Masters category, Merging Pro/Am, Race attendance...

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Masters category, Merging Pro/Am, Race attendance...

Post by Jani Soderhall » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:33 pm

Goad on NCDSA wrote:more masters than pros?
worlds with mostly usa racers?
less than 60 racers?
With little advance notice I see the Masters class is now an established class. Very cool. There's a lot of legends in there. Maybe I should start racing again?

The sad thing though is that there are so few Pros left. The good thing is that they're all damned good!

Maybe it's time to merge the Pro/Am classed into one, skip the prize money (there isn't much anyway) lower the entry fees and make the Masters class permanent.

/Jani
Last edited by Jani Soderhall on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jeff Goad » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:16 pm

TIGHT SLALOM RESULTS
PLACE (MEN AM)
1 Justin Collins
2 Robert Thiele
3 Mike Duquette
4 Kevin Delaney
5 Sebastien Leger
6 Brian Parsons
7 Mark Harris
8 John Stryker
9 Mike Ohm
10 Rick Floyd
11 Gareth Roe
12 Skip Marcotte
13 Jordan Hvotari
14 Chris Pappas
15 Scott Moore
16 Eric Tokle
17 Richard Fitzpatrick
18 Chris Iverson
19 Curt Chapman
20 Michael Reiss
20 Neil Orta


lots of the racers here have more then plenty of years of racing, time to move up!
I see at least 7 racers that should be pro, am 4 life I guess
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Re: Masters category

Post by Jeff Goad » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:18 pm

Jani Soderhall wrote:
Maybe it's time to merge the Pro/Am classed into one, skip the prize money (there isn't much anyway) lower the entry fees and make the Masters class permanent.

/Jani
+1
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:22 pm

I think something has to change Jani. The worlds showed some inequities with Ams that have times in the pro category and Masters faster than pros.

I believe the racing should be fun and competative. Why else should we do it. As you've pointed out, there is no money in it.

I prefer "open" formats where racers are categorized by qualifying times, but this does not address single lane races. How do we address that?

I also recognize the value in kids racing kids, in women racing women, master vs. masters, etc. Doesn't seem like you can please all of the people all of the time.

I'm open to ideas and wanted to start the conversation.

Joe

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:32 pm

I'll be straight up: it's always people who aren't in the money (me) who discuss whether or not there should be cash prizes. Sounds very disingenuous.

Personally, I think everyone should pay the same registration fee and the money used to put on a great race for EVERYBODY. Qualifying will put skaters into their appropriate bracket.

BUT

The argument always comes up that if there's no cash then the "really fast skaters" won't show up. Whether that's true or not I don't know. Are there skaters who pay $1200 for air fare, car rental, hotels and food who depend on the $250 to make a difference? (Especially when many races have no pre-announced purse so know one knows what the money is.) Again, I don't know.

What I do know is 30 or 40 open skaters attend races and pay a registration fee so the 7 or 8 pros can race for cash. What? That makes no sense.

Anyway, the way I see it is race organizers can just STOP offering cash prizes and we'll see who stops racing. Or organizers can continue offering cash prizes and we'll continue to see some inequities in the brackets. What will make this take flight and have some teeth, however, (a slalom pterodactyl?) is for money-winning racers decide they'd rather see better all-around races than races with significant portions of the budget allocated so a couple of guys can get beer money.
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Post by Jani Soderhall » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:47 pm

For sure prize money works. If there's enough of it. If you win enough to cover your expenses of this trip, it means you can allow yourself another one.

The problem right now is that everyone expects high prize money and in the last year or so, that hasn't been the case.

There is a problem, obviously, when the Pro purse doesn't come from sponsors, but from the riders entry fee. There's no way that'll be enough to compensate the top pros and make it worthwhile for them.

