Have you ever wondered what it might be like to race like legends Mikeala Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, or Ted Liggity. Well on the weekends you can. Sugarbush has a NASTAR course set up Friday through Sunday where you can race against your friends or put your time up against the pros.
NASTAR is the world’s largest recreational ski racing program and is available at over 100 ski resorts in the United States. The program allows guests to test their skills on a racecourse even if they’ve never raced between gates before. As someone who used to race there’s no better feeling than crossing a finish line and feeling good about your time. And if you don’t feel good, run it again. NASTAR is able to keep track of all your times and calculate them against a pacesetter for that day. If you can score high enough against the pacesetter, you have a chance for a medal. Once you’ve medaled three separate days you qualify to go to the National Championship for NASTAR.
The race department at Sugarbush runs a Dual Giant Slalom course, meaning the gates are wider apart than a regular slalom course and there are actually two courses to race on. This allows you to go head-to-head with your friends. Snowboarders be warned, the skiers will be faster than you no matter how hard you try (it’s the whole 4 edges vs. 2 and less surface area, blame science). So, if you’re not serious enough to go for the medal you can grab a friend (preferably one you know is slower than you for a boost of confidence) or you can race against your own time. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to try something new, no matter how old you are.
NASTAR really lets people broaden their horizons and try something new. Whether it’s completely out of their comfort zone or right in their wheelhouse, it’s a great program to have on the mountain. Plus, the race department really knows how to set a course, and I’m not just saying that because my roommate is paying me to. So if you’re interested in putting your skills to the test, head over to the start shack on Racer’s Edge at Lincoln Peak(say hi to Will, Sammi, and Zach for me), and give it a go.