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Overrated Elements of Skiing

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
While we're sitting around waiting for the snow to get better I thought we could have a fun discussion on elements of skiing which you think are overated. It could about just about anything: equipment, the mountain, lessons, lifts, ect.

Three of my most overrated:

1) Vertical Drop. Skiing top to bottom may not be the most efficient, or even the best skiing. Weather and coverage at the bottom may not be that good-specially mountians w/ large vertical(Whistler, Jackson Hole), not that they don't occasionally have good skiing top-to-bottom. And, you still have to spend "X" amount of time to go "X" vertical feet, so you want the time spent on the lift to offer the best skiing.

2) Weight of Equipment. Personally; when I'm skiing bad-it's the weight of my skis/boots; when I'm skiing good-I don't even notice the weight. I don't belive the wieght difference between "lite" and "heavy" equipment is that significant-except when carrying or sitting on the lift. Skis/boots are already slidding downhill on the snow.

3) Hardware Upgrades. The idea that "hardware" changes(mostly skies and boots) will make you a better skier. Hardware changes may make some marginal elements of your sking seem more skillful, but are you really a "better skier", or just found something that plays to your weaknesses? Increased Skill-set(software) really makes you a better skier.

Again these are my opinion, You're mileage may vary

What's your overrated list.
post #2 of 89
I agree with points 2 and 3 but vertical rise is a big one for me. I love nothing more than to lap a tram top to bottom on a pow day whether it be Cannon, Jay, or Snowbird, or any others yet to be skied at this point. More sustained fun and works the **** out of your legs. Nothing like the euphoria from collapsing at the end of a bell to bell pow day.
post #3 of 89
Totally agree on the vertical (and equipment weight). And I'll add:

Grooming. While it's nice to have SOME groom trails, the quality and milage of groomed runs is over-rated in my opinion. I like skiing on real snow with some variety, not neccessarily uniform white carpet. Spend the money on snowmaking if need be, and leave some trails un-groomed, both to keep the crowds and the speed down.

Latest and greatest equipement: I wait for the fashion to fade and the first year adaptor's move on so I can pick up the REALLY good new stuff. The stuff that actually work, not the 1 year fad.
post #4 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
While we're sitting around waiting for the snow to get better I thought we could have a fun discussion on elements of skiing which you think are overated. It could about just about anything: equipment, the mountain, lessons, lifts, ect.

Three of my most overrated:

1) Vertical Drop. Skiing top to bottom may not be the most efficient, or even the best skiing. Weather and coverage at the bottom may not be that good-specially mountians w/ large vertical(Whistler, Jackson Hole), not that they don't occasionally have good skiing top-to-bottom. And, you still have to spend "X" amount of time to go "X" vertical feet, so you want the time spent on the lift to offer the best skiing.

2) Weight of Equipment. Personally; when I'm skiing bad-it's the weight of my skis/boots; when I'm skiing good-I don't even notice the weight. I don't belive the wieght difference between "lite" and "heavy" equipment is that significant-except when carrying or sitting on the lift. Skis/boots are already slidding downhill on the snow.

3) Hardware Upgrades. The idea that "hardware" changes(mostly skies and boots) will make you a better skier. Hardware changes may make some marginal elements of your sking seem more skillful, but are you really a "better skier", or just found something that plays to your weaknesses? Increased Skill-set(software) really makes you a better skier.

Again these are my opinion, You're mileage may vary

What's your overrated list.
disagree with 1. most days where i ski top to bottom is good and has about 900 more vertical feet and less BS traverse time then where you ski. oh did I mention it faces north and doesnt get baked by the sun.
post #5 of 89
Woa! Have to disagree with #3. If yer having probems skiing, a change of equipment could be critical to your chance of having fun. Instead of just buying new skis, start demoing... now that's really fun.

