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post #1 of 225
Thread Starter 
The TA forums appear to be in freefall at the moment. The quality of posts has never been lower. In an effort to halt the slide, here are some crucial concepts to consider.

Technique vs. Tactics

This seems to be an issue that is not well understood.

At its most simple, technique is how we ski; tactics is the line we ski. Now in reality, there is slightly more to it…..and no doubt technique and tactics are linked, but here are some inalienable truths:
  • Effective technique is one that is effective in all situations and is thus consistent.
  • Tactics change with the situation.
  • Tactics can be used to overcome deficiencies in technique
  • Good technique will enable you to employ a greater range of tactics to match the situation….not the other way around.
  • True versatility comes from the development of technique.

Skills vs. Movements

This is another area not well understood. Personally I am embarrassed to admit I have gotten caught up in the “ma” madness seen on Epic.
  • Movements, are just that…movements
  • Skills are movements, done at the right time, in the right amount, and at the right rate.
  • It takes considerably more effort and work to master skills then movements.
  • It takes considerably more effort and work to gain the ability to evaluate skills rather movements.

True Expert Skiers vs.You.

This is an area which very very few understand. I didn’t figure this out myself until about 2002.
  • You execute your technique perfectly.
  • No one does it as well as You do.
  • True world class experts don’t ski better then you.
  • True world class experts however do ski differently then you.
  • Understanding the difference is the first step to becoming a better skier
  • Having a workable realistic plan to bridge the gap from your technique to their technique is the fastest and most effective way to improve.
Skiing, Culture and History

Here is some points to consider:
  • Skiing has been around for thousands of years.
  • According to Wiki the earliest evidence of skiing was around 5000BC.
  • Skiing in its more current form is at least 100 years old.
  • Some countries like Austria, Switzerland, skiing is a way of life.
  • With that much time, and energy put into this sport by extremely knowledgeable people there are not many ideas that have not been exhaustively tried, tested, scrutinized, researched, studied, employed, believed in, acclaimed, and discredited. Experts include, physics experts, human kinetic experts, biomechanics experts, World Champions, coaches, athletes and the list goes on.
  • Innovation is a good thing.
  • Re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time, unless of course that is your thing. I have done the same soduku more then once
  • Until you understand what the worlds best do, and why, it is virtually impossible to know if you are innovating or re-inventing.
  • If you are incapable of understanding what the worlds best do, and why, despite there being a multitude of books, videos, courses, etc explaining it, the chances of you being an innovator as opposed to a re-inventor is next to zero.
post #2 of 225
Though I disagree about quality of posts, I'll allow that quality is in the eye of the beholder. So I'll bite. A cursory read through this list produces a "Yeah -ok - hard to argue" response. Alas, "inalienable truth" always makes me suspicious so lets take a closer look, starting with technique versus tactics. Hopefully this will turn out to be more than arguing over semantics.

Tactics is more than the line we ski. Tactics are how we deal with specific situations. Tactics can be the choice of different techniques or even a slight modification of technique. One contribution to versatility is having a large pool of different tactics that can be employed when useful. While good technique is a great base from which to employ tactics, it's not required for tactics to be employed.

Let's look at mogul skiing as an example. Expert mogul skiers use absorption and extension as a major component of speed control in the bumps. Is this tactics or technique? It looks like technique to me. It does not work in all situations. It only works in the bumps. For advanced mogul skiing, I teach the concept of developing 3 options for dealing with problems. How do you deal with a long gap between moguls? Plan A could be throw an extra turn into the gap. Plan B could be straight-line the gap, and slow down on the next mogul face. Plan C could be go around. These are clearly tactics and their contribution to versatility is obvious. You can also employ these tactics regardless of whether you are using absorption/extension or steering/skidding as your main component of speed control. Now you could argue that each of the above plans employs a different line that the skis take on the snow (although I'd argue that plans a and b take the same line), but what about the tactic of identifying problem spots in a bump line and choosing among 3 alternatives as you approach that spot? That tactic has nothing to do with line and certainly can not be described as technique.

