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Skiing really that complicated? - Page 2

post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
It takes a long time and a lot of work for skiing to become easy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
And your point is what?
My point was that it can be as easy as you want it to be.. Within a couple days most people can do wedge turns with ease. A couple of days is not a long time, and it's still easy for them.

It really depends on how you define skiing. It seems the general concencus here is that you have to be an expert to be skiing. Sure, becoming an expert takes years of practice, but isn't the Level 2 Wedger also skiing?

Another thing I disagree with that statement... 'A lot of work'. Now, I'm no level 9 or anything, but I got where I am today with no 'Work'... just a lot of practice. The minute that skiing feels like work is the minute I will throw the skis on eBay and find another hobby.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
The great painter Degas once said (perhaps not an exact quote, but close), "Painting is easy if you don't know how."
Nailed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
True experts--and those who will become experts--are never satisfied. They may be (and should be) proud of how they ski, but they are never satisfied. They strive to do it better, to eke out that last iota of performance, precision, control, efficiency, awareness, smoothness, sensitivity, consistency, or speed.
And the tough thing about these two statements taken together, is that them more you know and understand, the more difficult it is to become satisfied. I'm a thinker by nature and I am ALWAYS thinking ever move I make. To be honest, it's D@$% annyoing. That's why I'm working hard to turn myself into a feeler. When skiing with my wife she can tell when I'm not happy about what I'm doing and has been known to say "QUIT THINKING ABOUT IT and SKI!!!"
post #33 of 63

Skiing is easy

Once you put in your time.

It takes milage!

And all this technique gives you something to place your focus on when fear or apprehension would be your natural response.

There are some "un natural acts" that allow you to ski better. These need to be learned, and the quickest way is to learn from some one elses experience.

CalG
post #34 of 63
1. Balance (fore-aft, laterally)

2. Skiing is predominatly an outside ski activity

3. Move to engage the tips at the start of the turn

4. Everything else is a detail
post #35 of 63
If true experts can never be satisfied, I feel sorry for them.

To me it doesn't really matter if it's golf, soccer, football, baseball or skiing. It's the size of the smile on the face at the end of the game or the skiing day that defines the true experience.

It's the "whole mountain" experience. The goals for most skiers is to be able to ski the entire mountain with complete confidence. Not only the green and blue groomers but the moguls, the trees, the powder, the back area steeps with the windblown crud and the chopped up powder. It shouldn't matter whether you've taken lessons to get there or if you've made it on your own.

Does that make everyone who doesn't take years of lessons a hack? Is that you skiing professionals see in the people on the slopes? Hacks? Sadly, it is. Why else would you make that comment? Just because skiers aren't laying down perfect turns all the time doesn't make them hacks.

I guess there must be about 10,000 hacks on this website and about 5 experts huh? I'd rather be a hack.
post #36 of 63
I'm a hack!

Lars - I do disagree, though... I know a lot of skiers who don't aspire to ski the whole mountain. I know a lot that are happy skiing blue groomers all day... To be perfectly honest, I have quite a few days where I'm content spending the day on blue groomers.

The only people I see as hacks on the slopes are the people that can't even do wedge turns schussing down a blue in a pseudo-wedge with no control.
post #37 of 63

Desired outcome....

Is sliding down a hill on a lunch tray complicated? How about Olympic bobsledding? They're both riding a tray down a hill, right?
post #38 of 63
Hydrogen, I was thinking of skiing in the same sense as I think of a skier--a skier is not someone who has skied once or skis occasionally or can take skiing or leave it, but someone for whom skiing is an essential part of his/her identity. What is the Squatty Schuler quote from Weems's book? Something like my objective as a teacher is not to teach people to ski but to teach people to be skiers. That's what I'm talking about!

Work and play -- I'm not wedded to either term to describe what one does to climb the learning curve, except that work implies results and play can go nowhere and still be fun.

Good topic!
post #39 of 63
I don't know, I mean skiing to me is a self defined sport. In that you can be technically a mess but still having a blast. I think the best days are were form and technique go out the window and you just enjoy the expericance, if I can ski the things I want to in the way I want to then I could care less if my left hand drops or any of that ****. The experiance is what counts and anyone can have a great experiance.

I like Jer's have no form, I can think of ten situations off the top of my head that scream improvisation rather than sticking to some mantra.
post #40 of 63
nolo - I was basing more off of the OP, who said he's not a very good skier. I take that to mean a skidded parallel or less. I could be wrong in that assumption, though..

