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2013 Magazine Ski Tests - Page 3

post #61 of 79

^^^^ You still running a Billy Goat, DW? 

post #62 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ You still running a Billy Goat, DW? 

 

 

 

No, I sold them to a friend after I got on the 183 Fat Bro prototypes two seasons ago since I got enough of the pow agility of the BGs with increased stability and predictability at speed and on hard surfaces with the different shape and camber/sidecut profile.  That said, I really like where ON3P has gone with the BG's design. 

 

Hardly seems possible that two seasons have gone by since then.  eek.gif 

 

FWIW, now the pure powder end of the quiver spectrum is a 185 Praxis Pow.  I really hope I get to ski them this year drool.gif   

post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

That said, I really like where ON3P has gone with the BG's design. 

Yeah, they seem to be doing some very creative things with sidecut and rocker. Although I cannot make intellectual sense out of the new BG's curves, apparently they work beautifully. And the new Wren looks interesting too. 

post #64 of 79

FWIW I skied the first 2 generations of the Billygoat. A local Wren driver (Klauss on TGR) was charging just as hard on the 191 BG(with RES) last year. The second I got on this years 191 I knew it was another animal compared to previous generations. The guys at ON3P have spent so much time getting this thing dialed.

 

On the older generations I was not a fan of the high speed stability, and how loose the tail was. The bad characteristics are gone from this ski.

post #65 of 79

Speaking of Ski Magazine tests, what has happened to Ski and Skiing Magazines? I have a subscription and have yet to see an issue this season in my mail box or the magazine rack. Just for the record, these were free subscriptions, just curious as to what happened. rolleyes.gif

post #66 of 79

I believe that Skiing is now electronic only, and many free SKI subs are as well.

post #67 of 79

Skiing went electronic-only for a couple of seasons, but restarted the print edition last year.  Both are publishing one month later that they used to, so you should see them in a few weeks.

post #68 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

This is a really interesting question. But IME, a skier with a flatter skiing style has a harder time getting his/her ski into and out of a turn without rotation at the top and skidding at the finish. And those, in turn, are more easily accomplished on a rockered ski. This isn't necessarily an indicator of ability; check out this: http://vimeo.com/48527669

 

Now IMO, this guy is a decent skier who chooses not to make a single carved turn all the way down. And who's taking some very airborne approaches to soft bumps. All good. But my point is that the ski's mildish rocker front and rear makes that style of skiing - which is becoming very popular - a lot easier. Yet ironically, it's also making life easier for low angle intermediates who can't buy a carve. They can carve easier at a moderate angle because the rocker's already bent for them, or they can skid easier at a low angle because so much of the ski is off the snow. Notice the number of "easy's" in that paragraph? A theme?

 

So is the Automatic, and all the other latest/greatest mild rockers, unstable or uncomfortable? Not to hear the reviewers talk about them. In reality, they have to be more unstable. So does the Bonafide. It's physics. But maybe not so unstable that it impacts people's perception of them under most conditions. Or maybe we just have altered expectations of what "stabile" means. Don't hear much of a groundswell for models like the Titan 9, Head 103, or Stockli SS. Unless you regard Valdez as your backyard and get lonely if someone's not filming you from a chopper. 

 

And I think that most folks who bomb down blue runs will take that ease of turning over supreme stability any day of the week. 

Is it just me, or is the first guy in the black in the video above skiing completely in the backseat, skidding every turn and also borderline out of control?

 

Also, the reviewer calls it a "burly burly" big mountain ski for charging, whereas the review over at Blistergearreview calls it more of a poppy, playful ski.  They don't get the "burly" reference at all, because it's not that kind of ski.  The reviewer at Blister says it's most similar to (but not exactly like) a DPS 112RP, which is hardly a burly charging type ski.  How is it possible a site like backcountry could get it so wrong, both by showcasing bad technique while also using the wrong tool for the job?

post #69 of 79

^^^^ Not sure I agree with about anything you just wrote. First, about being out of control: Yeah, I used the word "decent" in the traditional sense (OK, slightly better than average) rather than the new school/street sense (excellent). That said, there are many aggressive, happy skiers out there who do in fact take air and skid soft bumps and operate on the edge rather than rolling over the shoulders or zippering the troughs, and they sit back more than we were taught was correct. It's a topic for the instructional forum whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. If TGR is any indication of where skiing is going, though, they tend to mock us over at Epic for being old and PSIA/carving crazed. The famous posting sticky at the start states that no one cares what level the poster is. However you feel about that, I'm wary of considering any modern skier who doesn't carve like Lindsey to be "bad." I don't ski like that, but "bad technique?" Hmmm. 

