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Note/rant - Page 2

post #31 of 207
1) So a pair of skis now costs $1500? If I don't want the lessons will you knock $1000 off the price?

2) May I use a car anaology here? I won't pretend that I fully understand the tangled web of who owns what in Colorado, but I see this as being like VW, which owns SEAT, Skoda, Audi, Lambourghini, Bentley, Bugatti and probably some company I am forgetting about. Each has it's niche Vail Ski Co. might be the Audi, Copper is VW, Keystone is Skoda and Beaver Creek is Lambourghini. Then you market each resort to the customers you want to attract, and you charge accordingly. Each mountain of course has it's own range of accomodations and services too of course, i.e. Vail can sell you a Golf or a W8 Passat. The problem is if they think they need to price everything the same, which I guess is what's happening in Colorado. If Vail really offers a better experience than Copper they have to price accordingly, they need to know what their market is and they need to charge appropriately.

I wonder if Dynastar sold all of those $5000 skis. I'll bet they did and they weren't even anything special.
post #32 of 207
Originally posted by WhosThatGirl:
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.
I SWEAR on my life, WTG is not my alternate identity, even if she sometimes expresses what I feel better than I can say it myself! Sorry, but I just can't get too excited about wearing khaki or orange clothing. And when on any given day at the mountain, I mistake 6 different people for my husband, and all of them turn out to be WOMEN, this is pretty damn bad!

I differ from SCSA in that I do not think ski racers ski ugly. What is an absolute eyesore, is recreational skiers, in an atttempt to "rip", boggling down trails that are way beyond their abilities, heads too far foward, arms flailing, guts hanging out of their ski pants, but hey. speed is their friend, so this must be good skiing, eh?
Sorry! I am uninspired!

I also take issue with stance width being a determining factor for beauty. Not too bring up and old point of contention, but despite a thread containing 100+ posts trying to change my opinion, watching Rob Butler simply makes me laugh.

You want to see beauty in skiing, go to Aspen and watch Weems! {got your Pm Weems, long reply coming! }
post #33 of 207
Thread Starter 
BTW, the name for the national campaign is this:
"Get Skiing".

Why not, "Get riding", you ask?

Riding what? A bike, a car, a snowmobile?

The industry has tried to lump skiing and snowboarding together, under this generic term called "snow riding". Probably, because it's cheaper to take out one ad than two.

Another huge marketing blunder. Skiing customers are not the same as snowboarding customers and each should be marketed to differently.


I'll check with ya later -
post #34 of 207
Fashion is opinion, fastest person through a race course is a fact.

Been really noticing all the young girls wearing shoes with those 5" thick and up soles on them. Have you ever seen one of these kids dance or run in them? They don't do well. Saw some of that again today, and had a sudden flash of how Chinese women used to get their feet bound - for 'beauty' and fashion they were essentially crippled!

Many obvious parallels here.

[ April 25, 2002, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: Todd M. ]
post #35 of 207
Originally posted by SCSA:

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. QB]
Would you find me the part where I said "so we decided to listen to only the ones who didn't like it." Since you have it in quotes, I suspect that I must have said exactly that. Please refresh my senile old brain. I don't recall having said that. I don't even recall having said "basically" that.

What I will tell you is that we are very familiar with Harb since he worked here for a few seasons. We found some of his stuff useful, and some of it we just don't agree with. Note that he no longer works here.

So the next time you think you know what we think and do, please check. Jeesshh! Are you sure you aren't a reporter for the Aspen Daily News?

I have both technical and ethical issues with Harb, but there is much of what he says that I agree with. We use some of his ideas, some of Maggie Loring's, some of Tom Crum's, some of my own, some of Bob Barnes, some of Katie Fry's, some of Ahmed Yehia's. We're pretty indiscriminate who we steal from, and pretty fierce about not being dogmatic.

I've been looking for ideas of yours to steal, but so far, I'm not seeing anything exciting.
"Get Skiing" ????!!!

[ April 25, 2002, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #36 of 207

This year I purchased a set of Rossi skis for my daughter. To sweeten the pot, the dealer threw in two of the Rossi sponsered ski passes to Stratton. I looked at it as a $100 discount on the skis and was happy for it. I took my daughter for a memorable ski day, even taking her out of school. She was on top of the world! I would say the new skis and package has assured a lasting relationship between my daughter and skiing.

