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World Cup skiing relevance - Page 2

post #31 of 55
More people skate than ski.

To skate all you need is ice and skates. The costs are excessive to ski. I do not watch horse racing or dressage events -- they also are too rich for my blood.

Skiing has more similarity to horse racing than to Figure skating.

Both are 'elite' sports -- parents of WC skiers are not hurting for coin -- tomba, ghirardelli, etc, etc.... Owners of horses - same thing.

Also, figure skating is a judged event -- you can have an opinion on who *SHOULD* have won.

Only aerial events are judged, but they're too hard for the general public to judge -- how can you compare two different jumps?
post #32 of 55
Thread Starter 
Skating is a relative of dance. I am suggesting people might be more attracted to skiing if it also appeared to be more closely related to dance than combat.

The thread is about a possible disconnect of values between us (ski racing is the Source and the Justification for the movements we teach our students and endeavor to demonstrate for them) and our students, who may aspire to elegance and grace more than power and speed.

I like the response that we only have to get the racer out free skiing to see all the elegance and grace we could ever want, arising from the very same movement pool which gave them power and speed. They just throttle down.

(Parable: My dad wants a power washer. We found him one at Costco that had 3000 psi. He said, Oh, I don't want that much power. I think I'll look around some more. My husband whispered to me, That's the one he wants, he just needs to throttle it down depending on the job.)

My hope is for the public to see the relationship between ski racing and their own development as skiers. It would be nice to have a revival of citizen racing. I believe it would help to revive the sport and give instructors a means of introducing students to gate skiing.
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post
Thank you!
Re-visiting the statement, the answer is: come to think of it, not many.
But I learned my racing in Scotland, where we skied on rocks and grass, and occasionally snow (more often slush or ice).
Sometimes the ruts were so deep that the virtual bump between them was not so virtual.
But I could imagine that racers growing up with shaped skis, skiing only on hard snow, might have to learn pivoting movements for bumps or powder.
Of course good coaches will make sure that those kids do plenty of freeskiing in different conditions, inbetween the gate sessions.
Thanks for the response!

I agree that some of the kids coming up on shaped skis lack some all-mountain skills, but they usually have a great base of stance & balance that allows them to adapt quickly.
Thanks,

JF
post #34 of 55
good point nolo! Nastar and coin-op racing has kinda died off in recent years probably to the demise of the generating some lessons for the ski schools. Having obstacles dictate where we turn certainly changes the focus, and demands more precise timing and movements which disallow passiveness that shaped skis have woooed us into.

Perhaps we should initiate a voluntary "fun race" at ESA this year????? It is a great way to test skill application and ownership! a dual pro format would be fun, or a team format?....

bud
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
My hope is for the public to see the relationship between ski racing and their own development as skiers. It would be nice to have a revival of citizen racing. I believe it would help to revive the sport and give instructors a means of introducing students to gate skiing.
I have the same hope. We had our chance with Bode Miller until the press villianized him. Hopefully a young tech skier will emerge and capture the love of america & the press!

JF
post #36 of 55
Thread Starter 
Brain fart: I think what the sport needs is to be related more closely to LIFE (dancing) than to potential INJURY, PAIN and (yegads!) DEATH. Skiing makes life better. You and I know that. How do we get that across?
post #37 of 55
If I can use a different analogy here. I work with Motor racers at the highest level and well off amateurs.

All the Amateurs want what the F1, Moto GP guys have in their heads. even the equipment some of them.

All the techniques and most of the equipment filter down to the base of the sports in one form or another.

Sean
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Reality check please:

What percentage of instructors can do an appropriate MA on a WC skier?


A very teeny tiny percentage. In fact, incorrect WC analysis by instructors has led to much flawed instructor methodology.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Brain fart: I think what the sport needs is to be related more closely to LIFE (dancing) than to potential INJURY, PAIN and (yegads!) DEATH. Skiing makes life better. You and I know that. How do we get that across?
How about smearing dancing (the Footloose strategy)- Dancing leads to casual sex, which leads to aids, which leads to suffering and death. Skiing is better for you.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
My hope is for the public to see the relationship between ski racing and their own development as skiers. It would be nice to have a revival of citizen racing. I believe it would help to revive the sport and give instructors a means of introducing students to gate skiing.
I believe that it would further distance the public -- recreational skiing is just that. It's about fun and looking good doing it.

Telling a purely recreational skier that they should move like some WC skier is probably the quickest way to lose a client. They do not want to race, nor do they want to be given the race tools. They want to have fun on the slopes, and they want to have skiing made easy.

If all we did was teach the ambassador turn, you'd see a huge rise in popularity -- go for classy looks ahead of speed focused efficiency, and you'll be successful. Those slippy/slidey turns, not a fully edged get my CM down the hill ASAP retraction turn. By and large, the up and over, intermediate "errors" will win over WC technique when applied to the bulk of the population.

If you really want to teach race moves, become a coach.
post #41 of 55

WC-Instruction

Nolo, like your point. Can it be done, sure but on a very small scale compared to the media blitz of Olympic skating etc.

