Before the web was invented by Al Gore, I was not only an experienced skier in most of the sport's aspects but also a veteran of ski shop employment. I saw a lot of hype in the selling of the sport. I also have seen a lot of hype in other sports like Windsurfing. Now that the internet has come along with all the various websites devoted to skiing, I see that nothing has changed. Now, I feel Epicski is the exception to this. However, I think people should be aware that there is a definite tendancy to exaggerate the joy of skiing and the advantages of new expensive equipment by various websites inorder to sell their advertising. Just look at the way Telemark skiing has developed over the years. Most beginners and intermediates don't need expensive gear to enjoy this technique. Leather boots and straight skiis can rival the new equipment that costs a fortune. Leather boots offer the most comfortable fit for walking around the lodge. They can be just as warm as plastic boots. It's only when you become highly skilled at the technique do you need the stiff support of plastic. I skied for years with leather boots. I used 210 straight tele skiis and then a used 195 slalom ski. I had a lot of fun skiing Brighton in Utah, Telluride, Temple Mtn. in N.H. and other smaller mountains. Now, I see many young adults being sold very expensive equipment which is hyped on the net by sites like Telemarktips. Futhermore, these sites are blocking any messages that might convince them otherwise. The beginner and intermediate doesn't realize that they would be served better by the traditional equipment. In fact, the manufacturers want to sell the expensive stuff and don't like to advertise that they make the less expensive. One secret that a salesperson learns early in the ski biz would be that most men over-estimate their abilities. Many telemarkers are convinced they are experts. However, they aren't. This myth works to the industry's advantage. It isn't an honest approach, but if you convince a guy he is an expert, you can sell him the most expensive equipment. Some guys won't admit that they aren't very skilled at something for sure. However, some love the flattery of these questionable hypertext rip-off forums. Remember, a fool and his money are soon parted.
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10/12/05 at 4:02am