Author Topic: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts  (Read 1336 times)

Liam

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 07:14:45 am »
Thankfully, Unlike the emerging modern industries and corporations of the early 20th century, skiing isn't some pursuit in fanatical Taylorism.   For many, efficiency is hardly the highest goal of any recreational pursuit.

And of course, even Taylor would stipulate that efficiency cannot be defined as a goal within itself, but rather a process defined by the specific goals and desires of each unique corporate/ industrial entity:

There is a difference in efficiency between the skier who wants to get through a steep, icy run covered with pre-arranged sticks that must be skied around in a specific order as fast as possible (which, I understand, may rely on something called 'stivoting' from time to time), and a skier who wants to maximize the number of opportunities for 'air' on a given run in the shortest amount of time.  And, again, a whole other rubric of efficiency for those for whom time is not a factor or goal at all.

But all that is a distraction anyway.  In a macro-sense, if I took efficiency as my highest goal, I wouldn't ski at all or waste any time pursuing such self-indulgent, low-yield frivolities like expensive outdoor recreation of any kind.  I'd like to think something more than a desire to be efficient drives people to the snow.

I think most of us search for 'competency' in our recreational pursuits, and perhaps one day 'mastery', though the very definition of that word makes it an elusive goal.  Both competency and mastery are primarily subjective, and the imposition of 'efficiency' is perhaps a pleasing way to objectify our playtime for some, but in the end, it is still evaluated by individual goals, which, due to their very individualism, are subjective.

At best, you can come up with an efficient way (but unlikely the 'most' efficient' way) to gain competency in the style of skiing you most desire to emulate. 

Which gets back to the point of my start of this thread.  There are different styles of skiing that have their own ups and downs, their own learning curves and pursued techniques that shape them.  And, yes their own scale of competency and mastery, and now, I'll even add their own scope of efficiency.

Ok, I was going to put up a few more videos in this thread (some of the Xteam stuff, etc) but I like staying with a theme of more everyday skiers and I think everything that can be said for this stylistic choice of skiing has been said.  Actually there is one video that has recently popped up on epic that I might throw in this thread....

It's some young guy from London skiing big lines in New Zealand: Very wide stance, tons of rotary and hopping, and yet, skis an impressive and air filled steep line, is able to pull off some nice recoveries on less than perfect landings.   I was say this is the younger more athletic version of the skiing shown in the very first video in this thread (the older instructor skiing trees and cornices in Park city).  As I have said, this is not my preferred style of skiing, but I think it is a good 'last look' in my first thread devoted to one style and the techniques it engenders:

https://vimeo.com/50629357

I'll try to put together a new thread on the next style in my line up. 

jim-ratliff

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 07:31:04 am »
...  Taylorism.   For many, efficiency is hardly the highest goal of any recreational pursuit.

And of course, even Taylor would stipulate that efficiency cannot be defined as a goal within itself, but rather a process 
OK, I had to go to Google Taylorism. And I think I would agree. What comes to mind is the golfer whose goal is a lower score. They either buy new clubs, or the seek the process of golfing by improving the individual skill components. Or the bowler seeking to maximize his score. Skiing competency or efficiency is much less measurable short of the race course. But there are plenty of people who thoroughly enjoy going bowling, but with no desire to really improve. Golfers, I'm not so sure about.

Quote from: Liam
I think most of us search for 'competency' in our recreational pursuits, and perhaps one day 'mastery', though the very definition of that word makes it an elusive goal.  Both competency and mastery are primarily subjective, and the imposition of 'efficiency' is perhaps a pleasing way to objectify our playtime for some, but in the end, it is still evaluated by individual goals, which, due to their very individualism, are subjective.

I agree. And there is another efficiency, and that is the efficiency of the instructional system. What resources are expended for the perceived internal satisfaction with your skiing (because there aren't many external measures).

Well written, Liam.  (even if some of it sounded like a Master's dissertation)  ;D
I'm waiting for the next one.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 08:38:21 am by jim-ratliff »
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ToddW

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 12:54:48 pm »
When I first saw the New Zealand video on epic, my reaction was that this guy is going to have a life-altering accident on snow one day.  I respect his athleticism and bravery, but not his skills or his judgment.

bushwacka

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 06:14:29 pm »
the guy in the NZ video absolutely blows at skiing. Seriously horrible skiing. he is not even that athletic, someone who is athletic would look in balance at least.

With that said very few people on this site can actually skis those lines.


HeluvaSkier

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 08:33:44 pm »
"Proper" technique can best be summarized by not pushing against or twisting the ski by using extension or rotation while balancing against one ski.

