or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Does finesse skiing require a finesse ski?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does finesse skiing require a finesse ski? - Page 2

post #31 of 38

Is it possible to be a good skier and not be able to ski with finesse?  "Power", seems synonyms with, "skiing beyond my technical ability".

 

Watch any good run in the gates, it shows how nonexclusive power and finesse are; how often is the winner the smooth skier, especially in SL. Park skiing may be the same, and pipe for sure (looks like those who force it land on the flats a lot more, often in artistic piles)

 

Would you agree that a good skier blends the terrain snow and equipment with technique to obtain their desired results?

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
 

Is it possible to be a good skier and not be able to ski with finesse?  "Power", seems synonyms with, "skiing beyond my technical ability".

 

Watch any good run in the gates, it shows how nonexclusive power and finesse are; how often is the winner the smooth skier, especially in SL. Park skiing may be the same, and pipe for sure (looks like those who force it land on the flats a lot more, often in artistic piles)

 

Would you agree that a good skier blends the terrain snow and equipment with technique to obtain their desired results?

 

That's funny - my perception from reading ski reviews in magazines is that "finesse skiers" are folks that need a ski that bends fairly readily at a moderate pace. So any of the lower intermediate skis are "finesse skis". Some really carvy skis that are torsionally stiff but soft along the length might be "finesse" as well. 

 

But it strikes me the more dynamic of a skier you are, the more you move into the "power" group. As in finesse (and corresponding refinement of skill) is a prerequisite for creating powerful skiing. I wouldn't say terminal intermediate (skiing in the backseat on the inside ski) could really be a power skier. Then again I certainly wouldn't call them a finesse skier either. Maybe "developing"? (or not developing, for that matter.)

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

But it strikes me the more dynamic of a skier you are, the more you move into the "power" group. As in finesse (and corresponding refinement of skill) is a prerequisite for creating powerful skiing.

 

"Dynamic" is a tricky term.  The most exciting skiers to watch are often the ones that are being forced to use their strength to constantly adjust their position on the snow.  Just because I am striving to use the least amount of physical energy possible does not necessarily mean I am not skiing dynamically or fast.  A softer flexing ski hugs the contours of the terrain better than a stiff ski giving more constant contact and control.  A stiff ski tends to bounce off the snow forcing you to chop at the terrain more. 

 

Soft skis work better going slow and stiff skis work better going fast, but IMO it is easier to push the speed limit on a soft ski than to push the low speed performance limit of a stiff ski.

post #34 of 38
Have a friend who's a great skier, very dynamic,etc.... He's a small guy. I'd say he skis with authority rather than brute power. smile.gif

Great power skiers look very smooth and fluid... they're both technically and physically strong. As we age, we do lose some strength, but we get smarter and learn to ski even more efficiently to save energy. This is we're we can find some excellent skiers who are smooth, fluid, but just not generating the same forces as they might have a decade or two earlier.

I watch a vid of Mikaela ski and I see huge finesse. And while she's nowhere near as physically strong as Bode, Ted, and probably Lindsey, she's still stronger than most of the folks here that might think of themselves as 'power' skiers.
post #35 of 38

I'll play. In my view, Aggression and Finesse do not live on the same axis. Instead I would say that at one end of the axis lies what you could call aggression/direction, and on the other lies perception/reaction. They are both valuable, as @segbrown and others have pointed out nicely.

 

Think of skiing as a kind of board game. You have a pile of cards that I'll call "Resources." They can be external (good skis suitable for conditions, quality tune, excellent boot fit, appropriate clothing, goggles that aren't too scratched) or internal (strength, flexibility, sharp eyesight). Some of these can be bought outright (skis). Some have an innate component but can be increased with effort (strength, flexibility), but are not skiing talents, per se. Edit: Good snow conditions - or not - are part of this mix.