 

As far as the Automatic, I can't find a single reference to the 112RP in Jonathan's review. Or any reference to "poppy." Maybe you can give me a link to the reference? The ski Jonathan most compares with the Automatic is the Bibby Pro. Some mentions of the JJ and Squad 7 and Cochise (which he thinks smears like the Automatic and later in the questions suggests it's the closest fit if you want a narrower ski.). He emphasizes the "predictability" of the Automatic several times. And here's his definitive comparo to the Bibby, which incidentally in no way shape or form resembles the 112RP:  

 

"The 190 (and 184) Bibby Pro charge harder than the Automatic, period. But the 186 Automatic feels very quick (quicker than the 190 Bibbys), predictable, and forgiving, yet still lets you stand on it a good bit. Again, not as much as the Bibby, but that might be OK with you.

I don’t want to be held to this till I actually get the Automatics to Taos, but for Taos’ tight trees and steep bumps, I can already imagine that I might prefer the 186 (and probably the 193) Automatic to the 190 Bibby.

For raging down Reforma at Taos, I’d probably still want the Bibby, but I’ve already made clear that the Bibby is better for bumped, hard charging.

But if the Automatic shines at Taos the way it has in Las Leñas, then I will be making room in my quiver for the 117mm Automatic to have beside my 118mm Bibby Pro. They are different; both are great."

That's a pretty strong review, IMO, and no particular resemblance to how they reviewed the 112RP, which emphasized its lightness and predictability as long as you drive it, dangers of getting in the backseat. (I own the 112RP, agree it's weirdly easy to throw around, but not all that forgiving.) Two fairly different reviews for two fairly different skis, as I see it. 

I'd bet that the guys skiing in the video are pretty small, and appear to be on a the longest Automatic. So yeah, it may feel fairly burly to them. But most other reviews treat the Automatic as a well balanced, fairly middle-of-the-road ski, in terms of stiffness and maneuverability. According to its scores and speed range estimate, Real Skiers also found it fairly beefy. Doesn't seem like a JJ or other super light, poppy ski at all. As I said earlier, we're in an era where skis are expected to be easier to play on than a decade ago. Doesn't make them unstable unless you are hanging on to your Head 103's. My .02. th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #70 of 79

I'll go out on a limb here and say this... If the guy selling the ski is the same as in the video, good on him, but no, it's not 'all good'. It's just a classic case of a skier that with a handful of lessons could be hugely and quickly helped to be more proficient, and commensurately, a much better representative image for a potential ski buyer to aspire to. I mean those skis he's selling are so damn good they should make us ski like him, but this isn't the case just yet. There are plenty of talented amateur skiers around that are much more technically sound. Yes, he's in the backseat, rotating, bracing his downhill leg, leaning in,not bend his ankles, etc...He's a physically strong intermediate who's taking full advantage of modern ski technology and a limited skill set to get down the hill.  I'm not thinking of Lindsey and/or PSIA when I'm thinking of how big skis are/should used, I'm thinking more of Ingrid Backstrom or Wendy Fischer. Though odd enough, both Ingrid and Wendy are absolutely models of strong, solid, skills that define the top end of what PSIA goals are all about. In the end, and with due respect, Backcountry really needs to find stronger skiers to use in their video reviews. They are most certainly out there and I'm sure would love the chance to star in a couple of minutes of marketing footy. Just my humble but bolded "O".

post #71 of 79

hijack.gif ^^^^ I don't find much to argue with here. Over on TGR, apparently several know the guy who's holding the ski, and he's said to be an expert skier. The skiing segments, not same person. Agree he may well be what we'd call a high intermediate. (Although the balance it takes to do what he's doing is not trivial.) Not qualified to do a motion analysis, but saw some of what you do, missed a couple of things.

 

But my point, really, was a bit different than how "good" the skier is. It's that our foundational premises of what's good skiing are being challenged. By that I mean, a lot of young, aggressive skiers - we'll set aside how "good" they are - no longer assume that "getting better" is accomplished by taking PSIA lessons. Or by learning to carve. They grow up in a terrain park, and they prefer to slarve, smear, skid, pivot, you name it, as a means to a) have fun using natural or artificial features and b) spend as much time as they can getting air. Being a good skier means, like it does to my 9 year old, being able to ski particular terrain doing certain things with it, rather than how you ski it. Fact is, part of the allure of fat rockered skis is that they permit you to do new school moves without being old school advanced or expert. Especially involving air. Maybe the first question should be, is this "skiing," in the sense of being organized around contact with snow? Go watch a halfpipe and report back.


Do you see my point? What happens on the ground - what we consider critical "technique" - is often just a prelude or followup to what happens in the air, or bouncing off a natural feature or surfing. "Style" on the ground is simply whatever gets you to the next feature looking cool on the way. Or if no features, whatever lets you feel the most dopamine. So right now, in powder a whole lot of skiers are basically waterskiing. Or surfing, depending. I think this is analogous to what happens when you first link compete carves on narrow skis, usually banking like crazy, and realize you can get so far over at speed you can drag your knuckles on the snow. Of course if you slow down, you fall, because you're not really skiing all that well, but those G's are what gives you the "wow." So tell me, is a natural and normal thing to let go of that banking "wow" for a while so you can get more proficient at doing it the "right way"? Or is it a natural thing to just want more of that rush, screw the technique issues? 

