Please define Tight Slalom

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Glenn S
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Please define Tight Slalom

Post by Glenn S » Wed Jan 15, 2003 7:01 am

As a relative newcomer to slalom I could tell right off when I started checking out the slalom forums back in April of 2002 that TS needs to be redefined, as well as the other disciplines. I think some slalomers want to confuse TS with a discipline that I think should be called "Super Tight Slalom", or even with "Slalom".
And from a point of view of anyone in the slalom gear-selling business, having more than just two disciplines at a race, and that riders would need maybe a few extra boards to cover those disciplines, meaning more gear sold.

I personally think that all these should be precisely defined/re-defined for slalom as it is being done now in 2003:
STS: Super Tight Slalom
TS: Tight Slalom
S: Slalom
Hybrid
GS: Giant Slalom
SG: Super Giant Slalom

But, can anyone actually define for me <b>precisely</b> "Tight Slalom" for starters?

Thanks, Glenn

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Post by Matthew Wilson » Wed Jan 15, 2003 3:16 pm

A BEGINNERS PERSPECTIVE:

Tight Slalom--
When cones are arranged in such proximity that it is EXTREMLY challenging to get through them at top speed without knocking them over or blowing out of the course.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: matthew wilson on 2003-01-15 13:23 ]</font>

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Post by Terry Kirby » Wed Jan 15, 2003 4:29 pm

Glenn, I believe TS depends on the hill. There is no specific cone spacing that defines TS. For example If you were to set a course from the TOP of the hill at avilla at 8'.8" on center I would say that would be TS. If you set 8'8" at a flat parking lot that would not be TS. Courses should be set to suit the hill or lack of hill. Wes T defines TS by how many cones per second you are running. This makes sense to me. TK

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Post by Andy Bittner » Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:10 pm

A cones-per-second (CPS) criteria makes perfect sense to me too, but presents a real quandry for the gearhead-types that want some kind of specific, formulized, fault-free method for seting courses. Whoever wants to "have at" a single formula that defines how to set a TS course at any type of venue, and who then wants to go through all of the specific venue measurements it'd then take to use this "convenient" formula, can go for it. I just look at the hill and use my brain and my experience to try to build a course with a reasonable amount of flow.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-15 11:12 ]</font>

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Post by Brian Morris » Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:43 pm

My idea of the whole thing is:

Super Tight Slalom - 5' or less
Tight Slalom - 5.5'-6.5'
Slalom - Any mix of all cone distances
Giant Slalom - 7' - 10'
Super Giant Slalom - anything above 10'

Here in good ole Hawthorne and its surroundings, there is a major shortage of skateable hills, so I have resorted in finding sloped parking lots and setting courses there. Which I guess with not much speed, I can get through 6' courses pretty well. Personally I enjoy Tight Tight slalom, I believe it offers more of a challenge by limiting speed while trying to power through a course, rather than Giant or Super Giant Slalom where everybody has to run at top speed and "balls to the wall" to manage a good time.

Brian

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Post by John Gilmour » Wed Jan 15, 2003 6:52 pm

I think the hill and spacing relationship is a sound one. That being said 5.5 foot on a fast hill (over 20 mph) would be too difficult for most skaters. 6.5 foot is more reasonable and currently 7.5 to 7 foot is a competition worthy distance for steeper hills.

IMHO 6 foot and under for the current ability level is best left relagated to more mellow slopes and flatland. And I think we should have some endorsement for flatland- though I don't particularly find it exciting- it is a discipline which can be practiced nearly everywhere- and in a race situation is still a lot of fun. Also duals are easy to set on flatland.

On steeper hills- if you want to carry more top end speed spacing can increase.....but only if the entry into these spacings is already fast so CPS stays high- otherwise...its GS. High speed TS in excess of 28 mph will lack some technical difficulty as the cone spacing tends to get straighter as the speeds increase- traction limitations rear their ugly heads.

I think a World class TS could have easily been set on Avila Beach hill- and it would not have had to have been overly loose- a few offsets tossed in to keep the speeds sub 30 and you would have seen people hammering the course.. controlled braking, criddleing, different attack strategies. My only concern would habe been the sand on the hill...after all it is next to the beach. The leaf blower only worked until the next big gust pushed the sand right back on the course. A water truck that hosed down the road would have been great..but I doubt they use those in California. TS does require a good surface to set a good course.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-01-15 13:05 ]</font>
Last edited by John Gilmour on Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Eye » Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:25 am

