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How to tell lift-strangers about equipment/tuning they should be getting?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

When casual skiers more casual/novice than yourself (where your level is X and theirs is X-Y, where Y is a real, positive number) start getting curious about the benefits of your equipment, how much detail do you feel comfortable going into?

post #2 of 25

I figure they should be getting equipment advice from a professional, not me (so why do I keep giving advice here? Probably because I know no one in their right minds takes advice from the internet). 

post #3 of 25

The title of your thread is misleading and not the question you asked in the post.  I'm not about to tell someone they should buy any particular equipment or get their skis tuned a certain way.  But, if someone asks why I like my skis or boots or poles or whatever, I will tell them why.

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

where your level is X and theirs is X-Y, where Y is a real, positive number)  how much detail do you feel comfortable going into?

I give lots of advice of very thorough detailed information but only when I encounter a situation where Y is an imaginary (or almost any complex) number.

 

However, when Y is a real, positive number, I usually will answer the person's specific question from my own experience base. I resist (unless it is a family member) in telling them what they ought to do. I figure a lift ride with a stranger is as good a source of information for most people as someone looking on the internet.

post #5 of 25

This thread is already making me uncomfortable...

post #6 of 25

The last gaper that tried to give me gear advice got pushed off the chair..

 

 

Actually, I usually compliment other folks on their gear no matter what it is.  If it's crap I give them props for making it work for them.  If it's good I drool over it.

post #7 of 25

OK, I also believe the thread title is misleading.  But here is something I have to confess.  A week ago, a young woman wearing a bright red helmet rode up a full 6-pack with me and a bunch of her friends.  When she got off, I quietly slid up to her so her friends could not hear and suggested she might want to turn her helmet around and wear it frontwards. 

 

Interestingly enough, she was probably the 3rd or 4th person I've seen in the last few years wearing a helmet backwards.  You'd think the discomfort and lack of vision alone would alert someone. 

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

....If it's good I drool over it.

 

Hope you wipe the drool off before it freezes..... eek.gif

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

When casual skiers more casual/novice than yourself (where your level is X and theirs is X-Y, where Y is a real, positive number) start getting curious about the benefits of your equipment, how much detail do you feel comfortable going into?

 

 

If they ask about my gear, I'll almost always talk about it.  I've had some really fun chairlift rides with low intermediate level guys just starting to catch the bug, very excited, and looking for options for their first owned gear and the like.

 

Sometimes, this does turn into some jong telling me I shouldn't ski a 100 waist ski because they are too wide to turn, that my 189 Seths are too long (I'm 6'1", 220-30lbs, expert skier...) etc. At which case I just stop talking and stare at them.

post #10 of 25

nobody ever asked me about my equipment/tuning on the lift.  I must have crappy looking stuff.  And I don't tell strangers that their stuff is inferior; only compliments.

 

Do people actually ask for equipment advice on the chair?

post #11 of 25

tch, my jaw dropped when I read that :) shocking! and you handled it gracefully.

 

I have a less graceful story. I was at a clinic with my old ski club. Random guy was there in the same race skis as me, which have a left and right ski. I quietly leaned over while everyone else was fumbling about and said "I noticed your skis are on backwards." He returned a "uh-huh, yup right", along with an eyeroll. I guess I was less quiet than I thought, because the clinician then belted out "no, he means those are directional skis and you're wearing the left ski on the right foot."  Oops, sorry guy. 

 

But generally I'd never comment on anyone's gear or issues, unless they bring it up, or if I'm in a coaching situation.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

The last gaper that tried to give me gear advice got pushed off the chair..

 

 

Actually, I usually compliment other folks on their gear no matter what it is.  If it's crap I give them props for making it work for them.  If it's good I drool over it.

roflmao.gif  This ^^^, assuming they seem inclined to interact. Some people prefer to be off in their own zone. 

post #13 of 25

Skis, schmees, once I have that audience captive, I prefer to witness to them about finding Jesus.....which is where a trail map comes in handy...

If Jesus has been located already, then I'll offer my chair-mates helpful advice on how best to raise their children.  smile.gif

 

It's called "Lending a Hand, " People!

