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What if, what if, what if................I were to race again?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Danger.....Danger.......Will Robinson............

SJ approaches on race skis! Suggest immediate evasive maneuvers!

 

 

Okayso......ski racing and the requisite gear is not exactly foreign to me. But!.......I haven't run a racecourse in anger for wellllllll........a looooong time and I really haven't had any interest in it. However, a recent thread got me thinking about folks just getting into racing and about how I'd approach it if I did want to do that.

 

So.........I'm a pretty experienced skier that's outta shape and in my later years. However, I have been a L-3 instructor, adult race coach, NASTAR pacesetter (hcp-2) race rep, ski rep, product manager, retailer etc, ad nauseum. I know the territory.....just haven't been there in a while and a half.

 

The first thing that strikes me is that many folks think that the thing to do is buy a really high end race ski, join a program, and get in there and pound gates. Despite my experience, that's not what I'd do.

 

First thing for me is I'd set up my boots. I've skied in Lange race(ish) boots for the best part of 30 years so that's what I'm going with. I'm currently in an XT and it's fine for what I currently do. I'd get an RS 130 or 140 (probably the 140), and get my stance set up. I generally ignore this for JSA but for racing, a different deal. Sometime down the road, I might build up a plug boot but that's not a great choice for my foot shape and I wouldn't need what a plug boot would offer for quite a while.

 

Then, I'd start to resurrect my racing skills outside of the race course. This would involve getting a pair of technical skis but not necessarily real race skis at the outset, and getting in mileage on them. I'd start to peel away the lazy habits that 10 + years of skiing on (mostly) wider skis have developed. I'd visualize each run as a race run and each turn as a race turn. I'd work on timing and on making the tightest carved turns that the slope and my skills would allow. Funny thing is.......a lot of folks will just get out there and lean on their boot tongues and ride the sidecut around and think that they are getting prepared to race. You need to work a lot harder on lateral positioning and tightening the turn radius because ultimately, each run down the course is sooooo different. I probably wouldn't jump in a race course for 15-20 days of skiing.

 

Eventually, I'll start to visit the course. I'm going to work on GS for the most part because GS is technically demanding where SL really isn't. I know if I can get the technical skills necessary to run good GS, slalom will come back comparatively easily. First, I'll do a lot of slipping and inspection and visualizing my tactics. I might shadow the course or where feasible, do some short sections. I won't be in any hurry to run full length. When I do start to run half sections or full length, I won't try to come remotely close to full speed. I'll try for 90% for quite some time, then later 95%. I'll limit my training each day to 3-5 runs and go for quality runs. This means that if I'm halfway down and I get really late and low, I'm probably going to pull off and regroup rather than spend the rest of the run recovering, running a slow bad line and probably blowing out again. Rather, I'll pull out, let the next training racer go by and then treat the remainder of the run as a sectioning problem. I'm a firm believer that grinding it out after a mistake is reinforcing the mistake and the attempted recovery, rather than the quality run that you want to remember. Imprinting three clean sections is much more valuable than a hacked full length run with a couple of recoveries and a generally bad line. Eventually, as get more on my game, I try to build each training session toward "one good run". When I nail that run, I'm likely to try to imprint it by going back up and doing a slower run as sort of a cool down lap. Then I'll go freeski. The course will always be there but if I follow up a really good run with a poor one.......guess which one gets imprinted.

 

Eventually, some SL training will start to happen but that's pretty soft cheese relative to GS.

 

That's how I'd do it, but that's just me and naturally...................YMWPV.

 

SJ

post #2 of 26
I hope you have great medical coverage. smile.gif

Good luck in your quest.
post #3 of 26

That's a GREAT post. makes me feel even better about buying some blem pow skis for my daughter on line with Start Haus ten minutes ago! 

 

That's right on the money. I completely agree with the boots. About eight years ago, I had hit 50, and after a teen and adult life in serious race boots, I decided to move on from my 2003 Dobermann's. No great reason, but I decided to by a pair of non race skis {184 Stockli Stormriders}, and I decided to really go insane and buy a pair of Stroltz boots. As close to a race boot as they made. I lasted in the Stroltz for five runs, spread over two days. 