When I first really started to get into slalom boarding two yrs ago, like Glenn, I really thought some organization (like USSSF) ought to standardize these to strict definitions; particularly, since coming from a skiing background I felt there was a lot of confusion (and there sometimes is)about what a TS or GS is, so I could go out and practice them. Now, after alot of practice (and some local racing) recently on different courses, I think its not really that important. For one thing, as Andy points out, that its about impossible to create a TS, S or GS standard that works on every road or venue available. What matters is that the courses are fun and challenging to skate for the category of skater.
Each course should have a certain rythym and flow,..
I do think its important to quantify the pitch or slope angle, as well as length of a course, along with the cone spacing and off-set in race course discriptions so people know what to expect CPS-wise.I also like to know if I'm going to need multiple pairs of shoes for the foot-braking. Races are too expensive to attend without knowing what to expect and prepare for. Posting pics
of say, the streets of a race, is o.k.
but pics are always deceptive.
Back to the point; I believe TS is about running a really fast CPS rate no matter what the steepness of the hill.TS should be a test of reaction time and quickness. IMHO ; you cannot have much in the way of off-sets in a true TS course, otherwise the speed or "flow" is broken. On a flatter parking lot type of TS course, the cones may be 6' on c (could be alittle less) with occasional 1' -1.5 offset, basically meandering down the fall-line. On a steeper hill the spacing can be greater,
say 7-8' centers on a 25-30 mph hill. Maybe in this case, some wide offsets could be thrown in 1/3 of the way down to brake speed alittle, to add variety, but beyond that its a meandering high speed wiggle fest through the finish line.
Super fast movements from fast flying skaters makes good T.V. viewing as well.
GS skating should (IMHO)be more about carving around wide off-sets; less pumping and alittle more surf-style oriented. Again, make it too technical and the flow, speed and fun is gone.
am I starting to get this or not?

David E N.Colorado GRS

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:04 am

Glenn, are you a mind reader or what?

As you know I have also been thinking about discipline definitions lately and I have come to almost the same discipline names as you. Or maybe it's just the only logical way to do it. :cool:

In contrast to some others I think a discipline should be hard linked to cone distance. For a moment this talk about cones per second and hill degrees got my attention and seemed interesting. But I have now gone back to my original ideas again. It's not that what they say doesn't make sense but I think it is a mixture of more basic elements.

In my may to see things there are 5 cone distance groups. Each group can be done straight or hybrid. This gives us 10 disciplines. 6 "normal ones" and 4 "rare ones". Let's start with the 6 "normal ones".

Super G slalom
Giant slalom
Hybrid slalom
Straight slalom
Tight slalom
Super T slalom

Here I assume normal Super G and Giant as Hybrid and normal Tight and Super T as Straight. Which gives us the 4 missing "rare ones"

Straight Super G slalom
Straight Giant slalom
Hybrid Tight slalom
Hybrid Super T slalom

As I see it, just because we don't run certain disciplines doesn't mean they don't exist.

So now then if you set up a straight slalom course on the flat and another exact copy of it in a hill. Some will say that the one in the hill suddenly becomes Tight slalom. I don't agree. It doesn't change anything. The cones doesn't get tighter because it's downhill. It just feels that way. The discipline doesn't change. You just got one slow and one fast straight slalom course.

But the degrée of the hill is an important parameter to the discipline. Even though I don't think anyone will think of trying to set a Super G or Giant course on the flat one could imaging a minimum hill angle for these disciplines.

So why bother having specific definitions for disciplines. Well I would agrée if it wasn't for another great thing that needs these discipline definitions. A world ranking. Or any ranking for that matter. To get a ranking on the discipline level would be way cool.

I will soon post an outcast of the discipline distances. Then everybody can see if their courses end up being the courses they think they are. That will be the final test to see if this is a possible way to go ahead. After manipulating the distances back and forth for a while I personally think we will get it to work.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:35 am

On 2003-01-16 21:04, Hans Koraeus wrote:

So now then if you set up a straight slalom course on the flat and another exact copy of it in a hill. Some will say that the one in the hill suddenly becomes Tight slalom. I don't agree. It doesn't change anything. The cones doesn't get tighter because it's downhill. It just feels that way. The discipline doesn't change. You just got one slow and one fast straight slalom course.
Hans,

I have to completely disagree with you. (Sorry.) Your logic would work only if a racer were able to disregard GRAVITY. On the flat, a course set at 5.5 centers would probably be called tight. Fortunately, on the flat, if it gets too hairy, you can back off a little, the acceleration rapidly diminishes and you can get back in a groove to finish the course.

On a hill, though, you don't have that luxury. Thus, a course set at 6' centers or ever 6'6" will be "tight" no matter what you try and do. Once you get going, gravity demands you continue your acceleration down the hill. Thus, the course remains TIGHT till you reach the finish line.

