New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are you a true natural?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm not. Started skiing when i was 14, one day a year for next 4 years with the school, couldn't afford it. So what I want to know is when someone who started when they were 3-4yrs old comes across a challening slope, do they pause? Do they say to themselves, "Remember to be strong in the core", "Stay centred", "Rotate those legs" and so forth.

I now a fully certified NZ instructor, and worked hard to get there, but I still pause and remind myself some key points. Do the naturals out there still do that, or do they just go for it without pause or thought.

post #2 of 22

Pause.......Breathe.....Soak in Natural Beauty...........Pick line..........Depending on how steep, say prayer!..........shoot!

post #3 of 22

I personally try no to think when I ski. I go and react as things come. The way I see it, if you think too much there is a chance to pussy out or overanalize and crash.

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaround View Post

I'm not. Started skiing when i was 14, one day a year for next 4 years with the school, couldn't afford it. So what I want to know is when someone who started when they were 3-4yrs old comes across a challening slope, do they pause? Do they say to themselves, "Remember to be strong in the core", "Stay centred", "Rotate those legs" and so forth.

I now a fully certified NZ instructor, and worked hard to get there, but I still pause and remind myself some key points. Do the naturals out there still do that, or do they just go for it without pause or thought.


I did about the same as a kid and never skied much until I was 22 and have skied 30 - 40 days a year for the last 9 years. I think about technique when I am doing drills... But I don't spend anytime thinking about technique at all when I am skiing. I do think about my line. Where do I want to go? I try to have a plan for most runs.

 

Generally when I am skiing its better if I come into the top of a line in a rythm at medium speed until I spot my line. I find that starting from a dead stop at a choke point, roll over, etc... really just makes a challenging line harder to ski.  

 

If I am just checking a place out for the first time then yea I will poke arround. Traverse at the top then ski down and traverse back to look up at things from the bottom.

post #5 of 22

No matter who or what you are, if you come across something that is out of your usual experience and may be dangerous, you probably want to think about it for a moment.  If it's the same-old same-old because you are used to it, even if it's a steep slope with mandatory must make turns, if you are used to it, you just jump right in.

post #6 of 22

You think "Remember to be strong in the core", "Stay centred", "Rotate those legs" and so forth

because you are now a fully certified NZ instructor. It has nothing to do with when you started.

post #7 of 22

I've been skiing since I was 3 and none of those thoughts ever pop into my head when I am skiing. Perhaps the only thing that comes close is when I get in the way back seat going mach loony and the very real thought of "must... get... out... of back seat" does pop into my head. That and when I am skiing in the BC with a heavy pack and have to make a big high speed turn the "divert all power from life support to thighs..." thought also pops in my head.  Heh!

 

I feel more comfortable on skis than I do just on my own two feet. I've tried giving advice/instruction to others but because it is just so ingrained in me I do a horrific job. About the only thing I've been able to impart on someone that makes any sense is that skiing is just the controlled release of potential energy and if you can think of it that way you'll understand why the mechanics work. Essentially all a turn is is an energy transfer to the snow pack.

 

I am sure I have all sorts of bad habits picked up over the years and a day or two in PSIA land would help me correct those. But they are so ingrained and second nature that I don't even notice it.

 

 

 

post #8 of 22

There are true naturals out there. One comes to mind, my good friend Tom Burawski. When we we in high school, us seniors thought we were the best (again thought..some more than others), along comes one of the guys "little brother", he was in 9th grade and just exploded. By mid year at Camelback, he was by far the best from our school. He was about 105lbs dripping wet but could ski bumps on his brothers 205 Kastle's like no one else. On spring bump days, all we would see is this hat bouncing down Margies and occasionally pop up with a helicopter daffy (when that was a huge trick) . I lost track of Tom after I graduated. I did hear he went on to a mogul tour out here in Squaw. I did catch some shots of him in Powder mag, including the coveted cover shot of a September issue (92). It is one thing to work hard and be good, but to be great, you have to also have the gift with natural ability, Tom had/has that gift. 

