Author Topic: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers  (Read 1805 times)

Liam

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Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« on: October 12, 2012, 08:35:16 am »
If you will all bear with my inclination for long-winded exposition, I am going to start this thread with an anecdote.

Two years ago, I was skiing a beautiful day at venerable Cannon Mountain ski area in NH (when it has snow, which is admittedly rare, it is one of the most magical places for an expert to ski on the planet).  The legendary 'Kinsman's Glades' is often purported to be the most challenging tree run at Cannon, however, I disagree.  While kinsman's is quite challenging, and incredibly long, and thoroughly exciting to ski, it is not the 'hardest glade' to ski.  Cannon has several other of these shorter, scrub pine glades that are so tight, it is hard for a 6 foot man to stand upright while skiing them, let along extend your arm safely for a pole plant (yes we are talking about patented 'Bushwacka' territory here). 

I was skiing one such glade with a buddy of mine and his wife, doing my best to pick and navigate my way through this fairly vexing arboreal labyrinth.   As I neared the end, I was suddenly passed (as if I were standing still) by a dozen young guys (mid 20's), who came flying through the trees, quickly navigating the tight spaces and gullies and then all hitting (some with some real style and flair, others not so much), in succession, a narrow jump near the exit that dropped them onto a groomed trail.  In a blink of an eye they were gone.

 I remember remarking to my friend that though they were fast, they lacked real skiing 'technique.'  He laughed and said, "Well, they sure skied it better than us and they seemed to enjoying it as well".  Which was a notable contrast, as I couldn't wait to extricate myself from that terminable nest and made a point of not skiing it (or any glade like it) again for the remainder of the day.

Those young skiers, like so many young skiers, skied with a fairly familiar style:  That of the park rat who has finally grown up and is taking his hard won sense of balance and fun to the off-piste.  Perhaps more than old patrollers who ski with wide-rotary movements, these skiers are the most maligned by established purveyors of proper ski technique (and here I mean PSIA as well as others who see themselves this way).  But their style of skiing has some incredible advantages and reflects a pursuit of some very specific, and in my estimation, very worthy skiing goals.   


So let me start with just one video here (more will follow):   Again, staying with my theme of everyday, real life skiers I have selected a video from 2008 that was filmed at my Home mountain, Berkshire East in Massachusetts (which is another reason it is selected, I just like showing all the great off-piste, on the map skiing opportunities this little ski area serves up!  Everything skied in this video is a marked and patrolled ski run). 

It is from a powder day in December, 2008, about a foot of snow fell on otherwise bare trails.   The two young guys in this video, are an excellent, and I think for most, a very recognizable embodiment of the free-skiing jibber style.   They aren't pros or even anywhere near the highest level of this sort of skiing (JP Auclair they Ain't), yet, they get the zeitgeist of style.  Young guys, who love skiing and really get the adventure and fun possible on any mountain on any slope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6UDzUAxMFE&feature=related

I'd watch the whole 4 minutes as the skiing and terrain gets better as it rolls along


So what is the style:

As can be seen, much of it is derived from park skiing: 1. taking fairly direct lines to find that interesting feature or roll that you can do something fun off of.  2.  Skiing a fairly erect, narrow stanced, mostly stacked body position (same way these guy approach table tops, etc)--which translates nicely into straighter lines through the moguls.  They keep a very direct, eyes forward approach...always scouting for an upcoming opportunity to play...when they see it, they go straight for it! 3.  A pronounced poppy, bounciness to their skiing...always on their toes ready to spring off or over anything that strikes their fancy.

But beyond specific goal oriented style choice, I really appreciate their wider-embodiment of skiing:  These guys, due to their youth, their lack of orthodoxy have no pre-conceived biases against any movements on skis: 

If they feel like twisting they twist, jumping they jump, bouncing along, they bounce. When in chunky snow (they are on mid 80mm waisted non-rockered twin tips) they ride 'ski-wheelies.'  All moves, all ways of using a ski on are the table.  Which is not surprising, since park skiing shows us skis can be 'buttered', twisted, flicked on a rail, etc.  I love how much they make out of these short trails, and I believe their style, it's corresponding techniques, and their general playful approach to skiing is what makes that possible. 

I will  have more to say about this, and more videos (of higher end, and some 'name' skiers) to post in this thread.  But I wanted to get this started, started with a video of real world, recognizable skiing. 

I should add, these guys still ski B' East regularly, and are now in their late 20's and have joined in with a larger, slightly older crew of similar skiers we all call 'The Twin Tip Warriors' who usually show up on powder days and rip and style the lift line all day long.


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HighAngles

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 11:34:04 am »
Yep - backseat, locked leg, twist-n-pivot, and up-move dependent.  It's definitely a "style".  ;)

If these guys ever found the front of their skis they wouldn't know what to do with 'em.

Yes I'm being harsh, but this is a classic example of the "dumbing down" of ski technique; hatched by the terrain parks and rockered wide boards.  Of course they're having fun, but most of their skiing is all on the verge of just "hanging on" and surviving.  I aspire to more from my skiing.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 11:42:38 am »
... but this is a classic example of the "dumbing down" of ski technique; hatched by the terrain parks and rockered wide boards. 
Or is this a realization/manifestation of a desire of ski resorts for years; making the sport of skiing more popular and available to the average public and increasing ski days per year.
I aspire to more from my skiing.
DITTO! In my case the emphasis is definitely on the aspire.
The thing that did bother me (and it's prevalent) was Liam's description of their exit from the trees onto a groomed slope with no consideration or awareness of who might be coming down that groomed slope.  It's become very dangerous to ski the edges of many trails.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 11:48:54 am by jim-ratliff »
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Liam

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 01:45:59 pm »
Yep - backseat, locked leg, twist-n-pivot, and up-move dependent.  It's definitely a "style".  ;)

If these guys ever found the front of their skis they wouldn't know what to do with 'em.

