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post #151 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

There are limits to how bad the skiing can be before it's just wrong.

When I see some one skiing with movements that are hard to make, hard on their body, not making good use of the ski's design, causing their bindings to release if bindings are set low, risking or even damaging their knees, tiring themselves out unnecessarily, people whos prefereed movements make it hard for them to advance, I think their skiing is "not good".  I think there is something wrong with their skiing.  It's not "all good".  there is nothing wrong with good enough skiing, good enough is ok, but sometimes it's not even good enough.

Some people are perfectly happy with their not good skiing.  That doesn't make their skiing good.  I will concede, however, that it is their right to continue skiing the "wrong" way.
 

In all reality, I don't think anyone who thinks their skiing is bad, is perfectly happy skiing that way.
post #152 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

In all reality, I don't think anyone who thinks their skiing is bad, is perfectly happy skiing that way.
I've met quite a few people who ski poorly (not "wrong") who are quite content with their skiing and have no interest in improving it. 
post #153 of 184
 SSH,

I did say appear to be more skilled.

Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.  

BTW: Does your version of skill require that the skier is conscious of the application of skill?
post #154 of 184
 Spindrift, 

My emphasis on physics are the physics of the interaction of ski and snow.  All I have are race skis/carvers.

The physics of the interaction of my skis with whatever snow I have to ski on will play a HUGE role in the movements I have to make. My feet will be moved closer together in slush/powder -- there is no real choice.
post #155 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

 SSH,

I did say appear to be more skilled.

Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.  

BTW: Does your version of skill require that the skier is conscious of the application of skill?
 
But if they appear to be skilled, you cannot tell whether or not they are without additional examination, and that is the point.

Re: your BTW, absolutely not! I know a number of exceptionally skilled skiers who couldn't tell you what they are doing in order to rip down the mountain, but their skill level is very, very high. In fact, it seems to me the rarer person who is both exceptionally skilled and also consciously aware of their skills.
post #156 of 184
SSH,

Right on both counts.  

The appearance of skill in ONE fluky run on ONE particular pitch can easily be misconstrued as showing skill.  No skiing model on the planet can tell that the run was a fluke without seeing more of the skier.
post #157 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

I've met quite a few people who ski poorly (not "wrong") who are quite content with their skiing and have no interest in improving it. 

 

What's wrong with people being content?

Content=Happy. Content skiers come back to buy more lift tickets and this keeps the mountain open so we can all participate.

I am sensing an attitude that if all skiers do not approach the sport with the same devotion, fervor, and passion that many here hold for the sport, they are not worthy to ride on the same mountain as those who do.

Some people just aren't as into skiing with the same passion as folks here. For most people, it's a fun outdoor activity in the winter. Nothing wrong with that.
post #158 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

SSH,

Right on both counts.  

The appearance of skill in ONE fluky run on ONE particular pitch can easily be misconstrued as showing skill.  No skiing model on the planet can tell that the run was a fluke without seeing more of the skier.
...and yet there are many who judge others by a still still photo, a video, or other very small sliver of their skiing. Or misconstruing their understanding. Or even learning of their misunderstanding. Heck, I've seen people pilloried for demos of errors in skiing! All are unprofitable activities better replaced by seeking first to understand and striving to learn from others all the time, continuing on one's own path to mastery rather than seeking to appear knowledgeable to gain the respect of others.

Given all that, does this mean that you now recant your statement that it's "BS" that a person can have perfect movement(s) without skill? If so, I'm glad we have resolved at least one point between us! I'm sure you will, BigE, go and find another that we can explore... 
post #159 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

What's wrong with people being content?

Content=Happy. Content skiers come back to buy more lift tickets and this keeps the mountain open so we can all participate.

I am sensing an attitude that if all skiers do not approach the sport with the same devotion, fervor, and passion that many here hold for the sport, they are not worthy to ride on the same mountain as those who do.

Some people just aren't as into skiing with the same passion as folks here. For most people, it's a fun outdoor activity in the winter. Nothing wrong with that.
Nothing is wrong with people being content. I just personally do not understand undertaking an activity without seeking to improve. I don't do that in my life in any area, and don't get it. That doesn't mean that it's "wrong" or that I judge those who choose otherwise. Only that I don't get it and will always chose the journey to mastery rather than status quo. Those who know me will not be at all surprised by that!  I do, however, seek to understand such a perspective and see what I can learn from that. One thing is to not miss the smell of the roses even when I'm not having a lot of success on my journey to mastery... 
post #160 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

All are unprofitable activities better replaced by seeking first to understand and striving to learn from others all the time, continuing on one's own path to mastery rather than seeking to appear knowledgeable to gain the respect of others.