When teaching beginners/lst timers; when we reach he sliding on one ski part of the class, the following happens:

All this is for FUN: One at a time the student will race the instructor across the beginner flat area on one ski, always a short say 20 yards.
Rooting, yelling etc. is encourage. This race is performed with a loud; "racer ready, 4 3 2 1 Go", and we're off. I have had classes enjoy this so much sometimes we do it 2 or 3 times each. Obviously this is not WC racing but it is fun, the students get a flavor or racing with the Start and the scenario has never failed to be fun and get the new skiers loose, happy, verbal and a little connected.

It certainly is a negative not having NASTAR everywhere. Silver Mt. used to run a NASTAR course on the
weekends and depending on the class and their ability sometimes we would run the course.

Nolo, to answer one of the raised questions. After racing for 20 yrs it is important to note that having to turn (at a gate) instead of where you want to turn definitely makes one a better skier. I can't think of anything I learned racing that I don't find useful skiing. Maybe the possible correlation of hooking a gate does not connect with hooking a sapling when running the trees. However I have shoulder brushed some gates in GS and SG and when I did this to the trees in BC this winter I lost the shoulder of my parka and my shoulder hurt a lot more.

Last winter I thought about maybe doing some racing again. Having qualified but never gone to the nationals I thought it may be fun to see if I could do it again. The closest Nastar races were at Schweitzer on Sats (ugh Sats) and that is 2 hours away, one-way. So nastar was out. Up here the bean counters took care of nastar ruling it not economically a plus and obviously did not see the benefits of citizen racing as the great catalyst to skiing and the ski businesss that it is. Marketing, promotion and loyalty to a ski area come to mind - eek what a foreign thought.

I'm getting windy-sorry.
post #42 of 55

A seperate reality

Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Reality check please:

What percentage of instructors can do an appropriate MA on a WC skier?


A very teeny tiny percentage. In fact, incorrect WC analysis by instructors has led to much flawed instructor methodology.
Can't blame 'em, really. Most instructor training is founded on skidded/shaped methods of skiing. The "customer christy" is far removed from WC. Slipping skis (ATS and others) vs sliding skis (WC) as the innate base of support is the origin of the disconnect.
IMO, without quality race training and experience at "some level" (that instructor's) analysis of WC will not be of much value.
post #43 of 55
Thread Starter 
Pete, I miss the availability of recreational racing too. When we had it at my ski area, before risk managers and bean counters sealed that coffin, I used to have fun doing a guided discovery session skiing gates, trees, and bumps. Dual formats are a blast--back in the '80s we used to have a dual slalom with "pro" bumps that was some fun. These diversions went away, replaced by terrain parks and half pipes. As BigE says, if you want to race, you have to join the organized race program. No more competing for honors with a buddy in the Pepsi Challenge. Is this constriction of the sport a good thing?

There was a time when dance was part of skiing. Remember ballet? Susie Chaffee (Chapstick)?

MilesB--repression could work, but can it scale?

There seems to be some difference of opinion, anyway, whether we instructors should be striving to connect recreational skiing movements to World Cup racing movements in our work with students--and some difference of opinion on whether recreational skiers need to go there.

Arc-to-arc, railroad tracks, upside down, all that jazz: how many of you have ever taught it to a paying customer?
post #44 of 55
Nolo,
good news racing is not dead in our teaching.
Arc-to-arc, Railroad tracks, and upside down turns are taught to the upper levels her @ breck quite often. At least by me and a number of the upper level group instructors. We still have Nastar type races open to our students daily.

WC MA - We WERE fortunate a few years back, as we would have several race teams do early season training here. It was incredible. We would be able to pick the brains of some of the coaches, and video the racers as they would train. I really helped us pick out patters of movements and preferred movement sequences. Sadly, Breck mgmt stopped inviting the WC teams. However, the memories of riding up the chair lift and watching 4-7 National teams of racers skiing underneath you was an incredible learning experience. I believe some of the teams now train at Copper in the early season.

And I too feel honored to have Martin Bell on this forum!

jon
post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Is this constriction of the sport a good thing?


There seems to be some difference of opinion, anyway, whether we instructors should be striving to connect recreational skiing movements to World Cup racing movements in our work with students--and some difference of opinion on whether recreational skiers need to go there.

Arc-to-arc, railroad tracks, upside down, all that jazz: how many of you have ever taught it to a paying customer?
No, getting rid of Rec Racing is a BAD move. This past season our GM did not pay the NASTAR fee, so no NASTAR. I fought him but did not win. The general public (GP) was disappointed to say the least. The season started so poorly that any way to save $$ was looked at as a good thing. Value added services, nope, value subtracted.

Rec Racing opens the door to teaching arc2arc to the GP. It validates all that Jazz. As a result they "see" skiing in an entirely new light. This is to their benefit.
The "internal guests" our employees were really pissed about no NASTAR to run. I ended up setting/training during the week to get our fix.

Jon is right. WC early season training at Breck was the best opportunity I ever had to learn. John Leffler (Team Breck) allowed some of us to come along in the AM, I took the advantage every chance I got. This changed my view of skiing forever.
post #46 of 55

WC - Teaching

NOLO, we agree, I miss it too!

