Originally Posted by BigE
If attack is in the eye of the beholder, then, it is an absolutely useless concept. Attack must be a visually detectable, especially if weems is looking for a video to highlight it..... Or maybe weems is just fooling around?
As far as getting forwards to ski well, yes, it's true. Toni knows how to ski well, but that does not mean each and every second he's on the slope his actions are perfect. That would smack of idolatry, as it's not a realistic expectation for anyone..
His montage looks fun and stylish and is quite far above the average skier, but it's not what I'd use in a textbook.
Big E, you got it! I'm just fooling around. Here's what attack looks like!
1. All the posted videos that I've seen show "attack" in my view. But I was especially amazed by the bump skiing that skierdude posted. That was incredible, beautiful skiing by really powerful athletes.
2. I have been challenged this last season on just how critical it is (or is not) to jump onto the front of the skis at the beginning of the turn, and I'm doing a lot of experimentation on that. It would be an interesting thread. Some of what I've learned has come from Tony Sears and Bob, and much of it from Dadou Mayer in Taos. The jury seems in reconsideration. But that's another thread for another day.
3. So what's this attack all about for me? Let me 'splain it to ya.
The word is something that just stuck in my mind from my teenage racing days when I would hear coaches admonish me and others to "attack" the course, instead of just going for a Sunday stroll. Later, I too, like some others here, found a conflict between that version of attack and the idea of being in harmony with the slope. The other conflict was the one about whether it is possible to attack in a relatively tame speed/pitch environment (like the one in Hilly's video), as opposed to the video that Skierdude posted. That led me to just explore what it meant and how to use it.
The moment where I really understood what I was trying to get at with this word came from looking at it's opposite, and the most powerful manifestation of that (for me) occurred one day in Taos, when Jean Mayer's son, Sasha, observing a really strong steep bump skier, said, "He didn't flinch." I loved that, and it really became my definition for "attack". Not flinching.
The reason this was so critical is that I realized that this is what so many skiers do in so many situations where there is a little hesitation to move into the new turn. I feel the moment of "flinch" happens when a skier starts to release the edges at the beginning of an edge change (sometimes even before), and realizes that acceleration is beginning to take place, and the body/mind says, "No."---or "I'm not so sure about this", and does something other than move into the turn with joy, appreciation, and commitment. This moment requires an enormous act of the Will--a willingness, as Rick mentioned, to manage anxiety and to take the risk of failing. I would go so far as to say that I can almost define the difference between a good skier and a not-so-good skier as their relative willingness to move into that accelerative edge change. At that point the hill offers all the power I need to ski. I can accept it (attack), or reject it (flinch). The attack is expansive, offensive, dynamic, harmonious---a "moving with" the acceleration. The flinch is contracting, rigid, holding position, trying to stop the universe, protecting--rejecting the the acceleration.
And finally, the reason I bring it up is that it is not necessarily technical--not about skills OR movements--for many many skiers. It can be enhanced through the technical tools, as well as the tactical ones. But ultimately it is a matter of doing
, and as much as I believe that it is totally intuitive (given the goal and the understandings of what skiing is), I must defer to my students who say that "this is really counterintuitive". I think when they say that it is somewhat of a smokescreen for "this scares the hell out of me". However, I've got to respect it anyway. And the concept of attack (the fall line, or the edgechange moment) is a powerful metaphor for making that happen. And, by the way, so is "let it happen". And, clearly, there are many more solutions--almost as many as there are students.
Finally, I think this thread is pretty much done, so I'm gonna drop out (but still listen in). I really appreciate the talent and passion and analytical skills I've seen and heard in this discussion. Thanks for participating. I've learned heaps.