Stephen S. Hultquist
Speaker, Author, Guide, Consultant, Professional traveler... follow me on Twitter


 


Does anybody else see the irony of this post in light of the signature line.......

Steve if you beleive what you wrote youd think your signature line would include some version of the words "student" or "constant learner" or somthing....you seem to just preach....maybe somthing to think about?
post #161 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Does anybody else see the irony of this post in light of the signature line.......

Steve if you beleive what you wrote youd think your signature line would include some version of the words "student" or "constant learner" or somthing....you seem to just preach....maybe somthing to think about?
Given my definitions of those words, I see no irony at all. To be an effective speaker, author, guide, and consultant requires constant learning and flexibility of thought. None of those terms imply that one would "preach". The final title certainly implies that I find myself on a journey... I find it interesting that you would interpret these words in that way, however, since I never considered that someone would. Fascinating.

And yes, I stand by my earlier statements. That doesn't mean that I don't have and voice opinions and understandings, btw, nor should it. However, I am always seeking to understand and learn from others. Anyone who interprets my writing differently would be well served by reconsidering it in this light.
post #162 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Given my definitions of those words, I see no irony at all. To be an effective speaker, author, guide, and consultant requires constant learning and flexibility of thought. None of those terms imply that one would "preach". The final title certainly implies that I find myself on a journey... I find it interesting that you would interpret these words in that way, however, since I never considered that someone would. Fascinating.

And yes, I stand by my earlier statements. That doesn't mean that I don't have and voice opinions and understandings, btw, nor should it. However, I am always seeking to understand and learn from others. Anyone who interprets my writing differently would be well served by reconsidering it in this light.
 

Interesting.  Thanks for sharing Steve, I guess it does go to show the difference in perspectives.  For example I beleive to be a good speaker, author, guide, consultant it is important to use words as they are commonly used and understood in everyday language, not to use personal definitions. 

I also think it is interesting how in your explanation you emphasize the "traveller" part, but skipped the adjective of professional.  To me the term professional implies some higher degree of skill or ability then the average person, which kinda ties back to my original interpretation.

I think any first year physcology student would also pick up on your choice of words for your last statment.."follow me".  Almost implies you view yourself, or at least want to be viewed as a leader, someone to "follow", or perhaps a trail blazer, or even someone who is a little quicker then the rest.

I guess thou the real learning here is how this all ties back to skiing, and perceptions of skills over actions over intents and indeed outcomes.  Words are words, the ones we use, and how we define them perhaps tell more about us then we think....if that is true, does that then mean that they also reveal our underlying philosphies of skiing?????

Well that is probably a whole other thread...but interesting none the less
post #163 of 184
It's good to be happy; it's better to be happier.  I think some happy people would be even happier if there skiing were better, even though they don't know it. Skiing is like sex, better technique brings more pleasure.  To use a different analogy.  Skiing is like Scotch.  A couple of ounces of Scotch makes me happy, a couple more makes me happier.  Of course there is a point in Scotch where I belatedly realize I've had a few too many (but I've learned to avoid that point).  I haven't reached that point in skiing, nor have I ever met anyone who has reached the point where being a better skier wouldn't make them happier.

However, some people may not be happier trying to improve their skiing.  Some of their pleasure derives from a sense of improvement and the effort required to reach the highest levels is more than that required to reach the middle levels, so there is probably a point of diminishing returns.  On the other hand there is a built-in survival extinct that makes people like power and control, so I'm sure there is always some increased good feeling benefit with any small advancement.  It's just a question of where the tediousness of the effort to improve outweighs the benefit.

Personally I' willing to do a few drills to improve every time I go skiing so long as they aren't too tedious and I can do them while I'm skiing and arcing some turns, say 20 minutes worth.  Thinking and discussing skiing technique and analysis is a hobby for me, not a means to an end for me.  It still gives me new stuff to try out on the hill and my pleasure increases when I try new stuff.
post #164 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

I've met quite a few people who ski poorly (not "wrong") who are quite content with their skiing and have no interest in improving it. 

 


Ya, me too. But I  don't look down on them or use them as examples either. And the flip side of this is I know quite a few instructors who think they are Gods who are laughable in their skiing technique.

In my book a complete skier is one that can master every condition and terrain presented them even if their technique is somewhat flawed. That holds more salt to me than one that can carve a groomed slope perfectly.
post #165 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Skiing is like Scotch.  A couple of ounces of Scotch makes me happy, a couple more makes me happier.  Of course there is a point in Scotch where I belatedly realize I've had a few too many (but I've learned to avoid that point).  I haven't reached that point in skiing, nor have I ever met anyone who has reached the point where being a better skier wouldn't make them happier. 

