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# How fast do you ski? - Page 2

OK Lonnie, let's say you were going 55 mph for real. That's a touch over 80 feet/second. Now let's say you have an above average reaction time of 200 millseconds. (Healthy human range is from 150 to 300).

That means you would travel roughly 16 feet from the time you perceived a potential collision until your muscles could even react to it. Then, let's say you get those muscles to create enough edge angle to significantly change your trajectory. I'll defer to the racers on this one, but given the forces operating on your body at 55 mph, I'd guess another half second, minimum.

So by the time you've applied a change in your edge and moved signifincantly away from your former trajectory, you've traveled 56 feet downslope.

Either you're arguing that requiring that distance to change your path on a PUBLIC slope is "being in control," or your GPS is way off.
Let me do some side by side testing again on my bike. I'll post photos of the results.
Let's see. There were many times yesterday where there was nobody 100 yds in front of my or behind me. How much time would I need to miss them then? How many people did I hit yesterday? Humm, I must have really fast reaction times or there was nobody around, or I didn't ski like that where there were people around...
Deja vue all over again! This has been done to death, but here a quick recap.

According to my GPS logs I usually ski between 30 and 60 mph too, but I ski on small (700' vertical), albeit hard and icy hills. I'm absolutely positive when I was a young man aiming straight down the fall line, looking for icy steep chutes and the closest thing I could find to a cliff and still be able to shush without doing summersaults in order to get a bigger thrill by going faster that I have gone lot faster than what I ski now. I have been radar at Jay Peak going about 60, and that run seemed slow to me. I know I've skied MUCH faster than that. 60 feels like a walk in the park on my Kästle SGs; it feels fast on the SCs.

Most inexperienced skiers overestimate their speed, but most experienced skiers and experts underestimate their speeds. Most skiers ski below 45 mph.

Testers typically peak out just above 50 mph when testing GS skis.

Race course speeds are not as high as free-skiing speeds can be because the skier does not have to make as many turns and is free to ski straight down the fall line. Of course the skier is also free to get launched into the stratosphere or get turned into a squashed pretzel in a compression. And yes, I have been air born for hundreds of feet after going over a rise.

You do not need a speed suit to reach 60mph, and if you are skiing on a speed ski 50 will not feel fast.

You need a longer steeper hill when there is soft snow on it than you do if it's ice-coated.

There's nothing wrong with skiing fast, so long as you can see far enough to avoid hitting other skiers or obstacles ahead of you. I always slow down for blind spots, which makes me a lot slower than I was when I was young and reckless.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost According to my GPS logs I usually ski between 30 and 60 mph too, but I ski on small (700' vertical), albeit hard and icy hills.
Humm, somebody else with quantitative evidence (multiple sources) and similar results.
I'll throw my hat in with the fast guys. I regularly hit 35mph plus on my bike and that feels slow compared to the feeling of skiing at speed. I don't know if it's fair to compare the two on a subjective level as it may be apples and oranges. I still believe that on a steep pitch or extended blue run with long skis it cannot be that hard to at least max out in the 50 mph range or more depending on comfort and skill level).

Also there's a time and place for everything. I didn't get the impression that Lonnie was bombing down runs crowded with other skiiers - if anything he made it clear that he was limited in trying to reach top speeds when there were others on the hill. On the other hand when you have a wide open run ahead with good visibility why not let it rip.

K
Quote:
 Originally Posted by 2-turn Thank God, someone with a sense of perspective. I read the first couple of posts and was afraid noone was going to set them straight. I did 74 on a closed speed event course in a practiced and analyzed tuck, on 215cm SG skis, as soon as I stood up at the finish, I immediately dropped about 25 mph. It was like throwing out a parachute. No one, recreational skiing, not in a tuck, is going 65+, unless it's a maggot going off a cliff, but then with the air drag figured it, it would have to be a biiiiiig cliff. Hvae you taken your meds today? you're usually one of the sane ones. reminds me of the time I was teaching a newbe how to ski(she was hot!). We were on a bunny slope, I was out of my skis walking next to her, she in a snowplow. She suddenly sat on her butt. I asked her why she bailed. "I was going so fast!!!". "But I was WALKING next to you!!!!":
I couldn't wait for some voices of reason.

What a bunch of self absorbed ego maniac overestimators.

Of course i expect this kind of nonsense from bushwacker!

Thank you for setting the record straight 2-turn!

The fastests 17-20 year olds and top Western region racers at Mammoth in a downhill on race prepped 210cm + skis in speed suits and in a tuck on race prepped closed course Tops 70MPH.