Now I ask how is style different from technique? Reading the literature, CSIA promotes a distinctly different skiing technique than PSIA. Watching their skiing, the most obvious difference is the rounded shoulders. Yet both techniques can produce effective skiing and versatility. Or are these differences just a difference in style? I offer a definition that style is just a subtle non-critical modification of technique. Does development of technique mean perfection of execution (consistency) or does development of style (variation of execution) count as development of technique? One could easily argue that an ability to ski with different styles adds to one's versatility. Someone else could easily argue that there's no value in such versatility.

What is true versatility? What is false versatility? Does the difference really matter?

I do agree that the discussion of these concepts can be helpful for increasing the enjoyment of skiing. I don't think that complete agreement on what is being said is necessary for this. The ability to see many truths is another hallmark of versatility.
post #3 of 225
post #4 of 225
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response Rusty, but unfortunatley I think you are arguing semantics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Tactics is more than the line we ski. Tactics are how we deal with specific situations. Tactics can be the choice of different techniques or even a slight modification of technique. One contribution to versatility is having a large pool of different tactics that can be employed when useful. While good technique is a great base from which to employ tactics, it's not required for tactics to be employed..
Well I agree about all of that...basically a paraphrase of what I wrote above...except for the bolded bit. Tactics are tactics, technique is technique. Or at least it should be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Let's look at mogul skiing as an example. Expert mogul skiers use absorption and extension as a major component of speed control in the bumps. Is this tactics or technique? It looks like technique to me. It does not work in all situations. It only works in the bumps. For advanced mogul skiing, I teach the concept of developing 3 options for dealing with problems. How do you deal with a long gap between moguls? Plan A could be throw an extra turn into the gap. Plan B could be straight-line the gap, and slow down on the next mogul face. Plan C could be go around. These are clearly tactics and their contribution to versatility is obvious. You can also employ these tactics regardless of whether you are using absorption/extension or steering/skidding as your main component of speed control. Now you could argue that each of the above plans employs a different line that the skis take on the snow (although I'd argue that plans a and b take the same line), but what about the tactic of identifying problem spots in a bump line and choosing among 3 alternatives as you approach that spot? That tactic has nothing to do with line and certainly can not be described as technique..
You are right flexion/abosption is part of technique....outside of the bumps, you may need to emphasise other parts...that is what good technique is about.

I like your tacitical choices....however could you implement them all...for example the "go straight" option, if you did not have the technique to slow down later? I dont think so.

Another way of looking at it....a good bump skier can ski a vareity of lines through the bumps. Is it the fact that they can ski these different lines that makes them good? Or is it becuase they are good, they can ski these lines? If you think about it for abit you will see the later is true...you cant just show a beginner the Dale Begg Smith line, and have them ski it...they need the Dale Begg Smith technique first...then they can ski what ever line Dale does...which of course is any line he chooses.

ie Technique leads to more tactical options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Now I ask how is style different from technique? Reading the literature, CSIA promotes a distinctly different skiing technique than PSIA. Watching their skiing, the most obvious difference is the rounded shoulders. Yet both techniques can produce effective skiing and versatility. Or are these differences just a difference in style? I offer a definition that style is just a subtle non-critical modification of technique. Does development of technique mean perfection of execution (consistency) or does development of style (variation of execution) count as development of technique? One could easily argue that an ability to ski with different styles adds to one's versatility. Someone else could easily argue that there's no value in such versatility..
I like your definition of Style. And agree most differences we see between top skiers is Style. Again agreeing with your definition that Style is the insignificant bits, then changes to insignificant bits will result in insignificant changes in versatility.

Hence development of style will lead to an insignficant development of technque.


Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
What is true versatility? What is false versatility? Does the difference really matter?.
Well to me, true versatility is the ability to ski well in all situations regardless of terrain, pitch, speed etc etc.

