More Tight racing in 2003

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Richy Carrasco
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Post by Richy Carrasco » Sun Jan 05, 2003 3:26 am

Lets have more variety in the races proposed for 2003, One way is to have real tight racing be a big part of the Season!!!

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Post by Brian Morris » Sun Jan 05, 2003 3:57 am

Richy Carrasco wrote:Lets have more variety in the races proposed for 2003, One way is to have real tight racing be a big part of the Season!!!
I like that idea. I just don't like Giant Slalom. I prefer a more technical tight course. Any chance the courses will get tighter? Before I got hurt, i was practicing alot of 6' and 5.5' courses. Its really frustrating at first trying to go through a 5.5 course with offsets, but nothing is more rewarding when you finally make the course clean.

"TheBrain"

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Post by Richy Carrasco » Sun Jan 05, 2003 6:00 am

It really depends on the pitch of the hill, Tight courses can be run on GS type hills if the cones are spread alowing the riders to twitch at speed!Besides for some two day events, These type courses can be set! We like to train on moderately pitched hills. I personally do not like to ride courses where you are waiting for gates.

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Post by Richy Carrasco » Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:56 pm

The only reason I have brought up the Question about running more TS is to have more variety at the races. Hybrid and GS courses are sometimes to simular. Besides slalom has been around long enough that most riders have quivers with tight boards setup and skills for Tight racing! Bring on the hotrods!!!!!!!!

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:19 am

The real TS will be met with disgust even by those who liked it in the near past. It didn’t take long for people to realize what a challenge the real TS presents. When incapable to face this challenge, they started to hate tiny cone distances and/or flat-land course orientation. TS requires quick reaction and action, as opposed to sheer muscle power that drives modern slalom.

“TS” in Moro Bay was won on a 36-inch board. It is very unlikely that anything will be changed by the race organizers. Most often then not they merely reflect the will of the participants. All the present, past and future excuses that involve equipment limits and accommodating beginners are deceptive. Everyone was able to skate 5.5 ft cones at the New Jersey’s race last year - first timers and beginners alike. In addition, if a piece of plank can do it, so should any other board. The industry will do anything to protect 36-inch “Tight Slalom” boards if no one pays good money for the real TS stuff.

Cone distances will continue to grow or will stay constant to accommodate the styles of skaters in the winner’s circle.

In this environment it is better to understand the political motives behind 7.3 ft flat-land “TS” and such, and continue to set and practice real TS courses on the side. The only solutions I see are: organizing more TS races of “Brain’s” type - small and local, and running real TS virtual slalom races.
My prediction is that even smaller number of skaters will show up for “live” TS races in the future, unless the skaters’ whining will eventually lead to widening of the cone distances to accommodate their physical abilities to skate TS. Also, it seems much easier to find people with common interest online, and no travel is required to participate in “virtual” races.

There are only a few Gilmours here and there. There are hundreds and thousands of miles between them. In this light, I propose another format for the Virtual Slalom. 30 cones on flat instead of 25. Cone distance- 5.5 ft, or 1.67 m. Start and finish line at the first and last cones. 5 meters of run-in and 0.5 meter push box for one foot with one push allowed. This format will allow the use of TS equipment instead of GS equipment needed to run 6 ft cones on flat. And of course, it will require discipline, diet, practice and exercise, the package hated by many.


Take my TS test:
Can GS wheels, such as Turner Avalons or ABEC 11 Flashbacks be used to run this course successfully?
Can a 20-inch-wheelbase board be used to run this course competitively?
Can this course be completed in the rain?
Can this course be skated competitively using surf stance?

If the answer was NO to all the questions, the course is TS.
If the answer was YES to one or more questions, the course is not TS.

Ideas? Reactions? Suggestions?

Vlad.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:23 am

I forgot to mention skating 100-cone courses as a true Tight Slalom exercise.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:28 am

Vlad, Let's be very clear about one thing. There was no TS at Morro Bay. No TS was ever advertised as happening in Morro Bay, and nobody in FCR told me to set a TS course. Therefore, to say that the TS at Morro Bay was won on any length board would be an invalid statement, as there was no TS at Morro Bay. Got it? I call what was set "a slalom course" without all the qualifiers.

Now, on the subject of "more tight in 2003", I can say this. If I am asked to set any courses for high-caliber races, they will be considerably more challenging than anything I set in 2002. In some cases, that'll mean that they'll be notably tighter, but I'm still not calling anything a TS course. To me TS is what certain people were doing overseas during the 80s, 4-4.5 ft.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:47 am

“Got it?”
:roll: No.

Andy, it doesn’t matter what you were asked to set at MB. What matters is how it is called in the media and online and eventually how everyone refers to it.
The course you set in MB is referred to as Tight Slalom everywhere.
On this site, for example it is known as Open Tight Slalom and Pro Tight Slalom
http://www.slalomskateboarder.com/World ... nTight.pdf

Only the Russkies and the Brits were known to set 4-4.5 ft courses. Matsukevich's specialty was 1 meter, or 3.1 feet. It was very far from mainsteam and didn't play a big role in the points game.

Vlad.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:14 am

Vlad, that day you and I were running timed run after timed run on tways marked course.Was that ts? It was the course we ran after the GS on the steep hill. I feel that the super tight stuff like 1 meter is just spastic masturbation slalom. Its got to have some speed and challenge to be good ts.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:26 am

Who ever called it TS besides you, Vlad? I don't care that someone happened to label a .pdf file Tight Slalom. That's hardly everywhere. You said, "everywhere". Where else is this the case? The people throwing the event didn't promote it as a TS. I set the course and was present at the race, and I never heard anyone refer to it as tight. Where is this predominant opinion that there was supposed to be a TS at Morro Bay or that the race at Morro Bay was a TS. So far as I've seen, that's all coming from you. I don't actually remember, but did anyone call it TS on the television broadcast? How did you become such an authority anyway? Isn't The (1st) Gathering the first time you ever saw slalom skateboarding?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-05 19:34 ]</font>

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:35 am

Andy, I think there is enough evidence on this site alone to show what this course is called. No further comments.

TK,
if you look at Matsukevitch’s “1 meter” results, you’ll realize why he liked that discipline so much. No one could even come close. I believe the wheelbase of his board, designed specifically for this course, was one foot axle to axle. The trucks were super loose.

We ran Gilmorian Tight Slalom course, which could have been faster (pitch/wind). Like you didn’t know… :razz:
Courses like that one are the most fun for me. Your GS was GeeAssy, and not Super GeeAssy and not Downhilly. There is a GS slalom course in my visual American-English/ English-American dictionary, and it shows a picture of your course. Pure coincidence.

How about some constructive criticism?
Vlad.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:49 am

Well, Vlad, you're no help. I'm not going to search every post to try to find out the "everywhere" that you're referring to, and I've only found one other post. That post was by the same person who probably named the .pdf file, Dan Gesmer, who is not even a slalom racer. It just seems to me that if these references were "everywhere" and "everyone" was calling it a TS, that I'd be able to see more than one other post about it and more than one other person saying it now. I understand though, that this "everyone" and "everywhere" is mostly in your mind, which will logically, historically supercede what the event organizers or the course setter called the race.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:09 am

Andy, seems like you’ve taken this issue personally. Too personally. Oh, well, see you at the dark side.
Good luck with your search. NCDSA has even more primitive and limiting search function.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:34 am

OK Good, I just wanted to make sure you were not practicing any courses tighter than that one. I loved that course BTW, very good challenge. I do not think I ever made it clean I think you did a couple times. T

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:07 am

No, Vlad, it's not that it's personal at all. I'm just trying to point out that you made a completely ill-founded and unfortunate statement. I guess what bothers me is that you make a statement like, "“TS” in Moro Bay was won on a 36-inch board. It is very unlikely that anything will be changed by the race organizers.", which seems to deliberately imply that the race organizers advertised a tight slalom race, which they did not, and failed to deliver. As such, a statement about the race organizers based on a poor word choice by some spectators, is unfair, inaccurate and pointlessly imflammatory.