 

More to the point, is waterskiing/slarving soft snow "bad skiing?" Well, yes and no. Go reread the thread here on slarving, check out the videos. IMO I see some apparently race trained skiers making some very odd technical decisions about their mechanics. And for that matter, I've seen some definitely non-racers doing similar stuff. I'd bet a lot that some of these non-racer background guys can do things in their version of skiing reality - think about skiing trees as actually skiing IN the tree, ON the tree, OFF the tree, or doing 360's and flips off big pillows, that your average level III would simply fail at, or end up in the ER for trying. Hell, my 9 year old is starting to do stuff in the park that I can't. At least unless I want to get tight with my orthopedist again. (And for the record, dad's making sure he races this year, non-typical battle-for-soul because he likes both.)

 

Now I'm not saying that the guys skiing in the video are capable of banking off branches or doing backflips off cliffs. But we go too far, IMHO, if we assume because they have stiff downhill legs etc. they are limited to the kind of skiing a typical intermediate with those issues does. So what does that make them? Or others like them? If a skier can't carve well, is he/she an intermediate by definition, no matter what else they can do?  I'm reminded of some recent Blister Reviews, where the skier actually breaks down the review into sections for old school skiers who like to angulate and carve their skis, and freeriders who like to bank, waterski, smear, etc. As the song goes, "Something's happening here, and it just ain't exactly clear..."

 

So I think there are some non-trivial questions that video brings up about real physics, about social physics (as in, inertia, politics, and generational gaps in teaching techniques), and about means vs ends arguments. Is skiing about having the most fun you personally can have any way you personally want it, or is it about the discipline of following a prescription for getting from OK to excellent? I'm clearly in the second camp cuz I'm an old guy and have the values of my cohort and love to carve. But less and less certain that I should be making calls about others' abilities... And a little surprised I'm uncertain. I used to be so sure there was good skiing and bad skiing.th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #72 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ Not sure I agree with about anything you just wrote. First, about being out of control: Yeah, I used the word "decent" in the traditional sense (OK, slightly better than average) rather than the new school/street sense (excellent). That said, there are many aggressive, happy skiers out there who do in fact take air and skid soft bumps and operate on the edge rather than rolling over the shoulders or zippering the troughs, and they sit back more than we were taught was correct. It's a topic for the instructional forum whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. If TGR is any indication of where skiing is going, though, they tend to mock us over at Epic for being old and PSIA/carving crazed. The famous posting sticky at the start states that no one cares what level the poster is. However you feel about that, I'm wary of considering any modern skier who doesn't carve like Lindsey to be "bad." I don't ski like that, but "bad technique?" Hmmm. 

 

As far as the Automatic, I can't find a single reference to the 112RP in Jonathan's review. Or any reference to "poppy." Maybe you can give me a link to the reference? The ski Jonathan most compares with the Automatic is the Bibby Pro. Some mentions of the JJ and Squad 7 and Cochise (which he thinks smears like the Automatic and later in the questions suggests it's the closest fit if you want a narrower ski.). He emphasizes the "predictability" of the Automatic several times. And here's his definitive comparo to the Bibby, which incidentally in no way shape or form resembles the 112RP:  

 

 

From the comments section in that review on Blister:

 

Can you compare a bit to the 112rpc-which seems very similar
in rocker profile and design goals?
Sound like you loved this but liked the DPS.
Also, would you say the Automatic, esp in a 193, would have enough
float for AK or something similarly steep and deep? Or would you be reaching for something wider?

 
 
  •  

    HI, Mike – I actually think that the original Wailer 112 is closer to the Automatic than the new Wailer 112RPC. The RPC has a VERY stiff tail; the Automatic doesn’t. Unfortunately, my time on the RPC was very limited, so I can’t say a whole lot more than that yet. But the Automatic is super easy to ski (more like the 112RP) and that tail of the RPC wasn’t intended to be “super easy.”

    As for AK, I don’t think that the issue with the Automatic will be float; it floats great, and I don’t think I’d really NEED wider. When you say “steep and deep,” the question for me would be “How steep, and how fast?” the issue for me would be stiffness. There are more charging-oriented pow skis – Rossi Squad 7, Moment Bibby Pro, Praxis Protest, and my question is whether you would need / want the stiffer flex. But I’d happily take the 193 Automatic to AK and go find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Jonathan does say that it reminds him even more of the original 112rp than the even the 112rpc which has a very stiff tail.  He says the tail of the automatic is not stiff at all, but in the Backcountry video the dude says it has a very stiff tail.  

