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HS Ski Racing

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
My son plans to race for his high school ski team in Wisconsin next winter. My question is if he'll need 2 pairs of skis for the different disciplines or not. What other new equipment, protection, race suit, etc. will he need.Any lik=nks on high school ski racing would be greatly appreciated, so would specific model recommendATIONS. By the way this is a great site you guys have here.
post #2 of 35
I raced all through HS and had a blastto answer your questions.
1. No he does not "NEED" two pair of skis you can get by with one pair of SL skis in a slightly longer length. I would look into getting two pair though as he will be more competitive, check into last years gear and seach the web.
2. A helmet is a MUST, pole guards are also nice but may not be needed at his level (depends on if he is hitting gates), a suit would be nice, we sell them in the early season on a per order basis.
Some other things that come to mind are boots, he needs a properly fit pair, as for model specific recomendations, it is hard without seeing/talking with him and you, I really like some the race skis Elan is putting out. FWIW our shop is in Chicago and would like to work with you, we regularly work with alot of racers from Wisconsin. Good luck and feel free to ask any questions.

Oh yea welcome to epic.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Come on guys I need your help!!! PLEASE!!!
post #4 of 35
Why don't you ask the coach or school what your son is required to have as part of the ski team and what else they would like him to have.
post #5 of 35
Two skis all depends on how competitive your kid is. Very competitive and good then yes, mediocre then it is up to you.
post #6 of 35
Well, there's downhill, giant slalom, slalom, and super G so yeah, I think he could use more than 1 pair, but no he doesn't need more than 1 pair.

Ability (can he get good)
Skill Level (how is he really doing)
post #7 of 35
unless your kid is already a competitive skier (and you would not be asking if he was) save your money on equipment and spend it on some lessons for racing technique. He'll do better and have more fun. Racing last in the ruts sucks.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
105 pounds
Pretty good in Wisconsin standards
Always lookin to improve

Will he or do most racers wear one. He doesn't really want to wear one in front of class mates. Other race protection and specific links and models also wanted.

There really aren't any decent pros at the local hill and you need to be on a team and race to learn and he won't by any means come in last-pretty middle of the raod
post #9 of 35
Where in WI are you Tyrol Basin has some good coachs. He won't be doing any SG or DH on the high school teams most likley. Try a google search for some of the items you are looking for. He is pretty small so Jr. gear might work out best for him.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Just north of milwaukee. Sunburst is the closest hill and that's where everyone practices
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Like I was saying before, my son is pretty worried about being in front of his classmates, not as much strangers in a skin suit. He knows he'll end up wearing one. bUT do any of you have any tips for him in this sort of time of his life and showing off his body in a skin tight suit in fornt of many non racer friends who aren't gonna understand it. Thanks for any tips and keep everything else coming.
post #12 of 35
gym shorts when you arent racing. or training shorts. both are great to put over a race suit when you arent racing so people dont look at you like your crazy.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
He wanted me to ask if chicks dig skin suits.
post #14 of 35
only if their owners ski well. Find a coach.
post #15 of 35
If masters can bring themselves to wear racing suits, high school kids should be able to.
post #16 of 35

Links, Technique/Tips, Video/Photo Analysis, Coaches Information

Welcome to EpicSki. I'm always glad to see folks who are interested in racing. There are a number of people on this forum who will be able to help you.


What equipment is he currently skiing on: skis (mfr, model, length), bindings (mfr, model), boots (mfr, model, any adjustments currently required - cant, etc.)?

What is his experience level (years skiing; preferred terrain; years racing; types of races entered SL/GS/SGS/DH; NASTAR handicap; instruction received - lessons, camps; etc.)? How many days/year does he ski and at what ski areas? What other sports does he play and is he on/planning to join any other teams? What grade in school is he now?

What are his goals regarding racing? Why did he decide to race on a high school team? How many hours/week is he willing to commit to skiing? to dryland training? Are you thinking of having him compete in USSA races as well?

Are you willing to travel to upper MI (Mont Ripley, Ski Brule, Marquette Mt, Norway Mt) to have him race in USSA races? There are some USSA races in WI (Granite Peak, Mt La Crosse). http://www.region2cussa.com/2004-05%...20Schedule.htm

What racing and/or ski technique books has he read? Does he own?

By the way, what high school and city is he going to be racing for? Does the high school have a men's team and a women's team or is it combined? How many people are on the team and does everyone get to race or is there a subset which is on the traveling team? Are there Varsity A teams, Varsity B teams, Junior Varsity teams, etc.?