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteStar77 View Post

Do people actually ask for equipment advice on the chair?

Frequently, I'll be riding with someone who has a piece of gear (whether skis, boots, jacket, whatever) that I've heard about (or never seen before and am intrigued) and would like to try, but never got the opportunity.

 

I always ask, "How you like ___________?" I assume that they're gonna tell me about what ever it is I ask.

 

Conversely, I've had people ask me about something and I'll tell them, as honestly as I can, about what I like and don't like about whatever piece they ask about.

 

A Pro might answer different than me, but they're not asking a pro...they're asking me for my opinion on something I'm using. 

 

-Smarty  

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

When casual skiers more casual/novice than yourself (where your level is X and theirs is X-Y, where Y is a real, positive number) start getting curious about the benefits of your equipment, how much detail do you feel comfortable going into?

 

Can we use our calculators on this quiz?

 

Nevermind...mine has an x, but not a y. 

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineA View Post

When casual skiers more casual/novice than yourself (where your level is X and theirs is X-Y, where Y is a real, positive number)...

 

Rarely happens.  My level is 2i - 6.

post #17 of 25

The only equipment I ever seem to get asked about is my go-pro

 

N lets see

 

2i-6-Y

 

where i integrates from zero to infinity right

 

Where is my copy of matlab at ....

post #18 of 25
Too funny on the "do you know Jesus" post...
And unfortunately, I HAVE had this happen to me before & it felt like I was locked in a room with a Hari Chrisna.  I let him ramble on for a bit and then caught up with him again on the next chair up where I then proceed to tell him that I am a theistic satanism and then expose the virtues of demonic rituals including sex with a coven of witches every Thursday night, animal sacrifices (like taught in the bible but no longer practiced) and other discussions about the books of the bible that were intentionally ommited by the church "re-editors" due to them not having a financial benefit to the church (at that time) .  I figure that if I had to sit through his crap, he might as well also have to suffer the same torture on the next ride.  Am I a bad person?
 
PS - I am actually a Lutheran but DO feel the religious proselyting can get out of hand
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteStar77 View Post

Do people actually ask for equipment advice on the chair?

 

Yes. I would say most days somebody asks something about my gear. I think there are several reasons for this...

 

1. Most of my skiing is at smaller Colorado ski areas (Sunlight, Wolf Creek, Monarch) that tend to see a lot of flatlander crowds, church groups, etc. There tend to be a fair bit off folks that aren't terribly core about the slopes, and me and my wife's gear looks a bit different than rental gear.

2. We aren't light on the gear either, as we are kind of gear heads (and we get a lot of ski gear as gifts)   All of our gear is pretty well used, but we do have helmets with go pro mounts and audio (and a go pro on most deep days), his and her dakine heli packs, and such.  I guess we look the part to a certain extent.

3. My wife isn't quite where I am in terms of ability, so its fairly common that we split off for part of our ski day and I'm riding chairs single.

4. I hate riding chairlifts alone, and will typically ask to join another chair if there is anybody around.

5. I have about a 7" beard. Sometimes I get the feeling this gives me Texas cred as "the crazy local ski guru" or something.

 

So yeah, its not uncommon for me to get a question like "Are those skis some of them 'rockstar' skis everybody is talking about?"

post #20 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smartyiak View Post

 

I always ask, "How you like ___________?" I assume that they're gonna tell me about what ever it is I ask.

 

Conversely, I've had people ask me about something and I'll tell them, as honestly as I can, about what I like and don't like about whatever piece they ask about.

 

 

Yeah.  If somebody is skiing a ski that I am interested in and have not demoed, I'll almost certainly ask them about how it skis.  I don't get a lot of ski questions from expert skiers because I'm pretty sure most everybody knows how a pair of Seths skis.  I don't think this is really odd at all for people to ask about gear on a chairlift? I mean, you have 10 minutes or so, and talking about gear beats awkward silence... 

post #21 of 25

If advice is asked for, you give it.   If you feel uncomfortable just stop talking, you just preface your words by saying this is your personal opinion.

But the Original title is misleading, in that if you're not asked for advice, don't feel you have the need to give it or correct other people.