For the racing fun, let's merge the Pro and Am classes for a while. We can re-evaluate that when we get a bigger crowd entering again and we especially the day we get some new (real!) sponsors in. Until then we should be pleased there are races at all. Maybe one event, the World Championships could manage to have a higher standing, but event that is not looking easy right now.

/Jani

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Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:12 pm

I agree that there are a lot Amateurs who should go PRO (just an example - Robert Thiele - amateur top3 racer in Worlds TWO years in a row) because it is sad that we have MAIN and MAJOR races where we have only around 10 PRO's.
A lot of Master class racers could get really good results also in PRO group.

Personally,I don't think that MASTERS class should exist because - Yes,we are prowd that we have racers 45+ who still race in a high level,but do we need to mark out that we have a special class for them...? And the name MASTERS - I think that there are a lot of guys who just started to skate (or started again) at the age of 45+ and call them all MASTERS...it is a little bit too exaggerated...

Again about money prize - if we want that slalom grows, it is important that we have high money prize for best of the best PRO's (like in Brixlegg 3years ago and I hope also next year) and I agree with Jani: ''If you win enough to cover your expenses of this trip, it means you can allow yourself another one. ''

I think that there must be men, women and junior groups (girls and boys together) and that's all ! ! !

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Post by Marcus Seyffarth » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:55 pm

Wesley Tucker wrote:it's always people who aren't in the money (me) who discuss whether or not there should be cash prizes.
Ok, I almost made enough to cover my expenses at races the last 2 seasons and I agree so...

If there are sponsors paying money - nice. Otherwise I prefer that you skip the money and lower the entry fee or pay timing/coneheads/etc to get a good race. Why should the slower racers have to pay to for being knocked out early and get a lousy race in order to give 3 persons their money back? As stated above there are seldom enough to cover travel and hotell even if you win.

I also would like the AM and PRO being one, but then you have to introduce a cut or something in order to manage the races. Its is a mess sitting around waiting 2 hours between qualifying runs if its 80 riders in one class.

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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:14 pm

Thank you Marcus. Great to have perspective from a top racer.

At the "open" races here in the east coast, we divide up our big category into 2, 3, 4 groups of 16 by qualifying time. It makes for intersting racing. Last year at Dixie I qualified 15th in the B group and ended up winning, so it gives everyone a chance. And if a PRo ends up racing with slower AM's, well that's his fault, isn't it?

This doesn't work with a single lane and I am open to suggestions. I don't see any sense in making a B group by time and giving an award to what is esentially 17th place.

Joe

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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:30 am

The only negative point I see by merging Pro and Am is that TS courses won't ever be the same. They'll be superboring for top Pros :(
Marcus Seyffarth wrote:
Wesley Tucker wrote:it's always people who aren't in the money (me) who discuss whether or not there should be cash prizes.
Ok, I almost made enough to cover my expenses at races the last 2 seasons and I agree so...
Ditto.

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just a thought

Post by Jeff Goad » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:03 am

class 1 pro-am = 2+ years racing in sanctioned races
class 2 woman =girls over 15
class 3 beginner = less than 2 years racing
class 4 jr. = boys and girls less than 15 years old
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:13 am

Ramón Königshausen wrote:The only negative point I see by merging Pro and Am is that TS courses won't ever be the same. They'll be superboring for top Pros :(

rmn
When I raced in Paris (with you) in 2004, they had 5-6 cones that they changed for the Pro or A group, so no need to reset the course, just a couple of key cones.

How does that strike you?

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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:07 am

You're right, but that was the Special Slalom. The "TS" / Straight Slalom was different from Pro to Am. (About 20cm less)

If you compare (Euro) TS today they are hard to make for a medium skilled Amateur.

TS is what has fascinated me ever since I started Slalom Skateboarding. I would be really disappointed if I didn't have to bring my (Pro Model) TS board to races anymore.

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Post by Martin Drayton » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:54 am

To echo what Ramon said on the view of courses, personally I think as a Pro you should be doing more technically difficult courses, NOT just going faster as seems to be the American way of looking at it.