False versatility is skiing poorly in all situations regardless of terrain, pitch, speed etc etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
I do agree that the discussion of these concepts can be helpful for increasing the enjoyment of skiing. I don't think that complete agreement on what is being said is necessary for this. .
I think these topics are helpfull to understanding skiing, but I doubt they do anything to increase enjoyment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
The ability to see many truths is another hallmark of versatility.
Just because a slogan is simple and catchy doesnt make it true or wise.
post #5 of 225
I don't want "the" truth. I can't handle "the" truth. That's the problem with semantics. When you define everything as either truly black or truly white, you deny the existence of gray. There is another truth that gray is both black and white.

What is true for most skiers is that the better they get, the more fun they have. Why should we bother to understand the sport better? (because for some of us, better understanding leads to increased skills)

You said "Effective technique is one that is effective in all situations and is thus consistent.". I've provided an example where that is not true. There is no one technique that works everywhere all the time.

You said "True versatility comes from the development of technique." I've provided an example where tactics are required to achieve versatility. What if you had said "true versatility comes from the development of tactics to employ different techniques"?

You said "Tactics can be used to overcome deficiencies in technique". But what if you had said "Tactics can be used to maximize the efficiencies of technique"?

You say I'm just arguing over semantics. But when I read your post I hear an implication that technique is more important or more valuable than tactics. But what if I say that techniques are tools in the tool box and tactics are the decision to take which tool out of the box? The way that's written makes tactics sound more important than technique.

Tactics versus technique (or your Dale Begg Smith bump analogy) is like the old chicken versus egg conundrum. Which came first? No answer is just as valid as either answer is. Or maybe it's more like the "who's in charge" joke (rewrite that as an argument between technique and tactics). Or maybe the truth is that tactics and technique are just 2 links in a chain and that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Or maybe skiing is just more fun when techniques and tactics compliment each other and we don't worry about which is truly more important.
post #6 of 225

Tech Tactics etc.

SkiDude72. That is the most condescending offensive post I have seen on Epic.

Not everyone of the 10,000 Epic users are as smart as you - WELL EXCUSE US ALL TO HELL.
post #7 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
I don't want "the" truth. I can't handle "the" truth. That's the problem with semantics. When you define everything as either truly black or truly white, you deny the existence of gray. There is another truth that gray is both black and white.

What is true for most skiers is that the better they get, the more fun they have. Why should we bother to understand the sport better? (because for some of us, better understanding leads to increased skills)

You said "Effective technique is one that is effective in all situations and is thus consistent.". I've provided an example where that is not true. There is no one technique that works everywhere all the time.

You said "True versatility comes from the development of technique." I've provided an example where tactics are required to achieve versatility. What if you had said "true versatility comes from the development of tactics to employ different techniques"?

You said "Tactics can be used to overcome deficiencies in technique". But what if you had said "Tactics can be used to maximize the efficiencies of technique"?

You say I'm just arguing over semantics. But when I read your post I hear an implication that technique is more important or more valuable than tactics. But what if I say that techniques are tools in the tool box and tactics are the decision to take which tool out of the box? The way that's written makes tactics sound more important than technique.

Tactics versus technique (or your Dale Begg Smith bump analogy) is like the old chicken versus egg conundrum. Which came first? No answer is just as valid as either answer is. Or maybe it's more like the "who's in charge" joke (rewrite that as an argument between technique and tactics). Or maybe the truth is that tactics and technique are just 2 links in a chain and that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Or maybe skiing is just more fun when techniques and tactics compliment each other and we don't worry about which is truly more important.
Well Rusty, I am not looking for a shitfight here, so think what you like. My advice thou is to read my posts again, and if there is somthing there you are unsure about, just ask, I am willing to clarify. It is clear you have misinterpreted, or not fully understood much of what I wrote. Probably in large part to my inablity to write as clearly and concisley as I would like.

But either way here is some food for thought. If you constantly find yourself dealing with shades of grey, perhaps the issue is not the subject matter, but rather the framework you are using to evaluate it.
post #8 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
SkiDude72. That is the most condescending offensive post I have seen on Epic.

