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Race Ski Equipment for a First Timer

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok I am:

17 Years Old
158 Pounds
6 Foot

I am just about to take up racing when I finally realised I could easily compete against most of these people who were winning races over here. It was a pathetic fear of failure stopping me (not helped by my dad making the Olympic Team in DH and GS at 16!!!, albeit this was in the 70's).

I am an advanced skier, It is not as though I am starting from scratch, I am planning to get in the top 10 in the Junior Nationals (Albiet Australian) next year. Okay abit up myself, but I hate beating around the bush.

So I am in need of EVERYTHING!! (poor Parents)

My major question in on Race Suits is there really any difference in the $800 race suits over the $300??

Skis are a poersonal thing so it is really not worth worrying to much about advice here, I will demo them in all due course. On my Hitlist are Atomic, Fischer, Head and Blizzard (perhaps even Rossi)

What boots would you recomend?? I have a very narrow feet??

Finally I am not sure what helmet to get, I see that the POC Scull Comp is the most expensive but does its expense make it any better over the Giro, Carrera or Uvex??

Thanks All, Any suggestions on other gear (I need everything!!) please tell me.
post #2 of 8
The difference between a $300 suit and $800 suit is sponsorship which comes from time on the snow and success. In all seriousness, practice, coaching, confidence and experience are key for you now. Once you establish your own reputation, the infinitesimal fractions of a second difference that a suit makes could be paid for out of team funds.

As far as skis and equipment, you need to be hooked up with a team first. Equipment discounts and pro-deals are offered to most team skiers. Whether you ski Atomic, Rossignol, Volkl or Fischer probably is less important than getting hooked up with coaching and the competitive push that a team will provide. I'm a little unsure of how to read your post, but you probably need to put your skiing where your mouth is as far as being best, and the rest should come your way, particularly the equipment recommendations of a coach. What are you on now?

How's the season going in Auatralia? Welcome to EpicSki
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, I am spending two months (Dec-Jan) just getting coaching, my dad has done a good job but his techniques are a bit out dated and he has no idea of the modern skiing equipment (and more importantly how to use it well).

Good suggestion about joining a team, I would love to join one in the US but I doubt I can until I finish school. I decided to spend the AUS winter season working on bulking up and basic race technique alone. I have been fortunate to have some really good people to work with

AUS season is going very well for our standards for this time of year (55cms of Snow at Mt Buller).

I am on Atomic GS12 but I am not a huge fan, perhaps a little to stiff as I am pretty slight.
post #4 of 8
Hi, cannastar, welcome to Epic. Just FYI, I'm an old race coach.

A few question for you;

1) When you say "junior nationals", are you referring to the interschool national level, or the sanctioned open national circuit? From my understanding both these race venues in Oz allow opportunity to ascend to a national level of competition, but the level of competition is very different.

2) Have you done ANY racing yet,,, real competitions with clocks and results sheets,,, or perhaps hopping in a training course here or there?

3) Where are you going for your coaching in Dec/Feb, and do you plan to get in any gates this Oz winter,,, for training or racing?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
My racing expereince has been minimal, I did that Nastar thingy at Aspen where I qualified second in my age division for the nationals. Interschools is abit of a laugh, I was thinking more on the sanctioned open circut but I will do interschools this year. I don't think winning interschools really counts for much.

In AUS there are some gates where I can practice on, I dont really want to get into the racing side until I start getting really good, the biggest issue for me is race stratergy, starts, reading the course. So I will be doing some gate work in AUS whenever possible. Probably only a few days worth though.

I am planning on skiing in the US this year, most ozzies prefer Europe but I like the people in the US more and I dont really want to be in a foreign lanuage country. Most likely I will be in colorado (if I get my way) in December where I will work on technique and strength. THen I am going to do a camp in January, there is an AUS one in Canada from Dec 30-Jan 28 which looks really good, where you spend heaps of time going through gates.
post #6 of 8

I have skied for years on race skis but only

had a few plays on a race course a few years ago. While I could negotiate
the course ok I found my skis too long to go around gates without skidding out like a rally driver so you would need advise on the most suitable length of ski as well. As for boots I have Technica Diablo Flame
but they also make a Technica Diablo Race Pro boot but it is narrower than the Diablo Flame.
post #7 of 8
OK, cannastar, with those answers I can now answer you. First, take Cirquerider's advise, and go with a bargain suit. Spend the money you save on training. Learning good technique and tactics can drop your FIS points from 250 to 50. A better suit might drop them from 250 to 245.

Now, I just want to offer some advice on how to mentally approach this. Honestly, I'm not familiar with the level of competition you'll be encountering in the sanctioned circuit, but I suspect you'll be racing against kids who have been training in gates for a number of years now. You may feel you ski better than them outside of the gates, and it may very well be true, but they've had more time to learn how to apply the skills they have to derive the best results through a course. It will take you some time to develop that too, so be patient with yourself at first.

Don't be surprised if some kids you don't think have any business beating you do at first,,, and don't take it as an ultimate determinant of your prowess as a skier. Look at it simply as a base line from which to begin to work and improve from. If you have good skiing skills, and some athletic abilities, your progress could come rapidly. I've seen it happen. But it takes dedication to hard work and training.

Go into this with that mind-set; that it's going to be a process of clawing your way up,,, that it won't happen immediately,,, and that nothing will deter you from persevering through that process. Find some good coaches to work with, in a program that has good skiers in it, and use those other skiers as the rabbits you're determined to chase and pass.

Plan on your training being a combination of skill development outside of the gates, and learning how to apply those skills inside the gates. It's a significant step from one to the other, and training both in and out of the gates needs to take place for it to happen. Success in this game comes from paying your dues, and payment is made in the form of dedicated hard work and persistence.

It's very healthy that you recognize and acknowledge your former fear of failure. It's a major step in overcoming it. Part of the make-up of successful athletes, and successful people in general, is that what some people see as failure, they see as valuable feedback they can use to learn from, and improve. All people who we look at as successful have had their disappointments, trials, tribulations and stumbling blocks on the way to getting there,,, and look back on them as valuable events that helped them reach their goals. It's one of the great lessons to be learned from participation in competitive athletics.

Best of luck to you.
post #8 of 8
No real big difference between $800 suits and $300. All do fine for entry level. All that a $800 suit does is say "HEY, I HAVE MONEY!!!".

For skis, like they all say - DEMO DEMO DEMO! and you might want to add Volkl to that list.

SkullComp helmets are good helmets to have all round, but aren't entirely necessary if all you are doing is technical racing.

Other necessities-
Poles for SL and GS
GS Gloves (well, you don't really need these, unless you can't take a little pain)
A full set of lenses for different conditions and light settings
Training shorts (nice to have) or side zipping snowpants
Booster Straps (you probably won't need these at first unless you accidentally get somewhat soft boots)
Chinguard (I don't have one, its a matter of preference and personal safety OR overprotective parents, lol)
Racing Socks - Thinner is better

Hope that helps.
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