New equipment in my closet gets the juices flowin'!

You sound as though you speak from a position of disposable income.
At market prices I don't ski! Nor my family, Nor just about any of my friends and neighbors. And I have a choice of 6 areas within an hours drive. For years "the guys" only skied on "Vermonter days". (20 bucks Cash! get your tickets between 8 and 9 in the MBL) It's an attitude! We bring our own lunches too!

My teen age son who worked in the SS this year thinks the whole business is for the "rich flatlanders" Oh! No! where is the fun. I am genuinly worried about this. I wanted him to enjoy the "show dog" side even if I had to endure the "sled Dog" side. I'm having fun, we (patrol) are even getting together for summer bar b que and stuff, and he's bummed. Not good.

Regarding the new skis allowing one to ski without getting tired.
When the shaped stuff got started, my buddies told me how much easier it was to ski and how they weren't so tired at the days end.
I dissed those guys who went for the "shaped skis" for years on the grounds that I would load them up and still have to carry the forces. I was right! But I love it! G addicts unite!

Well it is a rant , you called it

post #37 of 207
"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? "
-Bob Peters

I agree with both points Bob makes. Stenmark was the best and most "elegant".
I've skied in plastic garbage bags at times. I still had a lot of fun. Isn't that what it is all about short of full on competition which has its own rewards ?

[ April 25, 2002, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Lostboy ]
post #38 of 207
There are enough skiers and snowboarders.
post #39 of 207
Thread Starter 

What if Harb has thousands of customers who love his product?

Again, this is not about Harb, I'm just citing him as an example.

This is what I mean about the ski industry. In your response, you never brought up the customer once. What I read by your response is, "I didn't like it", or, "We don't agree with his ideas".

But weems. Did anyone ask the customer? No!

This is why this industry is so screwed up. Way too fragmented, way too much self interest.

[ April 25, 2002, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #40 of 207
I understand what you're saying scsa. However, I do think we respond to our customers, and we do, as I said, use lots of stuff that is similar to Harb. What you may not know is we were one of the leaders in developing a non-wedge based approach in a large school. But we've tweaked it for our customers. Where did we get it? We got as much from our own pros, as we did from Harb. Why did we get so much from our pros? Because they have the pulse of the guests. We certainly got more from Maggie Loring and Jerry Berg than we did from Harb.

As for the fragmentation, I'm not convinced. I think Harb fragments it as much as anyone. PSIA, NSAA, SIA try to act as unifying forces so we can all work together. I know that the pros between the areas, all work with each other. But it's an interesting challenge since we are in the same business, but also in competition for each other's customers.

By the way, scsa, these technical wars are also ancient. Ott, I'm sure remembers them well.

When I was a boy, Winter Park had discovered Reverse Shoulder, while Arapahoe Basin was still espousing the rotation of the Arlberg Technique. We had friends and coaches in both places, and we would usually ski WP on Saturday and ABasin on Sunday. My instructor at AB would be appalled when I would arrive Sunday morning with my hot wedel, and the coaches at WP would be devastated that I had reverted back to Arlberg sweepers by the next Saturday.

It was really funny, because it wasn't just a disagreement. Each felt that there was something inherently evil about the other's technique.

I think that this has been the source of my years of neurosis! And now it's Harb and PSIA, narrow and wide, racing and slopestyle. I can't stand it anymore. I must call my therapist immediately.

[ April 25, 2002, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #41 of 207
Thread Starter 
One more thing.

In the early 70's, when the auto industry was at its lowest point, the big players all got together.

What they figured out in this case was that their problems with the UAW were the cause of their quality problems. Basically, people were showing up for work and going thru the motions. No one really cared about what they were doing - bolts weren't getting tightened like they should be.

Well, when you're a business that relies on quality, like the auto industry does, that's a big problem!

So they all got together - the auto manufacturers and the UAW. They solved their problems. It wasn't long before American autos were back on top, lead by the Ford Taurus.

But how did it really happen? I'll tell you how. Because the auto manufacturers joined together. Together, they worked towards solving all the issues with the UAW. They didn't have to share trade secrets or anything. It was the beginning of what's now called "co-opetition".

You see, history never changes - as I like to say.

If the ski industry would do the same - solve the problem of flat growth together, not one area at a time, they'd be just as successful.
post #42 of 207
I agree.
post #43 of 207
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Don't remember who said it...

post #44 of 207
"What if Harb has thousands of customers who love his product?"

