Originally Posted by mdf
I'm wondering if this has something to do with the limitless horizons of youth -- they picture themselves (subconsciously) moving ever upward into the etherial levels, reaching true expert status somewhere in the indefinite future. On the other hand, most of us old guys realize the only way we can hope to make "expert" is to grade on the curve.
Over the last few years something started to occur to me. To this day I don't have it figured out, maybe I never will.
Bear with me, I was going to start a new thread someday on this but this thread is as good as any expert thread to do so.
Years ago I thought myself to be a pretty good skier but noticed people who were obviously better than I. Those who were smooth, fast, terrain caused no falter in their flow down the mountian.
Back then I was mostly able to get down the hill at a high level but was consiously still a long way off from Expert.
Today, I know I am a far better skier than yesteryear. I wonder if I really used to be good or not. I know more, I have better equipment yet today I think I have more to learn than I used to think I had to learn.
Today I see many many more than I remember seeing who have a high level of skill (experts) and easily pick out those that are way better than me.
Expert (terminology) I think is a moving target.
IMO years ago there were fewer experts. Skiing had limited technology and choice in equipment and therefore the top of the game (Expert) was acheived by many and had a lesser degree of differance between those experts.
Today the bar has been raised considerably on what is possible and what an expert is or can be.
Slopes that years ago I ripped pretty good, today I know I am going down far faster and more aggessively yet there seems to be more people than before out there that are better, more fluid, and inspiring to watch.
It's my opinion that the equipment of today has allowed the sport of skiing to progress far beyond what used to be an expert. Expert of years ago is a far cry from that of an expert today.
THe equipment has allowed such a tailoring of the use that "Expert" has to be chopped up into little bits.
I gauge experts by who is smooth, consistent and maintains a fast steady velocity down the hill. Todays equipment lets alot of people acheive this.
Those that have that enlightened touch or serious training stand out above the normal experts to the trained eye.
Expert terminology should be left for recreational and fun league racers. Pro sponsered, WC, FIS, Extreme, Movie stars are at such a differing level of skill that it shouldn't be used to gauge performance in the recreational world