 

So then I called the guy who fitted my kids race boots, and he gave me the "you're an idiot for a smart guy", and a few days later, I was set up in a pair of Nordica Pro 130's. I did use a different liner, and treated myself to new footbeds. And guess what, I skied as well as I did in the "real" Dobermann's, and some would say better. Like my son. And they took a lot less work to fit, were more comfortable, and warmer. Those have since been replaced by a Head 97mm last.

 

Point being that I have a lot of friends who are Masters racers, and a lot of friends who are ex national team skiers who still are fit, and have skills that have evolved along with equipment, and a lot of them are squeezing themselves into real plugs. Boots like the RS give nothing away in performance, IMO. My daughter was a rare comp'd Lange athlete through college, and she's in need of new boots, and my sense is that the RS 130 will be her choice….with perhaps a zip fit liner. 

 

Very, very informative post. Thanks for writing it.  

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

I hope you have great medical coverage. smile.gif

Good luck in your quest.

 

Thanks for the concern but I really don't have any quest or desire to do this at this point. This is just a description of how I'd go about it if I did do this. Really, what I'm hoping is that maybe some folks that haven't raced before will see this and perhaps think about it a little before going off the deep end on gear.

 

I have coached a lot of adult racers and in that context, you have to deal with varying levels. If I had a group of 4-6 guys in the L6-7 range that wanted to get started, this is more or less what I'd do with 'em. I seriously doubt they'd see a race course at all for 10-15 daze of skiing.

 

This is just how I'd start myself because despite my backgroud, the end result would be way better than if I just jumped in a course and started pounding gates.

 

BTW......this is way safer than freesking in bad snow and bumpzzz and snot like that.

 

SJ

post #5 of 26
Oh,

I learned from watching friends in the early 50's get hurt in the race course. I did a few ski club races, but I rather not miss a good day of free skiing in go stand in line at the Nastar course.

Hey, I'm buying bindings for my new Volkl Shiro's afterwork today. So I guess you know where my head is at at the age of 59.
post #6 of 26

Ok, I will play....:D

 

Far be it for me to disagree with 2 guys like Muleski and Sierra Jim who both have waaaay more high level racing experience and exposure than me. (a lowly L100 coach) will ever have   BUT.....:duel:  lets have some fun here!  :D

 

While what you describe SJ is perfect if you have unlimited time to do things in a leisurely way and make steady progress (and also reflects the USSA Skills Quest approach), the reality for a lot of Masters/older wannabes etc is that we simply don't have that luxury of unlimited time (from both a leisure and life expectancy POV!) to progress in that fashion, theoretically ideal though it may be.  And also at a time when we are trying to bring MORE people into Masters racing, it could also scare more people away than it helps.  SOOO, let us consider that there may also be other ways to get there, that don't involve dedicating 7 days a week to these progressions and helps people realize their objective of racing in real courses in a foreseeable and achievable period of time (and while they are still healthy etc :))  

 

If we assume a basic level of capability to start with then it is quite possible to get people into GS courses earlier (which in my experience also helps sustain the enthusiasm level).  Just need to consider the set carefully so they are less likely to get thrown out/low and late etc. Then start building on that so they can make these progressions, work on them in their free skiing time and also still get exposure to running gates.  What you perhaps forget, given your previous race experience, is that without some idea of what happens in the course, it is very difficult to imagine/coach yourself to perform the type of turns necessary during free skiing drills.  

 

Let me highlight 2 examples from our Masters program, both of whom are in their third season in the program, and came with no previous ski race experience

 

Racer A has followed a very similar approach to what you describe and occasionally runs gates with us.   To date he has not entered a single race but is still perfecting his technique

 

Racer B started by going all in in training and running gates with us from Day 1. And started entering races shortly after  Sure, at first he demonstrated a lot of the things you highlight and had a lot of DNFs. But, guess what, in his third season he is now regularly making the top 10 overall in Far west Masters races, (and kicks my butt in slalom, as well as usually taking some time out of me in GS) and having a blast racing.  Still has rough edges which means there is more to come!