WI State High School Championships - teams/results www.begiant.com/ski/

USSA U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association - Central Division www.centralussa.org
USSA - Central Division Region 2 which includes WI www.region2cussa.com

USSA Youth Ski League - WIJARA Wisconsin Junior Alpine Racing Association http://eteamz.active.com/WIJARA/

Local Club Race Program - WJR Wisconsin Junior Racing (Milwaukee area) www.hhskiclub.com/racing.htm

Ski racing progression to make U.S. Ski Team http://home.earthlink.net/~hvst/hvprog.htm
USSA NDS National Development System www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder/5116.htm

NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association Ski Teams http://web1.ncaa.org/ssLists/sportBy...K&division=ALL
USCSA U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association www.uscsa.com


Gregory Gurshman (Austrian, U.S., Canadian coach) Coach's Corner - Austrian coaching outline, slalom, giant slalom articles www.youcanski.com/english/coaching/coaching.htm

Ron LeMaster (Vail instructor, coached with University of Colorado & Aspen Ski Club) excellent presentations including USSCA U.S. Ski Coaches Association www.ronlemaster.com

Ski Racing Magazine - "USST coach Phil McNichol talks about the components of modern slalom" http://www.skiracing.com/features/ne.../newsArticles/

Ski Racing Magazine - "Modern super G: USST coach Jim Tracy discusses the keys to competing in this hybrid discipline" http://www.skiracing.com/features/ne.../newsArticles/

Ski Racing Magazine - conditioning tests "Self-Assessment for the Serious Skier" http://www.skiracing.com/features/ne.../newsArticles/

International Racer - Coaches Corner www.internationalracer.com/coachesc.htm

PSIA Professional Ski Instructors of America - The Professional Skier archives - coaching, conditioning and other helpful articles http://www.psia.org/psia_2002/educat...e=tps_archives

Olle Larsson (Rowmark Ski Academy, UT founder, Canadian coach) How to Win Races on Short Slalom Skis: Learn from the Best www.scsports.com/photos/howtowin.pdf

Al Hobart (GMVS Green Mountain Valley School, VT founder) What Makes Bode Miller So Fast? article www.shapeski.com/articles_details.php?id=35

CSCF Canadian Ski Coaches Federation - Entry Level Coach Material, Developmental Level Coach Material, Performance Level Coach Material www.snowpro.com/cscf/e/downloads.html

Caroline Lalive (U.S. SL/SG/DH medalist) What We Can Learn from Caroline Lalive http://www.skimag.com/skimag/feature...417680,00.html

John Mukavitz SkiNow.net (PSIA level 3, USSCA level 3) links to helpful articles on slalom technique, tuning, conditioning http://skinow.net/articles___gallery.htm

American Ski Coach www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder/3533_4195.htm

Gary Dranow (aka Backtomasters on NASTAR forum, coach) www.nastar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=322


Ron LeMaster (Vail instructor, coached with University of Colorado & Aspen Ski Club) World Cup racers photo montages www.ronlemaster.com

World Cup Alpine Replay www.internationalracer.com/WorldCupReplay.htm

Melanie Turgeon (Canadian DH SG medalist) racing & conditioning www.melanieturgeon.com/TurgeonTraining/home.html

USSA - Rocky Mountain Masters links to World Cup videos, photos www.rmmskiracing.org/


Alpine Competition Guide www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder/283_1343.htm
Alpine Competition Regulations, Alpine Officials Manual http://internal.ussa.org/aps/public/...ne/welcome.asp

NYSSRA NY State Ski Racing Association - Adult Ski Racing Education Series - Guidebooks 1-7 http://home.eznet.net/~vraguso/
post #17 of 35
Start with the basics. Full zip down pants so he can warm up and get out of them easily at race time. The speed suit won't hurt and will give him a slight advantage. A nice pair of fleece from EMS to wear under the suit.

Mits instead of gloves for those cold nights and a pair of those "Glitter Gloves" to wear under the mits .... they have a pocket/slot for the hand warmers.

Try to go with some used gear. He won't need true race stock, but a used SL and GS ski in the appropriate legnth and flex won't hurt.

Spend time and find a good boot fitter, used boots from last years rental fleet can be had for about $60 and that combined with a pair of the heat formed footbeds will give him a reasonable and comfortable fit. Flex should not be too stiff. Green Mountain ripped half of the plastic out of my kids boots to adjust and soften the flex.

Wax and sharpen at a very basic level. Tuned equipment will keep him at a higher level of confidence. Find a race oriented shop that can sell you a basic vice and file and spend a few minutes showing you how to use it. An old iron (low setting) and a plexi windshield scraper ... buff out with a Scotch-Brite pad .. will do for now. He can do your skis too and my kd actually enjoys taking care of the equipment. Remember, you only need to tune the edges the bases get little or no attention so resist dropping them off for a "commercial" grind and "tune" once a week. This can do more harm than good to a ski.

