There was a big changing of the guard with Salomon in the late 90s,
and I ended up with Rossignol in the western junior program, working alongside Thor Verdonk and under Daniel Mornet. Beginning in
the summer of 2000, I joined Alpine Canada as a pool serviceman for
the ladies, working for Melanie Turgeon, Genevieve Simard and Ann
Marie Le Francois.
I stayed with the Canadian girls through much of their success, and
was simultaneously preparing to become a licensed helicopter pilot
in Canada. For the 2004-2005 season, Francois Sedan, the international race director for Rossignol hired me as a factory serviceman
and I ended up working with Bruno Kernan and Didier Defago. They
were both top Swiss speed specialists alongside Didier Cuche, who
was with Atomic and his serviceman Dany Vaquin.
How did you end up with Didier Cuche?
The story is that Didier stuck his pole in Rainer Salzgeber’s boot to get
his attention, and asked, “Am I too old for Head?” Rainer’s response
was, “No, but maybe you’re too good.” Didier then said to Rainer [the
current chief of racing for Head], “I want Krause,” and along with the
recommendation from his retiring serviceman Dany Vaquin, I was in
as Cuche’s serviceman for Head beginning in summer 2006.
What was it like working for Didier Cuche?
He was a very thankful individual. I couldn’t ask for a better person to
How many skis did you service for Didier Cuche?
I’d start with about 90 pairs, comprised of 25 GS, 25 super G in two
models and lengths; and 40 downhill skis. From there, through testing, we’d whittle it down to about five pairs of GS skis, 10 to 15 super
G skis, and 20 to 25 downhill skis. About half were newer skis, and the
other half two to three seasons old; and in the super G skis, we had
two different constructions.
Since 2000, you’ve been consistently working with athletes
who are at least top- 15 in their disciplines, and often ranked
higher. What can you share about this experience?
I’ve been very fortunate since I started. I’ve worked very hard and
had great athletes and great material to work with. Once athletes get
near the top, the demands and expectations increase exponentially,
and the pressures are greater. It’s not just the athlete’s personal drive
anymore — it’s the federation, the press, the agent, the ski sponsors
and outside sponsors. Everyone has an interest in how the athlete
What are your thoughts on the ski changes for next season?
Everyone is going to have to start from scratch, and that’s a lot of
extra work. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure and cost on
the factories to comply with new skis in time. I’m all for the reasoning
behind the changes — increased safety — but I think that the FIS did
a poor job of research. For super G and downhill, my current skis are
only off by a 1/2 meter in radius, and the downhills are off by only 2. 5
centimeters in length: really close, but not usable for next year. I also
don’t understand the new spec requiring a more narrow downhill ski
— the wider the ski is, the more leverage that can be applied in edge
angle without risk of booting-out. Five or six seasons ago, we went
from 63 to 67 millimeters in the name of safety, but now we’re going
back to 65 mm?
What advice would you offer to Ski Racing’s readers?
Take the ball in your own hands. The best thing you can do as an
athlete is to get to know your equipment. Don’t rely on coaches or
pool service; they’re overworked. Keep a log of everything you do to
your skis, and if you have multiple skis in a certain discipline, rely on
that log to choose the correct ski for the conditions (grind, base and
performance history). NorAm level athletes should be really good at
preparing their own skis — as good as a pool serviceman.
Remember that there are no secrets. It takes hard work, good material, and knowing your material to be successful.
Lastly, athletes are human, weather is unpredictable, and sometimes,
things work out —sometimes, they don’t.
Chris Krause’s Results with
2007 Are: Third, GS
2009 Val d’Isere: First, super G; second, downhill
2011 Garmish: Second, downhill
World Cup Ranking (six total crystal globes)
2007: First in downhill, second in super G, third overall
2008: First in downhill, second in super G, third overall
2009: First in giant slalom, third overall
2010: First in downhill, third overall
2011: First in downhill, first in super G, second overall
2012: Third in downhill, second in super G, sixth overall