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How did it happen? - Page 3

post #61 of 87

one of the best posts ever

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I truly believe that instruction (even really good instruction) can only take a skier so far. After that, it's miles. And more miles. And learning from trial and error and feel and comparison what works and what doesn't.

And that's where I think the new skis have helped a lot of people become really good skiers. The skinnier carvers help developing skiers experience the feeling of laying the ski over on edge and actually *feeling* what that ski is designed to do. The fatter skis allow more skiers to get out there off piste so they can ski more miles more easily, more quickly, and with less effort than before. Those additional miles will translate into better skills if the skier has the time and means to spend a lot of days on skis.

So, I think there are WAY more good skiers than there used to be. I see it every day.
This is so true, and such a good post....well I wish I had beaten you to it Bob and posted it myself!!!

I've been blessed more than most to have put in more than one 100+ days in a year on snow, as an instructor on my local hill I booted up everyday. I was out of work for a full time day job for long periods and was able to really pour on the miles. Sure, I had world class instruction via PSIA clinics but once I understood what good skiing was and how a ski worked it was the miles that got in done. Do it myself got it done.

Once I finally jumped on the new technology (thanks in no small part to my friends on epic) I watched the videos in my signature (thanks mr nobody)for hours then went out and copied. More miles, lots of em. Tip and rip, let the ski design do the work.

I also see many more skiers on local hills skiing nicely.

It is a beautiful thing......learning what makes a modern ski turn and then "shaddap and ski"!!!

A lot.

Kinda like you do now Bob!

Miles = smiles
post #62 of 87
Ric, So much has changed over the years.
Faster lifts, better grooming, and better equipment. What hasn't changed is the percentage of skiers who are satisfied with their skiing. Frankly I see nothing wrong with that and I disagree with the idea that they are lazy people.
post #63 of 87
Thread Starter 
JASP-
My use of the term lazy was in regard to those who would rather spend money on some perceived "cure" to a problem without making any other efforts to resolve that problem. Again, relying on the equipment to make them better skiers, not developing their own skill sets.
I thought MikeWil's post, comparing it to golf, was most interesting. For golf certainly has its share of gear heads, always thinking the next gimmick out on the market is going to automatically shave a few strokes off their game, without having to do anything but spend a few more $$$. If that was truly the case, most of the golfing public would spend the money and join the PGA Tour, for the prize money they offer. Who ever spends the most, wins the most. lol!
Though I do not have a handicap (other than owning a set of clubs), I spent a tidy sum this past summer on lessons. I have realized a reduction of maybe 4-6 strokes , but mostly my enjoyment of the game has risen substantially! Would I have realized the same result just by buying new clubs, new shoes, or hitting a different ball? NO WAY! It was technique which made the change.
But at the same time, the top pro's do use those new clubs, shoes and balls because they already have the technique and can take full advantage of what those items have to offer.

Once again, I am NOT suggesting that the average skier/golfer not avail themselves of the benefits technology does have to offer. But as long as they understand that technique must be the foundation of any significant change in performance. Not their equipment.
post #64 of 87

This will be a little long...

There's a tone to this thread that I find somewhat troubling--the persistent notion (and I've read it elsewhere on these forums as well) that the majority of people are not skiing well, have no interest in skiing better, think buying skis supplements learning and if they only just took lessons from a certified instructor they'd get better-and all this is gleaned not from surveys, or even face to face discussions with the skiing public but rather from watching folks ski from afar.

How do you know the people you're looking at aren't taking lessons, buying books and videos and practicing drills and trying to get better????

Many people didn't come to the great sport of skiing until they were adults (that's me I'm talking about-started at 30-now I'm 38, and not too shabby!). I started with with days and days of lesson focused skiing with a great friend who was also a long-time instructor and very skilled skier as well as pedagogue. I tried a few camps, bought books, solicited advice, did drills and tried, whenever possible to put in snow time. But, unlike a snowwsport professional or someone who came up through a junior race programs-as an adult you can never get all that mileage that the life-long skier has. So, in terms of years, it took quite some time gain a level of proficiency. About 2.5 seasons ago it really started to come together (that's 5.5 years into the adult learning process, folks) and last year in particular with one magical (for me anyway) run down Gunsight at Alta I finally truly felt (and possibly displayed) the benefits of 7 years of learning.

