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Equipment for a newbie to Masters racing

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Looking at joining up with the Midwest Masters group here and am a bit confused by what I hear is needed for gear.  I'm currently racing in our local Ski Challenge (beer league) and am trying to add some additional gate time.  The brochure from Midwest Masters says their program is designed for all levels of racing and abilities, but then was told that this is a USSA Masters program so it follows USSA rules and therefore you have to have certain gear (read FIS compliant) in order to race.  Don't see anything about that on their website, so wondering if that's really the case or if the person relaying that info was mis-informed.  Don't want to have to buy new skis just to join in (although new skis are always tempting ;) ).  Any Midwest Master's racers out there that can let me know?

post #2 of 15

No.  USSA rules are 'advisory' for masters.  Only real requirement you need to comply with is a hard shell (not soft ear) helmet.  Also please dont try to ski GS on slalom skis for your own safety.  they hook up too sudeenly at speed

 

Now having said that there are some basics you will need.  For slalom you need a slalom ski. Period.  Don't waste your time or coaches time trying to use something else.  You will also need shinguards, pole guards and preferably a shinguard on your helmet to avoid personal injury and bruising.

 

For GS you can get away with a variety of skis (just not a slalom as above!).  A back protector is useful but only really essential for Speed events

post #3 of 15

As usual ScotSkier is dead on with his advice. You should enjoy yourself. Most Masters courses offer more variety and challenge than the typical beer league course which should help your skiing plus you get to travel and visit some hills you might never try otherwise.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

No.  USSA rules are 'advisory' for masters.  Only real requirement you need to comply with is a hard shell (not soft ear) helmet.  Also please dont try to ski GS on slalom skis for your own safety.  they hook up too sudeenly at speed

 

Now having said that there are some basics you will need.  For slalom you need a slalom ski. Period.  Don't waste your time or coaches time trying to use something else.  You will also need shinguards, pole guards and preferably a shinguard on your helmet to avoid personal injury and bruising.

 

For GS you can get away with a variety of skis (just not a slalom as above!).  A back protector is useful but only really essential for Speed events


OK, I know, newbie and all, but do I really have to strap shinguards to my helmet? I think I'd look awfully silly.  :D

 

Wouldn't do my regular racing in a soft ear helmet, so no worries there.  I've never raced slalom, only the modified GS/NASTAR type courses.  Is slalom a requirement or more just something that will help improve my overall racing?

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 


OK, I know, newbie and all, but do I really have to strap shinguards to my helmet? I think I'd look awfully silly.  :D

 

Wouldn't do my regular racing in a soft ear helmet, so no worries there.  I've never raced slalom, only the modified GS/NASTAR type courses.  Is slalom a requirement or more just something that will help improve my overall racing?


LOL, not so silly if you can get really low in the gates.....  :) 

 

Slalom is not necessarily a requirement but given you are in the midwest a typical masters program will split time between GS and Slalom so if you only do one discipline you will miss a lot of time.  Not normal for a program to set (or get hill space for!0 GS and SL at the same time.  In fact in the Mid west there may very well be a great preponderance of SL given the lesser hill space requirement 

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

... and preferably a shinguard on your helmet to avoid personal injury and bruising.

Yeah. I can vouch for those. They come in pretty handy. In rollerball too,..

:rotflmao:

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

Slalom is not necessarily a requirement but given you are in the midwest a typical masters program will split time between GS and Slalom so if you only do one discipline you will miss a lot of time.  Not normal for a program to set (or get hill space for!0 GS and SL at the same time.  In fact in the Mid west there may very well be a great preponderance of SL given the lesser hill space requirement 

Yeah, looking at the Midwest Masters web site, it seems like there are a fair number, like maybe 50%+ of the races are slalom.  I've been racing NASTAR off and on for 30+ years, but have only 'formally' been league racing for about 10 years.  Never had any kind of training or instruction nor raced in any program in high school or college.  As noted above, never been on a true slalom course.  Really would want to try this before I venture into an actual timed event/race 'cause I'm pretty sure my 'standard' GS technique isn't going to work on a slalom course.  How does one begin to learn how to race slalom?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
How does one begin to learn how to race slalom?

Trial by fire...........just put on the gear and give it a go! You sound like me-started racing beer league GS about 12 years ago and started with Masters about 7 years ago. Look for training courses and Masters clinics-we have a hell of a time finding them locally. I'll never be fast at Slalom, but it's part of the challenge to get better at it. 

 

One bit of advice (and I'm sure the good racers will have many more tips) ,not that I usually follow it-don't reach for the gates. One of the experienced guys I race with said "Clearing the gate should be a result of your line, not the objective" (or words to that effect).