It's like a boxing promoter advertises a boxing fight, boxers show up and fight and although it clearly wasn't wrestling, some of the spectators started calling it "wrestling". Now, you're like some press guy, who wasn't even present, advancing the chain of bad communication, by making a statement about the promoter advertising a wrestling match that turned out to be boxing! All I'm saying is that it wasn't supposed to be wrestling (TS) in the first place, no matter what people called it after the fact, and what people called it after the fact is not the fault of the race organizer.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-05 22:09 ]</font>

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Post by Michael Dong » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:41 am

Vlad,

How about you give this 30 cone, 5.5ft spacing thing a name (ncdsa calls their 6 ft, 25 cone deal "cyberslalom").

It would be cool to have a place to post times just like NCDSA has for their cyberslalom.

I am interested in giving this a shot over the next few months. How about an initial time to shoot for? Whats your fastest so far? Looking forward to racing you in the future.

Michael

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Post by Michael Dong » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:46 am

Also,

Its only ONE single push right? Not as many pushes as possible in the 5 meter start? Your foot must be INSIDE the 0.5 meter box but the board can be anywhere right?

Michael

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:47 am

Just for the record, this is cut and pasted directly from the NCDSA Contest Registration sign up sheet for the 2002 FCR World Slalom Championships:

***********************

2002 FCR World Slalom Championships
100 Registered Contestants.
Contest Date and Time: Friday, October 11, 2002  00:00
Entry: Open
Format: Giant Slalom, Slalom
Location: Avila Beach and Morro Bay, California
Organizer: FCR
Map: Click here for online map
Entry Fee: 150.00
Contest Info: 2002 World Slalom Skateboarding Championships
October 11, 12 &13

Avila Beach and Morro Bay, California

The World Championships are a three day event, the qualifications will be held on Friday and the Giant Slalom on Saturday in Avila Beach. The Slalom will be held on Main Street in Morro Bay.

***********************

Sorry, Vlad. At no time that I can find did FCR ever advertise a "tight slalom" race. Now, just because people AFTER THE FACT called Sunday's race a "tight slalom" as opposed to the "giant slalom" doesn't make it necessarily so.

The race Sunday was 7-foot staggered centers with some mild offsets. The only hipper was down about 2/3 of the way on the course in front of the intersection. If I recall, it was only kind of far out to the left to get around a manhole cover. So running 36" boards was completely called for an expected by people who were "used" to FCR style racing.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:50 am

Although what you're calling seven feet, Wesley, actually ranged anywhere from 5'9" at the top of the course to around 12' where I had to jog around the raised letters of the word STOP, in the right hand lane.

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Post by Jack Smith » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:02 am

Vlad...

The Morro Bay event was slalom, not tight slalom. Do you wish for me to send you the event poster? It was my event and I know what it was called and I know what I asked Andy to set. If the event has been called TS by the media or by websites (FCR included) it is a mistake, and I apologize and take the blame for the mistake.

As I have said before, the days of 6' and under courses on hills may be a thing of the past. Faster wheels and bearings along with higher performance boards will render the really tight courses un-makeable. Skateboard steering systems cannot keep up with the demands placed on them in truly high speed tight courses. Plus beyond a certain speed pumping becomes impossible.

Sure there will be guys like Gilmour, Dunn and yourself who could make them with some consistency. But there are few racers who enjoy taking out half the cones on the course, and the spectators would be rolling on the ground laughing at the spectacle, or walking away after watching the first few racers plow the course.

As a racer, I like running tight cones, in fact when I was active, TS was my best event. I like watching JG and PD do the impossible. Most racers appreciate the skill it takes to run really tight gates.

For myself, I equate it to soccer, I respect the athletes that play the game, however I find it very boring to watch. And yes, I know I probably don't understand the game, I choose not to.

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Post by Brian Morris » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:20 am

On 2003-01-05 19:14, Terence Kirby wrote:
I feel that the super tight stuff like 1 meter is just spastic masturbation slalom. Its got to have some speed and challenge to be good ts.
After my race in NJ, you should have heard some of the kids talking about how amazing it was to see people doing that "spastic masterbation slalom" I think long tight slalom courses are not only challenging to the rider, but appealing to the eyes of a spectator because it is so spastic and differnt. I am already planning the next NJ 5.5 TS race, as well as another street race featuring TS, Hybrid or i guess now its just called Slalom, and maybe even the 100 cone challenge. Off topic of this post, Jack how is the USSSF promoter package coming along?

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Post by Troy Smart » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:05 am

In my opinion (which does'nt, and should'nt mean much), you can't lump tight slalom and flatland together.
Flatland sucks.
I don't find it to be fun at all. Probably where the "slalom is a discipline" thing came from.
Tight slalom is a kick.
I love to set a really difficult TS course now and then and beat my self up trying to make it clean.
Just my opinion but I'm sure others feel similarly.
There's Downhill, Super G, GS, Hybrid, TS, and then you have the "F" word.
Flatland (AKA Gay Slalom).
On a side note: I'm itching to see Vlad go up against some of the CA slalom heavyweights this summer. Tight slalom or GS I'm betting Vlad's going to shut more than a few people down.
Gay Slalom guru or not.

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Post by Troy Smart » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:08 am

By the way Vlad, That was meant to be a compliment.
:smile:

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:10 am

Andy!

Neither me nor anyone is blaming you for setting any courses you set. As far as I know everyone likes them very much. Yours wasn’t the only course formerly known by me and everyone I know as Tight Slalom at Morro, that was won on a longboard.
I don’t have to be at every single race to make my judgments. And don’t make me spend over $10,000 a year on trips so that I can form my opinion firsthand! A 36-inch board fact is already good enough to make “TS vs. nonTS“ conclusions as far away as China. You’re welcome to critique it, but so far, you’ve been critiquing my label of your course at Morro.



Boby Turner was “barried” at the Turner memorial race (note: that’s what I think, and the only way to take it away form me would be to kill me!) when no one used TS boards and Turner didn’t even win. Was it call TS or wasn’t ?– that’s not important. But I found the fact to be overly ironic to say the least. And that is what made me sell my 2 classic Turners that I bought in April and May. I wasn’t at the race, but the outcome had a tremendous impact on me. It spelt the end of TS in US, and my decision was purely emotional, as emotional as buying 3 Turners in 2 months. There were probably reasons for setting the Turner event course the way it was set, and I would probably agree with the reasons, but emotions and reasons don’t go together quite often. If they did, 30 and 40-year olds wouldn’t be playing with skateboards!

So, Andy, your course at MB is just a drop in the ocean.


Jack, I understand the politics behind the FCR courses and I’m not blaming anyone for the way things are ran. The current state of slalom in US is more then impressive. Even Jani was truly impressed by the level of competition and the size of the US slalom scene!

But LET me propose some ideas to try to develop TS movement along the side of the “mainstream” slalom! When the current part-time beer drinkers are done with slalom and become full-time beer drinkers, what will be left to the next generations? Only the courses they made look good on TV? American football might look good on TV for some, but frankly I prefer the original “foot”ball, or to be overly-politically correct, soccer formerly known as football to Europeans.
And because less then 10 percent of the Earth’s population prefers football to soccer formerly known as football, it is absurd to call the American football a “traditional sport” on a global level. So, even if tight slalom has around 10 % of followers among the world slalom population, it should have at least the same right to exist as the American Football. This is, after all, an international community forum!

I got in trouble on the Russian Boards forum for advertising cheep German beer and generalizing Americans’ underdeveloped beer taste. And you know, more people were interested in telling me about the beer and their developed taste then about the boards! No one who posted their beer remarks mentioned anything about the boards! Same happened here.

I’m intentionally not going to take anything back. Humans did, do and will always make errors here and there. My goal is not to miss the big picture. If your goal is to correct errors, get a job as an editor!
Image the details!

Please critique my TS ideas and suggestions, not the poor word choice, generalization, extrapolation, validity, reliability, syntax and spelling. Anything personal?----> I’ll see you at the Dark Side, courtesy of TK.

So if there are any other people who would be interested in racing Tight Slalom courses in 2003, share your ideas, that is what this forum is for!!!
100-cone challenge is a good start. I think a new virtual slalom format with 5.5 ft cone distance could be a hit.


Vlad.

