Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giant slalom ski rule change

It was hard taking pictures last weekend in British Columbia as it was overcast most of the time we were there. Hree is a picture I took of the call colors near Wasa B.C. just outside of Cranbrook. Panorama is getting some snow though.

Well I'm looking forward to skiing as winter nears. And I've got a hot pair of Volkl race skis to do the recreational racing with. Now they've changed the rules on giant slalom for the world cup so that GS skis have to have a long radius side cut. But I got some new old stock women's world cup skis that have the shorter radius that used to be allowed for men. Without going into the whole legacy of rule changes that have taken place lately, these women's world cup race stock skis are fully powerful and still have the shorter radius racers like. Of course I could buy some "cheater" race skis but they aren't powerful like the "race stock" skis are.

Bodie Miller spoke out about the rule change that bumped the radius of GS skis up from the 20m range to the mid 30m range. He said that he wasn't out to win over another racer, he just wanted to ski as well has he could and the new rules for GS ski radius don't allow that. It will force everyone to skid turns instead of carving clean turns, and that's a step backwards. He went on to say he could go to the ski shop and buy recreational skis that he could ski on better than the World Cup skis Head could provid him with. And that's really sad.

For someone like me at the bottom of the ski racing food chain it just means, yes I can still get cheater skis, but I can't get powerful race skis that will carve well. So the rule change to Giant Slalom skis sucks all the way around. Going to have to hang on to all of those old race skis..


Jules said...

That's a beautiful photo, HB.

I think i need more of an explanation to fully understand the changes made to the ski rules. I know you're not fond of the idea of getting cheater skis though. You told me that last year. Seems odd for a sport to make a backwards turn instead of advancing and progressing.

don said...

The rules change made the minumum turning radius in GS go from 27m (which was a recent increase from 21M) then up to the mid 40m radius, which was totally unreasonable and pretty much going back to straight skis instead of the "new" shaped skis. So everyone would have to ski like they did back in the 1980s and that's no fun, because you can't make rail road track powerful turns on straight skis. You can't carve nice clean turns you have to skid and nobody wants to do that.

So they dropped it down to mid 30s radius but that still sucks because all of the people racing now grew up on the short radius shaped skis. It's just stupid.

Cheater skis have a short radius, even shorter than 21m, but they aren't built as strong as the real race skis, so they don't grip as well and even though they are easier to carve with they aren't as powerful, won't hold on ice, and so they are much less rewarding to ski on.

I'll never be a great ski racer or anything, but like Bodie I want to ski as well as I can, and it's really fun to ski on a really powerful ski. When you get used to really good skis it really sucks to have them taken away because you really can't ski your best.