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What's happening with amateur adult racing? - Page 3

post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Brantling, in Western New York. A real life field of dreams. Built on a bump in the middle of a corn field/cow pasture, barely long enough to conduct a regulation slalom race, yet they're a hot bed of ski racing activity and produce world class athletes.

Who can name their most successful alumni?
Diane Roffe Stienrotter
post #62 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tief schnee
Diane Roffe Stienrotter
Give this member a Cigar!

Quote:
A native of Williamson, NY, Roffe grew up skiing at Brantling Ski Center near
Buffalo.
post #63 of 88
It´s already off-topic but how about the Finnish champions from a country with almost no mountains, or Janica Kostelic?
Is just the association, let´s not hijack the thread, please.
post #64 of 88

Would you go to a western (UT) race camp

Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
It´s already off-topic but how about the Finnish champions from a country with almost no mountains, or Janica Kostelic?
Is just the association, let´s not hijack the thread, please.
Okay then, back to Recreational Racing. How many of you would go to a recreational race camp if the cost was right, Epic endorsed, no lines, WC Coaches, 1 Coach per 10 Racers, etc. etc.? The camp would have classes for children and adults. There would be NASTAR timing for each day's race to apply what you have learned. What about if it was not endorsed by Epic? This is really directed at those that would consider this type event, not those who are opposed to racing on principle or prediliction
post #65 of 88
I figure I'll weigh in here.

I race with the Alyeska Masters. Over the past couple years we have experienced about a 30% increase in members. This wasn't a bunch of former racers or ski pros that suddenly decided to start racing again. This was a fairly broad representation of skill levels, from timid intermediates to talented racers. Some were parents of racers, some just interested in improving their skiing, and a quite a few hyper-competitive bastards like me. While we aren't large by lower 48 standards, considering we draw from one community and race at only one resort, I'm pretty happy with the size and diversity. How many organizations can you race against a former Olympian (who used to compete with Killy) and a US Senator in the same day?

The Girdwood Town League draws an even wider range of athletes, and they seem to be doing pretty well right now judging by the size of the field on race night.

I run an intramural league on a small Air Force base hill, and we've been fairly steady over the past 4 or 5 years- despite deployments, other commitments, and a population that turns over every 3 or 4 years.

What I see helping these programs grow is:
- Enthusiastic organizers. Setting up races and training is a time consuming and labor intensive effort. Passionate individuals that can inspire others with their specific brand of lunacy are what's needed.
- Support from the resort. Without quality hill space and a little enthusiasm, the programs have a hard time surviving. In return, the hill has another drawing point, a way of building a sense of community on a mountain, and extra bodies on the hill during non-peak days.
- Support from business. The equipment isn't cheap, and awards or beer- tangible rewards- brings in bodies. Providing backing in exchange for some advertising space is a win-win situation, and often organizations can have influence on the resort's buying habits.

But it all comes back to that first point- you need an enthusiastic organization body that inspires people to race. The rest kinda falls into place once you have the bodies. Guys like myself of Gary might seem a bit looney to the average person, but you need to be looney to set courses in the rain and cold while still smiling.
post #66 of 88

Daron and Viktor, Side by side

Yes Mike, we are looney Great post and great points, I'm glad I'm not all alone out here

Not hijacking but to the type of courses the public "should" be racing in NASTAR. I've got a side by side comparison of Viktor, one of our European contingent with Daron Rhalves at the 2005 NASTAR Champs.

My point? Only in recreational racing can "we", joe public get on the same course and compare ourselves with the best in the world and really only through NASTAR can we really get a comparison in our handicaps. Just as an example I pulled a 7 Handicap directly off of Daron and then a 7 in the Race of Champions off of Casey Puckett, lots of fun. You can do it to (race with the big boys via NASTAR).

Each area has Pacesetters who either got their Handicap at this year's Nationals or go to the Pacesetter trials. The Pacesetters Handicaps are reduced from them time expressing a "par time" for the course, the time that Daron would run the course as the National "0". Is it perfect - no. Is it getting better, yes, each year and NASTAR keeps tweaking their system and formats.

The side by side comparison

So are all NASTAR courses ho-hum, no they shouldn't be. Can adults get good coaching? Now with www.modernskiracing.com , our race clinics and V1 Pro everyone can improve their skills in the gates, it is no longer just the Juniors that have access to USSA and World Cup coaching!
post #67 of 88
Here's where I get a little scared for the future. I see literally hundreds of kids participating at the "Mighty Mite" level in my area. Once the jump is made to the junior level, a sharp dropoff occurs. Whatever the reason (burnout, costs, competing interests), the field dwindles quite a bit by the J1 level. Our Masters program refers to the USSA juniors as a feeder program. That's where the best racers come from, and what keeps the level of competition high. You have to look at sustainable growth.

