Why Race at Kirkwood

Why Race at KirkwoodKirkwood has 10 lifts, 2,000 vertical feet and 2,000 acres of incredible skiing at Northern California’s highest base elevation of 7,800 feet.  The average snowfall is 400+ inches per year.  Because of Kirkwood’s high elevations, the snow remains drier and lighter than other local areas and provides superb skiing and training conditions.  Our mountain is located on scenic California Highway 88 where there is much less traffic compared to major Tahoe resorts.  We are a weekend program, with most of our athlete’s coming from the SF Bay Area, so easy access to the mountain (without traffic) is a major benefit. 

From a program perspective, we focus on developing excellent skiing and ski racing technique.  But in additional to that, our kids develop a love for the sport, respect for the mountain, and lifelong friendships.

Here’s what the parents say….

Our oldest daughter started with the Kirkwood Ski Team eight years ago and the younger girls have followed suit. We thoroughly enjoy the sense of community for our girls and as parents. The program is well run and has a strong relationship with the resort which provides for access to training on the highest quality most reliable snowpack in the Tahoe area. The coaching staff is top notch and provides individual differentiated training for each athlete.

Tim and Ann Marie Louis

"From the first day my daughter joined KSEF, she felt part of something special.  The coaches made her feel confident that she could improve and do well, and the other ski team kids made her feel like part of the family.  Being part of the Kirkwood Ski Team has been a wonderful experience for the whole family".

Laurie Hindes

We make the beautiful (non-freeway!) drive to Kirkwood each weekend, and then don't get back in our car until we're headed home.  Two full days of exercise for the kids, outside and away from any type of screen, surrounded by incredible nature.  Fresh air, tired bodies, and early nights in bed.  It really doesn't get any better than that...  that is, until the ski team hikes to some hidden powder stash, and everything moves to a level that you might have thought wasn't possible!

Mark H.

The experience and growth for my son participating in the KSEF has been awesome. Toward the end of the season when he was 8, he switched from JETS to KSEF. In his first season of racing he was 9, and out of a field of about 80 racers he would finish right in the middle of the pack. Last year at 10 in his second season of racing, he finished on the podium twice, and finished 6th overall in the Far West North division. Yes as a father I am very proud and happy for my son for his results, but that’s not what is important. Results are great but what is priceless is the quality father son time we spend over the entire race weekend. Years later we will not remember what place he got at a particular race. What we will remember is getting to the race hill super early, racing all day, getting back to the hotel, taking a long nap, and then watching Cartoon Network while having Cheez-its and root beer floats for dinner just because we wanted to. Also, the friendships my son has made with his KSEF teammates will be lifelong. He is with the same group of great kids for about 20 weekends in a row so they are super close. Finally, though the Kirkwood Ski Team is small, I feel it has been a huge advantage for my son’s technical development. Over the course of the season he gets instruction from six amazing coaches. I highly recommend KSEF and in my opinion it is one of the very best ski programs in all of Tahoe.

Bryan L.