I think skiing doesn't have to be complicated, but the further you progress the more complicated it gets. In all reality though, it's not the skiing that's complicated, it's the learning that's complicated.. You learn something, practice it, and it becomes second nature... In reality, though, learning to ski can have an end. You can stop learning whenever you want to. If you want to stop learning and just enjoy the skills you already have, you can.

I carve, I'm not really good at it, but I can do it good enough to comfortably and safely get down the trails that I want to. If I get uncomfortable, I will do a more skidded turn, or, whatever it takes for me to make it down while having fun and being comfortable. I'm just now getting to the complicated part where I have to worry about extremely precise movements, dialed-in technique, etc..
post #41 of 63
Thread Starter 
Well thanks for all the reply's. Yeah I am a bad skier - especially since I stopped skiing for a bunch of years and started up again recently with shaped ski's.

I took a lesson and my instructor was saying I should turn with both feet. What I used to is basically ski on one ski at a time thus I could always keep my skis together (i realize this was bad form even back in the day). Like I unweight my uphill skill and put it on my downhill ski. Also I don't really carve at all (not sure I ever carved anything) I just kind of torque my body around to point my ski's where I want. Which is also bad.

I am trying to fix that by keeping my unweighted ski on the ground and putting some weight on it. But I feel I will catch my edge and fall.

I was looking for some advice - and this is a good forum for skiing but to be quite honest I don't understand most of it. I know skiing is hard I was just wondering if you have to understand all the mumbo-jumbo to be good at it.

Maybe if I take more lessons it will make more sense to me. Maybe I should buy a book or something about it. I don't really ski that often but I am going to Utah and want to get the most I can out of that experience.

Pete
post #42 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyClinch View Post
I am not a very good skier.. but let me ask you guys..

Do you REALLY have to know all this stuff to ski? Reading the advice on these forums makes skiing seem like the most complicated sport in the world. Is it really that way?

Aren't there a few simple tips for skiers? Or do experts really know all this mumbo jumbo..

Pete
Here's my perspective as a person new to the sport (13 days on skis total.) I can ski. I can carve, I've done black groomers, I've done six or seven moguls without falling, I've done some terrain park jumps... And while I've had fun doing all that, and gotten a great sense of accomplishment, I'm often frustrated that I can't do it well enough.

I'm not satisfied with doing skid turns down blues, I want to do well at NASTAR, I want to keep up with my various friends who ski better than I, I want to always remain balanced and in control while going fast over any terrain.

And I can't accomplish those things if I continue rotating my torso to turn my skis, or have my weight too far forward/backward/left/right, or any number of things I'm sure I'm doing wrong. If I was content with blue groomers, sure, I'd have a great time skiing, and would only need a few simple tips. But I'm a thrill seeker, and I desire more. Which, it seems, requires the complicated skills that you read about.
post #43 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyClinch View Post
Well thanks for all the reply's. Yeah I am a bad skier - especially since I stopped skiing for a bunch of years and started up again recently with shaped ski's.

I took a lesson and my instructor was saying I should turn with both feet. What I used to is basically ski on one ski at a time thus I could always keep my skis together (i realize this was bad form even back in the day). Like I unweight my uphill skill and put it on my downhill ski. Also I don't really carve at all (not sure I ever carved anything) I just kind of torque my body around to point my ski's where I want. Which is also bad.

I am trying to fix that by keeping my unweighted ski on the ground and putting some weight on it. But I feel I will catch my edge and fall.

I was looking for some advice - and this is a good forum for skiing but to be quite honest I don't understand most of it. I know skiing is hard I was just wondering if you have to understand all the mumbo-jumbo to be good at it.

Maybe if I take more lessons it will make more sense to me. Maybe I should buy a book or something about it. I don't really ski that often but I am going to Utah and want to get the most I can out of that experience.

Pete
Pete, IMHO, learning anything new requires the understanding of the language being used to describe the "new thing" you want to know. I had exactly the same feeling when I first started skiing. I could not understand most of the concepts, mostly because I didn't understand the meaning of the words. For me it took a lot of study, both reading the posts here and also reading the definitions of skiing words. If you can get a copy of Bob Barnes, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SKIING, available on line, look up all the terms that you are not familiar with and after some time you will begin to understand a lot more of the posts here. Of course like others have said all the understanding and reading and posts don't make you a more accomplished skier, BUT, it helps me know why something works and adds direction to the accomplishment of my goals. This place ,EpicSki, is a good place, it just takes some time and effort on the readers part to begin to grasp all the concepts. You have taken a major first step in ASKING an intelligent question.

