Hanging out at Hood.
Finally had the chance to get out on the new,
improved, FIS approved skis last week while at Mt. Hood. I’ll start with what you’ve probably already heard or read about..
They’re a much more boring ski to ski on. You get way less out of the ski and there is almost no ‘snap’ at all. Because of this they’re way, waaay, more tiring to ski on. You can’t relax at all and have to give the skis a lot in every turn for them to do what you want. If (big if) course setting remains the same, GS will definitely slow down a lot, potentially creating fewer injuries (tough to get less than there were last year though..).
That being said, it wasn’t as big of a change as I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there is a massive difference between last years’ skis and this years’ obviously, but it isn’t the catastrophic end of GS skiing a lot of people were expecting. The transition from old to new was definitely weird and frustrating at times, and as a team we kind of took this as a new collective challenge. We were constantly talking about what was working and what wasn’t, and after four days on the skis in much less than ideal conditions, I was feeling pretty solid and getting a lot of good feelings and response out of them.
As newly appointed Quebec Ski Team coach Chris Powers said in his blog; fundamentals are key, especially with these new skis. You can’t get away with things you used to be able to get away with, not even close. Probably the biggest change I, and a lot of people are noticing, is how long it takes to recover from mistakes now. Where it used to take 1-3 gates to get back on line and in rhythm, it now takes much longer and you feel like a total gomer while you’re struggling to get it back!
As I said, we didn’t have anything close to ideal conditions in Hood, so I’m really looking forward to getting out to Zermatt on some hard glacier snow and ice.