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I need some Pointers (Race Related)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My local mountain has world class race center (Or at least it must be decent... the Austrians train there) and last week it was open to the public.

I took a run through the GS course and I was informed at the end that I qualified for an invitational for fun race series. I don't know if everyone was told this or if my time down the course was decent in comparison to others. I do know, however that I've never raced in my life and will actually be competing next friday. I get two runs down the course.

What tips can any of you guys offer someone who has never raced before?

I'm 6'2 175 with no gear on. I ski on 184cm skis with a radius of 23m. I'm comfortable at most any speed on groomers and I can handle most any terrain (though not always with style)

I'm looking for tips in the way of body position (upright, tucked, etc) where to look down the course (ie next gate or a few gates down, etc) and anything else that might help

thanks
post #2 of 17
The basics:

1. Relax!
2. Have fun!
3. If there's one tactical tip I have, it's this: look ahead! By looking at least 2 gates ahead, your line will be better, your turns smoother and faster. I wrote an entry over at SkiRaceTech about looking ahead - worth a look-see.
4. You may have an opportunity to inspect the course ahead of time, before the race. If so, take advantage of the time to note the tough gates: rhythm changes, delay gates, fall-aways, straighter sections that will be good for tucking, etc.
5. In the "tuck vs. upright" area: a carved turn in an upright stance will almost always be faster than a skidded turn in a tuck. In most steeper areas of the course, the gates will be turny enough that you'll want to stand up and make good turns. In the flats, most courses are straight or open enough to get away with tucking if you can pull off a clean tuck turn.

Good luck!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the pointers I'm sure they'll help.

Does anyone else have anything to add?
post #4 of 17
Not sure on the steepness of the course or any of the terrain related things, but look for where you can take a higher or lower line. That meaning the relative straightness inbetween gates, take a higher or rounder line to maintain your speed on parts that you may not be as comfortable on , and a lower line to pick up speed. I dont know the difficulty of the course, so that should be enough for a basic course if its a fun race. Other than that, hands forward, quiet upper body , and have fun.
-JMK
post #5 of 17

Sun Peaks?

Quote:
My local mountain has world class race center (Or at least it must be decent... the Austrians train there) and last week it was open to the public.
Hey Liquidnails that isn't the Nancy Greene International Race Center is it? I would offer this: avoid jamming your edges at the gate, try to turn early and carry a smooth arc around the pole with even pressure. Any chance you could get some GS pointers from Nancy? She was quite the GS skier in her day I bet she still turns em both ways!

- Fossil
post #6 of 17
sidewind your opponets' equipment, whenever possible, and murmur, in a grave tone "ouuuuuuccccch .......you're gonna race on that?"

convince each of your opponents that the other opponents, in their rabid quest to keep her/him from finishing, plan to kick her/his ass afterward.

imply that you've had biblical relations with your opponets' spouses/partners.....then state that you understand the frustartion which drove them to race.....
post #7 of 17
Kick your boots against everything in sight in the starthouse. Grunt as loudly as you can at the start. You can always pull out the Nastar racer's favorite technique: spend a ton of money.

Seriously though, for a fun race, just stay forward and stay early (ie, turn above the gates, not at them).
post #8 of 17
ridicule your opponents at every possible opportunity....
question, in bellowing tones, their sexuality.
imply they've had preternatural relations with the timekeepers, and
engage in paleo-nomadic war-cries at the gate, glaring, all the time, at your opponents.
throw off your equipment after the finish, do a primitive victory dance and hurl your skis, javelinesque, at the timing shack...
loudly praise 'satan' for your performance,
and demand, from onlookers, fresh concubines.
post #9 of 17
Do what the US team does. Get some obnoxiously loud guy to stand in the start house next to you and scream "YOU GO LIQUIDNAILS!!! YOU'RE THA MAN LIQUIDNAILS!!!! SHOW 'EM HOW IT'S DONE!!! KICK IT!!! GO!GO!GO!GO!!!!" And remember that he can't use your real name. He has to make up some stupid never-used nick name, like Nailer, or Liquidmeister.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Do what the US team does. Get some obnoxiously loud guy to stand in the start house next to you and scream "YOU GO LIQUIDNAILS!!! YOU'RE THA MAN LIQUIDNAILS!!!! SHOW 'EM HOW IT'S DONE!!! KICK IT!!! GO!GO!GO!GO!!!!" And remember that he can't use your real name. He has to make up some stupid never-used nick name, like Nailer, or Liquidmeister.
Outstandingly funny! Thanks. I'm going to hire someone to do this next year.
post #11 of 17
Make sure you hire someone you really don't care about.

You may be tempted to kill your significant other when they do that, you lose your concentration, and you subsequently blow your start: .
post #12 of 17
1. Wear a helmet. It'll probably be required that you wear one, but I've seen and raced in beer leagues where racing in a hat (or even only with googles) was allowed. You don't want to get a gate on the head.
2. Wear something like a big, thick sweater underneath your jacket (or just race with the sweater). Gates can leave prtty big bruises.

Now with the really important stuff:
1. Look ahead at the next gates. Do not look at the ruts. Do not look at the bottom of the hill or at your skis. Concentrate on taking the best line possible (wich might not always be the tightest at every gate).
2. Stay forward. A lot of guys, when they start racing, get VERY, VERY defensive, especially in gs type events, because of the speeds and the pitch. Get in there and don't be afraid, it's when you get defensive that everything starts to go too fast.
3. Don't try to get in tuck as soon as possible in the course, especially if you have never raced, since you can get nasty surprises (very low line, gates in the face, etc.): if you feel comfortable, do it. If not, concentrate on line and good skiing.
4. Don't be afraid of going a bit straighter than what you're used too freeskiing. This is another problem new racers often encounter: they are used to making nice, round turns, in order to control speed on groomers where there is other people around. You ARE ALONE in the race course, so these turns aren't necessary anymore.
5. If you plan on hitting gates, don't look at the gates you're going to hit since this is a recipe of hooking tips or hitting with the knee wich is VERY bad for you and your time. Look at the next one and take it on the forearm or on the shoulder/back area. Be careful to get your inside hand out of the way (look at videos of racers in order to see how they do it).
6. Have fun and don't get bummed out by your time if it's not too good. Perseverance is key here.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks jeff, some good tips.

I should be able to get a rowdy entourage to cheer me on, and as far as the war cries at the top and the satan praising ski javelins at the bottom... we'll see. I'll try it out on the practice run and if it proves to be effective I'll employ it.

Stay forward, Look ahead, but not too far, don't turn at the gate, and stand up straight. speed is my friend. Maybe I'll try drinking before the race...

Thanks for the tips and I'll get back to you all on how I did.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Thanks jeff, some good tips.
My pleasure. Ski racing has been a big part of my life and it's always good to see people take it up no matter what.
post #15 of 17
Michel Pratte is running a race camp at Sun Peaks next December. I've done his Whistler camp and just finished a 2 day clinic here with him. He is probably one of the most gifted coaches I've ever dealt with and they're probably the most productive camp experiences I've ever had. He has a way of communicating with the racer that makes goals real and attainable. Unlike some coaches who primarily deal in group drills, he is more individualized with his feedback and goals, which makes progress that more rapid. Since you already live there, your camp costs will be minimal.

http://www.pratteski.com

You won't regret it.
post #16 of 17
By the way, I like the advice "stand forward" as opposed to "stand up straight". Standing up straight is a passive stance that puts you on the defensive right away. Standing forward commits your body to the turn.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Good to know, Mike. If I'm still in town next December I may check it out, though it'll probably be out of my price range. I can barely afford a season's pass as it is.
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