Your average citizen racer could get more from hooking up with a ski instructor out of the gates than in them, and NASTAR and similar outfits would be wise to hook up with PSIA whenever possible for a win-win situation. Talented race coaches are required for, say, the highest third of citizen racers, but you're missing a valuable resource and marketing opportunity by not linking up with the ski schools.
post #68 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
Here's where I get a little scared for the future. I see literally hundreds of kids participating at the "Mighty Mite" level in my area. Once the jump is made to the junior level, a sharp dropoff occurs. Whatever the reason (burnout, costs, competing interests), the field dwindles quite a bit by the J1 level. Our Masters program refers to the USSA juniors as a feeder program. That's where the best racers come from, and what keeps the level of competition high. You have to look at sustainable growth.

Your average citizen racer could get more from hooking up with a ski instructor out of the gates than in them, and NASTAR and similar outfits would be wise to hook up with PSIA whenever possible for a win-win situation. Talented race coaches are required for, say, the highest third of citizen racers, but you're missing a valuable resource and marketing opportunity by not linking up with the ski schools.
Mike, that's why we started the MSR Team, so we can bring top coaching to the recreational racer! PSIA Instructors just don't know how to teach racing, by and large. As a matter of fact most PSIA instructors should take our clinics. We'd love to hook up with both PSIA and USSA and someday it may happen, we shall see. Check out our website to get more information on the trend we are starting - top notch race coaching (USSA, Canadian and Austrian Certified Coaches) for citizen racers of all ages!
post #69 of 88
LOVE TO RACE,
HATE TO WAIT,
LOVE TO RUN GATES,
HATE TO WAIT,
LOVE HEAD TO HEAD RACING
HATE TO WAIT.

When you are a recreational skier who trys to maximize FUN time when skiing, league racing or any organized racing tends to involve alot of side slipping, waiting around, and wasting time until your big run(s). Nastar fits the bill so well for many because they can be very serious competitors or whimsicle experimentors. I still will not take the time to sign up for NASTAR but will stop on a dime for a "pay per run" course where you simply pay the starter, take your run, and check your time (against yourself or friends) no time wasted, maximum fun! No special ski prep and expensive wax either, just run what ya brung! Yee Ha Y all!
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Do the stats tell you where the vacationers are from? (East of Mississippi?)

It seems to me that Park City is the exception, not the rule. Being home to US Skiing (Inc.) and the USST alone would have a skew on the culture.

It's one thing to run the Nastar course occasionally. It's a whole 'nother thing to invest in a speed suit. One does some racing; the other is a racer. To confuse the two is as silly as the ski industry confusing people who ski with skiers. One group is committed for life and the others could quit tomorrow.
28 of the 42 were from East of the Mississippi.
post #71 of 88
I have a speed suit, qualified for nastar nationals without wearing it. I do wear it for the local races. I wish I had more time available to train in the suit though. The amount of acceleration past the skate-out is so cool.
RW
PS, I love skiing with Diane Roffe (and watching her ski). I co-taught lessons with her a few weekends.
post #72 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tief schnee
Diane Roffe Stienrotter
Nice job TS.

You were close, iriponsnow. AJ Kitt grew up skiing just down the road at Swain.

*********************

Good thoughts everybody. I agree with the comments about wasted time. Unless someone already has the race bug deeply embedded in their psyche, the idea of wasting an hour standing around on a beautiful day at the mountain, waiting for their chance at a 50 second survival struggle down an icy, rutted race course can seem rather non-appealing.

This is why NASTAR serves an important role. It provides recreational skiers with a means of getting a taste of racing in a very quick, hassle free, and unintimidating way. There are no run orders, a racer just pays his money, goes to the top and takes their run. And the courses are on moderate pitches with minor offset, so course deterioration is less of a factor.

This removes many of the obstacles and intimidation factors that might keep the first timer away, encouraging them to take the plunge and give racing a try. Often that first taste of gates and clocks ignites a new enthusiasm for skiing, and a desire to race again and strive to improve. That's what NASTAR is all about; introducing a new experience in skiing and watching the passion for it grow.

I've coached adult recreational racers quite a bit, those who began racing later in life, and I can tell you that it's very rewarding. The enthusiasm they display, and the desire to improve is so fresh and intense that it's very inspiring for a coach. With coaching, improvement comes quickly, and I wish you could see the beaming faces of pride and satisfaction these guys and gals get when they discover they've just laid down a personal best handicap slashing run.

