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A ski racer competing in giant slalom

Giant slalom is an alpine skiing discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles ("gates") spaced at a greater distance to each other than in slalom but not as great as in super G. The number of gates in this event ranges from 56 to 70 for men and from 46 to 58 for women.

Giant slalom and slalom make up the "technical events" in alpine ski racing. This category separates them from the "speed events" like super G and downhill.

The number of direction changes in a GS course equals 11% - 15% of the vertical drop of the course in meters, 13% - 15% for children. The vertical drop for a GS course must be 250 - 400 meters for women, 250 - 450 meters for men.[1]. As an example, on a 300 m vertical course, there would be between 33 and 45 direction changes for an adult race.

Giant slalom skis are longer than slalom skis, but not as long as super G and downhill skis.

In an attempt to increase safety, the 2003–2004 season saw the FIS increase the minimum sidecut radius for giant slalom skis to 21 meters and impose minimum ski lengths for the first time: 185 cm for men and 180 cm for women. A maximum stand height (the distance from the snow to the sole of the boot) of 55 millimeters was also established for all disciplines.

In May 2006, the FIS announced further changes to the rules governing equipment. Beginning with the 2007–2008 season, the minimum radius for GS skis will be 27 meters for men and 23 meters for women. Additionally, the minimum ski width at the waist will be increased from 60 to 65 millimeters, and the maximum stand height for all disciplines will be reduced to 50 millimeters.[1]

See also

Giant Slalom is when you ski downhill between poles spaced far apart.

References

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Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles (gates) spaced at a greater distance to each other than in slalom but less than in super G.

Giant slalom and slalom make up the technical events in alpine ski racing. This category separates them from the speed events of super G and downhill. The technical events are normally composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run.

Contents

Course

The vertical drop for a GS course must be 250-450 meters (820-1476 ft) for men, 250-400 m (820-1312 ft) for women. The number of gates in this event is 56-70 for men and 46-58 for women. The number of direction changes in a GS course equals 11-15% of the vertical drop of the course in meters, 13-15% for children. As an example, on a 300 m (984 ft) vertical course, there would be between 33 and 45 direction changes for an adult race.[1]

Equipment

Giant slalom skis are shorter than super G and downhill skis, and longer than slalom skis.

In an attempt to increase safety for the 2003–04 season, the FIS increased the minimum sidecut radius for giant slalom skis to 21 m (69 ft) and for the first time imposed minimum ski lengths for GS: 185 cm (72.8 in.) for men and 180 cm (70.9 in.) for women. A maximum stand height (the distance from the snow to the sole of the boot) of 55 mm (2.165 in.) was also established for all disciplines.

In May 2006, the FIS announced further changes to the rules governing equipment. Beginning with the 2007–08 season, the minimum radius for GS skis was increased to 27 m (88.6 ft) for men and 23 m (75.4 ft) for women. Additionally, the minimum ski width at the waist was increased from 60 to 65 mm (2.56 in.), and the maximum stand height for all disciplines was reduced to 50 mm (1.97 in.).[1]

History

The giant slalom was first run in the world championships in 1950 in Aspen, Colorado, and debuted at the Winter Olympics in 1952 in Oslo, Norway. The GS has been run in every world championships and Olympics since.

Upon its introduction, giant slalom briefly displaced the combined event at the world championships, until it returned in 1954 in Åre, Sweden. The combined did not return as an Olympic event until 1988 at Nakiska, the alpine skiing venue west of Calgary, Alberta.

See also

References


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