Yes I'm being harsh, but this is a classic example of the "dumbing down" of ski technique; hatched by the terrain parks and rockered wide boards.  Of course they're having fun, but most of their skiing is all on the verge of just "hanging on" and surviving.  I aspire to more from my skiing.


I couldn't disagree more that they are skiing on the 'verge' of hanging on...they are relaxed, skiing pretty easy and making quite a bit out of the terrain at hand (though one skier is quite a bit stronger than the other), not something you can do when you are just 'hanging on'. I should add, there is ZERO base under that snow...it's not as easy to ski as it looks. They also aren't on particularly wide (or rockered) boards.

I suspect you aspire for something different from your skiing;'more' is harder to quantify, if quantifying is even an end game here. 

And as for 'dumbing down' technique, I suspect these guys, and many like them are unaware of technique smartened up or otherwise.  They are not the product of lessons or specific orthodoxies in ski skill acquisition.  They're just skiers, and neither they, nor anyone else, hold them up as a well-defined pedagogical model.

With that said, it's even more impressive so many ski with this style (at various levels above and below what these two skiers are capable of), and my guess is that that style has evolved pretty organically and is not a product of a teaching system (at least none I'm aware of).  So, why do they arrive at this style, what does it do for them?  Why do they keep coming back to the hill, out of the park and into the trees?  What is in their minds eye when they picture themselves skiing?

And Jim touches on something I grapple with...while so many of us are 'aspiring'  to something (myself included) in skiing, these guys are already enjoying just being, and that is, engaging in very high level play.

bushwacka

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 02:32:57 pm »
Liam we have to ski together this year so that I can show you someone these guys ages, that can actually ski and doesnt just lap groomers on SL carvers.

I will also say ALOT of people on this forum and pretty much all forums are more talk. Very few people again could even ski what these guys are skiing.

jbotti

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 02:54:10 pm »
I am not sure what is the point of posting this sking that we all agree is not anyone's model. Being athletic on skis with an ability to recover from all sorts of less than desirable positions is not availabe to every skier. Essentially when we see people skiing challenging terrain and or crazy lines with "less that model technique" we are either watching great natural athletes or someone that has been on snow since a child and has countless hours of snow time (albeit with poor technique). If we take someone that was a casual skier in childhood (maybe once or twice a year for a few days) and is now in his 30's wanting to get back into skiing (pretty common) unless they have amazing natural athletic skills or have a lot of time to spend on snow, they are not going to end up skiing some crazy lines with some great recoveries, and likley if they attempt it bad things can and will happen. 

What is available to everyone who skis is technique that will take them all over the mountain and that will enable them to ski double black resort terrain well and with confidence. We can go a step further and look at any of the skiers that have been posted and say for sure than any off them could improve their skiing and their level of enjoyment of the sport by doing some basic fundamnetal work on technique.

So we all know that many people ski challenging terrain and lines with less than ideal technique. Does that make me want to watch it on Video. No. Does it make me want to justify my skiing and my self preservation instincts (as I know that I will never attempt many of the lines on the previous video, lines on ths one are not very challenging). No it does the opposite.

Whether we are playing guitar, cello, golf, tennis or skiing, solid fundamental technique is something to strive for and something that makes everyone better.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 02:59:41 pm by jbotti »

ToddW

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 02:59:42 pm »
Quote
and then all hitting (some with some real style and flair, others not so much), in succession, a narrow jump near the exit that dropped them onto a groomed trail.

It's not completely clear what these Cannon glade skiers were doing.  But if they took a blind jump (or even one with partial vision obscurement by trees) onto an open public groomer, then they belong in jail preferably after first being impaled on the ski poles of their would-be targets. 

Liam

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 03:00:55 pm »
Liam we have to ski together this year so that I can show you someone these guys ages, that can actually ski and doesnt just lap groomers on SL carvers.

I will also say ALOT of people on this forum and pretty much all forums are more talk. Very few people again could even ski what these guys are skiing.


Bush,  I know there are young guys who can do it all (and that you're one of them).  I have two pretty well-defined ski groups:  One  that includes a bunch of guys who are older than me (a function of Patrol and being a plugged in Dad about the community) and another group that is decidedly younger than me (a side-effect, carry-over of being a pretty ripping mountain biker who runs with a much young cycling crew).  And I've seen first hand how well each group can handle various types of snow and terrain--Which is why I have a great deal of interest, empathy and respect for the styles and techniques I have thus far outlined in these two threads.   

And-I am glad you have some appreciation for what these guys are skiing and their approach to terrain (in fact, I thought you might).

I do want to get up to Stowe at least once this season (And didn't ski north of Mt. Snow once last season in the east---which was lame of me)--I'd love to get the bushwacker view of Stowe (I'd probably bring some of my younger crew, as they rip and undoubtedly appreciate what you have to offer more than myself--they're all U of Vt grads, and still ski the ample back country between Smuggs and Stowe fairly often).

