New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

GS Suits

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
The kids are asking for GS suits this year. Do they really make a difference at the J4 and J5 levels?
post #2 of 26
Yes, if you don't want your kids laughed at. I questioned the same thing when my kid started racing as a J4. Then I went to a race, fortunately not the one she wanted it for as she had JUST started. 100% of the kids had speed suits. We bought one used from another parent in the club. Ask around.

Also, in terms of not catching a gate on a jacket, it does have some merit. But usually they'd shave off more time by improving their technique.
post #3 of 26
Technique makes much more difference, but even for a J4, a speed suit is an advantage of about a full second in GS. Why give away a free second, especially if all the other kids are in race suits?

And then there's the fitting in issue, since all the other kids are wearing them, which is a non-trivial issue at that age.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
A full second! Wow, I didn't realize it was that much for the little guys.

Can they get a base layer under a speed suit?
post #5 of 26

Yes, they can get in a base layer...

...and the newer generation suits are warmer. The nice thing about a GS suit is that you can also use it for SL by pretty much just adding shin guards...and, of course, it's also just fine for speed events.

For the race teams around here, there's a bazillion 3s and 4s using the following suit:

http://www.race-werks.com/product.php?prod_num=60347601

I really like the quality, fit, features, and durability of Spyder suits, and for juniors, they're pretty much the best deal around...
post #6 of 26
Don't buy it so big that he'll lose the gained second just because you want him to grow into it. He'll be able to pass it down.
post #7 of 26
A suit will indeed shave time. Need proof? Run a NASTAR course in your regular jacket and then strip down to just your sweater.

Also with the speed suit comes the need for a good pair of full zip pants. Don't try to save a few bucks cause your kid will take ten minutes to get out of regular pants and get a good base layer too. When it's cold and windy and there is a course delay .... suits are cold .. and a cape offers minimal protection. Remember, as kids they will focus on being cold at that age.

Helpful handy hint #26 .... get ready to carry a light pack to the top to get your kids stuff down to the bottom. Some coaches will have a team bag and stuff everything in there and do a "mass carry" down to the base. Sooner or later the jacket and/or zips are not going to make it down. An alternate is to close the jacket and stuff it with all of the junk for the trip down. Nothing worse than sorting out that bag with stuff flying all over to find something is missing (still at the top) .... a cold ride up for the lift (for you, your kid will be in your jacket ) .... in the middle of the "lunch rush" ...
post #8 of 26
The physics involved are well documented, but another very important benefit the suit imparts is mental. Knowing one has the right gear to do the job makes it that much easier to focus and feel confident...and thats the main thing that decides a winner and a loser.
post #9 of 26
Or leave another jacket near the finish and have your youngster get in the habit after their run to ride back up and go their own gear at the start.
post #10 of 26
My take? At that level it's a uniform more than anything else (except for the top 5-10% of kids). I'm certainly not denying their effect on times or mental state, since I squeeze my flab in one every Masters race, but they aren't a necessity.

Is it worth the discomfort? That's up to the child. Sometimes what they really want is to look like a racer (be taken seriously). Other alternatives to a suit are close-fitting fleece or soft shell jackets (black) with all kinds of USSA and US Ski Team patches. Race stickers on the helmet is another classic. Kids have their own version of "racer cool", so check out what the older kids or coaches are wearing for training days and emulate that. The US Ski Team's site has an online store that might have a few things to help you here.

If you do go the suit route, your're going to need a couple things. Full-zip pants are a must. Training shorts are nice, but the full length pants will be more versatile. Good base layers (non-bulky) are also a must, as the kid will freeze waiting for their start in a suit on cold days. You can go a little big on the suit to account for base layers and growth during the season.

The used suit suggestion is a good one to keep costs down. The kids can also wear them under their ski clothes on training days as a base layer so that they can get used to the feeling.
post #11 of 26
Alaska ... I'm the last guy to want to spend money on a "uniform" for a kid but when you have at least a full second coming off (and I agree with that poster), that is a critical second.

That critical second will keep your kid out of the dumps (emotional) and up in the "mid pack" standings when you look where the times are.

That critical second is what sends the kid to state finals ... even if they ain't gonna win, the feel good going.

When I was a kid (hooooo boy ), there were no "race suits", we had a sweater with a stripe and our stretch pants had a bit of padding.

Now, add in the effect of a "bit of a breeze" coming up the course and that silly second becomes a light year without a suit.
post #12 of 26
At the J4 and 1st year J5 level, the last thing I want to reinforce is that it's all in the gear. If 90% of the kids are wearing them, then it's probably a good idea to get one to level the playing field and provide that uniform. If only a few kids are wearing them, there are better things to spend your money on.