This notion of "Cones Per Second" really hits the mark. As the cone distance increases, but the hill also gets steeper, the "CPS" will remain rapid. So a course's "tightness" is very dependent upon the hill and the speed gravity will insist a racer maintain through the course.

Again, I apologize, but sometimes the Laws of Nature do dictate our actions.

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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:21 pm

Well you can brake on fast courses, and of course that is part of the skill- he who brakes the absolute least possible at the last possible second....wins. Those tenths mount awfully quickly otherwise. That is how you can run tight on a steeper slope. Besides it is cool to hear the wheels chirp.

But I haven't ridden very many hills that required braking WLAC GS 2001 was one and my arboretum practice spot is another. You need a good hill.

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Post by Mike Gorman » Sat Jan 18, 2003 12:42 am

Got your good hill out here, JG. The JPL hill is a place where braking skills will come in quite handy. TK is coming out and he can give you an idea. Wheels chirping? Can do.

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Post by John Gilmour » Sat Jan 18, 2003 5:00 pm

Do me a favor and take TK to Bieneveneda someones got to ride that hill before 20 years goes by and the pavement gets cracked.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sat Jan 18, 2003 5:20 pm

Wes,
Don't feel to bad about disagreeing with me.
Your thoughts are as good as anybody elses. I respect your thinking but you will not win me over until you have convinced me.

I still think your way of seeing it will make it very delicat to decide weather a course is of one or another type. Since riders ride at different speed who's speed will decide. I have no scientific evidence of this but I think it's possible to get some really funny situations if you count cones per second. Courses that have very short cone distances and are slow could maybe have same cones per second as a very quick Giant slalom courses. If this is possible than I think your theory is not the way to go.

Imaging having a straight course on the flat with 6 foot cone distance and another straight course in a hill with 10 foot cone distance. Both have the same "cones per second" but would you use the same board setup? If not the "cones per second" doesn't tell you anything. Would you really like to have them named with the same discipline name?

Maybe one can make simulair hypotheses that proves that my way of seeing it is wrong too but the fact that it's easier to define a course with the cone distance makes me still believe it's the way to go. With cone distances there are no gray definition zones.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Jan 18, 2003 7:24 pm

Hans (and maybe JG, too,)

This is one of the reasons why I think we as skaters should get away from the "course labels" altogether. With the possible exception of GIANT SLALOM, where I think it's pretty self evident and big board and big wheels are sufficient, all this "tight-hybrid-slalom" stuff is just too irreconcileable.

Personally, I think a race promoter should announce his courses this way:

"There will be dual (or single) course of 7-foot to 10-foot centers on an 8% grade. Offsets will range from 1 foot to three feet off the centerline." Simple enough. If you want to call that hybrid, have a good time. If I want to call that tight, I'll be happy. If Gilmour wants to call it boring, that's his problem :smile:

And, of course, the additional information near and dear to my heart is for a promoter to publish well in advance photos of the venue and a course diagram. That, however, is another topic entirely!

So getting back to the original quesiton of "please define tight slalom," my answer would be its whatever YOU the skater consider tight. If a promoter announces a race course with certain elements that you think is tight, then consider yourself going to a tight slalom race. If your skill level leads you to believe it's a milk run, then maybe you might consider staying home and avoiding the boring afternoon of racing?

It would remain strictly the racer's perogative.

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Post by John Gilmour » Sat Jan 18, 2003 9:26 pm

I agree that the grade of hill and cone spacing as well as offfsets might give a better description of what is needed than a short TS or Hybrid or slalom designation.

Perhaps a better idea would be to suggest what type of deck would be appropriate for the course. So if a promoter says "The race will be a Giant slalom, Most top ten finishers will likely be riding decks like 24" fibreflexes", we would know to inquire what was up.

From flatland areas- nothing is more explanatory than cone spacings, and the actual course layout. When you toss in a hill the event might change somewhat. But if there were for instance a lot of 6 foot on center cones (on any slope) I wouldn't expect the winner to be on a 36" deck.

Very simple to post

1. the course layout

2. pitch "profile" of the hill with cones shown on sections of varying pitch (if it vaires) Also an idea of how fast a straight line roll was on each section.

3. guestimate the surface quality- ie show a 608 bearing on the road with a close up to show the pavement grain.

It would be great if people living near anyof the race sites of the last year woud do this Bearing photo and post it so existing racers would at least have an idea of what to expect.

The more clear we are about laying out teh course...the better prepared a potential newbie will feel. A higher level of confidence by the newbie means a much greater likelyhood of him attending.