And trust me... I have just about died in rental boots, so I know boots can make a big difference. (if you have to rent boots.. I actually forgot my boots once... then wave off the first boots they bring out. Ask for an upgrade boot, ask for the best boots they have. It makes a big difference)

When things aren't right, change.
post #6 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaman View Post
I agree with points 2 and 3 but vertical rise is a big one for me. I love nothing more than to lap a tram top to bottom on a pow day whether it be Cannon, Jay, or Snowbird, or any others yet to be skied at this point. More sustained fun and works the **** out of your legs. Nothing like the euphoria from collapsing at the end of a bell to bell pow day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
disagree with 1. most days where i ski top to bottom is good and has about 900 more vertical feet and less BS traverse time then where you ski. oh did I mention it faces north and doesnt get baked by the sun.
There really aren't any right or wrong answers, those were just my opinions. It's just, what's you're opinion of what's overrated
post #7 of 89
wicking polyesters are hugely overrated for the non-overnighter.

silk and wool rocks for daily riding. It's more comfortable and smells better.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
There really aren't any right or wrong answers, those were just my opinions. It's just, what's you're opinion of what's overrated
The mountain's daily snow report. i.e. "packed powder" may mean a sheet of ice; "early season obstacles" may mean watch out for the little patch of sheet ice between those large patches of rocks and dirt; you get the idea.:
post #9 of 89
Silk is the most over rated garment. I find it almost conducts cold to the skin.

Now that I am getting older with some circulation problems it's a pain ... it just used to be "academic" because each year wifey would buy me an new pair of silks and I wear them to keep her happy.

I prefer a soft wool blend or cotton (I don't sweat much) ...

Samurai and I will agree to disagree on silk ...
post #10 of 89
all-time overrated garment: powder pants on women. stretch pants = wayyy sexier. (wayyy underrated? powder pants on men; reverse reasoning)

also:
electronics - radios/Ipods - can be helpful/fun, but detract from the natural beauty/sounds. "squawwk; hey Jim, we're over at Chair 5"

skiing:

short turns - absolutely necessary to own this skill to ski well, but just not as fun as ripping big fast long (or even, medium) turns

grooming - I guess it helps if the snow totally sucks, i.e., there isn't much, but don't bother otherwise

high speed 6-packs - don't get loaded properly; too many people tracking out the snow

on-mountain food: I want good to great food for apres ski/dinner; I'll have a sandwich/beer for lunch (if I eat lunch...)

# of lifts: we need lifts where they'll access terrain; too many mountains have poorly planned lift systems

trams: prefer social aspect of gondolas; trams get crowded & take too long

safety bars: watch out for gapers lowering the bar without warning

many US resorts: big reps, less great terrain than Europe/Canada
post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
all-time overrated garment: powder pants on women. stretch pants = wayyy sexier. (wayyy underrated? powder pants on men; reverse reasoning)

also:
electronics - radios/Ipods - can be helpful/fun, but detract from the natural beauty/sounds. "squawwk; hey Jim, we're over at Chair 5"

skiing:

short turns - absolutely necessary to own this skill to ski well, but just not as fun as ripping big fast long (or even, medium) turns

grooming - I guess it helps if the snow totally sucks, i.e., there isn't much, but don't bother otherwise

high speed 6-packs - don't get loaded properly; too many people tracking out the snow

on-mountain food: I want good to great food for apres ski/dinner; I'll have a sandwich/beer for lunch (if I eat lunch...)

# of lifts: we need lifts where they'll access terrain; too many mountains have poorly planned lift systems

trams: prefer social aspect of gondolas; trams get crowded & take too long

safety bars: watch out for gapers lowering the bar without warning

many US resorts: big reps, less great terrain than Europe/Canada
Agree 100% with all comments (especially safety bars). But will add:

- Chairlifts in general (all the best ski areas I know don't have any chairlifts)

- Road access (having to hike to the lifts eliminates idiots)

- Base facilities in general (you are ther to ski, not sit inside or buy crappy merchandise)

- race skis (they suck for everything except ice)
post #12 of 89
Most overrated- carving

If I read another word about carving I will blow chunks! Carving is for racers, over the hills, and gapers who never venture off the groomers.

Real skiers ski natural conditions.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
n-mountain food: I want good to great food for apres ski/dinner; I'll have a sandwich/beer for lunch (if I eat lunch...)
Agreed. I can even skip a restaurant dinner. If need be I'll pack the hibachi and ice chest - and I know it will be some good food.
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
3) Hardware Upgrades. The idea that "hardware" changes(mostly skies and boots) will make you a better skier. Hardware changes may make some marginal elements of your sking seem more skillful, but are you really a "better skier", or just found something that plays to your weaknesses? Increased Skill-set(software) really makes you a better skier.
I don't agree - I got stiffer boots last year and they really helped me a lot flexindex forever! Maybe I didn't become a better skier, but the new boots made me exploit my skill :P
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
3) Hardware Upgrades. The idea that "hardware" changes(mostly skies and boots) will make you a better skier. Hardware changes may make some marginal elements of your sking seem more skillful, but are you really a "better skier", or just found something that plays to your weaknesses? Increased Skill-set(software) really makes you a better skier.
I'll agree that upgraded skis rarely makes you a better skier... getting good boots though can make a night and day difference.

