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Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

We always talk about brands we like for outdoor wear and equipment, but is there anyone you guys won't buy poo poo from?

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Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Maybe I'll try to write a post about racing soon.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

So let's talk ski racing. First, let's talk world cup circuit. This is some nerd poo poo about world cup skiing, so if you don't like that poo poo save precious minutes by skipping right over this motherfucker.




FIS Ski World Cup 2018/19

Winter is here, and that means so is another world cup season. The first race has already happened in Sölden, in the Tirol. World cup racing is broken down in to four events: slalom, giant slalom, super g and downhill, as well as an overall 'combined' title based on points across all four.

Tech Events

Slalom, SL

What defines the events in world cup ski racing is the radius of the turn required for the skis and the gate set. Slalom races have the shortest skis, that ski the shortest radius, and the gates are closest together. Along with giant slalom, slalom comprises one of two 'tech' events, as opposed to 'speed' events (super g and downhill). The reigning women's world cup champion in slalom is Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, USA). The reigning men's world cup slalom champion is Marcel Hirscher (Salzburg, Austria).

The current regulations for slalom skis are:

Minimum length:
155 cm women
165 men

Minimum width under binding:
63 for both.

No minimum radius (expect around 12-15 metres).

Unlike the other events, the slalom gates hinge fully at the bottom, and have no panel on top, allowing you to knock them entirely out of the way:


Reigning olympic champion Frida Hansdotter

Since the radius of the turn required is short, the athletes take a direct down the hill, trying to keep their bodies in a straight line moving down the hill while reaching their legs out to each side of the gates to get around them and sucking their legs up underneath them in between the gates, illustrated perfectly here the time that Marcel Hirscher almost died:



The successful athletes are usually shorter and more agile than the speed people. Since whacking the poles is a huge part of this sport, athletes in SL also wear helmets with face guards, hand guards around their pole handles so they can punch (cross-block) the gates, and shin protection.

Skiing is blessed at the moment to have two of its greatest ever competing in slalom at the moment: both reigning champs, Hirscher and Shiffrin, are the best in these disciplines by far, possibly the best ever. Hirscher, 29, is currently third all-time in Slalom wins (27) and second overall (58 total wins, Stenmark had 40 slalom wins and 86 total wins). Shiffrin (23!) has 43 total wins overall, including 32(!) in slalom already. Already the 5th winningest woman ever.

Hirscher also has a silver medal in slalom and a gold medal in slalom and combined, and has won the slalom overall world cup title 5 times and the combined title 7 times (every year between now and 2012). Shiffrin has a gold medal in slalom and giant slalom and has won the slalom world cup title 5 times (2013-present) and the overall title twice (2017-2018). They often totally humiliate the entire rest of the field, especially Mikaela (Hirscher has a genuine rival in Henrik Kristoffersen, but he always beats him). Here's Mikaela winning by more than two seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkPu5fcQ6sU These skiers are also who everyone who teaches skiing or who is trying to ski with technical perfection tries to ski like.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cATyi_0MkQA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVgV2SMh4Go

Slalom also does parrallel races and night races, including sometimes in cities. It's cool as gently caress:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99jhqkv5ulw

Giant Slalom, GS

Giant slalom along with downhill is what most people imagine when they think of ski racing. See that race course on your local hill? Probably a GS course. Like to rip big wide carve turns down the courduroy? They're probably closer to a GS turn than any other type of race skiing. The technical leap to GS from SL is really big, and even though GS is a 'tech' event, the equipment and demands are at least as similar to speed events as they are to slalom. The current reigning GS champions are Marcel Hirscher and Viktoria Rebensburg (Tegernsee, DEU).

The equipment requirements are as follows:

Minimum length:
195 cm (men)
188 cm (women)

Minimum width:
65 (both)

Minimum radius:
30 m (men)
30 m (women).