Should we have a Masters group Gustavs? How much time do you have to train? I'm guessing as a student a lot more than most 45+ year olds.... I work 65 hours a week, skate an hour a week if I'm lucky, have a wife a small child and two jobs, next year I will be 50 years old.
Should I be competing against a 20 year old who gets to skate everyday? Maybe my qualifying time should decide where I race as Joe suggests, but I'm sure someone would still shout 'sandbagger' as I ride down the course....
I guess there is no easy answer.

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Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:18 pm

Sorry, Martin, I think you misunderstood me - I totaly agree that there should be competitiors from all ages,because that is particular for our sport - it is hard to imagine more sports where there are good competitiors from 5 to 50+ years, and who all can compete in a high level (like in slalom)!
I just think that if we create other groups (like Masters) soon there will be no PRO riders - a lot of top PRO riders nowadays are 40+ and if they all became Masters we won't have much PRO's left...

PS - I don't skate every day (only twice a week) but I would love to do it ;)
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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:20 pm

Gustavs Gailitis wrote: I just think that if we create other groups (like Masters) soon there will be no PRO riders - a lot of top PRO riders nowadays are 40+ and if they all became Masters we won't have much PRO's left...
Maybe YOU should turn Pro then ;)

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Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:37 pm

I hope that I will turn PRO next year, but I think that we should have a lot of PRO riders in every competition and the first thing to do is to encourage fastest Masters and Amaterurs to turn PRO (like with PRO Rookie of the year trophy etc)

I want that slalom develops and becomes more professional !
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Post by Stephen Lavin » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:49 am

This is long..., and maybe a little mushy.

"Pro" and "Masters", just words right? So I got paid once a long time ago to skate, so what. I skate because I can (up for debate...). I am of Masters age class. I love skating with Pro's that are Masters, Ams that are Masters, and Masters that are Masters. Look, the class has legs now so be creative and make it work.

Pros get paid and that needs to stay. If an organizer wants to offer prize money for non-Pro that's fine too but the sport does have to attract the best and I am a believer in that Pro-gets-paid model. If a Pro wants to go Masters because they are over 45 then so what? They aint' gonna get any coin because no one's paying. Why would a fast Pro over 45 want to race Pro again after being Pro for any length of time...? Maybe the altruism of the sport has re-kindled the desire to race now with people their own age?

I could not race with Pirnack before this weekend and now I can. I have tremendous respect for Dave and I think he has respect for what I bring to the sport too. Now Dave is my new target; I have someone to beat in my class. Same goes for Keith; I can race with him now. Sure they will all kick my ass (likely forever) but that's not what is making this class important.

There is the other side of the coin too; None of us want to get bumped out fast, we want to skate as much as we can at tournaments right? We do have to figure the class out. maybe a bracketed group like Ams/Open A,B,C. I don't know what the answer is but I do think there is a class here to be maintained and groomed. We have a real responsibility to continue skating IMO. I have seen the best older pros bring along the best younger talent on the planet. If it wasn't for these older folks still racing and showing up for events you nose dripping kids would be nothing but hot air (in general - I know there are prodigies out there).

Business. There is revenue in the Masters. I can always use my IRA to buy skate crap... and plane tickets, and beers for you younger punk asses. Bottom line, we old and here to stay. Find a way to co-op.

The best way to encourage faster younger pros is to train those that have promise and get them a venue to race in. the older folks do this - the sponsors rarely do it alone. The sport needs all ages IMO with some definition around classification that can get a discipline race (GS, TS, etc.) done in one day.
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There has to be a pro class.

Post by John Gilmour » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:56 pm

The economy has had a negative effect on race turnout.

We are not Ocean Yacht racers, F1 racers, Red bull Air racers all plastered with Fortune 500 emblems.

We are effectively self sponsored within the industry, and within ourselves.

I've often been asked in skating (Inline skating as well as skateboarding) "How can I improve my racing".