 

Later, someone else asks Jonathan to comment on the Backcountry review and Jonathan says:

 

"So the 193 is not supposed to be a much different beast than the 186. And if that is so, then I have no idea what they are talking about in the video, saying the Automatic is “super burly,” has no speed limit, and has a pretty unforgiving tail.  So unless Atomic’s product manager – who skis the 193cm length – is way off base, I don’t know what to make of some of these claims. But no part of me expects to suddenly find a “burly burly ski” when I get on the 193. In fact, our reviewer Ryan Caspar, who is a strong skier but weighs only 145 lbs., loves the 193cm Automatic, still thinks it’s super easy and fun, and is considering it for a one ski quiver at Jackson Hole."

Also throughout the review Jonathan does refer to the ski as being "softish, playful and surfy" which to me sounds pretty much the opposite of "burly" but also quite like the DPS 112's.  He clearly says the Bibby Pro "charges harder" but that's also put in the context of being a POW ski, not a burly "Big Mountain" charger.   I thought I remembered reading somewhere else about the Automatic being "poppy," including some quotes from Sage getting much more into his design intent of wanting a directional playful, poppy ski.

What I was questioning in my original post is how the dude at Backcountry got the ski so wrong in his description.  Yes it's a big ski, but clearly not "burly" at all.  Also, I think the other guy wearing blue and green in the video is probably skiing the Automatic more how it was intended to be skied--very playful, catching a lot of air, etc.  I actually don't have a problem with his "technique" at all since he's obviously very "new school" in form.  He is clearly a good skier, with almost competition-type mogul form keeping his knees together, he's in a nice chair position the whole way down, etc.  He does have a few balance checks, but he is clearly the pilot, whereas the dude in black seems to be being piloted by the ski...why I said I thought he looked "out of control" is because he has to scrub off speed completely sideways several times down, rather than just skiing at a controllable speed to begin with.

 

post #73 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 Or others like them? If a skier can't carve well, is he/she an intermediate by definition, no matter what else they can do?  I'm reminded of some recent Blister Reviews, where the skier actually breaks down the review into sections for old school skiers who like to angulate and carve their skis, and freeriders who like to bank, waterski, smear, etc. As the song goes, "Something's happening here, and it just ain't exactly clear..."

 

So I think there are some non-trivial questions that video brings up about real physics, about social physics (as in, inertia, politics, and generational gaps in teaching techniques), and about means vs ends arguments. Is skiing about having the most fun you personally can have any way you personally want it, or is it about the discipline of following a prescription for getting from OK to excellent? I'm clearly in the second camp cuz I'm an old guy and have the values of my cohort and love to carve. But less and less certain that I should be making calls about others' abilities... And a little surprised I'm uncertain. I used to be so sure there was good skiing and bad skiing.th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

I don't know if we should get into this too much as it's certainly good fodder for it's own thread, but I'll answer your questions.

 

Bolded #1, in the end, a truly expert skier has a FULL skill set. They can carve, slarve, whatever... the bottom line is they have a full tool kit to choose from and aren't limited by what they lack. I'm an old guy from a race background and really love watching what the big mountain free riders are doing. It's all pretty mind blowing. I like watching the jibbers and can only imagine what it's like to grow up in a generation that free flight and crazy tricks are becoming the norm. IHMO, it's quite possible to be an expert 'jumper/jibber', and a very athletic, but limited 'free skier'. Take a talented jibber from a small hill in the midwest, and he/she will probably need a couple of seasons to up their free ski game. When they do, and they take their jib background to the mountain, well, you've got the latest and craziest of the high end big mountain world. I'm pretty confident Andy Mahrer and carve one up as well as anyone given who he learned from as a youn'in. Interestingly, the young guys hold folks like Seth and Hugo Harrison in high regard even though they're not doing 'tricks' with the same amplitude. What Seth and Hugo have is very dialed technical skills that allow them to make very difficult lines and terrain look 'doable' with ease, power, flow, and spot on balance. Same with Ingrid Backstrom. In the end, even for old racy carver dudes, slarving, skiing spines, playing with terrain (did this really ever change? Didn't you hit every bump/jump/roll on the hill as a kid even way back when?) etc... is an expansion of the game skills and what new gear let's us do. I love it! It makes the old sport or hill completely new again.

 

Back to the vid, manufactures sponsor strong skiers/athletes because they give all of us something to shoot for. The marketing message is, if we get 'that gear' we'll be able to ski like they do. We don't want average, we want to see skills that we can aspire to. Chances are, that guy/gal we're admiring is a product of both coaching and a butt ton of ski mileage. That's where my criticism is directed. The skier might be having a great time, is a great guy, etc...  but we're just not all created equal. For those who really want to get better, they ski with others that are stronger/better and learn from them, they might take lessons or have some coaching, etc... 

