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Changing Perspectives

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure where to put this as there are a number of current threads where this is relevant so I'll just put it here. On our last ski trip my son made a very interesting observation based on comments so many of the skiers we talked to made. He noted how many skiers view or rate themsleves based on the color or diamonds of the runs they are skiing. However, with time, advancing skill, and skiing maturity he observed that there is a progression to rating a run based on the quality of skiing achieved.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 01:14 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Si ]</font>
post #2 of 11
Yup! I still think that the extent of the understanding of skiing for the majority of skiers is limited to following, all of which are myths, and all of which are irrelevant to one's skill level or the "quality" of the skiing:

1. Parallel is better than wedge.
2. Narrower is better than wider.
3. Faster is better than slower.
4. Someone who "skis" black diamonds is better than someone who skis Blue or Green runs.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 01:20 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>
post #3 of 11
Excellent point, Si. I would never rate myself as a level 5 skier if when my only experience with a diamond trail was coming upon it by accident, then either side slipping, traversing, or wedging my way down.
What's interesting is that at Okemo, they no longer use the levels after level 4. I had to ask my teacher what level we were skiing at. But in their regular program, they have classes such as "True Blues", Intro to Bumps, Advanced Moguls, etc.
post #4 of 11
How about he/she who smiles biggest and laughs the most often and affects others to do the same gets a title of Expert at Enjoying Skiing? (can be achieved in a wedge on a green run in a wide stance).
Fun rules!

What prejudicial "value system" do we convey to those who look to us for one?

Or do we guide them to develope one of their own that suits their needs?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 01:57 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #5 of 11
I like it, Arcmeister! We could confer the degree of E.E.S. to this skier, and give him or her a card and a certificate suitable for framing.

It's the true measure!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #6 of 11
I can already see the big grins on a whole bunch of skiiers over at the schoolhouse at Union Creek, Bob!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
When I posted this I actually thought about the use of the phrase "quality of skiing" quite a bit. I think that was the actual phrase my son used and is probably a great catch all. I have no question that smiles and fun are a big part of the outcomes we strive to achieve in skiing. But I think that there is a whole lot more which is why the approach that is (at least on the surface) most fun is not always the one I would choose.

In thinking about the outcomes I see for people who ski I include (in addition to fun): self satisfaction, discovery, revelation, building of self confidence, learning, learning how to learn, becoming a part of the mountain environment, conquering a challenge, development of work ethic, etc. I might group all of these together under the category of "inner smiles." As I have worked with my kids (and myself) on skiing and other sports I have very consciously strived to guide experiences (at least the best I could) to include these outcomes as well.

Without fun there are very few if any who can achieve these other outcomes. But I think it is important to remember that sometimes it is worth trying things that we don't consider to be so much fun in an attempt to experience and achieve the wide range of outcomes possible.

Please don't take this as a criticism as I am sure that Arcmeister, Bob Barnes and others are well aware of this and strive to balance and achieve these outcomes in the guidance they provide. I only wanted to be sure that they get included up front with the smiles and fun we are all trying to find in our skiing.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 10, 2002 08:43 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Si ]</font>
post #8 of 11
Si, in the 56 seasons of skiing in my life I've gone from the early eqipment and it's limitations to being a ski instructor to retimerment from instructing 16 years ago to skiing safer and easier terrain much slower than I used to ski, but in control, enjoying the built-in fun the new equipment gives me.

I don't have any less fun now, considering my waning strength as I age, than I had powering my turns through any kind of conditions on any kind of terrain.

Now, when I go to higher altitudes from Ohio
I get winded, stopping more often, and I don't enjoy going very fast anymore either.

So I don't. Why? Because I want to stay in the fun zone. I don't want to improve much anymore, been there, done that. I only change my skiing style when doing so increases the fun factor, I don't really give a damn when someone remarks that I am skiing the "old style" on the new style skis.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, I ski what and how I have to, dictated by the conditions and the terrain. And I don't sweat it.

Why do most people on this forum and on the slopes need to feel that they are better skiers than someone else. The kids moseying down the greens as if they were walking their dog , swinging their arms, slithering here and yonder, seem to have as much fun than the skiers working on perfecting their ripping.

Many people profess their prowess in off-piste skiing, tree skiing, powder skiing, etc... somehow they seem to think that making new tracks at Alta or wherever provides them with more fun than the skier on the courdoroy on a blue run.

It just ain't so, to each his own.


Edited for spelling.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 10, 2002 04:27 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Ott Gangl ]</font>
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Ott,

Well made points. I was not in any way trying to suggest any particular goals for anyone to try and achieve in their skiing. As you so aptly pointed out yours are somewhat different than mine (although I'm sure we share more than we differ). All I was trying to point out was that different people set their goals differently. I certainly love to have fun on the slopes and am motivated by that. The most "fun" I have is the personal sense of accomplishment I get by improving or helping others to improve. This definitely gives me my biggest smile (at least on the interior if not my face). I would never suggest that anyone needs to share my goals although I certainly find it easy to share with those that do.

If I talk about skiing experiences it's because, like most people, I like to share the joy of these experiences. I do not at all mean to associate any sort of superiority with better skiing, intense learning goals, or anything else (although I'm sure I'm guilty of self pride at times). I also enjoy skiing with all sorts of people and find that there is always something to learn from the perspective of others. I know I would be thrilled to ski with you.

I guess this diversity makes an instructor's job more challenging but at the same time more rewarding.
post #10 of 11
Si, I really agree with all you said. When I start rambling like that it's more in reference to the whole thread rather than one idividual. You just happened to be the last to post, so I answered you.

Why I even barged in was that to my own surprise, I enjoy skiing to my present potential just as much as when I was in my prime.

You are all good guys and whatever motivates you is good, just don't get down on yourself because you are not yet where you want to be, though many of you are there already.

Getting there is most of the fun anyway [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #11 of 11
Nice topic. My slant is ....

Ice over grass is fun + training, powder over a firm base is fun + experiment, steep powder\trees are fun + an edge, chutes\cliffs\steep crud\ice etc are fun + an edge + survival. To give my whole skiing quality I need all these angles on fun.

an edge = fear\respect\adrenaline

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
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