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Is Faster Better? - Page 2

post #31 of 94
Better (advanced/expert) skiers generally ski faster, and do so in control. High speeds are unlikely on a green run, which lacks the angle and is usually designated as a slow zone. Maximum speeds do occur on intermediate groomed runs rather than diamond terrain, unless there is high angle grooming on diamond runs where you ski. At high speed it becomes physically difficult to resist forces from sudden terrain changes (including moguls), and high speed turns. A fast skier that is technically proficient looks nothing like some out of control hack that is surviving a straightline. I get nervous at the point I feel I could get squashed into the ground or thrown off the run, and keep the speed below that point. I wish I still had the physical ability to withstand these forces, but I'm not what I used to be in that regard. It seems to me that where I ski, there are more expert skiers moving fast and in control, than out of control wannabes.
post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF
One thing I've found is that going fast masks some technique flaws. That is, once you start hauling you can easily generate enough forces that you're actually balancing against those generated forces as oppossed to balancing on your skis (where you're suppossed to be).
REALLY ?
post #33 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
I have to say I question that statement somewhat. While I agree that a large number of people who are skiing at high speed don't really have the skills to do so safely, especially on a crowded and/or beginner slope, there are absolutely some people who can do so in a manner safe to themselves and others. Most people with a strong racing or high end background would fit into this category. I would put myself there as well (I'm sure others around here would too). I don't think that as a self professed intermediate you can really say that nobody has the ability to ski safely in those conditions at speed and avoid unexpected hazards - there are many skiers who can.

If I were on a somewhat crowded slope, I would feel much safer with a bunch of racers buzzing past at mach schnell than with a beginner with limited ability to control him/herself.

Another factor of course is that in addition to posessing the skill to ski high speed, high end skiers also have the experience and sense to know when it's not a good idea.
Where did I say nobody has the skill to safely ski the speeds in question? I was just stating from what I have seen most of the folks I observe traveling at the highest rates of speed on blue and green runs(thats where I hang out) look like they are just trying to ski for the sake of speed by straightlining and wobbling etc. Not all..but most. My assertion ist a lot of the speed demons(again not all) on the blue and greens are skiing there because they lack the skill to tackle the black runs at speed and just want to go fast. That is fine if thats your thing but I was just bringing up that maybe a blue or green run is not the safest place to do this.

Most of the folks I see on blue runs are skiers like myself and thats what scares me because I know I could not control myself at speeds I see some of my fellow intermediates at. Maybe they can control themselves but to me they don't look like it. I have had too many lose calls with this type of skier and IMO it is a safety hazard.

Let me rephrase this:

I would bet 100 to 1 that if a Skier(regardless of skill or level or experience) were to be doing 60mph on a blue run then slip and slide down the hill and end up plowing down the hill into other skiers and injure them they would be charged with reckless endangerement in a court of law - regardless of skill. 60mph is just too fast for an intermediate area regardless of whether you can see people. As the poster after me stated you never know whats ahead of the sightline and it could be a pack of kids. If you slip and fall you are going to go a long ways doing 60mph.
post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
What if the trails are empty. I'm begging you to think outside of your frame of reference.
Not to be preachy but ... Just please don't outski your sight line. You may think the trail is empty, and 99% of the time it will be, but I guarantee you that eventually there will be a hundredth time when you carve a great arc around that blind corner and find a class of 6 year olds strung out across the trail right in front of you. Yup, tell it to the parents of the one you just creamed that they shouldnt have been there. YOT (probably skiing fast around blind corners since before you were born )
post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
The best fast skiers look like they're moving slowly.
I like that...

Conversely, I'd say that the worst fast skiers frequently look like they're moving WAY too fast.
post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkierXMan
Where did I say nobody has the skill to safely ski the speeds in question? I was just stating from what I have seen most of the folks I observe traveling at the highest rates of speed on blue and green runs(thats where I hang out) look like they are just trying to ski for the sake of speed by straightlining and wobbling etc. Not all..but most. My assertion ist a lot of the speed demons(again not all) on the blue and greens are skiing there because they lack the skill to tackle the black runs at speed and just want to go fast. That is fine if thats your thing but I was just bringing up that maybe a blue or green run is not the safest place to do this.

Most of the folks I see on blue runs are skiers like myself and thats what scares me because I know I could not control myself at speeds I see some of my fellow intermediates at. Maybe they can control themselves but to me they don't look like it. I have had too many lose calls with this type of skier and IMO it is a safety hazard.

