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About the "How long have you been skiing?" question

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Last night I was asked how long have been skiing for like the 5th time in the last two weeks. OK, I'm getting a little long in the tooth and I occasionally make a decent turn or two, but all I did last night was stop to help a girl who had fallen on her butt. She said her butt hurt, did NOT want patrol and she was going to slide down the rest of the trail. How unladylike! Especially underneath the chair. So I offered to help her down with what I call power assist (she skis behind me inside my wedge holding on to my waist). About 1/2 way down she asks how long I've been skiing? I tried the "since 5:00" answer, but she really wanted to know.

It's funny that I find this weird. I mean, I ask my students this question all the time. But usually when I get asked this question, I'm free skiing (in lessons - it's how long have you been teaching) and the implied part of the question is that people want to know how long it will be before they can ski like that. But last night was definitely out of left field. So my question is "Is it me? Or do you folks get this too?"
post #2 of 26
Don't get asked "how long" much,but a few weeks ago I received these ski pants(promotional gift) w/ flames on the side. Boy that sure got ppl talking. "Sir did you know your pants are on fire.": A couple of Snowboard kids were staring at them the other day and I asked them if they were looking at my:you get the idea.
post #3 of 26
Almost everyday in the winter.----------Wigs
post #4 of 26
They are like wow! How long did it take to get so good!? When they hear the answer (42 years skiing, 18 telemark, 18 snowboard) I know they think damn, he should be better than that by now! But they are nice enough not to say it.
post #5 of 26
I get it a fair amount. I actually use it, too, though. The question that I don't like is asked away from the mountain: "How good a skier are you?" I often answer, "Well, I've been skiing for 34 seasons and can make it down pretty much anything." I usually leave it at that. Sometimes, I'll turn to someone else and say, "Ask him; he's skied with me before..."

As long as I'm having fun and can keep up with my friends, it's all good as far as I'm concerned.
post #6 of 26
Kidds aske me that a lot since they brag when they have been skiing only a couple of times.... telerod15, LOL yes thats true. But with 38y you dont have to prove anything.... my 38th this year....
post #7 of 26
Started in 1959---Man that was a long time ago.
post #8 of 26
"Not nearly long enough"
post #9 of 26
There are people with 30 years of skiing experience and still only mediocre skiers.
We all know them: they ski the way they did 20 years ago. No progress, no improvement.
Otoh, there are young racers who make the World Cup level at 17 (Annemarie Moser was hardly 15) with barely 10 years of serious training.
The long years spent on skis don´t impress me if there is no skill to impress me.
Unless it´s 70 years and "the age that brings philosophic mind".
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
There are people with 30 years of skiing experience and still only mediocre skiers.
Ouch! : That's a little too close to home!

Well, at least I think I've improved in the last two years, and have some expert opinion that says I have (Rusty Guy and Bob Barnes). I still have a ways to go to be "expert". Darn! Guess I'll just have to get more time on snow.
post #11 of 26
"Have you been skiing all your life?"

"Not yet."
post #12 of 26
The "mediocre" skier I mentioned is somebody not improving because he/she lacks the interest and motivation to improve.

I hope you understand what my point was.
Otherwise the "who is good?"-problem could change the topic.
Which definitely was not what I meant.
post #13 of 26
checkracer, no worries, mate! I know what you meant. But, as I said, it was a little close to home. I did go quite a few years without improving. I'm kinda trying to make up for lost time, now. EpicSki actually helps me with that quite a bit.
post #14 of 26
More appropriate than how long perhaps is how many days? I've averaged 100 days a season since 1970. I averaged 50 days for the five years before that. I probably skied 30 days a year from 1948 through 1958. From '58 to '65, I think I skied five or six times. My first sliding experiences were in 1945.

I'm usually asked, "I suppose you've been skiing all your life", and I usually say something like pretty much.
post #15 of 26
Rusty,

Didn't it occur to you that she was fearing for her life and you were scaring the bejezus out of her? She's was probably thinking "what am I doing letting this guy (term used loosley) do this to me?!" and was just praying that your answer WAS something longer than "since this morning"

(that was too easy)
post #16 of 26
Less and less these days. Most often asked when skiing with someone new and am skiing well - not always the case. My company funded a promotional at Gore and I had never skied with any of them. They see me around the office looking like a load and lacking energy. They were quite surprised to see the fat man ski, but they stayed out of the way. It was a powder day and most of thoses guys were swimming.

Started skiing in 1959 - I am 51. Back then it was Jiminy, Mt Snow, Willard. Then Stratton and Killington in early 60s. My brother and I began skiing at Petersburg Pass near Williamstown, Ma in 1965. It cost $25.00 for our season pass - for both! Every opportunity, that's where we went. No snow making, great powder that no one wanted to ski and wilderness. Most people could not stand the place!