"Again, this is not about Harb, I'm just citing him as an example."

"This is what I mean about the ski industry. In your response, you never brought up the customer once. What I read by your response is, "I didn't like it", or, "We don't agree with his ideas".

But weems. Did anyone ask the customer? No!

This is why this industry is so screwed up. Way too fragmented, way too much self interest."

Way too much passion?

Were not selling cars here. At what point does the "mountain experience" get polluted. I agree it needs a certain amount of growth to work, but if it gets like Disneyland my time and money are going somewhere else.

[ April 25, 2002, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: Lucky ]
post #45 of 207
SCSA, once again you are showing that despite your supposed passion for skiing, your true passion is in futurism, boosterism and business. I think I'm going to start calling you George Babbitt (cf. Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis).

Who gives a flying fork whether a skier looks "elegant"? What in Hades is skiing about, anyway? An opportunity to pose? Or an opportunity for fun in the snow?

Frankly, I don't see how skiing "to be seen" can be any fun at all. With all the attention focused on appearance, how can one be an efficient, fast and powerful skier?

Once again, SCSA, you are way off the mark in your Naisbitt-like futuristic predictions. :
post #46 of 207
Damn, I always thought that all those people skiing right under the chair were having fun. I'll have to look a little closer at their faces next time.
post #47 of 207
Weems, so it was. And will be. But I don't think it is the ski schools that either boost or break the skiing done in this country, it is the economy, it simply costs too much for the average income people who would like to ski once or twice a week, especially if they have a skiing family.

SCSA, I agree with a lot you said. To me, it isn't the stance or anything else, elegance in skiing comes in when I see a skier dance down the mountain in any terrain, effortlessly.

Skiing fast, or carving hard or barreling down the hill like a tank, if it looks hard or reckless, it is.

I remember my wife commenting on skiers going down a mogul run in Keystone a couple of years ago, skiers who made a few turns and stopped, others who hacked their way through painfully and a few who skied well in the bumps.

And then a guy came down who put all of them to shame. It was a patrolman with a bundle of bamboo poles over his shoulder which he planted above rocks and bare spots. He skied as if the bumps weren't there all the while whisteling some song.

At least to me, it is important how I look while I ski, if anyone sees me or not, the folks on the chairs can always keep their eyes closed

post #48 of 207
SCSA has made a great point about the indstry needing to provide for its own future.

He used the idea of "Skiing pretty" to get your attention, and (I think) get some discussion of the future of the industry going.

Alta brought up the point of who taught you how to throw a baseball?

When I was learning how to play baseball,(in the early 60"s) we had baseball in the summer, football in the fall and basketball in the winter. A kid could play all 3 and still have time to ski because high school was the highest level most could ever aspire too. With the exception of Little League baseball (and its affiliated older age brackets) there were not a lot of non-school sponsored options.

Contrast that with the options seen today! SCSA, I believe I read in one of your posts that your son plays hockey. So did mine, from the ripe old age of 10 until he graduated HS. Was pretty good at the game for these parts. His HS Team came in 2nd in Western Mass in Div 3 HS Hockey his senior year. Of the 21 kids on that team, would anyone hazard a guess how many are playing college hockey? How about 0. Thats right not even a single kid playing D3 much less Division 1. And 19 of the 21 went on to college. Some pretty good schools at that.

My point is Hockey starts --- strike that --- youth hockey never ends. If you have the cash, a kid can play 12 months a year in the "Select" leagues. And, guess what---it ain't cheap! God forbid, SCSA, that your kid ever decides to become a Goalie---that mountain bike you wanted---just went away. SCSA Jr. need legs pads! $1,500 at least (if he is at least 12 years old that is) As a parent, you have to make sure he is protected!

Now if the kid is playing hockey 12 months a year, there are the normal costs for ice time, equipment, and many many miles of travel, those attendent costs.

I use hockey as an example that I am quite familiar with. It can interfer with all 3 of the "normal" sports that were around when I was young.

In addition there is the same phenomenon in baseball, and "newer" sports like soccer.

I'm sure that there are some on this forum who could tell stories similar to mine about just about any sport. Dance, gymnastics, tennis, football, martial arts, you name it.