 

Soooo, the moral of this is there ARE different approaches and there are examples of success both ways.  (I will admit I came from my POV, started by jumping straight into Masters courses, without any prior gate time and yes, it was a challenge and a learning curve!).  I would also hate for people to be frightened away by thinking it is not realistically possible to start racing in later life as it is simply too much of a time commitment.  

 

One of the best aspects of masters racing is that older age groups go first so you are not starting out trying to fight your way through huge ruts at the back of the field.  There is also competition all the way through your age group.  First you pick out the slower racers as your "hare" then as you improve you pick the next faster one. So even if you are not challenging for the podium in your group you still have personal battles going on all the way through the field.  And of course in Masters we get "real" GS courses with 28-30m sets, not 15 sec/15 m sets.  

 

I do agree with you though in focussing on GS first, slalom is that much harder to jump into from a zero base

 

WRT boots, i will of course defer to you and even partially agree.  I started out in a non-race but top range boot and found I couldn't make a GS ski work with it.  I then overcompensated and went to a 150 plug for several seasons and now realize I was to some extent using it as a crutch to overcome other deficiencies.  But, I still had fun, got my competitive fix and started moving up the field a bit.  I am now in a 130 race boot which this season i have softened off a bit and which seems to be working for me. All my race boots have been plugs for the simple reason I can get into a 24 (that has a high  instep) with fairly minimal work.  Not necessarily right for others but works for me.

 

WRT skis, one of the most common mistakes I see with newcomers to our program is making the mistake of thinking a cheater GS will make it easier.  That typically works for the first few days before they realize, if they are progressing at all, that they start double turning, getting high sided etc. and realizing that (for Masters courses, not Nastar) a 21 or 23m ski was better and safer.  

 

 

So, just an alternative POV.  :)   Interestingly enough I had a similar discussion with the Coach when i did my L100 course.  While the approach (skills quest based) was perfect when you were looking at helping kids progress, for adults (particularly us older guys!) we had to look for shortcuts to let people reach their goals of actually racing while they were still capable!

 

Any hoo. Just another approach! :beercheer: 


Edited by ScotsSkier - 3/6/14 at 1:02pm
post #7 of 26

i think a lot of it is also what kind of skier you are, what level you are, and how competitive you are.
A highly skilled but no race experience skier can jump into full on race gear and start woking on gates right away. 

An intermediate skier might want to improve his/her equipment, problem starting with the boots, and work not only on gate but on technique as well.

just my 2c

post #8 of 26

Gear is pretty expensive.  You should try to see if you can find a shop to sponsor you.:newkeyboard:

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

 

I do agree with you though in focussing on GS first, slalom is that much harder to jump into from a zero base

 

 

Any hoo. Just another approach! :beercheer: 

 

I sorta disagree that SL is harder to jump into. I personally think it's easier........maybe much easier. If I had the opportunity to work with a racer for 15-20 days of skill development, I'd work on GS skills first. Then, I take said skier into shallow, semi formed hard snow bumps and set a cone course so they'd learn to look ahead. Then I'd coach the cross block by saying basically......"forget about it and take it as it comes". Personally, I think the best training for a newbie for cross blocking is shadow boxing. I'd stand in front of the skier and say "focus off in the distance and relax". Then as the pole comes into your view, gently raise your outside hand up to fend it off. Then I'd slowly at first bring my glove into their view and let them gently get their pole in the way. Eventually, we'd go faster and faster.

 

Of course every skier does not necessarily have the time or the patience to build their skills the way I'm suggesting. Many will want to jump into the course and pound away. That systematic approach is just what I'd adopt for myself.

 

SJ

post #10 of 26

Great posts guys!

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Gear is pretty expensive.  You should try to see if you can find a shop to sponsor you.:newkeyboard:or look out for Scotsskier's great deals on used race gear...

