Why the Alpine Team Trained on Super G Skis at Snowbasin

The First Chair podcast catches up with PSIA Alpine Team Coach Michael Rogan about the PSIA Alpine Team training event held at Snowbasin, Utah, at the end of February.

Hear from Michael and Paul “Gui” Guimond of Atomic on why it was important for the PSIA Alpine Team to demo World Cup ready Super G skis and compare that experience to the experience of sking slalom skis, and also the importance of the ski community.

Here are coach Rogan’s top three takeaways from this unique training session.

Why Super G Skis: 95 percent of the Alpine Team had never been on SG skis. We spend too much time on skis with 19 meters of sidecut. Super G skis have around +35 meters of side cut. That makes for a very different turn, especially in regard to turn initiation.

They were 210 centimeters long compared to our normal 165-180 centimeter lengths, which again results in different sensations. You can be very comfortable going fast, and going fast is good for you, but your movements have to be more precise and directed.

Why Snowbasin: Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and Snowbasin was the site of the Men’s and Women’s Downhill and Super G runs. Most of us had never skied there, so we did not know the movements of the runs.

All the dips, rolls, bumps and flow of the slopes were new. That is good for the mind to have to concentrate on skiing well and fast and to have to pay attention to where you are going. It is easy to be good at what you do where you are comfortable doing it. Change that up and suddenly you are not that good.

Team Reactions: I think at first there was nervous excitement that quickly became just excitement. For me, to watch our team share something new and get challenged by the circumstances of an unfamiliar place on unfamiliar gear was awesome. It was good for the brain.

It was also an awesome gesture for Gui to supply that many Super G skis at any time. Especially during that time of season when most skis like that have been allocated to skiers who are actually racing.