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What do you NEED to ski well?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
In another thread I suggested that technique is the foundation of good skiing.

(To prevent further hijacking of the thread we were in, I wanted to bring the discussion to this new thread.)

SSH replied:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Ron LeMaster suggests this order:
  1. Equipment
  2. Morphology
  3. Tactics
  4. Technique
Pretty interesting, wot?
(to read the posts in their entirety start halfway down on page 2)
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=51288&page=2

To summarize the debate that ensued ...

SSH considers Ron LeMaster's list to be correct in order in terms of "what helps a person ski better".

I do see SSH's perspective, *and* I maintain that good skiers learn techniques which then can be used to form solid tactics. Technique (and thus tactics) are the "must haves" and equipment and fitness are the "nice to haves".

What do *you* think?

kiersten
post #2 of 29
We used to have an "Edges are overrated" club on my patrol night. It was kind of toungue in cheek and it would get the gear gurus all up in arms.

The point was this. Good technique will keep you upright and moving down the hill much better than the best gear, meticulously maintained. Great technique on properly maintained good equipment would be nirvana.

In other words, good technique will trump bad equipment everytime, but great equipment will only rarely help bad technique.

My order is Technique tops the list---the rest follows in some order---whats morphology?.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post
We used to have an "Edges are overrated" club on my patrol night. It was kind of toungue in cheek and it would get the gear gurus all up in arms.

The point was this. Good technique will keep you upright and moving down the hill much better than the best gear, meticulously maintained.

In other words, good technique will trump bad equipment everytime, but great equipment will only rarely help bad technique.

My order is Technique tops the list---the rest follows in some order.
I agree.

A bad skier doesn't become a good skier when you give him a better ski.
post #4 of 29
Dutchman, sorry I added some stuff after you grabbed that quote. OOPS.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
morphology is really about fitness (the body)
post #6 of 29

What one needs to ski well

Klkaye. I'm going to vary the line a little bit but I have something happening that really buggs me.

I have two friends, both instructors that ski 4 days a week at their hill. They are always either teaching or taking clinics. They have learned so much ab out technique and tactics they can't ski anymore. They are out on the hill skiing and having fun so seldom that when they do go out they are always thinking and analyzing technique. They have become slaves to a Level III's ego and don't have any fun anymore.

SO part of my answer to this question is - You have to go do it. Learning all the proper technique and tactics are basically worthless if you don't go out and "flow with the mountain, at different pitches, different speeds and in the trees, in the bowls etc. etc." The best thing that could happen to these 2 people is to get them away from the stifling atmosphere of where they teach so that they can have some fun and ski again for the love of the feeling of the snow, power and speed. Sometimes we way overdue the technique part of skiing and just don't have enough fun.
post #7 of 29
I agree that technique or skills are numero uno. In a thread about footbeds, i made the comment/observation that I grew up skiing with great skiers, and custom footbeds were unknown.

I am not sure where tactics fit into the equation. I see how they are important in racing, but I do not see how they fit into freeskiing.

I would add, that equipment makes it easier to be a good skier. Just as many good golfers with todays clubs, would have a hard time old Hagen Blades. However, the expert golfers would still play well with the old clubs.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
snip//

I am not sure where tactics fit into the equation. I see how they are important in racing, but I do not see how they fit into freeskiing.

snip
Think of it as picking your line. Bumps are a fine example---do you want to zipperline them? or go slowly and meander through the troughs?

Each line requires a different tactic eh? You do it all the time freesking---you just don't call it that.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
morphology is really about fitness (the body)
Well then, my order would be this:

Technique
Tactics
Equipment
Morphology---at least better than couch potatoe---at minimum.

To me this is a good starting point. I'd argue that better fitness and better gear can enhance and allow better technique and tactics. But if you have a good level of technique neither is absolutely necessary.

The higher level you want to aspire to, the better your fitness and equipment needs will be.
post #10 of 29
That Ron LeMaster list is probably directed to very good skiers (probably top racers). I cannot imagine it being relevant to the large majority of skiers who can use technique improvement first and foremost.
post #11 of 29
Talent
Balance
Sensitivity
Strength
Subtleness
Smoothness
...and then comes edging.
post #12 of 29
Ever hear of the law of the minimum?

If you don't have a minimum level of any of the things in your list, you won't ski well (if at all). Once you have that minimum, then which ever is in shortest supply will limit your skiing. Skiing is a little different than biology, in that a shortage in one factor can be much better mitigated by the other factors. The debate is what constitutes shortest supply, and the answer is relative to skier ability. An expert doesn't need as good equipment as a beginner, and the best equipment doesn't take as good a skier as poor equipment to reach the same level, imho.
post #13 of 29
First Balance without it your always recovering.
Second Technique.
Third Tatics.
And Fourth Natural Athletic Ability.(Smooooove Baby)
post #14 of 29
^^^Ghost, that was a great post!! I agree.^^^
post #15 of 29
to go along with pete's post, playfullness on skis is an important part of the equasion. People move best on skis when they ski playfully.

RW
post #16 of 29
i would say techniques is number one, i dont have high performance skis ( eqipment ) i got rentals from the ski smith. but i think i am a good skier and the techniques teach you, and my skis are fine with the techniques i do.
post #17 of 29
Pete. Your friends are just weenies. I'm a Level III. I have a MONSTER ego. And I put foot to ass every day!