 

FIFY:D

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
 

 

I sorta disagree that SL is harder to jump into. I personally think it's easier........maybe much easier. If I had the opportunity to work with a racer for 15-20 days of skill development, I'd work on GS skills first. Then, I take said skier into shallow, semi formed hard snow bumps and set a cone course so they'd learn to look ahead. Then I'd coach the cross block by saying basically......"forget about it and take it as it comes". Personally, I think the best training for a newbie for cross blocking is shadow boxing. I'd stand in front of the skier and say "focus off in the distance and relax". Then as the pole comes into your view, gently raise your outside hand up to fend it off. Then I'd slowly at first bring my glove into their view and let them gently get their pole in the way. Eventually, we'd go faster and faster.

 

Of course every skier does not necessarily have the time or the patience to build their skills the way I'm suggesting. Many will want to jump into the course and pound away. That systematic approach is just what I'd adopt for myself.

 

SJ

 

 

I think we are converging a bit here Jim, different horses for different courses (excuse the pun!) .  The problem for most newbie adult racers is being able to devote 15-20 days to skills development and if it is not relatively continuous it takes even longer and as result a lot give up along the way which is why I prefer to get them into gates sooner in the process to sustain interest.  (Remember most of us competitive types have adult A.D.D. !  :D)   I know there are some who will be happier with the more methodical approach such as this though

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ray:

 

Not disagreeing one bit with you and I do get the part of getting into gates ASAP for some. For me, I know the basics and beyond pretty well but they are basically rusted solid. If I wanted to chip all that away, I'd take the methodical approach because in the long haul, I know I'd be faster. If I had a small group of newbie adult racers to start from scratch, and if life were perfect, I'd take the step by step approach.

 

Of course.....last time I checked, life ain't perfect.

 

SJ

post #14 of 26

Great thread. I retired from racing after the 1975 college season, other than one memorable family event. I knew my limits.  SS gives me too much credit. Guys like Newfy know I made a great linebacker as a ski racer. If I had known that this breakaway gate thing was coming in SL, I might have stuck with it, though I'm sure I could have been the first guy incapable of cross blocking!  Not that coordinated! I did do one NASTAR race one afternoon while on vacation as a family, when our kids were 3 and 6. Even then, my three year old said that "Daddy is letting us win". Which as a dad at that age, was the right thing to do, even though I was a Jeff Schiffrin ahead of my time. My three year old never skied in a wedge. She thought it was "dumb and slow."  She had her gold medal {no Platinum back then}, so who cares if she was winning. So my son asked if i could beat the pacesetter, who had some decent handicap, but didn't look all that great that day. I suspect that he had what my son once referred ro as an "overhang." Wise ass at six. I dunno, maybe I think I can, I'll try real hard, and if I do I'll buy us all hot chocolate or ice-cream. Instant rooting section. My wife said "don't do something stupid."  So in my one NASATAR Race I had something like a 0.05 handicap, got a pin, a bunch of junk mail, and had a fun afternoon with ice cream AND hot chocolate. NASTAR has progressed, and I have watched a zillion ski races since. Coached a bunch, officiated a bunch, but have not raced in another one. Almost every time I tip a ski, I pretend that I'm the next Ligety, though. A larger, older, more out of breath Ligety. In those 97mm lasted 130's…...

 

But I do like this thread. Has me thinking………I won't do it, but it's fun reading. And agree, Life Ain't Perfect!


Edited by Muleski - 3/6/14 at 4:10pm
post #15 of 26

Are people using back protectors?

How about mouthguards?

 

As a public service, I present Chemmy Alcott stripping off her race gear.

Alcott basically had to raise money by getting her own sponsors over the years.

She finished 19th in the Women's Downhill and was thrilled.


 

Quote:

“To be lying in a hospital bed less than six months ago and now be 19th, that’s my gold medal,” she said. “I know it sounds absolutely crazy to be celebrating a 19th place, but you have to know the whole story.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/sports/olympics/19th-is-as-good-as-gold-for-oft-injured-downhill-skier.html

 

 

you might want to skip to about 3min.

http://youtu.be/H7tuxBRn1zg

On hair: "The actual fastest hair out there is a mullet......But there's no chance of my having a mullet."

post #16 of 26

I use both, back protectors are a major PITA...

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
 

 Almost every time I tip a ski, I pretend that I'm the next Ligety, though. A larger, older, more out of breadth Ligety. In those 97mm lasted 130's…...