 

Facebook is a wonderful tool to track down old friends from prison. One of the reasons I am out in Tahoe is that I was able to hook up with a bunch of old friends such as Tom and Jerry (yeah, they heard THAT before). I look forward to skiing with my old buddy again this season. 

post #9 of 22

I know enough about being a natural to know that I'm not.  

post #10 of 22

I can only think of two instances when I pause and think about what I'm doing. 

 

One I rarely do, but Mogul Fields.  I tend to ski them two different ways.  Either popping off every third mogul or so and linking random fun looking bumps in no particular order.  When I do it this way, I don't think about it.  I just bounce around like I'm skiing anything else.  However if I try to ski them like an actual mogul skier, I stop and make plans first.  Scan the line, think about body position, get my head up looking far ahead rather than near my tips, elbows in, flick the wrist, pull the tips down the backside of the bump etc.  That style doesn't come naturally to me, probably because I don't do it often.

 

The other is dropping cliffs of any sort.  If I'm familar with the terrain and landing zone, I'd say I ski off it naturally like it was part of a gs turn on a groomed run.  However if it's something new, I must investigate the landing zone and runout before jumping.  I think anybody into hucking would do the same though...if they know what's good for them.  Hucking into the abyss is a sure way to find your way to the emergency room.

post #11 of 22

Trekchick wrote:

 

 

Quote:
 I know enough about being a natural to know that I'm not.

 

 

My headplants are very natural.

post #12 of 22

I'll find out how much of a natural I am when I see what total amnesia does to one's skiing.   

People I know who raced as kids are natural on skis. People that learn as adults, not usually.

post #13 of 22

Skiing is one of the few things I was able to pick up quicker than other sports and activites I've tried.  I also bouce back quickly to good form after long layoffs. However, I am far from the best and most natural skier out there.  Much of what I've learned and retained came from a couple dozen intermediate/advanced lessons, three years of freestyle team coaches, and two years of instructor clinics.  Skiing with bears also helps a lot

post #14 of 22

Do you think that it is so much 'natural', or the ability to intuitively apply other learned skills?  Perhaps, what we have done before helps us to become quickly proficient at something.

 

Always seemed like hockey players learned to ski more quickly and went farther than the football/baseball players.  Edging skills seem to transfer, or at least the the comprehension of them. 

 

Why do we hook up with new sports that we try, but don't get enthused about others?  Lots of us seem to like many of the same off season sports, or came from them to skiing.  Is it the ability to bring or adapt a skill or talent we already have already acquired to the new sport? 

post #15 of 22

Interesting question. I see what I consider to be people who have a natural advantage to the sport of skiing. By that I mean people whose physical make up lends itself to picking up the sport more easily. Better alignment, better proportions, athletic build etc. I have had people accuse me of being a natural, I have pretty symmetrical alignment and am/was very athletic. However, I  spent years on the hill from the age of 6 or 7. Up until about about 10 years ago, I averaged 90-100 ski days per year and worked with coaches at CVA. So it is unfair to say a person like me is a natural, if I was a true natural, I would have actually gone a lot further in racing. I just skied a lot and worked at it. When I ski I don't think too much, unless I am running bumps. I always like to pause at the top and pick my line and then let 'em rip. Steeps are the same thing, unless it I was at my local hill, skiing a line that had skied hundreds of times, I always stop and make a quick plan. I think this says more about how we are as a person. I tend to plan things out in advance with just about everything, many times I have to change that plan once it is set in motion (just like in skiing), but I like to start out with a general idea.

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaround View Post

I'm not. Started skiing when i was 14, one day a year for next 4 years with the school, couldn't afford it. So what I want to know is when someone who started when they were 3-4yrs old comes across a challening slope, do they pause? Do they say to themselves, "Remember to be strong in the core", "Stay centred", "Rotate those legs" and so forth.

I now a fully certified NZ instructor, and worked hard to get there, but I still pause and remind myself some key points. Do the naturals out there still do that, or do they just go for it without pause or thought.


 

No, no thinking. It's like you said - without pause or thought.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

I can only think of two instances when I pause and think about what I'm doing. 