That's because the law of diminishing returns holds true for booze, but not for skiing. With skiing, getting better yields more fun, and since there's no ceiling on how much better you can get, the fun of skiing can spiral upward to infinity. Theoretically anyway.
post #166 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post



That's because the law of diminishing returns holds true for booze, but not for skiing. With skiing, getting better yields more fun, and since there's no ceiling on how much better you can get, the fun of skiing can spiral upward to infinity. Theoretically anyway.
 
While I basically agree, I must correct something.

With alcohol, for someone like me, it's actually increasing returns, not diminishing returns.  I keep getting higher and happier with each drink until I fall off that cliff.  That's why I gave up getting drunk.
post #167 of 184
Thread Starter 
You are unique in many ways, Ghost.

I see drinking and skiing as polar opposites: drinking is a depressant and skiing is a stimulant. 
Edited by nolo - 10/31/09 at 9:10am
post #168 of 184
Steve, I understand your perspective. I am just saying that, IMO, the vast majority of the skiing public does not approach the activity with the same passion and dedication that many here do. There is nothing wrong with that. Lacking the time or interest to pursue the sport with the same dedication is not a sign of a character flaw. Skiing is just an enjoyable winter activity for most, not a career move or a matter of personal pride. IMO, many here have a skewed perspective when it comes to this topic.

Also, consider that many people who are passionate about the sport have families and careers and lack the time or money to pursue it to the same level. This is not summer league softball. This is a very expensive activity for most and, for the majority, it's a bi-monthly weekend activity with perhaps a week-long trip somewhere.

I am not trying to disparage your opinions and I do undertand your perspective. You obviously have a passion for the sport and are very dedicated. I am just keeping it real.
post #169 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post




Interestingly thou you can have perfect movments and still no skill....."movements" is actually the easy part of the equation....doing the right ones, at the right time, at the right rate is what skiing is really all about....just focusing on movments as some would love for you to beleive is nothing more then the classic "quick and easy" answer for the ignorant masses.

ssh,

This is the post that started it all.  My point here was that if you are not "doing the right ones at the right time,. at the right rate" then the movements are not perfect.  They have ignored the basic features that physics, bio-mechanics, terrain and tactics (PBTT) that define the perfection of the movement. So the notion that such movements can be perfect is bogus.

In your example, I would choose the skier that exhibited the movement choices that more closely matched the PBTT present in the situation.  That skier during that run showed a higher level of skill than the skier whose movements did not match the PBTT of the situation.

If later, it becomes clear that the run was a fluke, then my selection was wrong. So what?  All we have to go by is the quality of movement and whether or not those movements are appropriate.
post #170 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Interesting.  Thanks for sharing Steve, I guess it does go to show the difference in perspectives.  For example I beleive to be a good speaker, author, guide, consultant it is important to use words as they are commonly used and understood in everyday language, not to use personal definitions. 

I also think it is interesting how in your explanation you emphasize the "traveller" part, but skipped the adjective of professional.  To me the term professional implies some higher degree of skill or ability then the average person, which kinda ties back to my original interpretation.

I think any first year physcology student would also pick up on your choice of words for your last statment.."follow me".  Almost implies you view yourself, or at least want to be viewed as a leader, someone to "follow", or perhaps a trail blazer, or even someone who is a little quicker then the rest.

I guess thou the real learning here is how this all ties back to skiing, and perceptions of skills over actions over intents and indeed outcomes.  Words are words, the ones we use, and how we define them perhaps tell more about us then we think....if that is true, does that then mean that they also reveal our underlying philosphies of skiing?????

Well that is probably a whole other thread...but interesting none the less
Thank you for the reminder that interpretation by others is at least 50% based on the receiver's filters! Very, very interesting.

In terms of language, I agree. But a teacher isn't always teaching, and uses different vocabulary depending on her audience. In my case, I often use my everyday vocabulary here on EpicSki. I love language and words, perhaps one of the reasons I'm a speaker and writer. As such, I'm on a journey of mastering my use of it. I'm constantly working to expand my vocabulary and improve my precision. When I am in everyday conversation, I feel free to use precise words that may be uncommon. When I am teaching or speaking to an audience with a goal of their learning, I adjust. Just as a professor will use different vocabulary with peers, students, the press, and her 5-year-old, I feel free to adjust as well.

