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How to get started in Super-G or Downhill?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have always wanted to find out how I would do in the high speed events, but the amateur racing programs tend to focus on Slalom and GS, and even these courses are very slow compared to World Cup standards.

I would like to try Super-G or Downhill, if perhaps just for fun (although I'm in my 30s and maybe a bit beyond the age for serious Olympic style training).

I did a little racing for the college ski team years ago, and enjoyed some races with the Far West League and NASTAR. I was generally disappointed by the slower pitch of the courses with tight technical turns on green runs. My best event was the Far West Super-G in which I placed 2nd in the club, even though it was the first and only time I ever had the chance to try the Super-G.

For the past 12 years I have been skiing 205cm Rossignol 9X GS, and recently got the Dobermann Pro 130 boots. This setup feels natural because I enjoy long high speed carving turns, skiing this style since I was 5 years old.

With all this practice on this type of equipment the only thing missing now is that I've never really had a chance to try out high speed racing. Are there any ski resorts with good intro programs for the beginner?
post #2 of 8
I believe Jay Peak still hosts a citizen's downhill. This posting from last year's calender--- no training included.

from their website:


March 3rd this season (2006-2007)
" George Syrovatka Downhill
Annual Citizen's Downhill race is open to all competitors feeling the need for speed.
The Haynes Trail "
post #3 of 8
Ragged hosts a DH as well. I would NOT do it on GS skis though. Trap speeds are around 70-75.


It's very hard to find a place to train SG and DH if you aren't racing USSA as a J1 or J2, as it requires resorts to close entire top to bottom trails. You stand a good chance of this out west, with Rocky Mountain Masters for example, but there is just not as much space on eastern hills.
post #4 of 8
Rocky Mountain Masters schedules six DHs and six Super-G's per race year. Check out our site at http://www.rmmskiracing.org/ for the schedule and the venues.
post #5 of 8
If you're really serious about trying downhill, can't make it to an "over the hill downhill" and have some expendable cash, there are sometimes summer and fall camps put on at places like Mt.Hood, New Zealand, or South America. Regional Ski teams might have info as to whether there are any such camps going on.

There is almost nothing in the world, indeed there isn't even anything in any other realm of skiing, that is like racing downhill. Downhill isn't just a sped-up version of freeskiing or even GS or Skier-cross. Almost everything is different. At downhill racing speeds, forces come into play that you never thought existed.

The wind roars in your ears like a jet taking off, it smushes your goggles against your face, and it wants to throw you over backwards if you stand straight up or catch air under your skis. Small ripples and rolls that you don't even notice at slower speeds suddenly throw you into the air or off line, or suddenly buckle your knees straight into your chin. At times you feel like you're weightless and skimming over the snow, flying down pitches or over knolls, and at other times you feel like you weigh 600 pounds and gravity is trying to pull you through the snow deep into the mountainside. Your skis never actually carve smoothly through a turn, so much as rattle and ricochet off of the icy surface, and when you're tucking it out down a fast pitch, the skis like to swim around and wander crazily, seemingly with a mind of their own in such a way that gives even the best racers the heeby-jeebies.

And even for someone "in shape", a minute of downhill racing will set your thighs on fire and your lungs ablaze as you try to hold your tuck until the finish line.

It's totally addictive.: Go for it.
post #6 of 8
Silver Star and Whistler, both have annual Speed Camps for adults to train SG and DH. These are great camps, coached by ex and somtimes current WC coaches.
post #7 of 8
Sugarbush has a speed camp next week. This is from their web site:

The Legends Cup Speed Camp will be comprised of 2 two-day speed camps feturing Olympic Downhiller Doug Lewis. On Feb. 5-6, the focus will be on Super-G and on Feb. 7-8, we open it up for the Downhill. These speed camps, lead by Olympian Doug Lewis, are for Ski Racers (15+), Masters and/ or Juniors, who are looking to improve their speed technique & tactics. These Super-G and Downhill camps will focus both on quality and quanity. The coaches will teach a speed progression that will help both the rookie Speedster as well as the seasoned Vet lower their times in both SG and DH. The schedule will also provide ample time "on-course" for those just wanting run after run.
Call the Race Coordinator at 802-583-6818
for registration or more information.
post #8 of 8
Read this as well:
Don't Quit Your Day Job.
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