Major changes to the GS radius and ski length requirements are in place for U19’s and U16’s. These 2017-18 Alpine Equipment Regulations were approved in May 2017 at the FIS/USSA Spring Congress.
2017-18 U21, U19, U16, U14 USSA RULES FOR GS:
The new 2017-18 USSA GS rules are deregulated. What this means is that USSA rules for GS require skis 17 meters or greater in radius, with no ski length requirement. What this means is that for GS, any appropriate length ski for an athlete’s development with a radius over 17 meters is legal for all GS racing in the United States.
This is a big departure from the 2016-17 regulations that required women to be on skis greater than 25 meter and men to ski 30 meter or greater skis. With the new rules you should keep in mind that when choosing skis, you should pick the skis with the length and radius most appropriate for the individual athlete’s ability level.
2017-18 U21 and U19 FIS GS RULES:
The new 2017-18 FIS rules governing ski radius and length dictate 193cm (+/- 5cm) (>30 m radius) skis for men, and 188cm (+/- 5cm) (>30 m radius) skis for ladies. These sizes are required to compete in FIS races for athletes U19 and older.
2017-18 U16 and U14 FIS GS RULES:
For younger FIS athletes, the new 2017-18 rules dictate 188cm max (+/- 1cm) length skis with a 17 meter or greater radius for both ladies and men.
Stand height (ski+plate+binding) for all FIS athletes remains at 50mm maximum. There is no standing height rule for USSA athletes. We expect the boot height requirement to remain at 43mm – from the boot sole to the top of the footbed.
Click HERE to compare the new rules to last year’s rules.
Click this link below to print out a copy of the complete 2017-18 Alpine Equipment Regulations.
For the 2016-17 ski race season there have been some updates to the ski rules that affect USSA and FIS racers.
For FIS U19 and older athletes, the ski regulations have stayed the same with GS – requiring 183cm or longer 30m radius skis for women, and for men 190cm or longer 35m radius skis. Super G regulations have stayed the same – women 200cm or longer with a 40m or greater radius, and for men 205cm or longer with a 45m or greater radius. NOTE: For 2017-18 the Men’s GS regulations will change to skis that have a radius of greater than 30m.
USSA rules for 2016-17 have had the most change, moving USSA GS regulations more in line with the coming FIS regulations of next year.
USSA U19 Women: GS skis will need to be greater than 25m radius with the proper sticker on the skis. There are no length restrictions or requirements. What this means is that the Head 181, Fischer 183, Dynastar 182, Nordica 184, Blizzard 184, Atomic 187, Rossignol 182 and Volkl 183 will the the first sizes that will be legal for U19 USSA GS female athletes.
USSA U19 Men: GS skis will need to be greater than 30m radius with the proper sticker on the skis. There are no length restrictions or requirements. So the Head 183 or 188, Fischer 188, Dynastar 183 or 188, Nordica 183 or 188, Blizzard 183 or 188, Rossignol 183 or 188 and Volkl 183 or 188 will be the first sizes that will be legal for U19 USSA GS men. These skis are the FIS women’s lengths, so used skis should be available in these sizes if needed. When buying used skis, make sure they are stickered >30m radius.
U19 Men and Women: Super G skis will need to be 200cm or longer with a 40m radius. If you are purchasing used skis, make certain that they are stickered at greater than 40m.
U19 Men and Women: Rules for SL skis are unchanged – 155cm or longer for both men and women.
U16 Men and Women: Rules have stayed the same for GS and SL. GS skis must be greater than 17m which means that just about all JR GS skis 156cm and longer will comply. SL skis need to be 130cm or longer.
U16 Men and Women: There has been a change to the Super G regulations. All JR SG skis for both men and women need to be 183cm or longer with a 30m or greater radius. The skis must be stickered with these specs.