There is a knee-jerk reaction to too quickly dismiss the park guys in the off-piste (held by skiers of a certain age and inclination...I have been, and sometimes still am GUILTY of this as well).  But there is kernel of wisdom in their stylistic approach to skiing.  I'm looking to tease it out.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 03:28:11 pm »
Liam we have to ski together this year so that I can show you someone these guys ages, that can actually ski and doesnt just lap groomers on SL carvers.

I will also say A LOT of people on this forum and pretty much all forums are more talk. Very few people again could even ski what these guys are skiing.
Isn't that the whole point of what Liam is trying to say?
I enjoy the talk.
No one is going to be impressed by watching me ski.
And I LOVE EVERY DAY i spend on skis (even at my BW not impressed skill level).
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

jim-ratliff

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Re: Style and Technique Part Deux: Attack of the Jibbers
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 03:37:33 pm »
We can go a step further and look at any of the skiers that have been posted and say for sure than any off them could improve their skiing and their level of enjoyment of the sport by doing some basic fundamental work on technique.
John, I wonder if that is true for them.

Quote from: jbotti

Whether we are playing guitar, cello, golf, tennis or skiing, solid fundamental technique is something to strive for and something that makes everyone better.
Midwif and I have often had this discussion. She comes from a "coached" background.  Her husband was a coach and I've seen her give swimming lessons to life guards who admired her style at the pool, and your statement is as true for her as it is for you. I think "striving for solid technique" may be much lower on the "what's important to me" scale for the people that we are talking about.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

bushwacka

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Bush,  I know there are young guys who can do it all (and that you're one of them).  I have two pretty well-defined ski groups:  One  that includes a bunch of guys who are older than me (a function of Patrol and being a plugged in Dad about the community) and another group that is decidedly younger than me (a side-effect, carry-over of being a pretty ripping mountain biker who runs with a much young cycling crew).  And I've seen first hand how well each group can handle various types of snow and terrain--Which is why I have a great deal of interest, empathy and respect for the styles and techniques I have thus far outlined in these two threads.   

And-I am glad you have some appreciation for what these guys are skiing and their approach to terrain (in fact, I thought you might).

I do want to get up to Stowe at least once this season (And didn't ski north of Mt. Snow once last season in the east---which was lame of me)--I'd love to get the bushwacker view of Stowe (I'd probably bring some of my younger crew, as they rip and undoubtedly appreciate what you have to offer more than myself--they're all U of Vt grads, and still ski the ample back country between Smuggs and Stowe fairly often).

There is a knee-jerk reaction to too quickly dismiss the park guys in the off-piste (held by skiers of a certain age and inclination...I have been, and sometimes still am GUILTY of this as well).  But there is kernel of wisdom in their stylistic approach to skiing.  I'm looking to tease it out.

the thing is being able to ski super thin, soft snow is hard. I have no idea how thin it is or how much their skis float so its hard to say how hard.

I am sure I can find stuff for them to "hippcup" on though, which could be a fun game to play at stowe.

There are some posters knocking this skiing, that I have seen ski much easier conditions with out as much flow as these hacks.


jim-ratliff

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Bush:
Keep it about the topic and not personal.
A variety of opinions is encouraged, no matter how well or poorly I ski.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

jbotti

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Funny, the people that have ski technique defend it. The people with none or little laugh at it and talk about flow, lines and challenging terrain.

The non technique crowd say "what good is technique if you can't ski these rad lines"
The tecnique group says "what good is skiing those lines if you look like that"

My only point has always been the everyone will ski better with better technique. I view that as a given, almost tautological. Obviously some see it differently.

I view all of this (posting and reading forums) as something to pass the time when I am not skiing. At it's best one can even learn something or find a link to something that is great to watch. At it's worst it becomes a not so civil battle between ideologies and personal insecurities. This therad has headed in that direction.

I see no reason to defend my skiing. It is what it is with all of its good points and its flaws. I think we would all be better off and have more fun if everyone did the same. We all can't be the best skier in the world (and yes that is tautologically true!!).





Liam

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Ha, you know, the only place I have ever heard the term athletic applied pejoratively is on this and one other forum.  Who knew doing something Athletically was such a detriment?  Jbotti, I don't understand what has put you on the defensive here or why your are so nettled by these posts.  I haven't championed or criticized anyone's technique or style of skiing.   I am not holding up any model of skiing to defend and promote over all others.

In fact, I am trying to get passed the endless debates and desire to criticize that pervades all discussions of skiing on many forums (but exists almost nowhere else in the ski world).  And, I think, the majority of respondents here undertand that.  If you don't like the videos presented or the basic notions of the discussion, well, then why watch/ participate in this thread at all?  No one is forcing you.

Now, about this style of skiing, I had a few thoughts:

1. Some might say that, sure these guys are having fun, but it is in spite of their style of skiing.  I'd say, the sort of fun they quite specifically seek out is made possible here because of their style of skiing.  The way they approach skiing makes quite a few things possible. There is hacking your way through tougher than average terrain, and then there is the actual ability to PLAY within that terrain...these guys are an example (and by no means the most advance or capable example) of the latter.

2. Fun.  Ok, I'll confess, I probably have the same knee-jerk reaction many here do when someone says 'I don't need technique, what's important is that I am having fun.' or something to that effect-'It's all about how much fun your having'.   My initial response probably sound similar, I think, 'Man, skiing like that sure doesn't look fun to me'  or, if I am feeling more generous (and sanctimonious) I say ' Well, with some hard work, focused training you could really increase the amount of fun that is capable to you.'   And mostly, I think that claims of Fun are really an excuse to allow laziness in one's skiing development.