These rec skiers get into this racing stuff so passionately. I have letters of appreciation at home from racers I've coached who've made major personal strides and qualified for the NASTAR nationals for the first time. In the letters they express to me what a significant accomplishment they see it as, that it's a highlight event of their life on skis, and how much they appreciate my part in helping them achieve this monumental personal goal.

But what I see as just as important as this personal satisfaction derived from racing is the major improvement it makes rec racers overall skiing. Racing presents new challenges to a recreational skier, and having a means to measure performance creates motivation to practice and improve.

Suddenly, skiers who were content to just free ski with little focus on technical improvement have a radical mind set shift. Now they're inspired to seek out coaching, and the level of instruction they receive is typically top rate. Their skiing improves rapidly, and they find themselves skiing cleaner edges, in better balance, and with more confidence on terrain that before was intimidating. That's the hidden jewel of racing and training. It transforms run of the mill skiers into high level technicians that stand out in the crowd. Personal thresholds are raised, and skiing becomes much more effortless, rewarding and fun.

This is why guys like Gary and I so pumped to promote racing to the masses. We know the transformations and rewards it provides, and we thrive on seeing them take place.
post #73 of 88
Couldn't have said it better Rick.
post #74 of 88
I gues that after the brilliant posts of AM and Rick Nolo as the thread initiator may be satisfied. There seems to be little added.
AMike summarized perfectly what is necessary to succeed with a racing program. Fastman summed up what the benefits are in a way which probably can´t be topped. Nicely put.
Not to forget Gary both as a thread contributor and as Nastar promoter.

I wish I could have guys like you here. We´d organize some cool race program. I have had some ideas for some time but it´s all far from being successful. Reading about Nastar and communicating with some addicts here will probably help me not give it up.
Great topic, especially because I managed to read it all (unlike WS and unlike Analysis b/c my idiotic computer doesn´t play the videos again. Will be fixed soon).
post #75 of 88
NASTAR is just a great program. Despite the problems it does have (what organization doesn't), they've spread recreational racing around the country and introduced countless people to the joys of gate crashing. From that introduction, the foot is in the door and it's a small step to town league or Masters races and beyond. I just wish it was available here. The last time I raced in a NASTAR race was in the late '70s. Then again, I'd probably go broke running the courses over and over...

I get as big a kick out of watching a 50 year old near-snowplow down a course for the first time as watching a really good racer. I like to compete, but I also really like to help people to those little milestones. It's not all about winning for me, although it would be nice if my competition would throw me a bone once in awhile...

This time of year is exciting for me. Last year I bought stubby training gates to use for intramurals and Masters. This year it's a complete ALGE timing system. I spent this past weekend building a gate rack in the timing shack I built last year. Next week I'll probably do a bunch of gate maintenance (replacing hinges, broken poles...) and install the new wiring boxes I put together last spring. We'll also be doing some terrain shaping at the hill. All while keeping an eye on the snow that's starting to appear on the mountaintops. The ski swaps are right around the corner, the banquets and potlucks are starting up, Masters dryland starts in a few weeks... I get more done towards my skiing programs in the months of September and October than the rest of the year. Anticipation is an amazing thing, isn't it?

Checkracer-
You should move here. I could sure use your help. Don't give up- you only have to find one or two other completely insane racers to start a program. Shouldn't be too hard.
post #76 of 88

NASTAR's new business model

Quote:
I just wish it was available here. The last time I raced in a NASTAR race was in the late '70s. Then again, I'd probably go broke running the courses over and over... AM
AM, NASTAR's model has changed dramatically since the '70's. It is much more accessible and geared towards the area's program being successful. Contact Billy Madsen at

Bill Madsen - Director of Operations/Resort Contact
Phone: 970-923-6278
Email:
bmadsen@NASTAR.com


For information how your area can particape!

post #77 of 88
It's not NASTAR being unwilling to participate at my resort. Quite the opposite.

With USSA Juniors and Masters, Mighty Mite, town league, and various sponsored races (not to mention the occasional national event)... the resort thinks we're pretty much saturated. They may have a point. With only three routes through the middle of the mountain and minimal terrain suitable for a NASTAR course, hillspace is at a premium most days.

One of these days I'll get back in a NASTAR course when I go back east to visit the folks. Who knows? Maybe I'll qualify for Nationals with such a high handicap.
post #78 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
It's not NASTAR being unwilling to participate at my resort. Quite the opposite.

