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Critical skiers

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I have noticed a trend in skiing that you do not see in other extreme/ outdoor sports. I was on the lift and the guys next to be were being so critical of peoples techiniques, not using there poles properly, bad lean angle, hips back etc. I understand the the desire to improve but It seems like skiers are so consumed with technique. One it creates a critical and unfriendly environment and two it stiffles creativity. I see more and more people with fantastic technique and carving hard lines in the snow but with with no real style, they almost look like robots. I am very aware of my technique and am constantly trying to improve it, but more so I am just trying to Have FUN

 

I love to mix up my turns from large gs to short slalom to anything inbetween within a run, it makes for such a better time. I feel like this critical enviroment is much more common in skiing  other outdoor extreme sports like surfing or moutian biking. I rarely hear surfers criticising someone else technique, it is much more about the line they took or the creativity and fun they had on the wave. So lets make an effort to be more supportive of one and other. Whenever I see someone ripping it up from the lift I love to give them a hoot or a rebel yell of encouragement. I wish there was more of this it would make for such a better experience.

post #2 of 28

TFull,  I certainly agree with you - love to do it all and feel the fun!  Encouragement is great!

 

However, please remember that you are on the Ski Instruction & Coaching forum.  Therefore many of the posters are instructors and coaches whose job it is to look at someones skiing and identify what they are doing and what they might do better to improve their skiing.  Unfortunately, this often times comes across as critical.  In most cases it is confirming observations.  I think all of us can work to be better at making observations and feedback less negative, for sure I am.  There are also many (myself included) that learn alot about skiing technique, teaching methods, symptoms and fixes from this "critical" environment (this forum).  In my opinion the hardest thing to learn is "why are they doing that?" and it often times takes a well trained and "critical" eye to discern that.

As to other sports, very few have the numbers of people across a wide age range involved in the sport as does skiing.  Golf comes to mind as being very popular and has the same "critique" environment I think.  For example, we teach over 1,500 people each weekend day between mid-December and mid-Febuary.

 

As to the value of all this critique and coaching on how to ski better, I can only speak to myself.  My skiing has changed dramatically over the last eight years as a result of "coaching".  I used to be a turn prospector (looking for the right places to turn).  I didn't have fun skiing ice and soft snow and crud.  Now I turn where I want to and just don't pay that much attention to the snow conditions.  I like skiing the ice and slush and crud now. Yes, I change my technique and tactics based upon the snow and the terrain but I can do that now because someone said "get forward", "don't throw your arm up", "rotate your legs not your shoulders", etc. etc., or (thank you BB) "ski the slow line fast".  It all came together for me after finally getting out West after 16 years and actually skiing (continuous turns down the fall line) the back bowls at Snowbird in spring crud conditions while others were doing the hunt and peck Z thing.  Wow!!

post #3 of 28

There is a difference between analyzing technique of skiers you see from the chairlift and being critical to their faces.  I see nothing wrong with noticing errors in others in order to reinforce what I should be doing.  I would never think of saying anything to the skiers I watch, because I'm thinking of my own skiing.  Were these folks on the chair putting folks down, or were they just checking out technique and noticing things to avoid?  The chairlift ride is a great technique show right there before your eyes. Might as well use it.

 

I know what you mean about the carvaholics that you see out there, but if they're having a good time, who am I to criticize?

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

They seemed to be critical, not analytical for there own use.

 

I just feel like so much emphasis is put on technique and who is a better skier, or what is the proper way to ski.

 

If we are not racing how do you judge the better skier? Id say it is the skier who is having the most fun being creative and making it there own. It is completely different if we are discussing race technique but when speaking of the recreational skier it becmes more of an art then a sceince.

 

Second I am sure there are plenty of racers who have unorthodox technique or what some may even call improper technique, but if they bang gates faster than the last guy isnt that all the matters?

 

Its kind of like the boxer who lands the over hand right for the knockout. Boxing purists are going to call that a sloppy technique, but if he can land it on the jaw then that is as perfect as technique gets

post #5 of 28
Plenty of times I've ridden a chair and heard people criticizing others below, perhaps out of technique-snobbishness or maybe just as a means of ego elevation through the putting-down of others. Most such negative comments seem to reflect the difference between what they see in their victim and what they believe they do themselves. I think Bashing Talk isn't very productive and tends to be pretty inaccurate.

Other times I hear people analyzing others below. Even if there's a bit of attitude in the tones, I think these people are often just trying to figure things out and using a victim as a comparative model to differentiate what they see people doing vs. what they prefer to see in themselves. Such people are generally willing to jump into an exploratory conversation over what they see with strangers on the chair. I often end up skiing for a while thereafter with such people.