Being "ready for anything" isn't a very good option for a newbie. It is more likely he will look for a race similar to what he practices on ...ie if he lives and practices ina flatland area...he'll go for a flatland race. If he rides wide open hill- he mightfeel his first race will be La Costa...etc.

Either way...giving a better description is more likely to get him to go to a race. A lot of racers don't want to go to a race until they feel they are "ready".

I needed to see photos of WLAC and some video of Chris Chaput before I decided to go to WLAC.

I felt "ready" but I did want to see who I would be racing with. My view is somewhat strange though- If the ability level had been much much lower, I might have waited a year longer and if they were going to blow me away I would have rushed out not to get left further behind.

TK felt better about going to Morro Bay 2001 after practicing courses similar to the course description.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sun Jan 19, 2003 1:20 am

Offsets could be a parameter as well. But I wonder if that won't be resolved by itself using the cone distances. As I see it each discipline has a unique min and max AVERAGE cone distance. They also have min and max ALLOWED cone distances. So with a tight slalom course you will not have the same possibilities to do huge offsets as for a giant slalom course. Which seems logical. But I agree you can do a hybrid course more or less offset, so in that sense the parameter could be useful maybe.

There are quite a lot of parameters to think off when wanting to document a slalom course/event. I have started to put them together in a document. More and more I think it will be impossible to compress it all into a short phrase kind of a thing. I think the short phrase will have only the most important parameters. I'm now seeing a sort of a standardized form for this purpose instead. If all organizers of competitions used the same form to describe their events it would probably be good help for them to not miss out on some important information. And it would be easy for all competitors to always have the information structured the same way.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Sun Jan 19, 2003 1:59 am

I'd just like to comment at this point, that the use of the term "average" is one of the potential problems with the ISSA guidelines, and I'm perfectly willing to accept that some of the issue may be translation between languages.

It is one thing to reflect upon cone space averages historically, like if you wanted to refer to the average cone spacings from all the FCR races last year. It is a completely different thing to use the term "average" when writing specifications for coursesetting. I mean... write me a spec that says I have to set a 20 cone course, averaging 6' on-center. Guess what? 19 cones spaced at 1' followed by a single 96' cone creates an average cone spacing of 6'. Period. Can't argue that, 'cuz it's a mathematical fact. Would I ever do that? Naaaaah... absolutely not. Is it a flaw in the guidelines anyway? Yup.

So, my point here is to advise that we stay away from the term "average", which is a mathematically specific term, unless we are absolutely certain that is what we mean in all possible cases.

Please continue your discussion.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:09 am

Hans,

It's interesting that you use the word "parameters." In another life when the world was young, I was really into synthesizers and MIDI technology. What I always found so fabulous about the guys who developed synthesizers is how they were able to successfully "catagorize" each element of a particular note, or its various "parameters." At the time, there were FOUR such parameters that could pretty much detail exactly how each note would sound when played: A-S-D-R. The Attack, Sustain, Decay and Release of each note was digitized and made a part of the note with various filters and volume controls. Couple that with either a sawtooth or square wave, and VOILA! You're playing a Kurzweil in no time. I know that in the early '80s, there were attempts to broaden these four basic parameters to SIX, but I don't know if it ever caught on with the industry (Korg added both a "diminish" and "return" parameter between the Decay and Release.)

I always thought it would be very cool if we could develop just such a nomenclature for slalom skating. The parameters of:

• Max number of cones (e.g. 40)
• Single or Dual lane racing ("1" or "2")
• Start (push or ramp,) (Push = 1, ramp = 2)
• Distance to first cone (20 feet? 45 feet? Whatever the course designer desires.)
• Cone spacing (7-10/6) (That would be 7 to 10 foot centers with a 6-foot stinger at the end)
• Offset min and max (1-3) (one to three feet)
• Road surface (1 to 10, one being a dirt road, 10 being asphalt laid down yesterday!) (This is VERY subjective. I really don't know how to quantify it objectively.)
• Road grade (e.g. 7) (One foot rise over 100 feet equals a 1% grade. This road rises 7 feet over 100 foot distance)
• Possibly even parameters for tape or light switch timing (1= Tape, 2= Light.)

So, using this sort of "code," a race promoter could announce his course would be the following:

1-(40), 2-(2), 3-(1), 4-(30), 5-(7-10/6), 6-(1-3), 7-(8), 8-(7%), 9-(1)

There you go: nine course parameters "digitized" for every forseeable participant to know what to expect and how to expect it.

No, this isn't where my idea ends. I hate the idea of so many numbers. I think, though, the idea is sound. It sure is simpler than being told, "yeah, we're running tight slalom," only to get there and find out the cones are so far apart you could eat your lunch getting from one to the next!

