or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skiing fast - Page 2

post #31 of 52

Just a couple of points.  First of all racers can smear turns.  In fact, just watch your local youngsters train on their race course.  It is set up so they practically HAVE TO skid most of the turns.  Secondly, just because the guy wasn't adept at skiing the deep snow (there is no such thing as steep and deep; if it's steep it won't hold snow), doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't a good or well-trained racer.  In fact spending hours and hours race training will ingrain certain things that work well on a race track or on boiler plate, but don't work so well in deep snow, things like most of the pressure being on the outside ski,  extra tip pressure to induce a greater bend in the fore body of the ski, higher pressure to keep a front edge engaged.  In powder if you overweight one ski, disaster results.  If you tip too far it is easy to fall off the platform and sink.  Balancing pressure distribution and tipping angle on a soft platform of snow is an automatic skill you have built up over time.  Not only does Mr. Hardsnow Racer need to build up those automatic reactions, he needs to unlearn automatic reactions he spent 8 years building up (so they would be there instantly without thinking).  The good news is if he is good, it should only take him a few days instead of the years it took you.  Like a talented boxer, he already has the raw skill, timing and propreoception; he just needs to learn some new combinations.

post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



You could add a lot of other people to that list too, Shane MCConkey, Chris Davenport, and more. But maybe the common thread is that they started skiing in their youths, and that during their youths 40 years ago, the only path for a committed skier was racing.


This is true. Now, skiers have so many options in their training. While racing may make an amazing, well rounded skier, a park or freestyle skier can very quickly get to the same level with good coaching. Look at many of the "modern" ski pros. Most of them came from a competitive moguls background. I find that it doesn't matter what type of education is given, as long as it is there. A naturally brilliant skier will still be an amazing skier, regardless of how they are trained. Yes, their technique and style may be different, but they will still be a great skier. As much as I dislike the local race team (their coaches came off as dicks to me), almost all of them do a great job. However, locally, I am seeing a shift in the focus of skiing, more skiers are going towards park skiing rather than racing. It would be a shame to see racing die off.

 

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



You could add a lot of other people to that list too, Shane MCConkey, Chris Davenport, and more. But maybe the common thread is that they started skiing in their youths, and that during their youths 40 years ago, the only path for a committed skier was racing.



or my favorite pro in the world. Kaj Zackrisson

 

post #34 of 52

Seth Morrison, Hugo Harrison...and of course Scott Schmidt.

post #35 of 52

You're wondering why a guy would ski slower in powder on his 60mm skis than you on your 123's, or why he, weighing 80 pounds less, would have trouble with your 192's. I'm wondering why he would want to ski with you.

post #36 of 52

I consider myself a pretty good all mountain skier.  Give me powder, cordoroy, bumps, trees, steeps, I love them all!  But I never had an interest in racing untill I joined a ski club after a move to Cleveland 6 years ago.  I was pleased with qualifying into the B Vet group with no real gate experience save a few Nastar courses here or there.  When I started to free ski with the guys I raced and lost against as well as skiers from higher classes, I discovered that many of them couldn't ski for shit.  Yes they knew how to lay down tracks on fresh groomers, but throw in some broken or new snow and God forbid some bumps, and they would run away like scared little rabbits.

 

I came to realize that at least in this race league which many have been in for over 20 years, racing is their ski life.  It is what they like.  Ski a couple of practice runs and then your race, peel off your speed suit and head to the bar.  I almost never see some of these guys out free skiing.  For them skiing is racing and drinking.  They have become racers that ski for racing, and not skiers that also race for fun.

 

I guess I am OK with that.  To each their own.

 

Rick G

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



You could add a lot of other people to that list too, Shane MCConkey, Chris Davenport, and more. But maybe the common thread is that they started skiing in their youths, and that during their youths 40 years ago, the only path for a committed skier was racing.



And Scott Schmitt for sure skidude! Epic, what you say could be true, but racing brings discipline in managing how one's skis engage the snow, including learning to being coachable. It's not for everyone, and there are certainly exceptions, but even in the younger set, guys like Andy Mahrer have a lot of gates in their background even if not staying in it along enough to make it to the top, and his particular case, he also had a couple of pretty competent adult role models to chase around the hill.  smile.gif

post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

I consider myself a pretty good all mountain skier.  Give me powder, cordoroy, bumps, trees, steeps, I love them all!  But I never had an interest in racing untill I joined a ski club after a move to Cleveland 6 years ago.  I was pleased with qualifying into the B Vet group with no real gate experience save a few Nastar courses here or there.  When I started to free ski with the guys I raced and lost against as well as skiers from higher classes, I discovered that many of them couldn't ski for shit.  Yes they knew how to lay down tracks on fresh groomers, but throw in some broken or new snow and God forbid some bumps, and they would run away like scared little rabbits.

