Enjoy. Looking, at least...
Enjoy. Looking, at least...
To all those here that contributed to this thread: many thanks! Brought back lots of good memories. While I never ever considered competing in any of the organized freestyle events, I did get to share the slopes with a lot of amazing skiers back then - and I did manage to 'delam way too many Hart Freestyles. ;^)
BTW: still have my old yellow framed Vuarnet-like sunglasses, skin tight neoprene bodyglove ski pants (orange) and my 1st pair of orange Lange Banshees. The Banshees have been bookends for years. I only break out the Vuarnets to embarass my son in public. The ski pants remain packed away (haven't looked at 'em in decades, must be dust by now). Thank god for THAT.
Yes...I have a pair, 200cm, white, with a hole in the tips for skins and I do still ski them!
Enjoy. Looking, at least...
Hi all, Eric Lindahl here. I just came across this thread and am enjoying it immensely. I was lucky enough to be one of the originals from the beginning through 1976, though was never a star. I and my wife competed with and knew all the guys and gals and most would probably still remember us. (Hi to those old timers on the forum). We attended the reunions in 98, 2011 and 2014 and enjoyed getting in touch with everyone. Nostalgic trivia riddle: if you were at the 1972 Chevy contest in Sun Valley then you might understand the significance of my avatar name.
Nothing to add but I could probably help ID some of the folks on those grainy 8 mm movies others have posted.
This thread, the few pages I've read, brings back a lot of fond memories. Thank you.
Anybody remember a Squaw freestyler named John Travers?
Always wondered what happened to that crazy.
He took me down the chute that comes down from the tram tower and I won't forget that.
You posted here a while back asking about Phil Gerard and his daughter Michelle. A Lisa responded (which is interesting) because I believe we were the only cousins Michelle has. My name is Daniel Guinaugh and my father was Phil's older brother...I had an opportunity to train on the ski deck in Encino, CA. My sister Shelly and I now live in Denver and I would love to reconnect with Michelle if anyone has contact info for her???
Put it on your calendar!!! AUGUST 9TH!!!! Park City Olympic Water Park!! We are trying to put a foundation together to raise funds for up and coming young Freestylers. Many of the Pioneers will be in attendence and some will even be jumping!! Followed by a silent auction with proceeds going to the foundation. Keep watching as I will post info as I get it!!
Check this link out on flickr that I found a few years ago and luckily saved on my favorites. Especially the bottom of page one through the end of three. Some very cool pic's.
It is the end of August and I am now starting to turn my eye to the upcoming ski season. With that mindset, I started a new thread in the "dumpster" forum for that is mostly targeted at this audience and few others. It is for anyone to post to and may bring some people together. Here is the link to it:
It is a work in progress, but it might work. PM me if you have any thoughts.
Just found this post while trying to find some old footage or anything with Bob C. Young in it. He and I met at Utah Olympic Park at the legends of freestyle aerials banquet last month. I was there with my 15-yr-old son who'd just completed his tryout camp at UOP. Bob had so many stories to tell, it was incredibly fun! And there were so many legends of aerials and freestyle it was amazing. Wish it was on video!
Powder Magazine published an article in the late 60's/early '70's called "Ruts, Reefers, and the Ragged Edge" about racers abandoning the regimentation of race training to ski moguls and build "kicker" jumps in the woods.
Thanks for the memories Headwall07
Bob Mann's 1973 book Hot Dog Skiing was the second book out on what came to be called Freestyle Skiing back in those days. I love that book's cover picture of Floyd Wilkie. The technique captured on that photo was how the fastest mogul skiers did it back then, before the judging criteria, which, beginning in 1974, dictated that the mogul competitor needed to demonstrate "good technique" while skiing in the moguls. That is, look like a ski instructor and hold your knees together at all times, like ski instructors did back then. The new judging criteria did have the benefit of slowing the mogul competitors way down and maybe making the event safer, but unfortunately that kind of took the excitement out ot the mogul event. But, not to worry, we will add a couple of jumps/billboards across the mogul field to add back in some excitement/and have space for sponsors advertising banners. Hey, a win/win situation for everybody. Unfortunately, to my mind anyway, that knees together judging criteria stuck, and to this very day, freestyle mogul skiers are stuck with it, even though ski instructors, as bound by tradition as they are, have moved beyond the lock your knees together skiing style towards a wider stance long ago. What is really funny/sad is that now how-to skiing books make up BS reasons why it is better to ski moguls with your knees locked together, like the competitors do, rather than using a wider track. No it's not! The competitors do it that way because they have to in order to please the judges, not because it works better.
If you "Look Inside" this book on Amazon you will see a photo of the late Sid Erickson (the first picture after the book's Forward) using essentially the same technique as Floyd does on the cover. Feet way out in front, tips further apart than the tails, and a low center of gravity. Sid, a former downhill racer, was the fastest mogul skier I ever saw. I timed his and most of the other top national competitors once going down Sun Valley's Exhibition run in 1973. At 35 seconds, Sid was three seconds faster than the next fastest, and seven seconds faster than most of the other top mogul skiers. Sid was 13 seconds faster than a well known mogul skier using the knees together all the time technique and making a lot of short quick turns (the technique later favored by the ski school supplied judges).
