Well, about every connotation of the word "attack" has already been put forth and thrashed about on this thread already, but I'll just add that I suspect that anyone's "preferred" definition is probably quite revealing of the skiing style--or at least, the desired skiing style--of that person. Interestingly, it seems that regardless of one's definition, pretty much everyone believes that "attacking" is a good thing on skis--even those who value smoothness, grace, flow, rhythm, and other qualities that aren't universally associated with "attacking." A paradox?
I'd say that skiing invites this apparent paradox. It's not a sport where shear, unbridled aggression usually gets you far. "Attacking," in the sense of forceful, harsh, or angry movements, almost always makes you slower. "Attacking," in the sense of trying to overcome something, to overpower it, to fight against it, is a no-win proposition--since "it" can only be the very forces that make us go! Alpine skiing is a speed sport without a throttle, an activity where there is little you can do to actually increase speed, where almost anything we do with our muscles slows us down to some extent. Speed, and winning races--be they gates, moguls, skier-cross, or "big mountain"--comes from gliding, not pushing. Winners win not by trying to go the fastest, but by slowing the least. "Tranquil aggression" is how the great Ingemar Stenmark described his winning attitude. Sure, a little adrenaline-crazed "attacking" makes sense at the start of a race, where aggressive pushing with poles and skating actually do make you go faster. But most of what wins races is gliding, "letting" the mountain pull you to the finish with as little resistance as possible. Could "gliding" and "letting" be considered in the same breath as "attacking"?
To some it may be a stretch, but I say Yes! And it's what I see Nick doing. It's a different form of "attack" than what many might prefer, but it's the way skiers attack. (It could be worse, of course--cyclists "attack" by running away from their opponents!) But it does take an appreciation of the paradox of "tranquil aggression" to see the "attack" in Nick's skiing. Some have argued that he's not attacking, he's just relaxing and cruising. The paradox is that he can do both! Conversely, the "aggressive, attacking" skiers on the mountain are usually just braking hard, hacking their way harshly down the mountain, truly fighting against gravity and the mountain as if they were the enemy. It's a valiant attack, but a losing battle. While it can fit a definition of "attacking," I would never call it great skiing
And you don't have to prefer "carving" and racing to see it this way. A point that is often lost in today's world of anything-goes "freestyle" and "big mountain" skiing is that the fundamentals of racing and carving techniques, tactics, and will (and touch) also work best in virtually every other mountain situation. Skis gliding and going the direction they're pointed, rather than skidding sideways, are almost always preferable in conditions from ice to powder to bumps to the mankiest crud--to landing big air. There are very few reasons why you would want your skis going sideways beyond braking, slowing down, scrubbing speed.
And I'm sorry, but trying to equate "braking"--no matter how aggressive--with "attacking" would be a tough pill to push!
Had Weems used a less-loaded word, this whole discussion would likely not have gathered momentum. Is Nick "gliding" in that clip? Few would argue that he isn't. (None of this is to suggest that there aren't technical things he could work on to improve the glide and carve and go faster. But that is another story. This is about intent and will, and I maintain that he is, at least, intending to glide and carve. ) Is Nick "cruiising"? Well, yes. But how much heat would those questions raise? Is he attacking? You bet he is!