With the radius of the turns required a lot larger (30+metres is a long loving ski turn radius, and 30+ metre skis are basically straight pieces of metal that don't want to turn) the athletes can't try to take as straight of a line down the hill. Instead, they try to focus on adjusting their line and technique to minimise the amount they have to skid and 'stivot' the ski and to maximise the amount of time they can spend just constantly accelerating with the ski, and carving cleanly when they turn. These are considerations in the other events but they're biggest in GS.

What the gently caress is a stivot? Since the gates are set closer than the minimum radius of the turn allows, all GS athletes can't do purely carved turns between the gates in a world cup course. When the course gets tight, they will have to redirect the skis above the gate at least a little before the gate while the skis are in the air and unweighted, and then engage the edges once the skis are already steered to hook up and carve out the bottom of the turn. In really pronounced cases it looks like you're rally drifting around the gate. You can see it here really well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEUWDsQ1LLI

This used to be more of an issue a few years ago but they've dialed the radius back down a bit to allow the athletes to carve more of the course, since everyone loving hates using this technique at every gate. Still, the winner of a GS race is usually the person who can minimise skidding time and maximise hurling their body down the hill at the same time.

GS athletes are the most normally dimensioned human beings on the ski racing circuit, usually being slightly taller than average while also a good combination of strong and agile. A lot of dominant speed racing athletes were good to fair GS athletes when they were young and limber before they got too big and clunky for it: Bode Miller, Aksel Lund Svindal and Hermann Maier all have won GS world cup titles, despite being more famous as downhillers.

The GS field is a bit more open for both sexes. Hirscher is still totally dominant in GS for men (he's won every GS title 2015-2018 and has 5 world cup GS titles), but has more rivals in the forms of Alexis Pinturault and Kristoffersen. Ted Ligety of the USA used to be a dominant athlete in the GS field (he holds 5 titles) but has not been competitive for several seasons owing to injuries and unfavorable equipment changes. The current olympic champion is Marcel Hirscher (Ligety, Pintauralt, and Kristofferson all have medals). On the women's side, there's no clear favourites. Rebensburg is the current champ, but the last 4 seasons have had 4 different champions (Rebensburg, Worley, Brem and Fenninger), and the reigning olympic champion is Mikaela Shiffrin, who's improved in the event with every season. Any one of them could win the GS title this season, or someone else!

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QshNEF4ApmM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl3rEZufSqs

Speed Events

Super G + Downhill (SG and DH)

So, what seperates speed and tech events? Firstly, the equipment at this point becomes preposterous. Nobody would use this equipment to ski recreationally: it's almost impossible to turn and is incredibly heavy and ungainly. The gates are less and less important so long as you don't blow out entirely. Aerodynamics are now a big factor, and so is raw speed, weight, time spent in the air, and, accordingly, balls. These events are much more about racing a whole mountain than racing a course set, with the individual character of each hill coming out way more and certain ones becoming infamous stops. This means you get a different type of athlete. Downhillers are less technical, more brave (or stupid) and much bigger. They're less skiing to ski well and more skiing to survive. The races are long. Speeds range from 70 to up to 100mph, up from the 40's-60's of SL and GS.

Super G equipment requirements call for 205's for women and 210's for men, with a minimum radius of 40 and 45 metres respectively. Downhill calls for 210's for women and 218's for men, with a minimum radius of 50 metres for both, all only 65mm underfoot. These are giant skinny sticks of metal.

What sets the events apart is primarily the length (super G's usually start a little lower down the mountain), and Super G still has gates, though people don't adjust their line nearly as much do them as they do in GS, as well as the equipment.

