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post #1 of 207
Thread Starter 
1) One thing I see, and I know I'll come off as a snob, is that skiing seems to be losing/lost its elegance. Snowboarders show up in sweatshirts and skiers all look the same - I call it "The North Face look".

Where's the elegance?

Everyone likes the wide stance - it's not elegant, it's butt ugly! Read the Inventors of Vail - skiing used to be about being pretty. "Oh, look at him. He's skiing is so beautiful"!

Now, skiers all look like racer wannabe's, partly because ski instructors everywhere are convincing them that being "pretty" doesn't count anymore, "That's old style".

Yeah? Well in the, "old style" days, ski instructors actually made money!

Carving big arcs across the hill, going 90 miles an hour all crunched over, what's so elegant about that? And, even worse, the people who really support skiing - the tourists, they're being turned off. These folks want to look good, they don't want to ski like that - it scares them!

No wonder why skiers aren't coming to the hill and you don't make any money. Like, the message they're getting is "ski like a racer", when it ought to be, "look pretty". John Q. Executive doesn't care about skiing like a racer. He wants to look pretty.

The only one on earth who's preaching the importance of technique and being pretty is Harb...And you all think he's the devil!

2) Instead of having a gang that certifies ski instructors, how about a gang that does nothing but marketing!
a) Form a group.
b) Raise a little money to do some market research. Hint. You could probably get the ski areas to pay for it.
What's the burning problem to solve? Skier growth is flat.
c) Present the research and a plan to ski areas. Get a few of them in a room, work up a Power Point presentation.
d) Execute the friggin plan!

For instance, certifying ski instructors should be off-loaded to Harb or Barnes, some independent FOR PROFIT organization.

Bring back the elegance, realize that that the current model is in need of overhaul, dare I say - raise the prices, and the money will come back.

Skiing, will return to prominence. But it won't happen until somebody decides to lead the charge.
post #2 of 207
Turn and face the stranger
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time...

i wasn't skiing yet when it was elegant/pretty. last night, re-watching the Kitz. DH and SL, then the U.S. Championships, i have to say, i like watching those wide stance carves. i ALSO like watching skiers who ski well with a narrow stance. call me wishy-washy.


[ April 25, 2002, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #3 of 207
Wow, SCSA.

I won't even go very far into the fact that the most elegant skier I've ever seen also happens to be the best (for his time) ski racer ever - Ingemar Stenmark. He had power, precision, speed and control. Do you feel he was also "pretty"?

I'm wondering if your remarks say a lot about what *you* look for out of skiing. Does your primary enjoyment from skiing derive from how you feel you look to others who might see you?

If so, that's too bad.

The sport of skiing is fighting a demographic, economic, and social battle. Even if you were right, elegance is not a mass-market driver in today's US culture. Don't kid yourself.

post #4 of 207
Originally posted by SCSA:
Like, the message they're getting is "ski like a racer", when it ought to be, "look pretty". John Q. Executive doesn't care about skiing like a racer. He wants to look pretty.
I don't think your coming off sounding like a snob here at all, I actually agree with you somewhat on this issue. I'll respect your opinion if you show me the same.

I ski like a racer for two reasons: 1) That is where my training is from, and what I am comfortable with (stability, speed, etc). 2) I enjoy it (most important).

I am not a instructor, and I'm not sure that skiing pretty is really what people are looking for. Sure in your upscale resorts, where your wealthy, image minded clients may vacation at, but not at all resorts. What I believe should be taught at ski schools, and by parents, is having fun. Who cares how you ski, what you ski and where you ski, as long as your having a good time. Skiing is recreation, so we should have fun.

Some people go skiing to be seen. Some go on college trips and want the "Hot Dog" scene. Some go to rip the powder, bumps, or whatever. Skiing is a sport that can be enjoyed by any level of skier.

If people want to look good skiing, an instructor should adapt the lesson to that, once the fundamentals are learned. If a student wants to learn to look like a racer, that is what should be taught to them (basics first). But I don't blame instructors for teaching one style or another. Who knows, when I have kids, they may teach arm flailing as the best thing. It will annoy me, but that may be the new thing.

I believe that the best looking skiers on the mountains are the ones that look comfortable and in control. Not the ones skiing lightning fast, out of control, and endangering others. Not the ones in fur coats with their knees together over correcting mistakes. A good skier needs to pick their style, and ski that style well, no matter what it is.

To the people who just don't get it: Sweatshirts have no place on the mountain, you look stupid, and wet. Pull your pants up while your at it. Lose the attitude, your on my turf, and you suck. Get a coat, vest, some type of outerwear. (Spring skiing aside, then break out the ulgy stuff!)
post #5 of 207
I am not, neither will I ever be a pretty-boy skier.

