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Change in scores when changing division reducing speed


JackQ
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I never had the opportunity to have a experience the difference going from 36mph to 34 as I was stationed overseas for three years when I would have been moving to 34mph from 36. Now after 30 years of skiing 34, I am trying to adapt to 32mph and realize I can not achieve the supposed 6 buoy improvement per zero based scoring.

 

At slower speed I am getting about 4 more buoys, or in other words my official score has dropped 2 buoys. I was wondering if I was underachieving, so I Looked at everyone that moved to MENS7 in 2019 and compared to their scores the previous year in Mens 6. There were 22 individuals level 5 or above, with an average of 2.5 buoys lost, max gain of 7, max loss of 10!

 

I was surprised to see such a large variance, with level 7 and above decreasing more than those below. Now that I am curious I will take a look at the transition to 34mph, as age is likely more of a factor for us old timers in Mens7.

 

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I still have a ways to go until I drop down to 32, but I have heard multiple skiers say to keep skiing 34 as long as you can. That after a short honeymoon period where you "gain" a bunch of buoys, your skiing tends regress back to the same score, just now it's 6 buoys lower.
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I have that fear, but not sure the best approach. I do tell my self when at 32 it is only 28off, etc. As I was slowing down, I skied better at 33.5-33.0 than I did at 34 or 32, unfortunately I can get driver to pull me a "hot" 32 in tournaments.
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What is the optimum ski speed?

Since I had a shoulder injury a couple years ago I have been sking tournament rds at 32 mph utilizing zbs and taking a 6 bouy hit. However I do free ski a bit and do that at 35 mph have even run a few 28 off passe on the course. Like to practice at 33.2 mph in the course. Strange though 34 mph does not seem fast to me but just cant seem to get anywhere at that speed. Wondering if rev s in practice mode tends to be a different set of gains or at least gains that are functionally better at those in between speeds.

I also think that skiers moving into slower speed divisions should not be penalized for sking at a faster speed if they choose to do so.

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I disagree with being allowed to ski above max speed in Rs.

 

If everyone is going to ski faster, I am Ok. But, the 6 buoy delta is baloney, a easy number with no practical or empirical evidence. Just made up or pulled out of someone’s $&@.

 

4 months ago at 34mph, I ran 6 back to back 35s, and then 38. Can I run 6 38s and 39 at 32mph, no way. Heck, i can run 32@36mph without a sweat, much easier than 38@32. When the line get shorter, timing is more limiting than speed. Last year I frequently ran 3+ buoys at 39, and 5 once, but cant get past 2@41 at 32mph, which i could do at 34.

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No doubt, the 6 buoy delta is just an easy approximation of what the real effect of speed change is on the average ZBS count. If a hard statistical analysis were done, the number might actually be 4.52. Would we really want to use some odd number like that? And is it important to have perfection on equalizing ZBS scores across divisions?

 

I guess within a division, this buoy count difference is important to understand. And it looks like you always want to ski at the max speed your division allows in order to get the best ZBS score possible for a given level of talent. That seems fair to me.

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Very interesting subject as I also hoped for the "6 buoy jump" moving to 32mph. My experience is not directly relevant to @JackQ because I ski at a much lower level. As @Jcamp said, I had planned to continue to ski at 34mph (at least in practice) to improve my chances at the 6-buoy jump at 32mph. Knee surgery delayed my typical spring skiing by staying at 30mph for a while and eventually just settling at 32mph. For reference, the last few years I was a 2-4 @32-34mph. A few more years back I could ski into 35off on good days.

So, would I now be able to ski into 38off (on good days) or 2-4 @35, or neither? The answer so far is neither. However, with the the 32mph speed, I was able to run 32off this summer and 1-2@35. So depending on the reference point, I did gain some buoys over my recent 34mph scores, but not the target "6 buoy jump".

What is more depressing is the fact that the few times I would try a 34 mph pass, it would feel like I never skied that speed. Even 22off was a big struggle. Oh, well...

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I agree the 6 buoy jump doesn't happen in the real world. However it seems to be a fair way to score. I had knee replacement surgery after going into mens 7 so that may have something to do with not picking up 6 buoys. I think after 65 it gets just gets harder physically and mentally. I did go to a 68" ski but I will probably go back to 67 next summer. The bigger ski is easier on my body but it doesn't turn as well.
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I agree. 2 MPH does not equal 6 balls.

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S1Pitts, I tried a larger ski; both of the same model I am on now and another model.

 

Neither worked at my hardest pass. However, I am down to 168-170 pds (6'2") and on a 67.5 Goode XTR, and I am on the bottom of the range recommend, but I thought trying a larger ski was worth the try as I like to have as much ski as possible. The larger ski worked OK, I really liked the glide for the gate and the gates, but alas it just did not work for my hardest pass, never felt that I could get the ski settled on the pre-turn/turn.

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IMO a slightly bigger ski helps when slowing down. Like ZBS and happy at 32mph after skiing at 34 for 25+ years. As a weekend enthusiast with a 5-6 month New England season 32mph is easier on the body and just as fun. I’m skiing about the same lines and totally stoked when i run my first 4 passes fairly clean. I’m in it for the long run, hoping to ski another 25 years, and not worried about what they say age divisions should be doing, or what my ranking is.
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