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What's going on?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've read both the three best skier and the three most overrated skiers threads and I'm wondering.

Aren't we, at least most of us, recreational skiers or instructors of recreational skiing? Those threads are all about who is better and who is worse and the mindset is that recreational skiing is competition. It is not.

Recreational skiing is recreation, fun, an activity that is exhiliarating in body movement, like dancing. When people go to club to dance it is recreation and fun and not about competition. Some dance better, more gracefully than others but all have fun in the exuberance of body movements.

Getting hung up about becoming better and technique beyond making one competent is a job, not recreation. And there will always be someone better than you or me skiing the mountains, why let that spoil our relaxed fun.

Once competency is reached, improvement comes with lots of mileage and an occasional lesson to iron out kinks. Otherwise, just go out and ski.

This is my take on it.. ....Ott

P.S..if you're just cheering for your favorite pro, that's another story.
post #2 of 14
post #3 of 14
Its like golf. No it isn't, you can die from the frustration of golf, better to die with a smile on your face, while making the best turns of your life.... Ok then, the best turns that you are making that day...whatever.

Ott is right...lets lighten up, and enjoy what we have.

Happy Holidys to one and all. Be safe and don't drive after drinking....that's the drinking of so called "adult" beverages.
post #4 of 14
What Ott said so very well.
post #5 of 14

the wisdom of the ages speaks

Thank you for this most observant posting


It is all you!

post #6 of 14
Well, Ott, your sentiments are admirable but I'm afraid I can't agree.

It's absolutely crucial to my well-being as a person and as a skier that *everyone* agree with me that Ingemar Stenmark was the finest skier of all time.

I don't ski for fun. I ski in a never-ending (and hopelessly futile) quest to ski like my hero.

You can go have fun if you want to - I don't have time for just enjoying skiing. I'm going to continue to obsess in my endless quest to try during my lifetime to carve one single turn that even approaches the kind of turn that Stenmark made every day.

post #7 of 14
Well Ott, myself, I usually come at subjects from the side.

Everyone on this board has a different perspective and therefore a different opinion. A particular style of skiing (say zipperline glue-feet) that might interest one group of people, doesn't necessarily get others all that excited. A skier who is very good at his or her niche in the sport will tend to be regarded highly, and therefore their style regarded as well. It's not about competition, Ott - it's about role models and the basic skills these role models tend to enhance. If you don't think these professionals don't have a HUGE impact on how each and everyone of us skis, you are entirely out of touch with the sport. Myself, I thank God for Stenmark, and wished he'd come along when I was first learning to race rather than a decade later.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
OK, guys, to each his own, I guess. I ski three or four days a week since I'm retired, here in Ohio, in NY and VT and we take a three week trip once or twice a years out west to wherever the snow is with our RV, no reservations necessary.

And I look around, talk to skiers and instructors and only a very few folks are concerned greatly about improving much or taking lessons, those that do mostly are on all inclusive ski week vacations.

Most know the terrain that suits them to have fun on and don't push themselves. Some huff and puff and sideslip a black slope so they can say to their friends back home that the skied a black.

I grew up in the era of Toni Sailer and Stenmark and Thoeni and Girardelli and Kidd and Mahre and the Austrians from Matt to Maier, but....

They are racers, icons like Michael Jordan and Gretzky and whoever, we recreation skiers don't have anything but equipment in common with them and just because I'm buying a piano doesn't mean I'll ever play like Van Cliburn.

So why should a recreational skier sweat it, nobody times them and nobody gives them more than a glance when they are skiing.


Edit: next time you are out skiing ask the recreational skiers you ride with on the chair if they know who Ingemar Stenmark is, and if they do, what influence he had on their skiing.

[ December 22, 2002, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: Ott Gangl ]
post #9 of 14
Call me a wussy-boy consensus builder, but I agree with Ott in that most of us do this for (capital F) FUN. This is not to say some of us don't want to be as good at our fun as possible; but, for most, there isn't a trophy girl/boy to kiss, nor a podium to stand on at the end of a wonderful day of skiing.

Racing at any level is a measuring stick . . . how do you compare to the competition on any given day. For some people the simple task of skiing is all they seek. And the true beauty is that each one of us can pursue our passion without stepping on someone else's toes (skis?).

When you're younger it's easier to say who's the best, or the worst for that matter. But with time comes a history book. So don't make me choose who is/was the best. I've seen too many great skiers come and go to narrow the field to a few skiers.

As for who the worst skiers are; your inability to appreciate the talents of a skier such as Plake, for instance, for what they contribute to the sport without saying they're among the worst is terribly myopic.

After listing your movie credits and skiing resume on this site, maybe you Monday morning quarterbacks should look in the mirror , maybe you're the worst skier.

Good thing it's a big mountain. Now, play nice.

Good post Ott [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

edited for spelling

[ December 22, 2002, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: Inspector Gadget ]
post #10 of 14
Yes, Ott--a great post! I too have been curious about the apparent obsession of a few to identify "the best" at what is so very clearly a matter of opinion. Everyone here could have a different opinion of who "the best" is--and everyone would be 100% right! It's like arguing about our favorite colors!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #11 of 14
Geez Bob, that's easy!

Holy Grail Fans repeat after me:

What's your favorite color? RED. No, blue.

What is the air-speed of a swallow?

African or European?

post #12 of 14
Somehow I find myself always agreeing with Ott, even when my principles (which I hold very dear) tell me not too. Ott thanks for saying this. Your point is well made and certainly true. I still hold firm to my convictions about who is the best (that I know of), but you are truly right. It is all about fun. I just wish I was a little better at coming across as agreeing with you. It's tragic that what is right and what is true aren't always the same.

"It's all in the same great spirit. It's all a lot of fun." - Obermayer
post #13 of 14
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:
I'm going to continue to obsess in my endless quest to try during my lifetime to carve one single turn that even approaches the kind of turn that Stenmark made every day.

With modern skis and technique you have probably made a thousand turns that would make Stenmark weep with envy.
post #14 of 14
Every day I ski and have skied has been fun beyond my wildest dreams, but every day I try and ski better than I have skied before.

I have no illusions that technically I have deficiencies. But at the end of the day I have very little regard for how I compare to other skiers. What turns me on is how much fun and how much I can chalenge myself getting from top to bottom.

[ December 23, 2002, 01:45 AM: Message edited by: TheRockSkier ]
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