Ramp Plans

Starting Line (Ramp)

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Brian Morris
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Post by Brian Morris » Wed Dec 04, 2002 4:49 pm

Does anybody have plans to build start ramps similar to those at the FCR series? I'm in the begining stages of planning some races for the later 2003 race season. I want to really make it offical, and professional. I think some start ramps would really make location selection alot easier.

Regards,
"Brain"
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John Gilmour
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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Dec 06, 2002 1:58 am

IMHO start ramps should not make site selection easier. You should find a spot that does not need a start ramp.....then put a start ramp up.

Making a big ramp and having a slight pitch makes for a lousy race in general compared to having a decent hill and no ramp.

One place where I think a start ramp would be welcome is if you had a race where you needed a 50 foot push start to get up to speed for a small but fairly steep pitch. I would say if you were limited by space to a course of only 40 cones and having a start ramp would allow you to have 50 cones...then do it.

But do not try to use a start ramp to try to make a mediocre hill into a passable hill.

Hans Koraeus
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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sat Dec 07, 2002 3:32 am

Brian, I agree that you do need start ramps to make your competition look more professional and yes it makes location selection a lot easier. I don't agree with John in the sense of the need of a hill to do a slalom competition. In the worst scenario (totally flat) you will just have to skip the giant slalom. But you would still be able to pull off tight/straight and hybrid/special slalom. It will just be more demanding on the pumping skills. To make it more pumpable you could also take down the cone distance a bit thus favorizing a change from fultrucks to midtrucks. This will make pumping a lot easier.

Hill or no hill, start ramp or not, the important thing I think is that competitors knows what to expect well in advance so that they can set up their boards accordingly. The dream (my dream) is that even the complete course setting could be known in advance.

Andy Bittner
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Post by Andy Bittner » Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:53 am

I agree with John that start ramps shouldn't be used to try to make a lame venue somewhat less lame.

However I am not for trying to jam them in whenever possible, and disagree that they look that much more professional than any well set-up starting situation. By that, I'm making reference to the no-ramp start for the GS at FCR-San Francisco this past Spring. While we here in the DC area tend to just use boxes drawn on the pavement and footpushes, if you've got a hill that doesn't necessarily need a ramp (like the World Championship GS hill at Avila Beach) and you want it to look professional, you simply make the gate(s) very well-defined portals in a wall of well paid for banners, and you look professional without ramps.

Hans Koraeus
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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sat Dec 07, 2002 5:49 am

Andy, I agree that it's possible to do a "well set-up starting situation" without a ramp. But that's only half of the problem solved. It's the skaters doing foot pushes that gives me a feeling of practice session more than a serious/professional contest feeling.

This doesn't mean you can't have a really nice competition without start ramps. But it would have been even nicer if there was.

And what is your definition of a lame venue? A contest without GS?

Andy Bittner
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Post by Andy Bittner » Sat Dec 07, 2002 6:35 am

...and I agree with you completely on foot pushing. Speaking for myself alone, slalom skateboarding came into my family as an extension of the alpine ski racing disciplines. As such, although we do use foot pushing locally, anyone who knows me knows that even with no ramp, I prefer what I call "lunge" starting, which is a single explosive move from a confined space. It may be involve little pre-hops or whatever, but it's still basically one explosive move. Also, even with no ramp, a set of handpulls can be included.

Michael Dong
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Post by Michael Dong » Sun Dec 08, 2002 7:14 pm

One thing that start ramps do accomplish that a flatland start won't, is that you can clearly see who is up to bat. With a whole bunch of skaters milling around the start area, from a distance (most spectators) it can be hard to determine who is the next guy up. At the FCR races, as the racers get ready on the ramps, they are high enough off the ground that you can see them from a distance and watch them prep and start. It puts the racers on a pedestal - literally.

John Gilmour
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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Dec 09, 2002 5:21 am

You can also have level ground starting arches. RedBull representitives ussually have some that can be used - certainly good option if the hill is already quite steep. And they are inflatable so much easier to cart around than ramps requiring renting a truck.

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