Ahead of Dave Ryding’s 2017/18 World Cup campaign, which begins on Sunday the 12th of November on the Levi Black, we caught up with the British No.1. Finishing ranked 8th in the World Cup Standings for 2016/17, including a memorable 2nd Place at Kitzbühel, it is safe to say Ryding’s record breaking season will be tough to follow up and even improve on. However, Dave was full of confidence in our Q&A session and rightly so, here is what he had to say.
SRS: So to begin, how was the summer break for you, did you get up to anything interesting?
DR: My summer break, well its not really in our summer, I take 3 weeks straight after the season. But I do head to a warmer climate with Mandy and chill out on a beach in Cyprus. Its nice to leave the white stuff and recharge mentally and physically away from things.
SRS: How was the off season? I imagine it is good to get the hours under the belt without any race distractions?
DR: I love the off season, I like working on my weaknesses and as you say its hard to do this when your racing week in week out. Its time where I can look to improve myself as a skier hoping to make the following winter slightly easier.
SRS: Current skiing form ahead of Levi?
DR: I never count my chickens before they have hatched, 30 other skiers could have their best day ever on the same day so I will keep my head down and focus on my skiing.
SRS: What are you looking forward to the most this season? Do you have a favourite event?
DR: I don’t have a favourite but I do look forward to getting back into the heat of the battle and seeing where I stand against the rest of the world!
SRS: Do you enjoy the City Parallel Slalom events?
DR: The city event was great, its crazy intense and very tiring.. it helps that I did well but its something I think FIS should look to do more of and maybe bring in a separate globe for it… I don’t think it necessarily should be in the Slalom standings.
SRS: How is your current equipment set up? Any new gear that has made a difference?
DR: Fischer are always giving me new things to try, its amazing support I now receive from them.. I have kept my set up similar to last year to be honest. The great thing with Fischer is that whichever ski is working well on the World Cup they will make this exact same ski for everyone else to race on. So you literally can ski on the same ski as me.
SRS: Have you any goals for this winter?
DR: I will keep my goals race to race, As ever I will look to improve on what I did last season, I know this wont be easy as I had a great year but I feel there is more to come in the coming seasons.
SRS: Being last down on the second run at Kitzbühel must have been quite the experience. Did you learn any lessons from the previous season?
DR: I learnt a crazy amount last season, everything was new for me. Each race brought about a new experience and something new to deal with. But I expect I will be learning new things again this season. You never stop learning.
SRS: What progress are your fellow British Team Athletes making? Anyone to look out for?
DR: The Team is growing and the level we have in the young guys and girls is great. I think it’s a really exciting time for us at the moment and I think it will only get better.
SRS: We were recently up at the Pendle Winter League, have any tips for the youngsters back in the UK?
DR: Have fun, work hard and when your training be focused. It’s an awesome sport to get into and I loved the winter league races too when I was younger.
SRS: And finally, tell us a little bit about your new fan club.
DR: Its not a full on fan club as yet, I will look to grow it into this in the coming year and maybe make it easier for people to come out and watch me in a ‘fan club environment’ for now I have made some hats and T-shirts so people can show their support… I love wearing my Liverpool shirt so maybe others will like sticking their Dave Ryding hat or T-shirt on and giving their TV a good shouting at.. or even better get it on at a race out in the Alps and go crazy!!
Dave has released his new 2018 range of Official Merchandise and you can check it out on the link below. Please note that all proceeds go to Dave, we do not profit in anyway from the purchase of his gear. You can catch the first WC Slalom of the year this Sunday on British Eurosport 1 8.45am GMT, the Rocket will be accompanied by fellow Brit Laurie Taylor. We cannot wait!
Alex Tilley and Charie Guest are also competing this weekend at Levi in the Ladies WC SL on Saturday and you can watch the first run on British Eurosport 1 from 8.45am GMT. Good luck to all Brits racing this weekend from the whole SRS Team.