You probably think Floyd was out of control in that cover photo. I beg to differ. While Floyd was certainly taking it to the limit, the technique he is using, as seen on the cover, is what allowed him to ski that fast. Here are some of the reasons I think this technique worked so well for high speed skiing in the big moguls (made by 210cm skis) of that era.
1) Keeping your feet out in front allows you to fend off the oncoming mogul and glance off it rather than risk being tripped further forward onto your face when your skis are slowed due to the snow contact. It is much easier to slow your skis some (by edging or hitting a mogul face) in order to get back to a more neutral fore and aft stance than it is to slow your upper body once it has gotten ahead of your feet. The snow and terrain are almost always slowing your skis and feet so a recovery from being a little too far back happens quite naturally. That means a sitting back basic stance has the advantage of allowing for easier recoveries. Also, with your feet out in front you can control your speed some by absorbing some of the energy of your forward momentum with your thighs as you hit the bumps.
2) Notice that the tips are up and the tails (or at least one tail, in Floyd's case) are dragging in the snow. Keeping the tips up much of the time means that the tips are contacting the bumps and being diverted by them from the path of your body's momentum less of the time. In fact, just the opposite is happening. The tail(s) dragging in the snow act like a weathervain and naturally align the ski(s), you are about to land on, so they point in the direction of your momentum. If you don't know it already, going straight through rough terrain allows for the fastest survivable speeds.
3) Being squated down low, which sitting back also allows, even while your knees are pumping up and down, means you don't have to drop so far down to the next mogul before contacting the snow again. This means you not only don't slam down as hard, but you can stretch out to reach your feet down so your your skis can more gently contact with the snow for a greater percentage of the time. That greater snow contact time and the less violent transitions allow for much better control.
4) Legs well apart means you are in a stronger, more nimble, ready for anything, wrestler's style stance (see picture of Sid). Furthermore, you can sink deeper into a squat with your knees coming up to either side of your head if you are forced to go that low by the shock of landing, rather than slamming one or both of your, held together, knees into your chin and breaking your jaw (as a friend of mine--who always skied with his knees together--did landing a small cliff jump back then). Also, with feet apart, each ski can be diverted more by the terrain without crossing your skis because of the ski's greater separation.
5) With your tips further apart than your tails, your tips have even more room to be knocked around without crossing, and the main tendency is for the skis to naturally move further apart, rather than be forced closer together, and possibly forced right together. Also, you can choose which, independent, ski it would be best to land on (or to favor for what is coming up next). Floyd will choose to land on the outside (little toe) edge of the (right leg) ski that is already aligning itself to the direction he is going because he is dragging that ski's tail in the snow for that purpose. If the edging is too hard, when he lands (more on his outside edge), he will be thrown towards the middle of his stance and then next land on the other divergent ski, rather than be thrown to the outside of his stance triangle, where a recovery would be difficult at best. This, tips further apart than the tails, stance leads naturally to doing a sort of spread eagle coming off the top of a mogul. That spread eagle slows down any rotational momentum the skier has picked up coming off the last mogul. That way the skier has a better chance of landing again before he has rotated too far to be able to recover. Look at the photograph following the one of Sid Erickson inside the book, the one where the skier is loosing his hat and goggles, I'm guessing, as a result of the last impact. That demonstrates what can happen when you pick up too much rotation coming off a mogul. He is over-rotated so much already that anything he does next in the air (such as turn his shoulders to face where he is looking) can only twist his skis further uphill from the direction he is going across the hill. He is looking longingly at where he wants to go, but he just can't get there from here. I'm sure that ended badly once he reconnected with the snow.
BTW, If you don't know it already, Brian Gilmore's "Dog Days of Winter" movie about the early days of Freestyle is now out. I think it does an excellent job of catching the flavor of those early days.
Great technique tips......
To me, the best part was the 10 foot tall stereo speakers at the bottom of KT-22. The worst part was trying to keep the jet stix (remember?) in place through hard mogul skiing.
PA pumping tunes was definitely a highlight of the bumps and air at USSA events I skied in. Such a fun party atmosphere but we were all very serious about the actual skiing.
And yes, the Spademan bindings I had really sucked to try to get on in just about any non ideal condition like steeps or slush freezing on the plates or whatever.
Jet stix folded the cuff of my first plastic boots, then I got yellow Hanson Avantis. Who wants to touch me?
Here is the site and link to the 75 8MM video I mentioned in an earlier post:
Here is the Bring Back Ballet Skiing Facebook site:
Hope you all enjoy it.
Brian Gilmore did an excellent job on Dog Days. We are working on another film on the early days of Freestyle. One that focuses on 1974, a year that many consider to be the watershed year for Professional Freestyle Skiing. Here's a link to a 6 minute demo reel.