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Post by Vlad Popov » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:25 am

Troy, please don’t make it personal. I’m not fighting anybody or anybody’s rules, I’m just trying to do my lil gay thing on the side.
A 36-inch TS board was used to underline the contrast between the real TS and the “traditional” slalom, and not to start another war.
On another note, the only way to compete “online” is to participate in flat-land virtual slalom events. If Team Carrasco is interested, that’d be a good start.
And once again, I’ve tried many things since May 2002, and nothing seems to be a better practice than flatland slalom. Might be boring to watch and hard to twitch, but “tough in practice - easy in competition” (modified A. Suvorov’s saying).

Vlad.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:29 am

I'm ready to be corrected here.

Where else but in California after 1978 was a "Slalom" race advertised as a discipline that was not a TS?

Everywhere else in the world TS is a discipline and the most practiced Discipline. If anyone other than Jani Soderhall or Gints Gailitis or Daniel Ridoli would like to correct me I don't think I'll bother to listen. Those guys are welll traveled slalomers and have raced in more countries and been exposed to more slalom scenes than anyone else.

Let's call events what they are.

All through my racing prior to 2001 courses were what they were advertised to be- all through the East NYC, Connecticut, New Jersey, Europe etc..

I personally have been very disappointed with races advertised as one event and then finding out when the cones drop that they are not what they were advertised to be.

My very first experience with that occuring was at Morro bay in 2001. I spent countless hours with TK drilling varients of possible course settings according to Jack's MB course description which would have had well over 1/2 the cones in the course been "made up of "Stingers" defined as a string of at least 5 cones 6 foot on center".

Clearly this would require a TS board- nothing with a wheelbase over 21 inches.

So we prepared for the race.

At Cambria Simon Levene and I rocketed through the TS course over and over again at speed. we were prepared to skate a course with over 1/2 of the gates as 6 foot "stingers".

It was apparent that a lot of people that came were not prepared to run 6 foot "stingers". It was apparent that they wouldn't have had a snowballs chance in hell of beating Simon. I was worried about beating Simon as he has unbelieveable accelleration in the first few cones- demoralizing in a duel to say the least. But..... I was looking forward to a good race....even if it meant likely losing.

Henry Dropped the course. I duped the course...wondering why a Super Offset GS course would be set on a hill with no pitch.

It wasn't Henry's fault as Henry doesn't regularly set TS (And BTW TS is not "English Slalom" of 4.5 foot distances to anyone but the Brits who call if tight slalom or flatland- TS is commonly looked at as slalom of 5.5 foot distances or larger. most typically TS courses are around 6.5 foot on center to 6.0 foot for straights and looser for offsets.) what you are calling TS of sub 6.0 foot distances is refered to in Europe as "English slalom". Hell the English make everything a little more harder...a little more painful...why not slalom?

Henry hadn't slalomed for years. I have a tape to prove it. And as someone who has slalomed for years- if you don't set a course for a long time you get out of practice of setting courses. Henry did the best he could and I wanted very much to ride a course set by Henry Hester at some point in my life and if this was going to be the only chance...so be it.

But..... I felt..... and was waiting for.... Jack to step in and say "Henry, thanks for helping, but I can't run this course because this is nothing like my course description". It wasn't Henry's fault as I have spoken to Henry and he said he was never given a course description from Jack. I was just thankful Henry was there and lent magic to the event by his prescence.

Jack had a lot on his plate.... but I do wonder why a similar thing happened at Morro bay ten years earlier where people that skated that have told me that it was advertised as a TS and was run as a GS on a light incline. (And this was a race with skilled racers like Evans, Brown, Ransom, Cross etc. who were certainly able and I am sure prepared to run a TS no problemo)

If you run too short a wheelbase on a wide set offset course against someone close in skill to you on a deck more suited to the course... you'll lose.

And it wasn't like at MB 2001 Levene, Fleischer, TK, and I could fly home to get the right gear and be back in time.

So that wouldn't bug me so much but I still see the same thing happening. And perhaps it is always a mistake..... but I saw in the Red Bull Urban waves ads in Newspapers that the NYC banked slalom event was a "longboard event" so again we see people showing up from all over with longboards on a course that the majority of riders do best on with short boards. Once again the course was misrepresented. (I might be a tiny bit off here-----> The course was to have 10 banks set on a 2000 foot course
- the banks were 35 feet long. Anyhow it looked like there would be over 80-100 feet of flatland between banks. Giving lots of time for set up and flatland pumping. I brought a slalom deck. The gates were set up right across from one another. Less than 30 feet separated the gates.

you see it is a different race... it is now a vert skaters race.

No offense to Steve Olson- who busted his ass all night long getting the thing up and running and to my good friend Regis Jefferies (he and I talked about doing this type of event when I approached him for Red bull Support of my July 4th race). I look forward to seeing Olson and Hackett at every race and Olson made the best fix for a first attempt. I also know Olson did not make the longboard newspaper ads, and it was likely a mistake on Redbulls part from the Marketing Department. Olson was faced with a problem- not enough pitch and the pockets were angled in such a way that they wouldn't flow as well if they were set far apart. He made the right call.

The Red bull hill had no only slight pitch and if the course had been set as advertised I think I would have done better and everyone would have done a lot worse. (not a great trade off) Olson, Hackett, O'hara and many others would have still kicked my ass. Olson set the course to carry some speed for the majority of participants and it was to be video taped as well. Olson did a killer Job as did Redbull. BUT Redbull should not advertise the next one as a Longboard race. Also the pocket diameter of the ramps lent to this type of set up. Tightening up the course- helped people use the pockets to propel themselves instead of relying on pumping.

But this (misnameing of courses)has got to stop. And this is partly why these separate forums exist of TS, GS and Hybrid- to define these courses in some range- so this will stop or at least so if two disciplines were to be combined into one course we would have a way to describe it.

If you held a race and told all the race car drivers that the race track would be a set up just like the 24 hours of Lemans (super twisty), and when they got there it was like the Indy 500....they would beat the promoter to a bloody pulp with lugwrenches. Those drivers sponsors would spend millions of dollars to get their gear to a race and find themselves losing to a bunch of other racers they might normally beat...who happened to have the right gear close at hand. BUT..... it wouldn't be the DRIVER'S money.... it would be their sponsors.

If I go out to the movies to see an action adventure movie and instead I get a slow moving murder mystery... I might have prefered to choose a different movie.

I can't forgive Jack for allowing the 2001 race to be set as a GS because he did the same thing 10 years earlier according to other skaters. (I hope I am wrong on this- but a simple phone call would answer it). But I think mentioning that there would be two different courses might have helped things. The second type of course could have been announced at the night before racers meeting or voted upon there.

Jack's reasoning was this is a rebirth of the sport and everyone should make the course and that the racers were not experienced enough to make the course. All true- but there should have been a separate class created. Unfortunately there was not.

In skiing there is GS and Slalom.

In Skateboarding there has been GS and TS. only California has refered to "Slalom" and set wide gates.

MB 2002 cone spacing
------Andy Bitner - you are wrong. There wasn't a single 5 foot 9 inch gate on that course. Nor was there a single 6.0 foot wide gate (as you said it was 6.0 foot earlier). (Next week you'll be telling me some gates were 5.5 foot... ha ha ha ha )That is an outright mistake on your part to say so. Unless my shrunk to size 4 women's on race day it just ain't so. I have paced every single FCR race I have raced. Everyone sees me measure the courses....one foot directly in front of and touching the other.

I wear a size 10 DC Manteca Shoe. 6 of those end to end between cones is about 6.5 feet center to center. Your cone spacing was well over 8 foot. Next time don't use some course setting freedom strides mumbo jumbo to divine the course...measure it. I am complaining about the cone spacing...not your style of setting courses.

As for Jack saying that the 2001 and later equipment has prevented us now from doing tight gates. That is Pure BS. Using the new gear I can run tighter stuff faster and safer with more confidence than ever before. Since when has having better lighter gear and more responsive gear and more grip resulted in less manueverability in ANY sport?

As for "cone spray". TV only shows the top 8 (so far) and all of the top 8 in MB could ahve ripped a true TS course to a much higher speed than which would have made better TV.

The Bob Turner Memorial race COURSE was an ugly joke played upon my very Dear friend Bob Turner. The Memorial idea was great, but the course was not. Those types of courses are EXACTLY the types of courses Bob told me he would complain to me about being set in the 1970's that would shut down the Turner team. I set a fast run that day against Mollica, but it wasn't as a Turner Downhill team rider it was as a Turner Summer Ski team rider. You just can't generate any pump on a short deck with that type of cone spacing.... and there was nothing technical about the course. It was not a historical Turner course. BUT.... of course as the event was named the Bob Turner Memorial course we all expected it to be a True Turner TS.