Anyway, 5 years ago someone watching my over-rotated, skidded, hopping turns would look and say-wow, that gaper ought get some lessons-too bad he's only interested in ski equipment etc. They'd have no idea how hard I worked to get to where I was! That was after three years of learning! Five years on, with more time on the hill, hard-work, good instruction, AND good equipment and boots-I'm skiing well-but probably (no definitely) not working anywhere near as hard to get better at skiing (though I do still try, of course).

Basically as any of us (especially the jaded ski instructor professionals) gazes about our home resort and judges the learning inclinations of the skiers around them, please be aware of the huge divide between those who've had an opportunity to spend formative years on snow and the late-comer recreationalist who is maybe trying pretty darn hard to learn-you should try to think about where they started as well as where they are in their learning and where they might end up. I think about where I am now and where I will hopefully end up as a skier-and I suspect that my learning trajectory would have been nowhere near as steep as it has been on the old equipment of days gone past.

Liam
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
What people are reaching a level of performance never seen?
I am! I suck at my highest level ever!

I agree with Big E. Jim Lindsay tells me my feet/legs are designed for skiing. Lucky dawg.

But here's where I agree with VSP. There are not that many great skiers--gear or no gear. People still are not motivated to spend the time and energy to really become great. They don't ski in all conditions, in awful conditions, every day, practicing, training, and on and on. Those that do make the training practice sacrifices, DO get good. This is why I brought up Chris Geib. The work he has done on his skiing under VSP's, BB's, and others tutelage is just enormous, and now he owns it.

Now, realize though, that I'm defining great very narrowly. I kind of have the right to, like VSP does, because or our longevity, commitment and observation.

But underneath that all, I don't care. Whatever makes them happy, and skiing or riding, is fine by me.

I'm skiing with a guy this week, who will never be great. He will never spend the effort--especially in the weather. However, he is a long time skier, and will continue to do so. sucking at his level.

That's cool by me. Because he smiles when he skis.

Edit: VSP, I question whether any of us--even the top guys were THAT good with the old gear. Don't you sometimes say to yourself, "If I knew what I know now, and had the gear I have now, and nobody else did, I would have been such a champion?"
post #66 of 87
Thank you , Liam.

There are those of us who ski 3 days a year, on a hill with 350' of vertical, on mostly man-made snow. We do the best we can, but believe me, it's tough to hone skills under those conditions. The only decent skiers to observe are members of the Ski Patrol, and on this particular hill, most of them are on snowboards.

If we're lucky, we spend a couple of days at a bigger place (in Minnesota), and take a lesson. If we're REALLY lucky, the temperature gets about 0°F for at least part of the trip. Again, not the most conducive conditions for drills and cancetrated practice.

Once every 10 years or so, we make it to the mountains, and have the time of our lives. We might not be the prettiest skiers out there, but we're sure having fun!
post #67 of 87
This may sound trite but here goes - where there's a will there's a way. You don't need the latest and greatest gear. But to get good you have to want it and you have to work at it.

Others here have played the mileage card. I agree, that trumps everything. Along with that, again, as others have mentioned, goes a willingness to ski sketchy conditions. I have not had much instruction, but I remember an instructor once told me if your skiing technique is solid it will hold up in rougher conditions. I don't practise any skiing drills or on-snow exercises, but from that point on I always sought out the chunky snow, the ice, the crud; and what I learned there made me a much better skier. Ron White was right on in his post regarding the ungroomed run and the advanced group.