 

I came to realize that at least in this race league which many have been in for over 20 years, racing is their ski life.  It is what they like.  Ski a couple of practice runs and then your race, peel off your speed suit and head to the bar.  I almost never see some of these guys out free skiing.  For them skiing is racing and drinking.  They have become racers that ski for racing, and not skiers that also race for fun.

 

I guess I am OK with that.  To each their own.

 

Rick G


Rick, no offense, but if you head out to the mountains, you'll find that a lot of the guys/gals who rocked as jr's have 'retired' to pursue powder. Get some of these folks back into gates (if they're at all interested), and they'll still rip after a bit of practice. I don't know that your sample in Cleveland is indicative of what 'racers' can or can't do. Sounds like there's some myopia in skin suite utopia on your hill. I know I could hook you up with several folks out here that bust out the big boards for powder days and have no troubles at all.

 

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Rick, no offense, but if you head out to the mountains, you'll find that a lot of the guys/gals who rocked as jr's have 'retired' to pursue powder. Get some of these folks back into gates (if they're at all interested), and they'll still rip after a bit of practice. I don't know that your sample in Cleveland is indicative of what 'racers' can or can't do. Sounds like there's some myopia in skin suite utopia on your hill. I know I could hook you up with several folks out here that bust out the big boards for powder days and have no troubles at all.

 



quoted for truth.

 

the best skiers I ski with were high level college racer some of who carry FIS points. I am actually glad that starting as an adult I can keep up with them and in some case can make them chase me. 


Edited by Josh Matta - 2/27/12 at 3:52am
post #40 of 52

Racing doesn't necessarily mean one is a master of all skills.  It just means someone decided to take part in organized competitions of trying to get down the hill fastest.  Take for example Lance Armstrong.  Just because he could race a bike really fast doesn't necessarily mean he can huck a 30' gap jump or ride skinny log features like those Red Bull freeriders do (not that he couldn't learn to with practice).  It's a different discipline using vaguely the same vehicle.  Same deal with ski racing.

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Rick, no offense, but if you head out to the mountains, you'll find that a lot of the guys/gals who rocked as jr's have 'retired' to pursue powder. Get some of these folks back into gates (if they're at all interested), and they'll still rip after a bit of practice. I don't know that your sample in Cleveland is indicative of what 'racers' can or can't do. Sounds like there's some myopia in skin suite utopia on your hill. I know I could hook you up with several folks out here that bust out the big boards for powder days and have no troubles at all.

 


I agree, that my situation in the mid west will be different from that of a race program out west or in NE.   I also want to state that I wasn't referring to all of the racers, but many of them.  I do know that some of the elite racers in our program can rock it at a big mountain and probably kick my old ass.  But they are the exception, not the rule.   I have been moving up the ranks fairly quickly, bypassing guys who have been racing for 10 or more years, some stuck in the same race class for years, and not really improving.  I was in that B Vet Class for almost 2 seasons while I learned a few skills, then I got bumped to BB Vet for 1 1/2 seasons and now I am in A Vet with only AA Vet to go, unless I want to race against the young guys which my old bones don't.  I do know that my free skiing skills have both helped and hindered me in the gates.  I have found it very rewarding to learn these new skills after 35 years of skiing, as the racing has certainly improved my free skiing by making me more precise and more confident.  One of my mentors is a guy about my age who has raced since a teen and is in AA Vet.  He is still 2-10 seconds faster than me depending on course length but freely admits that I would kick his butt if we were to ski together out west at a big mountain due mostly to his lack of experience skiing that type of terrain.  However I don't doubt that he would quickly learn and be my equal if her were to take yearly trips out west like I do.  He hasn't been out west since his 20's.  (we are both late 50's)

 

After our race season ends we have a large group (125+) heading out to Big Sky on March 16th.  I know there will be a lot of racers going on this trip.  I am looking forward to see who can really rip it.  And if any of them kick my but, well I will just have to give them a high five!  I do try to keep my ego in check.

 

Rick G
 

 

 

 

post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Racing doesn't necessarily mean one is a master of all skills.  It just means someone decided to take part in organized competitions of trying to get down the hill fastest.  Take for example Lance Armstrong.  Just because he could race a bike really fast doesn't necessarily mean he can huck a 30' gap jump or ride skinny log features like those Red Bull freeriders do (not that he couldn't learn to with practice).  It's a different discipline using vaguely the same vehicle.  Same deal with ski racing.



+1

 

I think I was trying to state this with too many words.  You stated it better.

 

It is the s ame thing with one of my other passions, motorcycles.  Just because a guy is a great motocrosser, doestn't mean that he can be a Moto GP racer or even a good street rider which requires different skills.  Different disciplines with similar but different equipment.

