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Affects of new ski regs. on technique

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this post belongs here or in coaching but does anyone have any thoughts on any technique differences we might be able to observe due to the affects of longer ski lengths and larger turn radius rules in speed events? Back to a little more outside ski weight bias maybe?
post #2 of 11
Which rules are you refering to, and which year of the change?
post #3 of 11
Assuming you mean going up to >27m radius for GS, etc.

Higher, earlier lines and changes in course setting, I suspect, for starters.
post #4 of 11

Not necessarily...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1 View Post
Assuming you mean going up to >27m radius for GS, etc.

Higher, earlier lines and changes in course setting, I suspect, for starters.
...sidecut is only one factor. The FIS, in its infinite wisdom, made the rules >25 for the 2006-2007 season, then changed to >27 last season. There's a learning curve going from something like a 19 meter sidecut ski to a 25 meter sidecut ski, but once you get the differences wired, you can still take a pretty tight line. As for the difference between 25 and 27, it's miniscule to start with, and what the manufacturers did was tweak the other parameters (flex, and so forth) so that the transition from 25 to 27 isn't, well, much of transition...which is the way they wanted it for their athletes.

I think the original question got into the new regs for speed events. Even before the new regs, speed skis were heading in the direction of shorter/wider/more sidecut/different flex pattern. For example, a 204 Atomic Super G from the 2002 era isn't even vaguely like a 2008 Atomic Super G in a 205 length. Today's skis are better. They hook up easier, make an arc like a big GS turn, if you want it, and are just as stable, and, because bases get faster all the time, glide even better...
post #5 of 11
I think someone should donate 4 pairs of SG skis to me (years 2004-2008) so that I can test and report on all my findings.
post #6 of 11

I have 5 pairs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptoboy View Post
I think someone should donate 4 pairs of SG skis to me (years 2004-2008) so that I can test and report on all my findings.
...will that work?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Is anyone finding they are not getting the chance to wear out their gear before the rules change and they have to get new gear? Just a thought. Thanks for the interesting replies to what was, on reflection, a pretty grey question. I guess I was intrigued more by the increasing turn radii and the "straightening" of the skis. I had not really thought much about the changes in flex patterns which go along with the sidecut changes. If the changes don't really amount to anything significant I just find myself wondering why the FIS makes such seemingly regular tweaks? Was this ever a concern pre shaped skis?
post #8 of 11
3 thoughts:
a) circa 99-01, every jr race had a huge crash when a kid showed up on 170 super shaped ski (the crazy 125-60-115 that are no longer made, esp w/ huge tail) & thought he was the next Bode.

b) new technology (early tip bite, less torsion flop, plates) = skis w/ less sidecut turn better & w less tossional slop & do it faster

c) yes it is getting somewhat old.......many of us no have skis we can not give away
post #9 of 11
+1 to that!!

I saw some horrible crashes around 2001-3 in SG races with J3's in particular {without much speed training} skiing on longer {for them} GS skis with a lot of shape, rather than "true" speed skis. They'd hook up so fast that you'd see kids blowing right through panels, etc. Scary.

About the only skis that have not changed a great deal IMO are DH skis. But even there, there have been mandated changes in length, width, standheight, etc. Still, there are older DH skis that are still in service even at the highest levels. They are often re-skinned to look new, but the ski itself has some age.

What has surprised me are the incredible number of variations of skis even among a single manufacturer, for something like a men's GS ski at the WC level. One of our friends, who's been on the USST, spent a few days with us last winter. He had 3-4 pairs of GS skis with him. Top sheets were identical, all marked with the same length and radius. They actually ranged in length from about a 192 to 195, and the shape of each was quite different. I'm sure that they all met the minimum requirements. At his level, they use the exact weapon for the surface, course set, etc. They'll change to a different ski for the second run if the set's much different. The techs at level {who had even more of his skis} sure are busy. And the skiers are so dialed in that they really do feel the differences.

My sense is that there may be less variation on SL skis. But I think there is a lot in SG skis as well. And as SR55 mentions, the SG skis of today continue to evolve quickly. I would keep asking my son why he'd have a couple of new pairs of SG skis every season, when at least one of his older pairs from a couple of seasons ago were proven to run fast. His comment, like clockwork, was that the new skis {with minimal skiing-in, etc.} ran just as fast, but "skied better." I agree 100% that the SG ski of 6-8 years ago looked a lot more like a shorter DH ski than does a current SG ski.