Shin guards are nice as well as pole guards for the SL. They will do a bit of gate bashing at that age .... good protection.

Clear goggles for night racing. Anti-fog solution .... good to keep in the bag.

Kids sweat up the gloves and boots, so a hair dryer (low mod setting), nothing worse than damp gear.

Keep a bag with spares in the car ... old helmet, poles, gloves, Advil ...they are always forgetting somethng.

He will only be "out there" in the skin suit for a few minutes and it's good to get used to it.

Stress that he is building the foundation for great skiing and that winning is a side benefit if it happens.
post #18 of 35
Talk with Arcmeister, too. PM him if he doesn't drop in here. He'd be great to help with the boots, alignment, coaching, etc. Do PM him. He's a real value, and just down the road from you!
post #19 of 35
Originally Posted by BJDwrk
He wanted me to ask if chicks dig skin suits.
tell him I said "hell yeah!".... but (there is always a but).... you need to be able to back up wearing one by doing the work....

Even my flabby old butt gets a hell of a lot tighter when i work hard at working for skiing in the off season & work hard at skiing in the winter....
post #20 of 35
Ok - i like butts what can I say...
post #21 of 35
Originally Posted by BJDwrk
105 pounds
Pretty good in Wisconsin standards
Always lookin to improve

Will he or do most racers wear one. He doesn't really want to wear one in front of class mates. Other race protection and specific links and models also wanted.

There really aren't any decent pros at the local hill and you need to be on a team and race to learn and he won't by any means come in last-pretty middle of the raod
My son is a freshman this year and just started racing. He had very little formal race training and was very green on a course. He has good skills and finds himself in the middle of the pack each race.

For skis; he skied his Head Cyber IC 160 Railflex. Obviously not a race ski but it started the season with good tune.

Helmet required.

Clothing: On his first day, I think this was my son’s biggest concern. Now his biggest concern, what he can do to move up in the standings. My son did not have a speed suit and it was not a problem. There were many kids without speed suits. He opted; snow pants and parka for the first year.

Armor: I hind sight we should have purchased both, but really depends on the ability of the kid. My son had a few bruises from the gates.

I am a cheap bastard, so to dish out $$$$$$$ for a pair of race sticks, bindings and speed suit just to find out later that he does like to race....well.....not gonna happen. But the season is almost over and he has enjoyed the experience. He plans to continue next year, so now I might have to spend some $$$$$$$$.
post #22 of 35
I agree with Spork-

there will be kids who have been bashing gates for 8 years- they will be fully outfitted and many will need the gear becuase they can ski a line that has them blocking gates and taking the occasional face shot. Helmet with a chin bar is really all you need early on--

If your son is new to running gates, it will take him a awhile to get to that point- he will only need all the guards and a speed suit when his skills around the gates have developed- no matter how good a recreational skiier he is. if he comes in looking the part and can't deliver on the score board he runs the risk of looking like a poser.

b/t/w- I don't know about your area but the ski swaps in November is the time to pick up lots of the auxialiary gear cheap- used is really the way to go for pads, speed suit etc- this stuff is not cheap

good luck to him--
post #23 of 35
Starting out with only one pair of skis and learning to ski them well in different size turns is preferable before getting specialized SL/GS gear. And at only 105 lbs I would recomend a SL ski that he can bend to start with. He would probably not be able to take advantage of a GS ski in a 20 sec GS race until he gets a little bigger and stronger, and is competing for outright race wins. Many HS racers in SE Wis race only on SL skis and the few running a GS as well are usually also involved in a USSA program and running longer GS races up north on the bigger hills where the course sets and faster speeds warrent the longer radius GS skis.

A helmet, pole guards and a padded sweater are the first race gear to consider, skiing a line close to the gates should not have to hurt and develop flinching habits. Learning to care for his skis (tune & wax) will also make a bigger contribution than a GS suit to out right speed in a course. Until he is running within 1/2 second or so of top times a GS suit will never offset the same money spent on quality coaching to enable learning efficient skiing skills and smart racing tactics.

Located at Sunburst, north of Milwaukee, I offer private race coaching lessons but can only work with a few Jr. racers each year. I prioritize comitment and an outright desire to learn vs. established skills and I provide a very unique learning experience for them.

