Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
The point isn't to place them on WC race ice. Regardless of their exposure to western styles what can be gleened from what they do?
BTW, Sounds odd that you ski thirty days a year in Canada but claim to ski with folks halfway around the world weekly. Do they train in Canada, or do you really travel to Japan every week?
I'm originally from Quebec, I'm currently on a rotation in Korea for my work (been bouncing around Asia due to my job for the past couple of years, no not an English teacher ). I left in the Canada in my profile because I'm afraid if I change it to Asia, then that is one more nail in the coffin for me ever being able to find my way back home.
Originally Posted by markojp
Nyc, my experience with a japan demo team member was very different. Let me ask specifically, who have you skied with?
For the past 3 months I've skiied with the "A" team demonstrators for a major ski manufacturer that is partnered with a boot manufacturer, should be fairly obvious which company, at least once a week, and am friends with the head of the regional distributor for a major ski brand, so I have a lot (probably too much) of exposure to Asian demonstrators. I'm not an "expert" on Japanese skiing, although due to the proximity there is a fair bit of cross-training between the Japanese and Korean skiers and they travel back and forth for training.
I said in another post, that the demonstrators do know the fundamentals and know how to ski very well. They are versatile and can ski on any terrain that I've seen. But as I said in that post, their focus in on their career as a demonstrator, and that does not always translate to efficient or effective skiing for the general population.
For example, this coming and next weekend there is a national demonstration technical competition (the biggest event for demonstrators each year, where the "National Champion" is selected). When I skied with these guys last week, they skied all day with cloth straps wrapped around their knees to keep their legs and feet together. For them, skiing with style and looking good is their job. Do they ski like this 100% of the time, when outside of the public eye? No. I've gone cruising down mountains with them on GS skis, done mogul runs (sometimes even backwards) and generally have been impressed with their free skiing. But when it's "demo" time (i.e., competition or filming), that's when things start getting a bit weird, but understandably so, because it's their job to ski with style.
I know a couple of guys on the National alpine ski team through my acquaintances here, and me and a "demonstrator" ran into them during a day of gate training in January (someone actually posted a video of that training day here, which was surprising) in Pyeongchang. The training session was pretty informal and low-key since they're not traveling or competing on the WC circuit, and they were sharing gates/runs with local high school and university students (talk about poor funding). Anyways we had the opportunity to go down some GS gates as they were finishing up (nothing too steep or hard), and the demonstrator I was with backed out saying it was too dangerous. He was humble enough to admit he had no idea how to go fast, just knows how to "ski pretty."
I guess my point is, Asian demonstrators, like alpine racers, are a very specialized breed of skiers with a very specific skill set and goals. While I am confident they can "free ski" better than 99% of the general population out there (skiing down an entire piste using 1 leg and 1 ski is no problem, etc.), certain "demonstration videos" that we can see online are quite different from what most of us are trying to achieve with our skiing, and oftentimes don't even reflect the way these demonstrators ski on their free time.
I know this post is getting obnoxiously long, so I apologize. But two things to note about "professional" skiers in Asia are that 1) a lot of these guys started skiing in high school as a means of getting a scholarship to the national university of physical education, so in retrospect started very late, and 2) Asians place a huge emphasis on "form" in sports, which is why they excel at activities which require high degrees of efficiency (speed skating, archery, shooting, golfing). While "form" is important, I believe that skiing also requires a degree of power and finesse. Skiing is a intense physical sport, afterall.
Question: does this sound similar to the "demonstrator" experience outside of Asia? I've been hugely impressed with the demonstration videos I've seen of people like JF Beaulieu (who seem to care more about effective skiing rather than style), and I would hope outside of Asia, demonstrators take on a bit more of a holistic approach to their skiing.