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What does it mean when something is "technical"?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

It has never been entirely clear to me what "technical" means in the context of skiing, except maybe as a pompous way of saying "hard."  Examples of usage:

 

"The entry to [insert name of the run] is pretty technical but then it opens up."

"XYZ is a pretty easy resort, the double diamonds are just bump runs, nothing really technical."

 

You get the picture.  Please enlighten me!

post #2 of 49
Tight lines, requiring turns in specific places.
Missing a turn could have consequences.
post #3 of 49

aka Spicey

post #4 of 49
It means you need to plan your line.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 

It has never been entirely clear to me what "technical" means in the context of skiing, except maybe as a pompous way of saying "hard."  Examples of usage:

 

"The entry to [insert name of the run] is pretty technical but then it opens up."

"XYZ is a pretty easy resort, the double diamonds are just bump runs, nothing really technical."

 

You get the picture.  Please enlighten me!


I assumed (but who knows) that it means you better have worked on a variety of skiing techniques in order to make it down effectively.  

post #6 of 49

When you see it, you know. 

 attachment.php?attachmentid=152417&d=1394659708

post #7 of 49

it requires technique

post #8 of 49

And often a quick change of the bottom base layer. :eek 

post #9 of 49

Technical, to me, means that you will have to make some tight turns in the correct places at slow speeds; a "technical" run cannot be straight-lined or taken at high speed, even if you are highly skilled and enjoy that sort of thing, because it would be physically impossible to make the required turns at higher speeds.   

 

It's not always black and white, as sometimes a run that looks very technical can be just about taken straight with minor deviations to avoid the worst pretzelizing slope transitions and rocks/trees/etc.

 

A steep run with a mandatory turn at the bottom is not technical, if you can turn any which way you want or sideslip; it requires more technique than simply going slow enough to make the turn at the bottom.

post #10 of 49

It's a contextual term with slightly different meanings depending on the context. For skiing it is usually it is used in regards to either terrain or technique. For terrain, there are three subtexts including race course (technical events vs. speed events), steep/difficult (requiring specific techniques and/or tactics to get down) or open flat groomers (good terrain for demonstrating technical skills or exposing a lack thereof). Technique described in professional/industrial/specialized terms of ski instructors and race coaches is considered technical language. Discussing the technological aspects of ski equipment would be the technical language of manufacturing engineers.

post #11 of 49
I've always felt "technical" with regards to its use in the OP's post as "You need to be able to do a specific maneuver, at a specific time, in a specific location, or suffer the consequences."

The more technical, the greater the consequences. The consequences can vary from a slower time in a course, having to stop mid run to regroup, all the way through a bad crash and injury.
post #12 of 49
All of the above.

The skier has to have the skill set(s) to perform on demand, regardless of speed or ability level.

A strong good skier, is not always a good technical skier, but a good technical skier is always a good strong skier.
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

All of the above.

The skier has to have the skill set(s) to perform on demand, regardless of speed or ability level.

A strong good skier, is not always a good technical skier, but a good technical skier is always a good strong skier.

 

I don't believe being a "technical" skier alone is enough. Tactical aggression is an element that can compliment technique and, in some cases, surpass it allowing more access to certain terrain than technique alone. All the technique in the world will never account for 100% of any individual's ultimate potential in skiing ability. I have known some very good technical skiers who look absolutely invincible on groomers but who are immediately reduced to advanced intermediates in backcountry terrain. I have also known quite a few really impressive aggressive backcountry skiers who are immediately reduced to advanced intermediates on groomed terrain. Skiing is probably a sport with one the the widest range of specialities except for maybe gymnastics and track and field where disciplines can be comparatively unrelated. Many of us use aggression to aid in advancing our technique and vice versa. Physical fitness is another element that will share highly integrated performance results with tactical aggression and technique and, a balance of which, can result in the most overall development of fundamental skills that will, ultimately, produce more versatility. Some people will always prefer to believe that technique alone is the only "ticket" they will need while simply avoiding the terrain that will deliver the bitch slap of another reality.

post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

All of the above.

The skier has to have the skill set(s) to perform on demand, regardless of speed or ability level.

A strong good skier, is not always a good technical skier, but a good technical skier is always a good strong skier.

