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Snowboarder beats US Ski Team members in slalom race

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Justin Reiter was the snowboarding pacesetter at this year's NASTAR Nationals at Steamboat.  At the slalom race the finish order of the pacesetters (all Olympians) was Casey Puckett, Justin Reiter, Jackie Wiles, AJ Kitt, and Jake Fiala.  AJ was heard to remark "He beat me straight up!".  Spectators were in awe of his runs and more than one ski racer told me that that convinced them to try hardbooting.  His margin of victory over Jackie Wiles on their second head-to-head run was 0.01seconds.  Watch the video of their first run.  The video quality might be better if viewed on YouTube itself rather than in the embedded window.

 

 

Photo below taken by NASTAR

post #2 of 24

I gotta say I like it! 

 

Snowboarding is fun but nothing beats the feel and sound of slapping gates down in a traditional slalom race.

 

Hardbooting certainly does look tempting now.

post #3 of 24
On flat courses, a good snowboarder on hardboots can make impressive time. I have raced against some of these guys in beer league, and they are right beside me on that hill. Where it falls apart for them is on a longer, steeper, full length GS type of course.
post #4 of 24
The other thing to remember about AJ is he is getting old. He routinely gets beat by younger pacesetters at the New England time trials now. He would get smoked by any number of U19 academy kids. High level ski racing is a young persons sport,and the sport at that level isn't kind to the aging process.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

In the Race of Champions on Steamboat's See Me trail which is long and very steep, Justin made a mistake three gates from the end that possibly cost him beating ALL the pacesetters.  He was that fast.  In the afternoon slalom race the finish order was the same as the morning race:  Five time Olympian Casey Puckett, Justin Reiter, Jackie Wiles, AJ Kitt, and Jake Fiala.  Casey's margin of victory was only.0.34.

 

AJ is very much a potent threat on the race course despite being "old" (I have kids close to his age).  I've had the privilege of racing him head-to-head on a couple of occasions and it's clear why he made four Olympic teams.

 

 

 

Justin is jaw-dropping fast.  USSA needs to provide more support for exceptional athletes like him.

 

post #6 of 24

That's quite impressive.  I had always believed that 2X165cm edges would always beat 1X165 cm edge all other things equal.  Does the set up for the snowboard allow higher edge angles before booting out than the set up for the skier does?  Even if so, still quite shocking how good that guy is..

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

That's quite impressive.  I had always believed that 2X165cm edges would always beat 1X165 cm edge all other things equal.  Does the set up for the snowboard allow higher edge angles before booting out than the set up for the skier does?  Even if so, still quite shocking how good that guy is..

I didn't check his angles but I run 60 degrees on the front and 55 on the rear.  Here's a shot of his GS board (185 cm) with a beefy riser plate.

post #8 of 24
Pat, I like HB snowboarders. Very impressive watching them carve up a hill. Justin is one of the best around, no doubt.

But throw him in a real GS, against top 20 WC technical event racers and then see what happens. It is not going to be pretty.

If Shriffen showed up in that NASTAR SL, she would smoke everbody by seconds.

AJ is still pretty fast for his age, but he still gets beat at time trials by younger racers, most of which weren't even top ranked FIS racers when they were younger. Getting older sucks for ski racing ability at the top level. Spent some time at races with top prospect U19 academy kids and you will see what I mean.

One other thing. The reason USSA dropped support for snowboard racing is because snowboarding itself dropped support for racing. The major companies don't want anything to do with racing. No real pipeline at race clubs either. USASA has cut the number of race events. Some USASA divisions dropped all race events. USSA has limited funds, and it goes to where they see a future return. Maybe not fair, but unless the mainstream snowboard community embraces racing like skiing does, USSA has limited options.
Edited by CaptainKirk - 3/31/16 at 10:25am
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKirk View Post

Pat, I like HB snowboarders. Very impressive watching them carve up a hill. Justin is one of the best around, no doubt.

But throw him in a real GS, against top 20 WC technical event racers and then see what happens. It is not going to be pretty.

If Shriffen showed up in that NASTAR SL, she would smoke everbody by seconds.

AJ is still pretty fast for his age, but he still gets beat at time trials by younger racers, most of which weren't even top ranked FIS racers when they were younger. Getting older sucks for ski racing ability at the top level. Spent some time at races with top prospect U19 academy kids and you will see what I mean.

One other thing. The reason USSA dropped support for snowboard racing is because snowboarding itself dropped support for racing. The major companies don't want anything to do with racing. No real pipeline at race clubs either. USASA has cut the number of race events. Some USASA divisions dropped all race events. USSA has limited funds, and it goes to where they see a future return. Maybe not fair, but unless the mainstream snowboard community embraces racing like skiing does, USSA has limited options.

 

 

You just basically reinforced Pat's point that was a pre emptive response to your first three sentences above.  Yes, he'd get smoked by Shiffrin and the top 20 WC skiers... but he doesn't have the support they have now and had coming up.  By engineer brain tells me all things equal among athlete and other inputs, two edges will beat one at high speed turning and stopping.  The fact that this high level amateur beats other equally high level amateurs casts doubt on my assumption about two edges always being better with riders of similar skill and experience.

 

I do think that stack height and board width gives the boarder the ability to achieve higher angles before booting out than the skiers can... but I'd still prefer two edges over one hahahaha..

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

 

 

You just basically reinforced Pat's point that was a pre emptive response to your first three sentences above.  Yes, he'd get smoked by Shiffrin and the top 20 WC skiers... but he doesn't have the support they have now and had coming up.  By engineer brain tells me all things equal among athlete and other inputs, two edges will beat one at high speed turning and stopping.  The fact that this high level amateur beats other equally high level amateurs casts doubt on my assumption about two edges always being better with riders of similar skill and experience.

