FIS Changes Ski Regulations

Skiers upset with new alpine specs

Aug 22, 2011
Outside Magazine

American World Cup skiers voiced their displeasure this weekend after the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced controversial new regulations on ski dimensions for the 2012-13 season. The new rules, which call for longer and wider-turning skis, essentially undo two decades of improvements in ski design. Men's GS skis will jump from a 27-meter radius to a 40-meter radius, the longest since the mid '80s. "Wave good bye to the sport’s progression of arcing the cleanest possible turns," Ted Ligety, a 2006 Olympic gold medalist, said on his blog last week. "I finally had the chance to try a prototype of the 40m GS skis. And quite frankly, they suck." FIS announced the changes after its Injury Surveillance System, which since 2005 has evaluated risk factors such as course setting, speed, snow conditions, and equipment, determined shorter, faster-turning skis were to blame for many injuries. The decision has not been finalized, as FIS officials report "the ski industry is requesting a reconsideration of the change...and this matter will be addressed in late August."

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