My answer.. oddly enough has always been... "Become unemployed"

For then you have time to practice, time to research gear, time to analyze technique, read the forums, and the energy to test and disassemble boards and test setups on different courses etc.

But, being "unemployed" comes with certain drawbacks..... like paying for entry fees, airfares (no problem if you get bumped regularly), hotel rooms , and gear (which really isn't that expensive- sneakers cost you the most).

Having a pro class- where if you win 1st allows you to go to 2 more races helps in this regard. and if you podium likely you cover some or most of your costs.

The time when I raced the most in the USA was when there was a series- or groups of well organized races where I thought I could depend on prize money, and of course, the company of other pros.

Having prize money- does other things. It commits the race organizer, and likely if you are organized enough to collect a good prize purse in advance...well likely you are organized enough to throw a good race.

Pros will return when the economy improves. if the purses were higher.... you would see some faster Ams jumping to pro faster, practicing more.

Without prize money-a lot of talented pros won't travel great distances on a regular basis. They might travel once to a particular event that they have read accolades about (The Farm, Antrim, Trocadero, La Costa, Catalina etc..) but they likely will not go year after year a long distance. Coming home with a check made out in your name (helps give validity to your GF or spouse that you missed all those Bridal showers, weekend at the in-laws, weddings, and shoe shopping excursions for a reason). TRUST me.. it helps far more than the dollar amount no matter how wealthy you are.

Condensing the classes is also IMHO a mistake. We have always struggled to have a good pro class with enough people in it. The pro class has suffered at many races IMHO by not having challenging pro level courses.

By condensing the classes there is even less chance to podium or win.

Lots of Ams talk to me about turning "Pro". My opinion is that the Pro designation is an EARNED status- that comes with winning several Amateur contests or placing high in their Nationals (top 5) or Worlds (top 10) regularly. People in Am agonize over going Pro. They do, and should.


That is what makes the Pro class formidable. There really are no slouches in Pro.

As a pro, I am excited when a new top am joins our ranks. But when a lower ranked am- pops in.... I just look at it as a "BYE" in the eliminations bracket. That "bye" makes it harder for the other pros in the bracket chasing the top pro who may have drawn a "no contest" race.

So when I race pro, I am guaranteed to have my work cut out for me.

Certain AM racers should be racing pro as of this year. Karl Floitgraf, Mike Duquette, Justin Collins. But, you see, you don't want to have all the fast AMs leave AM immediately- or people would go PRO too soon. The one or two fast Ams are there- as a benchmark for the other Ams. But after awhile- (one or two seasons) typically these fast Ams start to move up.

As for Masters,

I believe in a Master's class. I'm not sure if there should be cash in it... perhaps rent a hotel suite and stuff the Masters in there at no charge to sort of pay homage to the Henry Hesters, John Hutsons, Bob Skoldbergs, Tommy Ryans- who were slalom skateboarding "CoverBoys" that got you interested in slalom in the first place.

A top masters age pro- like Ritchie Carrassco, Claude Regnier, Gary Fluitt, Keith Hollien that is of age with sufficient race experience, support of our sport, and -record of wins- deserves to get recognition by the others in our sport. To a budding racer, who has followed this from his computer- the thought of going to a race, and hanging out having a beer in the Master's suite and meeting the people he has read about...to me..... is well...too cool.