 

Bolded #2.  The fun thing... millions of skiers will never be great or inspiring to others in their riding, but millions must be having a load of fun to keep at it year after year. That's why most of us are on the hill, myself included! Conversely, there's a guy I know who's a strong skier that just seems miserable and tense day to day on the hill. I don't think he's having much fun at all.  I'm not an advocate for drug use, but I wish he'd take or smoke something that'd help him chill out and really learn to just enjoy it all. I know I'd like skiing with him more if he did.

 

In the end, the 'prescription' (I like your phrase there!) is ours to write in a manner commensurate with the degree that we desire to enjoy the sport. It's not the same for everyone by any means, but to be clear, how many times have you ridden a lift up kind of scanning the hill when one particular person pops out that's just ripping and making it look like anyone could do it just as easily? That's the guy/gal who's image sticks when we think how we'd like to ski if we're committed to more than a few days a season on the hill. The skier in the vid... if his goal is to do some serious mountaineering a la John Morrison or Chris Davenport, he's going to get seriously injured. If he's at his pinnacle of happiness skiing around like he is, then he's already there and good enough. That's for him to decide, not me or the PSIA police! smile.gif

 

(Edit, the guy in the green pants is a much much better skier than the guy the black. IMHO, he's under edged, but that's an alignment issue. Again, some time spent with a good coach and boot guru, and this guy would rip.)


Edited by markojp - 9/28/12 at 2:36pm
post #74 of 79

I absolutely get what beyond is saying and agree with much of it, but having said that, the skiing in the BC video was not very good.  It wasn't that horrible and maybe there was choppy hardpack under the fresh snow that contributed to all of that flapping around (although it sure didn't look like it), but BC should certainly feature better footage on their site, especially for a ski that's supposed to be a charger version of the Bent Chetler.


Edited by JayT - 9/28/12 at 3:00pm
post #75 of 79
I have not watched the vid, yet will comment that too much is made over 'good' skiing.

I do love the FULL reference! A full tool box = top tier skiing. That said, skiiing is always a game of those unaware.....
post #76 of 79

I'll just comment on a couple of things here and there:

Quote:

Originally Posted by lovethesteeps

 

So Jonathan does say that it reminds him even more of the original 112rp than the even the 112rpc which has a very stiff tail.  He says the tail of the automatic is not stiff at all, but in the Backcountry video the dude says it has a very stiff tail.  

 

Later, someone else asks Jonathan to comment on the Backcountry review and Jonathan says:

 

"So the 193 is not supposed to be a much different beast than the 186. And if that is so, then I have no idea what they are talking about in the video, saying the Automatic is “super burly,” has no speed limit, and has a pretty unforgiving tail.  So unless Atomic’s product manager – who skis the 193cm length – is way off base, I don’t know what to make of some of these claims. But no part of me expects to suddenly find a “burly burly ski” when I get on the 193. In fact, our reviewer Ryan Caspar, who is a strong skier but weighs only 145 lbs., loves the 193cm Automatic, still thinks it’s super easy and fun, and is considering it for a one ski quiver at Jackson Hole."

Also throughout the review Jonathan does refer to the ski as being "softish, playful and surfy" which to me sounds pretty much the opposite of "burly" but also quite like the DPS 112's.  He clearly says the Bibby Pro "charges harder" but that's also put in the context of being a POW ski, not a burly "Big Mountain" charger.   I thought I remembered reading somewhere else about the Automatic being "poppy," including some quotes from Sage getting much more into his design intent of wanting a directional playful, poppy ski.

Appreciate the link/paste, guess I didn't scroll down far enough in the Q/A's. In all honesty, I can make no sense out of his responses in light of the actual review. He seems all over the map about his specific comparisons. Cochise and 112RP both have specific attributes like the Automatic?  th_dunno-1[1].gif I've underlined a comment you make because I would seriously disagree with a characterization of the 112RP's as "softish, playful, and surfy." Surfy, yes if you want them to be, although if you drive the tips they stay fairly un-surfy. Playful? Well, if you're used to skiing Legend XXL's, for sure. But not compared to many current skis. Partly because they can bite you if you get in the backseat, and at speed in stiff conditions they can make you into a human trampoline if you get too flat. A playful ski doesn't much care, it just goofs around . And soft? Naw, not even close IMO. Fairly stiff laterally, moderately stiff longitudinally. Maybe I'm a bunch lighter than you, but I've never heard another human characterize any DPS ski as "soft." Their Flex 2 is like most company's "stiff." 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Bolded #1, in the end, a truly expert skier has a FULL skill set. They can carve, slarve, whatever... the bottom line is they have a full tool kit to choose from and aren't limited by what they lack...he skier might be having a great time, is a great guy, etc...  but we're just not all created equal. For those who really want to get better, they ski with others that are stronger/better and learn from them, they might take lessons or have some coaching, etc... 