I also hear lot of analysis on chairs from instructors (especially around Exam time). These people are analyzing victims below because they're instructors discussing movement patterns in comparison to what kind of skiing is expected in Exams, or perhaps they're simply reviewing (or practicing) the Analysis & Prescription component of Teaching/Technical Exams. I do this a lot myself - but am always conscious of others on the chair and try hard not to sound like the first group mentioned...

.ma
post #6 of 28

The best judge of my technique is the volume of the music coming out of my ipod and the smile on my face after a long run with no stopping to think.

 

That's skiing.

 

Approaching a hill after the lift and people comparing strategy and adjusting their stuff before the descent seems pretty funny to me.  I don't hesitate at the top unless the view is spectacular.  It's a day out of the rut and I take that and the view seriously!  I'm not in a competition; there are no prizes, or awards; who cares what I look like?  If I can rip down a big line and laugh at the bottom, what more is there?

 

I'm searching for the adrenalin and that millisecond between turns where I'm weightless.  I mean, really what more do you need?

 

 

 

post #7 of 28

Yeah yeah, ski and see and feel.  I like to look for compressions where my ski will bend hard....so its big turns then maybe small....plant that pole....hell I might turn twice in the same direction cux I see something I like that i didnt see at first...

 

I must say though that my brother and I taught eachother how to ski by "critiqueing' eachother constantly.  But it wasnt "you suck" it was.....man you gotta plant your pole at the end of the last turn and you have to progressively bend your knees...and then go weightless to get em around....yeah yeah...like that guy....shoulders square to the bottom of the run.  We made eachother stop twisting shoulders around....until we got better....

 

And sometimes it was oh yeah see taht guy....his knees stay the same all the time or he is bent over like groucho....but not oh what a moron....look at that guy..

 

We just use other skiers as models....see do it like that guy...yeah, cool..thats it

 

And alot of watch me on this run...did I do it????

 

I dont care what i look like as long as it feels good.

 

Sliders should support eachother....we are a breed but some of us better bread than others cus of experience, mileage, physical charateristics....yet the same in many ways.

 

Stop staring at skis its beautiful if you look up and out...

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

I also hear lot of analysis on chairs from instructors (especially around Exam time). These people are analyzing victims below because they're instructors discussing movement patterns in comparison to what kind of skiing is expected in Exams, or perhaps they're simply reviewing (or practicing) the Analysis & Prescription component of Teaching/Technical Exams. I do this a lot myself - but am always conscious of others on the chair and try hard not to sound like the first group mentioned...

.ma


Whenever I'm in the lift I'm watching people ski to see what they are doing right and/or wrong.  When riding with other instructors, many times I try to have conversations with them on this.  With the younger ones especially.  They can ski great but they seem to have difficulty expressing MA.  Maybe a critical eye doesn't develop until you're older and have the patience to just watch.

 

I would feel odd doing this with a guest of the mountain on the lift with us.  Except for maybe if it was a friend that understood what we are doing.

 

Some times it's nothing more than "Damn!  Look at how much fun he's having.  He needs to stop twisting his upper body, but he's having fun."

 

Ken

 

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFull View Post

 

 

If we are not racing how do you judge the better skier? Id say it is the skier who is having the most fun being creative and making it there own. It is completely different if we are discussing race technique but when speaking of the recreational skier it becmes more of an art then a sceince.

 

 


can you go longer than someone? can you ski a line that someone else cant ski? can you ski a slope faster? can you ski a slope faster? can you ski a slope with out stopping? can you pull more G force than someone?

 

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFull View Post

 

If we are not racing how do you judge the better skier? Id say it is the skier who is having the most fun being creative and making it there own. It is completely different if we are discussing race technique but when speaking of the recreational skier it becmes more of an art then a sceince.

 



 

 


Not really.  Even with 2 skiers skiing on a blue groomer, that is say for these two, is well below their skill level, I can pretty easily see whose technique will enable them to ski more challenging stuff, faster and with less effort then the other.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TFull View Post

 

Second I am sure there are plenty of racers who have unorthodox technique or what some may even call improper technique, but if they bang gates faster than the last guy isnt that all the matters? 