Good skiing!
Mark
post #44 of 63
Learn the System of Movements defined as good skiing and stay within their boundaries. It takes time to retain the good and discard the bad. Enjoy what your doing along the way.
post #45 of 63
Excellant suggestion Slider . Skiing like most ANYTHING in Life has certain FUNDAMENTALS--- ( many have mentioned them ) .

Focus on those make them part of your repetoir , make your practice sessions a game NOT drudgery .

I used to follow a much better skier down the hill , trying to ski in his tracks and mimic his movement . That was a HUGE help to me i.e. The old follow the leader thing ,

above all Don't OBSESS ----------HAVE fun
post #46 of 63
Quote:
Skiing is easy. Becoming a good instructor is not.
True, too, Pierre! And they are often two very different things. This is the main reason why I have asked for years that we have separate forum sections for skiing and for teaching skiing.

GuyClinch--is this not the real reason you (and many others) find the forums confusing? Students ask simple questions, and deserve simple answers. But simple answers, as Pierre suggested in his post, require deep and accurate comprehension. Good, simple answers can only arise from a foundation of sound, thorough understanding. That's the job of the instructor. Without a high level of knowledge as a basis, simple answers can be simply. . . wrong!

But the student who asks the simple question need not be subjected to the efforts of instructors to obtain their higher levels of understanding, any more than the patient should need to listen in on high-level medical lectures just to get good treatment from a doctor.

And that's why I'd love to see these two very different topics separated!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #47 of 63
Quote:
If true experts can never be satisfied, I feel sorry for them.
I don't know, Lars, but I don't think you really mean this. "Satisfaction" is not, in my opinion, an enviable state of mind. Satisfaction is the end of learning. Satisfaction is laziness and apathy, the cessation of curiosity, and lack of self-respect. As Denver Post founder Frederick Bonfils, in what is now the slogan of the newspaper and leadoff quote on the editorial page, wrote "There is no hope for the satisfied man."

Dissatisfaction is the seed of growth, the only catalyst for change, the very spark of life!

Happiness, pleasure, brilliance, and delight are not the same as satisfaction, and great skiers certainly embody all of the former, while embracing dissatisfaction. As Weems points out, brilliant skiing need not equate to skiing well.

Quote:
To me it doesn't really matter if it's golf, soccer, football, baseball or skiing. It's the size of the smile on the face at the end of the game or the skiing day that defines the true experience.
Tell that to a top level coach! You can have a great time, and smile at the end of the game. But only losers are satisfied with themselves when they know they are capable of more!

Like I said--if you care, it matters. Satisfied people don't take lessons, so they are not the concern of instructors. No one takes a lesson without hoping to gain something from it. And no one should be satisfied with an instructor who doesn't care!

Best regards,
Bob
post #48 of 63
I find skiing quite complicated and I am a decent skier. I am reasonably happy with the way I ski, yet at the same time I want to improve (and the good news is that there is plenty of room for improvement ).

So Lars, it is possible to be happy with your skiing AND to want to improve. I would hope that most of us feel that way.
post #49 of 63
For some, the process of learning, of growing, of elevating competence is continuously flowing fountain of satisfaction. Others find peace and joy in the place they are.

We each should be free to seek satisfaction from the source of our choice, devoid of the judgement of others.
post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
For some, the process of learning, of growing, of elevating competence is continuously flowing fountain of satisfaction. Others find peace and joy in the place they are.

We each should be free to seek satisfaction from the source of our choice, devoid of the judgement of others.
Brilliant Rick, exactly the point I'm trying to make.

I question why a top level instructor would relate the name Hack to anyone who is just trying to enjoy the sport.
post #51 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
I find skiing quite complicated and I am a decent skier. I am reasonably happy with the way I ski, yet at the same time I want to improve (and the good news is that there is plenty of room for improvement ).

