Every year about this time I start to think about the season. What did I learn? How did I perform? Did I gain ground on my harder passes? You know, all the stuff y'all are thinking about. So here's my stab at it for the year.
Tournaments: a bit disappointing. I didn't ski very many, and for the first time in 4 years I didn't run a tournament 38.
Consistency: great through 35, as usual. Feel like I could run them all day. Frequently run 6-10 35s in a set without missing and with very low effort. Probably a bit better than usual as some late season ski adjustments made them softer and even lower effort.
Learning: HUGE! Unfortunately it took me until the end of the season. My extreme thanks to @skiing2heaven
for helping me to run a more efficient gate, resulting in a more efficient pass. For a guy like me who is pretty much 100% at -35 and who has been running -38 for 6-7 years (usually 15-20 per year), this was a true epiphany! My brother put it best on October 1 when we were skiing our last set at SkiWatch. I ran the gate the way I'm supposed to, and ran what felt like the slowest, easiest, lightest, most consistent -38 of my life. He said "I've seen you run a lot of -38, but all the other times it really looked like you needed six good turns to make it out of the pass. On that pass you ran it so easy that you could have made 2-3 bad turns and still run the pass." If only I had stumbled into this sooner! I'd also like to throw out thanks bro Dave, Jeff Harber at SkiWatch and @SCoke
, who also helped me dial in this concept while I was there. Importantly, I think this is something I can replicate early in the year next season because it is so simple to execute if I just focus on doing it.
So -- I'm disappointed with my tournament results, which were just barely enough to get me over 100 for a composite score. However, I am skiing now at a level and in a way that I have never achieved before. I have already set my first goals for next season -- 50% at 38 off by July, and at least two 39s for the year (practice or tournament). Thing is, I'm pretty sure it can happen. One more big shout out to skiing2heaven! You do not know how big this is!