Photo: Martock Ski Club courtesy of Neale Gillespie 2018 Learn to Train

Key Focus

Ski Racers continue to consolidate their technical skiing skills while learning more about the discipline of ski cross in a competitive environment that includes an introduction to formal ski cross events and heat racing.

Ski cross courses and terrain features are utilized to develop a ski racers athleticism and ability to move efficiently over terrain in FUN competitive and non-competitive environments.

Age Range

9 to 12 years of age

Ski Cross Performance Benchmark

Ski racers will be consolidating their skiing skills through participation in the Snow Stars Program Levels 3-5 in a variety of terrain environments that match the appropriate challenge level for the individual skier.

Ski racers begin to participate in fun, club run ski cross events with a proper start gate, small ski cross terrain start feature and course. Ski racers qualify in the morning in preparation for 4-up heat racing in the afternoon with the intent to promote multiple runs per day down the ski cross track.

A formal training day prior to the day of the event is encouraged. Ski racers need the opportunity to sample a variety of lines, gain mileage on a ski cross course, and familiarity with the different features through several laps prior to the qualification rounds and heat-racing.

Ski Cross Course & Terrain Park Feature Recommendations

Ski racers will continue to explore and discover small to medium features in terrain parks, and medium-sized ski cross course features including start features, bank turns, rollers, spines and jumps where skiers leave the ground for a short amount of time and distance to develop their body awareness while skiing.

Ski racers continue to ski onto boxes and rails with varying ramp angles and varying sized drop-offs. By the end of the stage, ski racers are beginning to sample medium sized terrain features in the park and ski cross course. At the end of the Learn to Train stage, skiers should begin to link three terrain features in the terrain park together. 

Ski racers continue to practice their ski cross starts using an appropriately sized starting gate with a low to medium ramp angle. Ski racers should be encouraged to race their teammates to the first features on a public ski cross track. Ski racers are encouraged to use start gates as often as possible to practice proper start technique and gain familiarity with the starting sequence.

Ski cross drills include playing "cat and mouse" or "lead and follow" with another teammate to practice passing, overtaking and being passed by another skier. “Cat and mouse” can be completed using an arrhythmical giant slalom course using ski cross panels on a wide run with the naturally rolling terrain.

Ski racers continue to execute jump progression as listed:

  1. Rolling over small jumps while maintaining snow contact.
  2. Learning how to "pop" a jump.
  3. Keep a tuck position over a jump.
  4. Performing fun tricks (i.e., spread eagle, 180° spins, 360° spins and tail grabs).
  5. Ski racers start to take off small jumps with small “kick style” take off ramps. (I will add degree ramp angle measurement after I look it up from freestyle)