At such high speeds these races are typically decided by two things: how aerodynamic you can be, and if you're strong and brave enough to risk taking a straighter line at huge speeds and then risk managing the forces that come from putting the skis sideways suddenly at 80 mph. Wherever they can, the racers get in to a tight tuck to minimise drag, and try to keep their chest down to prevent it from windstopping - but it's very hard to turn from that position, so moving between the positions is important and constant. Jumping is also a factor: jumps in downhill races can exceed 100ft in distance, and poor execution can be disastrous:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvOs-_y7RCI

The current world cup champion on the women's side for Super G is Tina Weirather (Liechtensten), who has 2 championships, as does Lara Gut of Switzerland. Lindsey Vonn (also of Vail, USA) has 5 super G titles. The current olympic champion is Ester Ledecka, who famously is primarily a snowboard racer but won gold from a lovely start order on borrowed skis and then didn't really believe it when it happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW-IG7Uf7bY. The people on the podium expected the race to be already over. She also won a snowboarding gold. Admittedly the wind being so high and the equipment she was able to borrow played a huge factor, but it's still both good and hilarious.

As for Downhill, Sofia Goggia (Bergamo, ITA) is the reigning DH champ, though she's going to miss the start of the season through injury. However, Lindsey Vonn has 8 DH world cup titles, 43 DH race wins to add to her 28 SG wins, and won 6 DH titles in a row 2008-2013, last winning in 2016. She has, since then, been beset by injuries, but fully fit massively outclasses the entire field both technically and especially physically (the women's field is generally quite small and Lindsey Vonn is a is physically gifted and also happens to be 5'11 and 160 lbs, which is tall and heavy for the field where the current champion is 5'7 and 147lbs, and where strength and weight are an advantage). Vonn is the second winningest champion of either sex ever, and will be attempting to break Ingemar Stenmark's win record this season before she retires. She has 82 wins. She needs 86. She's injured as gently caress and 34 years old. It's going to be really tight for her to pull out the record this season before she's done, but it's possible if she can avoid injuries. Goggia is a good friend of hers, and the reigning olympic champion and next best, but nobody in the women's speed events is close to Lindsey Vonn's old level. We're waiting for a new generation of superstars to develop here.

Also of note is child prodigy Mikaela Shiffrin has won races in all 4 disciplines, and is getting better in speed every year. She already wins enough tech events to win the overall combined title, but watch this space on if she can become a regular podium finisher in speed.

The current men's world cup champion in SG is Kjetil Jansrud (Stavanger, NOR), who holds 4 titles, including 3 of the last 2 and has 11 SG wins and 8 DH wins. He's the current dominant performer, though the field is competitive. The olympic champion is Matthias Mayer. At this point Super G belongs to Norweigian athletes, who have won every world cup season in it since 2012, and 9 since 2006. Aksel Lund Svindal(Lørenskog, NOR) has 5 of those titles and 16 super G wins, and is an all time great speed athlete, the last of the great generation of speed racers he grew up with (along with Bode Miller, Didier Cuche, Hannes Reichelt and Michael Walchofer) to still be racing at age 35. He's primarily a Downhiller these days though, but would be a real combined championship contender if he could remain uninjured.

The current DH world cup champion is Beat Feuz (Schangnau, SUI), with the other recent holders as Peter Fill, Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal. Aksel Lund Svindal is also the current olympic champ. We're basically watching Svindal and Jansrud, who are at the tail end of their careers, clean up the speed field while new stars try to break through. Svindal is the best downhiller on the circuit when he's fit, but when he's out the field is open among a few guys who don't really have all-star potential. There isn't really a great up and coming young speed field for guys right now, just the olds trying to squeeze a last few out.

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBdC_apzo54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ_Mivy4Fc8

By the way, in case any of you think I'm over emphasising the importance of body types in these events:

Marcel Hirscher is in the middle. Aksel Lund Svindal is on the left.

Overall/Combined/Super Combi

FIS hands out a combined title to the winningest athlete across the four disciplines every season. Hirscher has won every year, seven total, since 2011-12. Shiffrin has won the last 2, and Vonn has 4, with Fenninger on 2, and Gut and Maze on 1. Shiffrin essentially have the overall titles on lockdown because they control the tech disciplines, and Shiffrin is a little competitive in speed as well. Historically these titles have generally been won by tech athletes because of lower injury risk and bigger skill elements involved in the victories (they had to change the rules in the 70's because Stenmark won every slalom and it made it impossible for anyone else to win).