 

One I rarely do, but Mogul Fields.  I tend to ski them two different ways.  Either popping off every third mogul or so and linking random fun looking bumps in no particular order.  When I do it this way, I don't think about it.  I just bounce around like I'm skiing anything else.  However if I try to ski them like an actual mogul skier, I stop and make plans first.  Scan the line, think about body position, get my head up looking far ahead rather than near my tips, elbows in, flick the wrist, pull the tips down the backside of the bump etc.  That style doesn't come naturally to me, probably because I don't do it often.

 

The other is dropping cliffs of any sort.  If I'm familar with the terrain and landing zone, I'd say I ski off it naturally like it was part of a gs turn on a groomed run.  However if it's something new, I must investigate the landing zone and runout before jumping.  I think anybody into hucking would do the same though...if they know what's good for them.  Hucking into the abyss is a sure way to find your way to the emergency room.



I once met a skier who was one of the guys that hucked into the abyss, untill the day he hucked into avalanche sluff, bootline fractures both legs, he looks now. Ive only been skiing regularly for two years and im a technique freak. Every time i carve a turn im thinking about body position core strength ankle/knee angles ect, my technique still isnt great and it drives me nuts. However i think im about as much as a natural as a person from nebraska can be, when im skiing blues im not thinking about lines or edging or anything, im just havin a good time

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Do you think that it is so much 'natural', or the ability to intuitively apply other learned skills?  Perhaps, what we have done before helps us to become quickly proficient at something.

 

Always seemed like hockey players learned to ski more quickly and went farther than the football/baseball players.  Edging skills seem to transfer, or at least the the comprehension of them. 

 

Why do we hook up with new sports that we try, but don't get enthused about others?  Lots of us seem to like many of the same off season sports, or came from them to skiing.  Is it the ability to bring or adapt a skill or talent we already have already acquired to the new sport? 


unless you learn skiing before you develop any other sport (skills)
 

post #19 of 22

I think more about tactics than technique.  I am constantly consciously & unconsciously absorbing & analyzing my surroundings.  Slope angles, snow conditions, wind direction, exposures, aspects, possible hidden obstacles, consequences, risk & reward etc.  All of these things are processed all the time, technique is already pretty ingrained & reactionary unless I am in the process of changing or improving it.

 

I have had the good fortune of observing a golf clinic conducted by a playing professional over the past few summers.  During the clinic he goes over the techniques of shaping shots.  Hitting a draw, a fade, low shot, high shot etc.  Speaking with him afterwords, he admits that for him all he really does is visualize or think of the shot he wants to make & it just happens.  Even though he has taught & analyzed the techniques involved many times in his life, when he is playing the unconscious competent takes over.

 

JF

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

No matter who or what you are, if you come across something that is out of your usual experience and may be dangerous, you probably want to think about it for a moment.  If it's the same-old same-old because you are used to it, even if it's a steep slope with mandatory must make turns, if you are used to it, you just jump right in.


I was thinking right along those same lines as I watched boys and girls of all ages, shapes, and sizes, (and on every imaginable type of ski), absolutely hurl themselves down the bumpy hill at the Gunbarrel 25 at Heavenly Saturday. I think all day I saw one guy take a tumble. It was exciting, amazing, and inspiring. I'm not there yet, but I hope to keep with it and get that experience and maybe jump in myself next year.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Speaking with him afterwords, he admits that for him all he really does is visualize or think of the shot he wants to make & it just happens.  Even though he has taught & analyzed the techniques involved many times in his life, when he is playing the unconscious competent takes over.

 

I think that's the goal of pretty much everything - playing a sport, a musical instrument, etc - isn't it? Work hard and put the time in to learn the technique, then forget about all that and just do it.

post #21 of 22

Generally, no, I don't think about skiing.  The only things that give me pause are moguls, particularly really steep ones, or any cliff over five feet or so.  

post #22 of 22

Skiing in Norway:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8q7R-y_BqU

 

I started only this year, but i can't stop now :))

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion