The traditional modified NASTAR GS course is popular with 100,000 participants annually and this year more than 115 Nature Valley NASTAR resorts will have the option of setting NASTAR slalom courses too. We are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience and adding a new discipline will provide recreational racers with a new challenge and a new rankings program.
Many of the new skis have been designed for carving and making shorter radius turns so adding NASTAR slalom is a natural evolution for the program. In addition, we work with many resorts that have a limited amount of vertical drop and slalom racing provides resorts with an opportunity to increase the number of turns on their NASTAR course. The speed associated with slalom racing is also slower than the speed GS racers attain so slalom can also be less intimidating. NASTAR slalom courses will be set using hero or stubby gates so that the general public can race slalom without special equipment. The stubby gates are 30” tall and they are made of a pliable, rubber-like material so that racers can ski as close to the gates as they would like without having to protect themselves.
NASTAR slalom courses have tighter turns, 9-12 meters of vertical distance between gates opposed to 18-22 meters of space for the standard NASTAR modified GS courses. World Cup slalom racers are known as the gladiators of the sport because they wear helmets with face guards, hand guards and shin guards to protect their bodies from the impact of the traditional 73” tall hard plastic slalom gates. Our goal is to provide a new event that does not require special protective equipment. NASTAR slalom will be a great discipline for recreational racers to develop their skills in a safe and exciting format.
NASTAR slalom racing will be available at the host resorts’ discretion but NASTAR racing will not be available at Vail Resorts. Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone have decided not to offer NASTAR racing. The founder of NASTAR, John Fry, calls Vail’s departure “a disservice to the guest” (click here to read more).