With on-snow training still over a month away, Junior racers and their devoted parents converged on the lower level of Park City Mountain Resort for the yearly Ski Team Night. Hosted at a true local stomping ground, the Pig Pen Saloon, Team Night is an opportunity for developing racers to meet one-on-one with brand representatives from the top ski companies and solidify their race equipment for the upcoming season. The sheer amount of race equipment available to young skiers these days can be overwhelming, and Team Night is an effort on the part of all the race companies to consolidate and simplify the buying process.
Despite rainy conditions, the turnout for this years’ Team Night was outstanding. And regardless of what were at times shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, the energy in the Pig Pen remained high and positive throughout the night. Some of that could have been due to the presence of Park City native, Shred co-founder, and ski racing royalty, Ted Ligety. But most of the energy seemed like genuine enthusiasm for the start of race season.
At Jans and Rennstall we take racing seriously. Between our world-class tune shop and the new Race Center at our Jans PCMR location, we have the facilities and equipment to support racers of all levels and abilities.
But on Team Night it’s all about Junior racers. At Jans we are lucky enough to be partners with Fischer, Atomic, Head, Leki, Shred and Slytech, so we have a unique opportunity to support Team Night with the top equipment on hand, and right next door.
On this particular night, once kids and parents had met with their respective reps, the walk to pick up their skis, poles, and protective gear at reduced racer pricing was a mere 15 feet. From there, it was a simple process of working with the Jans/Rennstall staff to find specific sizes and models, before heading to the front register. It was here, and with each beep of the scanner, that parents uniformly shed their smiles for varying expressions of alarm and grief. But hey, nobody said ski racing was cheap.
So what were the most popular sellers on this rainy night? Fischer appears to have a commanding presence in the Junior race world, with their RC4 Worldcup GS Jr. being by far the most sought after ski of the night. With a size range of 130 – 180 cm, this forgiving yet powerful junior GS ski is winning over coaches and kids across the country.
As for poles, the Leki Worldcup Lite SL Trigger S was the runaway favorite. With 80% of the World Cup circuit using Leki poles, it’s no wonder that this elite brand dominates the Junior race market as well.
And when it came to protection, Shred’s eye-catching helmets drew the most attention from the younger crowd, while relative newcomer, Slytech, generated buzz with their innovative line of protective gear. Again, Ted Ligety’s presence at the Shred/Slytech booth certainly didn’t diminish enthusiasm levels.
Now that Team Night has passed, Junior racers and their parents have one last calm before the storm. Ski and boot techs take over for the next month. From mounting, tuning, and waxing, to grinding, punching, and molding, there is a lot of work to be done before on-snow training begins at the end of October. But make no mistake, once the whirlwind of race season begins, there will be nothing but action until the snow melts next spring.
Nate Tomlinson, Content Writer