You guys are smoking crack and some of the smoke got into your GPS's! :
AM,

It just so happens we were skiing with a young lady yesteday, who has done quite a bit of racing, including Junior Olympics and she said the fastest speed she'd been clocked at was 74 mph in a Super G (at snowbaisn). She also said, that wasn't her fastest speed ever, just the fastest she had been clocked. She said we were no where near that fast yesterday, but I never claimed we were. In fact I said we were 25% slower.....

To all the naysayers, I say give it a go, see what you come up with. You might be surprised. Either that or I ski way faster than all of you (but there were 6 or 7 of us and we all got similar results).
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman The fastests 17-20 year olds and top Western region racers at Mammoth in a downhill on race prepped 210cm + skis in speed suits and in a tuck on race prepped closed course Tops 70MPH. You guys are smoking crack and some of the smoke got into your GPS's! :
We are comparing skiing down the fall line, not skiing through gates arranged to test the limits of their equipment and skills to TURN, to slow skiers down, to separate the top skiers by a significant margin and to ensure their safety. If you want course data in speed suits to compare to you have to look here...
http://www.speedski.com/topMen1999.htm
Lonnie, let me go non-quantitative to contextualize the issue:

In the past three ski trips, I have been hit twice hard, once by a skier and once by a boarder both times while I was stopped or nearly stopped. My 4 year old son has been hit very hard once, while he was turning slowly, by a boarder. In each case, the skier/boarder was traveling way over a reasonable speed (in my son's case this was on a green slope filled with beginners and kids) and in each case, they basically said, "Hey, I was in control, just couldn't help it. It was an accident"

So yeah, I know you were skiing safely and you're a superb skier and blah blah blah. But you know what? You're being irresponsible. Because posts like this just signal to a lot of other people around here that it's cool to do highway speeds on recreational slopes. Have you ever known anyone who DIDN'T think they were "in control" before an accident?

### You are way out of line...

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie Let's see. There were many times yesterday where there was nobody 100 yds in front of my or behind me. How much time would I need to miss them then? How many people did I hit yesterday? Humm, I must have really fast reaction times or there was nobody around, or I didn't ski like that where there were people around...
...you want to go fast, get in a controlled environment, which is either a race or a training course. Doesn't matter whether there's anybody within a country mile or not. One thing you conveniently forgot about is that when you're out cruising outside a race course, there's no B netting or other other safety measures either, so at a minimum, you're risking splattering yourself all over the nearest pine tree. You don't wanna do that, slow down. Your tagline says you're an Epic Ski instructor, which means you're supposed to be a solution to the problem, not another problem.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie AM, It just so happens we were skiing with a young lady yesteday, who has done quite a bit of racing, including Junior Olympics and she said the fastest speed she'd been clocked at was 74 mph in a Super G (at snowbaisn). She also said, that wasn't her fastest speed ever, just the fastest she had been clocked. She said we were no where near that fast yesterday, but I never claimed we were. In Fact I said we were 25% slower.....

Sorry, JO's super G would never be 74MPH.

The downhill at Mammoth I referred to was Junior olympics. it was a Downhill which is faster then Sg and the men are faster then the women!
And beyond, I'm saying that I think a lot of folks aren't going out TRYING to do those speeds, they ARE doing those speeds and we don't ever think about it. As best I could tell, 35-45 was the NORM, not the exception.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Sorry, JO's super G would never be 74MPH. The downhill at Mammoth I referred to was Junior olympics. it was a Downhill which is faster then Sg and the men are faster then the women!
Well maybe I heard her wrong and it was DH. But I know the speed is right.
You won't get hit from behind if you're always the fastest skier on the hill.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to trivialize your accidents. It is really too bad that some people ski out of control. I did so too when I was younger. When I read about tragedies I think, "There but for the grace of God go I." I no longer ski out of control. I learned, fortunately not the hard way; I was one of those skiers who actually listened to the lecture I got after shooting out of the trees onto a trail at 70mph (a skier who was on the trail 40 meters uphill at the time lectured me at top of the lift later that day).

I think we need to separate skiing fast from skiing irresponsibly. Ski within your limits, means you can avoid people and obstacles ahead of you. If the hill is empty enough for you to avoid them then go for it. If someone is in your way or might end up in your way, bite the bullet and slow down.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 ...you want to go fast, get in a controlled environment, which is either a race or a training course. Doesn't matter whether there's anybody within a country mile or not. One thing you conveniently forgot about is that when you're out cruising outside a race course, there's no B netting or other other safety measures either, so at a minimum, you're risking splattering yourself all over the nearest pine tree. You don't wanna do that, slow down. Your tagline says you're an Epic Ski instructor, which means you're supposed to be a solution to the problem, not another problem.
Humm, when I was whizzing past the trees yesterday, BELIVE me I KNEW they were there....