Overrated elements of skiing though? Nothing tops the base lodge / village amenities.
post #16 of 89
Overrated: number of trails, number of lifts, vertical (to some degree); who opens for the season first; racing skis if you don't ski hard snow, fat skis if you don't ski powder or crud; new boots if your old ones work; outdoor onslope eating (if it's nice enough to eat outside, I want to be skiing); skiing on storm days above treeline; skiing in large groups; trams; grooming; slow chairs (except at MRG); shaped skis (is it just me, or is there just not that much of a difference for good skiers?); fast cruising; helmets, if you hit a lift post.
Underrated: base and summit altitude; northern exposure; wind effect (eg, some mountains ski better after wind has blown through, always heard this about Castle Mt, for example); surface lifts; liftline management; good, efficient, homey day lodges; short turns; the first beer after a day on the slopes.
post #17 of 89
The bar after skiing, usually too crowded and noisy

Race Stock and Plug Boots. No explaination needed

Backcountry skiing/hiking for turns...the good Lord invented the chair lift for a reason

Bell to Bell. I hate skiing in flat light

Critiquing every single turn till you forget you are even skiing

Lessons/Clinics/Camps, when they are the end all. Lighten up...go ski and have fun.
post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
While we're sitting around waiting for the snow to get better I thought we could have a fun discussion on elements of skiing which you think are overated. It could about just about anything: equipment, the mountain, lessons, lifts, ect.

Three of my most overrated:

1) Vertical Drop. Skiing top to bottom may not be the most efficient, or even the best skiing. Weather and coverage at the bottom may not be that good-specially...

2) Weight of Equipment. Personally; when I'm skiing bad-it's the weight of my skis/boots; when I'm skiing good-I don't even notice the weight......

3) Hardware Upgrades. The idea that "hardware" changes(mostly skies and boots) will make you a better skier. ....found something that plays to your weaknesses?
I have a hard time with any of these.

1) The point of mucho vertical often is to be able to choose the part of the mountain you want to play on that day. Top closed for wind - stay in the middle, nuking snow up top - stay there. That's the modus operandi at Whistler anyway. Situation right for bombing Peak to Creek - fine, but stick where the snow's best otherwise. Having that much vertical allows you to stay where it's good.

2) Weight - try 25 kick turns on the steeps on a set of Metrons and tell me you can't feel the weight. If it's a groomer day (yuck) then OK, but it you're out there for real, a pound or two multiplied by many turns will get you every time.

3) If the equipment plays to your weakness what's wrong with that? I finally invested a few years ago in custom footbeds, and my situation with always making better turns to the right direction was cured. Is that playing to a weakness? OK, I'll take it.

Bravo to Volant re: carvers. After 10 serious carve turns I wonder what all the fuss is about. Tedious and boring. I love all the "pros" who find it inflating for their egos to carve up the groomers under the lift. Perfect combo with an instructor jacket at some of the lame-o places.
post #19 of 89
overrated: all the fuss over having 100% precise technique. Go have fun. relax.

Underated: properly fitted boots
post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Most overrated- carving

If I read another word about carving I will blow chunks! Carving is for racers, over the hills, and gapers who never venture off the groomers.

Real skiers ski natural conditions.
what if you carve natural conditions?
post #21 of 89
Vert is important, I have a lot more fun when I'm not on the lift every 2 minutes. I definitely think equipment is important, being on the right set up for size ability and style can make a huge difference, especially with boots.

The most overrated? People who harp on "proper" or "bad ass monkey-steeze" form, both "new schoolers" and "old schoolers". You want to throw a corked 7 on a prefab jump in the park? More power to you ski-brother, just pull your pants up and dont act "gangster" because you're not in prison and you live in the suburbs. You want to ski windshield wiper turns all day on skinny sticks? More power to you ski-brother, just dont sit there and tell me the way I ski is not "proper" and wouldn't have survived back in the good old days. That was then, this is now.

I like to ski with people who have the ****-eater grin on and feed off each others energy. Could be 2 old farts and a punk ass kid for all I care.

