There are a number of different disciplines in Alpine Ski Racing often split in two and referred to as the Technical Events and the Speed Events. The Technical Events consist of Slalom, Giant Slalom and Parallel Slalom.
In Slalom, single gates are spaced close together necessitating quicker and shorter turns. The gates are set alternating between red and blue and are arranged in a variety of configurations to challenge the competitor. In this discipline because the distances between the gates are relatively small, ski racers take a fairly direct line and often knock the poles out of the way as they pass, which is known as blocking. A course has 55 to 75 gates for men and 40 to 60 for women. A Slalom race is generally composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run.
Giant Slalom, or GS as it is commonly known, involves skiing around a double gate with a panel or flag on them. They are spaced at a greater distance to each other than in slalom but less than in Super-G or Downhill. A GS race is generally composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run.
Parallel Slalom, or Dual Slalom or Pro Slalom as it is also referred to, consists of to courses set parallel to one another so competitors can compete head to head with one another. You will often see this run in a team format, almost like a relay. Both provide a great spectator experience.
SUPER GIANT SLALOM
Super-G or Super Giant Slalom, consists of widely set gates that racers must turn around. The course is set so that skiers must turn more than in downhill, though the speeds are still much higher than in giant slalom (hence the name). Each athlete only has one run to clock the best time.
Downhill, often known as the Blue Riband event, for safety reasons only uses red gates. Racers get a number of inspections and at least one training run through the course before they race. The course is the longest and fastest of the alpine disciplines, and includes jumps and extended turns taken at high speed. The experience needed takes years to acquire. Each athlete has only one run to clock the best time. The fastest ever speed clocked in a Downhill race was in the Wengen Lauberhorn race in 2013, Johan Clarey of France clocked a massive 100.6mph.
Super Combined, is a speed race (Downhill or Super-G) and only one run of slalom, with both portions scheduled on the same day. A true test of the all round ski racer the winner is the skier with the fastest aggregate time.
Kombi races, are often seen in childrens ski racing and can contain a variety of different combinations of features, some can be a combination of Slalom and Giant Slalom in one run, others can be a combination of Super-G and Giant Slalom, while some can also contain berms, rollers or jumps. They can be great for childrens overall ski development.