Bode entered his first competition this weekend – freestyle moguls. He heard about it on Friday and figured, why not? He loves skiing the bumps and the terrain park, so this seemed to be a good fit. All his idea.
Check-in was at 8:30AM on Saturday. Two minutes later he had a number and a jersey (#96) and was quite pleased with himself. On our first lift ride up, he told everyone within earshot that he was racing today for the first time.
All of us were clueless as to what was involved in the competition*. First, we headed to Bradley’s Bash, where the course was located. Coaches and ‘volunteers’ were busy building the ramp and the kids had a chance to do a practice run. Moguls, a jump, then more moguls.
There is fair amount of waiting around – at least for the parents. Bode had the 53rd spot. Plenty of parents were yelling at their kids, over-analyzing the course, fretting over what to do if they had to pee, etc. Kid’s competitions = competitive parents. We were just happy to be there and trying to learn what it was all about. Bode made some friends and started a snowball fight.
Bode’s slot came up and he was a little nervous. We just told him to take it easy, have a clean run and have fun.
He rocked it. He landed his jump and was credited with a ‘daffy’. Old school! Zero spills, but his moguls were a little sloppy – he was trying to go fast. Plenty of kids went down and there were a few DNFs.
The first thing he said after finishing was that he could have done better. We assured him he did great. I think I told him how proud I was about 20 times throughout the day.
When the results were tallied, he finished in the middle of the pack. Since it was his first ever time to compete (in anything, really) and we didn’t even know the rules or practice for it, we figure it’s a pretty good result.
He and I rode together a few more hours in the afternoon. On one of the lift rides up, he asked “Can we come back next winter?” Followed shortly by, “maybe we could live here and build a house?”
*We mistakenly thought that speed was part of the score, but apparently that doesn’t factor in until they’re older. Moguls are 75% of the score and the jump is 25%. Deductions for changing lines. The judges will favor a skier who is aggressive and fails over someone riding safe. One judge said, “attitude matters.”
For future reference: the winner in his group stuck a 360 heli. The winner in the 10 year old group landed a 720.