There are also super combined events where in one day the athletes will run a speed event and a slalom and get an overall time. Sometimes a good all rounder can win, sometimes a specialist can scratch enough time out in one event and hold on in the other. The current men's gold medalist in combined is Hirscher, who won it on slalom times, but there's a truly great French skier, Alexis Pinturault, who is close on his heels as a good all rounder. Bode Miller and Ted Ligety have won olympic golds in this too, with Bode beating Svindal in Vancouver, whose ponderous rear end can't slalom to save his loving life.

The reigning womens combined olympic champ is Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, but Shiffrin got silver in Pyeongchang and was probably unlucky not to get the gold after an uncharacteristic mistake in slalom. Vonn has never got close to this title, probably on account of sucking at tech events.

2018/19 Season

The season got underway this weekend in Sölden. The women raced GS, and the men got snowed off and couldn't run. Tessa Worley (FRA) won, with Federica Brignone (ITA) in second and Shiffrin in third. The next event will be slalom in Levi in Finland on the 17th and 18th, where the winning racer wins a Reindeer and gets to name it. Shiffrin and Hirscher have named several.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/11/16/sport/alpine-skiing-world-cup-slalom-levi-finland-reindeer/index.html

TL:DR Watch racing it owns.

Disinterested fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Oct 28, 2018

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

HookShot posted:

Also, the funnest event to watch from a spectator's perspective is definitely the combined events, because there is nothing funnier than watching downhillers absolutely fail at skiing slalom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z1iTWfzhqY#t=395s

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

HookShot posted:

I love the huge number of desperation pole plants he makes here. Like, most races, good slalom skiers will make zero or one, there's like four turns in a row where Bode's just like "fuuuuuuck a hard plant is the only way I'm gonna make this next turn" ahahaha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqTJ1PPlZ9c#t=73s

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

It's pretty absurd how much better Hirscher and Shiffrin are than the field. Albeit Kristoffersen is good.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Svindal is the poo poo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cty1l9kWAOc

Also a pretty good all round skier.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I'm willing to say Smartwool suck now that they're leaving Steamboat.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

CO is way ahead on snowpack as of now. Breck now opening Weds. I'm at A-bay tomorrow.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Yay and WC like Hookshot says. I use the stock head raptor strap but it's pretty similar poo poo.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Getting 3 or so days in Breck and another 3 in Loveland this next week with work. Hoping it stays cold.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Breck was amazing for this time of year. Skied off piste in mid November, albeit in avalanche debris.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I didn't but I hear from one of their old timers that the new gondy timeline is Christmas-ish.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

In a shocking outcome, Shiffrin smashed the women's field and Hirscher pipped Kristoffersen to win the first slalom of the season in Levi.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Bilirubin posted:

Got my passes sorted for Lake Louise and Sunshine, now to find a cheap pair of rock skis

What are you looking for

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Ola posted:

I was a bit surprised there were that many, so I figured there would be quite a few of them from the earlier years. But no, looks like the earliest starting career (not sure if she was the first to get all five) was Pernilla Wiberg. One from the earlier years, Moser-Pröll had all four before Super-G. And now Shiffrin has all six, after parallel slalom!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIS_Alpine_Ski_World_Cup#Most_successful_race_winners

Most really good racer kids train all events to some degree, and when you come on to the circuit young you're normally smaller and more agile. Lindsey Vonn has 2 Slalom wins.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

movax posted:

touché

I'm a skiing noob and my current question is wondering how normal people afford to do this all the time. Everything seems obnoxiously expensive.

The way people with a median or lower salary afford skiing is either by skiing somewhere relatively inexpensive (say, A-Basin), bending all their savings dollars towards it, or by working for a mountain.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

big crush on Chad OMG posted:

30 runs in today at Steamboat. Great skiing.

Yeah it's fair to say we are close to best ever shape for this time of year.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

RC Cola posted:

Why is the thread title gently caress Vail? I just went for the first time in 10 years today. It was pretty great.
PS, any Goons ever want to meet up some weekend and ski/snowboard?
Disclaimer. I'm from the Midwest and am not the best skier.

