Posted by John Cole:
|If you are a knowledgeable skier the equipment, based on your foundation, may help or hurt you.
If you are a beginner to at least lower level intermediate do not attempt to ski up to a technical ski. (This is only my opinion and I am sure many instructors have opposite opinions and that is fine with me.)
You will become frustrated and possibly fail entirely and leave our great sport because you have yet to gain the feel or foundation to adapt to the technology on your feet.
I totally agree with this statement. It takes a certain level of proficiency, awareness and confidence to be able to get anything out of a demanding ski. You need to have a good deal of confidence in your technique and the ability to observe what is happening to advance with one of these skis. (I think the F1 analogy w/Michael Schumacher put forth above is very good)
If you don't have the ability, I don't think it does any good at all to keep banging your head against the wall unless you've got a real thick skull. Of course some people do and they will improve (or die).
If you don't have an observation and experimentation ability/mentality, as in "what's this ski doing now?, what if I try this?, how does it react when I do this? "etc., then you will just become frustrated when trying to use a "technical" ski. (I guess technical means you need good technique to make it work but it will also make your technique better) Many, many people take the path of thinking "I'm doing something wrong" as opposed to observing what is happening and experimenting. A lot of people might actually get worse because they 'll assume they can't do it after awhile and give up really trying.
Of course this isn't really using technology though. A better use would be giving them a much more forgiving ski that they can use. When you get pretty good then you move up...
I think the level of skiing has definitely risen since shape skis. It's more fun, you can do more so you want to do even more...
Anyone see Ski Press? There's an article, "The Wonders of Fat Skis" by Mike Douglas.
|"For me, fat skis have completely changed the way I lok at the mountain. Ten years ago I viewed double black diamond runs as rocky crags that required slow, methodical skill to safely descend. Now those same runs look like a big wave that I want to etch my signature into as fast and as smoothly as I can. I float where I used to sink, glide where I used to chatter, carve where I used to hook up, and stomp landings that used to send me into an eggbeater-style yard sale. Maybe I'm a slightly better skier today than I was 10 years ago, but I swear it's the skis.
I've skied powder at the same speed as a downhill racer, landed switch in untracked fluff from a 20 foot cornice drop, and rotated on-the-snow 360's in foot of fresh. I wish all of these things could be attributed to my superior skill, but lots of skiers are pulling this stuff off- it's the skis, all right...."
I'd say that even though "it's the skis" the technology gives him experiences that improve his abilities. Would he improve without them? Certainly, partly because he seems like the type of person to go after it and not give up. Would he be "better"? I don't know.
Then there's this by Bob Barnes:http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c;f=9;t=000018
|posted September 29, 2002 12:00 PM *** ** * ** * * ** **
Oboe--well said, regarding the downside of changing too many variables at once.
They skied circles around you, eh! If it's any consolation, remember that, no matter what anyone says about our modern, wide powder skis, few things could slice through powder and power through crud like an old 204 slalom or 210 GS ski! As our skis have become more incredible, they've also become more specialized. There are a lot of things those old skis cannot do--but there are no conditions they cannot ski! Certainly, with their length, those narrow skis had all the float and twice the slicing ability of today's wide powder platforms!
Mike-M, Red Rocket, and I had a little discussion about this recently. On those old skis, TECHNIQUE was truly the focus, and the specific characteristics of the ski were far less important. A very skilled skier with a full complement of techniques and movement options could make long, graceful turns, staccato shortswing turns, fall-line-straight "flush" turns, or complete cross-the-hill offset turns, on groomed snow, ice, crud, moguls, and bottomless powder. All with an enormous smille on his/her face!
An unfortunate side-effect of today's great skis is that the sport seems to have become more about the skis than the skier, the equipment than the technique. "Are those skis good for that condition/terrain/type of turn?"--this very common question is actually a recent phenomenon!
I'm a huge fan of the new equipment, as most people here know, but there isn't a ski on the market today more versatile than a pair of 210 GS's on the feet of a good skier 20 years ago! And "skiing circles" around others is still about the skier--not the ski! Technology is STILL a poor substitute for technique (and may it always stay that way)!
so, put that in the pipe!....[ October 24, 2002, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Tog ]