In Depth Gear & Tuning
The proper ski equipment, apparel and ski tuning is essential for the racers to perform and feel confident at practices and races. We all understand that skiing is not an inexpensive sport, however the investment in the correct equipment will add to the safety and performance of your racer.
There are many race days in the area that offer special discounted pricing for our race team. Summit Ski Shop with locations in Framingham and at Nashoba Valley specifically extends racer pricing to all our racers at any time, pending equipment availability from the manufactures, as they are the primary EMBWL sponsor for gear.
The experts at Summit will be able to help size your racers to the proper sized equipment. However if you are buying from a ski swap or maybe someone on the team has gear their child has grown out of please be sure you are buying the correct equipment. If you need any suggestions before heading off to purchase please feel free to contact Coach Jon or team president Jim Blondek as they have a lot of experience with proper equipment fitting for Jr racers.
Boots - this is perhaps the most important purchase for skiing. If your feet hurt skiing is not fun! Proper sized boots should fit snugly around the foot with little room to move around, i.e. it should be as tight as possible with being as comfortable as possible. If too tight it will be painful and your racer will be thinking about their pain instead of performing. If too loose the foot will move around inside the boot and the there will be a significant loss of control of the skis as your racer compensates for the extra room, especially in a race where precision is important. We understand parents may want to get a couple seasons out of boots, but for some kids that may not be possible based on growth. There are plenty of ways to sell your used boots within the team and get another pair if needed. Also many kids feet may already be at an adult size, but their body weight might not have caught up to foot size - its important that kids are in a boot they can flex. Putting a 120 lbs child into a 130 flex boot just because it fits (and they think its cool) will greatly inhibit their skiing. There are many options for softer boots that still provide a high performance fit.
Skis - Bogastow races are comprised of both Slalom and GS. Some of the higher level racers will have both a SL ski and a GS ski. It is not required in the EMBWL league that you have to compete on the different types of skis. Most younger children will use one ski, typically a "Multi Event" ski, which is really a SL ski. SL skis are usually shorter with more side cut, which means its going to come across the hill quicker because of the shorter turn radius. If your going with a single ski we recommend a Multi Event or SL as this will allow your skier to initiate and feel the turn easier than a GS Ski. This will be easier to manage than a true GS and your racer will be fine skiing on for both events. You may also hear the term "Turn Radius" when picking out skis - this refers the the side cut of the ski in relation the overall length and width of the tip and tail. Simply put if you have a 10 Meter turn radius that makes a smaller circle than a 15 meter turn radius, so when put on edge it will have a more pronounced quicker turn across the fall line. GS skis will have a longer turn radius because the gates are spaced further apart and there is more speed generated that often requires upper level skiers to be on a longer ski for more stability. If there are any questions our team parent and coaches will be happy to consult on what skis your children should be on before purchasing.
Tuning is vital to the success of your racers. Imagine driving on completely bald tires in the rain, or snow, trying to get to the ski race. That's what skiing on an un-tuned pair of skis is like. We recommend having your skis tuned for the season at Summit Ski Shops tune center, or if not convenient a ski shop local to you with race tuning experience, to get your skis at least to get prepped for the winter. Once this foundation is done you can buy an assortment of tools to maintain your skis at home. We will try to do a couple of tuning clinics before the season starts and give recommendations. We at minimum will plan a tuning clinic at the team dry land session on November 1st.
We recommend the following video series from Toko:
Race Tuning -
Race Waxing -
Before Hitting the Slopes
- Get in shape. Don't try to ski yourself into shape. You'll enjoy skiing more if you're physically fit.
- Dress in layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. For example, dress in polypropylene underwear (top and bottoms), which feels good next to the skin, dries quickly, absorbs sweat and keeps you warm. Wear a turtleneck, sweater and jacket.
- Be prepared. Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Bring a headband or hat with you to the slopes, 60 percent of heat-loss is through the head. Wear gloves or mittens (mittens are usually better for those susceptible to cold hands).
- Wear sun protection. The sun reflects off the snow and is stronger than you think, even on cloudy days!
- Always wear eye protection. Have sunglasses and goggles with you. Skiing and snowboarding are a lot more fun when you can see.