Originally Posted by CerebralVortex
A couple of recent posts and other conversations I've had got me thinking about what it means when people say they ski "fast."
For example, a friend who is a relative newbie says he's a bit of a spead freak and likes to go fast, but his "fast" is nowhere near my cruising speed, which to me feels comfortable and controlled. My "fast" would probably scare the living sh*t out of him, but it wouldn't cause any problems for a proper gate crasher, whose idea of "fast" would make me a bit nervous to say the least.
So given that "fast" means different speeds (in terms of mph or kph) to different people, when people say they ski fast (or like the exhileration of speed), does it really mean that they ski on, or over, the edge of control? When you hear people say they like to ski fast, do you get the impression that, regardless of whether or not they actually ski faster than you, they are likely to be a bit out of control much of the time? Do you get a bit put off by people who seem a little too interested in using GPS to record their speeds?
Replying first after reading the OP, but before reading anything else, so you can get a more direct answer to the question you asked.
Does it mean they ski on, or over, the edge of control? - No, not to me.
do you get the impression that, regardless of whether or not they actually ski faster than you, they are likely to be a bit out of control much of the time? -No.
Do you get a bit put off by people who seem a little too interested in using GPS to record their speeds? No. I can recall times past trying to describe skiing speeds, and having some difficulty. I was delighted when I found out the GPS I bought for canoe tripping could record speed. Inquiring minds want to know, and a high-end GPS that reads in mph or kph is so much better at defining speeds than "speed at which you have to put hockey tape over your goggle vent holes" (I'm Canadian eh?). Once you know how fast you ski, the novelty wears off. It will wear off for them too.
When I hear people say they like to ski fast, I think they are describing their attitude to speed, which is very important, and does not depend on the actual speed they think is fast. It basically means if they could ski faster, by removing whatever is stopping them from skiing faster (skill, crowds, big rock face at the bottom of the chute, whatever) they would be even happier.
As to what speed is fast, if you had to put a more precise definition on it, being that 35 is fast for SL and 55 is fast for GS, etc., I would say that fast is faster than three out of four skiers on that run on that day, or maybe faster than 2 out of 3 of the skiers on that hill (fastest quartile or fastest third).