With USSA Juniors and Masters, Mighty Mite, town league, and various sponsored races (not to mention the occasional national event)... the resort thinks we're pretty much saturated. They may have a point. With only three routes through the middle of the mountain and minimal terrain suitable for a NASTAR course, hillspace is at a premium most days.

One of these days I'll get back in a NASTAR course when I go back east to visit the folks. Who knows? Maybe I'll qualify for Nationals with such a high handicap.
What I should have said is that NASTAR is primarily a timing/results system today that can be used with any format race from Masters to ??. A good example is Snow Summit in So. Cal. They simply got the NASTAR timing software and ran the software for their own race series. Though they opened the race for the public it was by and large a combinaiton Junior/master race series for the town. The result was that Snow Summit qualified a strong contingent that came to the Nationals at Park City and as a team had a very good showing placing in the team standings and taking home some medals.

So whatever race you run you can plug in the NASTAR software which can handle any format now and have your results appear online as soon as you upload the data - pretty cool. Just a thought.
post #79 of 88
Interesting thought, Gary. The resort runs the setup/timing for town league and timing for Masters races (a pseudo-bribe on our part for hill space), while the juniors take care of their own timing. I could see how a resort could see NASTAR as a winner if it could be incorporated into existing programs. I might talk to the mountain mamager sometime and get his take on this.
post #80 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
Interesting thought, Gary. The resort runs the setup/timing for town league and timing for Masters races (a pseudo-bribe on our part for hill space), while the juniors take care of their own timing. I could see how a resort could see NASTAR as a winner if it could be incorporated into existing programs. I might talk to the mountain mamager sometime and get his take on this.
Now back to our regular scheduled program.

I must report that the Snow Summit crew, both kids and parents had a blast at the NASTAR Champs. I was responsible for bringing NASTAR to Snow Summit (I have no affiliation with NASTAR other than being a Pacesetter) and was surprised to see the 20 something folks from Snow Summit at the Nationals. NASTAR is one of the only national race systems that parents and children alike can compete together. I have been a guest announcer at the Park City NASTAR arena on several occasions and the most fun I've had was announcing the Father/Son, Mother/Daughter, etc., grudge matches. The smiles at the finish have been very rewarding!

On that note, professional announcing really helps make any race arena an attraction to the skiing public. Everyone loves to hear their name ringing out across the PA system. And in the Green course we have Donna France from Carlsbad, Ca. and in the Yellow course her husband, Ken, Racers Ready, 5 Seconds, 3, 2, 1, Racers on course,,,,,
post #81 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
Don't give up- you only have to find one or two other completely insane racers to start a program. Shouldn't be too hard.
Mike,
As you write in your last post the hillspace is the problem. The resorts are small and overcrowded and the owners/managers don´t like the prospect of something taking it up. There seemed to be a good place two years ago in a tiny resort where a friend of mine runs the ski school and where he planned a series of races. We made some promising marketing for the place and the 03/04 season went not so bad even though his partners were not much enthusiastic about all the races planned. Unfortunately, some tension between the owner of the place and those operating the lift and resort resulted in the place completely closed over the last season.
Another issue are the costs. Friends of mine organize a unique 6-hour GS team-marathon in our biggest resort. It´s in April but in spite of the afterseason they can´t afford the good floodlit run (it´s 3 to 9 pm not to occupy the run in the daytime) b/c it´s too expensive even for them as locals.

The "insane" people are also not easy to find: life is not easy here after the principal changes when the communist system collapsed in 1989 (people earn about $ 8,800/year and they have to work a month to buy a pair of top skis, gas prices are much higher than in America) and most people have to concentrate on earning money to survive now and in the future. Those who are well off mostly enjoy their luxury life and are not interested in hauling poles, drill etc. just for the joy of others...

I´m not giving up, though.
post #82 of 88

European Adult Racing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
Mike,
As you write in your last post the hillspace is the problem. The resorts are small and overcrowded and the owners/managers don´t like the prospect of something taking it up. There seemed to be a good place two years ago in a tiny resort where a friend of mine runs the ski school and where he planned a series of races. We made some promising marketing for the place and the 03/04 season went not so bad even though his partners were not much enthusiastic about all the races planned. Unfortunately, some tension between the owner of the place and those operating the lift and resort resulted in the place completely closed over the last season.
Another issue are the costs. Friends of mine organize a unique 6-hour GS team-marathon in our biggest resort. It´s in April but in spite of the afterseason they can´t afford the good floodlit run (it´s 3 to 9 pm not to occupy the run in the daytime) b/c it´s too expensive even for them as locals.

