Not Another Pair of Skis!!Amateur Inter Clubs Championship 2014 - Klosters

Reporter: Caroline Brown

For once I was not the only SCoM member performing rash acts through gates down a mountain but I was the only one racing for the Ladies Ski Club. Paul Prentice was strutting his stuff for the DHO (Downhill Only Club) as SCoM’s Facebook followers will testify!

I admit to having a pair of All Mountain skis (for general purposes), a pair of Slalom skis (for getting through the course at Race Club sessions at Chill Factore) and a pair of Telemark skis, unsurprisingly for Telemarking on. But what I have dreamt of owning since my introduction to racing is a proper pair of GS race skis...

On arrival in Klosters for the 2014 running of the Amateur Inter Clubs Championship I went to arrange a pair of hire skis for the races. I have trained and enjoyed racing on Elans before but the very nice man in the hire shop gave me the choice of Salomon (everybody has heard of Salomon) or Core. Core? Exactly—I’d never heard of them either! I asked him which he would choose if he were racing and Core was his unhesitating answer. ‘I’ll set both pairs up for you,’ he said, ‘and if you don’t like the Cores after the practice session you can swap to the Salomons.’ Real race technician talk there!

I took the Cores out and could feel the quality as I zipped through the practice gates. Regrettably the bindings were not tight enough for my first run through the GS course on race day and I lost a ski after the 7th gate when I hit a rut. Cranking them up for the second run I carefully negotiated the slush—by then it was +20ºC! Not finishing was not an option this time as one of my team mates had broken her shoulder and was out of the running so my run had to count.

Waiting to catch the train to the Super G venue the following morning I was chatting to a local racer who also had a pair of Cores. He loved them and had bought them for CHF800 (£570) from the hire shop at the end of the previous season. ‘How much?!’ I hear you cry. Well, they are proper race skis, hand-made from carbon fibre in limited numbers by a family firm down in the valley, so not exactly two-a-penny unless you happen to be renting skis in Klosters.

The Super G went extremely well. I was the first in my age category to set off and the course was in perfect condition. To my delight I came 5th out of 20, beating some very good skiers who had raced in their younger days so that almost made my day.

I say almost because when I took the skis back to the shop I admitted to loving them and tentatively asked if they were for sale. ‘Let me see,’ my nice technician said. ‘They are a 4-year-old model and have been rented out for 13 days. (13 days!!) I can let you have them for CHF400 (£285).’ It would have cost me CHF98 (£70) for 3 days’ rental so I didn’t know which of his hands to bite off!!

I later found out that new, without bindings, they would have cost over CHF3200 (that’s more than £2285.!!!). I’d got a Bargain!