The MB course that stood could and should have been named a longboard TS. I could have easily gotten an Ed Economy board through the course. All I need are cone spacings over 7.5 feet to do this and there was PLENTY of room to spare for that.

Jack you came to me after MB 2001 and Asked about TS spacings. You asked me what is the tightest spacing people would run? I said 6.0 feet, but not many people would be able to make that. At least 6.5 feet or greater currently. Cambria had a lot of true 6.0 foot spacing- and at the time few skaters could make it. It was the tightest spacing people had run other than Simon's Ultra tight TS course he set at Cambria.


Still today I wouldn't advise setting a true 6.0 foot TS as the skill level though improved isn't all there yet.....but for 6.5 foot and 7.0 foot it is. 7.5 foot would be a cake walk for most highly ranked Open class racers even at very high speeds on steeper hills.

For most of the racers over 8-10 foot slalom is....well..........frankly "beginner slalom". And California is the Mecca of beginner slalom. I doubt it would have changed much in terms of placings. I would Expect Ransom would have won on a faster GS course (going a lot faster) and Chicken would have done well on a TS course as would have Paul and Maysey. But having them race on a beginner course to someone that does not know them might let people doubt their hard earned skills. And certainly no one would say that Chicken and Ransom were not skilled skaters and we all know they can run faster and more technical courses. So why not let the crowd be more impressed at their skills?

Californians RULE "beginner slalom". for what it is worth.

Maybe we should call it Longboard slalom as I doubt anyone would have had trouble making the course on anything smaller than a Large GS board.


Skateboarding in Europe refers to what we Americans call TS as Special Slalom (all cones staggered with irregular spacings) or Parallel slalom (Straight cones) and don't bother calling me Pro Europe as this is an International Forum. I got used goofed on at the the Northern CALIFORNIA downhill Skateboarding Association. And Frankly NCDSA.com should be Calicentric.

Realistically Arab is doing his duty to retain NCDSA.com as a Calicentric Site. This is no insult to Arab I am completely serious and I support him for being calicentric on a california site. Go Arab :smile:

hell... I would likely feel the same if I started a NYC Downhill Skateboarding Association site and everyone who posted there was from California or the midwest. So though I may disagree with Arab's and other Calicentric opinions -in general-, I feel they are completely appropriate and indeed completely called for on that board and I respect them for being Calicentric on NCDSA.com after all California is it's middle name.

But Skateboarding isn't just california's sport. And each time skaters travel to California and find that a course is set that does not meet the description or expectations .....of course people feel "tricked".

The race the racers liked the most was the closest thing to TS. Catalina TS. Why? Because that is what most people practice and enjoy in slalom. They like GS too..... but the majority of people practice downhill TS.

Give the racers what they want and please forget about a few cones being knocked down.

I want to know one reason why those courses are good or considered enjoyable.

I encourage anyone out there to get out their timers and set in the same distance (Timing strip to timing strip) a real TS course and a "longboard TS course" on a slight grade and measure times for a wide range of racers.

you'll find that the times "bunch up" for the loose course because pumping is less a factor than the gear as you get fewer pumps in and coast longer on the wide spaced course. The newbies can go a bit faster and the more practiced guys can't go AS fast because there are not as many pumps in the same distance.


Jack, Terence Kirby started slaloming just over 1 year ago. So did Vlad Noah and UR13 also. Mandarino is so fast. And of course I do well in TS. What do these people have in common? well some of them have slalomed less than 2 years...... not too bad to become an expert.


I have no interest in making Slalom an East Coast TS sport. I do have an interest in making Slalom a global sport.

Wesley Tucker, a tight slalomist (not many hills in Charlottte SC) and Tasos held a Longboard World Championships. Like Henry, Wesley set the type of course he was used to setting. We struggled to get Longboards through a course better suited to short boards. But...we did it. Mine was barely legal, and skinny, but the playing field was level. The course was set as described. There was "Course Integrity"

BTW Troy, if you were there you wouldn't think flatland sucks. I have felt in the past that Flatland sucks... but this surface was about as perfect as you could get- well lit, clean, and extremely pumpable and grippy as I used 98a in front and 94a in rear and had no sliding. Flatland can be fun- but the surface MUST be excellent. To many people across the USA + Europe...Flatland is all they've got. And despite lack of hills Florida slalomers Bobby Mandarino is incredibly fast as as Keith Hollien and Mark Mcree tossed in some very fast runs at the Kravis center in West Palm beach, FLA. Flatlanders pump better.

But I'll agree that flatland on a non grippy imperfect surface...does suck....... no speed.


FCR has done some amazing things for our sport. Getting slalom on TV Xmas day was certainly the best Xmas gift I have ever gotten..... and I am completely serious about that. But right now I want to make sure that new racers aren't discouraged.

TK 4.5 foot slalom and 3 foot slalom was practiced by such a small percentage of the total slalom skaters that we couldn't push people onto 24 inch boards to run as slow as 18 mph. ( I would safely guess that there are fewer than 10 people in the world today that could make one of Simon's courses on Simon's deck- more could on ultra short wheelbase decks)

But for some flatland skaters "Near Ultra TS" will still be a discipline. I have seen Martin Sweeny do 4 foot offsets with controlled slides at about 15 mph and Simon do fast 5 foot offset TS and it is remarkable. Should they get enough participants interested in doing this I think they should be granted a racing class of Ultra Tight slalom whenever 4 or more skaters show up to a race that can do it well. Few participants would make it go fast and it could be done while we were tabulating the bracketing after qualifications. Even a short Ultra tight Demo is welcome whenever Simon is around.



I'll likely regret posting this. but it does have to be said. "Course integrity" is inmportant. Without "Course integrity" preparation is not the same for all racers.

edited and "Tempered" by me the next morning. The way it was it should have been at the Dark side.





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-01-06 09:30 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-01-06 10:09 ]</font>

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:08 pm

Boy... this group can bitch and whine the fun out of anything. I'll go back to what I originally said on this post, which is that I intend to make the courses I set this year tighter than those I set last year. By the way, this statement was made to TK, via e-mail, before this topic was initiated.

John Gilmour... next time we see each other, DUCK! 'cuz my fist is headed for your mouth. The next time you call me wrong in public you'd better be right. For your information and your feet's information and for everyone elses' information the distance between the first and second cone at Morro Bay 2002 was 5'9", on-center, and the distance between the second and third cone was 5'11". Yes, even after 25 years, I still like to throw down a tape measure down every once and awhile, and double check the lenth of my "course setting freedom strides mumbo jumbo". But, as I said, the course clearly ranged up to about 12 feet around the intersection, and probably did average out to about 8'.

The real problem here, that makes this damn thing sound so whiny, is that these guys (Vlad and John) apparently feel the need to speak in extremes and ultimates to make their otherwise rather weak arguments. "Everybody" sees John pace the course, and "Everybody (Vlad) knows" refers to Morro Bay 2002 as a TS. Well, if any one of the people in this world who hasn't seen John pace a course would speak up, we can debunk the first statement; and as I AM someone Vlad knows, who doesn't call Morro Bay 2002 a TS, that shuts down that argument as well. What a treat to realize that a guy I thought was a friend apparently doesn't even consider me someone he knows.

Furthermore, I had no way of knowing that most of Vlad's change from Turners to his own homemade planks was some kind of over-emotional, hysteric, self-righteous, point-making reaction to one poorly set course at a race he didn't even attend. Man! Pout a little harder next time, girlie. Personally, I can't tell you how glad I am to finally know this, as I will stop advancing the notion of Vlad being put on the Turner team, which I have been doing periodically since I promised I would last Spring.

So, all of this s**t is why I've always resisted over-defining course types. Y'know, if you guys pigeon-hole your strengths enough, actually defining a discipline that is almost specifically tailored to what you're strongest at, you'll eventually make the "pond" so small, you'll finally appear to be a "big fish". I mean, I can't believe that I actually read John Gilmour suggesting that there is even an "ultra-tight" discipline outside of the "tight" discipline. How 'bout the "Slightly-Tighter-Than-Tight" discipline, "Slightly-Looser-Than-Tight", or the "Only-Very-Slightly-Tighter-Than-Hybrid" disciplines? Then you've got "Slightly-More-Hybrid-Than-Giant", "Much-Tighter-Than-Hybrid-But-Not-Quite-Tight" or "Slightly-More-'Slightly-More-Hybrid-Than-Giant'-Than-'Slightly-Looser-Than-Tight'" disciplines.

