Originally Posted by christopherstow
For the same reason that Formula 1 and Nascar are more marketable in the mainstream than driving an SUV to the grocery store. Just because the average skier likes twin tips, fat skis and terrain parks doesn't mean that everyone will immediately want to watch it on TV.
Are you comparing big mountain skiing and jibbing with driving an SUV to a store??? And given DVD sales it seems there are lots of people prepared to pay good money to watch athletes rip down Alaskan peaks, huck themselves on backcountry kickers and slide urban rails. I am not aware of any recent ski racing movies.
It used to be that the only elite skiers were racers, and the only high performance skis were race skis. But with the progression in ski design, the types of snow and terrain it is possible for the average skier to ski has greatly expanded. Like it or not, racing will never have the influence it did a decade ago. I am not saying racing will die, but it will just be another skiing discipline among many. Tanner is trying to get some of the limelight for himself and for freeskiing (for not totally unselfish reasons). And the racers are desperately trying to make sure that mainstream sponsors do not find out there are other aspects to skiing.
While I appreciate that racing helped the progression of materials in ski construction up until the early nineties, but racing did not lead the development of the current diversity in shapes of skis. I got my K2 Fours when they were the best carving skis around and there was no such thing as race carvers, and racing played no part in the development of fat skis or twin tip skis. It used to be that an “all mountain” ski was just a softened and detuned version of a race ski, but thankfully that is not the case any more. I am incredibly glad racing has played no part in the development of skis over the last five or ten years (excluding the civilian versions of race skis).
Racing is a passive spectator sport, you look at it and think wow, he has a lot of skill, but that icy course doesn’t look like much fun, and it is not the sort of place I would want to ski. When you look at freeskiers you think wow, he has a lot of skill, and I would give my left nut to ski that mountain and that snow, where is that, how do I get there and what sort of skis is he using?