Just put ALL the racers in the same Hotel (usually a good idea in slalom- as some of the funnest races are ones where we dominate a hotel- or even a hostel!) tell the hotel owner- that we expect a nice free suite for the Masters racers (and not to worry about a bunch of old guys trashing a hotel room....lol) You could book a medium nice hotel (Marriott guest quarters suites) - and a cheaper one for Ams (comfort inn- days inn etc.).

oh, and Gustavs--- I've seen you skate/skated with you, it's time for you to turn Pro too- like father like son but if you turn Pro- you have to keep up your dedication just like your Dad too- who has carried the sport of slalom in Eastern Europe more consistently than anyone else for the past 3 decades.
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Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:21 pm

I will move to PRO (I decided already 2 years ago that before turning PRO I must win medals in Euros and/or Worlds (finally I did it last week in Policka)!
The idea that you need to win some races before moving up to PRO is good,but for example, if all the medalists of Worlds should turn PRO obligatory, there is a big chance that after few years racers that will not fast enough will be forced to move PRO,so there must be a very thought-out solution.
As I said before, I see the amateur class as a middle part between juniors and PROs, and that is the reason why I really loved that top4 overall AMs in last World cup in Grenoble were all under19 (me, Fabian Koula, Viktor Hadestrand and Christopher Dupont - after some years these guys will be on PRO podiums too)!

Worlds 2009 (just an example,situation in other contests is the same) - 12 PRO,21 amateur and 22 Masters racers - if there are those 3 classes and I move to PRO, will there be many opponents for me racing PRO (it is not so hard to understand that 21or22 are much more than 12...)

Mostly I agree with your position,John - there has to be a stong PRO class with a lot of racers!
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Post by John Gilmour » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:54 pm

well- perhaps not the quanity of pros is as important as the quality.

A pro technically means youa re paid.."A professional- who engages in a profession" typically someone who is paid to do something is better than the average person trying their hand at things. for instance a professional airplane stunt flyer does amazing things that even a skilled average amateur would not be able to do.

The key is- that the racing should be good- a poorly matched set of skaters with wide ability levels is of no interest to racers or spectators.

Even if the economy were to have us with only 5 pros- well it would be ok if the pros were Jason Mitchel, George Pappas, level of skating. I don't see that happening.

But realistically, an AM should make the decision to go pro if he thinks he has a chance of not being immediately eliminated in the first round in pro class.

So realistically if you times tie the slowest pro...well probably you should not go pro. And your addition to pro class will only drag down the average times of PRO. But if you think there is a 30%- 50% chance that you might survive the first round.- well go for it.

But just adding to the bottom of the list of times does nothing for the pros....and just gives the number one seed an even less challenging less interesting race.....

SO IMHO its ok , normal, and even GOOD that the top ams have times comparable to somewhere in Pro. And just because an Am lands a killer run in one race does not mean he is consistent enough to race in pro.

You can look at a pro racer and see the fluidity of body movements... you can spot them. But just winning a single Am race or getting a podium or two out of 20 races doesn't mean you should go pro.
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Post by Karl Floitgraf » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:13 am

Turning pro should be a personal decision, and yes there is a lot of pressure to turn pro if you manage to get to the top of the Ams for a few months or a year. I respect my fellow racers decisions to make that jump when they want. The Amateur class is where you get the race experience to move up.

And yeah I want to be able to win some money, not that I think I will anytime soon. I feel like I have had the honor of racing at all levels, literally from barely being able to stay on my board to be labeled as a sand bagger.

Half way through one season I know there are a lot of differences between racing pro and am and it is tough, especially with no time to practice or anyone to go with.

Open qualifying works for a lot of good races but I think it's important to give the top ams a chance to race each other, as a learning experience. You need to go through those brackets a couple times.

So don't complain too much if Delaney or Collins beats you in the open because they are doing the right thing and if you really want it bad enough, it will be you one day. Just take a look at my offset leg.


As always this is just MHO.
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Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:46 pm

Karl Floitgraf wrote: The Amateur class is where you get the race experience to move up.
I think the same way, amateur class should exist and after gaining some really good racing experience racer should move to PRO and get money for his good results, showing the difference between AM's and PRO's.!
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:25 am

Nice post Karl.

I agree at this point that it is a personal choice. But it seems kinda inequitable sometimes. In the past if you won amatuer races in 2004, you were racing pro in 2005. That's what Noah and CBark did. It was a matter of honor.

