The Move to Atomic - Interview with Julia Kern

The Move to Atomic - Interview with Julia Kern - Gear West
What are you most looking forward to for your first season on Atomic
I am really excited to work closely together with the Atomic brand, communicating often and collaborating on skis, racing, and branding. I look forward to testing with the service staff on the World Cup and my wax technician to build a fleet and find the best skis for every race. I have never had industry support on race day so I look forward to that new experience.  
We know that having great skis is a super important factor in being a successful ski racer. What gave you the confidence to make the switch? 
Switching ski brands can be a bit daunting after spending years building up a fleet, but I had such a good gut feeling about Atomic skis and heard great things talking with other Atomic athletes about their experience. I have seen Atomic athletes have such great success in both skate and classic races, with many skiers skiing a similar style to me. I have raced against Atomic athletes whose skies were flying so I know the skis must be ripping fast! Also, the edge control on the Atomic’s is outstanding, I can’t wait to rip the downhills or icy conditions on my new skis. 
How is being with Atomics' team going to help you achieve your dreams? 
The Atomic team will help me build the right fleet of skis for me, continually pushing innovation and communicating feedback to pick the best skis for each day. Skis are so important in our sport, and I have confidence that Atomic will work closely with me to not only find the right skis for me, but dial in the smaller details on race day given the conditions and factors. More than anything, the racing experience is a lot more enjoyable and successful when I can work with a brand that I am proud to represent and feel supported by, through the highs and lows. 
What are your goals for this coming season? 
I have goals ranging from specific events to overall season goals, but some of my goals are to medal at World Championships, podium in a World Cup, and be Top 5 in the World Cup Sprint Overall at the end of the season. For the year, I hope to continue to rise in the overall ranks and consistently be fighting at the top, having fun along the way!
What are you most looking forward to about being back in the World Cup?
I am really looking forward to racing again and seeing my friends from other countries. I absolutely love to race, especially when there are big crowds and an energetic atmosphere. And of course, starting the testing process with Atomic
What are the top 3 things a new skier needs to know to have a great experience on snow? 
1. Bring lots of tasty snacks! I learned to ski by my grandma bribing me with gummy bears at each intersection. Being well-fueled ensures a fun day ahead.
2. No such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation! Bring layers so that the weather or conditions doesn’t affect your experience. 
3. Don’t be afraid to fall, we all fall and it is part of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to learn. 
What is the number one thing a person needs to be a successful ski racer?
Resilience. Things aren’t always going to be easy, but the best skiers figure out how to turn adversity into an opportunity. 
What is your favorite thing about fall training? 
I love fall training because the weather gets cooler and the leaves change beautiful colors in Vermont!
What advice would you give to a high school skier looking to achieve the results you've earned? 
Enjoy the journey and surrounded yourself with people who push, challenge, and support you! You become a better skier and person if you have a support system, and have people who try to make you better every day, working collectively as a team. And of course, have fun with it! A happy skier makes a fast skier, you can be both focused while still keeping things fun and loose, like mixing up training modes. 
Will we ever see you at the Birkie?!
Yes!! I don’t exactly know when, but most definitely. I hear whispers of the Birkie potentially being a World Cup next year...
What is training like?
Training in Australia has been awesome! I really wanted to spend a training block skiing on snow this summer and it was the best option for a 3-week training camp on snow, based on snow conditions, duration of the camp, lodging, and commute to the snow. Historically we have gone to New Zealand, however, the lodge we stay in is still closed due to Covid so we gave Australia a try. There is 50-60km or so of skiing, with a lot of gradual terrains. The weather has been mixed, some days it is sunny bluebird weather, and some days it is a total whiteout in a cloud as it is snowing and blowing wind. It has been a super productive camp to ski in a variety of conditions and terrain on snow. 

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