Otherwise, it's just peopleskills and human interaction..  I'm sure any general rules on how to have a human conversation and how to read body language hold true.

 

I suppose if there is something seriously wrong, or a safety issue, as a matter of being a human being like tch's story you can point something out to someone else.  But further then that don't make any assumptions about the other person, just speak for yourself.

 

In Golf, that it is a stated Rule that advice may neither be given nor asked.  Not just a matter of etiquette, but an official straight out rule.  I imagine that this was not just for issues of competition, but that the founders found it too annoying to listen to the other players yap on and on.

 

So in a casual game with strangers where the Rules don't  strictly apply, to follow that spirit, nobody gives advice.  There are exceptions if there is a true beginner who asks for help, and questions on the course/strategy are generally given if it's someone who knows the course playing with someone who doesn't.  But it's really bad etiquette to give any tips on technique during a round.   The biggest sign of a Beginner golfer is that once they've had their first a-ha moment, they start sharing tips and how to fix someone else's swing, when they have no license to do so.  They can feel free to yap about what is working for them, but once it turns into advice to someone else, then a line has been crossed.

post #22 of 25

weird

post #23 of 25

As a instructor and race coach, I am oftern wearing one of my two "official" jackets, radio vest etc so I look "the part"..  I usually ski on Fischer SL skis when just tooling around our little MA Mt.  These are great for demo and jumping into a tight kids' course.  Obviously SL skis have a very pronounced "shape."  I am oftern questioned (usually by novice grown ups) about the "new" shape technology.  :)

 

I am happy to discuss the relative merits of diff kinds of equipment and offer advice.  As a semi-pro :), it is #1 priority to be an ambassador for the Mt and make sure that #1 people have FUN.  #2 Are SAFE, and #3 COME BACK and SPEND MONEY.  It is important to get people on equipment that is appropriate and properly tuned.  A good tune is vital for fun / performance  / safety on tricky new england hard pack. "Oh icy? (perfect firm corduroy) The shop at the base will do a quick edge and wax in about 10 minutes. Tell them Pat sent you."

 

My friendly chit chat advice is not 100% altruistic, I often inquire (if it looks like they could use one) if they have ever had a lesson and give them a card. :)  Sometimes I will offer to take run with them and eval or even video their skiing ("Give me your phone and I will follow you.")  I know giving someone your phone is not the greatest idea, but I am wearing and instructor jacket with my name on it :)  I often get, "Really?  Thanks!  I have never seen myself ski before!  I am so posting this on FB!" 

 

If someone is wearing some 1980s tech, I might make a friendly admiring comment on their 200cm K2s and white rear entry boots and ask if they have ever tried shaped skis and take it from there.

 

Helmet backwards - yes I usually mention that.

 

Lift ticket on front zipper whapping them in the face?  I offer a new zip tie and suggest a pocket zipper. Nick it off with my leatherman get them sqared away.

 

Gaper gap?  Lil help.

 

All kinds of open flapping pockets?  "Excuse me Miss / Maam / Sir / Young fella -  Your pockets are open.  Wouldn't want you to lose something.  Let me check you out.  Remember - it is more important to look good than to ski good." 

 

Unbuckled boots?

 

Bunched up pant leg?

 

See them taking a pic of their friend?  "Like me to take pic of you both? Say Skiiiiiiiii!"

 

Boots hurt?  Go see Mike or Dan in the shop.

 

Struggling to carry their junk?  HELP OR help them get their stuff on their shoulder etc.

 

Long story short, be friendly but not preachy.  NEVER criticize.  "Dude those rear entry boots must suck huh?".

 

You can always go with, "Well I am no expert and this advice is worth what you are paying for it, but in my humble opinion...."

 

:)

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

Does anyone here feel the need to apologize to casual skiers for being obsessed with skiing, when questions bring up these topics (and as it pertains to the equipment questions, comments?)?

post #25 of 25

No way! Never apologize for pursuing your passion. By the same token, it's important to tone back the ski talk when you're around people who aren't as into skiing as you. I have no interest in detailed diatribes on wool quality from power knitters, though I can appreciate their enthusiasm. 

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