“I Don’t Believe In Slowing Down.”
[Editor Note: Dave Scott spent most of his adult life working in multiple facets of the ski and sport industry both in the United States and in Europe. In 2009, David Scott was honored as a Sport Builder by the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Beginning his ski-racing career in Pennsylvania, David first came to Colorado to ski for the University of Colorado. During the 1960’s David served on numerous race committees on the East Coast including Junior Alpine Committee, USSA National Alpine Committee and the USSA Coaches Association. In 1971, David returned to Colorado as the Director of Racing for AMF/HEAD in Boulder. This marked a different direction for David’s involvement in skiing working on the import and retail side of the industry. Importing European brands like Blizzard Skis, Koflach Boots, and LaCroix Skis, David introduced many of these companies to American audiences.]
When did you start, where, why. How did you get into ski racing?
I started skiing in Pennsylvania in 1948 at age six. My first experience was at Split Rock Lodge and soon followed by skiing at Big Boulder. My father and I started skiing at the same time. We both found the challenge of skiing something that was very addictive. Our first trip skiing outside Pennsylvania was in 1952 to North Conway, NH and two weeks later we followed that with a trip to Stowe. After that we were really hooked. My father was a competitive person and when I expressed an interest in ski racing, he supported me. I think that my first competition was in 1953 and I had modest success locally. In 1955, I went to Proctor Academy, NH, because of their reputation for having a good ski team. After that I competed throughout New England and in Colorado. I was a good racer, but not good enough to be completive for the US Ski Team.
Why has skiing/outdoor winter sports kept your interest over the years?
It is a great family sport that can be done together by many different generations. I regularly ski with my grandchildren and my daughters. When you are skiing, all of your worries and concerns go away. Skiing requires all of your physical skills as well as concentration. There is no time to be concerned about you daily problems. I enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air. I like the feeling of the wind in my face and I enjoy the challenge of trying to make better carved turns on each run.
What concerns do you have about skis and related equipment these days?
There certainly have been a lot of changes with the equipment. When I started there were non-release bindings and skis without steel edges. Of course the boots were leather and much softer than what we use today. The new wider skis with much more side-cut have made skiing easier to learn and enjoy deep powder skiing. That’s good for the sport, but it means that good powder days don’t last very long. All of the new equipment, skis, boots and bindings create a lot of new leverage on the body. We certainly have more knee injuries than 40 years go, but the ankle injuries and broken ankles are almost nonexistent.
What advice do you have for seniors who are thinking about “slowing down” their skiing experience?
I do not believe in slowing down. Stay in the best shape you can and continue to challenge yourself. Prior to last year I had not skied more than five days in any of the previous five years. I was skiing slower and becoming concerned about being hit. Last year with the help of some friends I stepped it up. I skied 20 plus days. I felt stronger and I started skiing faster again. I went from being concerned about being hit by skiers and snowboarders to taking charge. My fear of being hit was reduced to almost nothing. I rediscovered the love of the challenge of trying to make better and better turns on steep hills. I continue to challenge my grandchildren and we have a lot of fun together on the slopes. I don’t have any alternatives. You either continue skiing and trying to improve or perhaps it is time to stop!
What changes have you seen in the Ski Hall of Fame over the years? What are you most proud of in being involved with that organization?
The various ski hall of fames help tell the story of skiing. It is an important way to honor the competitors and the sport builders. I was always someone that believed that the HOF was for the very top racers, but I have come to realize that without the sport builders we would not have what we have today. I feel that it is important to help newer skiers understand what it took to make all the equipment and great resorts possible. I would not have happened without the determination and risk taking that the pioneers brought to the sport.