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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Edited by Pine - 11/12/10 at 9:39pm
post #2 of 12
Yes, you want the hand, shin and face guards. Hitting the gates is something like someone swinging at and hitting you with a wiffle ball bat.

It is fun and very challenging. It will make your skiing better because when you run a course, any poor technique is quite evident so you will have to have good technique to succeed. All ski racing disciplines require good technique. No one discipline is harder than the other, but they do reward different strengths. SL requires quick accurate movements whereas downhill needs deliberate progressive movements. GS and SG are combinations of both. SL skill probably translates best to recreational skiing of all the disciplines.

Good luck!
post #3 of 12
Speaking as a race parent but not a racer myself, SL may be hard to pick up for you as a beginner. It's a very technical event that requires very good advanced turning skills. In general, all SL skiers can ski GS but not vice versa, particularly when compared to NASTAR. Of course, I'm not talking about top performers here either way.

I would recommend working on small radius turns. Also learning how to ski moguls will help you a lot. If you cannot control those quick small turns while free skiing, there is no way you can clear gates and not get in trouble. The only option would be to ski around each gate. JMO.
post #4 of 12
I call slalom the violent discipline.
I usually tell people to invest in pole guards, then a chin guard, and finally shin guards. Whack your fingers, and you'll want the pole guards. Miss a block and take a gate to the nose, the chin guard makes sense. Take a series of gates without shin guards, and you'll understand their utility- especially the next day. As you move closer to the gate, each gives you a little more confidence and protection.
Padded gloves and jackets are nice, but not required.
Of course, I know plenty of skiers that don't use guards of any kind. I've done it on occasion, but I wouldn't recommend it.
post #5 of 12
Not a bad idea to think about a mouth guard as well.
post #6 of 12
Start SL training using a classic line (not hitting gates at all), and build up skill with turn mechanics & general SL course tactics. 
You can get by without armour with classic line, but get pole guards anyways to gain familiarity.  A mouth guard is also a good idea right from the start.

When you've got good skills with a classic line, start bringing the line in to clear & block the gates.  Add shin guards & a chin guard for your helmet to your kit when you start hitting gates.
post #7 of 12
The protective equipment isn't that expensive and can save a lot of pain. When you get into the gates, while you may try to ski the 'classic' line, you may not succeed. One gate to the mouth can create a lot of expense and pain.
post #8 of 12
I would go with shinnies and hand guards first with a mouth guard of course. a bar isn't critical. padded jackets are a waste of money
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Edited by Pine - 11/12/10 at 9:39pm
post #10 of 12
Like said here above you need protection. Helmet with mouth guard, shin guards and poles with hand guards are minimum. I also never ski without a back protector so I reccomend it. If you for some reason fall and hit a gate that is not deep enough  in the snow you could end up in a weelchair. None of the armour mentioned above will be very expencive if you just keep to the standard offering and dont spend 500 on a helmet. You can get good stuff second hand. Thats how I started. Shin guards 5usd.

Sounds like the hill where you would be practising has a good race program to offer. I dont think that SL is the best dicipline to start with but in your case you dont have any option. But its not all bad eather. Speeds are slower and its a more technical dicipline menaing that using your head and learning the right moves will be to your advantage. Blocking the gates while carving your turns will be the challange. Good luck.
post #11 of 12
IMHO GS is much more difficult to ski well!

You have the technical aspect of SL and a lot more speed.

As has been said you can start SL by skiing a conservative line and inside clearing instead of cross blocking until you get more comfortable.

Gs is more similar to freesking, but is very technical and demanding.  Getthe protective gear. and a slalombar when you are begining is mandatory. A very good chance you won't be inside the gates and will take a few mid helnet or face!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Edited by Pine - 11/12/10 at 9:38pm
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