 

I don't believe being a "technical" skier alone is enough. Tactical aggression is an element that can compliment technique and, in some cases, surpass it allowing more access to certain terrain than technique alone. All the technique in the world will never account for 100% of any individual's ultimate potential in skiing ability. I have known some very good technical skiers who look absolutely invincible on groomers but who are immediately reduced to advanced intermediates in backcountry terrain. I have also known quite a few really impressive aggressive backcountry skiers who are immediately reduced to advanced intermediates on groomed terrain. Skiing is probably a sport with one the the widest range of specialties except for maybe gymnastics and track and field where disciplines can be comparatively unrelated. Many of us use aggression to aid in advancing our technique and vice versa. Physical fitness is another element that will share highly integrated performance results with tactical aggression and technique and, a balance of which, can result in the most overall development of fundamental skills that will, ultimately, produce more versatility. Some people will always prefer to believe that technique alone is the only "ticket" they will need while simply avoiding the terrain that will deliver the bitch slap of another reality.


Agreed.  I can recall years ago being a decidedly non technical skier and crushing some terrain other skiers considered technical, just because I had the attitude and physical ability (strength endurance and reflexes) to take a (very) fast line through it.  I would have been rag-dolling that same terrain if I had tried billy-goating it.   There may have been some skill in selecting the proper line and executing good high speed turns, but I would not call what I was doing technical skiing.

 

Skiing covers a wide range, and if we have our favorites, that we concentrate on, it takes a lot of years before we get around to acquiring proficiency in other areas.

post #15 of 49
Getting down a technical run does not mean it isn't technical - Beauty (or technical) is in the eyes of the beholder." What is technical to me and Ted Ligity are two hugely different things.

Maybe we can turn this into a "What is steep?" Or "What is an expert skier?" Thread.
post #16 of 49

Overthinking here....   Technical... requiring precision, which in turn requires a degree of technique 'mastery'. Some big mountain lines require precision. Others don't. All racing is 'technical'. Not all racers have great technique. The fast ones do. :) 

post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 

It has never been entirely clear to me what "technical" means in the context of skiing, except maybe as a pompous way of saying "hard."  

A sheet of ice is "hard", but not "technical", even though you need proper technique to get down in control.

 

"Technical" implies mandatory maneuvering at specific spot/time/move. 

post #18 of 49

A simplified discussion of Technical so far; tho’ buzzwords were touched.
Technical covers three things: 'actual ski equipment’, 'actually skiing’ And 'actual terraine’.
If you can’t get it in your head; you can’t get it in your skiing.
No matter where you are these three things ‘equipment', ’skiing’ and 'terraine’  coincide.
Technical means knowing these three parts inside out so that just like car racing

you know what you feel and how to describe it for the set-up changes needed - because change is needed; right?

First: Know This:Skis Arc and your body has to be in balance with this arc.
Most people lack The Technical and maintain balance by skidding the ski.

Most people have to use Friction to control speed.
Technical skiers move their body to produce and follow the Arc:

Skis don't go sideways but Ski displacement is used to recover an Arc.

Technical skiers use Line to control speed...

 

On Groomers this means you ski cleaner and more ‘technically’ ... more edge grip; early high edge angles...

rounder arcs with big g-forces ( and body shapes that match the forces).

And you do it  On Skinny Skis.  Fats don’t cut it here.

Yeah Yeah  - I know you can make pencil lines on Priors but even you would do better on a 72 waisted race-carver.

On the other hand: Vid of  Didier Defago at a Swiss free-ski comp on regular World cup GS in sugary-breakable crust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkwKon4mxy8 … and getting trounced because he had no slarve where a skid on fat skis would have been his friend. 

( some of the worst runs i' ve had  were on GS in Breakable Crust... or dense warming snow.)

Both on and off-piste - you have to make the right move at the right time to accomodate terraine.

Pressure Control, Angulation blah-blah-blah to Pre-jumps, apexes, landings... .. Apply everywhere .

In the softer off-piste; skis respond more slowly because generally lower edge angles match a looser snow feel ( and a lack of 'trust' ). 

So baalaance and paaatience are needed; Edge-grip is not much discussed here.

Dumping energy by slarving a bottom-turn after a long in-run off the cornice is ‘Technical’ in the off-piste. 

post #19 of 49

There is a difference between strong and aggressive.   An aggressive skier can appear to be a good or even great skier because of attitude towards lines.  A strong skier not so much so.

 

What you mention falls more into this.   Any good technical skier can run just about any line without to much thought as the skill set adjusts to meet the needs.   An aggressive skier on the other hand skis the same line on determination and will, yet the moment any thing gets outside the boundries of comfort, the short comings quickly show.

 

I've been all three at one point in time or another.  Now I find that under any conditions I rely on the experience and skills learned over the years.  Aggression and strength at still fun, but nowhere near as required when I was a lot younger and had less skill.

