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How has the interwebz changed skiing for you?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

TGR put together a somewhat thought provoking piece for The North Face's "The Rise" series.

 

The North Face: The Rise Ep. 9 - E-volution

I've been spending a lot of time working on a little project that explores this subject and I'm trolling for some insights from the greater community.


How has the internet changed skiing for you?

I'll go first:

 

Researching product is easier than ever, as well as learning about the terrain I want to explore, the athletes I look up to, and finding powder and steeps stoke in the middle of July. In short, it's just made my addiction worse.


Sincere feedback is encouraged, but I know that I'm probably asking for it with a troll like this.
 

I should say is that I will use soundbites from your responses in a presentation at SIA and later at Dibraca \\\'14.

 

If you are interested, I will be presenting with Todd Jones, Todd Ligare, and a few other awesome people at SIA at 9am Feb. 1 in the Bluebird Social Zone booth #278.

I'm also getting soundbites from TGR forums (Those have been pretty priceless. Whatever creativity is lacking in their insults is definitely more than compensated for with passion. It's truly poetic.) and NewSchoolers. It should be interesting to see the different perspectives.

post #2 of 24
I can't rely on what I read for things like equipment purchases. I must demo to evaluate.

I have made friends/connections through forums, and I'm in Breckenridge now because we visited for a get-together and really liked the area.
post #3 of 24

I've been on the internet longer than I've been skiing, so it hasn't changed anything for me.  It's always been there.

 

Yesterday an old guy stopped me  as I was leaving the hill and asked  how long it took  me to get used to my "parabolic" skis.  I said "no time at all" since I started skiing in the late 90s and the old "straight" skis never made any sense to me. There was no transition period, it was a case of going from a tool that didn't work to using one that did.

 

Your question reminds me a lot of his. You might want to ask how metal edges and plastic boots have changed skiing.

post #4 of 24

Drew: you should update your Profile so that your screen name shows up.  A function of the Facebook link.

 

As for the question . . . when I started lurking on a regional ski forum around 2005, I was an older skier getting my daughter started on skis.  I was active on other online forums for something completely different.  Didn't have skiing friends since my husband is a non-skier but had time since I could retire early.  When my daughter could do blacks in the the southeast, we made friends going to regional gatherings.  Fast forward to 2009 and my first gathering out west set up by an online ski forum (not EpicSki) that included a multi-day clinic.  By then I had enough time on snow that I'd become an advanced skier at age 53.  But without the group trip, I wasn't ready to think about high level instruction.  A traditional ski club trip was not a good fit for me.

 

Since doing more than blue groomers is a lot more fun and safer with a ski buddy, being able to make new friends on ski forums who were advanced/expect skiers who are either local to big mountains or willing to take 1-week or longer ski trips has made a huge difference in my ability to enjoy skiing at a much higher level than I ever imagined.

post #5 of 24

not so much a change as i've had the internet ever since i started to plan my own ski outings but for me the biggest impact  of the internet on my skiing is planning.

 

Internet makes it very easy to discover and scope out potential destination and plan trips as well as getting to "know" the mountian before getting there so you can navigate it more easily. It also helps for weekend trips in order to assess conditions easily.

post #6 of 24

The video you posted refers to competitive athletes tracking each other's exploits.  I'm sure the internet is good for that, but as an old recreational skier I find surfing the web for ski topics is more like getting a ski magazine in the mail every day of the year.  Every day there is new stoke, trip info, gear reviews, instruction talk, and potential for tons of Q & A on any subject related to skiing/boarding.  The stoke factor has been amped-up to the nth degree.  Here is a related appreciation piece on internet ski forums:  http://www.epicski.com/a/giving-thanks-for-online-ski-forums

post #7 of 24

It hasn't changed my actual on-hill skiing at all, but...

 

I agree with Kneale that it's important to demo rather than rely on web reviews.  That said, web reviews, forum input from other posters, and product info do help me determine what skis would likely be best for me to demo.

 

The web makes it easy to check lift status and weather conditions at your hill via its website, and web cams at the hill give you an idea of how crowded it is. 

 

The web also makes researching and booking ski trips to other destinations much easier than the good o' days.

 

Finally, I had no place to debate helmet use prior to web-chat forums...so there's that, too! 

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

.

Finally, I had no place to debate helmet use prior to web-chat forums...so there's that, too! 

I overlooked the DEBATE that occurs online:D
post #9 of 24
Met some pretty great folks to ski with and couches to crash on via the interwebz... Also great having access to videos of world class skiers and coaches to look at. I'm a better visual learner, so youtube's been awesome.
post #10 of 24

It has changes skiing from a sport for me to a career. So I will say yes. 

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

It has changes skiing from a sport for me to a career. So I will say yes. 

It has changed skiing from a sport I enjoy in the winter to an entire way of life.  So I will say yes. 

post #12 of 24

I think that the Internet has made some huge changes in the ski business as the power of global communication affects a lot a brand can be hot in Canada and yet if the same brand is not that strong in he USA it gets a bum wrap in Canada. European influence doesn't impact over here. For example look at the Kitzbuehl race this weekend in Austria it drew over 60,000 people for the awards ceremony let alone the race, where as here in Lake Louise less that a 1,000 people. EU's don't spend as much time on the Internet and thus aren't seeing the back country big mountain trend as much as North Americans are.

Yet technology is spread much faster for things like accessories and apps. like years ago we all wanted watches (Suunto etc) that told us how many runs we took, now we have apps like the Navionics Ski app that does that and shows where we skied how long we went in for some liquid courage for.

 

I would say that Internet is speeding up the R&D trend for all aspects of the ski industry. 

post #13 of 24
Before the internet I didn't know how much I suck.