U14 Boys and Girls: Rules have stayed the same except that all GS skis must be at 17m or greater radius. This means that the Atomic 151, Blizzard 156, Dynastar 158, Fischer 155, Head 152, Nordica 156, Rossignol 158 and Volkl 156 are the smallest GS ski sizes that will be legal.
The chart below outlines the current season’s rules. That staff at Peak Performance will be happy to assist you with questions you have regarding the 2016-17 changes, and make sure that your athlete gets to the starting gate with the right equipment under their feet.
Good goggles are of utmost importance to both ski racers and recreational skiers. We have been watching the progression of goggle choices by world cup racers this season. You will notice that there has been a steady upwards trend of racers for the last couple of years who are now choosing goggles with the finest optics, (and double lenses) over the more traditional “single lens” race goggles of old. Most racers know that the single lens goggle was used to reduce the distortion that double lens goggles used to have. Well times have changed, and double lens goggles are now available from all of the major brands that have distortion free lenses. And with a double lens, you avoid all of the fogging issues that single lens goggles have.
Goggle size is also something else that has changed drastically. Being able to see well and having ski boots that fit perfectly are in our opinion the two most important things to concentrate on when you are outfitting a skier. Goggles have gotten bigger for a good reason – you can see more stuff with a bigger goggle. Frameless goggles provide great peripheral vision, and semi-frameless ones give you great vision, with a little more sturdiness in the frame. Say “No!” to tiny goggles and you will end up being a happier skier.
When choosing a goggle, you should always ensure that it has a seamless fit with your helmet. If you are purchasing both a new helmet and new goggles, start with the helmet, then find goggles that work with it. The Visual (aka Variable) Light Transmission (VLT) factor of the lens is an important consideration. A VLT rating of 42% means that 42% of the light will actually get through the lens to your eyes. If you ski mostly on the the east coast of the United States, a VLT in the range of 45-80% is where you should start looking. Skiers at higher altitudes in the western US, Canada, Europe and the southern hemisphere may need goggle lenses with a VLT number in the 10-30% range. On a snowy day, everybody needs goggles with a high VLT. Glare is reduced by mirrored coatings on the lenses – and mirrored coatings are available in a variety of thicknesses and colors.
Peak Performance Ski Shop carries goggles by Oakley, Smith, POC, Shred, Uvex, Briko, Scott and Bollé. Each company has worked hard to improve their optics and also helmet compatibility. Oakley has invented Prizm™ technology to increase contrast on snow, Shred’s NODISTORTION™ technology reduces distortion due to elevation changes. The liquid cast NXT™ option from Shred is used by the US Air Force. POC has recently partnered with Zeiss Optics to provide crystal clear vision and better quality lenses. Uvex stands for “ultraviolet-excluded.” Their lenses provide 100% filtration of UVA/UVB/UVC rays. Their decentered lens technology reduces edge distortion. These are just some of the examples of the technologies built into your goggle that you may not be aware of.
It is important to remember that lens choice is a very personal thing, and that everyone’s eyes are different. What works for your friend may not work for you – for a variety of reasons!
It’s that time of year – where the race suits are getting heavy use, and the race suit owners are worried about whether the suit will make it until the end of the season.
Ski race suits are constructed with fabrics that are very stretchy, and susceptible to damage. The biggest culprit is Velcro – which can rub the suits and cause them to pill and run.
We recommend that you keep your race suit in its own compartment of your gear bag – away from any shin and arm guards with Velcro straps. If your bag doesn’t have a separate compartment, just put the suit in a separate cloth bag before you stuff it in your gear bag.
Machine wash your suit in cool water with perfume and dye-free detergent. Use the “gentle” or “delicates” setting on your washer. Hang to dry. We do not recommend dry cleaning your alpine race suit.
Don’t forget that Peak Performance offers race suits by Spyder, Arctica and Sync. Click HERE to see what suits we have in stock, or give us a call at (802) 422-9447.