I generally don't like to see them on kids until the 2nd year J4 level. Let's say it really is a second gained in your typical J4/J5 course. Why give away the magic second so early in their racing career? What do you do when everyone else buys the magic second? Oh, then you dump hundreds of dollars of HF overlays in what are basically ordinary kids skis with a different topsheet. But the arms race continues and the "race stock" junior skis start showing up....

I'd rather the little kids focus on good skiing and get their results through good technique. I tell parents to hold off and perhaps make it a reward for reaching a milestone (like becoming a second year J4), which provides a carrot to stay with the program.

First and foremost, ask the coaches. Lay out your reasoning and get their inputs. If they think a suit is a good idea, then go with it. If they shrug and don't seem all that definite, then perhaps that's your answer. They understand the particular league better than I do, so let them be the guide.
post #13 of 26
Agreed on the J-5 (not even a "legal" category) anyway .... they should still be comfortable.

And the 4's are still doing cute stuff like waving as they go by. :

"Ya' can dress em' up, but ya' can't take em ....
post #14 of 26
The kids that wave are the ones that I like most. Those are the kids that are having the most fun and enjoying just being there. It also shows a healthy parental influence that isn't completely results driven.

There's plenty of time for zoot suits and high fluoro later. They grow up so fast...
post #15 of 26

Amen to that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
The kids that wave are the ones that I like most. Those are the kids that are having the most fun and enjoying just being there. It also shows a healthy parental influence that isn't completely results driven.

There's plenty of time for zoot suits and high fluoro later. They grow up so fast...
Ingemar Stenmark won his first WC race in a warm up suit for track and field, for Pete's sake...and from what I remember, he didn't do too bad over the course of his career...
post #16 of 26
A gs suit is not going to make a one second difference for a J4 or 5. It will give them more confidence and they will feel better because all of the other kids have them.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
...we had a sweater with a stripe and our stretch pants had a bit of padding.
Oh man I miss those sweaters...
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Yes, if you don't want your kids laughed at. .
Agreed... This is the most important thing in ski racing
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripen View Post
Agreed... This is the most important thing in ski racing
Obviously you disagree with me about the importance, at that stage of a kid's life, of being accepted by your team mates. Why ruin the desire to race that a kid has by making this an issue? Cheap hand-me-downs are available easily. Let them fit in and they'll be able to concentrate on the racing. Make them different and it all becomes about that. Later in life they may realize the futility of striving for acceptance, once they have shown they are legitimate racers. But that comes as the kid matures, not at this stage of life.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Obviously you disagree with me about the importance, at that stage of a kid's life, of being accepted by your team mates. Why ruin the desire to race that a kid has by making this an issue? Cheap hand-me-downs are available easily. Let them fit in and they'll be able to concentrate on the racing. Make them different and it all becomes about that. Later in life they may realize the futility of striving for acceptance, once they have shown they are legitimate racers. But that comes as the kid matures, not at this stage of life.

I agree with that big time....I can readliy recall my youth and this does hold true.
post #21 of 26
Your kid, not mine....
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripen View Post
Agreed... This is the most important thing in ski racing
It is at that age.
post #23 of 26
:
post #24 of 26

always a variable

It's a windy day with the gusts coming straight up the hill.

You should be in:

A. Your full jacket and pants cause' you may catch a cold.

or ..

B. A GS suit; it may actually prevent you from coming to a full stop.

post #25 of 26
I coached in a program that had about 115 or so kids J4 and younger. Probably, 90% of them had suits. It probably only helped about 20 of them. My own kids had used suits and the program passed these down through to other kids. Its kind of cool to recognize an old suit on a new young skier.

If the kids are competitive I say try and get them a used suit. Nothing is more special than seeing your kid step up on the podium winning his age bracket. I know in some cases my kids would not have done that without a suit.

Aside from that, would this picture look near as cool if my 10 year old didnt have a suit?

post #26 of 26
I too coach at this level and agree that if the kids are pretty competent and want the suit- try to find them some used ones. I hate the amount of $. The speed advantage for most is dubious. But if they are the type to be stigmatized but NOT having one, they will be discouraged and that WILL slow them down and will give them unrealistic expectations of how fast they would be "if I just had a GS suit". I totally understand the aruguement that says you are pampering your kid, but really, it is part of the culture.

Would anyone send a kid to a swim meet in cut-off jeans?

best of luck and Merry Christmas-
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home