I can't believe this thread is still going on.
Sweet... top of the page.
|plus he freeskis on fat skis, what does he know that you guys dont?|
Of course he does, BW--fat skis are a riot in that stuff! But you can bet that Ted can ski those conditions on anything else, too, including his competition GS skis, if he wants to. That's because his technical skills are not limited to what some here are referring to as "new school technique." His fat skis slice through the powder and crud, and traditional skis would do the same, albeit probably buried a bit deeper down. And that's why most ski schools and instructor programs these days still base their technical models on alpine race techniques. When you watch a racer like Ted Ligety free ski, you have to agree--those skills work everywhere!
In that respect, I would argue that alpine racers are the epitome of "old school," in the sense that their techniques and skills are honed by the clock and the need for precision and efficiency in all conditions--not just by the need to get down the mountain somehow or the desire to look "radical." If you look at all those pictures of Ligety (and they are awesome, I agree!), you can see similarities between his racing movements and his freeskiing movements, as well as the way his skis perform on the snow (they rarely go sideways). His upper body is stable--note that his inside arm and hip almost always lead through the turn, showing that he's not just horsing his skis around with his upper body. Not to say that he couldn't do that, or that he never does or would, but that it is not his primary, "default" technique. Ligety knows the advantages of skis going the direction they're pointed in that stuff!
Fat skis work great in powder, of course. One of their advantages (arguably) is that they let you do almost anything you want, much more easily than traditional skis. They are "forgiving." Skinnier skis really don't work well going sideways in powder. I'd argue that even the widest "rockered" new skis don't work very well sideways, either, but they certainly do it better than old skis.
New skis do not require new techniques, but they do add new opportunities and possibilities. The best skiers have always (read "old school," if you like) developed the skills to fully exploit their equipment's possibilities. If I had to define "new school," I would say that, at its best, it describes highly skilled skiers who do just that--exploit all the possibilities of their new equipment, for both fun and function--like Ted Ligety in these pictures. But at its worst, it describes skiers who can only ski on the new equipment, because their techniques lack the depth, refinement, and discipline needed to ski on other types of skis.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, this "worst case" scenario is more common. New skis don't make anyone ski better. But they allow you to ski worse and get away with it! The best skiers will still be the best skiers on fat skis. Poor skiers will still be poor skiers on fat skis. But the limits of their techniques may not be so obvious to themselves or to untrained observers because they still "work," and they can ski conditions and terrain that would have been unskiable for them on traditional equipment.
As I always insist, good skiing is about skills, not about "the preferred technique." Skills come from discipline and hard work, as they always have. I love the freedom and exuberance of the best "new schoolers." But for the best of them, that freedom comes from good old-fashioned (old school?) immense skill and discipline. Not from the lack of it! The best ski the way they do because they can--not because they have to!
As the great skater Elvis Stojko once said, "discipline will set you free!" Old-fashioned discipline is the key to new-school freedom!
I content it great technique, tdk6 said it was wrong lol. Ted has skied with me and thought I was "worthy" .......
BushwackeringPA, your photos are not displaying proper powder skiing the way we are trying to discuss it here in this thread. Your turns look to me as if they are GS turns and you are skiing on top of the snow, not in it. That changes everything. In your last photo for instance you are still with your ski tips over the snow. Eather you are trying to ski on top or you are in the back seat. I checked out your skiing in the ref thread and could not find any indications that you could not ski deep down in powder if you were put in some but the photos are totally different. Feel free to tell me Im all wrong.
I used the word "proper" just to get your blood pressure up, but let me finnish. You get hung up on the word "proper" I see. Sorry for not expressing myselfe clearly enough, there are two basic strategies to ski powder: one is to do it submerged with skinnies and the other one is to ski on top with fats. Both need proper technique. Skiing on top is easier. Skiing submerged is more difficult.