The nation’s biggest clubs have likely seen an influx of applications this spring, after the U.S. Ski Team (USST) cast off several athletes and eliminated its domestic waxing staff.
But there was at least one athlete who didn’t throw his hat into the ring: Noah Hoffman. Instead of joining a heavyweight club like Alaska Pacific University or Sun Valley, Hoffman will stay affiliated with his home program, the Aspen Valley Ski Club (AVSC).
“I reviewed several options this year, and I definitely had some decisions to make,” Hoffman said in an interview. “I’m going to continue to work with John Callahan, my coach in Aspen.”
While he’s remaining with his home club and will continue to train out of Park City, Hoffman said that he did want to make some changes after a tough winter. Last week, he began working on a new technique program with Zach Caldwell, the Boulder-based ski technician and coach. And for day-to-day coaching, Hoffman added, he’ll be relying less on the USST.
Come winter, the AVSC doesn’t have a wax staff per se, but Hoffman said that he hopes to be doing most of his racing internationally next year, where his skis would be waxed by USST staff. For the most important domestic events, Callahan will likely travel with Hoffman to wax and provide race support.
“That’s a minor part,” Hoffman said. “It doesn’t matter, if you’re not skiing well, how your skis are waxed.”
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.