Trust me though on this much: if MUSICIANS with centuries of tradition behind them can agree on a way to digitize music, I'm certain a bunch of damned slalom skateboarders could reach an agreement about a damned race course!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wesley Tucker on 2003-01-18 20:14 ]</font>

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jan 20, 2003 12:17 am

Andy
The average method works fine when using it as I described. But using it all alone as in your case I agrée that it doesn't work well. Having max and min cone distances for the disciplines though makes it impossible to do your proposed course.

Wes
Have you seen the film "A beautiful mind"? Well of course you have! Our brain is a very capable thing. We can look and see things around us and most of it we judge as simple and evident. But when trying to document what makes us get the impressions we get by the signals given from our eyes it's not a straight highway link. It takes into account a huge amount of parameters (there it is again, the parameter word. I guess me being a programmer is the cause of this).

Seeing a slalom course is the same thing. In a split second you got everything processed in your brain and you got a pretty good idea. But try to explain that to someone in writing or over the phone. How easy is that? It's very difficult but I'm convinced it's doable. But one thing's for sure. It's always a lot more complex than you think. And there I think we are both of us getting very close in our opinions.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 20, 2003 12:28 am

Hey, Everyone,

Hans said I got a capable brain. So why don't the rest of you troglodytes stick your opinions where they'll do some good? :razz:

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:49 pm

That is why , if possible it would be a good idea to try and represent the course visually with a side profile of the pitch profile of the road and a course layout with an indicator of where the cones fall on the pitch profile.

I think a numerical representation is good for some- but it starts to look more like computer code for others.

Pictures often don't give a good impression of what a course is like.

In the past 1970-1980's pictures in skateboarder mag (expecially those shot from the bottom of the hill upwards) give the impression of the cones being impossibly tight together. So in this case a picture is not adequate.

With hills of identical pitch the "roll" can differ from hill to hill.

A hill's roll doesn't often change much after two years from the date the road was first poured (takes a bit for the asphalt to harden)so people who raced at La Costa the last two years already kow what to expect.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:51 pm

I'm going to try and describe a course...and see if it makes ense to poeple. but first..... how does one measure the pitch of a hill easily and accurately?

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:37 pm

About measuring the pitch of a hill. Didn't ARAB write somewhere he had found some "fancy tool/equipment" to do just this.

Wes
When I said "our brain" I didn't mean yours and mine specifically but rather human brains in general. I hope this will not make your world fall into pieces. :smile:

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Wed Jan 22, 2003 3:21 am

So, here we go. Someone has to dare to do it. A first example of defining disciplines from cone distances.

The main points behind the theory:
- 5 distance groups that can be either straight or hybrid giving us 10 disciplines.
- Average cone distance with Max and Min distances allowed in the course.
- The average cone distance will decide the discipline. If in the lower part of the average interval it could be considered a "Narrow" course. If in the upper part a "Loose" course.

Here is a graphical interpretation of the idea with the distance limits for each "distance group".

Image

Image

The best way to test and see if this makes sence is to just set up courses as we normally do and measure them up. Will the discipline correspond to what you think? Test and see.

I have actually already done a first test. In this forum there is a "Course forum section" where I found 3 courses under the "Gates" directory. I calculated them according to the theory and here are the results.

- Course 1: Folly Beach Race Course
- 35 cones (34 cone distances)
- Length: 216 ft
- Average cone distance: 6,35
- Discipline: Hybrid Tight Slalom
- Comment: It's in the upper part of the distance interval and should be considered a "Loose" Hybrid Tight Slalom.

- Course 2: Glenn's course diagram test
- 45 cones (45 cone distances)
- Length: 313 ft
- Average cone distance: 6,7
- Discipline: Hybrid Slalom
- Comment: It's in the lower part of the distance interval and should be considered a "Narrow" Hybrid Slalom.

- Course 3: http://www.roeslalom.com/SampleTight.xls
- 55 cones (54 cone distances)
- Length: 416 ft
- Average cone distance: 8,5
- Discipline: Hybrid Slalom
- Comment: It's in the upper part of the distance interval and should be considered a "Loose" Hybrid Slalom.

None of the courses had cones outside the max and min limits. It was kind of fun and a strike of luck to see that the 3 courses was of 3 different distance types (even though only of 2 discipline types).

Test it out on your courses so we can see where distances should be adjusted.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hans Koraeus on 2003-01-24 13:44 ]</font>

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Post by John Gilmour » Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:54 pm

I like the graphical representation of this course "Key" of Corky's.



Hopefully I can add some input to an already clear display - brilliantly clear I might add.



One thought of what might define the disciplines is the type of deck ridden for each.