Nobody says gently caress Vail because the mountain sucks, because it doesn't. It's a good mountain. Vail Resorts the company, however...

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Razzled posted:

What would I expect to get out of an intermediate level lesson? I've been thinking of taking one to maybe correct whatever bad habits I have picked up in the course of self-tutelage but I don't even know what I'd expect to get out of it.

That said, how are lessons @ Copper? Headed to summit county on thursday!

Could be a lot of stuff. Most likely it will be something about trying to stabilise your upper body to allow the legs to work underneath, moving to the centre of the ski, or trying to stand better on the outside one.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

North of two feet in a day in Steamboat. Pretty wild times.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I ski in a race boot all day every day for everything and I get numbness on a mildly cold day. I routinely open every buckle and the strap for lifts in that situation. I wear ultra thins, and there's a fair amount of customisation going on inside the boot for me. I have heaters.

I have heard of people not wearing a sock to try to make a very tight boot viable, and it is a thing people can do until the liner gets packed more. The issue is the liner will become disgusting in short order. Better off heating the liner and wearing the boot with your foot in it indoors to try to pack it faster; no sock in a boot is not a long term solution because you'll just ruin your liner.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

knox_harrington posted:

$800 is crazy.

The peak season private window price at Vail is 1100 for all day privates.

I also ski in a patagonia powder bowl jacket.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

It's ridiculous how good it is right now. loving ridiculous.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?


Yeah, so long to her. So broken she couldn't finish a race without pain this season. It's a shame she'll never get the record, but she's the winningest woman ever, and it's harder in Downhill than Slalom like Stenmark. Shiffrin will almost certainly break the record anyway, since she's already at 55 or 56.

Hirscher has a new competitor on the men's side - a 21 year old French slalom skier who's 6'3! Which is gigantic for a slalom athlete.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH5tBDvg9FQ

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

ShaneB posted:

I skied. It was fun enough. My instructor kinda sucked. Any advice for videos or books or whatever to learn from between now and the next time I go? My wife and I have two half day lessons left in the sequence.

Just say you want a different instructor, preferably someone fully certified.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I skied an improbably good late season bc lap the other day up here. It was unplanned though so I was on race equipment. Can't necessarily recommend that.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

The Dakine 'soft' bags own, I've borrowed them. They're actually pretty rugged and burly. The hard tubes are dumb.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Also I have six pairs of skis in my room because I can't be bothered to walk to a storage locker.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Caught some turns at Highlands today before it closed, and at A-Basin. A-basin is really holding up.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

spwrozek posted:

Frisco or Dillon. Being able to walk to good and drink is nice. I an usually in Dillon. Arapahoe case is great, pugs is not bad. Best brewery is outer range in Dillon though.

Outer Range is terrific.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Eejit posted:

Alternatively, go with a soft boot ski setup

https://www.apexskiboots.com/

Ski hard, walk easy

These things are definitely the loving worst.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Also, I was recently in Mammoth and it skied awesomely. And I saw Mikaela Shiffrin to boot.

Smaller than she looks.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I use https://www.grasssticks.com/ which are a similar idea.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

gently caress Vail.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Moot .1415926535 posted:

Thank goodness the realtors are gonna be alright in ski towns

Everyone in a ski town is a realtor

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Better Ikon than Epic, otoh, why does everything need to be run by two companies?

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

spwrozek posted:

I would guess you are right and I don't have any stats but when ikon came out I would say over 60% of my ride group switched. Two years ago lines seemed shorter at the epic resorts, last year I was mostly broken but really no lines in the 25 days I did ride at epic resorts.

Epic pass sales went up last season hugely. Whether that's from Denverites I guess it's harder to know.

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Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

I've skied Breck in early November before regular open the last few seasons and it's been a death ribbon opened only by snow guns the majority of the time. But last year was good.

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