I am not a Skier, I am a Ski Racer.
Masters Ski racer, that is.
Have you been skiing all your life, but never thought of and or heard of Masters Ski racing? Are you an adult new to the sport and looking to improve your skiing? I hadn’t given much thought to ski racing until this year, but now I think I want that challenge. I have been skiing since age 10 except for a 13 year break when life got in the way, but I have never done any sort of racing. I want to challenge myself to become a better and more efficient skier this year. I will try to do this by joining the Masters Ski racing program at Snow Valley.
I have so many questions going into my first year. Can a big guy like me (think Alberto Tomba) well maybe “slightly” bigger than him, have enough quickness and agility to make the gates of a slalom course? How much new equipment do I need? Should I get an FIS sanctioned helmet and 165cm length skis? Should I get longer skies due to my height and weight? Will the longer skis hinder my development? Should I try to compete in national events? If so, does a person need to qualify for these events? Since I am racer, can I leave my skis on the ground right in front of the day lodge so nobody can get by without tripping? Can I ski with an attitude and cut in lift lines? The question I already know the answer to is will I be purchasing a racing suit? I know for sure the answer is no, as that is a sight I wish upon nobody to see.
I will try to answer these questions by doing research and by talking with my fellow skiers. I really wish I had tried out some racing skis in March of last season at the racing ski demo day at Snow Valley. The rest of the answers I hope to find as the season progresses.
Ski racing can be an expensive sport, especially if you are going to compete at FIS sanctioned events. There is so much equipment you can purchase depending on your commitment and your level of competition. The list can get pretty long really fast, and probably somewhat overwhelming. I would think going slow on purchasing equipment you need for your current level and commitment is the way to go. No sense in getting an 800 dollar race suit to run one local event a year.
I am definitely going to ease myself into this. I will take time to learn better ski techniques and eventually learn to get comfortable skiing in brushes and then the gates. Skiing in the gates may be the hardest thing to do as I always enjoy letting my mood and ski conditions dictate where I turn my skis, not some foreboding plastic gate that would love nothing more to cause the ski racer grief. Improving my skiing is a big reason why I want to try Masters racing and a good reason for you to try as well.
Another great reason for anybody to join Master Ski racing is to meet a group of passionate interesting skiers all trying to improve and take their skiing to the next level regardless of what level that is. Comradery within this group will help encourage all skiers to improve, including those like me, who are finding their way through the Masters Ski racing and others who are veterans of this program.
Snow Valley has two Masters Ski Programs – Monday 2:00 to 4:00pm and Wednesday 7:00 to 9:00pm. You can visit the Snow Valley website for more info. This is great way of getting on skis every week. As the late great Warren Miller would say, “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”