Racing is an exciting, competitive and challenging area of snowsports that will keep your thighs burning and your adrenaline pumping from the start gate to the finish line.
The first thing you need to know about racing is that you don’t need to be a speed demon to get involved. If you are a competent skier or snowboarder, racing will help enhance your technique and give you that added confidence to go faster into and out of your turns as your carve down the mountain. The adrenaline-packed sport can be a great way to meet new people whilst learning the tricks of the trade to make you one of the best on the mountain.
Just like any other sport, there are different routes you can take to get involved with racing. Throughout the UK there are various local snowsports clubs you can join that offer training sessions to new members. You’ll quickly pick up the technique with other like-minded individuals, and soon enjoy taking part in local ski races with everyone. What is great about joining these clubs is that they offer tailored training for all levels, which allows you to quickly move up the ranks as you progress.
If you are at university or thinking about going in the next couple of years, then check out the snowsports society that offer racing alongside tons of social events and trips. There are certain university race teams, such as Loughborough, that are famous for enticing top racers every year. However, the main attraction with joining a university team is that they welcome all skiers and snowboarders who want to try racing out for fun, the social side, fitness or competitions.
The benefits of becoming involved with your local club or university team are endless. Some include a great social scene, holidays, new faces and increased levels of fitness and ski technique. Training sessions are fun and a provide a chance to catch up with your teammates and develop new friendships with like-minded people, not only throughout your club, but different clubs at the various race events throughout the year. Similarly, at university the snowsports club is usually one of the largest and most popular on campus. Many people join just to partake in the social side of the club since they host a variety of social events throughout the year, including ski trips abroad.
Ski trips are one of the many benefits of joining the university snowsports club, as they allow you to travel to ski resorts all over Europe with your new buddies and have the time of your life whilst improving your new skills on snow. They are very cheap compared to what a usual ski holiday would cost as well. Even if you aren’t fussed about the trips abroad, then racing for your university will take you all over the country competing at regional and national university ski races. Every year the university clubs head to Edinburgh for a weekend of racing and partying at BUDS, the university dryslope championships.
Local ski clubs may not be on the same scale with regards to the partying side of things, however they will definitely allow you to travel just as much. During the race season you will be heading to Ireland and all over the UK with your race team, which makes for a great trip away to explore new places! Racing opens a door for travel, whether that is abroad with university, or training programmes abroad with your race club and professional coaches. Not too shabby right?
It’s important to know that most training will take place on dryslopes which are usually a lot harder to master that snow. However, training on this will build a strong foundation for your technique on snow through improving your balance and carving ability. Take a look at our previous Never Have I Ever Article about skiing on dryslope to find out more.
On your marks, get set, GO!