because this is going to be a very interesting season!

P.S. Does anyone perhaps wiser than I know whether this lengthening of their requirements for ski length (especially in slalom, still the sexiest and most marketable of the ski races) shows a shift in the policy of the FIS concerning super-sidecut, shorty skis? Also might this have some effect on course design making it SLIGHTLY less carvy or perhaps even more across the hill now that we can expect a little more skidding?
post #3 of 10
I think changes like this were bound to happen.

Have to disagree Karsten. Slalom bites. The downhill is where it is at.
post #4 of 10
Super sidecuts can be dangerous, I know three instructers who were seriously hurt when the super sidecuts came out, they all were thrown in the woods and damaged; spleen, legs, etc... Then the sidecuts settled down a bit as the ski companies figured out the new technology.
Several world cup skiers have died recently as their skis hooked up sending them into cameras and other obstacles.
post #5 of 10
Downhill is where it's at in ski racing!

[ July 23, 2002, 07:41 AM: Message edited by: pyramid ]
post #6 of 10

Thanks for those specs. I'm a FIS coach and didn't know those requirements had been approved for 03-04, caused me to go do some homework. You hang out on the FIS site just for fun???

Yes the restriction on sidecut is a direct responce from the FIS to safety issues. A couple of high profile lawsuits will do that!

Don't look for the SL courses to get any less "carvy" or for the athletes to do any more skidding than before. The longer length will be compensated with greater sidecut until they regulate that also.

And don't look for the restrictions to have much effect on retail except for the FIS level racers who will have to comply and probably have pro-deals anyway. I don't think that skis will go any smaller than they are now, but I also don't think that you'll see a return to larger sizes any time soon. With the new materials a 170 can provide the stabilty of a 190 from a couple of years ago. Sure there are still alot of good applications for big skis (185cm+) but they fill such a small niche in the retail world that it won't effect the public conception of ski size.
post #7 of 10

Regarding your comments that some of the guys GS skis looking like they were as short as 165, I assure you that none of the top skiers in GS would have been on anything shorter than a 188. What you may have seen is a guy showing the ski for the camera, which had been put in his hand by the rep and could very well have been a 165. Typically, only immediately after the skier finishes his run is the only time you have a chance to see the actual skis. After a (short)while, the race skis are typically collected for safe keeping or rewaxing and the racers show a similar pair, perhaps shorter. A good clue is if momentarely after the finish a skier holds a pair of skis with multiple ski straps strategically placed, that is a pair set up for the cameras.
post #8 of 10
Thanks for the answers

Seth and Pyramid: Indeed you are correct, must have been the heat getting to me .

If only the public could get the same appreciation and awe out of watching racers blast down the Hannenkamm at 90+mph in the middle, then slalom wouldn't immediatly come to mind when ski racing is mentioned. Prolly the best '02 Olympic ski moment (in my personal opinion) was Bode's fall and recovery in the alpine combined on the Downhill section.
post #9 of 10
Here's the link to the Ski Racing article:
post #10 of 10
Don't forget, the rules this year were only from Continental Cup and up. Juniors are allowed to use shorter skis. This year the skis had to have a "turn radius" marked on them but I don't think juniors had to worry. Anyway that's a year away. Who knows? I won't know for sure until I get my TD's packet.
How's Curious George?
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