Are there more good skiers on the hill now than a few decades ago? In my opinion no. I would say about the same amount of truly good, balanced, confident skiers. Do advances in equipment help people to become better skiers? I think they must, but since I learned on old school stuff I can't really say for certain. Modern skis make it more fun for me, but I would not say they make me a better skier. I do think that grooming has become a crutch and while it makes skiers look better, and makes it easier to learn at first, grooming actually holds them back from learning how to really ski.
post #68 of 87
As Weems so eloquently put it, modern equipment has given me the opportunity to suck at my highest level yet as well .

Like some of the older folks around here, I started on wooden skis with lace boots 45 years ago. As I continued to ski (and I could afford it), I upgraded my equipment as often as I could because plastic boots gave much more support (oh my!) and the "new" Head Standards made skiing and turning that much easier (Yippee!). I'm still a gear head today!

So are thing different now? I don't think that the modern equipment has really changed the dynamics of skiing all that much. While new equipment certainly can make it easier for the average skier to reach a higher skill level (and that's a great thing in my book because more people having more fun is what skiing is all about), those skiers who have the physical attributes, work ethic and desire to improve will still be at the top of the heap.

Mike
post #69 of 87
VS1 going on about how people on fat skis suck yep noone on a wide skis can make a turn ever...seriousally volklrep this might be the creepiest thing you ve ever done posting on here.

Although the thread redeemed it self with Bob Peters of all people defending the fatties...
post #70 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I don't disagree with you Bob but The Big One is sort of unique in it's skier population. I wonder if the same thing can be said for So VT or Vail or Big Bear or Hunter. I don't think so.
So maybe this is a matter of perception. From the LCC perspective, I agree with Bob. Come a ski the Collins side of Alta on a powder day. You'll see a VERY high percentage of VERY good skiers.
post #71 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
What hasn't changed is the percentage of skiers who are satisfied with their skiing.
I'm never satisfied with my skiing.
post #72 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I wonder if the same thing can be said for So VT or Vail or Big Bear or Hunter. I don't think so.
At the smallest hills in the least mountainous of locations, people are sucking at a higher level than they were fifteen years ago. Even the tail gunning out of control missiles are far better now than they were then. In that regard I agree with the OP...lots of people still sucking, just at a higher level.

Are there more people that have become really good skiers at those hills? Meh, probably not. Truly good skiers are good athletes, and I don't think there are any more good athletes in skiing now than ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman
I also know that those unknowing skiers out there who are poorly aligned are at a much greater risk for knee injuries
O RLY? I didn't see that in the literature. Source?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam
How do you know the people you're looking at aren't taking lessons, buying books and videos and practicing drills and trying to get better????
Lots of people in this thread have been watching the public ski for decades. What is obvious to them might not be to you or me. Also, I think you are taking a generalization personally for no good reason. Who cares if someone thought you fit into a generalization five years ago? You don't now, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnKH
Once every 10 years or so, we make it to the mountains, and have the time of our lives.
http://southwest.com/

Time on snow is really important.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
With wider waisted skis, I would think that the trend over time will be to remove the base bevel….I believe this is already starting with the 0.5 base bevel now being common.

Your information is flawed. .5 degree bevels are not common on "wider waisted skis" by any stretch of the imagination. Unless you consider 65mm waisted SL skis "wider" waisted.

I'm actually skiing less of my skis with .5 degree or less base bevels than I was five years ago. Bigger base bevels are simply more versatile.
post #73 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post


Your information is flawed. .5 degree bevels are not common on "wider waisted skis" by any stretch of the imagination. Unless you consider 65mm waisted SL skis "wider" waisted.

I'm actually skiing less of my skis with .5 degree or less base bevels than I was five years ago. Bigger base bevels are simply more versatile.
Care to elaborate?
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Care to elaborate?
There was a time when everyone skied flat skis. Then there was a time when people skied skis with some bevel, but they weren't too scientific about it. Bending files, wraps of tape, etc. Then good tools were invented. Then good skis with shape and later additional width became common. Now, high quality SL skis with high quality skiers use 0 to .5 degree bevels, and pretty much every other ski on earth for every other purpose uses .75, 1, or more.

