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Are you as good as you think you are?

post #1 of 187
Thread Starter 

So, are you as good as you think you are?  This question became a side topic in another discussion that I started about why skiers quit skiing.  It was suggested that it would be a good discussion on its own.  So, here it is!


Are you as good as you think you are?  If so, tell us how you made this determination.  If not, please tell us how you discovered that.


I will chime in later with my own experiences, however I would like to hear some of yours to get the party started.


Who wants to be first?


Rick G

post #2 of 187

I think I'm probably better than I'll admit to being.. lowers expectations of the people you haven't skied with.. let them judge for themselves ...


I'm ok, I can get down most stuff.. sometimes its not pretty..




actually , I've spent a boatload on lessons, long after I could have stopped (still take lessons, to cut lines or out of boredom) I'm a pretty technical skier.. and pay attention to that stuff on the ride up(who's doing what.. and is it "wrong" or right) ... Backcountry Mt Washington and the surrounding area s fair amount  (not this year.. to boney so far) and try to ski with people better than I am (my g-friend is better..  or at least more "in control"  .. I like skiing with her ) she tends to be more of a  finesse skier, I tend to be more "power" orientated .  

post #3 of 187
post #4 of 187
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post


I think that is true for many of us.


Rick G

post #5 of 187
I think for a lot of people, it's really "are you as bad as you think you are?".
post #6 of 187
Comments from strangers gauge my self perception. However, more importantly are enjoyment and respect to others. Yesterday I was off to the side of a trail stretching and a young man stops and said you sure are flexible for your age. I just smiled.
post #7 of 187

First time poster here, been lurking these boards for about 18 months.


My answer is I am probably not as good as I think I am. I have only been once... to Vail for our honeymoon. We took 3 days of lessons as my wife wasn't comfortable getting away from an instructor, but I kept progressing and got to the level 3-4 class by the third day. Only fell once, and it was getting off the stupid magic carpet lift with a big ice patch just to the right. The rest of the class left the last day so the instructor took me on one of the easier blue runs in a mini-private lesson and said I was ready to go off on my own for a while. My wife really benefited from the extra instruction, and, if you're ever in Vail and need a lesson, ask for Ted James from Eagle, Co.


I am a firm believer in being confident in what you're trying to do so that makes it very likely I'm not as good as I think. I like to push myself to get better, and it's hard to do that if you don't believe in yourself and your capabilities.


I have a trip planned to copper for next month and likely going to Utah in march for a business/ play trip for another week (looking at staying in Ogden and doing Snowbasin/ Powder Mountain with some friends). So I'm sure I'll be humbled by the end of the year.


Been great reading everyone's opinions on technique, resorts, equipment, and look forward to contributing as I go forward.

post #8 of 187
Not this year.
post #9 of 187

In my understanding of skiing, I am.  In my execution....not.

post #10 of 187

I don't really think of skiing in terms of "am I good?" It doesn't really matter to me if I'm good or not good, as I no longer feel I need to prove anything to anyone. As long as I'm having a good time I'm happy.


I do work on adding to my skills though, just because it's enjoyable. This season I've been trying to add a few tricks to my jumping. I've been working on my Mute Grab lately, and want to add some spins later on. 

post #11 of 187

You folks know those memes about career stereotypes where it is two parts with "what my friends think I do" and "what I really do"?


How I think I ski.......






How I actually ski.........


post #12 of 187

How good I think I am usually depends on who I'm skiing with...  Skiing with the likes of segbrown, Bob Barnes, cgeib, Josh, epic, etc. will make most people rethink their place in the skiing hierarchy.  Getting smoked in the beer league races by four, five seconds in a 25 second course makes me realize t hat there's a whole lot I don't know.


Watching most of the general public ski -- I think I do pretty well.

post #13 of 187
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

You folks know those memes about career stereotypes where it is two parts with "what my friends think I do" and "what I really do"?


How I think I ski.......






How I actually ski.........



Proves you need alignment work done on your boots!   :p   I told ya your theory was pure bunk!
post #14 of 187

"I'm the best skier on the mountain!" GNAR.


I can't believe I'm the first to post this. I type so much faster than you all.



post #15 of 187
Thread Starter 

OK, I will chime in before I leave for work.