Whatever we do, we should make it all so complicated that it's largely incomprehensible, and we must absolutely not consider the success and simplicity of World Cup skiing (slalom, giant slalom, Super-G, and downhill). Do whatever it takes, you guys. Tear it all down. Make outlandishly positive (but wrong) statements, insist the sun comes out at night just because "everyone" in your apparently VERY small worlds says it's so, over-react to singular incidents, or ask obvious questions, which, if answered, wouldn't make the point you think you're making.

"Where else but in California after 1978 was a "Slalom" race advertised as a discipline that was not a TS?"

Maryland, 2001. Summer Nights Season Finale was billed as "slalom", which was INTENTIONALLY not billed as "TS". Furthermore, I don't believe I've ever seen any of the DC Outlaw Series races (summer or winter) billed as TS.

So, one more time, I'll go back to what I've been saying for months. When, or if, I am asked to set any courses for world class races this year, everyone should expect them to be faster, tighter (but not what I call "Tight Slalom", which I consider to be 5.5' or less, the tight spacings I practiced for years during the late-80s) than those I've been setting in the past few years.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-06 08:13 ]</font>

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 3:54 pm

"Although what you're calling seven feet, Wesley, actually ranged anywhere from 5'9" at the top of the course to around 12' where I had to jog around the raised letters of the word STOP, in the right hand lane"

To someone trying to figure out what happened at the MB race..... if they read the above quote.... they might start running some cones with 5.9 foot spacing- and unable to make it through with a 36 inch pocket pistol- they'd gear up with a shorter deck.

Andy Bitner said the spacings of the second and third cone were 5'9" and 5'11" respectively.

I don't recall that- but I will assume that I was wrong.

But also please note that they are consecutive cones..... so that is a single turn.

I could go out and drop a course with 8 - 12 foot average distance and toss in a single turn of 3 feet, and easily make it on an Ed Economy longboard.

Not to be boostful....BECAUSE it is easy as it is only a single turn.

If you have room infront of and behind the two tight cones- all the tighter cones do is dictate that you will pass through the center. It does not make the turn any more difficult to make. Having a single turn with spacing under 6 foot will not make the course ride much differently than an entire course made of 8 foot and 12 foot cones. It also wouldn't require an equipment change. You could toss in other "single turns" that were tight in various areas of the course and it would not require an equipment change.

Your description of the MB course as a 8-12 foot course is more accurate. If you were to add more 5'9" and 5'11 cones on center in a row..... it is likely that every racers equipment set up would change (even my own as I ran the MB Slalom on a GS deck).

On this BBS you'll see categories for TS, Giant slalom, and Hybrid. We could change the name of TS to slalom. But the name TS seems to describe more of what running the cone spacing is like to a new racer.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:17 pm

John, I apologize for getting angry. I just hate being called wrong, when I specifically know that I was right. As for all of the rest you had to say, you and I are not that far off from each other. I refer you back to my original statement about tighter, faster, more challenging courses in 2003.

For me, just so people realize it, my frame of reference as a coursesetter is quite different from the individual's impression of a course. What I am keenly aware of as I am setting what is supposed to be a world-class course, is that I have also had to keep that course reasonably makeable by all classes of racer, including Juniors. That is a VERY tall order. Set a course that is reasonably makeable for Lauren Gordon (accomplished Junior slalomer that she is) AND that challenges Paul Dunn, John Gilmour, Chicken Deck, etc.??? Think about that. It's really absurd when you consider it. When I was a kid, and a reasonably accomplished alpine slalom skier, I used to look at the real, pro courses and think, "IMPOSSIBLE!" Even when I've been asked to set courses locally, there is always at least one little voice in my ear reminding me not to set something too hard, "so we don't discourage the rookies". That's a really nice thought, and I'm good with it, but it is also part of the reason why the state of coursesetting in US slalom right now is so easy, and why your statement that we in the U.S. "excel at Beginner Slalom, is basically accurate. That's why I see '03 as the year when the new slalom population has increased to a size that we can begin to separate out the classes and challenge them with courses that are set to their own specific abilities.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-06 10:18 ]</font>

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:48 pm

English slalom ie cone distances under 5.5 feet most liklely evolved in an effort to make the sport harder when English skaters were running shorter wheelbases and ran lots of flatland. Then once those skills were developed on the flat it is likely they took them to steeper hills.

The cone spacing is somewhat relative to the speed of the course (ussually ....but not always (Avila etc..) related to the pitch of the hill).

On flat ground you may never hit that "high speed" and as a result you gear the cone spacing and the set up to maximize speed on flat. 8 foot centers on flat would result in very slow racing.

Running a longer deck won't speed things up much either- you just get fewer pumps in per unit of distance.

Now....Take 6.0 spacing and run that on a much steeper hill like Avila beach. Quickly you would "top out" in terms of speed for the pitch and cone spacing and the rest of the course would likely remain a wiggle....merely trying to prevent yourself from gathering too much speed in a 40-60 cone course. Likely most would blow out..... not good.

Tighter cone spacing on a shorter wheel base board is like a smaller gearing.

As humans we only generate so much Horsepower.

At some point- the biomechanical dimensions get out of hand. For instance you won't see a downhill speed skier racing on 600 cm skis. Going longer would only make the gear too difficult to manage and times would likely be slower.

We enter a course with some speed from a ramp or push start.....why? because slalom boards have much reduced ability to start from a standstill.

Most slalomers want a sensation of speed. They want to go faster and select the appropriate "gearing" of combination of cone spacing and wheelbase to try to hit a higher top speed.

If MB Slalom course had been set on Avila Beach- speeds would have been extremely fast for more practiced racers and of course slower for less practiced racers.

If Cambrias course had been set on Avila beach- the gearing would have been wrong and everyone would have blown out.

Andy I appreciate your course setting, your hope to advance the sport of slalom is the same passion that I have. I'm just trying to make racing faster......like any other racer.

The closest match of cone spacing , offset, and pitch to date at FCR was at Catalina in the TS. **(please note I did not attend Tahoe, Oregon, or the Banked slalom race in New Mexico).

The worst match of cone spacing, course layout for the pitch and offset of the hill was Avila beach. This is merely going by Fluitts poll.

IMHO you take a look at teh hill. Decide on the hills pitch and roll speed for the length of the course you want to set.

Then decide whether the hill can be used for TS, GS, Super G.

MB's hill is not IMHO suitable for GS or Super G. nor would I find it suitable for anything must less than TS (cone spacings of 6.5 foot or greater with the bulk of cone spacings at about 7.0 feet for straighter cones and of course slightly wider for offsets.

I can't really say it is an ideal hill for Longboard (over 35 inches) TS. I would think that to match the gearing we would need a steeper hill for longboard TS with cone spacings in the 7.75 and upwards range.

This thread is supposed to be to define and improve on Tight slalom courses. I apologize for my being so vigillant. But if we can't get stuff sorted out here- what chance do we have of improving the racing? We can't punch each other through the computer.... and that is a good thing. But we can address course issues we feel passionate about that we might not feel was appropriate to do in public in front of others.

Racing is about - improvement. We fight for tenths and hundreths. Of course it will always be nit picking...because it is about nitpicking.

We do have to try to match a course to a particular hill. We want the things most racers want in a race course. We want Speed, cornering, excitement- thrill. It should show some skill. It should also match the expectations and skill levels of the racers..... and hopefully exceed the expectations of spectators.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:16 pm

Andy you were composing as I was posting. I would have changed the above post.

I certainly do feel your plight of having to set a course that meets all ability levels.

I've had to do it myself. It is hard. Quickly it becomes impossible.

I think the courses really can't be made much easier without the higher level racers feeling that they should not bother to attend. As the overall skill level increases...as it has... the rank of skaters wanting more challenge will grow very quickly as the times between the top 20 racers are relatively close.

The Kids certainly don't want more dificulty- Dylan and Josh Byrd are certainly exceptions to this. but a Kids event should be realtively non threatening and give kids a taste of racing.