IMHO I think this is pertainent to the racers as they would certainly like to feel like they have come appropriately prepared for an event and not have to try and borrow gear or buy gear at an event - or worse still, ride something that was inappropriate for the course.



*****

the Blah blah blah section

Now as an aside the distances for each board might be only a guideline as if a person wanted to ride a different length deck....he or she might not be as competitive (certain exceptions Brad Edwards, Chris Chaput, Michael Breem, Steve Olsen, Dave Hackett, Ed Economy exempt for going longer, Mark Mcree and Keith Hollien for going shorter). For instance I can get a 57" deck through 7.5 foot cones, but it would hardly be the length board that would help a racer to go their fastest. Simon Levene can push a Santa Cruz Graphite through Ultra Tight and TS while few others could even make the Ultra Tight on his deck etc.



Also the disciplines names, if clearly defined, should not be all that important- but to avoid as much confusion as possible hopefully they will coincide with the bulk of the racers ideas as to what each discipline is currently named.



In that regard I would call the Folly Beach course a tight slalom with nothing about it being considered Hybrid and almost leaning towards the narrow end of tight.



Glen's course would seem to be directly in the middle of tight slalom.



Of course in Europe the disciplines ran a little tighter- so again we might have to think of renaming the disciplines entirely... to prevent confusion. If "tight" is tight to one person and hybrid to another we have a problem.



In my opinion I would consider Ultra tight something which would require a high level competitor to ride a 24-26" deck (wheelbase?) with mid tracks or narrower to be competitive.



For tight slalom I would expect a rider to be able to ride a Turner Full Nose, Roe Bottle rocket, Ick Stick, TS pocket pistol, Jani Soderhall S-camber Deck, etc. to be competitive.



For Hybrid I would expect a Roe Unlimited (for the narrower range)or Hester (for the wider range) or Turner Hybrid (wider cones) Turner Cutaway (narrower Hybrid), or Ick Carrera, and other similar decks with around 21 inch wheelbase.



For GS I would expect board lengths to go to about 34" - 38" to include a 36" pocket Pistol, Roe Bonita,



Super GS I would expect board lengths around the 38- 45 inch range to be competitive.



Some decks have extra range in disciplines. For instance a 36" Pocket pistol is good for tighter cone distances than one would expect-certainly beng competitive in Hybrid as well as GS and Jani's S-camber deck might work for Ultra TS as well as Tight. A Turner Fullnose would be good for Tight...be a ineffective for Hybrid...and then begin to work again for steep GS. etc.



Most of the confusion around names would center on feeling that one has practiced for the wrong event - or has brought the wrong deck. No one wants to bring a pocket knife to a swordfight.



So if one were to try to set a range of cones for each class of boards (based on wheelbase or intended discipline it was designed for..) what might these lengths come out to be?



*******

more blah blah blah exceptions and details-

Lastly- (always trying to cover too many points in a single post) Could we assume that there would be much fewer of the purple range gates in each discipline and the bulk of the gates to be in the yellow- that way one could optimize the deck for that particular range of gates. So in 55 cone course we might only see say 10-15 percent of the cones in the purple extremes? This is of course assuming constant hill grade - if the hill has irregular grade ie.... rolling hills + flats, we might expect to see much more in the purple range perhaps as high as 50% of the gates to adjust for the pitch.



:???: in the Ultra TS section I was wondering about the placement of the yellow section.



So with "Decks Model" used in mind I might expect some spacing along these lines. Also some offset ranges might be later recommended- and of course offsets might be surface dependent for available grip.



Ultra Tight

(assuming a slight hill- though most of this would be on flat or near flat- assuming hill steepness around that of Cambria more or less- anyone have better input than me here? Simon, Clingfilm, Michael Stride, Chis C. , Dieter, Jani, Erik any Russians? )

Average distance 4-5.5 foot. Min distance 3 foot max distance 6.5 foot

(or is 6.5 foot way too loose?)



TS

(Assuming a medium to steep gradient- as flat as DC park and Ride and as steep as Avila Beach- lets assume something in the middle of these two extremes- since it is easy to generate and control speed -you can brake or accellerate EVERY 6.5 feet to either keep the speed up or CONTAIN the speed from gaining momentum-in a TS it has one of the widest ranges of hill pitch)

Average distance 6.5 foot to 7.5 foot straights or slight offsets with up to 9-10 foot for offsets.

Min distance 6.0 foot Max distance 14 foot (for steep pitch and offset)



Hybrid

(Assuming a Medium to quite steep gradient no less steep than Catalina- and no steeper than Breckenridge GS or Avila)

Average distance 8 to 12 foot

min distance 7 foot max distance 14 foot.



