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02-08-2007, 02:49 PM #1
Big Mountain Freeskiing comp advice
Ok...I haven't fully made this decision yet, but basically I've spent my entire life skiing, and a few years holding Alta/Bird passes. I ended up having to move back home to Chicago this winter after graduating college. (I'm working on moving back to SLC as soon as possible).
ANYWAY. I've always wanted to do a freeskiing comp, just never had time/money/every other excuse in the book. I am heavily considering trying out Snowbird's qualifier for the Big Mountain World Tour.
I have been skiing/staying in shape, though probably not in the kind of shape I was when I left UT.
My question is this--Should I do it. Should I wait for a smaller event? Should I just forget it? Registration/qualifier's in March, and I think I'll be out there at least a week ahead of time to scope lines.
If anyone has done one of these before, and has advice for a serious newbie, please pile it on. Any en/dis couragement is welcome also. Maybe at the end of this I'll tally up the "Right ons" vs. the "Shut the fuck up you fucking morons", and make my decision based on that.
PS if I did compete I would totally register with my home resort as Wilmot, IL.
02-08-2007, 02:54 PM #2
Give it a shot. Qualifiers arent THAT expensive and you will learn a lot and have a lot of fun regardless. Although the bird comp is full for this year with a long waiting list...
02-08-2007, 03:04 PM #3
I'm in the same boat. Friends are pushing me too enter the Lake Louise comp coming up. Dont know what to expect. Used to be a FIS level racer back in the day and still coach. I think I am going to do it just to say i'vve done it, still a little nervous though.
02-08-2007, 03:08 PM #4
Go for it.
You'll never know unless you try."Powder snow skiing is not fun. It's life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality." -Dolores LaChapelle
02-08-2007, 03:13 PM #5
Nice Wilmot...grew up skiing there; not quite LCC. I would say if you really want to do it, go for it, but keep in mind no matter how good you are, you will be at a serious disadvantage not skiing out west full time. The competition at the Bird comp is top notch, even in the qualifier. Good luck.
02-08-2007, 03:18 PM #6
well i just signed up for the waiting list for all the ifsa march events. i was really hoping for the bird since i've had passes there and kinda/sorta know the mountain, Kwood and Jhole might be a bit sketchy. you guys still think it's worth the $40 for an ifsa membership?
02-08-2007, 03:24 PM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
You probably wont get in for Bird this year. Maybe checkout the Taos comp, as I dont think its full yet, and the competition wont be as high as at the Bird.
02-08-2007, 03:30 PM #8These meaasge boards suck
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
02-08-2007, 03:32 PM #9
I think you should change your user name before entering a comp."Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena
02-08-2007, 04:18 PM #10
I'm in, just signed up and paid dues.
02-08-2007, 07:10 PM #11
Just do it. Not much to lose. If you are looking for a slightly less expensive comp, the colorado freeride series is a good choice. A quality blend of top competitors like Jesse Hall and Kiffor Berg as well as newbies. I came from an eastern racing background and entered the freeride series #1 last year during my first year out west and finished 15th. it is certainly an advantage to ski out west a lot and hit cliffs etc but really what matters just as much as a home field advantage or whatever is solid fundamentals. Ski a line that lets you show off your strengths. i had never been off a sizable cliff before last year so i skied a technical line with a 5' to 15' to 20' drop as fast as i could and did fine. Tried to show I could ski fast and in control. If you are not as good at that but are comfortable billygoating, find a line that requires lots of drops and you don't have to ski a long distance between drops. Don't let the judges see what you are not as good at, show them what you are good at. There are tons of line options at most comps. Just find one that fits your style. If you go to Colorado, i'll see you there.
02-08-2007, 07:15 PM #12
It's not like every line has death defying exposure.If you can confidently ski steep bumps and trees, you should give it a go.
The exhilaration of one of those comps can be truly phenomenal, but so can the letdowns..........
02-08-2007, 07:48 PM #13Big mountain or Bust.
02-08-2007, 08:22 PM #14
i will be rippin the boys 12-15 category of the lake louise big mountain free ride comp.
so if there are any other groms in my cat good luck
02-08-2007, 10:24 PM #15Waste your time, read my crap, at:
One Gear, Two Planks
02-08-2007, 10:27 PM #16
go for it, have fun and don't emulate your board nameIn drove this drunken madman and stopped on a dime! Unfortunately the dime was in Mr. Rococo's pocket!
