Ski racing isn't just for experts. In fact, the San Francisco Ski Club invites beginners to snowplow race on gentle slopes for fun in their Singles League Racing at Tahoe resorts.
Beginner courses in Singles League Racing are set on slopes with a gentle angle. The idea is to build skills, not terrify. The courses use fewer gates than more advanced courses, limiting the number of gates to 10, and setting them in a way to allow for snowplow turning. Club members and experienced racers can help first timers with learning what to do.
The amateur club-level singles racing league uses four separate courses for different terrain challenges-beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. Racers are divided into 11 classes based on skill levels, while snowboarders compete in four divisions. A handicapping system yields the points awarded in competition. Skiers and snowboarders race on the same courses.
Slalom and giant slalom races make up most of the schedule, but this year, a new Super G race was added to the schedule. Racers get two runs, with both times added together for most classes.
The San Francisco Ski Club is comprised of single members over 21 years old. It is one of five Bay Area clubs that compete in the Singles League Racing at Tahoe resorts. All of the clubs invite beginners to join. The Singles League Racing feeds into two championship weekends, the NorCal Championships with the Northern California Ski Leagues and the Far West Championships with teams from Oregon, Northern California, and Southern California.
Singles racing takes place Jan. 8 - March 12. Races are scheduled at Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl Resort, Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe, and Diamond Peak. Racers in the singles league can opt for entering all or just a portion of the races for $60-80 for the season. Training clinics scheduled in December can help first timers with skills.
Guest drop-in racers are allowed to compete, too. Beginners can just try out racing to see what it's like. An entry fee is required for drop-in racers.