 

We used to kid that our technique was "Skid and hope".....................

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post

Trial by fire...........just put on the gear and give it a go! You sound like me-started racing beer league GS about 12 years ago and started with Masters about 7 years ago. Look for training courses and Masters clinics-we have a hell of a time finding them locally. I'll never be fast at Slalom, but it's part of the challenge to get better at it. 

One bit of advice (and I'm sure the good racers will have many more tips) ,not that I usually follow it-don't reach for the gates. One of the experienced guys I race with said "Clearing the gate should be a result of your line, not the objective" (or words to that effect).

We used to kid that our technique was "Skid and hope".....................

This!
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post
 

One bit of advice (and I'm sure the good racers will have many more tips) ,not that I usually follow it-don't reach for the gates. One of the experienced guys I race with said "Clearing the gate should be a result of your line, not the objective" (or words to that effect).

In my not so humble opinion, reaching for the gate is very common even at elite levels and is one of the worst things a racer can do. 

The reason is it totally undermines the ability to hold counter balance and counter angulation-ie pressure on the ski.   It tends to cause twisting of the upper body, prevents the body from developing and holding a strong position and robs the ski of pressure at the most critical time in the turn.  The compromised balance over the outside ski and lack of pressure keeps the turn shape from being efficient(the ski from carving cleanly) and eliminates or weakens rebound from the ski. 

 

Great advice--much easier to read/understand than to implement into one's skiing!

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprexX View Post
 

In my not so humble opinion, reaching for the gate is very common even at elite levels and is one of the worst things a racer can do. 

The reason is it totally undermines the ability to hold counter balance and counter angulation-ie pressure on the ski.   It tends to cause twisting of the upper body, prevents the body from developing and holding a strong position and robs the ski of pressure at the most critical time in the turn.  The compromised balance over the outside ski and lack of pressure keeps the turn shape from being efficient(the ski from carving cleanly) and eliminates or weakens rebound from the ski. 

 

Great advice--much easier to read/understand than to implement into one's skiing!


Yes, good advice.  Bets approach i find is to just focus on line and let whatever part of your body comes first clear the gate - inside arm, outside arm, head, helmet etc.  Then you will find as you tart getting angles your outside arm almost automatically starts to clear without any effort

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post

How does one begin to learn how to race slalom?

Start by just learning how to rail turns on real SL skis & manipulate the radius of the arc. Next run some courses with brushes & then begin to mix some stubbie gates in. After that, run full stubbie courses till you begin to learn how the rhythm changes & combinations work. During this phase focus on keeping your upper body dead quiet with your hands & arms up, in front & in a ready position. Make sure that all the turning impetus is coming from your feet ankles & legs, keep the shoulders level.

Once you get comfortable with all that, see if you can or get the coach to set some relatively straight courses on gentle terrain till you are comfortable with clearing gates without reaching or twisting your torso.
I'd say that would be a good beginning.

Slalom is my favorite, probably because there is so much going on. it requires quickness, agility, lots of recoveries & the fact that high speed scares the crap out of me 😜.
Edited by 4ster - 10/16/15 at 7:51pm
post #13 of 15

There's also a theory on progression to blocking: do not cross block until your body is well inside the gate and you need to. Just block with the inside hand until that time. Focus on SHINNING the stubbies  - see any course as a SHINNING challenge.

post #14 of 15

Oh yeah, & watch this lady...  alot!

 

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

No.  USSA rules are 'advisory' for masters.  Only real requirement you need to comply with is a hard shell (not soft ear) helmet.  Also please dont try to ski GS on slalom skis for your own safety.  they hook up too sudeenly at speed

 

 

I have a similar question about equipment rules for Master ski races. 

Just want to be clear, are you telling that there are no restrictions on ski length, radius, etc. in US Masters ski races? 

and this is true for all types of events, SL, GS, SG and DH?

 

I'm a little confused with this document https://skiracereg.com/data/uploads/event_212_1.pdf

 

first it tells " USSA Masters rules conform to the FIS Masters equipment rules. USSA recommends that competitors in USSA Masters events compete on equipment designed for the particular discipline (DH, SL, GS, SG), but does not make any recommendations in regards to ski length, radius or profile width"

 

and then " For FIS Masters Competitions, equipment rules in regard to ski length (except SG), radius and profile width are recommendations. The minimum ski length for SG skis is compulsory for MAS races. "  

 

so what exactly going on with SG skis? is it conform to FIS rules or no?

 

and what are the FIS Masters equipment rules?

are those these http://www.fis-ski.com/mm/Document/documentlibrary/Masters/04/40/24/Masters_Rules_2015_complett_Neutral.pdf ?

 

sorry if I'm asking dumb questions, I am new to ski racing. 

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