The "insane" people are also not easy to find: life is not easy here after the principal changes when the communist system collapsed in 1989 (people earn about $ 8,800/year and they have to work a month to buy a pair of top skis, gas prices are much higher than in America) and most people have to concentrate on earning money to survive now and in the future. Those who are well off mostly enjoy their luxury life and are not interested in hauling poles, drill etc. just for the joy of others...

I´m not giving up, though.
Check, this is very interesting information. Can you report on the environment in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, the Balkans and so on, is like. I think it is interesting the NASTAR is not a international system. Is there anything in Europe like it with online results, Handicaps and a Championship event for competitors? I certianly hope the Czech economy is just finding its way in the capitalisitc milieu.
post #83 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Check, this is very interesting information. Can you report on the environment in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, the Balkans and so on, is like. I think it is interesting the NASTAR is not a international system. Is there anything in Europe like it with online results, Handicaps and a Championship event for competitors? I certianly hope the Czech economy is just finding its way in the capitalisitc milieu.
Gary,
As you may remember, there were two longish posts by me (#35 and 36). Everything I can report on is there, esp. (#36):

"There is a successful series in Austria called WISBI (wie schnell bin ich – how fast am I) introduced by a former pro champion Andre Arnold after he quit the pro carrier and came back home. (It might have been inspired by Nastar – I don´t know.)
I don´t know enough about Nastar or Wisbi to compare but it seems to me to be fairly similar.
As to other races for the public there I´m not familiar with their scope or organization – maybe someone from those countries could tell more."

And, yes, Czech economy is fighting. Producing some cheaper Head skis in a new factory, producing all Marker bindings (except Motions), assembling some Tyrolias, producing all Leki poles, Gabel poles, Salomon poles, most of (maybe all) ZAG skis, two domestic brands, a relatively very large quantity of cars (till they move it further east )...
It´s a process with all ups and downs. Life could be worse and really WAS much worse. Considering the freedom it´s .
post #84 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
Gary,
As you may remember, there were two longish posts by me (#35 and 36). Everything I can report on is there, esp. (#36):

"There is a successful series in Austria called WISBI (wie schnell bin ich – how fast am I) introduced by a former pro champion Andre Arnold after he quit the pro carrier and came back home. (It might have been inspired by Nastar – I don´t know.)
I don´t know enough about Nastar or Wisbi to compare but it seems to me to be fairly similar.
As to other races for the public there I´m not familiar with their scope or organization – maybe someone from those countries could tell more."

And, yes, Czech economy is fighting. Producing some cheaper Head skis in a new factory, producing all Marker bindings (except Motions), assembling some Tyrolias, producing all Leki poles, Gabel poles, Salomon poles, most of (maybe all) ZAG skis, two domestic brands, a relatively very large quantity of cars (till they move it further east )...
It´s a process with all ups and downs. Life could be worse and really WAS much worse. Considering the freedom it´s .
Yes, I re-read those, thanks for pointing the out. Completely off the subjecdt, are CZ's still made? Haven't seen one in about 30 years. Was a great MX bike in its day.

My Czech factory CZ
post #85 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Completely off the subjecdt, are CZ's still made? Haven't seen one in about 30 years. Was a great MX bike in its day.
My Czech factory CZ
Not anymore. Couldn´t compete. Were bought by Cagiva of Italy, tried to survive for some time in the 90s. That´s all I know.
Yes, they were good There used to be a lot of motocross champions on CZ.
The Czech part of the former (prior to 1918) Austria-Hungary was the industrial heart of the empire. Between the two World Wars the industry here was among the best worldwide and the country was said to be among the most developed in the world. The War and the communists managed to spoil all this although machinery was competetive till about the 1970s (which were the last glorious years of CZ motorcycles).
Sorry, is OT but I wanted to answer. The topic seems to be exhausted anyway.
post #86 of 88
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to hear recreational racing is more ascendant than I might have assumed from my funky pocket of the universe. There's no doubt in my mind, having spent 10 winters (*talk about standing around*) as a USSA junior race coach with full instructional and basic coaching certification, that running gates for time is good for a person's skiing, as part of a well-balanced diet.
post #87 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Yes, I re-read those, thanks for pointing the out. Completely off the subjecdt, are CZ's still made? Haven't seen one in about 30 years. Was a great MX bike in its day.

My Czech factory CZ
I thought you meant CZ rifles. They still make some nice stuff.
post #88 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
I thought you meant CZ rifles. They still make some nice stuff.
Nah, my glass was mounted on a XM21 Glad NOLO got what she was looking for before we spun off to guns, motorcyles and ,,,,
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