Let me rephrase this:

I would bet 100 to 1 that if a Skier(regardless of skill or level or experience) were to be doing 60mph on a blue run then slip and slide down the hill and end up plowing down the hill into other skiers and injure them they would be charged with reckless endangerement in a court of law - regardless of skill. 60mph is just too fast for an intermediate area regardless of whether you can see people. As the poster after me stated you never know whats ahead of the sightline and it could be a pack of kids. If you slip and fall you are going to go a long ways.
While I don't want to turn this into a war of words (in fact I agree completely with most of your post), just to rebut, this is what you've said:

Quote:
I think anyone doing serious speed on Blue or Green runs is being irresponsibile even if they are highly skilled.
That sounds pretty much like "Where did I say nobody has the skill to safely ski the speeds in question?"

My point was that there are really very few absolutes and I think people should avoid going around generalizing things and saying that nobody has the skill to ski at such and such a speed on this hill safely and responsibly.

I didn't mean it as a personal attack, and if it came off as such, I apologize.
post #37 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungOldTimer
Not to be preachy but ... Just please don't outski your sight line. You may think the trail is empty, and 99% of the time it will be, but I guarantee you that eventually there will be a hundredth time when you carve a great arc around that blind corner and find a class of 6 year olds strung out across the trail right in front of you. Yup, tell it to the parents of the one you just creamed that they shouldnt have been there. YOT (probably skiing fast around blind corners since before you were born )
You might want to be familiar with your audience before you make a statement like that. I believe ZZZ is a ski patroller at Snowbasin. I'm sure he's among the last on the board who would ever ski so dangerously as to cause harm to someone. It should also be noted that there are many weekdays at Snowbasin where you would have many blue runs to yourself where you would be at no risk of running into a class of six year-olds.
post #38 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungOldTimer
Not to be preachy but ... Just please don't outski your sight line. You may think the trail is empty, and 99% of the time it will be, but I guarantee you that eventually there will be a hundredth time when you carve a great arc around that blind corner and find a class of 6 year olds
...a forgotten rock band, a patch of ice just in front of that tight stand of birch, or some other unexpected obstacle. Conditions change - trails are not amusement park rides, and the best skiers are prepared to handle conditions as they arise, including checking speed as necessary, sometimes very quickly, while staying in control.
Personally, some of the best runs I've taken have been some of the slowest and most deliberate. That's not to say that ludicrous speed on a freshly groomed Outer Limits isn't a blast, mynd you!
post #39 of 94
Ditto. Back to the Skier's Code of Responsibility. While I won't argue that there are plenty of irresponsible people skiing beyond their control, these blanket statements are sh!te. And while I also won't disagree that speed can hide flaws, these pompous posts implying that skiing at speed somehow makes one deficient are a riot.
post #40 of 94

Speed

As you can tell there are a lot of opinions on skiing fast. The best and most controlled fast I have personally seen in Steve and Phil Mahre free skiing at Alpine Meadows one day and watching training for the Canadian downhill team in Portillo in 1998. One thing this points out to me is if you want to go really fast and learn the right way etc., do some racing. Almost anywhere theres skiing there isalso racing, racing clinics, clubs etc. Do some super G training and you will get to go really fast in a controlled environment. I agree Fast is Fun but I also agree that Fast without control in a crowded area is really dumb. So pick you spots, start racing and play with speed in areas you really know with runouts etc. AND remember theres always going to be someone faster AND someone slower.
post #41 of 94

Intermediate skiing

For me the end result is the most important. I believe that if having fun at the present moment is more important than working on skillsets that will improve your skiing and magnify the fun you will experience at a future date then ski fast all the time, or as long as your legs will let you. I am an intermediate skier that plans on becoming an advanced skier in the next season or two. I think anyone who skis fast on a crowded slope is at best rude. I ski fast on blue runs sometimes, but only when they are not heavily populated. I know I can stop quick on a blue slope. I do use some speed to help me flex a ski, but I only need 20-30 mph to do this, which is still moving at a pretty good clip. I go fast sometimes, but choose to pick my spots. Going fast is fun, but I can have just as much fun going slow. To have fun going slow try skiing a very flexible ski either way too long for your height and weight or way too short. Ski it on groomers and practice all different turn shapes, see how tight you can turn it. I did this for a few years and had alot of fun.
post #42 of 94
Am I alone in enjoying tight sloooow turns when nearing a lift or when in a designated SLOW zone? I've always enjoyed trying to squeeze the maximum number of turns I can possible muster in these sort of areas. That said, I do enjoy a quick blast down a run (never in a green zone though) to dust out the cobwebs or to get from point A to point B in a hurry. Although it has been iterated a number of times, the code of conduct dictates that you should be skiing in control at all times, not just when you feel like it. It's ck to push the envelope of your abilities but not to the detriment of other users of the trail. I've seen many a timid beginner take a 'yard sale' simply out of fear of a quick skier passing him/her at speed (and I'll have to admit of being the cause of that a few times in my younger days). There's no joy in getting your ticket pulled/punched or whatever simply for a moment of speed. Far better to stay in control and work on technique... you'll still be going faster than that 'blood bucket' taking yet another speedster that lost an edge by the end of the day!
post #43 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
While I don't want to turn this into a war of words (in fact I agree completely with most of your post), just to rebut, this is what you've said:


That sounds pretty much like "Where did I say nobody has the skill to safely ski the speeds in question?"

My point was that there are really very few absolutes and I think people should avoid going around generalizing things and saying that nobody has the skill to ski at such and such a speed on this hill safely and responsibly.

I didn't mean it as a personal attack, and if it came off as such, I apologize.
I understand. I wasn't trying to flame or start an argument or attack anyone either. I understand many others have more experience and knowledge but was just expressing my personal opinion. I have only been skiing a few years but my opinion is just that it is irresonsible to ski at 60mph on piste on a blue trail just due to the fact that if you wipe out you can really cause a lot of serious damage to others around you even if you can see them and avoid them while on skis. Even if I was 50 yards away from someone doing 60 if they slipped they could take me out pretty easily if they are headed towards me when they fall.

Going with the skier code of being in control and able to stop etc I would think this type of skiing would put one out of that envelope in that terrain just due to the fact that you really cant stop on a dime if something goes wrong and you slide into a crowded area.

I would think once abover a certain speed the ability to control oneself in the event of a crash is minimal. I think part of the reasons they rope off the race courses is not just to keep people out of the skiers way but to keep the skiers out of the path of observers if they wipe out at high speed. Someone doing 60 or above could easily kill someone if they slide into them in a fall.

If I had the skill to ski at such speeds and I was off piste or in terrain where there was do doubt I would not encounter other skiers I wouldn' worry about it. But knowing that other people share the run I am on and an error on my part while doing 60+ or perhaps a wipeout could cause serious injuiry to someone else I would not think it was worth the risk. I know others might feel different based on their expertise and comfort level but is it really worth the risk to others if something does go wrong? Anyways thats just my opinion. Maybe as I progress I will ligthen up but I always have safety on my mind.
post #44 of 94
Some green runs can be fun! If you are first on Schoolmarm at Keystone, and you're on speed-friendly skis, laying them over and railing the whole way is awesome. There's no one there, it's freshly groomed, and that 4 miles can generate a lovely glide. Being the one to leave those deep, pencil thin tracks is nice to contemplate, too.
post #45 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
Another factor of course is that in addition to posessing the skill to ski high speed, high end skiers also have the experience and sense to know when it's not a good idea.
The secret of going fast is knowing when to slow down.

Speaking of tight turns, ever notice how much going fast in longer turns and then scrunching in a series of tight turns to slow down is just like a coil spring being compressed?
post #46 of 94
Sometimes you have to give up your inhibitions and just go. I've found that going (faster) has enabled (forced) me to use skills I know I have but in slower conditons would "second think". You'd be surprised what you are capable of doing. I don't suggest cutting loose on a twisty/turny, rather try something that you can see your terrain. Pick your course and off you go. Don't worry. I still get stuck in paralysis by analysis but I can surprise myself by just "letting go" and trusting my skills.

good luck.
post #47 of 94
Uh Oh, I think I may need to "qualify" my earlier response. After reading more of the posts...What I mean by Just Letting Go, is if you're on a hill you fear, sometimes you just need to "go"..I do not intend to say that you shouldn't ski safely. Sometimes if you ski faster and make shorter turns you find yourself in more control that if you "snow plow" down a hill that you fear. We've all been in the situation of having to avoid slower skiier's. No problem, we understand we're all at different levels. If you see a clean line that you could attempt, you might want to try a little faster and just try enoying the experience.
post #48 of 94
Being a bit of a control freak, I tend to ski reasonably slowly anyway. In my limited experience, however, on the few occasions I've achieved it, skiing fast and in control doesn't actually feel fast, it feels normal, just with a lot more mountain behind me than usual!
post #49 of 94

Technical or Tactical or Practical??

Sugar Cube asked a technical question. Is it better or easier to ski fast?

I think one answer to her question would be to liken it to riding a bicycle or motorcycle. With more speed there is a certain return on investment of momentum and inertia that helps maintain dynamic balance. Especially for someone like cube who does not weigh that much, the added edge pressure from more speed (a result of more physics than I want to cover here) will help to bend the ski into the turn (if properly put on edge).