GS

(always to be set on a very steep gradient- straight tuck line speeds to reach 30mph- nothing less steep than Breckenridge and nothing steeper than Avila... La Costa would also be considered steep)

15 to 25 foot average distance.

8.5 foot minimum distance and 35 foot maximum distance. Good competitors should expect to try and tuck certain sections- about 5-20% of the course.



Super GS

(absolutely scary steep- straight line speeds should hit 30 mph when standing and at least 35 to 45 in a tuck- Nothing less steep than Breckenridge and much steeper than Avila at the max end.)

Average distances 25-50 feet.

Min distance 20 feet.

Max distance 65 feet.

Competitive racers should expect to race in a near tucked position for the bulk of the course. Board lengths 42 inches and up. I nwould hope that the existing base of Downhillers would be on equal or better par with the existing slalomers in this discipline and it might help to attract some crossover.



Corky, could I see what this looks like graphically so I can see if there is a trend?



Nothing is set in stone- just some of my opinions- what are other's views?



To further reduce "course naming" confusion... should a course be defined according to wheelbase as opposed to being mamed TS or GS or whatever as this naming system has led to confusion within the USA and between the UK and Europe.



I know some people object to stricter course definitions- but for the most of us logistics with plane travel and baggage limitations make this a worthwhile goal - if for nothing else to reduce the amount of wheels trucks and decks one has to carry. (I traveled with nearly 80 lbs of gear last year about 50 lbs was wheels 15 for trucks and 6 lbs of boards- the rest being the bag.) I would much rather go to an event carrying 2-3 decks about 10 lbs of wheels and two extra sets of truck hangers.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:16 am

John,

I'm sending you over the graph with your values. Hopefully without any errors.

One of the things I "tweaked" into my suggestion was to erase any "black holes". I.e. that someone could set a course with average cone distance between Super Tight and Super G that did not fit into any of the disciplines. In your example some of these "black holes" exists. I don't know how important this is. Maybe it's good to have some "dead distances" between the disciplines to better separate them. I don't know?

The confusion with my Lower part of the Super Tight have an explaination. First of all I thought that distances below 1 meter should never be allowed. But I could imagine a straight course with 1 meter cone distance giving and average of 1 meter (even though very, very rare). Thats why the min distance became the same as the average min distance.

I agrée that each discipline should have different board setups and skills. This is what makes them disciplines as I see it.

The main difference in our opinion is the pitch thinking. That's probably why my distances are a little bit shorter than yours. I don't know if this will make any sense since your medium steep is probbaly not the same as my medium steep. We need to be speaking exact gradients here later. I saw Super Tight as flat. Tight as flat to very little gradient. Hybrid as little to medium gradient. Giant as medium to quite steep. Super G as quite steep to very steep. Downhill would be the next logical group but I don't consider that as slalom. Even Super G is a gray zone but as you say it could be seen as a discipline "to attract some crossover" from downhill or longboard racers.

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu Jan 23, 2003 6:53 am

You see- your example is even more brilliant than I interpreted it. I also agree than anything under 1 meter is ridiculous- leave that to quad skaters on 1 foot. So your graph makes excellent sense.


I also agree there should not be any black holes as that might limit the course setting choices too much. I just tossed some numbers out off the top of my head without too much concern for the numbers other than being ones I might expect to see in teh various disciplines- but I'm more interested in what they would look like graphically and then look to modify them to make it follow a trend more closely- in hopes that that would be desireable.

As so far as pitch is concerned. I think that the Super tight slalom would be flat or nearly flat(not uphill lol) and that tight slalom would have the most range for hill pitch in terms of the number of degrees of pitch in that a person can accelerate quickly and with force on a TS set up even on flat land and of course can slow down quite easily on a steeper pitch because they can do tighter arcs and easily control the sliding effect of the rear of the board. With a short arc radius there is less vertical downhill time for the board to pick up speed .

On a longer wheelbase deck you can do a sustained slide easily, but to do this in an upright position is hard- especially if you must suddenly switch to the other side. Most longboard slides are handled better in a crouched position. So if you were to control speed on a longboard you would need more time and distance between the gates to exert controlled scrubbing slides. Certainly it would be hard to do this in a crouch at 30 mph in 10 foot gates.

For many hill pitches the fastest course which could be set is TS- until the speed of the hill exceeds your ability to pump faster downhill- and for most people that would be a very fast steep hill.

So please feel free to fill in my black holes in my proposed course key. Sometimes the fastest way to solve a problem with several variables is to make and fix as many mistakes as fast as you can.