You have taken the time to insure that you or your child has the proper race skis to give them the best shot at a successful ski racing season, but what do you do about tuning? Forget what some ski company rep or even your coach has told you – from the factory every new race ski needs prep work before racing. Some companies prepare skis to a higher standard than others. We check every single race ski that we sell. This is what we have found:
Junior Race Skis come from the factory at a 1 degree base bevel and the side angle listed on the chart above, except Fischer Jr race skis— which come at .5 degree base angle for SL skis, .7 degree base angle for GS skis and 3 degree side angle for both.
Universally, Ski Company Race Departments and Peak Performance Ski Shop recommendations for base angles on race skis for advanced to high level racers (USSA and FIS) is:
SL Skis: .5—.7 degree base, 3 degree side
GS Skis: .7 degree base, 3 degree side
Super G Skis: 1 degree base, 3 degree side
To reduce base bevel on skis from the factory setting requires grinding the base to flatten the ski. At Peak Ski Shop, once the ski base is flat we install a race specific event structure to the ski and set the base edge angle so that your ski is ready to race.
Peak Performance Ski Shop has 3 levels of service that is applicable for previously used or new race ski prep:
Premium Race Prep involves removing sidewall, installing 3 degree side angle and checking and polishing the base angle that the ski came from the factory with, and waxing the ski. This is used for most (U12 and younger) junior race skis and some adult skis where changing the base angle from the factory setting is not needed.
Elite Race Prep is used when we are reducing the base bevel of the skis. This is the minimum prep required to reduce base bevel. We remove sidewall, refinish the base, install event specific structure, install the correct base angle, install 3 degree side angle and one coat of wax. This is used for adult and junior race skis where we are changing the base angle and installing an event specific race grind.
World Cup Race Prep is our highest level of race ski tuning. We remove sidewall, refinish the base and install event specific structure, install correct base angle, install 3 degree side angle, sand sidewalls, shape top sheet on tips and tails and apply one coat of wax. World Cup Race Ski Prep is our most advanced race ski preparation. This is used for race skis that require a specialized ski prep that will allow the ski to glide and edge to its maximum ability. This prep contains all the steps of the Elite Race Ski Prep with the addition of sanding the sidewalls smooth and shaping of the tips and tails of the skis.
Once the new race ski prep is done to the base and sides, we offer 1 to 3 Hot Box cycles for SL, GS and speed event skis to further ensure your race skis are sliding on snow their best.
Give your ski racer all the tools they need to do the job right. Invest a small amount of money in new race ski prep and then follow-up with routine maintenance throughout the season to insure those new race skis ski their best from the day you buy them until you move them on to a new owner.
What does the manufacture date on a race ski helmet have to do with the new USSA helmet rule for U14 racers?
Although there is a new USSA helmet rule for the 2015-16 season that effects U14 racers, it is not a completely new rule. The rule officially originated in 2012-13 as a FIS rule for FIS World Cup athletes for GS, SG and DH races and was called FIS RH 2013. In 2013-14 the rule was adopted for all FIS athletes. For the 2014-15 season this rule was recommended for all USSA U14 and older racers and enforced for U16 and U18 racers in some areas of the country. As of the 2015-16 season the FIS RH 2013 rule has now been officially adopted by the USSA for all U14 and older racers. Helmets that are compliant with the current USSA and FIS rules have been in manufacture since 2013.
This is a current season helmet that bears the FIS RH 2013 sticker and shows a date of manufacture of 10/2013. Manufacture date means nothing with relation to the rules. What matters is that the helmet has the RH 2013 hologram – this is how you know that it meets the current ski racing rules. This is what the sticker looks like that indicates the helmet meets the current ski racing requirements.