 

I do think that stack height and board width gives the boarder the ability to achieve higher angles before booting out than the skiers can... but I'd still prefer two edges over one hahahaha..

Justin is not some amateur that happened to show up at a NASTAR race. He was coached at some of the best clubs in Colorado growing up. His youth development was similar to Kitt, Puckett, Fiala,and Wiles. No one should be surprised at his skill. He did not have a lack of development support growing up.

 

I am not surprised that he kept up with that group of (let's face it) aging speed event racers on a relatively flat hill in a technical course. Now I understand that with Pat's NASTAR background, he may think the See Me trail at Steamboat is "long and steep" (If I remember correctly when I was out there last season, it is at the very bottom of the mountain). It is not steep to AJ or Justin. Pat, if you want to see a real race trail in your neck of the woods, just take a drive up to Sugarloaf and check out the middle of Narrow Gauge where they hold everything from FIS level SL to Downhills, and you will understand what racing down something long, steep and scary really is. Then imagine a young Bode (and all the CVA kids for that matter) training on that 5 days per week, and you may start to understand why older racers simply can not compete at that level.

 

However, I do completely agree that Justin is a great guy and athlete, it is a shame that Snowboarding has shunned him and the other hard working racers as not being cool enough for the sport.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainKirk View Post

The other thing to remember about AJ is he is getting old. He routinely gets beat by younger pacesetters at the New England time trials now. He would get smoked by any number of U19 academy kids. High level ski racing is a young persons sport,and the sport at that level isn't kind to the aging process.

I raced against AJ growing up in Rochester and confirm he is getting old 😀

He looks good in the photos - for any age.
post #12 of 24

One of the 1% of snowboarders that can actually carve turns on hard snow.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

One of the 1% of snowboarders that can actually carve turns on hard snow.

True. In keeping with the 1% of skiers similarly gifted😄.
post #14 of 24

I don't think the pitch of an actual WC SL course would give him nearly as much trouble as the GATES would, having to blast through them without poles to block with.  Again and 2 edges is still preferable to one all other things equal. 

 

CaptainLKirk, do you believe you could beat Justin?  I'm amazed that he can hang with anybody that's a pretty good racer... again 330cm of edge versus 165 cm of edge to work with..

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


CaptainLKirk, do you believe you could beat Justin?  I'm amazed that he can hang with anybody that's a pretty good racer... again 330cm of edge versus 165 cm of edge to work with..

I've beat AJ before in a NASTAR course. However, we both have the same problem now. We are both getting to damn old. Heck, I can't keep up with top U16s now. So I suspect Justin would have a good chance of winning on a moderate hill. I still like my chances on a long steep GS or SG where snowboards are at a disadvantage.
post #16 of 24
Ski gates give snowboarders problems as a whole. Don't know if I have every seen a SB racer really attack a ski SL course with hairpin/flush combos.
post #17 of 24
Two edges? Effectively they are only skiing on one edge.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

Two edges? Effectively they are only skiing on one edge.


I'd count this as 2 edges even though more weight is given to the outside.  Even as a balance mechanism only the inside edge is a luxury a snowboarder doesn't get..

 

 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


I'd count this as 2 edges even though more weight is given to the outside.  Even as a balance mechanism only the inside edge is a luxury a snowboarder doesn't get..




Bingo! We have a winner.

I've done some snowboarding in the past, both hard and soft boots, and putting everything into one edge is both a blessing and a curse. Carving a board on the right type of snow, on the right type of hill is a unique experience hard to replicate on skis.
However, an advanced ski race course rarely is held on an easier hill, is rock hard ice to begin with, or quickly turns into rock hard ice. That is where only having one edge can make a difficult situation a nightmare.
post #20 of 24
Sure, but I don't see an inherent speed advantage to two skis on edge versus one thin snowboard on edge. Skiers are in general faster than snowboarders on stuff like skier cross courses. But isn't that because of the large amount of time spent relatively flat? A hardbooter would have little time flat.

Perhaps it's longer in transition when feet are at an angle to travel. Going toe to heel. Skier is more symetrical in turns.

Well if we made a compromise course it might stay interesting. Stacking the deck for a course favorable to skiers is not necessarilly fair. I get that the course wouldn't be as steep, icy, and as difficult as an alpine ski course. I'm trying to think of a course skiers would find more difficult than a hardbooter. Possibly if we introduced trees and soft snow and the snowboard could ollie?

Do the hardbooters get more edge angle?

They are very interested in turns. Which sounds idiotic, but what percentage of either skiers or snowboarders, excluding racers, are?

At Snowmass several years ago we were skiing down Big Burn, an enormously wide groomed trail or area, (trees cleared by fire), and then went left to whatever that steepish groomer is. We stopped near a few snowboarders. They were big into carving. They might not actually have been hardbooters. I can't remember. I think not actually. As the group moved out I chatted with one of the snowboarders. He was impressed that we finished our turns. He then said "skiers never finish their turns." (Which tells you what type of snowboarders they were.) The group was nearly out of sight so I had to go and leave it at that.
post #21 of 24

All other things being equal...two edges will have more drag than one edge.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

All other things being equal...two edges will have more drag than one edge.

Having two doesn't require both be used.  Someone with two edges can use or not use them as needed.  Someone with only one doesn't have the choice and option should they need it..

post #23 of 24
Not sure what the point is. We're talking speed. Carving boards are how long, probably not 188cm plus? So shorter with all weight on one edge edge is iikey to be deeper in snow. That could go either way- slower or faster.
I think what happens at transition is possibly the key to the speed difference but I don't know enough about boards. Have to see slo mo.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Justin's Sigi Grabner GS board is 185 cm as are the boards of most top racers. Mine is a little shorter at 178 cm.
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