Except when I watch guys like this ski.  Those who aspire towards a free-ski jibber model, really are maximizing fun and I am not sure that if they avidly pursued another style of skiing that they'd get more of the sort of enjoyment they seek out of skiing.  I patrolled with a young guy named Justin for a while, and he never just skied a groomed run, he'd pop off 360's, find every lump and bump to pop off of, could on a dime, while skiing fast on steepish groomed runs, launch a 180 and ski switch for long segments  (I have spent time trying to ski switch, it's not easy to do well, and it is fun).  And he skied dang fast.   He could carve, but he sure didn't seek that sensory experience out very often.   He was a good sled runner, too.  He really did maximize fun, and he had a clearly defined idea of what fun is:  The Ability to play on any terrain, in any condition.   

I also understand that many of us aren't really seeking high-level play as our goal.  In truth, I suspect many of us (myself included) really don't work at skiing because it's 'fun' in any nominal sense, but rather we strive to gain competency (and hopefully one day 'mastery') that allows us to ski with a style/ technique we find appealing.  The pursuit of this induces a certain elan when it has moments of success, and in the end, we seek to make our ski experience more fulfilling then fun

Neither goal is more noble, or more worthy than the other.  But depending on which you strive for, your skiing will reflect certain stylistic choices.

I am away for the weekend, but here are a few more videos

First Up:  A quick blurb from the Meatheads (hey, Bushwacka, do you ski with any of these guys??).  So let's say the guys in the first video really were great athletes, and they dedicated themselves full time to mastering that approach to skiing...this is how'd they look and how they would ski....I think you can all see why not having any biases against any movements are of value here.  And, as our dear Bushwacka often points out-this sort of east coast terrain is harder than what that guy in the New Zealand free ski video was skiing---but look how much more control and yes,...wait for it.... FLOW (!!!) these guys (and gal) have.  I love the Meathead films:

http://vimeo.com/17522041

...and Here's one  more of someone we all know, dare I say, he is the Godfather of this style in many ways.   And he really, really does love the playful aspect of skiing.  And he just recently narrowly escaped death when an avalanche crushed his tent while sleeping (a very tragic event I am sure most of you are aware of).  Yep, It's Mr. Plake.  I know it's become cache to slag on his skiing in some quarters, and I am sure we'll hear the dreaded 'Athletic' word used again to describe his style (God, Forbid, applying athleticism to skiing).  But here is a fairly recent video of Mr. Plake: Just skiing along.  I love the way he just slithers through the trees.   I really love the 'Austrian style skiing' segment (that ankle flicking is very hard, and those that can do it, really can ski anywhere!).  From after the 1 minutes mark :Look how much he gets out of skiing what is basically a green wrap-around cruiser.  And how much play time he puts into every moment...and the foot-ballet stuff is just wonderful, I wish I could do it.

http://vimeo.com/18538323

Again, much as I started saying in the beginning of this post, We all know about Glen Plake's very sincere, very powerful and very infectious love of skiing.  I say that infectious, three decade long enthusiasm is because of his style of skiing, and not in spite of it.




meput

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Liam,

I thank you for the effort and thought that you are putting into the technique threads. I am enjoying the videos and your analysis.

Since returning to skiing 5 seasons ago, I have become a chairlift critic of skier?s technique. Like a beer connoisseur (I don?t care for wine), I know what I like and what I don?t like. Even though I would not aspire to either of the two techniques that you have presented thus far, I am enjoying your analysis of how and why these skiers may have adopted their technique.

Since this forum was established as an equipment forum, I have been thinking about ski characteristics that would support the technique styles that you have presented. I suspect jibbers are probably on similar skis as they were using in your video of ?08. Potentially early rise tip characteristics. I doubt that full rocker skis would work well when they venture back into the park. Your wide stance, upper body twisters probably benefit from the newer rocker skis, easier to twist the skis through the fall line.

Speaking of skis, I was in the shop at the base of Sugarloaf yesterday. I didn?t even look at the skis. Knowing what they have carried the last several seasons, I know that they would not be carrying any skis that I would want to ski on. Sad.

Liam, please continue with your postings and don?t let the Hatfields and McCoys get you down.

bushwacka

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Funny, the people that have ski technique defend it. The people with none or little laugh at it and talk about flow, lines and challenging terrain.

so I have no technique at all? right......
I just dismiss it so easily because I know that technique with no strength, or atheletism is useless!! to accomplishing how I ski.


The non technique crowd say "what good is technique if you can't ski these rad lines"

I actually do not say that. Good technique helps a ton. These guys are younger than me, but I know I can still watch them fall apart on day skiing with me. Which isnt my goal well untill someone starts trying to be a hardass to me(which admittly I am a hardass), then I literally try to run them in the ground with no apologies. I would love to ski with these guys because A. they probably are fun to ski with. B. IF they are no I can still use superior technique and athleticism and ski them on super technical bump runs with thin cover and hardpack.


The tecnique group says "what good is skiing those lines if you look like that"

because its fun!! really no other reason.








Liam I am in the extra's of the new Meathead film in the extended Stowe Segment. Purple pants/yellow jacket skiing icey bumps at stowe.  Hopefully I can film with them this year on some better days.