 

Rick G

 

post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post


I agree, that my situation in the mid west will be different from that of a race program out west or in NE.   I also want to state that I wasn't referring to all of the racers, but many of them.  I do know that some of the elite racers in our program can rock it at a big mountain and probably kick my old ass.  But they are the exception, not the rule.   I have been moving up the ranks fairly quickly, bypassing guys who have been racing for 10 or more years, some stuck in the same race class for years, and not really improving.  I was in that B Vet Class for almost 2 seasons while I learned a few skills, then I got bumped to BB Vet for 1 1/2 seasons and now I am in A Vet with only AA Vet to go, unless I want to race against the young guys which my old bones don't.  I do know that my free skiing skills have both helped and hindered me in the gates.  I have found it very rewarding to learn these new skills after 35 years of skiing, as the racing has certainly improved my free skiing by making me more precise and more confident.  One of my mentors is a guy about my age who has raced since a teen and is in AA Vet.  He is still 2-10 seconds faster than me depending on course length but freely admits that I would kick his butt if we were to ski together out west at a big mountain due mostly to his lack of experience skiing that type of terrain.  However I don't doubt that he would quickly learn and be my equal if her were to take yearly trips out west like I do.  He hasn't been out west since his 20's.  (we are both late 50's)

 

After our race season ends we have a large group (125+) heading out to Big Sky on March 16th.  I know there will be a lot of racers going on this trip.  I am looking forward to see who can really rip it.  And if any of them kick my but, well I will just have to give them a high five!  I do try to keep my ego in check.

 

Rick G

 

 

Again, I don't know that Cleveland is a hot bed of skiing skills. No offense intended. I grew up in the Midwest. When the racers came up from Ohio, they weren't strong skiers. It's just the nature of the geographic beast. Not to say there aren't any fine skiers from Ohio though, just doubt that they learned the bulk of their craft there.
 

 

post #44 of 52

Though I did not learn the "bulk of my craft" in Ohio, I did learn my craft in nearby PA learning and skiing at Seven Springs which is similar in terrain to the hills that we ski and race at in Weatern NY (Holiday Valley, Peak N Peak, Swain, Bristol).

 

I truly believe that as long as there is a hill greater than 300' you can learn the skills neccessary to ski all over the world.  You just have to want to learn those skills.  All I was trying to say is that I have found that there are many good racers who have tunnel vision when it comes to skiing.  For them racing and racing alone is their focus.  Others like me have a much broader focus and strive to learn to be a true Mountain Master.  Those are the racers I want to free ski with.

 

As for racers in OH not being strong racers, I have been told that back in the day when the clubs were a bit stronger they use to send a delegation of racers to a National event and perfromed very well against racers from all over the country.

 

Rick G

post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

 

As for racers in OH not being strong racers, I have been told that back in the day when the clubs were a bit stronger they use to send a delegation of racers to a National event and performed very well against racers from all over the country.

 

Rick G


Not in USSA. Maybe Nastar, but that's a different kettle of fish. But I agree with you. Sounds like your crowd is a little over focused, but if that's their gig, so be it. Most of the accomplished racers I've known, most long since out of the game but still skiing, are excellent all mountain skiers/telemarkers/even gads... snowboarders. 

 

On your trip to big sky, sounds like you'll have the good goods to yourself. smile.gif  

post #46 of 52


You're just full of gnar, and racer isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlandr View Post

So, I was recently at Kicking Horse for a ski trip, and on Wednesday, we were lucky enough to have a powder day. We took one show off run under the gondola, then headed back up to CPR ridge to get first tracks. I was skiing with a guy who raced for about 8 years, now he coaches at the local hill. Anyway, after a decent traverse, we arrived at a run that hadn't been skied yet. It was steep, with a narrow chute at the top, opening up into untracked powder below. I dropped in first, made a few quick turns, then straightlined the chute and made huge, high speed smeared pow turns the rest of the way down. I stopped at the base of the run, then turned to watch my friend. To my surprise, he was struggling. It took him about 5 minutes to get down. When he got to the bottom, he asked me how I ski so fast. I was at a loss for words, because skiing fast for me has always been as simple as 'ski faster.' First I made a smartass comment "Point your skis down the hill...don't turn." Then, I started to really think about it. Why would a racer, who has tons of experience skiing really fast, have such a hard time at speed on a steep, ungroomed run? Was it his ski choice? I was on my 192 cm Atomic Bentchetlers, and he was on an older set of 170 cm Head cheater race skis. We traded skis for a run. His skis were definitely more difficult for me to ski on, but then again, I can't remember the last time I skied something that was stiff with a flat tail. He was still being bounced around on my skis. Or is it related to physical capabilities (I am 6'2", 240 lbs, muscular, and he is 5'10', maybe 160 lbs)? There were a couple other ex-racers on this trip, and we skied at similar speeds. It was surprising to me that me, a park skier, skis faster and more confidently than a guy who spent 8 years racing, and was on skis at 4 years old. Anybody have any insight?