Now you can chnge your mind per event? Masters, Pro, Am? I don't see any reason why a particular racer should not take advantage of entering the class in which they think they will do best. There is no law against it. And yet I think it needs fixing.

What happens in other sports? How do they handle pro/am/masters in MT biking? Snowboarding? Delany was the World Champ, right? Can he go back and race at whatever level he chooses? Did he win an Am race and then was "graduated" to pro?

Somebody fill me in please.

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Post by Glenn Chapman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:41 pm

This is from my experiences in USA snowboarding and mountain biking. This is a very rough description of how they do it (the rule books are many pages). In USASA (grassroots snowboard) you declare for the season. You can either run in your age group or you run open class. Once you go to open class, you are there for all events, racing or freestyle for the remainder of the season. In USSA (snowboard) you compete in regional events to get enough points to get to the next level events. In snowboard racing (in the US) there are only two levels NORAM and World Cup. Anybody could step in and pay their money and race and compete at the NORAM level (be ready to be schooled), when you have enough points you get the chance to compete at the World Cup. Your start position is linked to your points, unlike skateboarding, snow conditions degrade quickly as more racers go through the course. The lower in the points you are, the further back your start position, making it even harder to get points. You really have to pay your dues to run with the big boys. In USSA freestyle snowboarding there are three levels Revolution Events, Grand Prix and World Cup. Typical snowboard progression, ride USASA in your age group for a few years get to the nationals and place well (2-10years), move to open class (2-4years) and do the same thing. Then move on to USSA (2-? years) regional/national events and try and earn enough points to be on the World Cup. A snowboard racer friend of mine is on this track and he has been racing since he was 7 or 8. He has trained full time since 13, this means he attended a mountain academy and was on the snow every day during the winter and 3 weeks in South America in the summer. He raced his first World Cup last year at 20. He will be trying for an Olympic spot this year but he is about 10th in the US and only 1 or 2 men will go for the racing spots.

In the old days of NORBA mountain biking (around 2002), they had four classes Beginner, Sport, Expert and Pro. The Experts and Pros would go at the same time. One thing I liked in NORBA is that you could be an Expert cross country racer, a Sport class Dual Slalom and a beginner Down Hill (or any combination). You could move up during the season but not down. At the start of the next season you could request a change down to a lower level.

In most sports it seems that you can move up levels during the season but once you do you are at that level for the rest of the year.

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Post by Stephen Lavin » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:20 pm

Declaring before your first ISSA sanctioned race, for the season/year, makes sense. You declare and you stay "there"for the season/year. JG's comments about attaining a certain capability as Am (severely paraphrasing) also serves as a good benchmark IMO. Maybe that benchmark discussion can be clarified into an expectation(?) to help Ams know when it's time to consider (expected to be) moving up (Goads point).

Racers can still have their personal reasons for moving too. Just the same it would be more clear if you reached an expectation, or level of achievement, that you need to be moving forward and into the Pros to keep this motor running. Spectators do like to see "Pros" and although they may not be seeing the or recording the actual quantitative results (times) during races they sure do see the qualitative results; visually.

Reading everything here and through discussions with others it seems there is room for the classes as defined; not sure a merge of Pro and Am works. Cultivating Ams to turn Pro makes more sense to me. Give them a target, help them reach it, then graduate them into that top class. I think you could actually have more Pros if the class structure was better defined and a points or award system based on capability, votes, whatever, existed. Gold jackets maybe..., I like gold jackets. Not easy to create this graduated cylinder thing...
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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:11 pm

Well, it's like this:

"Pro" should ALWAYS be a PERSONAL decision. Period. NO ONE at any time should be made to run for money. Don't forget: the greatest golfer who ever lived never declared as a pro and spent his entire grand-slam winning career as an am. What's good for Bobby Jones is certainly good for skateboarders.

If the complaint/problem/issue is that some skaters just "outgrow" and dominate the AM ranks and should move on, all I can say is tough titty. That's the breaks of racing.