This is using gravity and your skis versus fighting gravity and your skis. It separates the men from the boys... or girls from the women if applicable.
All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain.

bushwacka

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2012, 06:31:41 am »
Pretty much the simplest description ever, great stuff helva.

HighAngles

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2012, 11:31:53 am »
I wish I had never watched that NZ skier video.  I think I need to go wash out my eyes now...

jbotti

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2012, 11:37:38 am »
When I first saw the New Zealand video on epic, my reaction was that this guy is going to have a life-altering accident on snow one day.  I respect his athleticism and bravery, but not his skills or his judgment.

I had the same reaction. The guy is nuts and doesn't have the skills to navigate what he is taking on. Not sure I can repsect anything he is doing because he is going to hurt himself.

midwif

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2012, 06:29:12 pm »
Hey Midwif, no fair!  You stole my dream!  I am in love with that wicked short carved turn she does.  Y'know the one that turns all the other PMTS coaches' heads.  I'll give you three pieces of bubble gum, two jawbreakers, and some marbles if you give me back my dream.

Silver lining -- parts of the Hatfield and McCoy clans survived and their descendants get along, even having joint reunions.

Todd

I MIGHT be tempted by twizzlers, sour gummy charms and a bottle of decent, full bodied red wine, but that pittance above is no temptation. :P

On second thought, no, you can't have "your dream" back. I laid claim first. As a matter of fact, I think I saw Diana first!
Late comer........  ;D
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ToddW

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2012, 09:17:10 pm »
Lynn,

You're so young at heart that I reckon it's for the best to substitute red grape juice. 

On to Plan B then.  I'll see Diana in January at A-Basin and in April at Hintertux.  If I acquire her turns there, then you lose  :P  I figure I can do that before Jay manages to ski inside Harald's left turns and outside Harald's right turns and then pushes Harald down as he passes him by.

Liam

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2012, 07:16:05 am »
I didn't want to post up in this thread again, and I am probably about to take this in a direction I don't want to go...but,

Bushwhacker is on target, on both counts 1. It's not pretty skiing and 2. He is skiing a line few others on this forum can ski (and that's just the 'snowy' portions, throw in the rock-spine aerials and I question whether anyone on this forum could ski the same lines: With pretty or ugly technique).   I have to entertain at least the idea that there is connection between point 1 and point 2:

Again, it's not aspiring to ski like anyone in these videos, but merely noting what style they bring into the mountains and how it works.   Now, as for 'not having the skills to negotiate that terrain'...I say, that is patently false, he does negotiate this terrain, and, frankly, if he removed the 'pursuit for the most challenging aerial lines' and sought merely to ski down these same slopes on the more planted snowy lines, this wouldn't be scary looking at all (though, I admit, too many eyes on this forum it would still be ugly skiing)...but, he'd have (and has) no trouble negotiating his way down these steep and often narrow big mountain slopes with his heavy rotary, hopping, wide-stanced style.  I'd love to see (and I mean this sincerely and not as a challenge!) other styles applied to the exact same terrain-particularly the very narrow, steep, rocky entrances.   

When he breaks from his skiing and bee-lines for a rocky, aerial line trying to maximize speed in order to clear said line (which in one case he fails to do) is where he moves from negotiating a steep line to pushing his luck.

Check this video-it's him again, starting at minute 4:21...it's a bunch of these guys at some big mountain competition in NZ.   He actually wins the competition with some pretty hair-raising line choices, but his style does allow him to get into these big mountain spaces in the first place.

http://vimeo.com/28442905

It's not how I want to ski, and it's not the sort of terrain I seek out (actually, steep and narrow is fine, the high speed boulder hopping is just something that I will never do...I'm just too chicken).

Alright, I'm straying from my mission here (and finding myself in the curious position of defending things I don't practice or preach ;)).  So this time, I mean it, I'm moving on to another style-thread.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2012, 07:45:42 am »
I have to agree that this is an interesting topic.
If the measure of style (or efficiency) is whether or not you win, then this guy's "style" works for him, but maybe only because o0f his athletic ability or just pure guts.
By that same standard, Bode Miller (or any world cup winning skier's) "style" works for them.
For people that try to emulate that style, it may not work so well -- in fact it may be downright dangerous. I don't think I felt that with the other people you showed, so that's where I think this individual differs from the others that you have highlighted. I shudder to think of other's copying his "style" in similar terrain because he was a winner.
I always go back to youth baseball. There are very successful major league hitters that are NOT the model of what you want to teach youth.

"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Liam

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Re: Styles and Technique-Just a look and some thoughts
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2012, 07:51:00 am »
Agreed, Jim.