But I heard about some pretty cool places and skied there, which pissed off the locals.
post #14 of 24
I had several snow report phone numbers memorized.
post #15 of 24

Is there any predictions on what will be the next big thing in Skiing? We had shape skis, twin tips (Re-invented in the 2k's from the 70's), fat skis, rocker and next????

What about ski apps, we have runs, speed, pictures, google earth tracks, what would your wish list be?

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

What's next is probably uncertain, though the alpine touring revolution has certainly taken hold in Utah and other areas in the Western Hemisphere. One thing is certain, when changes happen, they are more rapid than they have been in the past because of the velocity at which communication travels.

We had a great session at SIA with panelists including Jordan Judd from Salomon, Todd Jones, Ashley Otte from Powder, and it was clear that there is a revolution of content happening now.

 

If anyone was there and has feedback, let me know. We opened registrations for Dibraca '14 and it's picking up steam. I'm looking forward to thoughts heading into it.

post #17 of 24

I think your write about ski touring is a small trend as people want to get out more and still enjoy the downhill part, any others feels this? I think the back country is getting more attractive even the stuff that is just around the corner not necessarily just the extreme stuff in the west and the big mountains.

Any others trekking off the beaten path?

post #18 of 24

In my view Internet has done three things for skiing:

 

1) It has firmly landed skiing into the world of technology cycle driven sales.   In the 80s, you had some cyclical purchasing.  Popular  color schemes on top sheets.  Innovations in rear entry boots.  The first walk/ski boots (for walking around the lodge) were out in the 90s, but by and large there were two categories of skiing consumer.  The ones who skied a lot, and hard, and actually wore out their equipment every year or two, and the casual skier who upgraded from rentals and expected their equipment to last for 10 years.  New materials were introduced in ski construction, but no one ran out to replace their old, still servicable wood core skis because "kevlar is it!".  Even in the late 90s with the move to parabolic skis, you did not see rapid product turnover.  It was a very gradual process of getting the word out on the his, in the demo's, on the race circuit, about the "shaped skis".  The internet lets companies tap into the "feature" driven product upgrade cycle.  One promo video on youtube for a new ski technology can reach a bigger audience than a demo rep can in a whole season of traveling.  That trend in "upgrade cycle" means that where manufacturers previously competed for that hard driving skier who would wear through his equipment in a season, now they are able to devote more attention to entry and intermediate level skiers, who can be counted on for repeat purchases as then next wave of ski camber / boot adjustment / binding technology is released to the market.

 

2) Youtube and the affordable helmet cam has spring-boarded park skiing and probably revived the live into many smaller ski hills.  Whereas park snowboarding took 5 to 10 years to grow in popularity to the level of skateboarding, and then only due to the mass appeal of events like the X-games, kids are out there trick skiing for that one-take that will make them look like super hero's to their buddies in high school.  As a result, I see more park skiers on my local hill than snowboarders, because, let's face it, tricks aside, skiing is a heck of a lot more fun than snow boarding.  If only I wasn't at that age where a broken bone = big recovery time, I would be out there falling off the rail too. 

 

3) Ebay and craigslist have made early age skiing a better proposition for the middle class.  By that, I mean the main obstacle to regularly skiing with a five or six year old is the equipment cost.  If you buy them equipment, they outgrow it within a season.  If you rent, expect that you will end up paying as much in rental fees as if you bought the equipment, especially if you were going to take them out every weekend and really get them to a level of competent skiing where they start to have fun and aren't just falling down on the rope tow all day.  That used to mean getting to the annual ski shop's "swap meat" early, and scrounging around for something reasonably priced in your kids size, and often going home disappointed.  Now, you can buy a second hand pair of kids skis and boots for around $100 online off of that "rich" guy who dropped $300 last December on little junior, who maybe skied once or twice.  The equipment is better than a rental (especially the boots), your kid can use it for a year, and then you sell it again for $100 (after a tuning, or else expect a little less on the resale).  For folks who know what they are doing - and I mean REALLY understand that a DIN setting is based on more than "bigger number = harder release", you can even find online charts for the bindings to adjust them for your kid's height, weight, ability, etc. and save some money that way too, meaning instead of a $40 binding adjustment fee, you still take them to the shop and have a $10 binding function test done....   

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skienian View Post
 

Is there any predictions on what will be the next big thing in Skiing?

 

I don't know what's next but my long term prediction is the development of artificial snow that doesn't melt. 

 

When this happens, ski resorts will be open year round and those of us who continue to ski in the winter on the real thing will be considered oddball relics of a bygone era.

 

Get used to the future - you are going to spend the entire rest of your life there.

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
 

 

I don't know what's next but my long term prediction is the development of artificial snow that doesn't melt. 

 

I hate to break it to you man, but it's already been in use in the UK for 20+ years.  They call it dry snow.  Here's a pic:

 

 

No, it's not a faked photo.  http://ski.lovetoknow.com/Skiing_Centres_in_the_UK

post #21 of 24

Don't eat yellow sand

post #22 of 24

My family doesn't ski that regularly, so skiing was initially intimidating and the lack of knowledge was a big barrier to entry. The internet allowed me to learn a ton at home and feel confident about initially heading out to the resorts on my own and with friends. 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankiewarren View Post
 

My family doesn't ski that regularly, so skiing was initially intimidating and the lack of knowledge was a big barrier to entry. The internet allowed me to learn a ton at home and feel confident about initially heading out to the resorts on my own and with friends. 

Welcome to EpicSki!  What region do you ski in usually?

post #24 of 24

Thanks :) I'm from San Diego, so Big Bear/Snow Summit. I recently moved to SF so I'm now exploring Tahoe. It's been great (especially now that we've gotten a little bit of snow).

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