While 60 miles per hour is strictly a highway speed while driving a vehicle for most people, Rob Leiser, ARA of Pennsylvania vice president and owner of Leiser’s of Easton Rentalbarn, Forks Township, Pa., prefers to do it on skis. Leiser has been involved in ski racing for more than 25 years and currently races with the Mack Ski Club of Allentown.
Although many people wouldn’t consider ski racing a life-long sport, the majority of the members in Leiser’s club are age 40 or older and the oldest racing member is 77. “Just like golf or bowling, the social aspect is a large part of the sport,” he says.
Skiing also is a family endeavor for Leiser. “My brother and sisters are ski instructors. One brother-in-law is on the National Ski Patrol and I am the family racer,” he says.
In spite of one metal hip and one that needs surgery, Leiser continues to compete successfully. “Last year I won a race, which is something I hadn’t done in more than 10 years. That day I beat all the age groups and the resort pro. A week later I almost duplicated that victory finishing half a second behind the resort pro,” he says.
Most recently Leiser raced at Nationals in Winter Park, Colo. His brother Mike, who is a partner in Indian Peak Rentals in Tabernash, Colo., also raced in the event and finished second in his division. Rob finished in sixth place.
“I call it a successful year when I can ski to the base after the last race of the season. Physical ability is just one part of ski racing. The ability to read a racecourse, the mental toughness to take chances, racing conditions and the racecourse are just as important,” Leiser says.
Leiser will need another hip surgery after next season, but he plans to return to the slopes. “As long as I still enjoy standing on the top of a windy mountain when the temperatures are in the single digits and I can physically do it, I will,” he says.