But, my solution eliminates the problem: get rid of "pros" and "ams" and instead have everyone qualify for their brackets and go racing. It's really simple. And if some believe that will turn the sport backwards and a lot of skaters will stay away then so be it. Enough is enough. We've had a "pro" rank now for at least eight years this century and what's it got us? Well, so far I've seen free beer and some food at a few races. Other than that it's still swag and pay your own way.
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Post by Tim Chason » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:24 am

Im brand new to slalom. The Tx SIZZLER Is my first race. Im 43 and slow as hell. I was totally dissapointed that I would be racing against 18 and 20 year old experts. I was like whats the point I should just burn my entry fee. I will never make It out of the first round. I know a few guys that wanted to race but wont because there Is no beginner class. The cool thing about Slalom Is you dont have to drop In or jump off anything to get that rush. I was amazed that there Is no beginner class. I personal feel that entries would be higher with closer racing. Nobody wants to race If Its a given you will loose. I would like to see age group classes and novice expert rankings. after you place In so many novice races you get moved to expert.
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:57 am

Tim,

#1 I think you are mistaken. You will be racing experts if you qualify in the round of 16. Head to head racing is based upon a qualifying time, and then racers are grouped by 8's, 16's, or 32's. In single lane racing, you race the clock.

#2 Can we get the names and email address of all those guys you know that want to come, but will not because there is no beginner class? I'd like to invite them. I hold a clinic for them at the bottom of the hill.

FYI - I've been racing for 10 years and the only beginner's races I've seen were for 10 year olds. Otherwise, beginners class is the bottom of the B or C group.

Please don't get disappointed in a race you have not been to yet.

Joe

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Post by Stephen Lavin » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:38 pm

I've had a lot to drink but I roger that.
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Post by Tim Chason » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:33 pm

grouped by 8's, 16's, or 32's What Is this?? I dont have emails One Is named John he gos by SCUMBO on silverfish. The other Is the owner of a shop called shred daddies. I was hoping there would be a C class but Eddiie tells my thats probably not gonna happen. I was told In the first round the slowest guy races the fastest guy. Then the winner advances to next round. Where can I read on how It works? Dont get me wrong Im SUPER stoked on going and gonna give It my best. I dont have any hope of winning I was just hoping to get out of the first round.LoL
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:03 pm

Some one running this particular race needs to comment, but if you have 50 guys racing, and you qualify 1-50, 1 races 16, 2 races 15, etc for the a group, 17 races 32, 18 races 31, etc for the b group. C group, d group given enough signed up racers.

Get it?

Tim - my first race I just cone headed, second race I was dead last, but 16 other guys didn't even finish. Please invite the other new guys. They can help out and get a couple trial runs in. I'm speaking out of turn for the organizers, but I'm sure they would prorate the entry fees to cover the new guys food and drink, and of course they don't have to pay the ISSA fee if they are not racing.

Your beginner's race idea is a good one, but is more complicated than it sounds, due to reseting courses and timing systems. Sizzler is a World Cup race. One of the 4 hardest in the world. Doesn't it seem right that it should be geared to the best and fastest?

Joe

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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:08 pm

BTW Tim, my first 4 years or so, only the top 16, 32, or 64 qualifiers even raced, so ask Marcos about driving to Jackson, MS and paying the entry fee to not even race. You either practice, find a few smaller races, and come back next year OR sell your sh1t and quit.

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Post by Greg Stubbs » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:09 pm

Tim

Please get yourself and all your friends to come out for this event. Every single year we have people new to racing and trust me, it all works out. I understand your concerns having never attended an event like this...I hadn't either until about 5 years ago. There is plenty of room for the novice and I, like Joe, would be glad to help out with some pointers and such. I would encourage you and anyone else interested in taking advantage of all the pros, almost pros and others with slalom experience that attends this race. Some of the best if not the best racers in the world will be there along with plenty of schlubs like myself that are still refining our racing. I have been skating since 1974 or 75 and when I started racing I realized I had a lot to learn about this genre of skateboarding. Please, I can not stress how much fun you will have or how much you will learn. I hope to see you there.