I ski with my legs apart (just like the joke about moths)


[ April 25, 2002, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Wear the fox hat ? ]
post #6 of 207
Carving at high speed and resisting the forces may not always look pretty, but it sure feels good.
post #7 of 207

I was starting to think you had fallen ill or something.

If you do all these things, Promise, promise... you will keep all those people away from the goods. Only let them have "Discovery Center" access passes. I don't want them cluttering up my extreme lines! The racer wanna bees are bad enough!

Ouch! My cheek hurts and my tongue is sore.

"Skiing, will return to prominence. But it won't happen until somebody decides to lead the charge.

Perhaps too, so many sports are so accessable, many people choose to not deal with the hassel of downhill skiing. Even Scott spends more time with a sail board anymore. Skiing is not the only option. Nordic, AT and even snow shoeing are wonderful options to lift lines.

We could use more relatable role models. The extreme skiers tell us we have to give up our jobs and ski 300 days a year. The WC racers, well, who are they anyway. Name the worlds best, three years ago. You might know, I don't and none of my friends could care.

This issue was brushed on in the thread about instructors free skiing in their colors.

The Clark girl did pipe riding a huge good with her win at the Olympics. People know her and she is accessable (was anyway).

Good luck with the business plan. I question it's effectiveness for many people I know.

post #8 of 207
We all have our favorite "elegant" skiers. I enjoyed Killy's skiing, and really enjoyed watching Nelson Carmichael and Donna Weinbrecht's bumps skiing... it's about turns, not about "big stupid air"!

Many people don't care about improving, and they will only take enough lessons to get around the mountain, just having fun. It's the way it is. The best way to market that is to push the "fun factor", and skiing all over the mountain. The vast majority of skiers stay on the groomers, because it's more fun for them... terrain is too much work. It is a shame, they're missing the best parts of the mountain, and less crowded slopes.

I'm always amused when the British folks show up in the spring, they always want to do things "properly". Different culture than the Americans. Brits tend to go to ski school all the time, our more local visitors want to go out, have fun, and party. How do we market the changes?

I'm too sexy for my turns, too sexy for my turns
So sexy it burns
And I'm too sexy for straight skis, too sexy for straight skis
Green runs and on-piste
And I'm too sexy for your hopping, too sexy for your hopping
No way I'm pivot slopping!

I couldn't help that... just kidding!


Hmm, does that mean Porky Pig was a druggie?
post #9 of 207
Oh yes, scsa. Stefan Eberharter's and Bodie Miller's and Janica Kostelic's and Sonja Nef's skiing styles are so butt ugly. I can hardly bear to watch.

By the way, I LOVE the sweathirts and low pants. Not because they are practical, or even good looking, but rather because they are emblematic of a REALLY new generation. When I saw all those kids begin to dress like that, and act like that, and go to the x games...and when I see my own kids become like that...I think FINALLY, the era of the BOOMERS is over and we can relinqish our stale 60's image that has been so oppressive for so long. The sweatshirts say, "we've moved on".

Now I'm not gonna go out and ski slopestyle, and jump on rails, and jump backwards, and stuff. But welcome to them and the way the look.

Each night, I go to bed and give a little prayer of thanks...for belly buttons with jewels in them!

Lighten up ya old boot.

(And ski instructors did NOT used to make money!! Where'd you get that?)
post #10 of 207
Well we finally cut to the point I suspected was underneath everything, the desire for a tighter stance you keep espousing is not rooted in biomechanics/physics . . . but in "looks".

Well, this is proof that technology and the use of it advance much faster than many minds.

Its not just great racers who stand in a fairly wide stance, but top extreme skiers too . . . and it is extremely elegant and beautiful to watch. And also MORE FUN TOO DO. So who cares how it looks anyways? There are people who think monster trucks are the coolest things on the planet, people with plastic flamingos in their yards, and folks with mohawks. It takes all kinds.

Focusing your skiing around the perceptions of others seems like much less enriching experience than skiing for yourself. (And hell, if you ski for yourself, you'll end up 'looking good' to most people anyways!)

Contrived movements don't look 'pretty', they look 'prissy'!

Not to diss your dazzling movement analysis skills, but top racers are not "crunched over" by any means.
post #11 of 207
1) Ski racers can and do "look pretty". Arcing across the hill at 90 (well... maybe 60 or 70) is hella fun. BUT it's not all there is, and realistically is a small part of the sport. It's not often that the slopes are uncrowded enough to really open it up. As for the wide-stance thing, I don't know where you are getting that. I think that most of the good (or as weems would say expert) skiers are in a "normal" stance most of the time, not wide and not boots-locked.
About the North Face look, should we go back to the CB look from when skiing was "pretty".

