A couple months back, I caught up with ski racer Daron Rahlves to ask him a few questions about the much anticipated Pain McShlonkey Chinese Downhill at happening at Squaw Valley. It never ran. As I am starting a new post on Unofficial interviewing local legends, athletes and celebrities I thought this would be a good way to kick it off. Feel free to step into your DeLorean and go back in time. Here is what Daron had to say.
RS: When and where did your snowlerblading career begin?
DR: The one and only time was at Squaw. It was when Shane put the last Pain event on. My second time ever will be this weekend at the McShlonkey.
RS: What will boost you to the top of the podium?
DR: Being fearless. We’re probably going to have to run down due to all the snow. Whoever can get and keep their
legs moving will have the advantage. The good thing is that there aren’t too many other guys with longer legs than me.
RS: Is there anyone in the comp that you fear based on skill-set?
DR: The only one I would fear would be Shane going off previous results. He beat me last time. I was the second best back then. Seriously though, everyone out there is a threat. It will be a good battle.
RS: Do you have a snowlerblade sponsor?
DR: Yeah, Atomic man! They hook me up with the race stock snowblades. They’re Austrian made and have it figured out. They will have the right bases on there. I’m gonna take those baby’s to victory.
RS: Do you have a best trick or move?
DR: Yeah, straight lining! Straight line till you go down. I am expecting a lot of crashes. Crash, get up, straight line, crash, etc. Last time, I pulled in behind Shane and he hit a huge wind lip and shot straight up in the air. He was running backward in the air trying to regain balance. I thought I had him but hit the same bombhole. You basically need to ski fast until you detonate then get up and do it again. I’m going to have to work on my crashing especially with all that snow.
RS: Who is the best snowlerblader in the history of the Chinese downhill?
DR: Shane, hands down. I was about 20 feet behind him last time on Mountain Run and had just come off the World Cup. I was skiing full boar and he kept his speed. He was so smooth and clean, like he was just having a good time and playing. My feet were all over the place, I was in the back seat and I practically keeled over at the KT line. He was very skilled on the blades.
RS: Any words to your competition?
DR: I’m stoked to get out there on top of the mountain and let it all begin. There’s a lot of shit talking going around and I don’t need to add to that. You got to be confident enough in your skills to let them do the talking. I have that confidence. I’m just going to go out there and stand on top of KT and hold nothing back. It’s going to be a tough fight to the finish line. But, look out because I am willing to pull it all together and take it down
RS: What makes you a better snowlerblader then the others?
DR: I know how to go fast and that’s the name of the game in the Chinese D
ownhill at least. I have one of the fastest race suits around in Spyder. It doesn’t seem like a lot of guys are out there practicing. I saw JT Holmes the other day at the Chamoix and asked him how much he’d been practicing and I don’t think he’s ever been on them. I am sure a few of the guys have put in a few days on them, maybe a few KT laps.
DR: It’s a great time all in all. I am psyched that everyone is talking it up and for all the hype. It all comes down to having a lot of laughs and funny antics. I am ready to watch people and have a great time. It might be a good tactic to let people go ahead and dig out the trail and draft them. They will think they have it won and you can slip in and beat them in the end. The energy and vibes will be great. It’s a great opportunity to support what Shane did for the ski world. He lives in all of us and is going to live on in all of us as we ride down Squaw on snowblades. I’d like to see the legacy conitue. It’s going to be great to have the whole crew around.
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