 

Bolded #2.  The fun thing... millions of skiers will never be great or inspiring to others in their riding, but millions must be having a load of fun to keep at it year after year. That's why most of us are on the hill, myself included! Conversely, there's a guy I know who's a strong skier that just seems miserable and tense day to day on the hill. I don't think he's having much fun at all.  I'm not an advocate for drug use, but I wish he'd take or smoke something that'd help him chill out and really learn to just enjoy it all. I know I'd like skiing with him more if he did.

 

(Edit, the guy in the green pants is a much much better skier than the guy the black. IMHO, he's under edged, but that's an alignment issue. Again, some time spent with a good coach and boot guru, and this guy would rip.)

OK, I see your definition; it's a classic. But my whole point - apparently you disagree - was that perhaps our initial definitions of what a "true expert" is are at best colored by our own "upbringing" via learning to carve, getting our COM moving forward and down the line dynamically and so on, PSIA style. And at worst, our opening definitions are just outmoded. 

 

Being required to know all these different things to be called an expert reminds me a lot of college foundation requirements, which we are told are are the sina qua non of an educated person.  And the B.A. But funny how those absolutely necessary requirements have appeared, disappeared, been trimmed, expanded, and mutated over the decades...

 

What would be more interesting IMO is if you could inductively support your assertion that being an expert requires this specific set of things. He with the biggest tool kit wins. You come closest by suggesting that a non-full tool kit will get one killed on a mountainside. Maybe, maybe not. It's an interesting claim, but is it true? What specifically, for instance, about a steep chute requires much of what we learn on groomers, as opposed to jump turns/skids/dead stops/more jumps that you see world class billy-goaters at Chamonix doing? And why is your critical example from a mountain face? What about pillows with 2' of fresh and lotsa big trees? If you smear down sideways to the fall line, maybe pivot, and then launch, hit, check, smear again, maybe bank off a snowy tree limb on the way, then hit a 20 foot air at the end, are you a non-expert even though you're doing just fine without any carving or real forward pressure or 2/3 of the rest of the tool kit? Or do you have to be able to somehow carve the pillows, even though no one ever would? You see the problem? 

 

I think this all goes back to the idea that an expert has to ski anything anywhere well. But what's "well?" In control? No, I can do pizzas down a double black and be in complete control. Efficiently? That'll eliminate pizzas, but not scarving. Fast? Guys billy-goating chutes at Chamonix are not skiing fast. Looking right? Nope, that's circular again, because looking right is defined by having the expert tool kit. And for that matter, I'll stand by my earlier conjecture that many Level 3's could not keep up skiing natural features with a bunch of athletic teens hitting air. That's because much of what they have in their tool kits is irrelevant to the demands of the terrain or style of the kids, while the teens have a far smaller technical kit precisely honed to the terrain they care about. So who's the expert? popcorn.gif

 

At best, I could support the argument that some expert skill sets, mainly having to do with balance, weighting, and recovery, have to be there to ski the pillows. Or the chute. Carving, not at all sure. Tip pressure, not at all sure. Go look at the pros in the ads in this month's Powder. Lot of serious backseating, and they laugh it off. Guess some of my suspicion comes from my age. I can recall being told by an instructor that any good skier should Wedeln. eek.gif I also can remember doing pretty well at the top of the old Mammoth lifts on my 215 cm wood planks, doing Christy's. No one except the pros skied "parallel." So are there just more experts today? wink.gif That's called presentism, BTW. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

I absolutely get what beyond is saying and agree with much of it, but having said that, the skiing in the BC video was not very good.  It wasn't that horrible and maybe there was choppy hardpack under the fresh snow that contributed to all of that flapping around (although it sure didn't look like it), but BC should certainly feature better footage on their site, especially for a ski that's supposed to be a charger version of the Bent Chetler.

Don't disagree. And yeah, the blue guy is, ah, better. But my computer screen showed that there was a bunch of chop and crud, which I assumed contributed both to the flapping and to the intitial decision on how to ski the run. As you realize, there's a lot of discussion these days about using the lighter fatter skis like the 112RP to just go airborne in bumps or irregular snow, bounce off the things rather than try to crush crud or zipper. Marshal O. talks about this as an interesting approach, and he's an expert by anyone's new or old definition, yes?  


Edited by beyond - 9/28/12 at 10:07pm
post #77 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I'll just comment on a couple of things here and there:

OK, I see your definition; it's a classic. But my whole point - apparently you disagree - was that perhaps our initial definitions of what a "true expert" is are at best colored by our own "upbringing" via learning to carve, getting our COM moving forward and down the line dynamically and so on, PSIA style. And at worst, our opening definitions are just outmoded. 

Being required to know all these different things to be called an expert reminds me a lot of college foundation requirements, which we are told are are the sina qua non of an educated person.  And the B.A. But funny how those absolutely necessary requirements have appeared, disappeared, been trimmed, expanded, and mutated over the decades...