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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:31 pm

Greg Stubbs wrote: I, like Joe
-Stubbs
I like you too Stubbs.

More seriously, you're tapping into something I'd like to see the ISSA push. A clinic, or beginners/kid race at larger races. Most of us are fortunate enough to have an older board to lend. In Antrim we set a small straight course on the run out hill and about 20 kids, teens, parents and even my wife have given it a go.

If you are racing with 50 guys, its an hour between runs, so racers go coach and help out in between runs. Its a real and tangible way to grow the scene. This year, six, 6! of the beginners moved up to racing the big hill. How cool is that.

All we need is one guy per race willing to set it up, and I think we can count on karma taking over.

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Post by Tim Chason » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:35 pm

Ok there are 50 racers. every body takes a qualifing run. The top guy Is 10sec. the last Is 60sec. Group A Is 10 to 20sec B Is 21 to 40 and C 41 to 60 Then the first and last guy from each group races each other. Is that close?
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:53 am

Yep, exactly. Except in the real world, it's a lot closer than that. One year in Paris the top 16 racers were all within a second of each other. Don't forget timing is measured to 1000ths of a second. You can loose by .001

Now how about helping us put the beginner clinic together. It was your idea. Do you still think it's a good one?

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Post by Tim Chason » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:12 am

Joe Iacovelli wrote:Yep, exactly. Except in the real world, it's a lot closer than that. One year in Paris the top 16 racers were all within a second of each other. Don't forget timing is measured to 1000ths of a second. You can loose by .001

Now how about helping us put the beginner clinic together. It was your idea. Do you still think it's a good one?

I think you would get more entrys with a true beginner class. Something like your first 4 races are In beginner then you move to class. I WILL GLADLY HELP WITH A CLINIC. How far apart are the cones on tight slalom and what kind of speed?
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Post by Neil Orta » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:14 am

Tim the beginner class was something I had proposed prior to the restructuring but the BOD went another way, that point being said I just began a few years ago and felt the same as you- let's face it, everyone has gone through it.

An event IS the best place to "get your feet wet" in may aspects:
1) You learn there are ALL levels of racers who show up.
2) The chance to ride a "real" course set to challenge all riders.
and most useful
3) You are surrounded by a wealth of information available from all level of riders on gear and technique that WILL help enhance your riding and improve your times.

Some of us will be beginners as long as we race but for the talented it only takes a race or two before you are moving up in the classes or qualifying times.

See you in Austin.

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Post by Ron Barbagallo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:30 pm

Timbo - look for a fat guy in an orange hockey helmet, that's who'll you'll be battling

I've been racing for years and I quite honestly suck pretty bad at it. The only time I've ever made B class is when they don't have enough racers for a C. And I usually get trounced pretty quickly.

I'm also terrified of the GS hill and may choose to not even run it.

And yet, I'm selling guitars and rolling change to fly down to Texas and sleep on the floor in someone's room. It's that much fun. Honestly? Sometimes the runs get in the way of my socializing. I should forego the entry fees and just show up to hang out with my friends. It would save me money and dignity.
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Post by Tim Chason » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:58 pm

Ok I have been on my Slalom board 6 times now. I think Ive got It and you guys are going down!!!! Thanks for all the help
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Post by Greg Stubbs » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:52 pm

Right on, Tim!!! I'm liking what I hear!

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Post by Stephen Lavin » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:36 am

Hell yes Tim. I showed up at the Buckeye in 2006 with a vintage Hobie flex cutaway, tracker trucks and 65mm zzags (only modern shit on the rig). You eat it or you skate it..., I was just fine and you will be just fine too. BTW, I ditched that old shit. Bring something that works.
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