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Thread: My first Nastar attempt

  1. #1
    I have my own seat in the pub Bushido Princess's Avatar
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    My first Nastar attempt

    I tried the Nastar course for the very first time on the first. It was a total disaster. The course was icy and after spinning out of the gate I did great on the top third but I went off the track twice after that. But I finished without falling. Yeah! I'll try again soon enough but I want to work on some more technique first though. I will keep trying until I can do it well though. I am sure I will get better if I keep at it. But I am proud of myself for trying and for getting through it.

  2. #2
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Good for you, BP. It's always better to ski the Nastar courses before they get rutted up.
    Go first thing in the morning before too many others have skied it and I bet you'll do much better.

  3. #3
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    Good for you BP.

    One thing I learned about racing in a course many years ago, it's one thing to be able to make good turns on an open slope but you add the fact that a race course forces you to turn in places where you have to, compared to places when and where you can turn.

    That's the big difference.

    You still have much to learn but every now and then a race course can always tell you how good you are, and what you need to work on.

    Skiing trees is even harder. Same scenario, trees force you to turn when your well being depends on it. They don't move when you hit them like poles stuck in the snow do. And this advice isn't necessarily just for you but for everyone. If you can't make gates in a racecourse, stay out of the trees.

    I'm proud of you for even trying and although you didn't make it through, the fact that you tried tells me and most importantly you, that you are coming along.

    Racing, even Nastar, is a whole other level.

    Good for you!
    Last edited by Lars; January 8th, 2014 at 07:47 AM.
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  4. #4
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
    Good for you, BP. It's always better to ski the Nastar courses before they get rutted up.
    Go first thing in the morning before too many others have skied it and I bet you'll do much better.
    I don't know about that LF

    I always liked a rutted course especially if there were a lot of good skiers going first. Seemed to help me edge and showed me the fast line, where to crank the hardest and skid marks always showed me the spots to avoid.

    You can learn much from racing.
    all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools

  5. #5
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Courses change as people ski them.
    The untended Nastar courses I am familiar with start out with nice grippable groomed snow early in the day.
    Next, the course gets skied off and icy; polished snow defines a late and low line set by the morning's skiers.
    Following this icy line guarantees skidding out below the gates, unless you have the skill to overcome the issues others have created by that late/low line.
    Last, if no one smooths it out, ruts may form.
    A rutted course is great if you are very sure on your feet. I ride the ramps. Fun!
    Beginner racers may not feel real so good about doing that, and may need to ski back and forth up and over the ruts.
    This is why I suggested early in the day.

  6. #6
    Home Sweet Home Skier Village Coach mastersracer's Avatar
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    Way to go, BP! Racing will highlight your strengths as well as your weaknesses. You want to back off on trying to go fast and just ski the course to get used to passing gates closely at speed. Then work on line. Any technique work that you want to work on is best done outside of the course where you can focus on that one thing without worring about the gates. When you are comfortable and making runs in the course that are satisfying (time and comfort-wise) then you can try working on technique in the course.

    I think that the ruts in the course may be a good or bad thing to cue off. Most racers will turn too early, starting their turn way above and outside of the gate. Others will go very direct to the gate then turn. I find that I am usually inside everyone else's ruts when I run NASTAR. Ideally, you pass the gate at or just after the apex of your turn. Visualize your turns from top to bottom before you run the course. You need to train your brain that the line you have chosen is a good one so it (your brain) will stick to it.

    Key in choosing your line is to ski the hill, not the gates. You know that you have to go around the gates, but if you plan well, you'll also be making evenly sized turns around them by planning a turn early (or late as the case may be) where necessary so that the following turn is well shaped and positioned to set you up for the following gate.

    Good luck and have fun!

  7. #7
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    I didn't say I like to follow the ruts or lines left in the snow, but that I would read them and learn from them as the times of the skiers that made them, where to turn and what course of action or my approach to attack given my own skills. Some people like to go early, some later. I always liked an icy track as it's faster.

    You are correct of course by saying a person new to racing would have more confidence in a clean, unrutted course.