FYI Radio Ron SUCKS at skiing! He get in due the personality and not on skiing skill.

the reason why a ton of people dislike me is the fact I am hugely confident and see humbleness as false modesty.  It hard to argue someone who is younger, more driven, and probably better than you....with that it doesnt make me right. it just makes anything I do wrong skiing less likely to bring me down. Athleticism matters a ton skiing.  There is a reason I run, mtb bike(roadies are freaking lame!), lift weights, and do yoga. It basically so I can continue to be on this high horse and know that I can back it up all the time.

jim-ratliff

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Quote from: bushwacka
Liam I am in the extra's of the new Meathead film in the extended Stowe Segment. Purple pants/yellow jacket skiing icey bumps at stowe.  Hopefully I can film with them this year on some better days.

FYI Radio Ron SUCKS at skiing! He get in due the personality and not on skiing skill.

the reason why a ton of people dislike me is the fact I am hugely confident and see humbleness as false modesty.  It hard to argue someone who is younger, more driven, and probably better than you....with that it doesnt make me right. it just makes anything I do wrong skiing less likely to bring me down. Athleticism matters a ton skiing.  There is a reason I run, mtb bike(roadies are freaking lame!), lift weights, and do yoga. It basically so I can continue to be on this high horse and know that I can back it up all the time.
Bush:  Since most of us here are old enough to be your father (or grandfather) I imagine that our experiences with life include some common things.
1. I'm sure that we have all met some very successful people; I don't remember any that bragged about how successful they were.  And it's not because of false modesty, it's called quiet confidence. I ran across a past Korean National ping-pong champion at Ft. Riley.  We had played together many weeks before he revealed that bit of information.  We almost never kept score of games, we just enjoyed hitting the ball back and forth.
2. Bad mouthing other people (such as "Radio Ron sucks") is seldom to never productive. I'm also sure that many of us have seen "corporate climbers" whose modus operandi was bad mouthing and blaming others. It gains you nothing but enemies.
3. Gaining enemies, over the long term, will pull you down (even if the facts or performance are on your side). I forget, how many forums are you now allowed to contribute to?  How many senior PSIA people have you publicly belittled or pissed off? Such things have a way of coming back to haunt you.

I've heard that you are a warm, giving individual in person; but your lack of forum manners and basic respect for others in your writing, negates any sense for most that you are a knowledgeable and decent guy.

J.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 10:11:27 am by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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I have avoided jumping into this discussion, as I do most technique threads, but I feel the need to back up Liam on this one.  I think he raises some very valid points, and I appreciate his open-mindedness in highlighting some skiing styles that may be different from most here, but are nevertheless worthy of respect, or at very least, the absence of disdain and condescension.

Regarding the jibbers (new schoolers?) mentioned in this thread, I have to say that there have been times that I've observed young skiers like that away from the park, out on the groomed and off-piste, and have thought to myself, "Damn, those guys/gals can really ski!"  It may not be my style nor the way I learned it, but there is no denying that they are good, and can often ski exceedingly well in terrain that I feel awkward in.  It's not that I admire their technique, per se, as much as I like how loose and relaxed they are.  As Liam says, they're bouncy, playful, totally loose -- almost rag-doll loose at times.  Seems to me that that is the key for them -- see every terrain feature as a possibility for fun, and not as an obstacle or something to be feared, chill and enjoy the ride.  I gotta say, they sure look like they're having way more fun than most older folks out there. 

My youngest daughter actually skis a bit like the new schoolers (I hope I'm using that term correctly?).  More upright, balanced, loose -- but not floppy-loose like the guys in the first video.  The difference in her skiing is that she uses the front half of her skis and knows how to carve (and do it well) when the terrain is right.  But when she is off-piste, or trees, bumps, crud, etc.....she is totally relaxed and her technique changes completely to resemble the jibber's style.  No one who saw her ski would ever say she has bad technique, unless they were totally myopic and narrow-minded (or just didn't dare speak out for fear of incurring the wrath of her viking father  ;D).  And yes, she is athletic, just for the record.

My point is, that she seems to have taken the best of several different styles, and uses them to her best advantage depending on the terrain and snow conditions she is in at the time.  Truly adaptable, skis everywhere and in any terrain, and changes her technique to suit.  Isn't that the definition of a true all-mountain skier? She has far more innate ability than I will ever have, and I admire that in her, as I also admire that she can and does change her technique instantly, instinctively, to suit quick terrain changes.  Man, I wish I could do that.....!  But the bottom line is, she has a ton of FUN, absolutely loves to ski, considers it her no. 1 favourite sport, and strives to improve every year so she can explore even more of the mountain.

A further point to the above, is that I learn a lot from watching my daughter ski.  Relax more, stay more centered, balanced, look ahead, quicker reactions, less thinking.....  I think some of us could learn something from the young jibbers, too.  And why not? There's absolutely no hard and fast rule that says we can't adopt a different technique if it opens up more possibility for fun on different parts of the mountain.

As for the park crowd, I may not like their attitude at times -- some can have an arrogance and disrespect for other skiers on the slopes that is at best grating and annoying, and at worst downright dangerous.  OTOH, I have as much dislike for the pseudo-Euro-racer types who are equally arrogant and haughty in their own way, and can be just as dangerous on the slopes as that flying teenager straight-lining it back to the park.

So, thanks to Liam for this thread.  I've enjoyed reading the posts, and am looking forward to more open-minded and respectful discussion.