Not everyone of the 10,000 Epic users are as smart as you - WELL EXCUSE US ALL TO HELL.
Why? What offended? What was condesending? I merely tried to create some form of framework to guide discussions in the hopes of rasing the standard. Is there something there that you particularily disagree with?
post #9 of 225

Randon Dribble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Why? What offended? What was condesending? I merely tried to create some form of framework to guide discussions in the hopes of rasing the standard. Is there something there that you particularily disagree with?
Yes, one person setting up his standards as the standards everyone else is supposed to come up to is not reasonable.Laying out a paper on how everyone should act is condescending. An almost elementary school primer on skiing and it's history is offensive. Although I am certainly not up to your level on skiing there are other facets of life where I am way over your head but would never give you a blueprint to follow and an essay to adhere too so you could talk to me on my subject.

The fact is there are probably thousands of Epic Users that don't post threads on Technique because of this type of elitism.

Sorry SkiDude I do not wish to offend but found this very offensive. I am done, enough said.
post #10 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Yes, one person setting up his standards as the standards everyone else is supposed to come up to is not reasonable.Laying out a paper on how everyone should act is condescending. An almost elementary school primer on skiing and it's history is offensive. Although I am certainly not up to your level on skiing there are other facets of life where I am way over your head but would never give you a blueprint to follow and an essay to adhere too so you could talk to me on my subject.

The fact is there are probably thousands of Epic Users that don't post threads on Technique because of this type of elitism.

Sorry SkiDude I do not wish to offend but found this very offensive. I am done, enough said.
Fair enough...I have no doubt you are an expert in many areas. That is not the point.

I do agree with you that what I posted was pretty rudimentary, yet ironically we have a promeninent poster here on Epic going against it. Infact, on most threads, we see people going against these basics all the time. Infact, in my view, this is happening more now then ever...hence my point about the quality of the threads being at an all time low.

So that is how I see the OP. It was not intended as standards, or a how to act manual. Rather a list of some pretty basic truths that have seem to have gotten lost along the way.

I have always beleived that when things get out of whack going back to basics...or first principles...is a sound approach.

As for why people dont post....I am not so sure it is about elitism, although, on second thought, there is no doubt that is a big element...I think the main reason thou is so many people feel "what is the point"....there is so much confusion, and conflicting information, misleading ideas. Those who know, get frustrated by the scale of the mess, and and those who want to learn dont try becuase it just looks so overly complicated and impossible to understand.

PS: Why wouldn't you give me a blueprint to understand your areas of expertise? Isn't that how schools teach? Here is a formula, a concept, a model and here is the framework showing how they all fit together. That is certainly how I was taught.

I think understanding how all these ideas fit together is what really confuses people.
post #11 of 225
Skidude,

Please, please, please stop doing this kind of thing.

.ma
post #12 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Skidude,

Please, please, please stop doing this kind of thing.

.ma
Sorry MichealA,

As long as posters keep telling people to turn left, inorder to turn right, to learn to ski inefficiently, to ski efficiently, that skiing cant be learned or understood, as it is all grey, these types of threads will be nessecary to provide some hope to those out there who really want to learn and move forward.

If you dont agree Micheal, that is fine, please show me where, or at least offer an alternative. In my opinion the status quo is nothing more then a self admiration society. The problem with that is no real value is generated other then stroking the egos of a few posters.

I think we can do better.
post #13 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Well Rusty, ... so think what you like. My advice thou is to read my posts again, and if there is something there you are unsure about, just ask, I am willing to clarify. It is clear you have misinterpreted, or not fully understood much of what I wrote. Probably in large part to my inability to write as clearly and concisely as I would like.
Ah, there we go!

What is the point about technique versus tactics?

Please remember I started this with "Yeah - OK - hard to argue". It's when I read it using the "truth" and "so what?" tests that I started having problems. The rest of the stuff is put out there trying to get to clear and concise.

Is a worm turn (where you fall down to the snow, roll over and get back up going in a different direction) a technique? Based on the contents of the parenthesis (i.e. the how) and your definition, I think so. It's neither safe nor efficient. But it is fun. Is it skiing poorly?