What would be more interesting IMO is if you could inductively support your assertion that being an expert requires this specific set of things. He with the biggest tool kit wins. You come closest by suggesting that a non-full tool kit will get one killed on a mountainside. Maybe, maybe not. It's an interesting claim, but is it true? What specifically, for instance, about a steep chute requires much of what we learn on groomers, as opposed to jump turns/skids/dead stops/more jumps that you see world class billy-goaters at Chamonix doing? And why is your critical example from a mountain face? What about pillows with 2' of fresh and lotsa big trees? If you smear down sideways to the fall line, maybe pivot, and then launch, hit, check, smear again, maybe bank off a snowy tree limb on the way, then hit a 20 foot air at the end, are you a non-expert even though you're doing just fine without any carving or real forward pressure or 2/3 of the rest of the tool kit? Or do you have to be able to somehow carve the pillows, even though no one ever would? You see the problem? 

I think this all goes back to the idea that an expert has to ski anything anywhere well. But what's "well?" In control? No, I can do pizzas down a double black and be in complete control. Efficiently? That'll eliminate pizzas, but not scarving. Fast? Guys billy-goating chutes at Chamonix are not skiing fast. Looking right? Nope, that's circular again, because looking right is defined by having the expert tool kit. And for that matter, I'll stand by my earlier conjecture that many Level 3's could not keep up skiing natural features with a bunch of athletic teens hitting air. That's because much of what they have in their tool kits is irrelevant to the demands of the terrain or style of the kids, while the teens have a far smaller technical kit precisely honed to the terrain they care about. So who's the expert? popcorn.gif

At best, I could support the argument that some expert skill sets, mainly having to do with balance, weighting, and recovery, have to be there to ski the pillows. Or the chute. Carving, not at all sure. Tip pressure, not at all sure. Go look at the pros in the ads in this month's Powder. Lot of serious backseating, and they laugh it off. Guess some of my suspicion comes from my age. I can recall being told by an instructor that any good skier should Wedeln. eek.gif  I also can remember doing pretty well at the top of the old Mammoth lifts on my 215 cm wood planks, doing Christy's. No one except the pros skied "parallel." So are there just more experts today? wink.gif  That's called presentism, BTW. 
Don't disagree. And yeah, the blue guy is, ah, better. But my computer screen showed that there was a bunch of chop and crud, which I assumed contributed both to the flapping and to the intitial decision on how to ski the run. As you realize, there's a lot of discussion these days about using the lighter fatter skis like the 112RP to just go airborne in bumps or irregular snow, bounce off the things rather than try to crush crud or zipper. Marshal O. talks about this as an interesting approach, and he's an expert by anyone's new or old definition, yes?  

You managed to miss much of what I was saying, particularly the parts where I absolutely agree with you. John Morrison... Not who I think of as a pillow skier, but if were his focus, I'm sure he'd kill it. If i recall, John's won the Tahoe 'Lord of the Boards' thing a couple of times. ( That's a combo of alpine, telemark,and snowboarding for folks who haven't heard of it... Do they do it any more?) Andy Mahrer, sure, pillow skier, switch dude extraordinaire. Love it! I'm sure he's got the skill set and tool kit do do fine in the mountaineering subset as well. Ingrid B, big mountain crusher... She was up at Blackcomb this past summer learning park tricks. I'm sure we'll see the results of her work in next year's ski porn offerings.

Saw a few clips of the Darren Rahlves Chinese downhill series... Crazy great hair of the chin skiing... Then Mr. Rahlves jumps in the final round and crushes everyone. Skill set, experience, and a zillion high speed hours on snow. Several years ago I got to watch the late Scott Murray show Charlie Cannon (an a bunch of the rest of us) how to teley switch. Scott could teley switch faster than most alpiners ski forward, a skill he figured out in boredom and with a lot of high level hockey experience in his background. Charlie showed a Japanese skier how to do a Lincoln loop. The Japanese free heeler was/ still is a fabulous big mountain skier who learned from an amazing local that very few will ever know anything about, and who now knows how to do a Lincoln loop. That's the way stuff happens, skills broaden, and envelopes get expanded. I don't disagree with you about the whole level III thing either. I'm sure Mr. Plake has skills well beyond what the exam required. Not too many level III's have World Cup race experience for that matter either.

All the skiers at the top of the game in any subset of skiing have huge tool kits. Sure, their backgrounds might show in nuances of style, etc. In the end, the younger folks are always redefining the sport, be it in the park, on the mountain, or on the race course. In the backcountry.com vids we're talking about though, toss in any of the riders I mentioned in my posts, and you'll see a huge difference in the quality of skiing. I'm guessing they could have grabbed some young unknown locals on that particular day and had some stronger skiing for their product.