 

You have another pile of cards that I'll call "Skills." These are always internal, and utilize the Resources in the other pile as needed. "Skills" include things like ability to tune your skis to conditions and preference, ability to choose appropriate clothing for the weather, smarts regarding evaluating boot fit and its effect on your skiing. More importantly, they include all the many technical things that the instructors on this forum like to talk about, such as the ability to vary edge engagement at will, at different stages in the turn, from fully locked to a greasy nearly-flat-ski slide, or to flex and extend at the right moments in bumps or in a carved turn. They will tell you your sharp eyesight won't do anything for your skiing if you're using it to look at your ski tips.

 

Significantly for this discussion, knowing how to apply aggression in your skiing is a Skill. For example, while there are certainly subtleties to coming out of a start house with the maximum speed and momentum before you trip the wand, you will never be really fast out of the gate if you do it as if you were painting a watercolor. Instead you need to direct events emphatically on your timeline and on your terms. You need to learn to be aggressive. If you have the "strength" card in your Resources pile, so much the better! But if you don't, you still need to be aggressive. The ability to deploy aggression in your favor (a Skill) and physical strength (a Resource) are not the same thing.

 

Similarly, you cannot ski complex trees well, for example, or an icy course, if you try to overpower them with brute force of will or body. Instead you need to be perceiving not projecting, listening not talking, reacting not directing. The racer, milliseconds after blasting full bore out of the starting gate, may need to apply a relatively light touch on the first turn in order to  stay clean and sufficiently early on a really hard surface (or not to slow down too much on a soft one). Now painting the watercolor is exactly what is needed. If you are fundamentally a receptive, thoughtful, careful perceiver, so much the better! If your skis are perfectly suited and tuned for the conditions, so much the better! (NOTE: If you are really strong here, too, so much the better! It's not the Resource; it's how you apply it. Strength may be applied in the service of delicacy as much as in the service of power! So sayeth the sages of the millennia.) If you don't have these, you still need to do the best you can with what you have. The ability to apply lightness of touch (a Skill) is not the same thing as having the perfect Resources at hand.

 

To me, "finesse" is neither aggression/direction nor reception/reaction. It is the master skill. It's the art of applying cards from the "Skills" pile in a way that makes the most of the "Resource" pile, irrespective of whether it's meager or well-stocked. It's knowing how to modulate, instant-by-instant, between thrust and parry. With this definition in mind, I would say that finesse is what makes a great skier great.

 

Edit: Obviously we need a Meyers-Briggs of skiing! :) 


Edited by qcanoe - 12/27/13 at 7:54pm
post #36 of 38
Well said, qcanoe icon14.gif
post #37 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

I think a great skier is what ever they want to be.  I do think aggressive  = good or finesse = timid .

 

curious you have skied with me what would you call me?

 

I'd call you a finesse skier who rips. Timid and you have never met. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

You have a pile of cards that I'll call "Resources." 

 

You have another pile of cards that I'll call "Skills." 

 

Significantly for this discussion, knowing how to apply aggression in your skiing is a Skill. 

 

Similarly, you cannot ski complex trees well, for example, or an icy course, if you try to overpower them with brute force of will or body. Instead you need to be perceiving not projecting, listening not talking, reacting not directing. 

 

To me, "finesse" is neither aggression/direction nor reception/reaction.

 

 

Nice. This gets it away from polar opposites, and from personality. As a personal aside to Mudfoot, instructors say my wife is a power skier, and I'm a finesse skier. We ski the same terrain. But I get to the bottom faster.

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

To me, "finesse" is neither aggression/direction nor reception/reaction. It is the master skill. It's the art of applying cards from the "Skills" pile in a way that makes the most of the "Resource" pile, irrespective of whether it's meager or well-stocked. It's knowing how to modulate, instant-by-instant, between thrust and parry. With this definition in mind, I would say that finesse is what makes a great skier great.

 

 

Great post!   With that definition in mind, here's some great "finesse" skiing from skiers well-stocked with skills and resources, and making the most of them:

 

 

:D 


Edited by tball - 12/28/13 at 9:45am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Does finesse skiing require a finesse ski?