Cheers,
Svend
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 12:15:00 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Bush:  Since most of us here are old enough to be your father (or grandfather) I imagine that our experiences with life include to common things.
1. I'm sure that we have all met some very successful people; I don't remember any that bragged about how successful they were.  And it's not because of false modesty, it's called quiet confidence. I ran across a past Korean National ping-pong champion at Ft. Riley.  We had played together many weeks before he revealed that bit of information.  We almost never kept score of games, we just enjoyed hitting the ball back and forth.
2. Bad mouthing other people (such as "Radio Ron sucks") is seldom to never productive. I'm also sure that many of us have seen "corporate climbers" whose modus operandi was bad mouthing and blaming others. It gains you nothhing but enemies.
3. Gaining enemies, over the long term, will pull you down (even if the facts or performance are on your side). I forget, how many forums are you now allowed to contribute to?  How many senior PSIA people have you publicly belittled or pissed off? Such things have a way of coming back to haunt you.


I've heard that you are a warm giving individual in person; but your lack of forum manners and basic respect for others in your writing, negates any sense for most that you are decent guy.


J.

Jim, thanks for saying that.  I second that sentiment.... 

Josh, I respect your contributions to our group here, and am grateful for your generous advice when I've asked for it - whether on mtn. biking, or ski boots, or whatever.  You offer a refreshingly different perspective, which I appreciate and attend to when thinking about equipment choices, etc.  But I gotta say that there are times when I just tune you out (see Jim's post, above).  And when you put others down with sneering disdainful comments, well, that just turns me off completely, and then I simply ignore you.  Just a hint:  if you want people to listen to you all the time (not just some of the time), then turn it down a few notches, relax, step away from the keyboard before clicking "Post", think about what you're saying, and re-write it if you think you can say the same thing, but in a less inflammatory way.  Or don't say it at all.  Some consideration and a dose of basic respect for others, is other words.


« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 12:10:28 pm by Svend »

jbotti

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Here are examples of freeskiers that have a race backgroung plus incredible athletic ability. Compare to the videos linked earlier. Can you see a difference?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vptvSMdYJdQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNTX55Rpk8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYvM6j56IBk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MdndSB5zTg

No those are some sick lines skied beautifully!!

jbotti

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I have avoided jumping into this discussion, as I do most technique threads, but I feel the need to back up Liam on this one.  I think he raises some very valid points, and I appreciate his open-mindedness in highlighting some skiing styles that may be different from most here, but are nevertheless worthy of respect, or at very least, the absence of disdain and condescension.

Regarding the jibbers (new schoolers?) mentioned in this thread, I have to say that there have been times that I've observed young skiers like that away from the park, out on the groomed and off-piste, and have thought to myself, "Damn, those guys/gals can really ski!"  It may not be my style nor the way I learned it, but there is no denying that they are good, and can often ski exceedingly well in terrain that I feel awkward in.  It's not that I admire their technique, per se, as much as I like how loose and relaxed they are.  As Liam says, they're bouncy, playful, totally loose -- almost rag-doll loose at times.  Seems to me that that is the key for them -- see every terrain feature as a possibility for fun, and not as an obstacle or something to be feared, chill and enjoy the ride.  I gotta say, they sure look like they're having way more fun than most older folks out there. 

My youngest daughter actually skis a bit like the new schoolers (I hope I'm using that term correctly?).  More upright, balanced, loose -- but not floppy-loose like the guys in the first video.  The difference in her skiing is that she uses the front half of her skis and knows how to carve (and do it well) when the terrain is right.  But when she is off-piste, or trees, bumps, crud, etc.....she is totally relaxed and her technique changes completely to resemble the jibber's style.  No one who saw her ski would ever say she has bad technique, unless they were totally myopic and narrow-minded (or just didn't dare speak out for fear of incurring the wrath of her viking father  ;D).  And yes, she is athletic, just for the record.

My point is, that she seems to have taken the best of several different styles, and uses them to her best advantage depending on the terrain and snow conditions she is in at the time.  Truly adaptable, skis everywhere and in any terrain, and changes her technique to suit.  Isn't that the definition of a true all-mountain skier? She has far more innate ability than I will ever have, and I admire that in her, as I also admire that she can and does change her technique instantly, instinctively, to suit quick terrain changes.  Man, I wish I could do that.....!  But the bottom line is, she has a ton of FUN, absolutely loves to ski, considers it her no. 1 favourite sport, and strives to improve every year so she can explore even more of the mountain.

A further point to the above, is that I learn a lot from watching my daughter ski.  Relax more, stay more centered, balanced, look ahead, quicker reactions, less thinking.....  I think some of us could learn something from the young jibbers, too.  And why not? There's absolutely no hard and fast rule that says we can't adopt a different technique if it opens up more possibility for fun on different parts of the mountain.

As for the park crowd, I may not like their attitude at times -- some can have an arrogance and disrespect for other skiers on the slopes that is at best grating and annoying, and at worst downright dangerous.  OTOH, I have as much dislike for the pseudo-Euro-racer types who are equally arrogant and haughty in their own way, and can be just as dangerous on the slopes as that flying teenager straight-lining it back to the park.

So, thanks to Liam for this thread.  I've enjoyed reading the posts, and am looking forward to more open-minded and respectful discussion.

