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March 06, 2018
Several years ago, AWSA made it mandatory that all Slalom Handles be checked after skiing (Post Check) in lieu of the Pre Check (before you ski) that was already in place. And unfortunately for many, the tolerance used for the Pre Check is the same for Post Check.
Here at Masterline, we cannot stress enough how important the quality of your gear is! The following is a reminder from AWSA TC Chairmen, Jerry Jackson to make you are aware of the rope specifications (Rule 8.04) and conditions that may impact the length.
Manufactures handle has a MAX length of 4’-11” (150cm) with a MIN tolerance of -1” (-2.5cm).
Rule 8.04: States that all slalom handles will be checked after skiing and that the maximum length after skiing is 5’-0’’ (152.5cm) with a 44 lb load; which means that the handle can not elongate/stretch more than 1” (with no specific time period). You the skier is responsible to ensure that it will be within tolerance after you ski.
Rule 8.04: Maximum elongation of rope material under a tensile load of 250 lbs (115 kg) is 2.6% + 0.4%. This is how long a rope can stretch and return back to the original length. Little do people know, even a steel cable has elongation.
Example: A five-foot (5’-0”) rope is allowed to stretch additional 1.56” (5’-1 9/16”) with a tensile load at 250 lbs, then return back to the original length (5’-0”) after a specific time period (max 1 hr) under no load. The minimum breaking load is 1,800 lb.
Rope materials are tested under lab condition (ambient temperature 77 deg F) to ensure they meet specification in Rule 8.04.
A skier can apply up to 900 lb load on rope/handle when skiing; exceeding the test criteria for elongation. Therefore, the rope may elongate/stretch even more. The rope material (polypro vs Spectra™), handle section configuration and the TEMPERATURE will also have a major impact on elongation. The hotter it is, it will elongate/stretch even more and take a longer time to return to its original length.
Per the rules, it is the skier responsibility to ensure that the handle section will not exceed the maximum length of 5’-0” (1.525m) with a 44 lb after skiing.
A pre and post handle check was performed on several different types of handles and skiers at several tournaments. It was found that several handles had a maximum of 5/8” elongation after skiing.
IMPORTANT: Based on different configuration and material types (rope) the TC Committee strongly recommends that you pre-stretch you handle (load), keep your handle out of the sun (heat) before you ski and check your handle prior to skiing to ENSURE that it is NO LONGER than 4’-11” (44lb load). Any handles that are longer than the 4’-11” prior to skiing are subject to be out of tolerance after skiing. Which the score will be scored as a zero based on the current AWSA Rules.
NOTE: In skiing, we need the ski rope to have some elongation. The older the rope the less elongation that the rope will have and the less that the breaking load will become (depends on how much its skied on and storage). Therefore, it is also recommended that you replace your ski rope once a year. You don’t want to ski on a steel cable.
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