Most current helmets on the market meet the FIS RH 2013 rules, but there are still some that do not. Make sure that there is a FIS RH 2013 sticker on the helmet before you make a purchase. At Peak Performance Ski Shop we carry the following helmets that meet the FIS RH 2013 standards:
So don’t worry about the manufacture date on the helmet, just look for the FIS RH 2013 sticker. For more information on the helmet rules for ski racing, please read our blog post: USSA Ski Racing Helmet Rules for 2015-16
You try to cram your ski boots and all of your ski gear into one single bag per person to make the daily trekking to the mountain that you do in winter as easy as possible. Ski boots? check. Extra gloves? check. Helmet and goggles? check. Extra mid-layer/insulator and/or vest? check. Socks to wear and extra socks? check. And if you or your child are a ski racer, there needs to be room in the bag for a back protector, shin guards, arm guards, maybe an extra goggle and a SL helmet and GS helmet. By the time you get everything in the boot bag that needs to be hauled to the mountain, no one can even lift it!
Backpack style bags are best
There are many ski boot bags out there, some bigger than others, some better than others, but a lot that are really quite similar. We feel the most practical and viable – and therefore the best ski boot bags are backpack style bags. They make it easy to carry large volumes of gear and skis at the same time.
When purchasing a ski boot bag sometimes the decision on which bag boils down to the bag with the largest volume, sometimes it’s the print or color, sometimes it’s the pockets and organization, sometimes it’s the price…and sometimes it’s just whatever is left in stock at the time you need one.
Size does matter
More often then not, size is the most important factor when purchasing a ski boot bag. At Peak Performance Ski Shop, the bags we feel are the best ski boot bags are the: Athalon Everything Boot Bag, Swix Tri-Pack, Lo-Pro Tri-Pack and Tri-Pack Team Bags, Transpack XT1 and XT Pro, the Hot Gear Pro Bag, the Lange Racer Gear Bag and Pro Boot Bag, the Rossignol Hero Athlete Bag and Hero Boot Back Pack,and the Head Racing Backpack. We’ve put together some ski boot bag size information that will help to make your purchasing decision easier. Here’s how the ski boot bags we carry compare to each other:
There is no single ‘best ski boot bag’. The best ski boot bag is the boot bag that is of a quality that will hold up to several seasons of abuse, large enough to fit all the gear year want to carry, yet small enough that you (or your child) can still lift it!
Now is the time to buy a ski boot bag, while selection is best. Check out peakskishop.com for the best selection of ski boot bags and buy your boot bag now.
Ski race suits are often called speed suits or GS suits. The purpose of the ski race suit is part clothing, part equipment. The ski racer wears a race suit instead of multiple layers of clothing and a jacket and pants. The ski race suit provides protection from the elements and performance enhancement. A properly fitting ski race suit allows for the wide range of unrestricted movement that is necessary for the dynamics of ski racing. Ski race suits allow the ski racer to be more aerodynamic, which makes them ski faster.
There are two types of suits for ski racing: DH suits and GS suits.
DH suits are worn for racing the speed events of Downhill and Super G. They are not padded, so they have more stretch and can be worn tighter to be more aerodynamic. Because they have more stretch, they tend to fit a wider range of body shapes and sizes. A DH race suit can be worn for SL and GS racing as well, the racer would just need to wear separate body armor for protection.
GS Suits are for racing the tech events of Slalom and Giant Slalom. These suits are padded, and because of the way the pockets that hold the padding is sewn in the suit is less stretchy than a DH suit. The padding in a GS race suit offers additional protection from impact with ski racing gates. The padding in most higher quality GS suits is also removable. In order for the padding to offer the proper protection, the suit needs to fit properly. If the ski race suit is too big or too small and the pads do not line up to cover the areas of the body they are intended to cover, they will not provide the proper protection.
Both types of ski race suits are made from the same type of fabric: an (approximately) 80% Polyester, 20% Spandex blend. The performance level of the suit is determined by the porosity of the fabric or aerodynamic porosity. The aerodynamic porosity of the fabric used in a FIS certified ski race suit is lower than ski race suits used by younger, lower level racers. This means less air penetrates through the suit making it more aerodynamic. These more aerodynamic FIS certified ski race suits are also more expensive than the race suits made from higher aerodynamic porosity fabrics.