For a period of time in the early 2000's, I skied things like ~90mm skis with a .5 degree base bevel. Lately, I've decided the 1 degree base bevel is more versatile, less annoying to maintain, more forgiving, and only arguably lower performance on the hardest of snow. I still run .75 on my narrower Taos skis, and I still run .5 on my SL skis just because, though honestly I have a pair of SL skis set up at 1 degree and although the feel difference is substantial and I prefer the smaller bevel on hard snow, the "rock" SL skis I have at 1 degree are a lot more skiable in general...
post #75 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
There was a time when everyone skied flat skis. Then there was a time when people skied skis with some bevel, but they weren't too scientific about it. Bending files, wraps of tape, etc. Then good tools were invented. Then good skis with shape and later additional width became common. Now, high quality SL skis with high quality skiers use 0 to .5 degree bevels, and pretty much every other ski on earth for every other purpose uses .75, 1, or more.

For a period of time in the early 2000's, I skied things like ~90mm skis with a .5 degree base bevel. Lately, I've decided the 1 degree base bevel is more versatile, less annoying to maintain, more forgiving, and only arguably lower performance on the hardest of snow. I still run .75 on my narrower Taos skis, and I still run .5 on my SL skis just because, though honestly I have a pair of SL skis set up at 1 degree and although the feel difference is substantial and I prefer the smaller bevel on hard snow, the "rock" SL skis I have at 1 degree are a lot more skiable in general...

Interesting....I cant find any evidence to support your assertions....but to be fair, my original post maybe wasnt clear....instead of simply referring to ski width I should have been more specific and referred to sidecut.

As sidecuts increased, so did base bevels...as sidecuts are now decreasing, ie wider waisted skis, and although I wasnt thinking this before, the side cuts are decreasing in race skis as well due to FIS Regulations....base bevels are decreasing again.....hence the change in 1 degree being "standard" 5 years ago.....and now 1 degree still being the most common, but less then 1 degree, ie 0.5 is much more common today then before.
post #76 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
hence the change in 1 degree being "standard" 5 years ago.....and now 1 degree still being the most common, but less then 1 degree, ie 0.5 is much more common today then before.
Speaking of SL skis, .5 or less was really as common 5 years ago as it is today. It may have filtered down to being more common with the over thirty PSIA crowd, Masters racers, etc. .5 on GS skis may be more common now than it was 5 years ago, but it certainly wasn't uncommon then either. None of this has really changed much AFAIK.

For all other skis, bevels of 1 degree or larger are by far the most prevalent. I'm aware of no trend from either manufacturers or in the field where people are putting smaller bevels on anything other than tech race skis. Not many weirdos like me ski on 90mm skis with .5 degree bevels...for good reason, it isn't worth it. Also, I take issue with the idea that skis are getting straighter. I've been slinging skis since the beginning of the decade, and I can't think of many instances of a manufacturer building new tooling with less shape. What you perceive as popular could be straighter now than a couple years ago if you were on the Metron bandwagon or whatever, but the average 2008 ski has a shorter radius than the average 2002 ski. The big exception to that trend would be pow specific boards in the last three years or so, with rocker, reverse sidecuts, etc.
post #77 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post

For all other skis, bevels of 1 degree or larger are by far the most prevalent. I'm aware of no trend from either manufacturers or in the field where people are putting smaller bevels on anything other than tech race skis. .
Ya....becuase of less side cut due to FIS regs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
The big exception to that trend would be pow specific boards in the last three years or so.
Well it IS the POW specific skis...ie wider waists...that I was referring to....seems lots of skis now have less side cut...Head Mojo, Head 88, 82, Atomic Crimson, Blackeye...I am pretty sure these skis are all up around 20m radius...and there are lots more with much longer turn radius....one guy said is Volki Sonyuk (sp?) had a 40m+ radius....that seems pretty straight to me....
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Ya....becuase of less side cut due to FIS regs.
Don't know where you got that idea. Bevels from 0 to 1 degree and 3-7 on the side have been seen on tech skis for many, many years. The recent change in regulations for GS skis has a much greater effect on Masters racers (and there due to availability more than rule) and Juniors than anyone else. Men have been on skis very near that shape since the late 1990's. SL skis haven't changed much since 03.
Quote:
Well it IS the POW specific skis...ie wider waists...that I was referring to...
Not many run any of those skis with less than 1 degree base bevel, but some of those are narrow enough where I could understand it in the east. And those skis you mention aren't "pow" skis, more like every day groomer skis.
Quote:
I am pretty sure these skis are all up around 20m radius...
Which of those is straighter than what it replaced in its line? I'm sure some of them may be, but my brain isn't telling me which at the moment.