 

Minor but important differences that are sometimes forgotten.

post #20 of 49
Gforce, there are highly technical lines.that require the skis to skid... In both racing (stivot) and freeride (slarve). Technical skill means having a large toolbox and applying it to the desired outcome. Jonathan Ballou might be demoing linked wedge christies. This still be thought of as 'technical' because of his high level of skill and precision. And yes, doing them well is not easy. Neither are great GS turns or Alaska spine.skiing.
post #21 of 49

I think the difference between technical and non technical, for the most part, i.e. what is meant the majority of the time, is that if you are skiing "technical terrain" and don't make the required move at the required spot, you will fail.  It's not like you can hook a ski tip on a mogul, spin around and keep on truck'n.  You can't just slip on over to the next line if you miss your turn down.  You will go down for a face plant and may be wrapped around a tree or rock if you mess up even a little.

post #22 of 49

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCU2D8JetSk

These guys sure make it look like technincal terrane.  ( ps - pardon my earlier spellin')

What some call 'technical terrane' is sometimes difficult condiions - like the same old slope with a crust or whiteout.

Sometimes it is just poor route finding. And yes; if your technique is shallow you might pass it off as 'technnical' .. or sometimes I just call it crappy.

If you just want to get from A to B then you don't need technical... but 'experts' worry about How they get there.

post #23 of 49
Terrain
post #24 of 49
Technical skiing = No two turns alike
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by g-force View Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCU2D8JetSk
These guys sure make it look like technincal terrane.  ( ps - pardon my earlier spellin')
What some call 'technical terrane' is sometimes difficult condiions - like the same old slope with a crust or whiteout.
Sometimes it is just poor route finding. And yes; if your technique is shallow you might pass it off as 'technnical' .. or sometimes I just call it crappy.
If you just want to get from A to B then you don't need technical... but 'experts' worry about How they get there.

The vid.., not technical terrain, but certainly technical, precise skiing. Sync skiing is always technical. Powder eight comps are technical.

Technical terrain, means having to make turns (or not) in places where options are very limited. Technical skiing can be extremely fast, or conversely very slow (think no fall mountaineering type stuff). Skiing technical terrain... great skiers still flow and make it look smooth whether fast or slow. The rest of us merely survive it most of the time. But in the end, if we're having fun and staying safe'ish, it's all fine.
post #26 of 49

Technical skiing for me is skiing where the majority of options are taken away from me. Technical terrain is going to dictate where I turn, with only one or two options available. Not only that, but technical terrain is going to dictate the intent of my turn. That means that not only do I need to turn in certain places, but I also need to make a turn in a way that has a very specific result in able to be set up for the next turn, and the turn after that. 

 

When in technical terrain, the WHAT you need to do is pretty specific. All that leaves you is HOW you do it. i.e; TECHnique.

post #27 of 49

Most people think of tight, steep and billy goating type of lines when they use the word technical but I would add that sometimes really smooth high speed lines are technical as well. Going 50+ mph and making big smooth turns through semi rocky complicated terrain on a big face is technical too imo, it's just different. 

post #28 of 49

I cant describe it, but, I know it when I see it.

 

Not a term I use in skiing...not sure why.  Just was never said when I was learning.  There was steep, really freaking steep, oh and rocky too, and narrow.  There are plenty of runs that require skills used in conjunction with tactics and maybe that is what  would call "technical" terrain.

 

Technical terrain  is terrain that requires both skill and tactics to ski it.

post #29 of 49
[quote[IMG]2w[/IMG] name="kletter1mzh11#-6f3rwzWann" url="/t/147227/what-does-it-mean-when-something-is-technical#post_2009804"]

It has never been entirely clear to me what "technical" means in the context 6 skiing, except maybe as a pompous way of saying "hard."  Examples of usage:

 

"The entry to [insert name RfttACTof the run] is pretty technical but thetn it opens up."

"XYZ is a pretty easy resort, the double diamonds are just v[IMG]wtT d[/IMG] runs, nothing really technical."

 

You get the picture.  Please enlighten me!

[/quote]6tfyc7sy
post #30 of 49
The comment that technical means it reduces your options isn't always true. The bigger your skill set the more options you have.

Some very technical and difficult runs do require very specific skill set that must be performed on demand. However, most technical runs just require that you perform on demand to control your decent in safe manner.

As an example trees are technical, you must pick a line and turn as required not to hit one. Requires some technique (skill).

Some beginners run trees safely, so they have enough skill to manage that run. A beginner is very limited in how they ski this run, an expert skier skis it with a vast range of options and speed to run the same run. Difference is range of skills on demand.
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