The best technical ski shop resource in SE-Wis for race equip, race ski tuning, wax and tools, and boot alignment, etc. is GRF Skis in Delafield 262-646-8727. Tell'em Roger sent you.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanx for the tips. His high school practices out of Sunburst. He'll also get a 25% discount on everything at Grafton Ski & Cyclery so we'll probably buy everything their.
post #25 of 35
I just finished my senior year of racing with the Midwest High School Ski Conference on the Waukesha Ski Team- Exactly the conference your son will be racing in. I can tell you now that a GS suit is a complete waste of money unless his form is PERFECT- worry about the expensive stuff like that and expensive waxes when he can ski a clean, fast line consistently- otherwise your $400 investment in aerodynamics wont have any impact. However, its absolutely essential that you get him some slalom protection. racing gloves and pole guards come first, and a face guard if he has braces. As he progresses, you'll be able to tell when he needs shin guards- he'll complain to you or his pants will be full of red and blue marks on the shins. Race armor encourages racers to be aggressive- he'll go nowhere if he develops a fear of bashing some gates.

As far as skis go, don't buy any race boards until you're confident he needs them. A good pair of high performance skis like RX8s or 6stars (the skis found in most manufacturers skicross lineups are great choices) that will allow him to build conidence on the sheer ice that develops on nearly every course he'll face here in Wisconsin. Once he is ready for race skis, a slalom ski in 165 will suit him pretty well for both GS and SL- our GS courses are too short (14-18 seconds) for a longer ski to make a difference. You'll want to wax skis yourself, becasue getting shop tuneups is way too expensive when you find that a good race wax is needed before every race to hang with the top racers.

As far as what to expect- rediculous amounts of fun, and lots of development in his skiing. There's a different sense of comararderie within the ski teram than ive felt after playing football, tennis, and rugby- we're all a lot closer. It probably ahs something to do with standing out on the side of a hill for 4 hours freezing important body parts off, but we had a ton of fun, making it totally worth it.

BTW- Will at GRF skis runs the best, and one of the only, dedicated race shops in Wisconsin. He's more than happy to answer any of your questions, and will gladly show you how to use any tuning equipment you buy from him. The only downside is that he only carries Volkl and Blizzard skis- but then again, why would anyone want anything other than Volkl? (says the guy who has been racing for 3 years on Rossignol 9s and lusts after every pair of P60s on the hill) He also does some great bootfitting work, and is one of the only carriers in Wisconsin of my wax of choice, Holmenkohl.
post #26 of 35
Check out Parks Ski Club at Sunburst if Arcmeister is too booked up. There are a lot of excellent programs right near you. Besides Arcmeister and Parks there are programs at Holy Hill and Ausblick.
Parks: David Nonn or Tom Nelson
Ausblick: Bill Wong or Will Nourse at GRF(Go Real Fast) Skis
I'm not sure who to get ahold of for Holy Hill but Grant Brown coaches there. All are excellent coaches with a proven track record.
BTW, the Wisconsin High School Championships (Mt LaCrosse next Sun and Mon) includes a Super G.
post #27 of 35
Two minor notes:

- You can get a speed suit for a lot less than $400 (like at least $300 less). On the other hand, if the courses are only 18 seconds long, it probably doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference.

- I'd probably get the face guard, even if he doesn't have braces. In theory, nothing will hit you in the face if you block every gate properly. In practice, that doesn't always happen. If you've taken a pole on your face guard, it's pretty easy, and scary, to imagine what it would be like to take one on the face.
post #28 of 35

More Racing Tips & Links

There are more racing tips and useful links in this Racing Tips thread http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=22964 in the Skiing Technique section of this forum.
post #29 of 35

Your son should start with one pair of longer slalom skis(nose to eyes) then if he gets more competative you should look into GS skis for the next winter.

   Hand guards are good to have just incase his coach wants him to start hitting the gates. You should be able find a decent set for around $40. Shin Guards will come soon after when he starts getting closer to the gates.

   A chin guard for a low-eared helmet is a must as well because the dentist isn't cheap if he hits his face with a gate. ( it happens to everybody)

   The area where you want to spend the most time and consideration is in boots. Take him to a local ski shop that deals in race boots along with regular boots. Get him fitted into a good set of boots with the help of a tech. Make sure your son gets the right flex(the tech will know what that means) because he does not want a boot that is too stiff or too soft. If you have the money spend it there first, because the boots do more than the skis in the controll aspect of the race.

   Now the other part of the equation is the skis. Last year's model skis are the next best thing to brand new ones. But keep in mind most chages year to year are in color schemes with the minor technological tweaks. A great brand to start out with is volkl. They make the racetiger ski and its what I personally started with. But since you have the time now. If your local hill has a demo day take him out and get him on several different types of skis to see what he does best on. Once he has found what he likes then look for last years model on the internet or you may even want to get him the new ones. Its up to you.

I hope this information helps your son do well.

Have a Nice season! and Happy Holidays!  

post #30 of 35

Pretty safe bet that his son has graduated by now.

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