There are several manufacturer’s that make ski race suits. Here is a list of the more popular brands:
Race day means different things to different people.
When you say “Race Day” to most ski race parents they assume you are talking about the day you have to order your race skis through the ski club or team to get a discount.
Race day is usually associated with a club or team and held at a shop that primarily sells recreational skis and equipment, not race specific skis and equipment. It is typically one evening a year in early fall when they need you to come into the shop to order the skis you need from their vendors catalogs in order to get a race discount. Usually you need to order at least 2 pairs of skis from the same vendor. They don’t stock race skis, so you cannot see the skis or flex them. You look at it in a catalog and tell them what size you think you need. Then you pay for it and come back for it when it comes in 30 – 60 days later.
Race day at Peak Performance Ski Shop is different
We do have an annual “Race Day” event. Each year it is typically the 3rd Sunday in September from 10am – 2pm. At Peak Performance Ski Shop’s Race Day event you can see all the upcoming seasons race skis and race product from all the top ski race brands: Atomic, Blizzard, Briko, Dynastar, Fischer, Head, Lange, Leki, Nordica, POC, Rossignol, Shred, Slytech, Sync, Spyder, Tecnica, Uvex, and Volkl. You can try on boots. You can flex skis. You can see how one brand of skis in a certain length compares to another brand in what is supposedly the same length (you know this can vary sometimes, right?) You can try on pants, race suits, helmets, and gloves – and even get racer pricing on them! You can buy everything you need for the upcoming ski racing season in one shot and walk home with it in hand if you really want. Or you can decide on what you want and pick it up and pay for it once the snow flies. Whatever works best for you. We want to make junior ski racing as easily accessible and attainable by all.
Race day at Peak Performance Ski Shop is a fun day. It’s a day for Killington Mountain School ski racers from all over New England (and a few International students) to meet up and get reaquainted after summer break. It’s a day for Killington Ski Club racers from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Hampshire to see their racing pals before the snow flies. It’s a day to hang out and talk to the race reps – many of which were very accomplished ski racers in their day. There are lots of great ‘door prizes’ from the racing companies like ski and boot bags, hats, t-shirts and even a pair of skis! There’s also ski racing schwag like stickers and posters and bracelets and lip balm. It’s a little different each year, but no matter what it’s a great day for junior ski racers, high school or collegiate racers, beer league racers and masters ski racers alike.
So join us Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 10am – 2pm for Peak Performance Ski Shop’s 6th Annual Race Day. RSVP to email@example.com to let us know your coming.
At Peak Ski Shop Ski Tuning is constantly evolving.
Change is good.
As we move the Wintersteiger Omega and pack up our Wintersteiger Trimjet in preparation for receiving our new Wintersteiger Mercury we are reflecting on how ski tuning at Peak Ski Shop has progressed over the last 26 years. Just as the ski industry and ski tuning technology has evolved, so has Peak Performance Ski Shop.
We strive to be at the forefront of our industry utilizing the latest proven technologies to offer our customers best in class ski tuning. Whether you are a first-time skier out on a pair of our rental skis, a seasoned recreational skier, or a ski racing athlete we offer world cup ski racing quality workshop services and tuning utilizing the highest-tech machinery available.
Here’s the history behind Peak Ski Shop ski tuning:
1988: Reichmann Stone Grinder and Belt. When we opened the store we started out tuning with a Reichmann Stone Grinder and Belt. It was a state of the art ski tuning machine for the time. It was designed to flatten a ski and put a basic structure on it. Quickly we realized we needed something more. (Looking back, the technology that was employed for tuning long straight skis seems rudimentary now.)