The safety and courtesy aspects are covered by the skiers responsibility code. I will only add that "bombing a green" while technically possible for a high end skier to do safely, is impossible to do politely. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is for a Certified Professional Ski Instructor to sit in a baber or hair stylists chair and start talking about skiing and hear "I tried it once and liked it but I was so afraid of being run down I will never go back." :
post #50 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkierXMan
When you wipe out at 60mph you are going to slide long, hard, and fast and take out anything in your path. Experts wipe out too. My opinion is that 60mph on intermediate terrain where many skiers are usually present is reckless, period.
As a former downhiller I would say that if you think you are going 60mph you are probably only going 40. Want to test this out? sit in the passenger seat of a car and have the driver maintain 60 while you stick your head and upper body out the window. Many blue runs will not support people doing 60mph and even GS skis start to get squirrely going that fast. I do agree with the above statement.
post #51 of 94
Not considering groomers on which any skill level can go fast (unfortunately), on more difficult terrain better skiers are naturally faster. When I'm skiing steep moguled terrain, I'll see people below who look like decent skiers but when I get to them I'm going much, much faster. I don't feel like I'm skiing overly fast or out-of-control but it's much faster than most could deal with on that terrain. I think it comes from knowing exactly what effect the terrain is going to have on you and dealing with it instinctly.

Steve
post #52 of 94
the answer to the technical question is that slower is a better teacher. When we evaluate and coach young racers, one of the things we do a lot of is taking them on to relatively easy blues and drilling, drilling, drilling on how to properly carve a turn. We can see very, very early who the players are and who the posers are down on the blues- there times in the gates are directly related to how well they can execute the basic turn at low speed-
post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkierXMan
When you wipe out at 60mph you are going to slide long, hard, and fast and take out anything in your path. Experts wipe out too. My opinion is that 60mph on intermediate terrain where many skiers are usually present is reckless, period.
You are freaking nuts !!!! Ever hear of self arrest, practice it, it just might stop you from hitting everything in your path when you crash at 50, 60 mph. I sure have no problem avoiding obstacles when I am up to speed. though there is really no way to tell if you are doing 60 mph anywyas. Though I did nail my bro in law last year at probably 40 50 mph, but i simply dropped instantly to the ground locked my legs and smashed right through his boots. He did a full flip and apologized for stopping just below a blind knoll. No one was hurt and it was quite the adrenaline rush !

IMHO, for a aspiring intermediate keep the speeds where you can always be in control and hone your technique. Powder, is a different story I believe the faster you go the easier it is to ski. Haul ass in the pow pow There is a time and place for everythng and crowded blue runs are not the place to try and ski at 60 mph !
post #54 of 94
First, IMHO variety is the spice of life...

I think SC is commenting that on a busier (weekend) day, you'll see a bunch of arms wildly waiving wantabee downhillers on the green and blue runs... As you could see, they are NOT better skiers for going fast. Each of us has a comfort level, most times you'll probably be better off well within it, but you probably have to push your comfort level from time to time to progress?

As for the rest of you, geez... itching to mix it up? "fast" is clearly a relative term. Even if you could go 60 on a green run... for a very few world class downhillers who have reached those world record triple digit speeds it would be nothing. For most of the rest of us, we'd need to change our underwear after the run. But I do agree, if you like it very fast... keep it off the crowded runs.

I'll just say, I prefer the variety... An slower rythmic plant/angulate plant/angulate isn't better or worse than a high speed last one down loses, it's just different. I NEED them all, I think we really all do??? But I know I can get more enjoyment out of tucking a "weekday/never pass anyone else/end of the day" total carving green run... than wimping out on a icy diamond and fretting I'll wipe and blow my ACL again... Maybe better said this way, my enjoyment level is NOT tied to the steepness of the slope, or even the speed of skiing... But it's OK if yours is!

Tim

"That's what I think, but who cares what I think..."
post #55 of 94
It's been said before but yes you can hit 60mph/100kmh easily wearing a jacket/pants on GS skis on a groomed intermediate/black run doing super-g or going straight. When I was racing we used to tuck the groomers at Nakiska/Norquay early in the morning and air off the rollers, lots of fun when no one is around and you can see the whole run (always slow down around turns). I wouldn't do it now because I don't have GS/speed skis, haven't raced for a long time and the consequences of slipping and falling into the trees at that speed would be brutal, no way you could self arrest on a hard packed slope at those speeds.
post #56 of 94
I think everybody's arguing in circles here. I believe you can summarize the whole issue by quoting bullet #1 from the NSAA Responsibility Code:
Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

Bullet #2 is also a good one; I had to chew out my 16-year-old son for violating this one after he almost creamed me last Sunday (coincidentally just as we were approaching FireCut at Loveland, the site of the original poster's question):
People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

He tried to quote bullet #3 back at me, but since he was following me closely skiing fast on one foot just before I stopped, I vetoed his objection:
You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
post #57 of 94
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input, Bears!