So Lars, it is possible to be happy with your skiing AND to want to improve. I would hope that most of us feel that way.
Absolutely Tom. At this point in my life of skiing, my main concern is not improving my skills. It is maintaining the level I am now for as long as I can. At 56, I've noticed a decline, not in my ability but the condition of my body near the end of the skiing day. I suppose it's time to change the way I approach my ski day and how hard I can charge. Maybe a few less bump runs will help. It was bound to happen. So, I suppose I could get in better shape to improve that area.
post #52 of 63
Bob, Just because the founder of the Denver Post put a quote in his paper doesn't mean it's something we should all live by. If we all lived by quotes, we'd all be like Yogi Berra. "there is no hope for the satisfied man" Wrong. "The satisfied man is a happy man, unless he's a pretender"

As I said, I feel sorry for anyone who can't be satisfied with themselves. It would be a long misrable life without some form of satisfaction. I've coached enough Baseball and Football over the years as well as other sports to know that if you play the game long enough and attain satisfaction from it, you are a winner. There are no losers.
post #53 of 63
I have absolutely no intent or desire to argue with you about this, Lars. Like I said, it only matters if you care. Satisfaction is, I suppose, a choice, and it is certainly your prerogative to decide you are satisfied with the way you ski. Life is short, and we all must choose the things we want to pursue according to our unique passions and talents.

The original poster asked the question, "Is skiing really that complicated?" My short answer is that it is only complicated if you want it to be, and you only need concern yourself with the details and nuances if you choose to! But, since students pay good money for lessons and deserve to have high expectations of their instructors, those who would teach skiing have an ethical and professional obligation to learn all they can so they can deliver the best lesson they are capable of. Continued learning and growing is in order for instructors--it is part of the job, and complacency (satisfaction) is the mark of a very poor instructor.

Best regards,
Bob
post #54 of 63
Not really an arguement Bob, just a difference of opinion of which I respect yours.

The "Hack" statement just seemed out of character.

There's no doubt about your last paragraph. I'd want an instructor who was never satisfied with his skiing, or mine. There used to be a sign in the Locker room we shared with the Ski Instructors at HV. It read "You're not able to teach if you're not willing to learn"
post #55 of 63
Whoa, not a bad discussion on an issue of simple complexity...

I learned to ski with a first lesson back in around 1970 or so. From then on I could get down most hills, although looking pretty bad at it. If I was the type to not aspire to learn more, I would have left the sport long ago.

I always had fun, but I was always the type to look at what others are doing and try to learn from it.

Since I didn't take the time to get instruction, advancing by "looking at others" turned skiing into something way more complex than it should have been. I looked to magazine articles and gear to improve, and advanced way slower than I should have.

The simple thing I learned: good skiing isn't easy, but make it WAY simpler by getting some good instruction. The same is true with most any technical skill building, such as playing a musical instrument, something I'm also familiar with.

Even if you're a prodigy, getting a good teacher will save lots of time and help to get you beyond the perceived complexities and on the way to having more fun, sooner!

Take Care!

Scottie
post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyClinch View Post

I am trying to fix that by keeping my unweighted ski on the ground and putting some weight on it. But I feel I will catch my edge and fall.

I was looking for some advice
The edge was made to catch and stop you going sideways. That's the beautiful simplicity of it. Put that edge down there and put some weight on it. You can put more weight on the outside ski too. Don't worry about "catching" the edge. You want the edge to catch! It will let you move forwards, and will only stop you from moving sideways. Don't turn by torquing your skis around. Just tip them and your weight will bend them into a curve that you use to go forward in with the edge guiding you along like a train on rails.
post #57 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The edge was made to catch and stop you going sideways. That's the beautiful simplicity of it. Put that edge down there and put some weight on it. You can put more weight on the outside ski too. Don't worry about "catching" the edge. You want the edge to catch! It will let you move forwards, and will only stop you from moving sideways. Don't turn by torquing your skis around. Just tip them and your weight will bend them into a curve that you use to go forward in with the edge guiding you along like a train on rails.
Right. that's the new theory - well new to me anyway. I suppose you could carve before but you had to be go really fast. I get it now but I can't help with my old habits..

Also you do have to at least rotate your skis with your feet and sometimes jump hop on steep stuff though right?

Pete
post #58 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyClinch View Post
Also you do have to at least rotate your skis with your feet and sometimes jump hop on steep stuff though right?

Pete
Most people do, unless they are trying to go faster or have very short radius skis, super sharp edges and very high skills. Another thing you can do is vary weight distribution to selectively pressure the tips or tails when the skis are drifting a little sideways and let the snow turn the skis for you as you control the amount of sideways drift with the amount edge angle. I like to do that while coming into the lift line on the brakes.
post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
I disagree - A lot of people can comfortably do wedge turns after a 2 hour lesson and the rest of the day practicing... That's skiing and it's easy after that day. It only gets hard when you want to progress.

IMHO, there's nothing confortable about doing wedge turns.----Wigs
post #60 of 63
Want it simple? Just follow this rule: never look past the first page on a thread.
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