Kids courses should be slower, less technical , shorter, and as a result of their shortness... individually timed- or the start will dominate the outcome. Less threatening.

In buying a car you'll see lots of variety in different classes of cars. Many different sports cars, sedans, luxury cars. But trying to make a car all three is a tall order. Trade offs are made back and forth. Eventually the sports Luxury Sedans all seem to have similar dimensions and features and many drive extremely similar.

By trying to make a course for everyone we lose variety.

It certainly isn't your fault as you were asked to create a course that met those criteria. But I agree with you that it is ridiculous to have the Pros racing on girls courses.

I think for the pros you want to maximize the speed for the hill, ability level, and course.

For the Ams you want to match the course to the hill by making it a little less technical- but still giving a good sensation of speed, albeit a slightly slower speed.

For the women you want a slightly less technical less fast course. Say speeds sub 20mph. but tight enough to display some skill. And if GS fast enough to show some guts.

For the Boys and novices you want a medium fast to fast less technical course.

The Younger Girls should have a fun course, non threatening, and completely un technical- with the ability to ride that course on a wide variety of gear.

And of course any racer should feel free to move up the ladder at will. I would certainly expect Dylan to want to race a course with challenge. But mind you just a little over 1 year ago Dylan like all the other kids would have prefered to race in the Boys class- frankly it was a miracle he was making it through the courses, and he did stick with it. So setting a challenging course in the end can result in a better racer.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:21 pm

Again, John, I think we are on the same page here (and more than just literally). The oddball thing about Main Street, Morro Bay is that, to make the courses move laterally at all, you have to set the occasional big offset to get people over those two ridges that run down the length of each lane. I won't re-write the whole post I once made about setting that course, but will summarize it by saying that it is a very unfortunate road to race on in an absolutely wonderful, welcoming, hospitable and stoked town to race in

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Post by Terry Kirby » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:43 pm

On 2003-01-05 23:20, Brian Morris wrote:
On 2003-01-05 19:14, Terence Kirby wrote:
I feel that the super tight stuff like 1 meter is just spastic masturbation slalom. Its got to have some speed and challenge to be good ts.
After my race in NJ, you should have heard some of the kids talking about how amazing it was to see people doing that "spastic masterbation slalom" I think long tight slalom courses are not only challenging to the rider, but appealing to the eyes of a spectator because it is so spastic and differnt. I am already planning the next NJ 5.5 TS race, as well as another street race featuring TS, Hybrid or i guess now its just called Slalom, and maybe even the 100 cone challenge. Off topic of this post, Jack how is the USSSF promoter package coming along?
Brian, one meter is 39.37 inches, 5.5 feet is 65 inchs. Big difference. Next time you set a course try 39.37" on center, when you are done ,email and tell me what you thought. Anyone who can run 5.5" ON CENTER at speed is a hot rider. I doubt I could do it. TK

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:56 pm

One meter racing is too tight and is absolutely a maturbatory experience, because those who set such courses usually end up playing with themselves only. However, I absolutely agree with the notion that flat and tight is an excellent slalom practice and exercise.

I'd also like to point out something, particularly to Vlad. The courses I enjoy most are what I call "slalom" and what many others call "hybrid". As odd as it seems to me, I've even heard the whole course type referred to as "GBJ-style". However, this does not mean that I don't also enjoy other types of courses, or that I've been exclusive and close-minded about "MY" type of course all my life. Even today, there is no question in my mind that I already have more time practicing tight (4.5-5.5'), flat slalom courses than you have had on a skateboard altogether. I just want you to know that my choices don't come from lack of experience.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:56 pm

This discussion is the main reason why ISSA (International Skateboard Slalom Association) was created many, many years ago. But then again when did we humans learn from our history. Sure the current ISSA rules could need to be overlooked again but the purpose stays the same. There is a need for all sports to define their discipline(s).
Otherwise it's bound to lead to misunderstandings.

It's always up to organizers to decide what rules to use but we could help them/us with a setup of standardized rules and disciplines. That is what ISSA did. This is a huge but important task but this topic is not the place to go further into that. That will need a section of it's own in this forum.

There is already some confusion regarding european discipline names and the one used in the states. And apparently inside the states as well. It's maybe time to put all our forces together and evolve the current ISSA rules with the current american reality whatever it may be.

We all wish to be able to know what kind of competition and disciplines that awaits us before going to a contest. But without a documentation of what the discipline names mean they won't mean anything. They will be interpreted differently by each person anyway.

There are many possible disciplines in skateboard slalom. Often some of them are more suitable to us and our equipment than others. Some are in our liking more than others. Here we will always have different personal views. This is normal. But when we are talking about our sport terms there shouldn't be.

Let's make history! This is the forum where it could be done. Let's join our forces into clarifying our sport for ourselves.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:05 pm

I would certainly have trouble running a true 5.5 on center course with my current roe bottle rocket set up. I can assure you I would not have a single run with fewer than 5 hit cones.

Even true 6.0 on center is a tall order. perhaps you were refering to the distance between the cones?

In fast TS a few inches will make the difference between makable and impossible.

Now do keep in mind that I would have to have a different set up entirely for flatland TS to be competitive at that spacing.

I am relatively certain that I could make a tighter course with a 24 inch fibreflex kicktail with highly wedged bennett hijackers and shaved down cambrias.

In flatland TS "truck height" can be your friend :smile: as otherwise even making the spacing with the board won't stop your legs from hitting the cones.

But again as I was saying with "Course integrity"the promoter must make an good faith effort to describe the course accurately so that a racer can make a determination of what kind of event he is preparing for both in terms of equipment and training.

Mr. Morris can set anything he likes and hopefully he will post an accurate course description that is "tested"and to stick by it as closely as possible.Try to make an educated guess as to what type of set up range would work for the course so that a Newbie wouldn't have to buy a $1500 quiver of gear to be ready to race a single race.

Corky, you were posting as I was composing. I do completely agree that we need course definitions. ISSA had a good description of that. to stop strange rule "twisting" there was also an ISSA judge- who obviously did not argue the clock, but merely made sure things ran smoothly and used good sense to make a determination to fix unusual problems when they arose.

An accurate course description that is adhered to by the promoter for a course would be great. I do realize that with paint, reflectors and pavement imperfections this might be hard to do unless the course was tested. then of course we run into the problems of the Home team practicing the course well in advance.

But stating the actual course will allow everyone the opportunity to prepare for an event. I think Mr. Tuckers course diagram for Folly Beach was a good idea, and though the course was difficult for longboards, people knew what to expect and could start working with the course at hand early and decide what equipement to bring beforehand.

I just brought one set up deck. Barely had to make any changes as a result and was able to borrow other gear from Deb Gordon and Brady Mitchell. Much easier than the equipment scramble that occurs after the course is firt set....right up to the qualifiers we have had in the USA over the past year.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:07 pm

Hans, what a wonderfully intelligent post. Thank you. What you mentioned will eventually be among the purposes and tasks of the USSSF. We're not going to rush into anything, and want to know that the community is well polled before any Rules Committee begins drafting "official" rules. It has alway been my personal intention that, when such a Rules Committee finally exists, I was going to refer them first to the ISSA rules. I think much of the rules work done by the ISSA was excellent. There were some occasional oddities that were probably, as much as anything, a result of language and tranlation differences. There are also a few loopholes left to be closed, but, all in all, the ISSA rules will be a great reference for and maybe even a launching point for any USSSF Rules Committee.

...and all of this from a guy who is shamelessly (for my age!) ignoring the past fifteen years of slalom history.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:31 pm

Hans, what a wonderfully intelligent post.
Well, thank YOU. You really got me flattered there. :oops:

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:46 pm

I really think y'all are hung up way too much on DISTANCES and not enough on RELATIVE SPEED.

A 6-foot course on flat IS NOT tight. I do it first thing everytime I practice. Big deal. An 8-foot course, though, on a 15% grade is EXTREMELY tight. Again, it's the not the cone spacing that makes a course tight or otherwise, it's an issue of "wiggles-per-second." (or some such nonsense.) If you're going through cones like a jackhammer through butter, it makes no difference if the cones are 5-feet or 15-feet, it's still TIGHT.

