There are many opportunities to have a go at alpine ski racing. Here you'll find information on the athlete pathway from first time competitor to high performance athlete.
Download the Alpine Athlete Pathway Diagram here. It shows the different stages of development required from grassroots to elite international podium. This document is intended to be used by athletes, coaches and parents as a guide to understanding the steps in developing world class athletes.
How do I get started in ski racing?
Most New Zealand ski resorts will have a local ski club, masters or ski race programme to help you get that first race under your belt. Lessons and ski programmes are a great way to develop your race skills. In a group environment you can peg yourself against your mates and begin to train towards regional events like the Interfield series, perfect for first-time youth racers.
The Interfield events are open to all first-time ski racers from under 8s to under 16s and you can compete in the North Island, Canterbury or Southern Lakes regions throughout the season. The New Zealand Youth Series and North and South Island Champs and the Cardrona NZ Junior Nationals provide the opportunity to compete against kids from all over NZ.
You are never too old to ski race and NZ has a solid senior alpine ski racing fraternity competing as Ski Masters. Masters ski racing is open to skiers aged 21 and older, it is both competitive and social. Races are run at NZ resorts through the winter and competitors have a lot of fun battling it out for National Championship titles each year.
How can I develop my skills?
Talent development begins within regional programmes run at your local resort. Coaching programmes provide the perfect preparation for competing at events like National Points races and the New Zealand Youth Series. These programmes deliver structured training on and off snow, development of your technical skills, race strategy and a competitive race environment. The programmes cater to all levels and have world-class coaches from all over the world.
Snow Sports NZ work with the training providers, event organisers, coaches and development programmes throughout New Zealand to develop talent. We strengthen the steps along the competitive pathway for alpine ski racing by training volunteers, up-skilling race organising committees, providing insurance, timing equipment and technical delegates for events.
Top performing alpine ski racers can be selected to attend Snow Sports NZ development camps. These camps are intensive training blocks designed to boost skills. The talent development camps provide solid training ground for significant improvement.
What happens at the high performance level?
The New Zealand Alpine Ski Team is the pinnacle of New Zealand's alpine ski racing talent pathway. The team regularly competes at the highest level of international competition, against the best skiers in the world. This includes FIS World Cups and World Championships. Athletes are selected to this team based on their world ranking and performances in key events throughout the year.
Snow Sports NZ support our highest performing alpine ski race athletes through competition logistics, event registration, team selection, pathway development and liaising with the New Zealand Olympic Committee. We assist with media, communications and reporting on FIS World Cups, World Championships and pinnacle events.