Why does it have to be a competition (technique versus ...)? Why can't it be technique and tactics? Simple choices of words can have huge impacts on intended or unintended meanings.
post #14 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Ah, there we go!

What is the point about technique versus tactics?

Please remember I started this with "Yeah - OK - hard to argue". It's when I read it using the "truth" and "so what?" tests that I started having problems. The rest of the stuff is put out there trying to get to clear and concise.

Is a worm turn (where you fall down to the snow, roll over and get back up going in a different direction) a technique? Based on the contents of the parenthesis (i.e. the how) and your definition, I think so. It's neither safe nor efficient. But it is fun. Is it skiing poorly?

Why does it have to be a competition (technique versus ...)? Why can't it be technique and tactics? Simple choices of words can have huge impacts on intended or unintended meanings.
Um ya i think you missed my point. Ok maybe bad choice of title with the Tech vs. Tactics....but the main point is to understand the two things are infact separate. Related yes, but still separate. When we confuse technique for tactics or the other way around, things get muddled unnecessarily, and we end up with "grey".

I am pointing out that the grey is perhaps coming from the way we are looking at skiing, rather then the skiing itself.

Here is my original post.
Quote:
Technique vs. Tactics

This seems to be an issue that is not well understood.

At its most simple, technique is how we ski; tactics is the line we ski. Now in reality, there is slightly more to it…..and no doubt technique and tactics are linked, but here are some inalienable truths:
  • Effective technique is one that is effective in all situations and is thus consistent.
  • Tactics change with the situation.
  • Tactics can be used to overcome deficiencies in technique
  • Good technique will enable you to employ a greater range of tactics to match the situation….not the other way around.
  • True versatility comes from the development of technique.


I dont see how you get from that I am saying one is more important then the other....what I am saying is they are different and tactics are built on the back of technque.

Thus versatility comes from technique...because it is technqiue that gives you tactical options. (I think you need to read the last 2 points in my original post together to get that...perhaps I should have reversed the order of those last 2 statments)
post #15 of 225
This technique versus tactic argument has come up before, and I'm still not sure that it has been settled. Perhaps you could give us some examples of technique and some examples of tactics.

To me tactics is deciding what technique to use for what purpose.

Up unwieghting, down unweighting, rolling the skis onto their edges, lifting a ski completely off the ground, Independent leg steering (rotating legs from the hip down without requiring the torso to rotate), moving pressure to the tips/tails/midsection of the ski, are all techniques. Techniques can be a series of things put together for example a left hook is a technique and a right uppercut is a technique and so is the combination left hook right upper cut. The example that comes to mind is a white-pass turn, which I'm sure is made up of a number of techniques, but taken together as a whole is a technique in itself. Watching the video traverse to turn where the instructor unweights the ski and begins a turn using ILS could be considered a particular type of turn and thus a technique even though it can be broken down. Deciding what type of turn to use in a given situation is a tactic.

The confusion arises because choosing which techniques to put together while skiing such as up unwieghting, ILS, rolling the skis on edge gets you a turn. Have you decided to use those techniques in that order and degree to arrive at turn (tactics) or did you use a learned turn as your chosen technique.
post #16 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
....but the main point is to understand the two things are infact separate. Related yes, but still separate. When we confuse technique for tactics or the other way around, things get muddled unnecessarily, and we end up with "grey".
...
what I am saying is they are different and tactics are built on the back of technque.

Thus versatility comes from technique...because it is technqiue that gives you tactical options. (I think you need to read the last 2 points in my original post together to get that...perhaps I should have reversed the order of those last 2 statments)
Sorry - I did not understand people were confusing tactics with technique and that that was a big problem.

This reminds me of the teaching technique where if you're student does not follow your instructions, you just repeat it louder. The order is not important. And I do understand and agree that technique can enable tactics. But I also have had many students that had the technique, but not the tactics.

