Editor's Note: This post was originally published October 5th, 2017and has recently been updated and revised for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
A guide to current FIS rules and regs about ski racing suits. If we had to boil it down to 3 things, it would be:
For more information - read on!
1. In 2018/2019, your suit must have the FIS graphic printed on it.
Beginning in the 18/19 competition season your suit will be required to have the FIS graphic printed into it. From now on the logo graphic must look exactly like the one shown and have the following text “Conforms to FIS Specifications CS 2015”
2. The "plomb" is gone! No more. It doesn't matter if your race suit has plomb disc attached. All that matters is the tag.
Plomb/vacuum testing is gone. The only testing will be at the World Cup level, and those will be specifically done by the Specification for Competition Equipment; they state that testing procedures will entail air porosity testing at the discretion and scheduling of the FIS technical delegate.
This change from relying on the expensive vacuum cleaner plomb test as the sole way to determine if someone is using a “fair” suit is not a bad thing. The reliability and accuracy of the plombing machines is notoriously poor and does not address the issue of plasticizing the suits. It only measures how much air moves through the fabric.
3. All Adult SYNC Suits that have the tag, including 18/19, conform and have the FIS graphic.
For at least a decade there have been accusations at the World Cup level about certain teams and individuals “treating” suits after the FIS control and the plomb was attached. Treating suits with different materials is not something that can be tested for easily and it is nearly impossible at a race venue to detect. FIS is putting the responsibility of assuring compliance on the National Governing Agencies and the manufacturers. We believe this is a good strategy to help ensure a level playing field. Proving cheating after the fact or outside of competition can be done and would carry serious repercussions for both the national team and the ski racing suit supplier. SYNC Performance only works with the best factories and fabric suppliers and believes in fair play.
We hope this answers question you might have, for the full list of regulations check out the FIS site. At the end of the day, the takeaway is that with a SYNC suit with the FIS tag - you are good to go.