What does a downhill ski racer do at a ski race?

Updated: 10/25/2022
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Downhill (Alpine) ski races are usually day long event. Typically you will have either slalom or giant slalom all day long. You will need to different skis and equipment for each length.

Let's say it's a day of slalom racing. Slalom racing is when the gates are closer together. Ski racers want to have the fastest time so they try to ski as straight a line down the ski slope as they possible can. This means that they will hit the gates with their shins. The gates are "breakaway" so they will hit the ground and bounce back up. (You drill a hole into the snow and screw the gates in to begin with.)

Here is a typical schedule:

7:30-8am Arrive at the ski slope8-9am: Warmup runs - practice runs through a "practice" slalom course9-9:30am: Slalom course inspection. You are not allowed to ski through the "race" course. You have to slide down the hill with your skis horizontal to the hill. It's called "slipping the course". There are separate courses for each run.9:30-12: Take your first and second run. Races consists of 2 timed runs through the course. Your two times are added together for your total race time. The fastest time wins.

12-1pm: Lunch1-1:30: Slalom course inspection1:30-4pm: Second slalom race consisting of 2 runs

Sound confusing? It's really not once you get used to it. There are various other rules you need to follow. Plus you have to wear a number called your "bib". The order in which you ski varies as well. The second run order is based on your first run time...I'll stop with the rules. Attend a race to find out more!

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Q: What does a downhill ski racer do at a ski race?
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