And resort food prices.. we're already getting gouged for the lift pass.
post #22 of 89
kiwiski: Chairlifts in general (all the best ski areas I know don't have any chairlifts) ... Road access (having to hike to the lifts eliminates idiots) ... Base facilities in general (you are ther to ski, not sit inside or buy crappy merchandise)

I think it would take an idiot to walk 20km to a ski area, to find out there are no base facilities and no lifts.
post #23 of 89
I'll do overrated:

1) Vertical, because it doesn't measure steepness or difficulty. Squaw has about the same vertical as a bunch of NE resorts, and is, ah, more interesting to ski.

2) Night skiing, because who the hell actually wants to ski in and out of pools of murky light on sheet ice in intense cold?

3) Skis as your most important equipment, because guess what, ALL major brands produce excellent upper level skis now. If your skiing depends on choosing the "right" ski, you need professional help.

4) Whistler, because for all its legendary vertical, the rain zone is creeping up the mountain and many days, half that distance is mush or glaze.

And underrated:

1) Ski boots as your most important equipment. Does anyone really think you ski better when your feet move a cm before your boot does? Or hurt so much you wince before each turn?

2) Ski mag reviews; just because they ignored your fav skis doesn't mean they're on the take, or inferior skiers, or psychos. Guess what, maybe your skis aren't as good as you think. : Besides, what else would we have to argue about for two months a year?

3) Blizzard ads. I love the sinister KGB-ish look of these guys fondling skis just before they load the poison in.

4) Rossignols. For a brand that introduces more people to more pleasure in skiing than any other, we spend a lot of time complaining how except for the Squads, they're vanilla, boring, floppy, going bankrupt, barely worth the effort of attaching a binding. Be thankful all those visitors pay all those shops to rent all those Rossis, and then go plunk down more bucks on tickets, food, condos, and have such a pleasant time they come back...
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
I'll do overrated:

2) Night skiing, because who the hell actually wants to ski in and out of pools of murky light on sheet ice in intense cold?
I've got to really disagree with that one. If the hill is a sheet of ice, I wouldn't ski even in the day. But night skiing can be great (especially when clear with a full moon ), I've tracked up a lot of powder at night.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Race Stock and Plug Boots. No explaination needed

Backcountry skiing/hiking for turns...the good Lord invented the chair lift for a reason
Race Stock and Plug Boots. No explaination needed Phil, Phil, Phil Phil Phil::


Backcountry skiing/hiking for turns...the good Lord invented the chair lift for a reason
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahPowderPig View Post
I've got to really disagree with that one. If the hill is a sheet of ice, I wouldn't ski even in the day. But night skiing can be great (especially when clear with a full moon ), I've tracked up a lot of powder at night.


I love night skiing, way better visibility!
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post


Backcountry skiing/hiking for turns...the good Lord invented the chair lift for a reason
and while you sit there and say that people have been skiing 2 months now where you live. Face it your lazy.
post #28 of 89
Overrated:

1) Apres' ski (in the traditional sense). After a long day of skiing, I cant get out of my gear and into a hot-tub or heated pool fast enough. Ill have my drinks pool side thank you, believe it or not hanging around a bunch of drunken and sweat soaked poly-covered skiers is not that fun.

2) Powder. Too much effortLOL...yeah I know I am nuts. I like it groomed, smooth, slick, and fast. My skis are all skinny and I like it that way. If I make it out west this season, I might change my mind though....I hope so to be honest.

3) Proper technique. If you make it down the mountain and do it without much effort and are having fun, then your technique is proper, nuff said.

Underrated:

1) HEAD skis. I think they are awesome and the best engineered out there.

2) Full face helmets

3) East coast skiers. Wrong coasters think right coasters cant ski....we can all ski, just some of us know how to handle very challenging conditions better than others...like ice for instance.
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Overrated:

2) Powder. Too much effortLOL...yeah I know I am nuts. I like it groomed, smooth, slick, and fast. My skis are all skinny and I like it that way. If I make it out west this season, I might change my mind though....I hope so to be honest.
Away from me Satan! Then again, yes, your right, please stay off my pow and hang with the texans........:
post #30 of 89
Overrated: carving and the importance of technique esp on corduroy "packed powder" medium sloped cruisers with no obstacles. Why even turn on these slopes?

Underrated: ability to ski technical and complex snow surfaces in a variety of turn radii with various natural terrain hazards

Simplified version: man made surface technique vs skiing in a wild natural environment
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