The Minnewonka ski club up in the Yukon has it all figured out.
"Expanding the use of the flip-seed format would level the playing field for all our junior racers and discourage point chasing. The bottom line is the USST doesn’t need more kids with low points, they need athletes who can ski fast regardless of the course conditions."
In developing their latest junior race skis, Marker Dalbello Völkl tapped into the expertise of former World Cup athletes in the MDV family who are now raising the next generation of ski racers.
Ski Racing contributor Aldo Radamus returns with a candid assessment of cost in the U.S. versus other nations, as well as an informative list of "what's important and what's not" when it comes to spending money.
The need for off-season travel largely depends on age and where you live. But there's one universal truth: If you want to excel at alpine ski racing, eventually you're going to have to travel during prep-period, so get creative.
In addition to the skiing benefits that go along with the mountains themselves, bigger programs can offer things like discounts and trade-outs to resort employees, not to mention extensive public and private resources. Here's how some of the bigger-resort clubs are getting more bang for their buck.
These programs are proving you don't need a big budget — or a big vertical drop — to make a big impact.
"In an ideal world, cost would never be an obstacle to a young skier who wants to become a ski racer. But this is the real world, and we must face the reality that the cost of ski racing will always be a barrier to entry for many.
After first being exposed to the sport at Snowy Range, a tiny ski area 30 miles west of Laramie, Wyo., Anna and Max Marno put all their eggs in the ski racing basket and came out ahead on the other side.
Nellie-Rose Talbot proves you don't need to have the "latest everything" to be successful in ski racing — you just need a strong community to back you up.
"The purpose of my article is not to discourage ski racers from attending a ski academy or major resort program. However, the U.S. development system clearly needs another track for training junior alpine ski racers."
Could Idaho's Rotarun serve as a template for making entry-level skiing and ski competition more affordable for more kids? A lot of people think so.
"Ski racing is not just about who can carve their ski the cleanest, hold a more aerodynamic tuck, or get out of the start the quickest. I would argue that THE most important skill to have, especially on race day, is confidence."
For Olympians like Jackie Wiles, it's not just about finding speed; it's about finding cash.
When it comes to cost and programming, according to veteran coach Johno McBride, it's a fine line between doing too much and not doing enough.
Steve and Dana Hurt knew nothing about ski racing when they put their kids, Brett and AJ, in Mighty Mites at Squaw Valley. Because Steve was a patroller at Squaw, the program fees were half price.
The always-entertaining former World Cup racer and Olympian Chad Fleischer pulls no punches in his latest letter to the editor. He points out, if you want to be great, it's going to take sacrifice — and money.
"As a single mom who headed up the youth ski lessons at Cochran’s, Barbara Ann literally raised her kids on the mountain. One race in which this Olympic champion never tried to compete was the arms race."
The cost of racing in the U.S. is five or six times what it is in Italy, according to one contributor. Why is that?
Author's note: The good news in this conversation about cost — and there always is some
You're right, the cost of ski racing has grown to crazy levels (my son was
“The beautiful thing about racing and competition and why we do it is [because] it’s a powerful tool for human athletic development. But like anything it can be abused and overused … and it has been. So how can we continue to use it in a healthy way?"
“I am a firm believer that a kid from a small program can make it without breaking the bank,” says USST alum, ski parent and part-time coach Kyle Wieche. “It involves talent and hard work, but most importantly patience and confidence in doing your own program, your own way.”
It is easy to point our finger at the expense of equipment and lift passes and the increased costs of airline tickets, accommodations and travel meals but the problem is us.