I had a little girl for a private once who's goal for the lesson was to ski a black run for the first time. I took her down a blue run and saw that her parallel turns were good enough to safely ski a black. The blue run was easy for her. So I asked her to ski backwards. She had never done this on a blue run and frankly did not see the point. I wanted to see how she reacted when things got harder. She did great, so we did our short wide black run. She had no problem with this, so I went for broke. At the bottom of our black run, you can see most of our double black run (which reaches 28 degree pitch in one section). I asked her if she wanted to ski this too, but I warned her that although the trail was officially named Bold Decision, we call it "Bad Decision". We decided we'd ride the expert chair (which runs up the mogul slope) just to look at the other black runs knowing that there was an easy way back to finish the lesson. Well, the easy way back goes by the top of Bad Decision and the first section of the trail makes it look easy. I pointed out where you could see that the trail drops away at the end of the easy section and explained again about "bad decision", but she decided she wanted to give it a try. She skied great over the transition and down the first steep section and had the technique to do the second, steepest section but she froze at the top of the section. She turned to me and said "You were right. This was a bad decision!" No amount of encouragement was going to get her to budge. So I had her ski backwards in a traverse to the other side and we falling leafed our way through it. At the lodge, she runs up to her mom and says "Mommy, Mommy - that was the best lesson I ever had!".

Clearly I'd done something right as a coach. The first black trail ends with a 28 degree pitch. It's just wider and less visually intimidating. This girls technique was strong enough to safely navigate the entire Bold trail with parallel turns because she'd proven it on the first trail. Still, I spent the majority of the lesson working on improving technique. But it was the one tactic that made the lesson great. This tactic was a "door opener" to future growth. There was no way this girl was going to take her technique into steeper terrain until she had a safety net.

This is just one example of why I can both agree and object to saying tactics are built on the back of technique. You could easily say that the falling leaf tactic is built on the back of backward skiing. But you could just as easily say that the ability to make parallel turns on this terrain in the future is built upon the back of the falling leaf tactic. This is a case of "the other way around" with respect to tactics enabling technique.

My dad hates powder. He has the ability to do powder skiing technique, but he does not have the tactics and does not want to believe that tactics can solve his problem. One aspect of powder skiing is making turns in slow motion. That's technique. I've seen my dad do this on groomed trails. But he won't do this in powder. He chooses not to do this. That's tactics. So .... he still hates powder. That's a shame. My fear is that people who take your truths literally will overlook the roles that tactics can play in improving their skiing. I'm not worried if the definitions get blurred.

So when we make powder turns in slow motion, is that really technique? If we choose a line in powder where turns are shallower (i.e. take more vertical per turn for the same width across the trail), is that really tactics? Depending on how you look at it, these could be describing the same thing. What am I missing here?
post #17 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
I think we can do better.
And I'd like to help. May I suggest that you go out and purchase yourself a Mirror?

.ma
post #18 of 225
As I have suggested in the past, we all need to look in from time to time. If for nothing more than to see who's looking back and if indeed we like who and what we see.
post #19 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Sorry - I did not understand people were confusing tactics with technique and that that was a big problem.

This reminds me of the teaching technique where if you're student does not follow your instructions, you just repeat it louder. The order is not important. And I do understand and agree that technique can enable tactics. But I also have had many students that had the technique, but not the tactics.

I had a little girl for a private once who's goal for the lesson was to ski a black run for the first time. I took her down a blue run and saw that her parallel turns were good enough to safely ski a black. The blue run was easy for her. So I asked her to ski backwards. She had never done this on a blue run and frankly did not see the point. I wanted to see how she reacted when things got harder. She did great, so we did our short wide black run. She had no problem with this, so I went for broke. At the bottom of our black run, you can see most of our double black run (which reaches 28 degree pitch in one section). I asked her if she wanted to ski this too, but I warned her that although the trail was officially named Bold Decision, we call it "Bad Decision". We decided we'd ride the expert chair (which runs up the mogul slope) just to look at the other black runs knowing that there was an easy way back to finish the lesson. Well, the easy way back goes by the top of Bad Decision and the first section of the trail makes it look easy. I pointed out where you could see that the trail drops away at the end of the easy section and explained again about "bad decision", but she decided she wanted to give it a try. She skied great over the transition and down the first steep section and had the technique to do the second, steepest section but she froze at the top of the section. She turned to me and said "You were right. This was a bad decision!" No amount of encouragement was going to get her to budge. So I had her ski backwards in a traverse to the other side and we falling leafed our way through it. At the lodge, she runs up to her mom and says "Mommy, Mommy - that was the best lesson I ever had!".

