This will give you an idea about how my ever active mind works. I was sitting out in my hot tub the other day, downing a G&T and I asked myself, does slalom skiing favour right foot forward skiers over left foot forward or vice versa or is it pretty much even? It kind of makes sense to me that it might favour one over the other since the sport is all about how many balls you make it around and in the end, when the rope gets short, whether you turn best on your on-side vs off-side or other way around is either going to hurt you or help you in the middle of the course. I ski LFF and my off-side turn is my best. I figure I'd be at a disadvantage to someone who skis RFF and also turns best on his off-side because at every odd numbered ball I'd be one off-side turn behind the RFF skier and at every even ball I'd only be even in off-side turns. The way the courses are set up with No. 1 ball always on the right, the RFF skier will always be ahead or even in off-side turns and the LFF skier will always be behind or even in off-side turns. The LFF skier never gets to be ahead in off-side turns but the RFF skier does, every odd numbered ball. That's not really fair to LFF skiers if most skiers tend to turn better on their off-sides than their on-sides but I don't know if that's actually true or not.
You can, of course, argue there's an advantage for LFF skiers if most skiers tend to favour their on-side turns. But do they? What do the numbers say?
Then I wondered, of all the top ranked slalom skiers in the world, how many ski RFF vs LFF?
To investigate this I looked at these two pages for Men and Womens slalom rankings, respectively:http://www.iwsfranking.com/skierinfo/EliteRankingDB.php?event=Men%20Slalomhttp://www.iwsfranking.com/skierinfo/EliteRankingDB.php?event=Women%20Slalom
I went through the top 10 for each side and counted the number of RFF vs LFF skiers. For the remaining skiers listed on each page I just looked at pictures of the skiers for those skiers that had page links attached to their names. Here's what I found:For Women
Top 10: RFF 4 LFF 6
For Remaining 5 that had links: RFF 3 LFF 1 N/A 1 (does tricks only)
So of 14 looked at: RFF 7 LFF 7
Dead even. I know it's not a large enough sample space to be statistically significant but it looks as though it's trending towards things being pretty even for RFF vs LFF.
Here's where it gets kind of interesting:Mens
Top 10: RFF 8 LFF 2
Remaining 10 with links: RFF 8 LFF 2
So for 20 looked at: RFF 16 LFF 4 That's a 4:1 ratio. Also, all 6 of the top ranked 6 men listed on that page are RFF. You have to get all the way to #7 ranked to find a LFF.
Again, I know it's not a large enough sample space to be statistically significant but it looks as though there's enough of a trend there to cause one to wonder if maybe RFFs have an advantage over LFFs in Men's slalom skiing.
Is this just a coincidence or is this data actually telling us something? Why such a heavy preponderance of RFF top ranked skiers on the men's side vs women's side? Could there be anything to this?
Correct me if I'm wrong but the two current record holders in slalom are both RFF, correct? That, in and of itself doesn't mean anything but who have been the last 5 or 10 world record holders in Men's and Women's slalom? How many have been RFF and how many LFF forward?