When I wrote my signature, I had my tongue firmly in cheek. I intended simply to communicate what I do for a living. Since I'm paid to speak, to write, to guide, and to coach, I'm effectively paid to travel. Of the 100,000+ miles I've flown each of the past 3 years, virtually all of them have been "professional travel," so I think it's funny that I'm effectively a "Professional Traveler". I first used that in a signature on FlyerTalk, a forum for frequent flyers. I never considered that it would be interpreted that way that you have! I think it's funny that I get paid to travel (and I enjoy travel). I had no thought about "Professional" implying a higher level of skill. A professional gets paid, an amateur doesn't. The amateur may be more skilled or knowledgeable, but they aren't paid for it. This is perhaps nowhere more obvious than in skiing and no where claimed in skiing more than on EpicSki! 

It's clear from your comments that you're not a member/user of Twitter. On Twitter, to connect to someone you "follow" them. That's the Twitter term for connecting, similar to how some people would say, "Friend me on Facebook." It has absolutely nothing to do with my perspective of myself as a leader or a concept that others should follow my leadership. However, your interpretation has shown me how some could see that part of my signature, as well.

As a result, your imaginary first year psych student would inaccurately assess my personality and my motivation. Perhaps as he expanded his experience he'd recognize a broader range of possible explanations. 

...and yes, if we work hard we can apply this to skiing and the teaching of it. At the very least, I'll adjust my signature after I think about how to be a bit more unequivocal about what I mean!
post #171 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

 Spindrift, 

My emphasis on physics are the physics of the interaction of ski and snow.  All I have are race skis/carvers.

The physics of the interaction of my skis with whatever snow I have to ski on will play a HUGE role in the movements I have to make. My feet will be moved closer together in slush/powder -- there is no real choice.



 

You are still dodging the issue. You made a rather absolute statement about "physics and biomechanics". But it seems to me that you want to avoid the consequences implicit in your words.  So let's back it up a bit...

Assume I bring my reverse/reverse boards to your home mountain & we head out together on a glaze ice morning. And let's further make the rather unrealistically optimistic assumption that I skid & pivot them down an icy trail as well as physics and biomechanics allow. Did I ski Perfectly? Did I make an "error" somewhere?
post #172 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

Steve, I understand your perspective. I am just saying that, IMO, the vast majority of the skiing public does not approach the activity with the same passion and dedication that many here do. There is nothing wrong with that. Lacking the time or interest to pursue the sport with the same dedication is not a sign of a character flaw. Skiing is just an enjoyable winter activity for most, not a career move or a matter of personal pride. IMO, many here have a skewed perspective when it comes to this topic.

Also, consider that many people who are passionate about the sport have families and careers and lack the time or money to pursue it to the same level. This is not summer league softball. This is a very expensive activity for most and, for the majority, it's a bi-monthly weekend activity with perhaps a week-long trip somewhere.

I am not trying to disparage your opinions and I do undertand your perspective. You obviously have a passion for the sport and are very dedicated. I am just keeping it real.
I did not mean to imply that there was anything wrong with it. Only that I don't understand it. Ironically, I fit your description of "many people" in that I have a (more than!) full-time career, am father to three and husband to one (), and have struggled with the priorities of my life. I get it. It's just my approach to life that has me in a constant improvement process. Heck, I couldn't even start drinking Scotch without getting a book, learning about distilling, studying the variations of Single Malt, and so on. Undoubtedly most people find me far more strange than the more normal person who orders "a Scotch" instead of asking for the list and selecting based on a wide variety of variables. 

In other words, I'm well aware of how strange I am. But, being the way I am it is sometimes challenging to remember that not everyone approaches their activities with the same focus I do, much less that it's likely the rare person who does! My apologies for the confusion.
post #173 of 184
spindrift,
Let's assume that we all know how the reverse camber ski behaves on ice.  If I don't, then I cannot comment. If you've skied them as well as the conditions allow, then  your movements were perfect.  What other conclusion can there be?

Is there something that I'm missing? Are you trying to suggest that you're somehow less skilled because your equipment selection was wrong?  Are you saying that equipment selection is part of skill?
Edited by BigE - 10/31/09 at 11:47am
post #174 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post


...Is there something that I'm missing? Are you trying to suggest that you're somehow less skilled because your equipment selection was wrong?  Are you saying that equipment selection is part of skill?

 

I'm saying it is at least related. Especially in the context of your definitions. Your choice of equipment has a significant impact on "physics and biomechanics". It impacts what is easy, hard - or even possible for a particular skier on a given pair of skis, under a given set of conditions, using a particular constellation of "techniques".

