Image from Epicski.com
It's on! I'm competing in my first ever Powder 8 Championships! Holy WOW! Jill and I went out today to begin training for this event, which is two skiers synch skiing down a very steep powder run. The contestants are judged on turn shape and form, and should basically look like the same person, leaving a beautiful clean 8 in the snow. The run will take place in the Highlands Bowl, wich averages between 37 and 50 degrees of pitch.
Training for this event is great for my skiing, because the turn shape needs to be so smooth and specific, and I can't be hard on the bottom of my turn. So I'm needing to fix some of the issues in my skiing, such as speed control without jamming the bottom of the turn on steep terrain. Looks like I'm going to be getting in shape, I need to hike the bowl a LOT before March 4 and 5!
Jill and I have to get matching outfits, and we're thinking of going for a western theme, just cuz we can... She had the hilarious idea of looking for a pair of chaps like the Colts Cheerleaders wore in the Superbowl... I didn't see the Superbowl, because I don't have a TV, but it sounds like a good time to me!
We are, of course, looking for sponsors for this event, because the entry is pricey and we need to get clothes. We are hoping for white pants and chaps with a sky blue jacket and a little bit of BLING. Perhaps sky blue helmets with white goggles.
The great thing about this training is that it opens up a bunch of performance issues that have been hiding for me. I have gotten used to skiing in clinic and skiing for exams, so I don't face a lot of nerves right now. But the Powder 8s are going to more appropriately simulate the tryout siutation (minus the bling, of course).
Training with Jill puts some pressure on, as well. She knows what kind of turn we need, and its up to me to make it happen, because I am in front. While we were training today, I found myself wondering, am I doing it right? Do I have the pressure in the right place, is the turn shape consistent, am I gaining speed, can she follow me?
What I really need to do is just let go of those thoughts and think to myself: There is my target down the hill. Screw the outside ski into the snow, and then let it go. Over and over and over. If the initial pressure starts to move down in the turn from the top to the apex, I need to make a rounder turn to give myself enough time to reset to the top of the next turn. Jill can make that adjustment, she is really good at following, (The stronger skier goes in the back, they have to be more adaptable).
So now, my plan is to get out into Spar and Copper and Thunder Bowl and get a long, consistent pitch of rhythmic turns. Then, I plan to get into the steeps and refocus on my steep skiing tactics. Then, I plan to synthesise these two together.
Should be fun!