I am thinking of getting into NASTAR this year. What do you think are the best videos and books that help get one started in ski racing?
Read Ultimate Skiing by Ron LeMaster. Hands down the best skiing book I've seen and should enable you to make huge gains. His website also contains many photo montages of world cup racers among other things, which I find extremely useful in understanding what good technique is and what I need to change. That, plus youtube can help you a lot.
Also, I'd recommend looking into getting your equipment properly aligned. It can be expensive, but I think if everybody had proper alignment they could handle any black diamond within a year of learning to ski. You could play with lateral alignment, forward lean and ramp angle using whatever material you have as shims and then later go to a shop and have more elaborate stuff done.
The ones that help you carve. NASTAR is all about carving and being smooth. Non-carving turns (i.e. anything with a skid) is like driving with the parking brake on when you're trying to go fast. IMO, it is the #1 skill you need to race well. Ron LeMaster is great reading and very informative.
You should also look into learning how to tune your skis yourself.
Look for anything written by Warren Witherell, who aside from being the greatest water skiing champion ever, loved skiing and founded the Burke Mountain Academy that produced 40 Olympians.
How the Racers Ski and The Athletic Skier are now a bit old, but the information is every bit as relevant. It is like reading Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals of Golf. Good fundamentals never go out of style, even if technique changes with technology or style. His thoughts on canting and alignment were some of the first--and best--in print. His ability to put the complex into a single simple thought is the hallmark of these books (i.e., "Put a ski on edge, pressure it correctly, and it will take you where you want to go.").
There is also some really good stuff on www.youcanski.com and on Harb's (buy the essentials of SKIING) site. The two disagree about quite a few things, but there is great stuff there.
Same for Lisa Densmore's book, very practical & easy read - and you can get it online too http://books.google.ie/books?id=JVxcMfBmAigC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=ski+faster+lisa+densmore&source=bl&ots=JXRjPWiT0U&sig=1rKoCQXedvdwoF8-G1vRz-qbcfA&hl=en&ei=n2X2TL6NHZSyhAfppYHXBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
Thanks mjp5, L&AirC, James, Quant2325. and Molly for your recommendations on ski racing books. Any particularly good instructional videos that you like? Sometimes I find it hard to translate the writing into body movements for skiing. A video can often make it clearer. Thanks again.