2) You're right. The ski industry needs to get off it's collective asses.
post #12 of 207
I agree with you SCSA. Style, clothing, marketing, it's all gone downhill (sorry).

The thing is times do change and not always for the better. For example, I love art (paintings), but hate contemporary art. The last 75 years have produced nothing but ugly. Beauty took a holiday. What can you do.

On the other hand, the food is better.

[ April 25, 2002, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: WhosThatGirl ]
post #13 of 207
LOL, I'd like to see SCSA ski in an old boot!
Like my old lace up Dachsteins!

I totally cracked up when Danny Kass dropped into the pipe for his silver medal run. Just before he dropped in, he had to pull his pants up!

Anybody remember hip-hugger elephant pants from the early 70's?

[ April 25, 2002, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: SnoKarver ]
post #14 of 207
And, umm, I guess Pierre eh? was actually pretty stylin' with his "cracked" look on the hill when he visited!

Sorry Pierre, I couldn't help it... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #15 of 207

It is evident that you are much appreciated in a "tension" kind of way by the rapid fire responses to your post.

I would be red to get so much attention from a few choosen words on the net.

Your knife finds it's way where there is no resistance and needs not be sharpened so often.

.The ultimate expression of skiing for others?
A patroller hoofing a 200#er down the steeps, through the bumps, and across the flats!

post #16 of 207
Yeah - when one is feeling lazy, easy targets are well . . . *easiest* And unfortunately its sort of irrelevant here, this particular target can't tell when its been cut - whether by a knife sharp or dull.

[ April 25, 2002, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: Todd M. ]
post #17 of 207
Yeah, easy target.

I was thinking about starting a thread, to get some thoughts going. It's either going to be:

1. All Americans are useless at everything, apart from talking about how good they think they are.

2. Has anyone else noticed that women are getting uglier?

Which should I go with?

post #18 of 207
There are plenty of "pretty" skiiers still about. One of my colleagues is one of the most elegant skiiers I've seen in this country...and he just got his level 2.
Those people waving their arms about and waggling their bums sure ain't pretty though, they look like scarcrows.
and as for clothes, yeah I'm not that taken with the snowboarder look...but in fact racers, and the people who want to look like racers, are pretty peacocky, I think.

The other day, in teh Keystone gondola, I met a chap SCSA would approve of! He was an elderly Norwegian, in a lovely Bognor suit, and he skiied the old style, but very well. He told me his name was Trygve (that's what it sounded like anyway) and that he designed and built the ski part of Breckenridge! How about that.
post #19 of 207
This goes back to the old question, does form follow function or does function follow form?
post #20 of 207
"This goes back to the old question, does form follow function or does function follow form?"

Check out SnoCarver's comment from another topic!

" I switched to my Volants after the first day of training at Loveland, and was able to keep my stance narrower. The
Olins just don't come around that quick, without a "blending in" of rotary stuff, which I can still do. Franz usually likes
my pivot slips... When skiing stuff like Jokers, I don't think, I just ski! Sometimes I feel like I ski in two different
languages... LOL!"

The truth is OUT! It's the equipment!



Don't go for the subject of beauty, I am finding most all gals are looking pretty good. (there are exceptions mind you) I think it's the beer!
post #21 of 207
I did answer that comment in the other thread. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #22 of 207
Thread Starter 
It's like this.

In every other industry, I see creativity, brilliance, and things moving forward. Take Audi, for example.

1) The bug. Are you kidding me? It's a hit and it's brilliant.

2) The TT. Another huge win.

How about the fashion industry? When things were going stale, what did they do? Reinvented bell bottoms for cryin out loud!

In the ski industry, there's no brilliance, no creativity, and nothing is moving forward. And you all sit around here, wondering why you don't have a pot to pee in?

Look at weems, for example. He basically says, "Yeah, we had some instructors who went to Harb's deal and they loved it. But, we had a few who didn't like it - so we decided to listen to only the ones who didn't like it".

This, is a prime example of stupidity. I'm not using Harb as the target, just as an example. It's lame brain thinking like this that keeps this industry where it's at!

When, the intelligent response should have been, "Some of our instructors are loving it, and some don't like it. But, we see so much buzz, that we've decided to do some investigation on our own. Right now, we're working with HH to analyze his sales figures and customer response data. We need to take a look at the facts and figures, before we make any decision".

I can pick any other industry and show you recent examples of brilliance.

