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"Racer turns" vs. "Park turns"; dope or dumb?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So, a good friend's son is a very good skier.  He runs gates now and then, used to be in the MBSEF junior program, and also will be racing high school.  His friends are mostly kids that hang out in the park all day.  Recently, they were giving him crap for making "racer turns"; whatever that means.  Yes, he skis like a racer: balanced, big edge angles, arc to arc, and pretty fast.  When did skiing well become so unhip?  Last time I checked, skiing like most of this group of park kids (backseat, turning by using upper body rotation, no poles) isn't viable way to ski outside of the park. I see these kids all the time (the park is right under the main lift) and their idea of turning is throwing their arms and skis sideways to scrub speed, then bombing down the hill with the skis flat).  Watching them skiing off-piste is downright comical, as they are totally backseat, and can't control their skis at all.  You can totally tell which kids in the park went through a race or skills program, and which didn't, as the former are great all-mountain skiers, and the latter are limited to sliding rails and boxes.    

Anyways, just wondering what I missed here, or if anything.  If I was a park rat and not a good skier, and saw a friend ripping by me at speed and crushing a zipper line, I probably would be jealous, not giving him a hard time. 
post #2 of 12
 if your friends son has any brains he wont listen to him and will ski them to terrain that will make them poop their baggy ass pants. Thats what I would do at least....
post #3 of 12
Not to demean the good snowboarders (and they're out there; I've seen their trenches from the chair), but this is the snowboarding influence from the majority of young snowboarders who can't carve to save their life, but aspire to be huckers and jibbers.

I mean, at a recent lunch with my coworkers (who are all boarders), they were going on and trying to indoctrinate me about how much "more fun" snowboarding was relative to skiing, nevermind the fact that most of them are quite bad snowboarders.  Even the ones that have never skied/boarder was echoing this sentiment.

It's only irritating for me, but I'm sure it's influential in the groupthink and fashion of youth.  The association of "race turns" (carving) to traditional skiing is what makes it "uncool".
post #4 of 12
The posers' ridicule is probably driven by their jealousy of the kid who can actually ski the whole mountain instead of just the park -- not that some park kids aren't great skiers, but I have a hunch that the ones who can actually ski well aren't the ones dishing out the disses...
post #5 of 12
...of course, I have seen a number of gate smashers who are inept at bumps, crud, and pow, despite their ability to carve a pristine edge on impossibly steep and bulletproof fallaway sections...
post #6 of 12


Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 if your friends son has any brains he wont listen to him and will ski them to terrain that will make them poop their baggy ass pants. Thats what I would do at least....
post #7 of 12
Whats the diffrence?

I can't jump to save my life.

Maybe they are just pissed they can't keep up?

If I wasn't so horrible and to old to be jumping wouldnt scrubbing/skidding make more sense in the park anyway? (couldn't tell yea woulda got my bib pulled for jumping back in the day)

(drunk post)
post #8 of 12
Was this just the playfull ribbing of youth or was it really a serious jab meant to insult? Park and Pipe seems to be the choice of youth these days so naturally these kids will tend to rib those who don't jive with the majority. It sounds like kids just being kids. 
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

Was this just the playfull ribbing of youth or was it really a serious jab meant to insult? Park and Pipe seems to be the choice of youth these days so naturally these kids will tend to rib those who don't jive with the majority. It sounds like kids just being kids. 

Well, he is a damn good park skier too; probably being a good skier overall has something to do with it. If you are comfortable on skis, the park stuff comes pretty easily when you are young.  Probably out-skis them in the park too.
post #10 of 12
It's been this way forever.  Back in the 70's and 80's, there was a perception amongst kids that "good skiers" were the ones who could pull off the best jumps - backscratchers, helicopters (360's), daffys, spread eagles, etc.  A lot of these "good skiers" would just skid around between jumps and were very poor technical skiers.  Most of the young snowboarders and "jib" skiers today do the same thing. 

I remember as a kid being ridiculed for skiing like "old people". There was a group of us that worked with the ski school so that we could get a ride to the mountain - but we had to "clinic" with the instructors and teach/babysit little skiers (they called it kinderschool) for couple of hours a day.  The instructors made us do drills, and hammered technical skiing into our hard heads.  So, we didn't get to run around and jump and do tricks all day.  Our group of junior ski school "instructors in training" got no respect from our peers, because we didn't do the cool jumps and tricks.  I totally sucked in the air (and still do), but had good technical skiing skills that are still serving me well.  A lot of the "good skiers" who were good jumpers but didn't have the technical skills, never did learn to ski and still can't buy a turn. 

To the racer kid, making awesome turns - gitter done!  You'll be skiing circles around these hucksters now and forever into the future.
post #11 of 12
As someone else almost said, it's just a current manifestation of "don't trust anyone over 30." The ski establishment, your parents, the ski school, the patrollers, your friend's dad, etc., espouse "racer turns." Therefore by definition the most opposite way of skiing must be the coolest. It has nothing to do with skiing. It has to do with being a kid.

I also observe that often times fit, fundamentally athletic people between, say, 12 and 24, can pull off amazing stuff - for short durations - based upon the sheer resilience of youth, including skiing difficult terrain, at speed, with a lousy tune, and horrendous posture. Not saying that they can keep it up all day like that, or compete with a really skilled skier, just that youth buys you a whole lot of free chits to squander. I'm 47 and reasonably fit, but I just don't have the elasticity, reflexes, vision, or fearlessness to be compensating for major mistakes millisecond after millisecond the way I might have been able to when I was 15. Kids who are doing this generally don't have any clue that they are "doing it the hard way," and they don't really seem to care. Okay. Their life ... until they get tired of that.

Last night I skied with a very young (22) colleague whose idea of skiing, by his own admission, was always exactly what you describe: Get off the lift, get into a tuck, and huck down to the park on a flat ski with as little turning as could be managed without actually taking other people out. Hit the features then do it all again. The act of skiing at any moment other than the few seconds of actually being on the rail or launching off the jump was immaterial to him; he would have much preferred to just stay inside the park all day, if there had been a lift that allowed that. Tall guy, 200 lbs, on 160cm twin tips. Coordinated, athletic, and unafraid. Very open and undogmatic about his style - it's just what he knows, presumably having learned it from his park buddies. Freeskiing, he skis very fast, with lots of straight running and looooooong low-angle skidding maneuvers that essentially don't slow him down AT ALL. Kind of scary, actually, to me, but what do I know? I know I'd catch an edge and die if I tried that. So last night he gets in a race course for the first time. The times come out afterwards and he says, "yeah, I'm going to have to change some things if I'm going to match the times you guys are putting up." Point is, we all grow up and find good reasons to get stodgy.
post #12 of 12
It is interesting seeing how the perceptions of 'correct' technique have changed with changes in equipment. From knees locked together with pop and pivot technique of straight skis to shoulder width feet and lots of edge angulation with carving skis to ???? with fat rockered skis. I think a lot of what was considered good technique was just ways of compensating for weaknesses in the design of the skis for the intended purpose. In any sort of soft snow my rockered Hellbents feel totally natural and let you get away with an array sins. I honestly think from a technical point of view my technique has gotten worse in the last 10 years, but I am having more fun and more confident in difficult terrain now than back then.

In my mind 'good' technique is anything that looks easy in the conditions.

On a slightly side note I would love be on the sidelines for discussion like this between road cyclists and mountain bikers, or ballroom dancers vs hip hop dancers, or
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › "Racer turns" vs. "Park turns"; dope or dumb?