Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy
Yes and no. I think poor technique does fall apart under difficult conditions, but not all unorthodox technique is poor. At the end of the day the ability to maintain balance is a function of natural ability as much as textbook technique. I think true experts have both, but in the context of an intermediate breaking through to the next level is one or the other sufficient. With folks here bringing out the skier level charts I wondered if pure results can be considered as a gauge of advancement as well.
Expert skiing is a complex combination of technique, tactic, efficiency, athletic ability, fitness level, equipment, and definitely a big whopping psychological component. If the mix is right, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If not – no magic.
Of the stated components, technique, tactic, efficiency & equipment are the most predictable and reliable. The psyche is the most variable item depending on the skier – you are the master of your own head game. Athletic ability – more nature than nurture. Fitness – the higher the better.
I believe athletic ability and fitness are the two components that falls under your “natural ability” umbrella. Like qcanoe said, there is really not much new under the sun, so why reinvent the wheel. Unorthodox technique is most likely improper and/or inefficient technique with a healthy dose of athletic ability and fitness thrown in as compensation. Unorthodox technique generally has a very limited window of performance. Outside this limited performance window, it usually degrades to plain old poor technique. As you said before, “poor technique falls apart under difficult conditions”.
To me athletic ability and fitness level are consumable items. Exceeding the limits of athletic ability and/or fitness level often results in injuries.
I definitely do not agree with you that a skier have to “maintain balance”. With the execution of proper technique and tactic, a skier is always in balance. Being balance is a end result not a task one performs.
Just remember – making it down the hill is not the same as skiing it.