Clearly I'd done something right as a coach. The first black trail ends with a 28 degree pitch. It's just wider and less visually intimidating. This girls technique was strong enough to safely navigate the entire Bold trail with parallel turns because she'd proven it on the first trail. Still, I spent the majority of the lesson working on improving technique. But it was the one tactic that made the lesson great. This tactic was a "door opener" to future growth. There was no way this girl was going to take her technique into steeper terrain until she had a safety net.

This is just one example of why I can both agree and object to saying tactics are built on the back of technique. You could easily say that the falling leaf tactic is built on the back of backward skiing. But you could just as easily say that the ability to make parallel turns on this terrain in the future is built upon the back of the falling leaf tactic. This is a case of "the other way around" with respect to tactics enabling technique.

My dad hates powder. He has the ability to do powder skiing technique, but he does not have the tactics and does not want to believe that tactics can solve his problem. One aspect of powder skiing is making turns in slow motion. That's technique. I've seen my dad do this on groomed trails. But he won't do this in powder. He chooses not to do this. That's tactics. So .... he still hates powder. That's a shame. My fear is that people who take your truths literally will overlook the roles that tactics can play in improving their skiing. I'm not worried if the definitions get blurred.

So when we make powder turns in slow motion, is that really technique? If we choose a line in powder where turns are shallower (i.e. take more vertical per turn for the same width across the trail), is that really tactics? Depending on how you look at it, these could be describing the same thing. What am I missing here?
Good story.

First, to be clear...it seems you think I am suggesting we only teach technique. I am not. We teach tactics too. And you did.

But using your example, I would suggest you employed a TEACHING tactic..."ski backwards on blue" then on black. Get the confidence to survive black...then we can learn to ski black.

Not bad. I have no doubt that worked well.

But I am talking about skiing tactics, or skiing technique. Yes it is important for analysis, and development to keep these concepts separate....
post #20 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
This technique versus tactic argument has come up before, and I'm still not sure that it has been settled. Perhaps you could give us some examples of technique and some examples of tactics.

To me tactics is deciding what technique to use for what purpose.

Up unwieghting, down unweighting, rolling the skis onto their edges, lifting a ski completely off the ground, Independent leg steering (rotating legs from the hip down without requiring the torso to rotate), moving pressure to the tips/tails/midsection of the ski, are all techniques. Techniques can be a series of things put together for example a left hook is a technique and a right uppercut is a technique and so is the combination left hook right upper cut. The example that comes to mind is a white-pass turn, which I'm sure is made up of a number of techniques, but taken together as a whole is a technique in itself. Watching the video traverse to turn where the instructor unweights the ski and begins a turn using ILS could be considered a particular type of turn and thus a technique even though it can be broken down. Deciding what type of turn to use in a given situation is a tactic..
Well intresting I wouldnt call any of those examples techniques. Calling Up-unweighting a technique is like calling a boiled potato dinner. Those items are each only one aspect of a technique.

Technique is a complete method of skiing, defined by its component parts, which in most modern system is a series of skills.

The items you mentioned , to me...are really just outcomes of skill application.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The confusion arises because choosing which techniques to put together while skiing such as up unwieghting, ILS, rolling the skis on edge gets you a turn. Have you decided to use those techniques in that order and degree to arrive at turn (tactics) or did you use a learned turn as your chosen technique.
Well again to me...tactics are about how you choose to apply the skills...not which skills to apply....because when you work with base skills that form a technque...they will all be present in all turns (pivoting in arc to arc being the one possible exception)....however the level to which they exist varys from skier to skier.