 

post #47 of 52

smile.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


 

On your trip to big sky, sounds like you'll have the good goods to yourself.   


 

I was just cruising Big Sky's website and saw that they have an instructor/guide service to ski their extreme terrain.  They provide beacons and avy equipment and teach you to use it.  I am going to have to look into this a bit more and see if I can rustle up another skier or two to share the cost.  Plenty of room on my credit card just in case I don't.  cool.gif

 

Rick G

 


 

 

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlandr View Post

So, I was recently at Kicking Horse for a ski trip, and on Wednesday, we were lucky enough to have a powder day. We took one show off run under the gondola, then headed back up to CPR ridge to get first tracks. I was skiing with a guy who raced for about 8 years, now he coaches at the local hill. Anyway, after a decent traverse, we arrived at a run that hadn't been skied yet. It was steep, with a narrow chute at the top, opening up into untracked powder below. I dropped in first, made a few quick turns, then straightlined the chute and made huge, high speed smeared pow turns the rest of the way down. I stopped at the base of the run, then turned to watch my friend. To my surprise, he was struggling. It took him about 5 minutes to get down. When he got to the bottom, he asked me how I ski so fast. I was at a loss for words, because skiing fast for me has always been as simple as 'ski faster.' First I made a smartass comment "Point your skis down the hill...don't turn." Then, I started to really think about it. Why would a racer, who has tons of experience skiing really fast, have such a hard time at speed on a steep, ungroomed run? Was it his ski choice? I was on my 192 cm Atomic Bentchetlers, and he was on an older set of 170 cm Head cheater race skis. We traded skis for a run. His skis were definitely more difficult for me to ski on, but then again, I can't remember the last time I skied something that was stiff with a flat tail. He was still being bounced around on my skis. Or is it related to physical capabilities (I am 6'2", 240 lbs, muscular, and he is 5'10', maybe 160 lbs)? There were a couple other ex-racers on this trip, and we skied at similar speeds. It was surprising to me that me, a park skier, skis faster and more confidently than a guy who spent 8 years racing, and was on skis at 4 years old. Anybody have any insight?

 

Your bindings were set for the same length boot?  That was convenient.  Were you worried about the DIN settings?
 

 

post #49 of 52

48 posts and nobody has ask about the OP and his racer friends ski boots?

My Guess

OP is on a 110-120 flex boot which is real soft for  240 lb guy and not very reactive. Thick liners etc allow lots of mistakes

Racer friend on really reactive race boots which are too stiff for him. Thin liners tight fit custom fitted don't allow many mistakes.

 

post #50 of 52

Extremely stiff race boots (complete with very hard reactive liners never prevented me from skiing fast in soft snow.  Never having skied soft snow prevented me from skiing soft snow without falling until I got used to it though.  I'm also pretty sure I would have been a lot slower on 170 cm long skis than on the longer skis.  Just say'n. 

post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordtheBarbarian View Post

48 posts and nobody has ask about the OP and his racer friends ski boots?

My Guess

OP is on a 110-120 flex boot which is real soft for  240 lb guy and not very reactive. Thick liners etc allow lots of mistakes

Racer friend on really reactive race boots which are too stiff for him. Thin liners tight fit custom fitted don't allow many mistakes.

 



Actually, my boots are 75 flex (far too soft), they were bought to be comfy in the park that I spend 90% of my time on skis in. I just bought another set, I'm just paying off the remaining balance on layaway. Full Tilt Hot Doggers, 6 flex (100 flex) tongue standard, and I also ordered the 10 (150 flex) tongue for mountain trips. My friend hasn't raced for a few years, so he bought boots that are 100-110 flex, Rossignol Sensors maybe? Yeah, it was convenient that our BSLs were the same, but then again, almost everyone I know skis a 28.0-28.5 boot. All the guys I ski with are within that range, we can trade skis anytime. With regards to when we traded skis, no, we weren't that concerned about DIN (or at least I wasn't). His skis are set up at his race din, so 11, mine were at 14.5. Oldgoat, I realize that a 192 ski with a 123 waist is too big for a guy his size, it was just a short ski switch for fun. Ghost, I agree with your summary of freeride vs. race techniques. I just sit back and laugh when the junior racers, who think they are hot stuff, get taken for a run through the moguls by their coaches. They very quickly have to adopt a neutral stance.

post #52 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlandr View Post

. I just sit back and laugh when the junior racers, who think they are hot stuff, get taken for a run through the moguls by their coaches. They very quickly have to adopt a neutral stance.

 

 

With due respect, validating and measuring yourself by the efforts of others who aren't as good isn't the way to improve your own skills. 


Edited by markojp - 2/28/12 at 8:26pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion