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Expert skier

post #1 of 311
Thread Starter 
So, I read the "advanced skier" thread, and I think I have an idea of how the 1-9 level system works...if you put any weight in that.

So who is an expert skier?
post #2 of 311
If you are a level "4" anyone above a "6" is an "expert", in the continuum.

If you are a level "5" anyone below you is a "gaper", in the continuum.

I am sure that we here at Epic are all gapers by any qualitative or quantitative "Highway Star" rating system.
post #3 of 311
Some days I go out with some of my buddies who are way better than me and I feel like an intermediate. Then my other buddies who aren't as good as I am ski with me and tell me I'm an expert.

I figure I fall somewhere in between.
post #4 of 311
I have more or lesss devoted my life to skiing, can generally ski anything in any conditions, and thought I was pretty good. A couple of years ago I was skiing about 15" of crud under the Wildcat Lift at Alta when a guy came flying by me that made me stop and actually exclaim out loud to no one "Shit, that guy can ski," which is something I have never done in 45 years of skiing. I caught up to him at the lift and discovered it was Jeremy Nobis. When he had passed me he was just free skiing by himself and not performing for the camera. I attempted to follow him the next run, for about 10 seconds. I have skied over a thousand days in my lifetime and thought I had seen it all, but I have never witnessed anything remotely close to that caliber of "area skiing." It made me realize that no matter how much of an "expert" you think you are you undoubtedly have only scratched the surface of possibilities. Level 9 doesn't even come close to covering it.
post #5 of 311
Whos cares? Are you having fun?
post #6 of 311
I call myself an expert skier. So what?

Are you looking for a definition? There are lots of different ones. Mine is "all terrain, all conditions, smoothly and safely". I may call myself an expert, but I've got more to learn today than I did last season. Maybe that ought to be part of the criteria too.
post #7 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
I have more or lesss devoted my life to skiing, can generally ski anything in any conditions, and thought I was pretty good. A couple of years ago I was skiing about 15" of crud under the Wildcat Lift at Alta when a guy came flying by me that made me stop and actually exclaim out loud to no one "Shit, that guy can ski," which is something I have never done in 45 years of skiing. I caught up to him at the lift and discovered it was Jeremy Nobis. When he had passed me he was just free skiing by himself and not performing for the camera. I attempted to follow him the next run, for about 10 seconds. I have skied over a thousand days in my lifetime and thought I had seen it all, but I have never witnessed anything remotely close to that caliber of "area skiing." It made me realize that no matter how much of an "expert" you think you are you undoubtedly have only scratched the surface of possibilities. Level 9 doesn't even come close to covering it.
I guess you have never had a child that grew up skiing in a race program. My friends and I ski at a high level. But when we can get to ski with our kids, we feel like beginners. Like you said, you can only keep up for about 10 seconds. It makes you feel good to know that all that money was well spent.
post #8 of 311
I think it's important that we have a clear definition of "expert." There are many aspects of the sport that use the beginner/intermediate/expert scale, from rating terrain to rating equipment. "Expert terrain" and "intermediae ski/boot" come to mind. As a novice skier, when I'm standing at the top of an unfamiliar run that is rated "expert," it's nice to have an accurate understanding of what that means.
post #9 of 311
I think it's important that we have a clear definition of "expert." There are many aspects of the sport that use the beginner/intermediate/expert scale, from rating terrain to rating equipment. "Expert terrain" and "intermediae ski/boot" come to mind. As a novice skier, when I'm standing at the top of an unfamiliar run that is rated "expert," it's nice to have an accurate understanding of what that means. (Not that I'm not going to take the plunge; it's just nice to know what I'm getting myself into.)
post #10 of 311
I used to think I was a expert skier until I realized how to make a short radious turn correctly everytime, anywhere. Until you can master that, I would doubt your an Expert. Anybody can ski fast and keep it together, but to ski in control all the time in any snow conditions is a feet very few skiers attain.

