Caleb’s Freeski Lessons, Learned the Hard Way
This is a checklist of some important steps you need to complete and stick to prior to, and during the week of a Freeski Comp. Each time I compete, I learn one of these valuable lessons, and they keep coming. I’ve come up with this after years of competing, and the I’m sure the lessons will keep on coming. I’ve learned almost all of these the hard way, but that way works, because you never forget.
1. Eat and sleep well all week.
2. No partying, at all, until after the comp. Even if you have a weather day, you don’t want to get sick, and partying is the best way to do that.
3. Make sure you don’t forget the important things; of course all of your ski equipment, and extra’s wherever you can (gloves, socks, toques). Also don’t forget the little things, like your ipod/phone charger. No music can be a bummer, and Mom will get mad if you don’t call her after the comp.
4. Always bring your touring equipment (beacon, probe, shovel, trekkers). You never know when a venue is going to be out of bounds, or in an uncontrolled area. Plus you never know when a local will want to show you a sick area in the backcountry.
5. Ski cautiously before you compete, it’s easy to get excited with fresh snow and new terrain but there’s nothing like getting injured the day before a comp.
6. Crank your DIN’s! Your competition DIN should be 2 or more DIN settings above your regular day DIN setting. You don’t want to lose your ski in a comp no matter what, due to exposure and your pride. Plus, you need both skis at the finish to get a score.
7. Tighten your pole straps. You don’t need them to get a score, but you don’t want to have to hit your biggest feature with only one pole.
8. Remember to tighten your boots before you drop in. And zip up your coat.
9. Wear a mouth guard. It can help you focus, and they prevent concussions. It’s easy to forget to put it in, so try and have it in your glove before they count you down.
10. Ski a Line you know you can stick. Of course, push your limit but be confident in what you are about to do. Visualize and commit. Be ready for anything, like bomb holes, new rocks, and changed features.
11. Remember we are all there to have fun, to feed of each other and ski together. Just don’t forget to enjoy yourself, before, during and after your runs.
12. Stomp it. (If not, get up, and stay positive. Go back after the comp and do it again. Show yourself you can do it.)
Now, it’s party time.