In the end, it's not 'either/ or', it's 'all of the above'. i don't jib... i'm just too old and fragile though I do drop into a pipe now and again. No crazy tricks mind you, it just feels cool even if I suck. bottom line is I want to keep skiing a good long time, so certain things just aren't going to happen in this lifetime. If my no jib approach takes me out of the expert skier catagory in the eyes of the jib world, I'm totally fine with that. On our local hill, Ingrid B would crush me like an insect, but I'm a huge fan of hers none the less. Put her on the hill with someone like Sabastian Michel, and see what happens to both! We might argue about it, but in the meantime, I'm sure they'd just be having a blast!

Now if you want to argue just for the sake of disagreement, let's ask who's a better skater, an NHL hockey player, or an Olypmic figure skater? That one all depends on what you're interested in playing, and neither would probably win a 10 k race against a dedicated speed skater, but the hockey player might do better in short track than the ice dancer....smile.gif


So again, re-read my posts. I don't think we're disagreeing at all.... And that's pretty common with interwebz arguments. smile.gif
Edited by markojp - 9/29/12 at 1:25am
post #78 of 79

Yeah, don't think we're disagreeing as much as talking past each other. Letsee if I can stitch this up: 

 

1) We both agree that current world class skiers have "all the above." And I'd guess that most over the age of 30 probably began in racing. So any of them can do anything. Yep Rahlves is amazing. Yep Plake has a few more tools than a level 3 needs to teach parallel turns. Yes, Jon Olsson is showing that freestylers can race. (Although he raced until age 16 anyway.) So by inductive inspection, A (all experts) and B (all tool kits) seem to match. 

2) BUT: Where we're talking past each other is whether that means a huge tool kit (gonna ignore the pun cool.gif) B is a necessary condition for being an expert A. Do you see the switch of subject and predicate? Logically, if all B always occurs with A, it does not follow that all A must occur with B. Draw a Venn diagram - you know, those overlapping circles we learned in high school - that looks like a big circle with a smaller circle inside it. Call the big circle A "all experts." Call the smaller circle inside bounded by it "all skill sets." So there are A's (experts) that exist without B (all skill sets). By contrast, your argument has two perfectly congruent circles, such that A and B must occur together, as an a prior assumption, and by inspection of current elite skiers.

3) OTOH, I'm specifically interested in the subset of A (experts) called freestylers. Young ones at that. Do they have to be inside B (all the skill sets)? I'm saying that while the older ones probably do, it's not a necessary logical condition. It may be typical at the elite level, and it may be cool to have all possible tool kits, but it's not necessary. It's just the history of the sport so far.

4) My point about the film, in fact, wasn't that the guys were great skiers, but that we were judging them by a set of criteria that historically come out of racing. Yet I'm seeing younger new school freestylers developing who have never been ski racers, they come from skateboarding and snowboarding, and they learned to ski in halfpipes and parks, and on the rails and roofs of lodges, not in gates. They probably do not have all possible skill sets for all possible terrain. And yet they excel in this one kind of skiing, much of which takes place in the air. So I would call them A (experts) anyway, while you would say, nope, they cannot be part of A unless they're also inside B (all tool kits). 

5) So I think this is a real and valid difference of opinion. It depends on whether we require all tool kits to define an expert, and vice versa, or whether we accept that some subset of experts may exist without all tool kits. Eg, who can't carve well, or who habitually ski in the back seat. (Anyone here recall that video of Highway Star?)

6) Personally, I'm with you, I think everyone should be able to do everything. But that's because I'm an old guy who has invested in too many years of lessons to think otherwise, rather than because it's logical.

7) And because I just like being the Devil's Advocate. wink.gif

post #79 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I'll just comment on a couple of things here and there:
I've underlined a comment you make because I would seriously disagree with a characterization of the 112RP's as "softish, playful, and surfy." Surfy, yes if you want them to be, although if you drive the tips they stay fairly un-surfy. Playful? Well, if you're used to skiing Legend XXL's, for sure. But not compared to many current skis. Partly because they can bite you if you get in the backseat, and at speed in stiff conditions they can make you into a human trampoline if you get too flat. A playful ski doesn't much care, it just goofs around . And soft? Naw, not even close IMO. Fairly stiff laterally, moderately stiff longitudinally. Maybe I'm a bunch lighter than you, but I've never heard another human characterize any DPS ski as "soft." Their Flex 2 is like most company's "stiff." 

Yeah I'm 6'3" and last year was probably pushing 245 or so suited up. Blizzard Bonafides feel playful to me, so my indication of flex is likely a 'lil different than most. The 112 hybrids definitely felt WAY more soft and playful than the bones. This year I dropped 20 pounds and upgraded to the Pures so I'm hoping they hold me a bit better. Yeah, maybe a guy like me should just be on XXLs and call it a day anyway? biggrin.gif
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