Not really no.  This has happened in the past...Tomba came along skiing more "two footed" then others, that changed the way we all ski....then and I dont recall who was the first...but some winning skiers started skiing more square to the skis, that also changed the way we all ski...but these events are very rare.  If you are fast, you ski a particular way....at least from a technical analysis point of view.  Differences are related to different body types etc...but that, to a trained eye is really just the window dressing.  The core fundamentals are the same.
post #11 of 28

As an instructor I am very often watching how people ski when I ride the lift.  If I'm by myself there is obviously nobody to talk to about it, but if I'm with another instructor or two we often practice MA from the lift.  That is part of our job.  If we don't practice it how can we help someone who takes an upper level lesson?  But this is something we do amongst ourselves because we need to do it.  And we never do it in front of a regular customer at the mountain.

post #12 of 28



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




can you go longer than someone? can you ski a line that someone else cant ski? can you ski a slope faster? can you ski a slope faster? can you ski a slope with out stopping? can you pull more G force than someone?

 

I really do not agree with this BWPA, except the G-force and line.

WC-racers have maximum pulse and very high levels of lactic acid when they reach the goal. With you measure they would not be good skiers.

Similarly to go fast is very easy, unless its bumps or something. I often ski with people who think they are good just because they go really fast. IMO they are just lacking the ability to manage speed using carved turns in steeps.

Go without stopping is also very easy if you ski lazy.

Without gates or other obstacles it is difficult to measure the goodness of skiing, but you know it when you see it.

 

post #13 of 28

.  If someone wants to give me a tip then cool, but do I care what they think, no.  I wipe out just as hard under a lift as I do in the BC, what fun is skiing if you aren't sking for yourself... 

post #14 of 28

What people here don't seem to understand how offensive gapers are to ski-letists like me. All that flailing around is very distasteful to watch. They really ought to be restricted to gaper only mountains and have to pass a test before they can be considered real skiers, qualifying them to ski at the real deal ski areas. That way the goods wouldn't get clogged with spastic, terror stricken, moving pylons. wink.gif

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

What people here don't seem to understand how offensive gapers are to ski-letists like me. All that flailing around is very distasteful to watch. They really ought to be restricted to gaper only mountains and have to pass a test before they can be considered real skiers, qualifying them to ski at the real deal ski areas. That way the goods wouldn't get clogged with spastic, terror stricken, moving pylons. wink.gif



I kind of like when I see a gaper totally gaped out.  The open, flapping parka and high riding hat, jeans tucked into boots, hunched over twisting wedge style...when it all comes together there's a beauty there and I can't look away.

 

post #16 of 28

Hopefully kids are not under gaper scrutiny? ski.gif

Best recent ski gaper ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Pll7Qm-k0

 

post #17 of 28

Neon green pantts, matching jacket, green bindings, boots and helmet and cool matching green goggle lenses. Green skis with 4 inch risers under bindings so your shoulder can touch the snow on every single freekin turn.  Now thats rippen and that aint gapin', thats elite.  Did you get that shot?

post #18 of 28

You've been hanging around Chaos too much lately?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

What people here don't seem to understand how offensive gapers are to ski-letists like me. All that flailing around is very distasteful to watch. They really ought to be restricted to gaper only mountains and have to pass a test before they can be considered real skiers, qualifying them to ski at the real deal ski areas. That way the goods wouldn't get clogged with spastic, terror stricken, moving pylons. wink.gif



 

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

You've been hanging around Chaos too much lately?
 


You must be new, I was an over-the-top smartass here for a long time before Chaos started posting.

 

 

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post




You must be new, I was an over-the-top smartass here for a long time before Chaos started posting.

 

 

jeff.jpg


 

 

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post




You must be new, I was an over-the-top smartass here for a long time before Chaos started posting.

 

 



You still trying to fit in around here VA?

 

post #22 of 28

LOL.  There are many things that motivate people...Asking VA if he is "trying to fit in" is a classic. roflmao.gif

 

post #23 of 28

I remember the entire lift yelling "Yard Sale" back in the day. 

 

The worst is when I hear instructors talk about other instructors behind backs or without being constructive.  Lame.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster View Post

I remember the entire lift yelling "Yard Sale" back in the day. 

 

You should have heard the hoots and hollers (and laughter) when I had a yard sale under the chair on a blue groomer back in "the day," especially since I was wearing my ski patrol uniform.
 

 

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post



jeff.jpg


 

 


Damn, that picture makes my beard look asymmetrical.

 



 

post #26 of 28

Moving from Ski Instruction and Coaching to General Skiing Discussion.  Just seems to be a better fit.

post #27 of 28

For me, I usually criticize because they're out of control and can be a danger to others.  I have no problem pointing out to someone from the lift if they're out of control w/poor technique. 

post #28 of 28

Some of the kids around here employ a duck calling device from the chair to great use. biggrin.gif

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