02-11-2007, 03:01 PM #17
thanks for the support folks. Looks like it might be a moot point since the comps i've looked at are all filled up. in the event the opportunity comes, though, i'm totally going for it. sounds like the atmosphere in these things is relatively laid back given the circumstances, so i figure i might as well give it a try, point em and giv'er.
02-11-2007, 09:05 PM #18Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
I have been thinking about it for about 2 years. Signed up for one at Aspen last year without reviewing the course... bad idea. No matter, I have raced road bikes (road cycling cat 1, at one point) for 20 some years so I have competed a lot, but there is something about big mt comps that are really scary for me. I'm not sure if its the lines or the fact that a lot of people could be watching you. Or it may be watching videos of guys taking really bad falls.
I'm thinking I may try Crystal this year which is a small comp. No matter what level you enter at its a ballsy thing to do, for lack of a better word.
That being said most people are really supportive no matter how well you do. I think if you want to become a better skier its one way to do it. I have real respect for the guys that do well in them. Its a new level of skiing that is for sure. good luck
02-12-2007, 09:49 AM #19
Here you go...this article was just put up today on Biglines.com at:
Itís time you entered a Big Mountain Comp.
Authored By chump On Mon Feb 12, 2007
Competing may not be what skiing is about for most people, but entering a big mountain contest can be a really fun experience for anyone who wants to meet other rippers, party for a few days and push themselves to ski their best. Unless you are on the World Tour and trying to nail down big sponsors, these contests are more of a festival than a competition.
Freeskiing Comps More By Author Views: 349 Rating:
Over the years Iíve met a lot of great skiers and great people at these contests. Iíve finished dead last as many times as Iíve podiumed. Iíve judged and been judged. And Iíve had a ton of fun at most of them. Even if your goal is to just make it past the first day, you are pretty much guaranteed to have a good time. Now that we agree you are going to enter the next contest you can, hereís what to expect and how to do your bestÖ
The first step to doing well at a big mountain contest is to know the judging criteria and understand how you are going to be awarded for you efforts. There are five separate judging criteria which are each a possible 10 points for a total of 50. They are Line, Fluidity, Style, Aggression, and Control.
The first and most important category is Line/Degree of Difficulty. This is quite simply how tough a line you choose down the contest area. A more technical line with rocks, airs and steep, tight areas is more difficult to ski than the open bowl down the middle and that is what this score reflects. Try to think like a judge here. Look up at the contest area from where the judges sit and see what features look the most difficult or impressive from there. The judges will sit down at the start of the day and decide what lines look the most difficult and award them hypothetical scores (eg. if someone hits that rock at the top then links up that straight-line and the bottom pepper field it might be a 7 out of 10). It will be tough at first, but you should be able to see how your line will measure up to the rest.
Why is Line score so important? Because you can only score 2 points higher than your Line score in each of the other four categories. In other words, if you get a 3 for Line you can only score a 5 in Fluidity, Control, Technique and Aggressiveness. So, Line score is important! You want to pick as tough a line as you can ski well. Find something that is well within your ability level that you can ski fluidly with style, but is tough enough to give the judges something to score you on.
The other categories are fairly self explanatory. Fluidity has to do with how you continuously move towards your goal (the finish area or your next feature). Stopping and hesitating hurt you here and traversing across the slope is a negative unless you are heading to a specific feature or line that is worth the interruption.
Technique/Style is always a subjective category, but everyone knows a good skier when they see one. Style is personal, but if you are backseat and sliding your skis around instead of carving them and staying balanced you are not going to score well. As a judge this is a tough category to explain to people. The best thing you can do is video yourself and see just what you look like. Most people seem to think they look better than they do and canít understand why they donít score better in this category. If you watch other competitors youíll see that some people just have better style and are a lot more fun to watch, even on the turns between airs.
Aggression is an easy category to understand. When a skier drops in to challenging terrain or points it at airs without hesitation, thatís aggression. Skiing fast is definitely part of this and knowing exactly where you are going helps a lot. If you look scared you will not score well in aggression. So ski something you can really charge with confidence.