Anyway, I ask people more than they ask me.
post #17 of 26
Funny but nobody ever asks me how long I have been skiing. That is probably OK, since all that matters is the time on snow (as Kneale mentioned already). Although this is my 15th season skiing, I have less than 350 days on snow. And the only impressive thing about that is the amount of money I spent to accumulate them.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
More appropriate than how long perhaps is how many days?
Yes, I agree, years are very unprecise. Skiing days are much better but, trying to be even more precise, you could even count the hours spent skiing and the quality of your skiing time.
It´s the time used intensively under competent guidance that (among other factors, sure) brings racers to level unattained by skiers who had spent much more time in snow/skiing but with no aim and possiblities to improve that fast.
I know people who count their skiing days very precisely. Their statistics include days when they only made a few short runs in miserable conditions - almost only to add up another day to the summary.
5 days in horribly crowded Czech mountains with a few rides in the morning in poor snow conditions equals maybe one perfect day in the Alps. Statistically, they are both "a day skiing" but their value is incomparable.
Therefore I said I didn´t count my days. I´m trying to ski in perfect conditions (place and time) so that each turn has its value.
Well, that´s at least my nitpicking .02 on "how long".
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
John,

It's so nice seeing you over the crowd during the day and then "chatting" at night. Come to think of it, she did try to wipe me out 3-4 times (stepping on my skis and pulling hard on me on to keep her balance) before she asked me. I've never had a scared person ask me the question. Frustrated, yes. Scared, no.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Last night I was asked how long have been skiing for like the 5th time in the last two weeks. OK, I'm getting a little long in the tooth and I occasionally make a decent turn or two, but all I did last night was stop to help a girl who had fallen on her butt. She said her butt hurt, did NOT want patrol and she was going to slide down the rest of the trail. How unladylike! Especially underneath the chair. So I offered to help her down with what I call power assist (she skis behind me inside my wedge holding on to my waist). About 1/2 way down she asks how long I've been skiing? I tried the "since 5:00" answer, but she really wanted to know.

It's funny that I find this weird. I mean, I ask my students this question all the time. But usually when I get asked this question, I'm free skiing (in lessons - it's how long have you been teaching) and the implied part of the question is that people want to know how long it will be before they can ski like that. But last night was definitely out of left field. So my question is "Is it me? Or do you folks get this too?"
To me this is a really weird question, kind of like whose are longer... "So long as they reach the floor, m'am, thank you."

I have heard it a lot lately mostly from the younger set, but also from some older skiiers. Generally it seems to me to be an attempt to establish bona fides, as though skiing longer would make you more of an expert on things.

That said, the people I notice popping this question are usually the idiots who come bombing down a run uncontrolled, never saying "track" and then skid a sloppy turn into my daughter who is working on a new technique I am trying to teach her.

It's not usually a question that you get from people who know what they are doing. They tend to ask me how I like my equipment and vice versa, usually on the lift because otherwise we are all skiing fast (while at the same time avoiding collisions with unfortunate intermediates).

We all know people who have not been skiing very long but take to it right away. And then, as others have noted in this thread, there are people out there who don't seem to learn no matter how long they have been skiing.

As long as you can ski under control on all types of slopes and conditions, do not cause offense to your fellow skiers, and have fun doing it, who cares?
post #21 of 26
I have never been asked how long I have been skiing.
I have never asked the question myself.
I guess I have never heard it discussed around me.
The weather, snow, lines, gear - yes.

Is the ski conversation so much different in NA and in Europe?
post #22 of 26
I think Americans are always trying to establish dominance while Europeans try to figure out how to establish a diplomatic compromise...

And, when everything else fails, you can always ask "Ob das Wetter sich haelt?"

mfG,

Kaj
post #23 of 26
Afaik, you normally talk to people who are sitting next to you on a chairlift.
In Europe, you normally or at least very often just sit there and don´t say a word. Or you go up on a T-bar and have no conversation. It´s not considered impolite but "standard".
Which means you don´t ask them where they are from und you don´t ask them how long they have been skiing.
It seems to be just one of the inter-cultural differences.

Und, richtig: ob sich das Wetter hält? Hoffentlich...
post #24 of 26
Kneale and TomB,

Don't you think that people who start young like 4 or 5 have the edge over those who start in their 20'. I see it. Length of time skiing if it goes back to early age matters.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
John,

It's so nice seeing you over the crowd during the day and then "chatting" at night. Come to think of it, she did try to wipe me out 3-4 times (stepping on my skis and pulling hard on me on to keep her balance) before she asked me. I've never had a scared person ask me the question. Frustrated, yes. Scared, no.
Rusty,

Viking brought an interesting thought into my feeble brain.... Just tell her it's not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean, then start cranking off high speed GS turns with her in tow.:
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
Kneale and TomB,

Don't you think that people who start young like 4 or 5 have the edge over those who start in their 20'. I see it. Length of time skiing if it goes back to early age matters.
I´m neither Kneale nor TomB but let me make a comment on this.
IMO, it depends on the quality of your skiing as a child. Just having started at 6 doesn´t mean much if it´s not under good guidance to get the basics of technique correctly.
Sure, you learn faster and easier at 6 than at 26, also because you mostly have more time and less distractions as a child.
I have an example from this country. We had skiing incorporated in the school curricula (at the age of 13), it was obligatory, I guess 95% of children participated and got a week of ski instruction. It went that way for about 30 years till about 1990.
Thus we had/have - theoretically - a very high percentage of "skiers". For those who hadn´t continued this activity the school instruction at a very suitable age has had hardly any advantage. Only those who kept on pursueing skiing regularly surely had some sort of bonus.
Also, if you start early acquiring some poor technique the longer you let it ingrained the worse.
Sure, you can´t turn somebody who started at 20 into a top racer but I think you still can produce a really good skier at that age - if he/she has the time, money, interest and good lessons/coaching.
The advantage of young age does exist but for non-racers it´s a rather relative one.
There must be some of you with personal experience: both as teachers and as "later skiers".
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