    It's all relative to skiing as in mogul skiing. People ski moguls as they do mainly because of their skill level and their strong points or weak points. How they attack them is the same as how they attack a race course. Over the tops, around the sides, in the trough, side slip. Whatever.

    Skiing the slow line fast or skiing the fast line slow.
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  8. #8
    I have my own seat in the pub Bushido Princess's Avatar
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    Thank you so much guys. I think the next time I will get there super early because the course was really skied out by the time I got there. Not only was it very icy but the track was very deep and narrow so when I picked up more speed than I could handle it was impossible to slow down without going off track.

    You remember that insurance TV commercial series, "Life comes at you fast"? That definitely applied on the course! :0) But I am very excited to try again. I am going to review the Basic Edging DVD and then rereview Basic Balance and then start Advanced Balance soon but I am sure that going over Basic Edging will definitely help me on the course. But yeah, having gates in the way of the freedom of my turns definitely makes a HUGE difference. When I did my very first race ever, the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge last year, the course was not skied out or icy and I handled it very well. The track was not deep at all even at the end of the day. So I think trying to negotiate the gates and the skied out icy track was too big of a bite for a second run through the gates ever but I think I can do it if I get there early. And I had skied terribly the whole day because I was having huge issues with my knees. Lots of pain for days so I should have probably waited.

    Update on my knees though, I found out I had a bacterial small infection in my bone and that was what was causing the pain in my knees so I have been treating it and it is much better and I am skiing better now since I have been treating it. But that knee issue had been plaguing me for years so it is so awesome to finally get to the root of it.

    I also spun out out of the gate. It was a vertical drop out of the gate and you had to turn almost right away, within a few feet, and there was a big space between the actual platform and the the snow on the drop off so I was a bit intimidated by that. But maybe if I get there early next time the start will be a little easier too.

    Lars, Brother has talked to me about tree skiing. I am glad you mentioned that. He says he also remembers racing where the gates were made of bamboo and they really hurt if you hit them because they did not move either. But we don't have tree skiing here at all. We have one tree on Barrett's Trail and you can go around a tree couple of trees on Fanny Hill and Minuteman/Bunker Hill but that is about the extent of it. Sometimes Brother will ski right along the tree line on the edges of the slopes and I try to follow him there where we work on short radius lesser degree'd turns. He likes the edges of the slopes because the snow tends to be good there. But he said that places like Killington and places north of us have trees runs On Piste where the trees are spaced well and the slopes are gentle so you can learn to ski in trees. If Hubby and I ever have the opportunity to to go a place like that I know Brother will definitely teach me to ski in trees. He told me that on tree runs it's really important to ski where the snow is to never look at the trees but to always look at the line of snow. He said if you look at the trees that is where you will end up. He also told me to watch youtube videos of Glen Plake tree skiing. I saw a couple and they were really fun.
    Last edited by Bushido Princess; January 8th, 2014 at 12:31 PM.

  9. #9
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    Just got back from making some turns over at the Peak. Only a 20 minute drive for me. Too cold to work but not too cold to ski.

    Sounds like you're into skiing BP. Lessons will help. Don't forget that. It's money well spent.


    I want to comment on skiing the edges of trails. I don't want to scare you from having a good time but the Ski Patroller in me has to tell you that it's also most dangerous place to ski not just for the novice but also for the expert. It's just a short mistake into the trees and I fail to remember how many people I've had to sled out of them, including a few fatalities. Be careful.

    As for tree runs, the best advice is to look ahead at least two or three turns to plan your route and time your turns. Look at the gaps not the trees. Like driving a car, one generally ends up where they are looking. More advice, run some more gates before you ski trees. I've skied with Glen Plake. He can turn in places and do things that most skiers can't. Blows me away. He comes to Holiday Valley once in a while. Has a friend who owns a ski shop and a bar. He ended up skiing with us in a Beer Racing League quite a few years ago. He had mogul skis on and still had the best times of the night. Beat the best by over a second. Great guy, really.

    I'm not a racer but I have raced quite a bit years past. There are some here, including Rick, who are good and have good advice. The best advice I can give is to take lessons. Good luck but most of all, have fun. If you're not having fun, don't do it.
    all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools

  10. #10
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    so many lines, oh it would be invidious to choose...

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