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2016 Rules Change - Ramp Color


lottawatta
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"red-orange" was added. Everything else stayed the same. I was just curious as to what or who drove this. I have been over several different color surfaces, and I will take a white, blue, green, or any other color surface over a red surface with no wax or wax full of goose schnit.

The only real reason I have an interest in this is because I special ordered my surface blue. I like to be different. My blue surface was good enough for Jr. U.S. Opens and World Disabled championships with nothing but positive reviews and several records.

 

 

 

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I sent in inquiry to my midwest rules committee reps. I was just curious if any ballers knew the reason or not. Seems to me, a red surface is no more safe than another color that is contrasting to the sides and the water. IWWF rules suggest a red-orange color, but allow for any color, including waxed wood's natural color.

 

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At the 2008 Jr. U. S. Open, as skiers arrived to the site, they walked down the path to take a look at the jump. To their horror, it was blue! On practice day, the first jumper went out to take a set. Several other jumpers were at the waters edge as the skier coasted back in after three solid jumps. "There is nothing wrong with THAT jump" was the first comment spoken. I think the performances spoke for themselves. Ask Sledgehammer or Worden what they thought of that scary blue jump. There is a video on youtube of Zach's record in very adverse wind conditions.

Where did the need to be exclusionary come from? Was there a specific crash, a specific occurrence on a non-red jump? Did a boat driver drive into it because it was white instead of red? I am not sure why the rules committee thought it was necessary to make red-orange a requirement vs. a recommendation like it has always been, but whatever. It isn't like I need another reason not to host any more tournaments.

 

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For the 1972 Group 1 Championships (now called Pan Am Championships), held in

Montreal, CAN, on a site that was later reconfigured to become the canal for Olympic

Rowing, etc. in 1976. The ramp surface was WHITE. There is a photo of Ricky McCormick

jumping wearing sunglasses. (And a cap with the bill turned backward).

 

At our Ultra Pond tournaments during the mid- and late-1970's, our ramp was coated

with a yellow polyurethane, and there were no complaints about the color. During that

era, there were a variety of ramp colors used. The wooden surface ramps with wax

sure looked dark and nasty, when it got late in the season.

 

Interesting, that as of the 2015 Rules, an X is allowed on the top left corner. The ramp(s)

at Grew Lake had/have that, and there was some concern about it being a variation from

the Rules, before it was specifically allowed.

 

Note that the MasterCraft and then Bemman surfaces were/are red, and a lot of jumpers

have become used to that color, that has almost become a standard before any Rule.

 

Back On The Tour, there was an exception granted, and their ramp surface could have

about anything on it. Such as a Michelob Dry logo. At that time, the jumpers were

adamant that there needed to be a white line across the ramp at the waterline, particularly

at sites where the water was clear. We stretched a Rules interpretation vs. out-of-water

markings a bit to do that.

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Noting the @lottawatta comment. Ramps that have been previously used, that don't meet

the 2016 color specifications, should be "Grandfathered" if they have been used in jump

tournaments. Sites shouldn't be required to spend $$. If skiers don't like the color of the

ramp, they can vote with their feet...or chip in to re-coat the surface.

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The rationale was that the IWWF rule book states "red-orange" and the AWSA book didn't include a color. So the basis was to bring the two rule books in line. It was briefly discussed that there wasn't many (if any) ramps that weren't red-orange already so the impact was felt to be minimal. If memory serves me correctly I think it was approved without discussion at the board meeting.
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IWWF 13.02 l: It is recommended that all jump surfaces (fiberglass) be of a red-orange colour. Wax surfaces on wood will remain their natural colour.

 

IWWF Doesn't require a red-orange color......and allows for wax over wood. Bringing the two in line would be to recommend a red-orange color. There used to be a handful of aqua or white surface in your old stomping grounds of OH, IN, MI @klindy. Not sure how many are still around, but there are some.

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@lottawatta you're correct on the exact language in the IWWF rule book. The specific comment/rationale in the rules committee report is - "Rationale: Realized that the color of the ramp was not in the rule book currently and have put the color back. Red-orange color, consistent with IWWF wording. TC OK also". I'd also agree that there were some white (and even yellow if I recall) surfaces in the Midwest. I have no idea whether they still are in tournament use.

 

Does anyone know if there are any ramps which are not red-orange (if fiberglass) or if there are any waxed wood surfaces in tournament use?

 

If so, and they plan on having a tournament, I would suspect it would a good case for an AWSA rules exception request. Whether it's granted or not is up to the committee. I do know that preventing ANY site from holding a sanctioned tournament was not the intention in any way.

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I didn't feel it was intentional at all @klindy . Just making a statement for the board to consider. Definitely something that should be brought up if a site is potentially eliminated from hosting. Just looking out for the sport(s). Not offended in any way.