One of my early season drills is to go out in the afternoon snow and ski the edge of the trail, try to make all your turns in the lenght of your skis. Going no wider then the lenght of the ski. All this while ducking tree limbs and watching for rocks that may have gotten pushed to the edge. Last year I bumped into a fellow Epic member who teaches at Okemo and she was doing the same drill. She is now a PSIA III.
post #11 of 311
One man's expert is another man's intermediate. It's all subjective. In the end all that matters is that you have fun skiing and always have the ambition and desire to improve your skiing.
post #12 of 311
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
I have more or lesss devoted my life to skiing, can generally ski anything in any conditions, and thought I was pretty good. A couple of years ago I was skiing about 15" of crud under the Wildcat Lift at Alta when a guy came flying by me that made me stop and actually exclaim out loud to no one "Shit, that guy can ski," which is something I have never done in 45 years of skiing. I caught up to him at the lift and discovered it was Jeremy Nobis. When he had passed me he was just free skiing by himself and not performing for the camera. I attempted to follow him the next run, for about 10 seconds. I have skied over a thousand days in my lifetime and thought I had seen it all, but I have never witnessed anything remotely close to that caliber of "area skiing." It made me realize that no matter how much of an "expert" you think you are you undoubtedly have only scratched the surface of possibilities. Level 9 doesn't even come close to covering it.
I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I'm sure you're an expert skier. Anybody who can ski pretty much anything reasonable with a decent amount of skill, style and speed is pretty much an expert. I'm an expert, a good number of my friends are experts, and good number are getting pretty close. Granted, there are certain areas where some experts are better than others. Some can handle any terrain, but have questionable technique. Some have great technique, but are afraid of really tough terrain. Woop te do, we're experts.

However, I also have two groupings above "expert":

Top experts: People whe are definite level 10 skiers, ski quite fast and agressively on pretty much any terrain, are technically good or excellent, and are in very good physical shape. I would personally like to attain this level on a permanent basis, but I only ski with this level of brilliance on occasion, and I'm rarely in the physical shape required. My brother was a pro snowboarder for a while, and I would say he and one of his friends are at this level.

Pro athlete experts: People who are literally a pro athlete in the sport or in one of a similar nature. Nobis, of course. I ran into Jamie Beauchesne (#1 slalom waterskier) at cannon one time and was blown away....he was skiing steep ice bumps at like 40 mph on some 198cm g41's. To be at this level, you have to be in top physical condition, and have skied seriously your whole life. You will be flat out amazed to see someone like this ski.
post #13 of 311

the forgotten ones

There is one group you left out. I noticed that your comments were directed at the guys who were at the "top of their game".

There are many who are on the downside of the curve (it's gonna happen to you too!), and don't meet "the criteria" every single day.

To me, Stein Eriksen is and always will be an "expert". To you, he may be an old gaper in a "fart bag". In his day, he would be a fleeting shadow disappearing from sight .... on your best day.

It's kinda' relative.
post #14 of 311
I'm an expert skier, but I still suck. It's a subjective term. But yes, watching the people who have devoted their entire lives to the sport is truly humbling. Back in 88, I lived in CO. I was skiing at Kestone one day in October or November and happened upon the Mahre brothers out for some free runs (88 was when they were at their peak). I was a pretty good skier and a Level 2 (Associate) cert at the time, but I had to straight run the middle of the trail to keep up with them, while they were using the entire width of the trail.
post #15 of 311
Amoung the expert catagory, there are:
Good performances
Great performances
...and the rare consistently Brilliant performances.

I mountain and road bike with a group of pro cyclists ...I'm part of the gang of dudes who hang with the pro women

The pro men are usually a minute or two ahead for every point where we regroup.

Occasionally, there's a guy who shows up for either the road or the trail rides with his cyclocross bike. Nobody can keep up with him on either asphalt or dirt. He is truly brilliant.

I agree ...we all have brilliant fun when we ride.
post #16 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
...

So who is an expert skier?

...
I thought it was established on Epic some time ago that you're an expert if you can ski better than 97% of the skiers out there.

Expert is in the eye of the beholder.
post #17 of 311
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I thought it was established on Epic some time ago that you're an expert if you can ski better than 97% of the skiers out there.

Expert is in the eye of the beholder.
Ok, I'm probably in the top 1%...what does that make me?
post #18 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Ok, I'm probably in the top 1%...what does that make me?
An expert who is not as good as 100 other experts at Vail on a busy (10,000 skiers) day...

Does that sound about right?

edited to add that the 3% thing was a reference to a discussion that went on here at Epic some time ago. I could explain it but I'm sure it would lose a great deal in the translation.
post #19 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Ok, I'm probably in the top 1%...what does that make me?

uhhh ----

nah ----

too easy ----

trying hard to be civil!:
post #20 of 311
Ah, hubris! It makes us say the damnedest things!