As far as technique, that's by me. Constant tweaking and change. I lost pace shortly after the demise of bamboo.
post #10 of 11

What he said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
+1 to that!!

I saw some horrible crashes around 2001-3 in SG races with J3's in particular {without much speed training} skiing on longer {for them} GS skis with a lot of shape, rather than "true" speed skis. They'd hook up so fast that you'd see kids blowing right through panels, etc. Scary.

About the only skis that have not changed a great deal IMO are DH skis. But even there, there have been mandated changes in length, width, standheight, etc. Still, there are older DH skis that are still in service even at the highest levels. They are often re-skinned to look new, but the ski itself has some age.

What has surprised me are the incredible number of variations of skis even among a single manufacturer, for something like a men's GS ski at the WC level. One of our friends, who's been on the USST, spent a few days with us last winter. He had 3-4 pairs of GS skis with him. Top sheets were identical, all marked with the same length and radius. They actually ranged in length from about a 192 to 195, and the shape of each was quite different. I'm sure that they all met the minimum requirements. At his level, they use the exact weapon for the surface, course set, etc. They'll change to a different ski for the second run if the set's much different. The techs at level {who had even more of his skis} sure are busy. And the skiers are so dialed in that they really do feel the differences.

My sense is that there may be less variation on SL skis. But I think there is a lot in SG skis as well. And as SR55 mentions, the SG skis of today continue to evolve quickly. I would keep asking my son why he'd have a couple of new pairs of SG skis every season, when at least one of his older pairs from a couple of seasons ago were proven to run fast. His comment, like clockwork, was that the new skis {with minimal skiing-in, etc.} ran just as fast, but "skied better." I agree 100% that the SG ski of 6-8 years ago looked a lot more like a shorter DH ski than does a current SG ski.

As far as technique, that's by me. Constant tweaking and change. I lost pace shortly after the demise of bamboo.
...excellent commentary on and explanation of the rule changes. The "skied better" thing has a fair amount of credence (sorry, dad). As I said, there's a huge difference between the 204 Atomic SGs from 2002 (I had two pairs I just gave away) and the 2006 and beyond Atomic SGs in a 204 length, which hook up easier, are easier to finesse through a turn, are actually more stable (they're wider), and have much faster bases.

Has technique changed? Yes and no. A bunch of years ago, when the WC guys were all big guys who could go straight really fast (Ortlieb, for example) there were people skiing on 230s and even 235s for DH. Then course sets started changing (even the Lauberhorn threw in some more turns in the middle part of the course), and the guys who could glide and turn started winning races. For example, Bode. Last year a the Beaver Creek Men's DH, down below the Brink, there's a fallaway left-footed turn that you had to nail in order to keep your speed and line going into the big right footed turn below the Super G start. Bode crushed that turn like he was in a GS, whereas the Austrians skied really round, and Bode was almost a full second up on the field by the time he came out of the right footer below the Super G start.

But speed events are still speed events. I wrote this several years back, but I think it still applies:

http://www.rmmskiracing.org/articles...1-Speed101.pdf
post #11 of 11
Thanks. Good stuff. Very insightful.

I agree that the "skied better" is absolutely for real. At this point, I just know my limitations in terms of understanding the details! Somebody reminded me that my job as a dad was to dispense hugs, smiles, and write checks. Very true. I also agree that the bases are getting better and faster. What my son has found is that a newer pair of skis, skied in a few runs over a few days, put through a good hot box cycle, with a good grind usually times faster than some well known screaming fast skis of 5-6 years ago. And they keep getting faster for a while with the right combo of waxing, brushing and gentle skiing. Then they settle in. The skis keep getting better. I have the same BSL as he does, and I took a "ride" on a pair of his SG's last year. 210's. Amazed at how easily they turned, once they were up a bit in speed. Necessary with today's course sets, evidently.

As a fan of the sport, I like the DH changes as I think that the combination of skills needed for most WC courses brings out the best skiing. Too bad we can't expose more could-be fans to it!!
Subject for another thread.
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