Control is the final category of the five and just as important as the others. The judges do not want to be scared for you. First off itís no fun to watch someone who is out of control and secondly, no one involved with a contest wants to see people get hurt. So, you can expect the judges to hammer you for falls, near falls, back-slaps, and sketchy skiing in general. If you want to maximize your score you need to find a way to ski aggressively while still being in full control (and looking like you are in full control!).
So now that you have the scoring memorized you can pick a line that suites your style and will score well with the judges. Some skiers are better at skiing easier lines super fast, some jib their way down the mountain and others are better at skiing technical lines. All can score well if they are done well. A few other things that will help impress the judges are creativity (the judges donít want to see the same line skied over and over again), being playful (itís fun to watch someone whoís having fun!), and staying in view at all times. Itís important to look at your line from where the judges will be sitting so that you know you arenít hidden by trees or cliffs during parts of you run. If they canít see you they canít give you points!
I know this is a lot to think about and thatís why itís pretty rare for someone to do well their first contest. Itís best to enter your first comp with the goal of just learning and enjoying it all. Making friends and cheering them can be just as fun as doing well yourself.
Also remember that complaining about the judging is pointless and lame, so donít even bother. In almost all the comps Iíve seen the winner is obvious and the judges get the podium right. Most of the complaints come with people who finish tenth or so and think they should have been higher. So, if you really want to be happy with your scores leave nothing to chance and blow the competition away. If you donít, try to keep quite about it. Does it really matter if you think you should be sixth instead of eleventh? Besides, the judges are probably more honest about your skiing than you are yourself, so try to suck it up!
My last advice is to just relax and enjoy yourself. Everyone is nervous skiing in front of the judges their first time (and 10th time), but the truth is the judges and other skiers are there cheering you on and just want to see you do your best and have fun. Itís actually a way more supportive atmosphere than you might think and besides, if you get eliminated the first day you will have a lot of great skiers to go rip the mountain with and you will be able to enjoy the beer and parties every night!
Thatís a lot of info to take in and thatís really only scratching the surface, so if you have any other questions about these contests, ask in the forum and weíll all try to help you get it dialed.
Lake Louise Smith Optics Big Mountain Challenge is Feb. 21-25, 2007.
Smith Optics Fernie Freeski Competition is March 14-18, 2007.Waste your time, read my crap, at:
One Gear, Two Planks
02-12-2007, 10:27 AM #20
two schools of thought here:
1) go big or go home. some guys would rather crash & burn trying to throw down a huge drop or back flip. sickbird awards can be just as gratifying as a podium spot. be sure to have proper health insurance and invest in lots of body armour is this is your MO.
2) pick a line a little over your head, but your confident you can ski without blowing up. memorize the line in your head and visualize yourself skiing it many times before your run. ski the line and have fun. skiing like your having fun rather than scaring yourself produces higher scores.
if you have time, go watch other competitors before you go. it will get you stoked and also give you an idea what lines are getting lots of traffic, etc... whatever you do, dont make yourself too nervous by showing up to the start too early and stand there gaping at the venue prior to your run.
02-12-2007, 11:11 AM #21
Well, haven't done any comps (since I suck)... But was in Verb at the time of Verbier ride, and the atmosphere was awesome. It's not a bloody battle, more of a meeting of like minded peeps having a blast and encouraging each other.
So just DO IT (C) NikeOriginally Posted by RootSkier
02-12-2007, 11:12 AM #22
Im thinking about doing the Aspen comp this year, im also a comp newb, but this seems like it would be a good one to get started on. Dont want to hijack the thread, but does anyone I ski with think I should do this? Why or why not?
02-12-2007, 09:45 PM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
I think there are a few threads on it if you look it up.
02-12-2007, 09:55 PM #24Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
well after reading this i think i will enter in a comp, nothing big but the bridger gully freeride. should be fun, printing off the application right now. im scared but i want to give it a try.
02-13-2007, 03:03 AM #25
I had watched a lot of comps on video. I used to think I was good and considered entering at the bird last winter, didn't enter, watched the comp in person, very humbled now. I have skied for 23 years and still have a long way to go to reach even half that field.
If you do enter....just don't try to clear chipwhich in a single air like that guy from jackson last year who broke a femur and a tib/fib on the first day without scoping the landing.* * * * * * * PRAY FOR SNOW * * * * * * * *
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