Cheers,
Svend

Have to agree on the freedom of motion/lack of tension part. The only problem is that the young jibbers were skiing pow mostly from the back seat, actually the way back seat. They may get away with that when they are in their teens or maybe into their twenties, but at some point the legs revolt. That's why when I watch them I have a hard time seeing the fun. If any of us (the older crowd on they forum) skied two runs in pow that far back we would be done for the day, and I doubt we would be having any fun as our legs were screaming!!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 01:35:29 pm by jbotti »

Svend

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Have to agree on the freedom of motion/lack of tension part. The only problem is that the young jibbers were skiing pow mostly from the back seat, actually the way back seat. They may get away with that when they are in their teens or maybe into their twenties, but at some point the legs revolt. That's why when I watch them I have a hard time seeing the fun. If any of us (the older crowd on they forum) skied two runs in pow that far back we would be done for the day, and I doubt we would be having any fun as our legs were screaming!!

Agreed...no argument from me on that point.  I would say that when I watch my daughter ski, she is never in the back seat, but very centered and balanced, but definitely more upright than I would be in the same terrain.  It's more the relaxed posture and loose playful manner that I admire.  That, and the ability to transition so quickly and from pure instinct, from one type of terrain to another without thinking or blinking.  It's wonderful to watch someone so young ski with such natural flow.  She has a long and wonderful skiing life ahead of her.  Although we live in the east, and she is only 14, she is already talking about moving west to live near the Rockies, just so she can ski a few months more every year, and in bigger mountains. 

As an aside, we got her a new pair of boots last season with more forward lean (Salomon Instinct, basically the women's version of the Falcon line), and that has helped her skiing significantly.  Her previous boots were very upright and she was in the back seat a lot, and was complaining that she couldn't engage the skis properly when carving, nor balance properly in the bumps.  The new boots have moved her hips forward, but still allow her upper body to be  centered.  The difference her skiing was remarkable.  The much narrower last and stiffer flex didn't hurt either.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 02:37:31 pm by Svend »

jim-ratliff

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Svend:
Your daughter also has the advantage of lots of hours on ice skates; hard to believe that hasn't had an impact on her balance and edge control?  And, probably, most of the youg jibbers have skate boarded, and I imagine that has been an influence on their skiing style a well.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

bushwacka

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Jim, thanks for saying that.  I second that sentiment.... 

Josh, I respect your contributions to our group here, and am grateful for your generous advice when I've asked for it - whether on mtn. biking, or ski boots, or whatever.  You offer a refreshingly different perspective, which I appreciate and attend to when thinking about equipment choices, etc.  But I gotta say that there are times when I just tune you out (see Jim's post, above).  And when you put others down with sneering disdainful comments, well, that just turns me off completely, and then I simply ignore you.  Just a hint:  if you want people to listen to you all the time (not just some of the time), then turn it down a few notches, relax, step away from the keyboard before clicking "Post", think about what you're saying, and re-write it if you think you can say the same thing, but in a less inflammatory way.  Or don't say it at all.  Some consideration and a dose of basic respect for others, is other words.

the entire year at stowe, my trainers well not really since I never went out with them prety mush trash talked my skiing but never had the balls to actually say it to my face. All they did was make me more angry and mad. Getting DCL was as much for my own personal improvement as it was to say look I am good enough to those people, as well as the people on Epicski that wanted to keep me out of the instructional forum.

can we get back to Erik H/ skiing, one of the most impressive feats I have seen.

jim-ratliff

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Josh:
Gladly, this isn't an "about Josh" thread.

A parting thought from a 65 year old with 3 1/2 grandkids.  Nof for the forum, but in your example above, think some on which was the cause and which was the effect.
grandpa Jim.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 10:06:58 am by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Svend:
Your daughter also has the advantage of lots of hours on ice skates; hard to believe that hasn't had an impact on her balance and edge control?  And, probably, most of the youg jibbers have skate boarded, and I imagine that has been an influence on their skiing style a well.

Jim, that is Mom's world.  For some odd reason, and despite the fact that most Canadians are born with skates on their feet (or at least have them as their first baby shoes), neither of our daughters has ever taken to skating.  A lot of their friends play hockey or figure skate, but our girls have had other interests.  I think for our youngest, the sense of balance just comes naturally.  She is like that on her bike too.  She will navigate over obstacles and terrain on the singletrack that is far from easy -- large boulders, rock gardens, berms and jumps -- but with the same relaxed, calm manner that she has on skis.  Completely non-plussed, unflustered, and almost never falls.  But...she knows her limits, and if there is terrain that she is not comfortable with, she's off the bike and walking, and has nothing to prove to anyone.  I can't wait to get that full suspension bike out here for her to ride, just to see what she will tackle then.

On that note, she will be ready for a new pair of skis this season too, as she has almost outgrown her present ones.  She still wants twin tips (for the high Fun Factor), but something a bit longer and more substantial.  An all mountain twin, mid-80's width, light weight but solid and stable, still agile and flickable, good on both hard snow and soft (ie. torsionally stiff; laterally compliant), touch of tip rocker perhaps.....  I'll start snooping around soon.  There is certainly no shortage of choice these days in that class.  Nordica, Fischer, Dynastar for the better mainstream brands; and then there are the smaller makers -- Line, Movement, etc. -- who are making some really nice light but strong skis.  Will check out Icelantic too, but I have the impression they would be too heavy (not sure on that, though; I don't much of Icelantic up here).  But, this topic constitutes thread drift, and is perhaps better left for another thread entirely....  ;D

« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 03:42:29 pm by Svend »

bushwacka

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Svendno idea how tall your daughter is but

check out some Dynstar Distorter. Shocking low price and a really really solid ski.  Pretty epicly good edge grip for a 87mm ski with some rocker and the camber/rocker combo kinda of felt like  there was some extra spring.