 

But I do like this thread. Has me thinking………I won't do it, but it's fun reading. And agree, Life Ain't Perfect!

 

I personally think that this is a great way of looking at it. In Tahoe, we have had long, dry, hard snow stretches for the last three years. Plus, it doesn't really snow in January in a normal year anyway. During those times, going out and pretending like you're the next Ligety can put some serious purpose and fun into a day that some folks would think of as boring. I'm not going to jump back into racing either but I agree, it's fun to think about/talk about and it also reinforces the ski models at the narrow end of my quiver. This discussion will probably influence what I take out and ski on the next day off that I have.

 

SJ

post #18 of 26

SJ:

 

I guess it's a middle aged form of visualization! We spend a lot of time on a big, big buffed hard snow mountain in the East, and once the snow falls, a fair amount of time in CO, where both adult kids now live. I feel that by thinking that way, and imagining and pretending to make those turns…..trying to execute them is fun and does improve or maintain your skiing. I know it gets me up on edge, gets me in a better stance, and makes me a lot more aware of my fore-aft balance. It gets me truly carving arc to arc. Like you said it adds a bit of purpose to being out there. Sold….I'm on my 180 iSpeeds on Saturday! 

 

Great thread for the graybeards……….

post #19 of 26
I think we are all in violent agreement here guys! biggrin.gif Just got different approaches to getting there! I just always look to find some way to shortcut the process;)

And as always, I am not totally useless, I can always be used as a bad example redface.gif

And it is so true, using a race ski on surfaces like we have had this year really makes it fun. Just realized that out of 80+ days this season! I have only been on a non race ski two days!

Oh, and wrt back protectors, I used to wear mine most of the time, then started cutting back to only GS and speed. But in January this year I took a big spill on my slaloms and landed with my kidneys on the heel piece. Doyouknow how long bruised kidneys take to recover? mad.gif So now, wearing one much more regularly again.....
post #20 of 26

Anyone know if SFDean is still racing? He used to post here with very in depth questions and issues around masters.

post #21 of 26

OK, speaking as a type specimen of a typical older, decently fit, terminal low-advanced skier who decided three years ago to start racing by joining a Master's program at the club where my sons were learning to race. And previous "race" experience consisted of a few Nastar courses over the years:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
First thing for me is I'd set up my boots. I've skied in Lange race(ish) boots for the best part of 30 years so that's what I'm going with. I'm currently in an XT and it's fine for what I currently do. I'd get an RS 130 or 140 (probably the 140), and get my stance set up. I generally ignore this for JSA but for racing, a different deal. Sometime down the road, I might build up a plug boot but that's not a great choice for my foot shape and I wouldn't need what a plug boot would offer for quite a while. Did this backwards (bought a good plug some years ago in kind of a hope-chest move, still use them, but very different BSL and flex than anything else I have, so just bought a pair of Lange RS's since I want to practice in the same boots I race in. Thanks for advice in boot-fitters forum, Jim; solid.)

 

Then, I'd start to resurrect my racing skills outside of the race course. Since I had nothing to resurrect, I started in the course. Using FIS women's GS and men's SL skis I bought for the same hope chest. Quite a trial by fire. But it's working. This would involve getting a pair of technical skis but not necessarily real race skis at the outset, and getting in mileage on them.... Funny thing is.......a lot of folks will just get out there and lean on their boot tongues and ride the sidecut around and think that they are getting prepared to race. This was me. You need to work a lot harder on lateral positioning yes; this. and tightening the turn radius because ultimately, each run down the course is sooooo different. I probably wouldn't jump in a race course for 15-20 days of skiing. I practice courses about 10 days a season, and actually race Masters for about 2 or 3. (Logistics of having children whose races come first, and working weekdays.) When I start racing is determined by the Master's calendar, and when the coach says to fall in, when I start freeskiing is all about when the resoort opens, some seasons this can be all of two weekends before my first race. Urk. 