I believe that in my puny little 70's drug damaged brain, that I have a pretty good perception of my skiing abilities and know what I am able to do and when I need to ski away to look for an easier route.  I would hope to think that is what we all strive for, to be able to ski confidently within our abilities on any run.


I was not the first person to label me an "Expert" skier.  That came from folks I have skied with and instructors I took lessons from.  To be honest, I dislike that term "Expert" and prefer to consider myself a "Mountain Master" or an "Accomplished Skier" which pretty much says that you are confident enough in your skills to be able ski just about anything without getting yourself into danger.  It took me quite awhile for me to accept that perhaps I really am an advanced level expert skier.  And that only came after many other folks called me that.  Even had a few pretty good skiers tell me that I was the best they ever skied with.  Of course I told them they need to find new ski partners if I was the best amongst their friends.


But as we all know perception and reality are two completely different things, as evidenced by my lame attempt to learn how to race at the ripe old age of 52.  As mentioned I fancy myself a Mountain Master, but in the race course I am at best an intermediate.  A fellow racer friend who has raced recreationally for over 30 years explained it to me.  It is all about how your brain processes information while you are in the course.   He said that very good skiers who race casually, generally think in their brain, that they are doing what the serious racers are doing, because of their high recreational abilities.  Accomplished racers OTOH, really do know what they need to do and whether or not they accomplished that...for pretty much every single gate in the course, noting every single mistake they made so they can correct on their next run.  The serious racers are processing way more information than I can possibly do with my limited race experience.  So our perceptions are different.


I have now hit a plateau in my racing and I am not sure if I have the time, money or motivation to work through that plateau, so I am pretty sure that I know how well I race, which is not very well at all.  My very strong recreational abilities have allowed me to move up in class to where I am only one class below the really good racers.  But our time discrepancies are so large that I don't anticipate I will ever catch up at my late age.  For example, this past weekend in GS on a 600 foot hill I was running very low 47's and came in 3rd only 0.34 combined time out of 1st.  Pretty competitive.  But still 8-9 seconds combined time off the (over 40) class ahead of me, which was another 5-6 seconds combined time behind the under 40 expert class.   And I thought I raced as well as I am capable of.  But studying those times does put it in perspective.  Don't even ask me about my slalom times as they are pathetic compared to the good racers.


OTOH, maybe it is just the equipment and all I need is a new pair of race skis and a speed suit, and then I will kick me some ASS!


Ski on!


Rick G

Edited by rickg - 1/20/15 at 2:09pm
post #16 of 187

Modesty is nice so... Yes I am as good as I think I am :P I can manage get down pretty much every GS or SL course which I manage get access too (mostly when big guys and girls of WC skiing are training) with decency... most of times... between the gates of course. This can be enforced with something what happened after one of such runs 2 years ago, on injected and completely icey steep, when one of bigger names between coaches on tour skied down to me, after he let me use their course, and with surprised look on his face said something like "F***k you can really ski". :) Which is quite ok for some noname photographer who is nowadays just hobby skier and who put race skis aside more then 15 years ago. On the other side, I'm definitely not as good as I would wish to be.... but that's not what you asked, and I'm working on this to get better. :P

post #17 of 187

Skiing has a pretty big mental component so if you are confident and at least competent negotiating and enjoying a wide range of snow conditions even in steep slopes then you can probably adapt and learn to increase your speed comfort level, better your technique and be even more calm and comfortable skiing even nasty slopes. Having fun is numero uno on my list and also feeling good. Pain is bad so listen to your body. 


If you want to really know how good you are have someone take a video of you while skiing a wide range of terrain and take a class. Let others be the judge.


But confidence is key and also being able to enjoy skiing all day, day after day no matter the conditions.

post #18 of 187
I think I can hold my own with the best of um on the frontside. But to consider my self a accomplished skier you need to do it all well. I am not there and never will,age and back problems will hold me back. I ski with guys that do it all well and it just impresses me and pisses me off at the same time.
post #19 of 187
Originally Posted by MuchosPixels View Post


If you want to really know how good you are have someone take a video of you while skiing a wide range of terrain and take a class. Let others be the judge.



Yep, post the video here and ask for MA.  You'll know how good you are very quickly.

post #20 of 187

I'm a decent skier but I do know how bad I am because for all the skiing that I have done (averaged 80 days/year for40+ years) I should be a lot better skier than I actually am. My skiing style is "advanced flailing". I love tree skiing because there are no style points in the woods and because when that tree is coming at you fast, it becomes turn 'em any way you can.