I guess the best example I can think of is comparing the Cyberslalom challenge to the dual straight races we had in Boston. The Cyberslalom was 6-foot on a dead flat course. Hard for me to consider that "tight." An almost identical course, though, was set at Boston on an almost 12% grade (John, wouldn't you agree that underpass is about 250 feet long and drops around 20 feet from the top of the bridge to under Massachusetts Avenue?) That course made you wiggle like a salmon trying to swim upstream. Almost identical course (6" difference in spacing,) but two totally different experiences.

Again, I know there are some generalities we can all agree to. Arbitrarily, though, just deciding a course is tight or not by the spacing only address half the issue.

Oh, here's another thought experiment: What if Andy had set the exact same course he did at Morro Bay but on the hill at Avila Beach? Personally, I think that would have indisputably altered the description of the course from "slalom" or "hybrid" to clearly a TIGHT SLALOM course. Why? Just imagine how you'd be wiggling to make the course by the time you got from the start ramp to the Red Bull arch. Your hips would still be sore!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wesley Tucker on 2003-01-06 12:49 ]</font>

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Post by Andy Bittner » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:54 pm

Bingo! Right with you there, Wesley. Cones per second at full speed is what should really determine whether a course is tight, loose, Giant, etc. The whole thing is like one big sliding scale, which is why, since I can't exactly measure whole hills (in the short time permitted while setting a course for a race), why bother measuring the cones. FLOW (creating it or taking it away)is always something I am constantly considering when setting courses, and those decisions are most influenced by the hill and the conditions.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 7:12 pm

Wesley- absolutely correct. CPS might be a better determinent.

So from a course setters perspective a few things might have to change to better accommodate each racer.

Suggestions- just brain storming- lots of holes in these ideas I'm sure.

ramp heights could be different- specifically much higher, and we could offer box starts just in front of the ramps to the kids and women.

That way Women and kids could at least regulate their entry speed.
________________________________________

You could set a course that got progressively more difficult as the speed increased and the course got longer.

That way the Kids with less powerful pump wouldn't hit the more difficult sections with as much speed.
______________________________________--

In setting a single duel course for all ability levels. Using tape switches you could all use the same starting point....but have different finishing points for each racers class. The longer the course the hard it gets and so forth. Split times would allow some comparison and no cones would have to be reset.
___________________________________________

You could change the difficulty level of a few cones or merely modify a section or two to covert the difficulty of the course (this is perhaps the hardest thing to do- and would not allow all skaters to practice on the same course).
-----------------------
of course that all means we are trying to process more and more skaters on the same course. At some point very soon this is unrealistic. I certainly don't want to see racers turned away.
____________________________________-

more single track might help as we can process racers faster. We could still hold a duel event...but not every event be Duel just like the San Francisco GS was Single track.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Gilmour on 2003-01-06 13:25 ]</font>

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Post by Jack Smith » Mon Jan 06, 2003 7:59 pm

John,

My recollection of the posted course description for the 2001 MB race, stated that there would be no gates tighter than six feet. I may be wrong, but that's what I thought I said. It was difficult to give a good pre-race course description due to the fact that I was only able to take two, police escorted runs down the street.

The course that Henry set was not a Super Offset GS course by any means. Henry is incorrect in saying that I did not give him a course description. He and I discussed what kind of course should be set. John, as you know the talent pool at that race was quite wide, the course was set accordingly.

Once again John, you take the facts and tweak them to fit your agenda. I am speaking of "Race Day on Kennedy Way" held in the early 1990's. The race was never advertised as a tight slalom, it was termed a "slalom race" Yes the course was on a slight pitch, it even had a curve in the road. The course was set by committee. Yes, there were some skilled racers there...who hadn't raced in years. Ransom was not in attendance. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Morro Bay race we held in 1980 as well, won by Hutson. Or even the 1977 Pro Slalom event held in San Luis Obispo, Hester won it.

John, I could care less if you can "forgive" me.

I do agree that there should be different courses for different abilities. We have been unable to do this due to time constraints. We only have the hill for so many hours a days. Even if were able to extend the number of days we have the hill, and divide up the racing by categories, certain classes running on certain days, there would still be the problem of staffing the event over this extended period. I am of course speaking of FCR events. John, Don and myself, along with much of our volunteer help have job and family commitments.

John, I didn't say that the newer improved gear prevented you from doing tight gates. I said "the days of 6' and under courses on hills may be a thing of the past. Faster wheels and bearings along with higher performance boards will render the really tight courses un-makeable. Skateboard steering systems cannot keep up with the demands placed on them in truly high speed tight courses. Plus beyond a certain speed pumping becomes impossible." I think that we are fast appoaching a point where wheel traction will not be able to keep up with wheel speed. The contact patch of a skateboard wheel is very small, and it very difficult to create a whole lot of downforce on the wheels.

As for the Turner Memorial event. Yes, the course could have been tighter. Once again I was somewhat handcuffed by the reasons mentioned above, wide ability level and time constraints. Please describe to me historical "Turner" course.

I am not opposed to "tight courses", I am opposed to "super tight courses" where only a handful of racers can make them without plowing cones. At every race this year, clean runs, almost always got more applause and "oohs" than fast runs where numerous cones were hit.

I agree that there is room for course setting and sticking to course descriptions. Often times we (FCR) are unable to pre-run the venues far enough in advance to post a course description in a timely manner. We will work on this problem next season.

I truly do like constructive comments on the races I have been involved with, all I ask is for you to have your facts correct (I sound like Arab). It is very discouraging to spend thousands of dollars of personal funds, not to mention hundreds of hours on promoting slalom and then be scolded by people who do not have their facts correct.

Vlad,

Please fill me in on the "politics" behind the FCR courses. Who called American Football a "traditional sport" on the global level? I have never said that TS shouldn't has no right to exist.
I do not understand your editor remark.
Also did I somehow personally attack you? I re-read my post and don't think I did.

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Post by Richy Carrasco » Mon Jan 06, 2003 8:00 pm

As far as the cyber challenge- We have never attempted it, I will get with the guys and propose it. The courses GBJ set are good but if put on more pitch hills would be great!He did the best he could with what he had to work with!Morro course at Avila hill-- WOW! I have to admit that we run courses with about 6 1/2 to 7,8ft spacing on hills. I think if you go any less with the speeds we are going would be mega blur! As far as TS technique, if you cant do it, Get off the couch and practice! I think it takes more balance,reflexes,Drive than any other event.As far as 36 inch boards chicken is a freak and charges almost anything with it! And Lacosta I rode my TS board 18 inch wheelbase and was charging until i slid out!I know Jack did the best he could setting the course and did it with the intentions of less cone carnage! The pitch of the hill made it alot of fun. Vlad you should have been at Catlalina-- Good speed TS course! Dunn-- Hows about another Cambria Outlaw!

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 06, 2003 8:39 pm

And what's wrong with "wiggle per second?" Are y'all too proud to admit where 'ya came from?

Don't forget, "cones per second" completely disregards the talents and attack of the successful DOUBLE PUMPER. Maybe one guy is wiggling 4 times a second, but right next to him is someone smokin' him at an dizzying 6 or 8 wiggles per second. The possibilities are mind boggling!

(Not to mention the sexual innuendo. You think a dame gives a damn how many cones you can run? But just mention your "wiggle-per-second" and watch her eyes just roll back in her head! That's the trouble with you people: you got no VISION! :razz: )

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:15 pm

On 2003-01-06 13:59, Jack Smith wrote:
John,

My recollection of the posted course description for the 2001 MB race, stated that there would be no gates tighter than six feet. I may be wrong, but that's what I thought I said. It was difficult to give a good pre-race course description due to the fact that I was only able to take two, police escorted runs down the street.

The course that Henry set was not a Super Offset GS course by any means. Henry is incorrect in saying that I did not give him a course description. He and I discussed what kind of course should be set. John, as you know the talent pool at that race was quite wide, the course was set accordingly.

Once again John, you take the facts and tweak them to fit your agenda. I am speaking of "Race Day on Kennedy Way" held in the early 1990's. The race was never advertised as a tight slalom, it was termed a "slalom race" Yes the course was on a slight pitch, it even had a curve in the road. The course was set by committee. Yes, there were some skilled racers there...who hadn't raced in years. Ransom was not in attendance. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Morro Bay race we held in 1980 as well, won by Hutson. Or even the 1977 Pro Slalom event held in San Luis Obispo, Hester won it.