Does this meet this described criteria, won't name ski area but happened about 4 yrs ago.

An unknown instructor with some past race experience got assigned two brothers, 6 and 7 yrs with the following instructions from mom and dad.
Ski them on "------------ way" and thats all no where else. Well this was an easy green road. Pretty boring stuff for these two. So how about a little racing. "pretend the slow movers are gates and see how many you can go around - hitting a gate is disqualification. Two kids loved this and then we learned how to "really tuck like WC racers not jerk offs". Turned a very boring 1 half hour private into fun for both boys. Part of the adventure also was that they had a "skiing/racing/big boys" secret with the ex racing ski instructor. Can't tell anyone what we did.

I guess this qualifies. Could have I been fired or suffered parent outrage?
Probably - so who cares, fire me from the job that I lose money doing.
Parents outraged, I really didn't want to ask them why the restriction on where they skied - who knows maybe they thought all ski instructors were child molesters or something.
post #47 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Line choice, in most situations is enough to control speed.
That so depends on where you like to ski!


(photo credit=snownymph)
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpro View Post
And I too feel honored to have Martin Bell on this forum!
Thanks Jon that's very kind of you.

My experience, with kids, adults, corporate groups, is that non-racing skiers just don't know how much fun ski-racing is until they try it. If you can get them to spend a morning on some type of pay-to-race course, they will derive much self-esteem from the initial improvement in times that they will almost inevitably see.

Getting the general public to watch World Cup ski-racing is another matter. Whenever I have watched a ski race on TV, with people who haven't watched much ski-racing before, they marvel at the first one or two racers, then their eyes glaze over, because all the other racers look exactly the same.

Modern equipment has made almost all ski-racers look identical to the naked, untrained eye, to the detriment of the sport in terms of watchability.
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post
Modern equipment has made almost all ski-racers look identical to the naked, untrained eye, to the detriment of the sport in terms of watchability.
One thing I've liked when watching racing is when they combine the pictures to superimpose two racers so you can see them on the course at the same time and see where one loses or gains over the other. Maybe it's a really goofy idea, but I think I'd really like it if it was standard practice to show a racer against the fastest racer already down the course, for the whole race (maybe have the previous racer at 50% transparency so it's clear who is who). I'm a recreational skier who's never raced who already likes to watch racing--because it is fun to see good technique--but I think I would both get more out of it and find it exciting if it was clearer at every moment whether someone was making a turn well or badly.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by cometjo View Post
That so depends on where you like to ski!


(photo credit=snownymph)
Thanks for the picture. A line down the face just behind the left skier of this picture would be very fast and I would predict some problems going through the the transition at the bottom of it. However, carving a "slow" line from the skier on the left, snaking a little around the gentle undulations in the snow, turning back just below the skier on the right and then turning right through the notch just below the little rock and then back uphill after the gap would be fine. Of course, slow is a relative term.

Here's another trick to control speed. Steeper slopes allow you to go faster. If you want to go slower, stay on the green trails.
post #51 of 55
Ghost, I've skied that run alot. That face on the left is the way to go when attemping any carving there. The concavity of it makes it fairly easy to control the speed with the line. It takes alot of absorbing the
"gentle " undulations to make the turns (3-4) round. The part in the middle and on the right gets way too rutted up for that. And most people go fairly straight through the throat and don't slow down until the slope peters out.
Note that conditions are constantly changing there, so what can be a simple thing one day becomes an unreasonable task. But that picture is fairly representative of what it looks like.....uh sometimes.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
Ghost, I've skied that run alot.
Mammoth? Hangman's?
post #53 of 55
Yes.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Arc-to-arc, railroad tracks, upside down, all that jazz: how many of you have ever taught it to a paying customer?
Well, for whatever it's worth, I have done that quite a bit (although I've never used the term "upside down" when teaching or spent a lot of time on the seemly paradoxical nature of that part of the turn while in a lesson). Of course, I've taught something like 0.0000000000001% of the lessons that you and the other highly-skilled full-time teachers here have done.
post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
Ghost, I've skied that run alot. That face on the left is the way to go when attemping any carving there. The concavity of it makes it fairly easy to control the speed with the line. It takes alot of absorbing the
"gentle " undulations to make the turns (3-4) round. The part in the middle and on the right gets way too rutted up for that. And most people go fairly straight through the throat and don't slow down until the slope peters out.
Note that conditions are constantly changing there, so what can be a simple thing one day becomes an unreasonable task. But that picture is fairly representative of what it looks like.....uh sometimes.
I can see a lot of possible lines. I know I would be tempted to hug the rocks on our left and come into the notch in a left turn, especially if I had LR skis. With 13 m radius skis I would want to get more turns in. In any event I don't think my first choice would be to be coming towards us about half way between the skier on our left and the rocks; it looks like there might be a bit of a compression-type transition there at reasonable speeds, but it's hard to tell from a picture. Got any pictures that show a wider angle and whats beyond the current view?

If I were the skier on our left, I think I would err on the side of caution and just hang a left straight for the throat so as not to become entangled with the skier on our right.
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