Stache has seen me ski and he knows that people using walkers and/or crutches may move more quickly than I do on skis! It's good to hear that faster may not always be better but faster may be 'funner' depending on conditions and safety issues too.

I'll keep working on my emerging skills, practice on steeper (ulp!) stuff and enjoy myself in the process. After all, if we're not having fun, what are we doing out there?!!

Happy Thanksgiving, and yes, I'll be skiing....maybe a little faster too!
post #58 of 94
I don't know. I think its a lot of fun to get on a blue green groomer with few skiers and just let it rip by building up big forces turn to turn. Especially if its solid ice.

When I come to the top of a roller I tend to come in from the side almost parallel to the roller where I can see over it without losing much speed. If no one is there I just roll the skis back into the fall line. If the top of the roller has a lot of skiers stopped on it I will back off the speed a considerable amount before venturing in.

I never blast over a roller where I cannot see below. I will guarantee you that if there is one intermediate skier that is below that roller and I miss them by a mile, that intermediate skiers anxiety level will go through the roof wonder who else is going to blast over the ridge. It isn't fair to the intermediate skiers to ski this way.

The faster I go, the more room I like to give aspiring skiers. Going to close even if its totally safe can be alarming to the aspiring skier. Since I can control when and where I want to go and my head is on a swival, I can safely go through a blue green run with good speed.

Speed is a relative term. I never feel like I am really ripping. I usually notice the wind or forces in the turn keeping me in check rather than hitting an uncomfortable speed limit. I never ski at speeds on terrain where I feel like I am going really fast.

Speed, Oh I betcha I hit 100mph on green runs
post #59 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
I don't know. I think its a lot of fun to get on a blue green groomer with few skiers and just let it rip by building up big forces turn to turn. Especially if its solid ice.

When I come to the top of a roller I tend to come in from the side almost parallel to the roller where I can see over it without losing much speed. If no one is there I just roll the skis back into the fall line. If the top of the roller has a lot of skiers stopped on it I will back off the speed a considerable amount before venturing in.

I never blast over a roller where I cannot see below. I will guarantee you that if there is one intermediate skier that is below that roller and I miss them by a mile, that intermediate skiers anxiety level will go through the roof wonder who else is going to blast over the ridge. It isn't fair to the intermediate skiers to ski this way.

The faster I go, the more room I like to give aspiring skiers. Going to close even if its totally safe can be alarming to the aspiring skier. Since I can control when and where I want to go and my head is on a swival, I can safely go through a blue green run with good speed.

Speed is a relative term. I never feel like I am really ripping. I usually notice the wind or forces in the turn keeping me in check rather than hitting an uncomfortable speed limit. I never ski at speeds on terrain where I feel like I am going really fast.

Speed, Oh I betcha I hit 100mph on green runs
I get freaked out by boarders going fast more than I do a skier moving by at a high rate of speed(unless of course the skiers is wobbling and arms flying around). Almost being nailed from behind by a boarder at Peak n Peak last year who was going at seriously high speed over a depressed roller I have been totally paranoid about it ever since. Since then I find I will look over my shoulder a lot even when I am moving faster than others. When I hear that sickly scraping sound of boarders coming up from the rear I get nervous.

I think that is one of the downsides of living where I do and being new to the sport. The hills like Peak n Peak, Holiday Valley, BMBW etc are usually crowded and a lot of young boarders. Patrollers really don't look out for the out-of-control riders and don't seem to care. It really is no fun when you have to pay as much attention to whats going on behind you than you do to whats going on in front of you.

The few times a year I go to Jackson Hole or out to VT it is totally different - much larger with room to spread out. At small hills there is little room to practice technique if you need to use the entire width of the run for exercises. At these times I am spending a lot of time just trying not to get plowed into rather than working on skills.
post #60 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Skiing faster is a lot of fun.
Having spent the last week or so skiing with people MUCH better than me, I’ve had to ski faster. The good news: not only have some of the skills that have previously eluded me begun to make sense, but it’s also made their execution a bit easier too.

And I will confess, sometimes—note the disclaimer!—faster is ‘funner’ too!
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