The 12 month a year mentality is the parents problem, they think jr has the requisite skill to go somewhere in the chosen sport, maybe even make it to "The Show", I know, I fell into that mind set, visions of college paid for by someone else! As my kid got older, I realized that was not going to happen, the competition, skill wise was just too great! But, you know what? I still chose to have him participate, at a fairly high cost, that was a personal decision. Hell the kid loved playing the game---who was I to deny him! But did he ski much in those days? No, for a couple of reason, time was certainly one. As he got older (read in HS) the coach forbid the players to ski/ride, the injury risk was too great.

He ski's more now and still playes an occassional hockey game with the old farts (read over 25)!

How do we get the newbie to think of skiing as an alternative?

Quite possibley by promoting the fringe in an attempt to lure new blood.

Quite possibly by trying to meld the HH forces with the PSIA.

Anything will do that makes people think.

The worst thing to do is to do nothing! And complain about it.
post #49 of 207
This topic is a good one, and there is absolutely no reason it should turn into a PSIA vs. PMTS contest. We have more than enough threads of that sort.

Sadly, the problem is more deep seated. Did anyone ever read, or see the movie, The Fountainhead? Early on in the story, the Dominique Francon character is throwing a Michaelangelo statue out the window, because she did not want something so beautiful to exist in a world where so much ugliness and mediocrity prevailed.

So when Trey says that Americans are getting too fat and out of shape for golf, it does not surprise me that our esthetic values are taking a turn for the worse.

Movement without finesse seems to be protocol nowadays. Did you ever watch a kickbox aerobics class taught by a non martial arts instructor, or one of these box aerobics classes? Why a bunch of girls would want to sport crew cuts and baggie clothes, bouncing and grunting around the room like a bunch of monkeys is beyond me!

And if spandex is functional attire for a racer, is the Michelin Man look REALLY functional for a recreational skier???

In terms of ski technique, much of skiing has turned ugly because people refuse to study any of it, in any form whatsoever!

[ April 29, 2002, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #50 of 207
Ok - this is really bothering me. We keep letting this junk slide, and its ultimately detrimental to this forum, its participents, and even the sport itself.

People are starting to talk as if this thread was started in a pushy way simply to arouse attention.

The history of this poster shows well and clear the actual ego motivation and intolerance behind this.

The initial post insults the profession of most of us:

"Instead of having a gang that certifies ski instructors . . ."

States that there is only one man who is doing things correctly. And if we disagree with ANYTHING that one man says we "think he is the devil". In fact even PSIA members generally don't agree with everything the PSIA does, nor do we DISAGREE with everything HH does.

And more. Absolutely typical of the hatred which is consistantly spewed by this individual. He'll mellow for a few days or weeks, and then this kind of stuff always comes up again.

We'll the title of this section includes the word "rant". So I'm adding this one.

Too much negativity being consistantly created by one person. Look what its done to me right now!

So therefore, see you guys around.

Happy to report that my ski book just got initial approval from a publisher for next Fall. Sad to think about not hanging out here.

~Todd M.
post #51 of 207

I took the thrust of the original post NOT to be STYLE, nor even METHOD, of instruction, but rather HOW to get more people involved with this sport.

Possibly your book will have some thoughts?

I, personally, don't agree with most of SCSA's theories with regard to skiing technique, but the mere fact that he got you so worked up as to swear off the forum, says something!

SCSA does not need me to defend his thoughts as I am no great debater. Probably do more harm than good most days.

He does make an excellent point that the industry has to find a way to attract new blood. That probably will take efforts that offend the purists out there.

My last post was an attempt to describe the outside forces that exist to lure potential skiers/boarders from the sport by virtue of the many other activities that compete today for the skiing dollar.

The forces that lead to change will offend some, that I can guarantee! A pretty easy statement to make!

How to get the kids involved in the sport with all the alternative's out there? Maybe X Games and extreme skiing? I don't know for sure. Embracing the snowboard culture? Again I don't have the one "answer".

The point is the sport won't grow if you cannot get new blood in at the lowest levels.

SCSA might be on to something tho---formulate a plan, refine it and ,market it. Do that and then complain if it does not work.

Don't check out early because some phrase intended to provoke you, did so. If you do, you cannot, by definition, be part of the solution.


[ April 25, 2002, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: skier_j ]
post #52 of 207
Bears, I can tell you something about my friend (and he is) SCSA, he's a lot like a controversial talk radio host. His intent IS to create discussion. Fire and Brimstone is his style. I don't always agree with it's effectiveness, but it's his way.