FWIW my 2000 everyday big mountain ski was 27m and my 2008 one is 29m. Not much difference there. They are 30mm wider... My screwin' around on groomer skis were 21m in 2001, now they are like 15 or 16m. That more reflects a change in my habits than anything else.

Anyways, that is enough off topic anecdote I guess. I am pretty certain there is no trend towards smaller base bevels on truly wide skis...at least not amongst anyone I know. But skiing being the rumor and wives tale driven endeavor that it is, I wouldn't be wholly surprised if in some corner of the world people are grinding wide skis flat and convincing themselves it is the bee's knees.
post #79 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Ya....becuase of less side cut due to FIS regs.



Well it IS the POW specific skis...ie wider waists...that I was referring to....seems lots of skis now have less side cut...Head Mojo, Head 88, 82, Atomic Crimson, Blackeye...I am pretty sure these skis are all up around 20m radius...and there are lots more with much longer turn radius....one guy said is Volki Sonyuk (sp?) had a 40m+ radius....that seems pretty straight to me....
Hmmm, afaiK, Head Monster 88 (formerly the 85) has a 19.2 m radius, and that has come down from a 22.5m then 20.5 since it was the 85, The original Monster Cross was a 42 m radius. The 82 is a new ski in the line, in it's 2nd year of production. The 78 - 14.6m @ 171 which replaces the 77 has a far deeper shape than either the former 75 or 77 (16.5 @ 170) ever had.

I think you'd have to look at the pure pow/big mtn freeriders to see the longer/straighter trend; Then again a lot of these are starting to have deeper curves in other planes; i.e far more rocker than any ski ever had camber.

I dig having my equipment customized, and I send people who really want to excel at this sport to a bootfitter, but at heart I still believe:

"It's the Skier, not the Ski" that's how I was raised
post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
O RLY? I didn't see that in the literature. Source?
Well Garrett, Maybe since I have balanced a few thousand boots I just may qualify as a fairly good source on the subject. During the last fourteen years I have looked at many knees and noticed a common trend. But then, what do I know? I didn't read the literature you did?
post #81 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Well Garrett, Maybe since I have balanced a few thousand boots I just may qualify as a fairly good source on the subject. During the last fourteen years I have looked at many knees and noticed a common trend. But then, what do I know? I didn't read the literature you did?
I didn't say canting isn't a wonderful thing for skiing. I just said I'm not familiar with any evidence that skiers out of alignment are more prone to knee injuries. YOU said that. Got any proof, at all? "Looking at a bunch of knees" is anecdote, and IMO anecdote is a dangerous thing to be throwing around with respect to such a critically important topic.
post #82 of 87
I forget, what is this critically important topic again?

Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm one of those folks sucking at an incredibly higher level...
post #83 of 87
Knee injuries are a huge black eye on skiing. In the 1970's, technical improvements in gear were successful in dramatically reducing lower leg fractures. OTOH, most of what I read suggests that knee injuries (hugely debilitating, costly, and frightening) have not become any less of an issue recently.