Show me recent examples of brilliance in this industry. Can you? Can you show me something, anything, that even remotely resembles an attempt to bring people to the hill?
post #23 of 207

must be irish women-I think they're getting better looking over here!
post #24 of 207
I don't think Audi is a valid example. Sure they are creativa and brilliant, but they are trying to get people to buy Audis. What you are talking about would be like a consortium of car manufacturers trying to get the general population to buy more cars.

There are mountains that are doing things right and improving their market share, and those who are doing it wrong and losing market share. Same thing applies to ski companies.

If you have all the answers, why don't you do it?
post #25 of 207
The stuff that is being skied and filmed in Alaska is brilliant to my dim mind.
Stupid kids, don't they know they could get themselves killed or worse.

A powder day in the East is brilliant, and no one takes responsibility. (Vail seeding)

A snow day is brilliant, since so few "people" like to get out in it.
If you want to see good skiing, come to an Eastern area on a snow day. The locals come out of the woods and there you are.

The new skis are brilliant. Give us lazy buggers tools to boost our egos.

Discount tickets are brilliant 'cause it gives me the means to go. 6 days in Vail for $99!

More than 10 days a season is brilliant. Period.

This list isn't brilliant, but it shines good in the dark!

My cup is usually a bit more than 1/2 full. I feel that is brilliant. And my ego agrees!

It's supposed to snow tonight!

post #26 of 207
Once you get going,

form follows function
function follows form

and it twists around itself like a DNA strand.

Ooooh, I'm reminded of the Hart Ski Posters:

Weird DNA
post #27 of 207
Thread Starter 
1) New skis don't get people to the hill. Sure, with new skis, skiing will be easier. Or is it? Because, with the new skis comes the need for footbeds, alignment, and instruction. "Hmm. Sounds to me like these new skis make things tougher. Now I have to get lessons and get some footbeds. Golf sounds better".

But, how about this:
"Get these new skis and skiing will be so much better. You'll be less tired and you'll improve quicker. And, we'll even throw in 10 free lessons, at the area of your choice".

Now, you've created a "must have" reason for the customer to buy, and, you're getting them to the hill.

2) Discount lift tickets and passes are not brilliant and a pyrrhic victory.
First, if price is the niche, you don't have one.

Second, cheapo anything doesn't build a customer base. Because, once the price goes back up to where it should be, those customers will be gone. The long distance companies learned this lesson the hard way.

[ April 25, 2002, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #28 of 207
How about current skiers take the time to introduce a new person to the sport? The blame cannot rest solely on the industry.

Did a Nolan Ryan teach you how to thow a ball? How about the owner of the stadum that he pitched in? No, it was somebody who already had a love for the sport, or a parental figure who wanted to introduce you to it.

Almost all skiers have equipment in the closet that is not being used. How about letting a new skier use it? Also, I do not feel that footbeds are necessary for somebody to learn how to ski. Sure they are nice, and you will see an improvement if you have a set, but you can learn without a set.
post #29 of 207
Originally posted by ant:
He told me his name was Trygve (that's what it sounded like anyway) and that he designed and built the ski part of Breckenridge! How about that.
Ant, you met Trygve Berge. He's a wonderful guy, and he did help start Breckenridge. He's one of those great people in this business who is never seen not smiling.
post #30 of 207
Actually, SCSA, the Bug is a bomb. Sold well 1st yr in USA and then tanked. euro's recognised it for the overpriced, impracticle golf it is and ignored it over there. Is a clever design though. TT's a hit, though, IMHO it's taken Audi design in the wrong direction. I'd hardly call the fashion of the past decade pretty. Versace, Prada??? UGH!!! Flashy? Grasping? Butt ugly, yes, but not pretty IMO. Don't get me started on hip-huggers and bell bottoms.

You're right to point out Fashion for its brillant marketing though. But I don't think marketing will help the ski industry. It's problem is IMO: it's too expensive and too physically difficult and dangerous. family's can't afford to ski anymore. heck if not for the cheap passes I'd quit. But i think skiing's biggest problem is its hard and takes lots of practice. Not much good to someone who can only ski a week or so a year. Also it takes a fair amount of fitness and we americans are getting fatter by the second. I read where golf, yes golf!!! is losing it's popularity as Boomers find it too strenuous. Look for the resurgence of croQuet. finally, as we get into out 30's and 40's many of us can't afford the risk of injury. Few of us have great insurance and even fewer can afford to miss weeks of work, only to find ourselves unemployed.

Put succenctly, why spend a small fortune to come do something you'll never be good at which has the potential to really screw you up permantly, especially when you can park your fat butt on a cruise ship or in Mexico and drink, eat and party til you drop all for less $$$. As WTG said: the food IS better!

Hell, i'm off to call Carnival!!! where's my fat pants and my conga line tapes.....
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