Insiders Guide to Ski Racing Killington: Superstar with Tucker Marshall
From small local hills to mega resorts, we bring you the insiders guide, where SYNC Athletes share secrets to success and local knowledge about their home mountain.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF
Tucker Marshall, 28, I've been around the ski racing world longer than most and as a result I know just about everyone on the hill. I am the youngest of four and the only Marshall to yet compete on the World Cup. Talk about pressure. Geez.
Tucker ripping spring corn at Killington
WHAT'S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS MOUNTAIN AND TRAIL?
I grew up shredding around Killington mountain in Vermont. Superstar has always been the last trail to close. All season they hammer the snow guns on it in hopes of being the last mountain to stay open in the east. I remember last season riding up the Superstar Quad in February. It was blizzard like conditions with snow coming down hard, I look to my left and see the mound of snow that is the Superstar trail tower above me even though I am twenty feet off the ground, and would you look at that? Snow guns going full blast. Never miss an opportunity for more snow pack.
Mmmmmmmm, ratnik spaghetti
TO SOMEONE WHO'S NEVER RACED THERE, EXPLAIN SUPERSTAR
Superstar starts out with a steep headwall that lasts three to four GS gates. After that it is a flat to moderate but with TONS of terrain for a good portion of the course before breaking over to the final steeps that everyone at the finish gets to see. This last pitch is really no joke as it generally has two to three terrain changes on the pitch as well which challenges you to keep your balance as you move over them while also looking for speed off the backside.
WHAT ARE SOME KEY THINGS TO NAIL IN THE COURSE?
Start aggressive and don’t let those first few gates intimidate. Athletes must ski smart but confident and as they approach the bottom of the first pitch let it run into the terrain and start generating speed throughout the middle section. Skiers who actively look for speed in this portion of the course will start to see their time pulling away from other competitors.
As it breaks over to the last pitch it is important to take notice of the slight variations of the hill. It is a long steep pitch but mixed in there are two or three rollers where you can either get knocked out or gain speed depending on how you execute your game plan. Staying forward, compact, and pressing the backsides of those rollers will help propel athletes into favorable positions.
WHAT TYPE OF RACER DOES BEST HERE?
The bold, the confident, the experienced.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THIS TRAIL?
I have a lot of memories from this hill. Some of my earliest are from shredding spring laps in bumps that were over my head. I learned how to ski here, I chased my brothers and sister down the mountain here, I found a community, a family here. I have also been the POV forerunner for all the World Cup slaloms at Killington and the feeling I get skiing into that huge crowd and seeing so many faces I grew up with is one of the best experiences of my life.
ANY OFF THE HILL LOCAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SOMEONE TRAVELING TO KILLINGTON?
If you're looking for breakfast, then Sunup Bakery is the place to go. Lunch is definitely iPie, best pizza in the world in my opinion but I am slightly biased. If you want to have a good time, hit up the Pickle Barrel, and if you end up having too good of a time and get kicked out you won’t be welcome at Jax either because they have the same owner. Just something I’ve heard. Definitely not from personal experience.
Thanks to Tucker Marshall for sharing his background at Killington! Be sure to follow him and Redneck Racing Team at @tuckermarshall and @redneckracingskiteam. Visit his website to check out video blogs at www.tuckermarshall.com
You can also buy the Redneck Racing Suit, featuring #basherbear, designed by Robby Kelley!
Leave us requests for future trails in the comments below!