He cares as much about skiing as any of us here. I don't always agree with his bombastic style, and as a friend, I'll call him on it. And I'm very amused when others do too, especially when he deserves it. But mostly, it makes me laugh, because I know better. But hell, I laugh when I listen to Rush Limbaugh too!

SCSA will stew about things that bug him about "the state of skiing" for a while, and then explode in a flurry (fury?) of posts. If it's that bad, and attacks seem to personal, cool it for a while, but come back. It's worth it. EpicSki is growing.

Hint: Try reading the "louder" posts out loud, doing your best Cartman voice imatation. That'll get you in the right frame of mind. Or maybe Sideshow Bob. Whatever helps change the tone of the inner voice you read some of these posts with.

Try reading my posts in the voice of Elmer Fudd. Now, try Garrison Keillor. The content won't change, but the tone sure does! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #53 of 207
Skiing with your boots locked together is not very energy efficient in my opinion. I get a lot less tired when I carve down the mountain in am more natural (wider) stance. But when i'm skiing under a chairlift I always get the urge to narrow my stance and wedel down the fall line. Am I a bad person?
post #54 of 207
No, you're not bad, crosscarver...
Alas thids thread is not about "narrow vs wide"
The issue here is far beyond our "european understanding", I think.

Look at it this way, there are people who think only about $$...and people who are happy to make a living out of their profession, or even to be a part time teacher, just to fulfill a passion.
Of course these second complain, every now and then, about how nice it would be to make a little bit more money out of a passion (ski instructing). This, applies to every profession, I would love to make more money out of my work!

Now, if I choose to answer only the not expressly asked question about style and technique, I will say that a skier who's technically sound is also nice to see.
I've seen a lot of skiers, this winter, skiing with a very narrow stance, aka feet locked toghether, but I do not think they're nice, nor technically sound anymore.
Technique has evolved.
I do not go out to ski just because I like to be seen, but I've realized lately that a lot of skiers on the slope stop to have a look at me
(I do think it's the clothing ).
All the same, whenever I see a technically good skier, I stop and observe him/her. Maybe I can learn something, by looking at someone who, I judge, skis better than me. Why not?

BTW, bye Todd.
I will not ask you "please stay"...but I'll cite Ott (not word for word):
If you don't like a mountain, move on, there's another one around.
The same here, if you don't like Paul (SCSA)
posts, well, simply ignore it.
post #55 of 207
Right on Matteo.

I agree, snokarver.

Bad, bad crosscarver! Bad person. You're grounded.
post #56 of 207
SCSA, when you put words inside quotation marks and then attribute them to someone, you are indicating that you are repeating their words exactly. That's the intent of quotations.

Writing LATER something like: "What I read by your response is, "I didn't like it", or, "We don't agree with his ideas"." Does not justify your making up words that match YOUR ideas and then quoting them as having come from someone else verbatim.

What you read into what someone else says is YOUR idea, YOUR interpretation, of what was said.

I realize that in your self-centered world, you operate by your own rules, but in a society, especially one of communication, it's important to follow some standards. Pick up a copy of "Elements of Style" by E.B.White & William Strunk. It's a really thin book with all the guidelines you need and should be available cheap.
post #57 of 207
Too bad this had to turn into another flame war. Consider this: If you read many of the threads in this forum. or look at any ski magazine, the emphasis is always on harder faster steeper.

If someone went into a lesson and said they wanted more finesse and beauty to their skiing style, they would either be laughed at, or the instructor would let out a silent groan.

And if you would mention that here, some testosterone poisoned fascist would probably suggest you try a different sport.

Why is one person goals more valuable than another's?
post #58 of 207
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
[QB]If someone went into a lesson and said they wanted more finesse and beauty to their skiing style, they would either be laughed at, or the instructor would let out a silent groan.QB]
I doubt that very much. Has the groan or laugh been a personal experience of yours?

As for this becoming a flame-war... SCSA's original post was classic flame-bait, so what did you expect?
post #59 of 207
I hate to say this, because it is a generalisation, but skiing in Italy, it struck me there were a lot more boots locked together skiers looking gracefull, and very well dressed women looking elegant, than there are in other parts of the world. The foods excellent too. Maybe SCSA should teach in Italy.
post #60 of 207
Epic: Yes, unfortunately.
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