EDIT: All I know is I have never hit another skier (except in the lift line (D'oh!), but they have hit me. There was nobody there yesterday. We had spotters, we checked out as much as we could before. There were some straight line tests on deserted slopes, there were some free skiing tests. Sometimes we went fast, some times we didn't. You guys are envisioning a bunch of gapers skiing like rabid dogs. That's wasn't the way it was. It was good skiers skiing (for the most part) at their upper end of their "normal" speed limits. At no time did I see anyone ski what I would consider "out of control".

Quote:
 Originally Posted by kgtrips I'll throw my hat in with the fast guys. I regularly hit 35mph plus on my bike and that feels slow compared to the feeling of skiing at speed. I don't know if it's fair to compare the two on a subjective level as it may be apples and oranges. I still believe that on a steep pitch or extended blue run with long skis it cannot be that hard to at least max out in the 50 mph range or more depending on comfort and skill level).
EDIT2: I have a long steep hill near my house (10+% for over a mile). I routinely hit 50mph on my road bike down that hill. Last summer the pro racers in the Tour of Utah hit 60-65mph down that same hill. Most blue runs are 35%-50% (15-25 deg), so how that figures in, I don't know. But what I do know is what speed feels like outside of an automobile. 20mph on my road bike is no problem. On my skis, it's slow (it's the speed I'm skiing with level 4-5 skiers). 30mph on my road bike is no problem from a handling point of view (without a hill it's hard to maintain). I've done 45 (44.5) mph on my road bike on flat ground with a 30kt tail wind (that was a gas). These speeds aren't unachievable.
There's nothing quite like having the branches of a fir smacking your elbow at the bottom of a near cliff while avoiding the rock in front of you at a high speed.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie Well maybe I heard her wrong and it was DH. But I know the speed is right.

the fastest men in the World hit 80 MPH on the Grizzly downhill at snowbasin. the wildflower women's course is slower and no junior chick racer is going 74 MPH there.

the top women don't go that fast.

Use some common sense here:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman I couldn't wait for some voices of reason. What a bunch of self absorbed ego maniac overestimators. Of course i expect this kind of nonsense from bushwacker! Thank you for setting the record straight 2-turn! The fastests 17-20 year olds and top Western region racers at Mammoth in a downhill on race prepped 210cm + skis in speed suits and in a tuck on race prepped closed course Tops 70MPH. You guys are smoking crack and some of the smoke got into your GPS's! :
we had a calibrated radar gun. Until lyou have skied with me dont doubt.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost We are comparing skiing down the fall line, not skiing through gates arranged to test the limits of their equipment and skills to TURN, to slow skiers down, to separate the top skiers by a significant margin and to ensure their safety. If you want course data in speed suits to compare to you have to look here...http://www.speedski.com/topMen1999.htm
there are some very straight long corridors where they hit top speed though! and where i was talking about was straight down the falline no turns very steep long pitch into the finish

Sorry to burst your bubble

I know Lonnie didn't have a slope the length of a 3 747 runways at a 60 degree pitch or all the aerodynamic paraphernalia it takes to go 155MPH?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman the fastest men in the World hit 80 MPH on the Grizzly downhill at snowbasin. the wildflower women's course is slower and no junior chick racer is going 74 MPH there. the top women don't go that fast. Use some common sense here:
All I know is what I was told. Truth?

What else I know is that EVERYONE here that has measured their speed or has had their speed measured by some device reports similar numbers (35-45 avg, 50-55max). Coincidence?

Remember the effect of drag is exponential. My guess is that based on drag it is quite easy to get to 50-55mph, but quite hard to go faster than 60. Maybe somebody smarter than me can enlighten us..

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman I know Lonnie didn't have a slope the length of a 3 747 runways at a 60 degree pitch or all the aerodynamic paraphernalia it takes to go 155MPH?
Nope. But didn't (and don't want to) go nealy that fast either...
And the epicskiers wonder why they get called gapers. I'm with the others, I've been clocked at 60+ mph with a radar gun and I would swear it's not the fastest I've ever been, just a long, hard, steep section with no turns. I predicted on page one that all of the racer beaters would chime in with the blah blah speedsuits, blah blah 210 gs, blah super fancy wax. Just because sitting in your Dallas office you can't imagine skiing fast with your jeans tucked into the tops of your boots, doesn't mean it can't happen. Please leave the talk of fast skiing to those that can actually ski fast and have the real estate to do it. I think it upsets some of your delicate egos to know there are those that can ski at those speeds.

And yes, I'm going to run over all of your families and there will be severed body parts everywhere because I always ski out of control and without regard for others.
GPS gives variable result, and occasionally it tosses out a weird number. These aren't hard to spot. After a few runs you find the results are pretty consistant. I'm sure most of the GPS speeds up to 60 mph are right. Faster than 60 takes some work.