Do you really think you can take your definition - or even this broader thread - to its logical conclusion without introducing the feedback loops of "technique" and equipment and conditions? And skier & skier level. And goals? Do you really think you can have this discussion without it being framed in context?
post #175 of 184
The problem with introducing equipment selection is that a ski store drone can tell you all about what is appropriate for the conditions -- they don't even have to ski!

The physics of the ski/snow interaction is critical.  Your choice of ski will determine how all that works.  So in context, the movements will have to be adapted.  eg. I can't imagine that Ligety could finish a GS course on a set of reverse camber skis.  If he does, his movements will have changed.

That's all good, and I think taken care of by the physics.

You gotta respect physics -- it's the law!
post #176 of 184
Trying to break down the experiential nature of skiing into laws of physics is kind of like exlaining the mental and physical aspect of driving a car by explaining the interaction of rubber tires with the pavement. This is beneficial for the engineers who design the car but it is practically meaningless for the driver who turns the wheel. Skiing, like driving, is something you gain profiiency at through experience.
post #177 of 184
Totally true, MojoMan, but I think you'll find that learning that "why" is part of the proficiency. One doesn't learn to fly a plane by starting in the pilot's seat. One doesn't learn to drive only in the driver's seat. Understanding the physics of cornering, airflow, and all the other things that can impact driving is a good idea if you're going to drive at the upper reaches of capability.

If you're just going to drive 55 on the freeway, then you need less understanding. However, getting more would likely help you, and most people who drive clearly don't actually understand what to do or why. 

Anyway, understanding the influence of physics, biomechanics, and other outside influences is useful in improving one's ability, so for those interested in that, they are worthwhile.
post #178 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Totally true, MojoMan, but I think you'll find that learning that "why" is part of the proficiency. One doesn't learn to fly a plane by starting in the pilot's seat. One doesn't learn to drive only in the driver's seat. Understanding the physics of cornering, airflow, and all the other things that can impact driving is a good idea if you're going to drive at the upper reaches of capability.

If you're just going to drive 55 on the freeway, then you need less understanding. However, getting more would likely help you, and most people who drive clearly don't actually understand what to do or why. 

Anyway, understanding the influence of physics, biomechanics, and other outside influences is useful in improving one's ability, so for those interested in that, they are worthwhile.
 

Skiing is entirely experiential. You won't get a movement pattern down until you try it, regardless of how much thought you put into preparing for it. Theory can be a good tool to explain how and why certain movements and patterns are used and why and how one should use them, but it will never be able to replace the skills that come about only by experiencing these movements on the snow.

You guys think too much !

post #179 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

Skiing is entirely experiential. You won't get a movement pattern down until you try it, regardless of how much thought you put into preparing for it. Theory can be a good tool to explain how and why certain movements and patterns are used and why and how one should use them, but it will never be able to replace the skills that come about only by experiencing these movements on the snow.


You guys think too much !

So you'd say that my enjoyment of studying skiing, thinking about it, mentally practicing it, and all of the other ways that I grow my skiing skills when I am not actually in the active, physical process of skiing are of no value in developing skills? There are quite a number of scientific studies starting with the work of Maxwell Maltz in the 50s that prove that such is not the case.

Would I rather be on snow skiing right now? Yes. But, since I'm not, I'll be happy to mentally rehearse my skiing, study it, and experience it in that way.
post #180 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

So you'd say that my enjoyment of studying skiing, thinking about it, mentally practicing it, and all of the other ways that I grow my skiing skills when I am not actually in the active, physical process of skiing are of no value in developing skills?
 


Only you can answer that. Like so many thigs in skiing, I guess it depends on the individual -- their personality traits, how they learn best, etc. Not everyone learns the same way. Since you seem like a very cerebral person to begin with, I am sure it helps you prepare mentally, and with your high experience level, it may speed up your on-hill learning. Ultimately, however, skill development happens on the snow. Preparing and studying certainly is valuable for the more experienced who already have a firm foundation in skiing mechanics and have a basic idea of what to expect, both physically and mentally.   

For the newcomer and the relatively inexperienced, I would say there is minimal benefit, if any at all. Until muscle memory and neuro-motor memory for the physical sensations present in skiing are developed, there is nothing experiential to use to translate theory to mental imagery. For the inexperienced, I would think too much thinking might even create anxiety or perhaps information overload.  

IMO,I would think a better way to prepare for many is physical dry-land training where movements or physical sensations that mimic those found in skiing are employed.

There are so many variables going on here that it would be a stretch to say what works for one person works for all. 

In terms of skiing, visualization has done very ltitle for me. I am hands-on and that's how I learn best. There are no right or wrong ways to learn and advance. Whatever works.
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