John, I could care less if you can "forgive" me.

I do agree that there should be different courses for different abilities. We have been unable to do this due to time constraints. We only have the hill for so many hours a days. Even if were able to extend the number of days we have the hill, and divide up the racing by categories, certain classes running on certain days, there would still be the problem of staffing the event over this extended period. I am of course speaking of FCR events. John, Don and myself, along with much of our volunteer help have job and family commitments.

John, I didn't say that the newer improved gear prevented you from doing tight gates. I said "the days of 6' and under courses on hills may be a thing of the past. Faster wheels and bearings along with higher performance boards will render the really tight courses un-makeable. Skateboard steering systems cannot keep up with the demands placed on them in truly high speed tight courses. Plus beyond a certain speed pumping becomes impossible." I think that we are fast appoaching a point where wheel traction will not be able to keep up with wheel speed. The contact patch of a skateboard wheel is very small, and it very difficult to create a whole lot of downforce on the wheels.

As for the Turner Memorial event. Yes, the course could have been tighter. Once again I was somewhat handcuffed by the reasons mentioned above, wide ability level and time constraints. Please describe to me historical "Turner" course.

I am not opposed to "tight courses", I am opposed to "super tight courses" where only a handful of racers can make them without plowing cones. At every race this year, clean runs, almost always got more applause and "oohs" than fast runs where numerous cones were hit.

I agree that there is room for course setting and sticking to course descriptions. Often times we (FCR) are unable to pre-run the venues far enough in advance to post a course description in a timely manner. We will work on this problem next season.

I truly do like constructive comments on the races I have been involved with, all I ask is for you to have your facts correct (I sound like Arab). It is very discouraging to spend thousands of dollars of personal funds, not to mention hundreds of hours on promoting slalom and then be scolded by people who do not have their facts correct.

Vlad,

Please fill me in on the "politics" behind the FCR courses. Who called American Football a "traditional sport" on the global level? I have never said that TS shouldn't has no right to exist.
I do not understand your editor remark.
Also did I somehow personally attack you? I re-read my post and don't think I did.

In consideration to your post- no malice intended.

I think the problem that arises is in definitions. lets say Bugs Bunny hears the word "slalom race" and thinks 6.5 foot to 7.5 cones with some slightly wider offsets.
When Bugs hears TS he might be thinking 6.5 foot to 7.5 cones with some slightly wider offsets- perhaps the same course but on a steeper hill.

Donald Duck on the other hand Hears "Slalom" and thinks 6.5 - 7.5 foot on center cones with some wider offfsets. When Donald hears "tight Slalom" he shudders and imagines 4.0 -5.5 on center courses.

When The Queen Of England hears the word slalom she thinks 4.0- 5.5 centers on flat. When she hears the words "Tight Slalom" she gets a mental picture of Martin Sweeny doing 3 foot cones and Anatoly Matsukevich doing 1 meter 100 cone slalom.

When Jack Smith hears the word slalom (Now I am not trying to put words into your mouth I am just trying to guess at your definitions) he thinks of 8- 12 foot gates. When Jack Smith hears the word "Tight Slalom" he thinks of a course with most cones being 5.5 to 6.5 foot on center (Certainly necessitating a tight wheelbase board and a very high skill level which few have).

When GBJ hears "slalom" he thinks of 7 foot to 9 foot gates on center set in groups of three typically on a mild but pumpable pitch
allowing for the racer to use his own power as opposed to a long push start or huge ramp to athletically generate speed. When GBJ hears "tight slalom" He thinks of 5.5 centers.

When Anatoly Matsukevich hears "slalom" he thinks of gates 1.7 meters- 2.3 meters on center on a slight grade. When he hears "tight slalom" he wonders where the race will be...Russia = very tight, england = very tight = possible $$$ for living expenses for the next 2 years. Switerland = possible podium....etc.

When John Gilmour thinks of "Slalom" he thinks of teh bulk of gates being about 6.5 feet on center for straights and about 7.5 feet on center for offsets. very high technical difficulty levels for the pros- lesser difficulty levels for the ams.

When John Gilmour Hears "Tight slalom" he thinks it is probably the same as "slalom" and that they could be just dropping the prefix "tight" like they do in skiing. or that it could be tight flatland slalom. cone distances of 1.7 meters or slightly closer- short wheelbase deck and narrow trucks a necessity.

As for the course definition at MB 2001 I do remember it and unfortunately it is on my ex's computer. TK and I trained for a very different race. and by your definition of the length of the stinger and tightness of the stinger a short wheel base board was going to be competitive with smaller wheels and a long wheelbase deck was not. Hey we all make mistakes.....so what. But I am not wrong on this course description. Someone else might have a copy of it. Indeed there were no gates "tighter" than 6 feet. But then again there weren't any gates that were 6 feet as your stinger was defined.

Some of the other racers at Kennedy Way may have had Bugs or Donalds or whoevers different idea of what "slalom" was. That is what I heard. And I don't really think I bothered to look at races older than 12 years.

We just need some good definitions and need to stick by htem and hopefully be able to post a valid description of the course that is rated by the racers anonomyously after the race has finished. we could learn from this info. We could ask if the racers liked the course. What they would have changed. Did the course meet the criteria of the course description?

The alternative is to do what Tucker did and post a course and stick with it.

MB's street is a bit of a "minefield" of paint, cracks/ uneven pavement and crosswalks. The Pitch is less than appropriate for a World Championship level event. So of course Andy had his hands tied.
Could I have done better- well I think so or I wouldn't be bothering to post- but in reality I wouldn't know unless I was faced with the same problems Andy had.

Maybe there is another street - just off main street which would be better suited. I think we could have had the second course at Avila and done just fine.

"Sub 6.0 foot courses might be a thing of the past with the new gear." Again we may be just having a communication problem.

You may be thinking ...the days of 24 inch fibreflexes and ACS 430 trucks with OJ Slaloms are Done. I would rather see the racing be faster with wider cone spacings. you could not get a Bahne With Seismics and the New Cadillac wheels through one of the courses as it would be too fast- and perhaps too wide. (and you would be completely correct)

I am thinking..... no 6.0 foot, and now we are getting 8 foot and 12 foot courses, lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Why not any 6.5 foot and up courses? (And When I quote a lower number I am always refering to just the spacing to be set for a series of straight cones)

Catalina was about 6.5 to 7 foot on center with offsets more proportional (just guessing- it might not be factual) to what I think many racers expect as a "TS" defined course. I think racers liked the speed- the difficulty level, and that the course was nearly what they expected.

So perhaps this has all boiled down to expectations and definitions. Posting the course to be set would remove a lot of those problems. Sorry if I offended you Jack and I apologize- I was merely reacting to what I wrongly appeared to me as the death of "Pro level TS". (6.5 foot on center high speed technical racing with offsets that do not remove speed and instead let the speed build until it must be managed- hits a ridiculous upper limit- or until controlled braking becomes an issue).

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:26 pm

Wes,

I'm in favor of cones per second rather than "wiggle per second" even though wiggles per second might be better in bed. This is because wps depends on your equipment (Gentlemen! No nasty thoughts please) while cones per second are not. At least almost not.

Once again, this is an interesting topic and hopfully we'll soon have a place in the forum to discuss rules and definitions further (Adam, the last sentence is a hint for you).

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Post by Jack Smith » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:42 pm

When running the 100 cone challenge, on six foot centers, I used a 30" Bahne Classic, Seismic Trucks and Cambria Wheels. Later in the day I switched to a Turner.

At the present time Cadillac is not making a slalom specific wheel.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:53 pm

Hey Jack I was just making up that set up :smile:

Who else did the 100 cones? Times? Did they like it?

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Post by Jack Smith » Mon Jan 06, 2003 10:06 pm

Howard, Dylan, Dave Baker and Terry Brown-Benko.

We all had a blast, much more difficult than I thought it would be. My best time was in the 30 second range with six cones.

I claim the over 45 record!

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 06, 2003 10:08 pm

Hans, I GOT the right equipment to wiggle!
Whenever I pull it out, women point and yell, "ICK! . . . ooh, and it's all 'cut away' too!"

(Nothing like a little gentile humor to spice up a languid afternoon I always say!)

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