Alpine Ski Racing Equipment v. Cycling Equipment & Training Techniques

Are they that different versus SL and GS racing skis from the 90s?

Much different. In the 90s they didn’t have as much sidecut and depended on length and flex to create the curvature of the turning radius so they were flexy.

When “shape skis” arrived with better materials and construction, the turning radius was built into the ski sidecut so they could be stiffer, especially torsionally and they got shorter as well. Like a bike, stiffer skis transfer energy better, so they turn better and faster, more carve, less slide and chatter. The result however is that you need keep forward on them or the sidecut and flexed ski can rebound and kick you like a catapult


About five years ago I rented a pair of Volkl GS race skis and they seemed to chatter more at speed than my older Rossi 7G (210s). But I’m heavier and have 30+ years of muscle memory. Going to rent some race skis this season and check it out again. I’m feeling kinda blah about my current skis.

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If you’re on a smaller mountain, I really recommend SL skis - they make you work, and will turn a small hill into a major workout. GS skis need a lot of room (and few other skiers) to really give their potential. And modern FIS GS skis have 35m turn radius - no wonder they are pivoting and skidding all over the courses.

Try to find the local club(s) and buy used, it really makes these totally unaffordable skis more reasonable. Don’t skimp on the boots. Get fitted.

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I usually ski at Squaw Valley and it’s a bigger mountain with a lot of fast groomed runs and interesting steep stuff off Olympic Lady and KT-22.

Contrary to the oldies but goodies 210s, the new ones really need to be kept on the edges all the time. The old method of letting the skis float when tracking straight does not work at all. Even SL skis track to incredible speeds, as long as you always keep them on edges.


Like this?

Photo by Erick W. Rasco (Sports Illustrated volume 131 no. 2)

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What kind of crazy corporate ski team requires FIS approved equipment? That doesn’t even sound right I’d doublecheck. And then get the masters GS ski from your preferred brand for GS.