I haven't read anything that suggests canting a boot two degrees or whatever reduces the rate of these debilitating injuries. I think it is a sufficiently serious topic that people shouldn't throw anecdote around, regardless of how many boots they've planed. Not only is it a serious topic, but it is a topic where research could feasibly be done, so it isn't like I'm making some sort of ridiculous demand.

edit: I don't have any problem with a claim that being well aligned can potentially reduce stress and strain on knees-that seems to be common sense-however I have a pet peeve about claims that go beyond that and speak to things like actual rates of injury in the field without any methodology other than "I'm around it a lot." Such claims are a surefire way to get an analytical ninny like me to raise the BS flag and call out the O RLY owl.
post #84 of 87
Well there's a good topic for a thesis. It is quite logical to predict that if you are not properly aligned with your skis flat on the snow when they should be, you will be more likely to catch an edge. More caught edges = more falls. More falls = more knee injuries. It's only common sense. Of course it's not scientific knowledge until we've done the experiments and analyzed the results. I'm surprised with all the grad students and profs in the publish or perish world we can't find something published about it.
post #85 of 87
Garrett, I really don't care what you think about my observations and understandings. It does seem pretty common sense to me, however you may have different thoughts which you would like to share??
post #86 of 87
Back before shaped skis very few people became experts. It seemed as if every month saw an article in one of the ski magazines addressed to the 'stuck intermediate'. I read many of them, and stayed stuck.
Base lodges had posters advertising classes for getting out of the rut. Books like 'The Centered Skier' addressed the problems of the competent skier, like Denise M. who wrote the book, who was solidly stuck and not improving. One of my reasons for taking the ski instructor training course at Killington was to try and learn something that would make me a better skier. The money was wasted.
A lot of us stopped skiing because it had stopped being fun. Some started again since the creation of shaped skis, and we're skiing very well thank you, even better than before, with much less effort.
If skiing required as much effort now as it did 30 years ago, I wouldn't be able to do it (in that way, it's a bit like sex).
If people aren't becoming experts in large numbers on the shaped skis, it's probably because they'd rather have fun skiing than pay attention and improve. It's a lot more fun with a lot less effort than it used to be.
post #87 of 87
I see people touting words such as experts or great skiing, but it always comes down to this: one man's expert is another man's gaper. I'm considered an expert by many, and even a great skier by some. I, for one, do not consider myself to be that good because I've skied and worked with people who are out of my league and forever will be: Pierre Ruel is probably the one who comes to my mind everytime someone mentions expert around me.

This guy has been coaching top athletes for years, he skis a mean line in the gates, is crazy fast and is the best sports pedagogue I've ever seen. He puts to shame the dedication I have towards my work by showing up 120+ days on snow and he basically breathes skiing. To him, if you aren't skiing that GS the way he wants you to do (the fast way) you are lazy. You're the gaper who doesn't want to go fast and improve (but he won't tell you, he'll try another technique to make you).

Yet, he doesn't work on the WC. There are other coaches who are better than him and who get the spot...

But, back to the point. I remember being an "expert" skiing 2+m long slaloms in my teens and I got by nicely. I didn't need much shape to my skis to make them turn and I developped a skillset that is not so apparent in most of the kids I coach today, but that is still needed: pivot, unweighting, etc. When I race against some of the top guys in my group, who are often 10 years younger than me, I look old-school: there's still hard hip/knee angulation sometimes in my GS turns, my line will sometimes look like the line of yesteryears and I rely a lot on forearm blocking in slalom. Yet, I still very well hold my own: the good skiers way back are the good skiers nowadays. People managed fine because they made with what they had and developped techniques and tactics to ski faster, harder and more effficiently.

Ski technology surely hasn't gotten to it's fullest and people in twenty years will be having the same discussions we're having now. Yet, we still have experts and people still are making good turns. Turns will have changed by then, but our turns will still be good turns.

PS: Regarding boot-planning, canting, alignement, my guess is that people who found the equipment too unwieldy, uncomfortable dropped out instead of getting a good bootfit like they can nowadays. Strong genes and athlectic skills made-up for the low-tech boots and the experts back then probably needed little or no adjustement to their equipment. They also wouldn't venture with leather boots and bear trap bindings on some of the stuff that is now considered mild by some experts nowadays.
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