Skiing at the World Criterium Races

A Little Personal Info

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Hi, I'm Bradley! I love the great outdoors and enjoy skiing. This blog is inspired by some of my many life experiences and world travels. I have a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and work to find solutions to some of the world's challenging energy and environmental problems. In 2011, I went back into competitive snow ski racing and won the USSA National Speed Series (Downhill and Super G) title for my class (M5). It was an amazing and fun year of skiing. I also enjoy being around all kinds of animals from horses to dogs and love to spend time at Tahoe, my little farm near Cool or traveling somewhere new around the world. I have been to Nepal and seen Mount Everest, to Alaska's Denali, the Matterhorn in Switzerland and even Maroon Bells near Aspen, CO. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my website.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Brad's Ski Tips

These are the elements that I find contribute to my very best skiing whether free skiing or racing.
Strong legs:  I find my confidence and my ability to attack the mountain are proportionate to my leg strength.  With strong legs I can ski all day and do not get tired.   I started working out pre-season in August and can now squat over twice my weight seven times.  I find with this level of strength in my legs I can do nearly anything I want on the slopes and all day long.  In all, I do squats, leg press, hamstring pull-overs, calf raises.
Warm legs:  Having warm legs significantly improves my skiing.  I find on cold days I like to wear one pair of thermals and then a pair of thin fleece pants and then my outer layer (three layers).  Strong warm legs make a huge difference in my skiing.  A warm upper body and head go without saying but sometimes the legs are neglected and those are the muscles you are using.
Good Cardio:  I like to ride a stationary bike in the winter for 30 minutes every other night to get my heart rate up.  I find I rarely get winded on the slopes - even at over 10,000 feet.

Good Equipment:  There is no substitute for good equipment.  Bindings, helmet, boots, skis and poles.  Make sure your bindings are set correctly.  I like to do the reality check of twisting out of my binding once I click in to check setting levels for recreational skiing.  Get a good fitting helmet and wear it.  Hot wax your skis with a good wax...often.

Correct Fit of Equipment:  I found that going to a smaller boot size, for example, with a very thin sock results in better skiing performance.  I like to unbuckle my boots when I get down to the lift line for a more relaxed fit going up on the chair.  Once at the top of the slope, I buckle them down.

React to Conditions:  If you find yourself getting back on your skis, aggressively drive forward in your boots to get on top of your skis again.  When you go back, you will stress all the muscles in your quads (bad) and this will result in your legs getting very tired very quickly.  Again, if you find yourself back on your skis, drive forward using your arms for momentum if necessary. 
Carbo Load:  The night before a day of hard skiing, I carbo load more than usual. 

Watch Videos and Learn:  At the expense of making some laugh, I love to watch and study videos on line.  You tube has great videos of Bode, Julia and Lindsey.  It is amazing how much you can learn if you watch YouTube videos.  For racers, watch how Lindsey moves her feet.  Most racers do not move their feet enough.
When all these elements come together for me, I am ready to go out and ski at a very high level of performance.  To me it is hard to describe how wonderful it is to click into a pair of World Cup level skis and cruise down an open run or race course at 70+ mph.  It is a natural high that I really do find hard to describe. 
I wish you all the very best this season. 

Brad

My Equipment:

HEAD World Cup RD GS Skis 191 cm with HEAD Freeflex Din 18 Bindings
ROSSIGNOL World Cup SG 209 cm with Rossignol Axial II Din 18 Bindings
ROSSIGNOL World Cup DH 216 cm with Rossignol Axial II Din 18 Bindings
Lange RS Race Pro 130 Boots
LEKI SG Poles
Scott Race Poles
POC Helmet
Scott Goggles

Remember it's all about having fun!!!
Lindsey, Resi and Hailey
Photo Credit:  US Ski Team


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