 

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Edbrazil, you must remember the '87 St. Paul tour stop where Sammy refused to jump on our blue jump. I was your local flunky and was a little shocked when I returned from the scuba shop to find you painting it. A couple of people weren't too pleased, but once it was painted and waxed, what could we say- it was Sammy...
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@Than_Bogan I agree! I hate it when I see a really nice picture of someone making a turn around a yellow ball. I also hate when I pay to go ski somewhere and the turn balls are high or faded (or both) or some of the 55s, entrance gates or boat guide buoys are missing. To me that says "I just don't give a shit," and sets the tone for the entire set. I also hate it when someone uses a gritty paint on the turn balls so that I can cut the heck out of my shins and calves.

Lpskier

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@bojans @Jody_Seal is referring to last year's controversy about some jumps allegedly being constructed to take advantage of the outside limits of the surface deviation rule. The discussion concerned the "fact" that the rule was adopted to allow for jumps that due to age had begun to sag in the middle and no longer could achieve the preferred level surface. The argument went that the rule contemplated that the jumps would start out level and then sag with age, probably more of a concern with wood frame jumps than the steel and aluminum frames. Allegations were made that some jumps were now being constructed with an intentionally cupped surface, creating a kicker at the upper lip of the jump surface and thereby "helping" some or all jumpers using that jump surface on any given day, perhaps to the ranking list or record detriment of those skiers with scores only from flat jump surfaces. So the issue was whether it is allowable to build a new jump that takes advantage deviation parameters.

 

@ntx Apples and oranges. The dentist in question wasn't using the minimum in-tolerance course width. He was using the mini course outside tolerance width (I know there is no such thing) for his set and regular tolerance for everyone else. If President Obama had been that dentist, maybe he would have referred to the incident as the "Audacity of Hope (ing nobody sees those turn balls moving)."

 

Really the broader question here is whether it is within the rules intentionally to set your course, set your speed control, tie your ropes or build your ramps to the maximum of allowable tolerances for the purpose of enhancing skier performance. I think that in general the answer is "No," but, wearing my skier hat and not my judge's hat, I am in favor of sucking those turn balls down as low as they are allowed to go as a safety precaution.

Lpskier

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@lpskier The rules (at least the World rules) are pretty clear on the question of intentionally using tolerances

1.11: Tolerances

All tolerances are to allow for human error and the intentional use of tolerances by tournament

officials to improve skier performance will not be tolerated. In any activity involving the

performance of an official where a tolerance is involved, it is the official's responsibility to attempt

to be as close as possible to the actual specification.

Slalom buoys are one of the very few places where the recommended value is not in the middle of the tolerance but rather right at the very low end.

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Jump tolerances are also a bit fuzzy. Fast second segment?

 

So when I build a jump, do I need to put some convexity in the jump to offset the tendency to sag? Or is building it straight (like every other jump) knowingly cheating? Would using an old ramp be cheating because it has cupped with age? I hope officials use good judgement and are consistent with history and reality.

 

Eric

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@eleeski the answer to your questions are pretty easy. Build a new ramp flat. Using an old ramp that has "cupped with age" (beyond the limits) would in fact be against the rules. Whether it's cheating or not depends on the severity and location of the cup. So find a way to flatten it.

 

The new rules (being discussed at IWWF) would tighten the tolerance for any deviation in flatness of the surface.

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@klindy Do I need to come up with new ideas to go to exactly flat? ZO did that for slalom and left a lot of people unhappy. Bubble buoys exploited the tolerances and saved a lot of injuries. There is a balance.

 

If I come up with a way to make an exactly flat ramp the jumpers will hate it. Plus it will cost more and be more difficult to build. None of this is good for the sport. Perhaps the average cupping in current ramps should be beyond reproach intent wise. This would keep us from having to build different ramps based on new technology.

 

Out of tolerance is certainly never acceptable - I didn't mean to imply that at all. I just don't want to have our new ramp be a cheater ramp because I didn't take construction steps that are unproven to try to get rid of the normal sagging in every other real world ramp.

 

It will be red...

 

Eric

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As a guy who used to be a very active skier in the 60's, I can't see why anyone would care what color the ramp surface is. I remember a few different color surfaces and had no complaint or problems surrounding the color. I think Piqua Ohio had a light blue fiberglass surface and it was great. I don't even remember what color our home ramp was. The only times I had issue with the jump was when we encountered a 12' wide jump! That threw my cut off due to the way I determined the start of my cut.

Regards the photo at the top; Looks just about right to me! Not late at all, but getting that left shoulder a little closer to the water might be required with Ramp Masters on your feet! ha ha..

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