What type of skis are you putting a race plate on? You should be considering how you want the ski to feel after you put the plate on it. You also have to think about the qualities you want the plate to have as they relate to your skiing. How stiff of a plate do you want, what type of flex pattern do you want, do you want to allow for flex, or hinder flex, how much lift do you want, are you looking at specific bindings to mount on the plate, and as mentioned above, what type of skis (GS/SL). Your main offerings are going to be from Salomon, Marker, and VIST. I would evaluate what you think you need and make your decision based on that. As a beginner racer you are probably not going to want a stiff metal plate. Plastic is a good route to go. Also, you will want to choose your plate based on the type of skis you are using. Post some extra info and I will try to steer you in the right direction.