1991: Wintersteiger Micro 1. Coming from a precision automotive background, precision ski services and high quality craftsmanship were a priority for our shop. Within the first few years of tuning skis we realized we wanted to offer a higher level of ski tuning. We purchased our first Wintersteiger ski tuning machine, a Micro 1. This machine had a belt and stone, which allowed us to tune base edges and add structure to a ski base. This was one of the first machines that allowed the ability to install a race specific pattern to the skis.
1997: Wintersteiger Trim Disc 90. In 1997, There was a quantum leap in edge sharpening technology when ceramic disk technology for base and side edge tuning emerged. Ski manufacturers were using a ceramic disc edge sharpening machine which created a very precise and smooth edge. Wintersteiger was the first manufacturer to introduce this technology to ski shops with the Trim Disc 90. We knew we had to get one of these machines. The Wintersteiger Micro 90 revolutionized Peak Ski Shop ski tuning and ski tuning around the world. In the end, we found this machine to be very precise for side edges, but technology was still lacking in the ability to create precise base edges on the skis. Race level quality base edges still needed to be set by hand and side edges needed to be checked by hand.
2004: Wintersteiger Sigma RS350. This machine was the beginning of modern ski structuring and the workhorse of Peak Ski Shop ski tuning for 10 years. It was from the first series of machines from Wintersteiger to use digital programming and allowed us to apply strict parameter controlled racing structures. This machine was able to create structures that were specific to DH, SG, SL or GS. With a grinding stone width of 350 mm, besides easily grinding snowboards; we could work much more efficiently with skis, because the stone is divided. We could create two structures at the same time by setting a different structure on either half of the stone. This allowed us to pre-grind on one half of the stone and then follow up immediately with fine grinding on the other half. In addition to tuning for specific racing events, we could also program this machine to tune skis for specific temperatures and snow conditions.
2007: Wintersteiger Trimjet. One of the most sought-after machines on the market, the Wintersteiger Trimjet is built around Wintersteiger’s Ceramic Disc Finish technology. This machine provided precise edge geometry and allowed us to individually and independently adjust angles. This machine changed ski tuning again. The technology of the Trimjet allowed very precise side edges and base edge from .5 to >1 degree. Skis were polished and sharp from the first ski to the hundredth ski – everyday.
2014: Wintersteiger Omega Race 350. In our quest for higher quality precision race (and recreational) ski tunes we purchased a Wintersteiger Omega Race 350. This machine expanded the variety of structures that could be used keeping pace with the structures that were being offered by the ski manufacturers on their highest level race skis. The centering unit on the Omega RS 350 supports easy and precise grinding of center specific racing structures (e.g., hoop and arrow structures) which was another bonus for Peak Ski Shop ski tuning.
2015: Wintersteiger Mercury with Race Service. In our never-ending quest for the highest quality ski tunes we have now purchased a fully automated Wintersteiger Mercury ski tuning machine with the race service option. We’ve watched the evolution of automated ski tuning machines. It took 15 years, but in 2013 the automated machines really started to take off in popularity, not just in Vermont but all over the world. Until now, we were still not convinced automated ski tuning machines could do as good if not better than a manual machine. We now feel the latest Wintersteiger Mercury ski tuning machine really does surpass manually operated machines. Everyone uses machines differently because everyone has different needs. Some shops have a standard Wintersteiger Mercury automated ski tuning machine, it does a fantastic job on recreational skis. We bought a Wintersteiger Mercury ski tuning machine with race programming packages. This machine will allow us to do very detailed race specific ski tuning as well as incredibly high quality recreational tunes. The combination of our skilled technicians and the precision of a race machine will make all skis, both recreational and race skis, ski better.
Peak Ski Shop ski tuning machines have changed and evolved over the last 26 years, but one thing that has not changed is Peak Performance Ski Shop’s precision craftsmanship, attention to detail and commitment to quality. We’ve always been known as ‘the place to get skis tuned in Killington’ whether you were a recreational skier or a ski racer. That’s who Peak Performance Ski Shop is and how we’ve built the store.