 

Eventually, I'll start to visit the course. I'm going to work on GS for the most part because GS is technically demanding where SL really isn't. Totally not my experience. All my impressive falls, and tweaked knees, have come in SL. And my coaches all start us on GS because it's more straightforward, they say, less technical. (What they only say over beer is we're too old to be fast enough in SL, period.) I know if I can get the technical skills necessary to run good GS, slalom will come back comparatively easily. I wish. First, I'll do a lot of slipping and inspection and visualizing my tactics. I might shadow the course or where feasible, do some short sections. Yep, we do all this. Good stuff. I won't be in any hurry to run full length. When I do start to run half sections or full length, I won't try to come remotely close to full speed. Ditto. Early in season, and for the first few runs each practice day, it's all about form, not outcome. I'll try for 90% for quite some time, then later 95%. I'll limit my training each day to 3-5 runs I wish. We did 12 GS runs one Saturday. My legs were toast for days. Our attitude is based on competition with various local racing groups for resources.When we have access to real courses, we have to run them until the guys are pulling out the gates. and go for quality runs. This means that if I'm halfway down and I get really late and low, I'm probably going to pull off and regroup rather than spend the rest of the run recovering, running a slow bad line and probably blowing out again. But then you'd miss out on the ritual humiliation by fellow racers and vague searches by the coaches for something positive to say. More accurately, this would be bad form where I come from, sort of like sulking instead of sucking it up. Rather, I'll pull out, let the next training racer go by and then treat the remainder of the run as a sectioning problem. I'm a firm believer that grinding it out after a mistake is reinforcing the mistake and the attempted recovery, rather than the quality run that you want to remember. Imprinting three clean sections is much more valuable than a hacked full length run with a couple of recoveries and a generally bad line. Eventually, as get more on my game, I try to build each training session toward "one good run". When I nail that run, I'm likely to try to imprint it by going back up and doing a slower run as sort of a cool down lap. Then I'll go freeski. The course will always be there but if I follow up a really good run with a poor one.......guess which one gets imprinted. Hmmm. Not sure about imprinting, but this does not seem to involve a team/group concept.  

 

Eventually, some SL training will start to happen but that's pretty soft cheese relative to GS. So disagree here. But then I've never liked soft cheese, either, so what do I know... 

 

That's how I'd do it, but that's just me and naturally...................YMWPV.

 

SJ

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

While what you describe SJ is perfect if you have unlimited time to do things in a leisurely way and make steady progress (and also reflects the USSA Skills Quest approach), the reality for a lot of Masters/older wannabes etc is that we simply don't have that luxury of unlimited time (from both a leisure and life expectancy POV!) to progress in that fashion, theoretically ideal though it may be. Yep. Welcome to reality. 

 

If we assume a basic level of capability to start with then it is quite possible to get people into GS courses earlier (which in my experience also helps sustain the enthusiasm level). Yes on both counts. Just talked my wife, low advanced, more upside than me, to try a GS course on her ordinary skis. Our coach thought it was a great idea. And after one morning, she was hooked, now trying to figure out how to free up more weekends. And I'm shopping for racing skis for her. :yahoo: Just need to consider the set carefully so they are less likely to get thrown out/low and late etc. Then start building on that so they can make these progressions, work on them in their free skiing time and also still get exposure to running gates.  What you perhaps forget, given your previous race experience, is that without some idea of what happens in the course, it is very difficult to imagine/coach yourself to perform the type of turns necessary during free skiing drills.  

 

One of the best aspects of masters racing is that older age groups go first so you are not starting out trying to fight your way through huge ruts at the back of the field.  There is also competition all the way through your age group.  First you pick out the slower racers as your "hare" then as you improve you pick the next faster one. So even if you are not challenging for the podium in your group you still have personal battles going on all the way through the field.  And of course in Masters we get "real" GS courses with 28-30m sets, not 15 sec/15 m sets. Some of this is just not being slowest. I'm really beating up on those 80 year olds, as we speak. And am zeroing in on the 70's for late season. In a few more years I may actually be competitive with my own age group. God, what a stud I am!

 

I do agree with you though in focussing on GS first, slalom is that much harder to jump into from a zero base Yeah, actually, if I had it to do over, I'd do it like the U8/10's: start with one combined GS/SL ski, and work on easy SL courses for a year, period. Then worry about GS and add those skis. Then later get real SL skis. 

