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Critique Freeskiing

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This may not be a popular topic, but here goes anyway. I'm really curious to know what some of the Bears instructors and regulars think of the technique of pro freeskiers. For example, I always loved the way Scott Schmidt seemed to flow all over the mountain, always in control, always balanced. Others I've seen and liked were Gordy Pfiefer (?) and Aaron McGovern in the Global Storming movie. Many apparently have racing backgrounds. Do you see the fundamentals in their freeskiing, are you critical of it?
post #2 of 4
Yeah, the better freeskiers have racing or, in Scott Schmidt's case, an instructor background. They are fundamentally strong skiers. However, I notice a lot of skiing off the tails when moving at high rates of speed in steep powder. But for what they are doing, it is appropriate to do that for safety reasons. When they slow down and start milking the vert, or ski bumps, you will see them become more balanced over their feet. They know what they are doing, and how to get down the hill any way they want.
post #3 of 4

I enjoy watching many of the new movies, seeing these bold lines and new moves being pulled off with perfect style. I see the fundamentals of solid technique in their freeskiing, but not necessarily racing form though. It takes a different touch on the snow for freeskiing versus racing, and I think a racing background helps but is not required.

I am critical of good form as opposed to funky form when watching the new movies. It's easy to be critical of these guys because we can be warm and comfy with a beer in hand, hitting the rewind button, playing scenes over and over. But it's also hard to be critical of even the most awkward new ski stars because they rip at a level at least 14 times better than most of us.

Some of the best may not have much racing in their backgrounds. I like watching Ritchie Schley and Rob Gaffney, and I haven't a clue if they raced.

But the ones I enjoy watching the most, skiing in real life for themselves and for our chairlift viewing enjoyment, are Turk at Bridger Bowl and Tim Thompson at Mammoth. These guys move like greased poetry, one doesn't have a racing history and one has a long racing history.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I didn't know Schmidt had an instructor's background. To me, the way these guys handle varied terrain is the epitome of skiing, and what I keep striving for.

Greg, Schley seems to have a style all his own, which doesn't seem as powerful as the others, but oh so smooth. You're right about locals. Saw a tele guy at Solitude, UT last week just ripping under the chair in 4 inches of new over crusty, hard HARD pack.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SteveC (edited March 14, 2001).]</FONT>
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