OTOH since I am "decent" it just shows that even a non-athletic klutz can attain a certain level of skiing competence if you do it enough.

post #21 of 187

When I ski with people I'm better than, I'm amazing. When I ski with people who are better than me, I suck.


Verdict: I pay way too much attention to what other people are doing.

post #22 of 187
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

When I ski with people I'm better than, I'm amazing. When I ski with people who are better than me, I suck.


Verdict: I pay way too much attention to what other people are doing.


That's so true.


Personally, I used to think I was a great skier.  I've since realized that I wasn't great, I'm not great now, I'll never be great, but I'm pretty good.  Good enough to have fun, at least.  Which at the end of the day is the most important thing.

post #23 of 187
I ain't as good as I once was
But I'm as good once as I ever was
post #24 of 187

I'd like to think I'm as good as anyone on yard sale gear,  a little out of shape, and over fifty that has skied less than 10 days a year for the past 10 years.  However, skiing really is one of those things that never leaves you so there are certainly plenty of people that haven't skied at all in ten years that could totally smoke me after a warm up run. 


I'm pretty damned good at making excuses!:p 

post #25 of 187

Like my signature says!


The older I get , the faster I was!

post #26 of 187

I used to think I was pretty awesome when I actually sucked. Oh to be young again. :rolleyes 


And the better I actually get, the more I think I suck. Does that make sense?

post #27 of 187

I think I often under-estimate my own skiing because there are so many talented skiers at Squaw / Alpine and it's humbling.  I was going down Siberia towards the end of last season - pretty fast - and was absolutely smoked by someone going switch, who then hit a bump and spun back forward to straight-line the rest of the slope (I felt better about myself later on when I realized it was Tanner Hall).  It's funny how your surroundings can alter your perception so much.  But still, there are plenty of anonymous folks out there who just plain rip.


Same thing in mountain biking.  The few friends I ride with can absolutely shred and quite often they make me feel like a gaper.  Then when I'm out with average riders, I'm crushing them on the climbs and ditching them on the descents and suddenly I realize that I'm way better than I thought.  Which is a good example of why you should try to ski / ride with people who are better than you.

post #28 of 187

Not yet. :D


I'm pretty good at other action sports, including snowboarding, but I've only got ~6 days on skis in the last 20 years.


It's hard to go back to being a beginner when you're used to being better than most people on the mountain.


The last couple of days skiing I was getting really frustrated at not being able to carve - I *hate* skid turns.  I had my wife do a few videos and I realized that I was not even close to carving.


So it was carve or die the last time I went out.  I emerged sore, but victorious!  Those few runs of carving top to bottom were amazing and opened my eyes to just how much fun this new sport is going to be.

post #29 of 187

I don't know.


I honestly don't think I am that great of skier. I can manage almost anything on a mountain , but generally try to avoid anything over a 10 foot booter (and sidestep back out of anything above 20). But, being able to make it down with two skis on doesn't mean you are good, and when the going gets technical, I get slow and defensive.


Honestly my balance sucks and is never going to get any better, which tends to put me out of position fore/aft AND side to side.  As a result I have a lot of extra pole plants push my upper body back under the skis and other things that just aren't normally an issue. A descent is equal amounts backseat and slamming my tips with way too much weight forward. I gravitate to wide skis because I need a stable plank, although recently I'm amazed how quickly I can go edge to edge on some narrower skis, which made me feel slightly less hopeless.


I have taught countless people how to ski, and have a very high conversion rate- almost everybody I taught was confident on greens day 1 and almost all took up the sport long-term. In fact, I can remember only one absolute failure- a co-worker that spent 5 minutes in the snow on her butt, got cold, and didn't want to try any more.  I took a friend from bunny hill graduate to somebody that could confidently ski off-piste steeps in a season.


I think the thing that perplexes me is that I don't feel like a good skier, but then I commonly get cheers from the lift or "hey, look at that guy" comments while skiing. I dunno. I see plenty of guys skiing that HAVE to look more fluid than I do, and its not like I am out there going huge.

post #30 of 187
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post



This about sums it up for me.  Before I stopped skiing for 10+ years, I was a decent skier.  Now, I have my moments; however.  I'm not as good as I was before I stopped. I really need to get a couple of lessons.

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