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Thoughts from the ASRA Race at Montage Saturday

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hope I am not "boring" the frequent participants here… this is a relatively new endeavor (re: addiction) to me, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can along the way since my first racing experience was last year at 47 years old.

 

Yesterday, I ran my second ASRA race, a fairly straight forward course, couple of rollers in the mid section on a blue trail (Switch).  The ASRA course was an extension of the NASTAR Course, an addition 5-6 gates added at the top of SWITCH.

 

For starters, HOLY FROSTY THE SNOWMAN WAS IT COLD!  Very dry packed-manmade snow.  Skis felt slow, but "opened up" by the second run when air temps were around 12F. 

 

It was "easy" to run the gates/course and make it to the bottom, not a very "difficult course" as compared to Elk Mountains (trail Slalom) the previous weekend.  But it was very apparent that if you were to place high, you had to generate speed with your technique/turns.  Most of the advanced skiers (i.e. not me) were running mid 30's on the course.  To watch from the base of the course, and above (from the chairlift), i could see folks taking very similar lines on the course, but for the first time I finally was able to recognize the difference in how much speed some (as compared to others) generated in their turns.  

 

Now if I can only figure out for myself how to do that!

 

One skier of note, as I observed from the top of the course, I could see him engage his edges, and "drive?" into the gates leading with a downward hip movement.  Worked well for him as he placed first in his age group.  The amount of power he generated around each gate was quite impressive.

 

For me, after a very tenative/slow first run, I knocked 5 seconds off my first run and felt "accomplished" by what I had learned during the day.

 

All in all (albeit COLD), it was a great day on the slopes (personally). - Patrick

post #2 of 6

You're not boring me a bit! I love your posts. I'm a newer racer myself, so I appreciate when you post stuff. I think it's great that you got out to do 2 ASRA races. My first one was going to be Montage this past weekend, but I sprained my PCL and LCL on Tuesday night, and I'm on the shelf for probably at least two more weeks. They are definitely two totally different courses you did. Elk is definitely a lot steeper and a more technical course. I love any of Montage's courses (being my home mountain), but it's a lot less steeper than Elk, but still very fun. There are a lot of great skiers, male and female that do ASRA, and I race with a bunch of them on Tuesday nights at Big Boulder. I also started racing last year (at age 39), and I'm absolutely hooked. I like yourself, have a lot to learn. I'm never afraid to ask questions to anybody I race with, and that alone has helped me a ton. The more you race, the faster you will get. I hope I get to meet you in the future at an ASRA race or any other race (I have to heal up first). Best of luck this season!-John.

 

PS-That wasn't cold on Saturday! My league is racing tomorrow night, and the temperature at race time is 6 degrees. Lol. It just really sucks if you wear a speedsuit. Just kidding around. I know how cold it gets at Montage. Later.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks John! Sorry about your injury and I hope it heals quick. Definitely learning alot, will PM u when Im running ASRA next. Im out this Saturday (family gathering).
post #4 of 6
Quote:
 To watch from the base of the course, and above (from the chairlift), i could see folks taking very similar lines on the course, but for the first time I finally was able to recognize the difference in how much speed some (as compared to others) generated in their turns.  

 

Now if I can only figure out for myself how to do that!

 

You will never figure out how to generate speed from turns. Seriously, nobody will because turning always slows a racer down! The fastest racers figure out how to straighten the course as much as possible, while still making the gates with as little skidding as possible. It involves learning how to read a course, and knowing where to set you edges and build pressure above the gate. The goal is to keep your skis in the fall line as much as possible. Gravity pulling you straight down the hill is what generates speed in a course.Turning across the hill always slows you down.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Captainkirk... I appreciate your comment. 

 

As a newby on this, where does one go about learning to "read the fall line"?

 

I get where the fall line "is"... but could you give me some examples of which you speak, or refer me to some reference material?

post #6 of 6

The best thing to do is get some coaching at your local area. A coach will be able to see where you are at with your skiing in general, then go from there. Trying to learn how to race from a book or the internet would be like trying to learn to play football or hockey without ever stepping on the field or rink.

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