I like what Weems has to say about good skiers. They have a good edge change. (does that fall under "technique"?) They also still wear stretch pants... and 215cm Head Radials.

And Glacier glasses (White frames).

Spag

Ps. And Zinc Oxide on their noses.
Pps. And throw huge Daffy's in the park.
post #18 of 29
pretty simple imo-

IT'S NOT THE EQUIPMENT - IT'S THE OPERATOR!!!!!!!
post #19 of 29
The body is the most important piece of equipment in skiing. If that isn't in good shape, the rest of it doesn't matter. What tool is on your foot or what you are trying to do with it is irrelevant if you lack the capability to execute on your intent. Equipment becomes a factor when it limits your ability to execute on your intent, such as boot that is so big you can't effectively pilot the skis.
post #20 of 29

Need

You can have the shiniest, most trick chassi in the whole world BUT if the engines not running strong and smooth you ain't going anywhere.
post #21 of 29
:

To put the Ron LeMaster list into context:

The list is taken from a lecture aimed at instructors and coaches, on developing a "good eye" in assessing & developing skiers, and therefore factors to consider in a particular order in aiding the assessment.

So when looking & assessing a skier, one of the first questions I would ask myself is "is there a problem with their equipment (eg; boots) that is causing that symptom being displayed (eg: alignment/a-frame).....


It is not a list to order/ensure better skiing! :

:
post #22 of 29
I think Ghost pretty much nailed it, a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. A common problem in ski instruction is that we tend to focus and spend most of our time on technique. Probably why he places it last.

Equipment - If this was not important buying properly fitting boots wouldn't be the first thing we tell people to do if they are serious about skiing, and elite skiers wouldn't need their equipment staff and boot fitters.

Morphology - Functional fitness here gang. I see this daily holding back many of my students. The mind making promises that the body can't keep. I would steer any interested coach or instructor to two books, "the Human Body in Balance" by Grey Cook and, "ProBodX" by Marv Marinovich. Both books place technique and sport specific skill last at the top of the pyramid. Or you could take up tai chi chaun from a good teacher.

Tactics - Another often overlooked corner of teaching. I personally have always spent a lot of time building awareness of tactics and intent in my teaching, at all levels. Read about the purpose corner of the sports diamond in Weem's excellant book, or really digest and explore BB's "ski the slow line fast" to gain understanding of how this should fit in to every lesson. The body is smarter than we often give it credit for being, and the right tactic can help create the right technique, but only if the first two (proper equipment and functional body) are there in support.

Technique - Where most of us spend way to much time IMNSHO.

Maybe what LeMaster is trying to do is draw us all out of our comfortable technique corner and force us to look at the whole person in front of us and develope ways to help our students build synergy between these four areas.

My Sunday morning thoughts for whatever they are worth.
post #23 of 29
Another important thing is mileage. It's one thing to read up on technique and try to apply it on one or two trips a year, quite another to hit the slopes several days a week and evolve into a good skier, especially with bumps and other gnarl.
post #24 of 29
I think the most important thing is the will and dedication; the drive and desire to want to ski well.

I am not and never was "a natural" at anything and had to work twice as hard as most .... and I mean twice as hard.

There are only two things in life that I was "good" at; skiing and karate and if you pay those dues for a few years you will get "good" but you have to want it.

Yes, you need good instruction and good gear .... but they ain't "the magic bullet".

Boots .... well ..... ill fitting boots probably turn off more people to skiing than any single item.
post #25 of 29
Yuki I think the most important thing is the will and dedication; the drive and desire to want to ski well.

You are so right. Most of my ski friends don't care if they carve. It's all about having fun. Nothing wrong with that but, I like to improve while I have fun. The better you get the more fun it is,right.
post #26 of 29
I like Yuki's drive and determination but I'll take it one step further. I think if one wants to ski well they need some guts or to put it another way they have to be willing to let their body flow down the mountain. You need some fear in you but if you have a blocking fear that just will not let you release your edges and flow from turn to turn you will not ski well. The best skiers move effortlessly down the hill, yes they might have better equipment or a more natural athletic ablilty but they have less paralyzing fear and they trust their skills and equipment. For the most part I think the people who ski really well learned at a young age 4-10 years old. Kids don't have the fear that most adults carry with them. They do things with out that fear in the back of their head, whether it is in a race course, terrain park, pipe or the woods they just go and do it.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsavo View Post
pretty simple imo-

IT'S NOT THE EQUIPMENT - IT'S THE OPERATOR!!!!!!!
Bless my heart ... it's Valentine's Day and cupid has drawn his bow! What do I gotta do to meet this babe?

By the way Tsavo ... you should see my equipment before you make such sweeping comments!

Are you going to be skiing Uncle Loudie and his groupies? If so me and my 210s (!!!! big sticks for big man!) are coming to gitcha! (If I can keep up with you ... Jeff B says you can really rip!)
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
First Balance without it your always recovering.
Second Technique.
Third Tatics.
And Fourth Natural Athletic Ability.(Smooooove Baby)
I agree with Slider. Balance is # 1.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilanche View Post
Bless my heart ... it's Valentine's Day and cupid has drawn his bow! What do I gotta do to meet this babe?

By the way Tsavo ... you should see my equipment before you make such sweeping comments!

Are you going to be skiing Uncle Loudie and his groupies? If so me and my 210s (!!!! big sticks for big man!) are coming to gitcha! (If I can keep up with you ... Jeff B says you can really rip!)
: : : : !!!!
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