I was measuring some XC loops this winter on a day that the satellite configuration gave remarkable accuracy. I reset it to 0, and it right away jumped to 15 meters. Upon closer inspection I realized it was 0.15 meters. I stuck my arm out and back and it jumped to 0.75 meters. A \$99 GPS can detect you moving your arm on a good day.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by beyond So yeah, I know you were skiing safely and you're a superb skier and blah blah blah. But you know what? You're being irresponsible. Because posts like this just signal to a lot of other people around here that it's cool to do highway speeds on recreational slopes. Have you ever known anyone who DIDN'T think they were "in control" before an accident?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 ...you want to go fast, get in a controlled environment, which is either a race or a training course. Doesn't matter whether there's anybody within a country mile or not. One thing you conveniently forgot about is that when you're out cruising outside a race course, there's no B netting or other other safety measures either, so at a minimum, you're risking splattering yourself all over the nearest pine tree. You don't wanna do that, slow down. Your tagline says you're an Epic Ski instructor, which means you're supposed to be a solution to the problem, not another problem.
Yeah - you guys are right on! Skiing's dangerous enough what with chairlifts and pole straps and all. Now we have to worry about expert skiers skiing fast on nearly vacant slopes! Heaven's to Betsey!: gapers......

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman the fastest men in the World hit 80 MPH on the Grizzly downhill at snowbasin. the wildflower women's course is slower and no junior chick racer is going 74 MPH there.
Oh yeah? Well... well.. I straightlined The Needle in a full tuck! Switch! To the road! So...nyah, nyah.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost ...I learned, fortunately not the hard way; I was one of those skiers who actually listened to the lecture I got after shooting out of the trees onto a trail at 70mph (a skier who was on the trail 40 meters uphill at the time lectured me at top of the lift later that day)....
You were skiing 70 mph in the trees? Hmmmm....

I don't know about all this, but I have one story. I ski with a group of people every year, often but not always at Keystone, and this group includes a former WC and Olympic downhiller. One of the other guys is a really good and very fast skier, but not a racer. He wanted to race Ex-DH guy top to bottom at Keystone, with a head start of course. Ex-DH guy gives him a 2-min lead (something like that, I can't remember), and takes off after him.

Now, this is a weekday in January, and there is no one around. Very Fast Skier is bombing down the hill as fast as he's ever gone -- not tucking or anything, though. After a couple of minutes, in his words, "I swear I felt him behind me, the ground was rumbling." Ex-DH guy blows by him at that moment.

After they were down, Very Fast Skier asks Ex-DH guy how fast he thought he was going, and he guessed about 40. Very Fast Skier asks, Well, how fast were YOU going? Ex-DH guy said, 60, maybe 65.

Just an anecdote; take it as you will.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by zion zig zag And the epicskiers wonder why they get called gapers. I'm with the others, I've been clocked at 60+ mph with a radar gun and I would swear it's not the fastest I've ever been, just a long, hard, steep section with no turns. I predicted on page one that all of the racer beaters would chime in with the blah blah speedsuits, blah blah 210 gs, blah super fancy wax. Just because sitting in your Dallas office you can't imagine skiing fast with your jeans tucked into the tops of your boots, doesn't mean it can't happen. Please leave the talk of fast skiing to those that can actually ski fast and have the real estate to do it. I think it upsets some of your delicate egos to know there are those that can ski at those speeds. And yes, I'm going to run over all of your families and there will be severed body parts everywhere because I always ski out of control and without regard for others.
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I am sure some one would CLOCK you at 60 MPH!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by newfydog I was measuring some XC loops this winter on a day that the satellite configuration gave remarkable accuracy. I reset it to 0, and it right away jumped to 15 meters. Upon closer inspection I realized it was 0.15 meters. I stuck my arm out and back and it jumped to 0.75 meters. A \$99 GPS can detect you moving your arm on a good day.
Dude...but how fast was your arm going? And was it out of control?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 ...you want to go fast, get in a controlled environment, which is either a race or a training course. Doesn't matter whether there's anybody within a country mile or not. One thing you conveniently forgot about is that when you're out cruising outside a race course, there's no B netting or other other safety measures either, so at a minimum, you're risking splattering yourself all over the nearest pine tree. You don't wanna do that, slow down. Your tagline says you're an Epic Ski instructor, which means you're supposed to be a solution to the problem, not another problem.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman The fastests 17-20 year olds and top Western region racers at Mammoth in a downhill on race prepped 210cm + skis in speed suits and in a tuck on race prepped closed course Tops 70MPH.

The invitation to join the organized races is tempting, Skiracer, despite all the extra organization and impingements on my freedom, but I think you can go faster if you make fewer turns, on a steeper pitch.
Still arguing how fast you're going... oy.
Anyway, an older thread on this topic.