 

WRT boots, i will of course defer to you and even partially agree.  I started out in a non-race but top range boot and found I couldn't make a GS ski work with it.  I then overcompensated and went to a 150 plug for several seasons and now realize I was to some extent using it as a crutch to overcome other deficiencies.  But, I still had fun, got my competitive fix and started moving up the field a bit.  I am now in a 130 race boot which this season i have softened off a bit and which seems to be working for me. Me too. 120-125 seems to be my sweet spot. Higher and I spend too much time trying to flex forward instead of move laterally. All my race boots have been plugs for the simple reason I can get into a 24 (that has a high  instep) with fairly minimal work.  Not necessarily right for others but works for me.

 

WRT skis, one of the most common mistakes I see with newcomers to our program is making the mistake of thinking a cheater GS will make it easier.  That typically works for the first few days before they realize, if they are progressing at all, that they start double turning, getting high sided etc. and realizing that (for Masters courses, not Nastar) a 21 or 23m ski was better and safer.  I agree completely for a Masters course, and in all honesty I found FIS skis in general to be more manageable than I expected, but I do notice that kids do it the other way, one hybrid. Why? Save the P's some $$? 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
 

Then I'd coach the cross block by saying basically......"forget about it and take it as it comes". Personally, I think the best training for a newbie for cross blocking is shadow boxing. Interesting. I'm not good enough to get a pole on my shin guard yet, but have hopes for next season. For now, it's mainly unlearn all the rec skiing drama with the big arm clearing movements. We're taught to just fugetboutit, let the poles come to us, keep our hands in a good place but never reach. Maybe a tiny punch at the most. This sounds similar. But see why SL is complicated?  I'd stand in front of the skier and say "focus off in the distance and relax". Then as the pole comes into your view, gently raise your outside hand up to fend it off. Then I'd slowly at first bring my glove into their view and let them gently get their pole in the way. 

 

SJ

PS: I own back armor but have never used it. No one I know wears same for alpine except some kids. But their coaches are busy getting them into the air, for the later speed events. When/if I ever try SG, I might strap it on. Or not. 

post #22 of 26

At Stowe, well Spruce Peak, the trail they run gs,slalom races on has a section that's very steep. They want to get a world cup women's race there.

Anyway, I've heard from some racers that coaches won't let "the old guys" who keep asking- masters racers,  run the course unless they were something and still are. Too dangerous.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

I think we are all in violent agreement here guys! biggrin.gif Just got different approaches to getting there! I just always look to find some way to shortcut the process;)

And as always, I am not totally useless, I can always be used as a bad example redface.gif

And it is so true, using a race ski on surfaces like we have had this year really makes it fun. Just realized that out of 80+ days this season! I have only been on a non race ski two days!

Oh, and wrt back protectors, I used to wear mine most of the time, then started cutting back to only GS and speed. But in January this year I took a big spill on my slaloms and landed with my kidneys on the heel piece. Doyouknow how long bruised kidneys take to recover? mad.gif So now, wearing one much more regularly again.....

Unfortunately yes... almost lost one due to skiing accident :(

but I was back on skis a week after :D
:ski

post #24 of 26
I love and resemble parts of this thread. No time to chime in properly now. (Off to ski!) However, as someone who DOES race, sparsely, but only started at forty and has had NO coaching, I would like to invite SJ and muleski to come out and coach me and my beer league team next season as a way to get back in the groove by joining in as racers (and incidently moving us two steps up the podium).
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

I love and resemble parts of this thread. No time to chime in properly now. (Off to ski!) However, as someone who DOES race, sparsely, but only started at forty and has had NO coaching, I would like to invite SJ and muleski to come out and coach me and my beer league team next season as a way to get back in the groove by joining in as racers (and incidently moving us two steps up the podium).

 

You live in Maine..............right?   Uhhhhhhhh.......................already been there once...................:eek

 

SJ

post #26 of 26

Well here's Tomba doing a little racing fairly recently. I'm guessing this was made around 2005-7.

It's in Italian but great footage of runs over the years interspersed with current skiing/racing.

 

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