Originally Posted by PhysicsMan
In fact, I would go further and wonder if one of the reasons skiing was so popular from the 1960’s through the ‘80’s was that the bar was lower with respect to skill. It was OK to snowplow. It was more than OK to ski the greens and blues. If you went skiing at all, you were regarded with a bit of awe by your non-skiing family and friends, no matter what you did on the hill. Nowdays, expectations are incredibly higher, and if you are a young guy and can’t compete in an extreme skiing competition after a few times on skis, you might as well cut your loses and get out of the sport “cuz your nothing but a loser”. I think that managing expectations is an important goal for the ski industry. It won’t be simple, but telling newbie skiers that it’s OK to use “cheater” gear (ie, wider in addition to shorter), and not carve for your first couple of weeks on skis is just fine.
I thought this would be a interesting discussion for the instruction section. It never really occured to before but the "face" of the sport of skiing is being changed by things like backcountry skiing and movies, the X-Games, and other park-type stunts that are projected into the media. Clearly the sport is evolving; we have known that for a long time... but is it giving newcomers to the sport a skewed picture of what the sport of skiing really is? There is such a tiny percentage of skiers in that backcountry skier category; but it seems that those skiers are projected as representations of what the sport of skiing really is... and better yet, what to expect of yourself when you are skiing in terms of ability to do tricks and what terrain you are capable of skiing on. The discussion in the gear section handles the ole that new ski gear might be playing in this; but leaves out effects on instruction and the expectations of skiers just coming into the sport.