Every time I start to get too cocky about my skiing, some rug rat half my size and a quarter my age will bomb past me like I'm standing still. Nothing like getting totally outclassed by a 10 year old to put me in my place.
post #21 of 311
Basically, my experience with quantifying ski technique is that as I have gotten better at the sport, I more fully realize how many are better than me.

In relation to the vast majority, yes, I suppose I am an expert. But if asked, I say that I am pretty good. To call yourself an expert is to call yourself Bode Miller, IMHO. Few can seriously do it. Until I win every race I enter, it won't happen.
post #22 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Ok, I'm probably in the top 1%...what does that make me?
I can honestly say there have been days where I have been without question the best skier at the area.

Of course I was the only one, skinning after close of season, but I was best.
post #23 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I thought it was established on Epic some time ago that you're an expert if you can ski better than 97% of the skiers out there.

Expert is in the eye of the beholder.
Bob,

I believe the % went up to 99% --- but has since dropped as more experience and exposure was gained by the coiner of the phrase---much to his credit, I might add.

J
post #24 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
In relation to the vast majority, yes, I suppose I am an expert. But if asked, I say that I am pretty good. To call yourself an expert is to call yourself Bode Miller, IMHO. Few can seriously do it. Until I win every race I enter, it won't happen.
Actually, Bode is a pro, not an expert. There's a big difference between an expert and a pro. To find out how big the difference is look at the revenue an expert generates from skiing and what a pro generates.
post #25 of 311
You are missing my point. What I am saying is that until I am CLEARLY better than most other skiers, I won't regard myself as a true expert. Bode's skills are so far beyond what most of us could aspire to that it seems ludicrous to call one's self an expert.
post #26 of 311
To be a true expert skier I would agree, that any terrain, any time, is a good rule to hold true to. Anything that is lift served should not be a problem. But, lets not just classify the skier's level by the terrain that they ski on. The TRUE expert has an array of abilities that range from on-piste carving to off-piste free riding. This expert should also be TECHNICALLY proficient in many different types of skiing as well as have a high level of physical fitness.

There are many people that I see that ski difficult terrain at high speeds, but they look like sh*t doing it. Race training is a good place to start, but not necessary... making race type turns however should be a given. Type of skis shouldn't matter either. A true expert should be able to ski on any type of expert/advanced level ski and make it work for the conditions they are skiing in. Turn shape, size, and type should not be an issue.

Going back to the technical aspect of things: the skier should be able to lay out race carves of any type; slalom, GS, SG, DH (using technique that has developed in the last 8 years). They should also be able to employ different types of skiing and speed in bumps. Powder should be very easy and fun, and crud should be where they shine - it separates the true experts from the pretenders IMO. All of these things should be with TECHNICALLY correct skiing. Back seat driving should not be allowed - rather they should be able to adjust their CM over the skis depending on the type of turn and conditions - as well as moving their CM within the turn. They should know how to use their poles, and how to control their upper body, and lower body with efficiency. Sloppiness of technicque should not be accepted (occasional slip ups - yes, but constant poor technique should force the expert to learning mode as an advanced skier until they can demonstrate such skills.

Lastly, the expert should never stop learning. Once at the top of their "game" they should strive to become better. They should also not feel as if there is "nothing left to learn." This should also not seem as if it is work either, it should be fun, and the sport of skiing should be something that this person enjoys to participate it... I would like to add that an expert shouldn't belittle skiers who are less proficient, but I guess kindness/humility is not a technical skill having to do with skiing... although one should never discredit those who have a competancy for it.

Later

GREG
post #27 of 311
It is humbling to be ripping along in your 97% Expert fashion and out of the corner of your eye see some yahoo blow by you.: And I'm not talking about a skidder. : So off to the trees to regain my composure.:
post #28 of 311
For a point of reference...an "expert" golfer would be a single digit handycapper. Someone like that couldn't sniff the Pro or even Nationwide tour. I think I am a strong "single digit" skier but no where near a Pro level.
post #29 of 311
An expert is someone better than you.

J
post #30 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
For a point of reference...an "expert" golfer would be a single digit handycapper. Someone like that couldn't sniff the Pro or even Nationwide tour. I think I am a strong "single digit" skier but no where near a Pro level.
So expert skier is single digit NASTAR handicap? Sounds like a fair measure to me. No where near pro level.
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