First you need to know that downhill skiing is also referred to as Alpine Skiing. Second you need to decide if you are a "serious" ski racer or a "recreational" ski racer. Don't know which category you fit into? Check out their descriptions below. Serious ski racers are generally Junior ski racers in elementary through college age. Serious ski racers go to ski practice daily and have ski races every week. They may also be on a high school ski team if it is available in their area. These ski racers invest in ski equipment including two to three pairs of skis, helmet, Giant Slalom Suit, ski poles with wrist guards, shin guards, and other ski racing gear and equipment. Ski racing equipment can be very expensive, but a serious ski racer skis so often that it is worth it. Serious ski racers are competitive and may strive to become a professional ski racer one day. Recreational ski racers are those skiers that ski once in awhile or just for fun a couple times a month or week. Recreational skiers may have their own equipment, but don't usually have a giant slalom suit and/or protective equipment. Serious ski racers will want to check out the United States Ski Association website at http://www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder/42.htm. They having junior Alpine racing programs. These racing programs hold races at local ski areas every Saturday and Sunday. Typically you will have slalom races on Saturday and Giant Slalom races on Sunday. You take a 2 run race in the morning and another 2 run race in the afternoon. Recreational skiers will have fun in a Nastar race. Nastar races are usually set up as Giant Slalom and the courses are very easy to navigate. Check for a Nastar race at your local ski area.
Downhill skiing consists of four main events which include Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom, and Downhill. The different between these events is the placement of the gates. You also wear different gear and use different length skis for each event. Slalom - This event is when the ski gates are the closest together. Ski racers quickly navigate through the ski course. The ski gates "breakaway" as the ski racer hits them with their shin and/or arm as they ski by them. The reason ski racers hit the ski gates is to try to ski the straightest line possible down the ski slope. The straighter the line, the faster you go and the faster your run time. Ski racers bring the tip of their ski close to the ski gate and sometimes catch their ski tip and spin out. Ski racers were shin, arm, and hand guards plus a protective helmet. Giant Slalom has the gates farther apart then slalom. Ski racers do not hit the gates like they do in slalom. Therefore, they tend to wear less guards. However, a helmet is still required. Super Giant Slalom and the Downhill, in addition to Slalom and Giant Slalom, are usually done in professional ski racing or at Junior Olympic ski races for aspiring professional ski racers. The length of skis varies from year to year. Typically, though, slalom requires a much shorter ski then giant slalom. Super Giant Slalom and the Downhill require longer skis. Ski racers usually wear skin tight "GS" suits in a range of wild colors. I know because I used to compete in downhill ski racing.
Have you ever been skiing and fallen, crashed, or "had a yard sale" as they typically call it in downhill ski racing? It can hurt. Downhill ski racers can reach alarming speeds and need protective between their bodies and the hard, ice and snow beneath them. Ski racers have always been known to be a little crazy, which is true because they can fall so hard that their skis break in half! Downhill ski racers wear helmets because concussions used to be a common occurence. A ski racer might catch a tip on a ski gate and fall head first down the hill. You pick up speed when you are sliding down the steep hill of ice and sometimes crash into other people, equipments, and trees. Yes, it is crazy! If you don't wear a helmet you also risk scratching up and bruising your face on the ski gates, your skis, ski poles, and the ski hill itself. It can be a mess. So downhill ski racers wear a helmet to protect their noggin! So they don't become a dumb a like you ,,....,,,..,.
Alpine There are 4 main types of alpine ski racing: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill. In the events you must ski around "gates" without missing a gate or you will get disqualified. You race against people in your age and gender and whoever make it down the course the fastest wins! Cross-country Is divided into classic and free (skate) categories or a combination of them. You ski a track which is a mix of uphill, downhill and flat parts ranging typically from a few to 50 kilometers. And as for alpine skiing, fastest to complete the course wins.
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