What is Super G In Skiing? [Comprehensive Guide]

Indeed, we do say: “Thrill is the essence of life.” 

and trying something new, something you have never done before, or something you can say that yes! You are the one who has accomplished it. Then skiing is the only sport that can give you a feel.

Gliding on snow with a pair of skis, boots, goggles, and bindings might look fascinating to you, leading you to participate in the winter fest, but what if different disciplines of skiing like Downhill, slalom, or Alpine skiing confuse you?

We totally understand that these terminologies baffle you. That is why this blog will answer your simple queries regarding skiing.

Skiing, Alpine skiing, and disciplines

Gliding on snow with a pair of skis on is called skiing. There are two types of skiing Freestyle skiing and Alpine skiing. The former includes speed and stunts, while the latter is more about turns and techniques.

What is Super g in skiing

A few facts about Alpine skiing are that it includes: 

  • A predefined slope along with a minimum number of turns. 
  • Skiers can go up to 81 to 83 mph. 
  • The vertical drop in this race for men is 800 to 1100m for men and 450 to 800 m for women.
  • The equipment needed in Alpine skiing includes skis, bindings, boots, helmets, and protective gear.

The disciplines of Alpine skiing are:

  1. Downhill
  2. Super G
  3. Giant Slalom
  4. Slalom
  5. Alpine Combined
  6. Parallel

What is Super G in skiing?

Super G is a combination of downhill skiing and slalom. The term super G stands for Super Giant Slalom, an Alpine skiing event.

Super G is a speed event. There are 28 to 45 gates in a single event. The length course for men is 400m to 650m, and for women, it is 400m to 600m. It is a single-round event, and no practice is allowed at full speed. However, the participant can visually analyze the vertical drop.

It is more challenging in terms of a technicality than Downhill skiing as the slope is lesser, and the number of gates is more significant and closer.

That is why accuracy is the key to winning this race, and missing a single move around gates marked between two poles leads to the participant’s disqualification.

Super G is different from the traditional slalom as the vertical drop is lesser. At the same time, the number of gates is more significant. The participant is advised to take a tucked position to increase the rate and maintain accuracy. 

Skiing is the only sport encouraging even middle-aged or older people to participate, unlike regular sports. Like Aamodt won his gold medal in the Winter Olympics at the age of 35 years.

Which is the faster slalom or the giant slalom?

Giant slalom and slalom are both technical events. Still, speed is more significant in many slaloms than in the traditional slalom. Moreover, in the giant slalom, the skier usually approaches 50mph. In comparison, slalom is more intense regarding technical skills, and the speed in slalom ranges from 40 to 43 mph.

The gates are put closer in slalom, so accuracy with a moderate speed can only take you to win this race. A higher rate would ultimately lead you to miss the closely placed gates. 

Contrary to the giant slalom, where the gates are wider and set further apart, the skiers don’t collide while gliding at their highest speeds during the course.

The giant slalom has a longer course than the slalom, and the gates are kept farther apart than the traditional slalom. Winning this type of competition will undoubtedly give you a feeling of achievement.

How is Super-G different than Downhill?

Talking about speed, Downhill is the fastest skiing event among the rest of the events. It has the most extended terrain at which a skier can slide from 81mph to 93mph. In Downhill, the flag placement is nearer than the Super G to give the skier the required speed. The number of flags for females is 30, while for males, the number is 35. Moreover, the flags are positioned wider apart, similar to Giant Slalom racing.

Downhill has one or two straight traverses while in Super G. There is no such thing, and the skiers must be vigilant all the time as a single missed flag would eventually lead to disqualification.

Also, discussing the history of skiing, Downhill is the oldest event starting in 1921. The Super G was introduced in 1982 during the World Cup series.

Overall, Downhill is a tougher event due to its overwhelming speed, so the skier must take a lot of training sessions to effectively display a showing during the winter fest while doing some jumps and gliding on the snow.

Why does the giant slalom have two runs?

The giant slalom is quite similar to the slalom. It is a technical event in which the skier has to show smooth turns rather than the speed as in Downhill. 

In the main event, the athlete must navigate smoothly through a fixed number of gates that are set wider apart. Missing a single turn equals missing a gold medal or leading to disqualification from the event.

In the Giant slalom, each skier can take two runs down the course based on which points are awarded. In the end, the skier with the highest average points for the two runs is declared the winner.

Both the runs occur on the same day. Usually, the first run takes place in the morning, while the second one takes place in the evening. Awarded points are based on the shortest time taken by the skier while performing all the turns. 

What is more challenging, downhill or Super-G?

Super G is described as a more complex and technical event than Downhill due to its continuous turns. It has no straight terrains like Downhill that include at least one course in which the skier just needs to put a speed show and doesn’t have to worry about continuous turns. But Downhill is the longer course than Super G with a flat or vertical slope. 

Concerning the placement of the flags, which can also be called poles, Super G involves constant turning, and the skier knows about the minimum number of flags placed on the terrain. That is commonly 30 flags for women and 35 flags for men. In Downhill, there is no minimum number of flags given to the skier, and they are nearer than the Super G course. Flags are placed so that no flags can be readily seen together. So, the skier must inspect for the next flag after the recent turn. 

How fast do skiers go in the Super-G?

Super G is a great combination containing Downhill and giant slalom attributes. It is mainly focused on completing the turns with an efficient yet inspiring technique to the viewers. The skiers complete this race in generally a tucked position. 

As long as the equipment is concerned, skis of length 80.7 inches are kept for men while for women, it is 78.7 inches. The obstructions are wood or metal that the skier knocks on while gliding on the snow. The minimum turning radius is 45 meters. Moreover, the skier has to wear pads on their knees, shins, and arm areas to guard off any expected injuries.

Super G is considered a dangerous racing event with speed reaching over 81mph and a vertical drop of 500 to 650 meters. The numbers of gates in this event are at least 35 for men. The steep drop for women is usually 400 to 600, consisting of 30 gates.

Super G starts with a lesser slope and more gates serving as constraints. Each skier runs down the hill only once and has to give their best in one shot.

Final Thoughts

Sports is the best idea to vent out your daily worries and shed the workload. It depends on people how they take the sports. Whether they just come as a viewer or a participant.

Of all the sports, skiing seems the most different yet interesting one. If you have an athlete’s heart, then I bet skiing gives you the best adrenaline-filled pastime.

With skis on and clamped in your protective gear, skiing is the only thing that can give you a sense of accomplishment. 

We are hopeful that through this blog, we have tried our best to clear that confused air in your brain, so what are you waiting for? Strap up your boots and meet us in the mountains!

Mitchelle Lynn