***To do Hybrid or GS on a slight gradient is IMHO some what a waste of time, perhaps only done because it is the only hill available and you already ran a good TS. of course for beginners the gradients should be less.

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Post by Mike Gorman » Thu Jan 23, 2003 6:51 pm

This is great. This stuff is exactly the kind of discussion thats helps the sport advance and would be difficult to accomplish on the other site without getting shouted down. The JPL race fits nicely into the GS parameters as I hoped it would. One thing I wnat to experiment myself is how steep a hill can you run tight on. The JPL is all I have to conveniently work with, and I am very curious to see how tight you can get things on a steep fast slope with the right equipment before it becomes impossible.I will let you all know my findings.

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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Jan 24, 2003 1:37 am

You can run TS on very steep slopes and it will be makeable- but by few unless you try to make certain things happen to "manage the slope".

The key to making the course makable is to not set too many straight cones in a row- and to work across the slope ocassionally with diagonal cone sets (cones going 45 degrees across the slope are using 1/2 the pitch beteween the cones) and curves as well as leaving room for dumping speed prior to offsets- obviously an excellent surface is preferable.

Sounds like SSS stands for Steep Slalom Sickos. Are you guys going for it or what?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-01-23 19:38 ]</font>

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:45 am

I have a neat little device that measures degrees I got at Home Depot for about $9.00

Its a good way to a see what the pitch of a hill is and might contribute to the cause just for referance purposes.
I found ARAB's posting about pitch measurement. Would be nice to have some more info of this neat little device.

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Post by Pat Chewning » Fri Jan 24, 2003 6:15 am

An inclinometer is very easy to make. All you need is a good reference to vertical (or horizontal) -- e.g. a plumb bob or a float. Then measure the angle of your surface (road) to either vertical or horizontal and do the appropriate math to convert this angle to %grade.

I found several sources for inclinometers online:

Float type: http://www.stanleylondon.com/inclinometer.htm

Pendulum type: http://www.exploratorium.edu/math_explo ... clino.html

Electronic Digital component: http://www.usdigital.com/products/t2/

Pendulum type: http://www.csac.org/store/ak-inc.html

Level/inclinometer (carpentry): http://www.antiquetools.com/10-tools/10 ... l-Inc.html

-- Pat

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Post by Claude Regnier » Fri Jan 24, 2003 11:45 pm

Yes, hill or course management is key anywhere you plan on setting a course.

For example if you wanted to set a socalled tight course at say La Costa and use most of the hill you could - start with some 7' slight offsets then bring it into some 6 foot straigths a say 6' then (as speed increases)your tights are set at say 7' then 8' and so on.

If you went in up 6" increments you may be able to get as many as 40 to 60 cones down or possibly even more. Could you folks imagine an 80 cones run down La Costa. Tight S curve to slow you down, U use the width of the road ( both riders crossing left to right). Wow I got to get closer to some sk8 spots and try some more stuff out.

As your speed increases your pump is almost comparative all the way down as your speed increases you stretch it out a little at a time.

John remember when we 1rst met in Boston, I had talked about setting courses up from 6' (by 6" increments) to as tight as 4'. That was pretty much all I ever ran on flats. 100 cones (it's all I had) once you reach max accelaration this method allows you to maintain rythyn and speed. The next day one of the courses you set up in the 4th of July (2001) went as described earlier (increase in cone distance). As your speed increased you add some distance between cones, this is a way to add lenght and distance to a course as well as speed and it's great visually.

Sorry I've to stop now and feed my Grandson. Guilmour reply to reply,eh!!!!!!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Claude Regnier on 2003-01-24 21:17 ]</font>

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Post by John Gilmour » Thu Feb 06, 2003 5:09 pm

http://www.streetrecords.com/slalom.htm
take a look at this course diagram.

By virtue of the fact that it is flatland- this course is reproducible just about anywhere- the main varient being the surface.

Of course this does not take into account pitch...but I thought this is pretty easy to read/interpret.

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Post by John Gilmour » Wed Feb 12, 2003 2:30 pm

I think it would be great if people were to take the above course and set it and race it. They could then compare their times to those who raced.

My hopes are that published "after" courses will allow those who could not travel to a contest still feel like they participated in some way and were keeping up with the courses being set. I mean.....you can only dodge so many weddings, bridal showers, confirmations etc...before you really get in trouble.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Sun Jul 13, 2003 3:05 am

We hope to be setting a TS course at the farm this year. The hill is fairly steep (like Avila) so the course will not have any crazy offsets. It will however have sections that will force the racer to hold his line across the hill while pumping through gates. I would guess spacing will be anywhere from 5 foot on center to 8 foot on center. Bill wants the course to be fast so no big offsets at the top. TK

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