Basic Example:

The CSIA defines its technque with 5 fundamental skills.
  1. Stance and Balance
  2. Pivoting
  3. Edging
  4. Pressure Control
  5. Timing and Coordination
I may choose to implement a simple tactic of using short turns to get down a steep narrow pitch. This will mean emphasing the pivoting skill as I apply my technique. As the run opens up to wide blue groomer my tactic might change to faster bigger turns, where I will use less of the pivoting skill and more of the edging and pressure control skills.
post #21 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Basic Example:

The CSIA defines its technque with 5 fundamental skills.
  1. Stance and Balance
  2. Pivoting
  3. Edging
  4. Pressure Control
  5. Timing and Coordination
I may choose to implement a simple tactic of using short turns to get down a steep narrow pitch. This will mean emphasing the pivoting skill as I apply my technique. As the run opens up to wide blue groomer my tactic might change to faster bigger turns, where I will use less of the pivoting skill and more of the edging and pressure control skills.
Very informative. Your example clearly lets me know what you mean by skills and tactics. Could you give me just a few more of examples of what you would call a technique.
post #22 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Tactics is more than the line we ski. Tactics are how we deal with specific situations. Tactics can be the choice of different techniques or even a slight modification of technique. One contribution to versatility is having a large pool of different tactics that can be employed when useful. While good technique is a great base from which to employ tactics, it's not required for tactics to be employed.
I agree with Rusty here. . Tactics are more than just line choice. Technique is about developing various techniques. Tactics is about knowing how and when to apply those techniques in the right way to ski effectively. Getting back to our previous efficiency vs effectiveness discussion I might even be so bold as to say that Technique is the efficiency aspect and Tactics are the effectiveness aspect. Technique requires practice and physical conditioning. Tactics require mental thought. it is not limited only to line choice.

Perhaps in racing circles if you are discussing say a GS course, then the techniques that a particular athlete will use are fairly set in stone by how they were trained for that particular type of course, but the exact line they will follow on the course is the most transient factor and thus in racing circles they typically use the word "tractic" to refer mostly to the line, assuming that the athelete will instinctually respond with the appropriate technique at every instant.

But in all mountain skiing, I believe tactics can apply to anything and everything related to the choices we make on a turn by turn basis as we ski down the mountain. Of course, I guess its also fair to say that if you get to a point where you are all mountain skiing and changing up your technique instinctually in response to the terrain, then it would no longer be so much about tactics...other than the line choice perhaps, which can also become instinctual.
post #23 of 225
I look at it this way. Technique is where we teach people the ins and outs of making the ski work efficiently. Tactics is where we teach people to have fun on the hill. Its where the real honest to God skiing happens.

We tend to dwell on technique and gloss over tactics when in fact we need to teach both to develop well rounded skiers that have fun on the hill.

Thinking about it, this may be where we go wrong with beginners and don't get them coming back. We get into the mechanics of skiing and forget about making it fun.
post #24 of 225
Tactics + Technique = Skiing. True or false?
post #25 of 225
How about Techique + Tactics = "Efficient Skiing"?
post #26 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Tactics + Technique = Skiing. True or false?
IMHO: unequivocably false.
post #27 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Tactics + Technique = Skiing. True or false?
Depends on the tactic. If your tactic when faced with a "scary" hill is to take off your skis and walk. That's not skiing. We've all seen that one, too. I.e. The guy teaching his girlfriend how to ski by taking her down the "easy" black diamond.
post #28 of 225
Do you think the proposition that Tactics + Technique = Skiing would make a great topic for a debate in this forum? I think it could be fun and informative. Any master debaters here who want to take it on?
post #29 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
IMHO: unequivocably false.
Agreed.

They can be a part of skiing, but they are not "skiing".
post #30 of 225
Actually, such a universal encyclopedia is possible today.

If I am correct, on Wiki you are allowed to add or make additional comments.

Under such an umbrella, all schools could be represented and add to a particular "term", their definition and what sets it apart from the other schools.

PSIA, Harb () the Austrians even Thigh Cheese ..... etc.

It would probably become a cluster fudge or SNAFU ... but what the heck, it may be worth a try.

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