Svend

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Josh -- thanks for the tip.  She is about 5'6" and still growing.  I am sold on Dynastar skis -- we have two pairs in our household; both great skis, and fantastic build quality.  They make some light, but very solid and stable skis, and the Sixth Sense series always seems to top the ratings of Freeskier and Powder mag reviews.  BTW, I have looked closely at their Slicer model as a possible choice for my wife as a western deep snow ski, and was impressed -- light weight, laterally flexy but torsionally stiff.  Seems to be identical to the perennially top-rated women's model, the Paradise.  She skis on the Exclusive Legend Powder now, and loves it.

For true hard snow carving, our daughter now has a pair of Fischer Progressor 8's, so the Distorter or something like it, would be a perfect complement.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 05:18:03 pm by Svend »

dan.boisvert

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Liam, I really like what you're doing with this series of threads.

This style never really appealed to me for a couple reasons:

1) I never saw the point of doing tricks on skis--or anything else, really.  It looked mostly like a way to show off that didn't appear terribly fun or interesting to me.
2) The between-tricks skiing looked like an orthopedist's wet dream.  For a lot of years, I've approached sports from the perspective of "the most mechanically efficient and joint-friendly way is the one for me".  The straight legs, backseating, and amount of active rotary in this style make me cringe.  Sure, the young and athletic can get away with it, but for how long?  It reminds me of boxers--impressive to watch the good ones, but there's only so much damage you can take before your body is wrecked and you're out of the sport for good.

Within the past year or so, I've turned over a new leaf on this front in my spring/summer/fall sport (whitewater kayaking), and discovered that stupid human tricks in a boat can be pretty fun.  Maybe I should give the skiing version another look, as well.  Thanks for raising the topic, Liam!

bushwacka

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I think those that do not like doing tricks just can not do them.....

I can sound like you guys as well!

jbotti

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can we get back to Erik H/ skiing, one of the most impressive feats I have seen.

Yes can we get back to that? I hope others have checked out some of those links. BW and I agree on something! :D

Liam

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Liam,

I thank you for the effort and thought that you are putting into the technique threads. I am enjoying the videos and your analysis.

Since returning to skiing 5 seasons ago, I have become a chairlift critic of skier?s technique. Like a beer connoisseur (I don?t care for wine), I know what I like and what I don?t like. Even though I would not aspire to either of the two techniques that you have presented thus far, I am enjoying your analysis of how and why these skiers may have adopted their technique.

Since this forum was established as an equipment forum, I have been thinking about ski characteristics that would support the technique styles that you have presented. I suspect jibbers are probably on similar skis as they were using in your video of ?08. Potentially early rise tip characteristics. I doubt that full rocker skis would work well when they venture back into the park. Your wide stance, upper body twisters probably benefit from the newer rocker skis, easier to twist the skis through the fall line.

Speaking of skis, I was in the shop at the base of Sugarloaf yesterday. I didn?t even look at the skis. Knowing what they have carried the last several seasons, I know that they would not be carrying any skis that I would want to ski on. Sad.

Liam, please continue with your postings and don?t let the Hatfields and McCoys get you down.

Thanks for the supportive and thoughtful comments (and those by others).  Ski use, The guys in the first video and their whole crew are all on wider/ more rockered skis now...Truth is, those sort of skis require less fore and aft monkey motion to negotiate  thin cover and tricky off-piste snow...you can balance right on the middle of the them and the tips still glide above the surface (something Bushwacka has been advocating for a long time)--I don't know if they use different boards for the park...probably though.

The wide stancers in the first set of videos in the other thread all consider the Atomic Metron B5 the best all around ski ever made and Icelantic Shaman the ideal powder ski.  They work their edges  and like side cut-they just use a lot of rotary and hip driven power to carve the ski around.

Those that have tried the Rossi S3 like it, and probably for the reasons you suggest (I think that is a great ski as well however).

Yeah, I don't have much to add here.   I've said my thoughts on this style.  I am happy a fair number can get past some of the initial sneer we have towards these skiers and at least attempt to detect a kernel of value and purpose in this very (and growingly) prevalent style of skiing.  I realize for some, the parochial nature of ski discourse will inevitably limit and condition any contribution in these threads.  But hey, that's the nature of free forum discourse, axes will get ground and soapboxes will collapse from repeatedly holding up people. 

Just got a pair of 180cm Head Rock n Roll's in the mail today! --See, I really do value the opinions of all camps around here.





jbotti

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Just got a pair of 180cm Head Rock n Roll's in the mail today! --See, I really do value the opinions of all camps around here.

Great skis!! Let us know how you like them.

Svend

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Speaking of Head skis, if anyone stumbles upon a really great deal on a pair of Peak 84's in a 184 length, let me know.  I'm ready to pull the trigger.

Liam -- congrats on the new boards.  No ski season would be complete without at least some new gear  ;D.  And a new pair of skis, well, that's just so sweet.


Liam

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The far majority of rockered skiers ski from a backseat position. I'm guessing this is a reaction to lack of tip pressure.

I have both of those skis and neither requires a wide stance. The video doesn't demonstrate working their edges and "a lot of rotary" does not cause a ski to carve.

The videos I linked earlier demonstrate that there is a difference between lack of technique supported by athletic ability and solid technique supported by athletic ability. Style and athletic ability should not be confused with technique.

Honestly, if you want to imperiously push yet another thread into a specific technique discussion, the proper thing to do would be to start a thread dedicated to that purpose. 

Max neither you or I have seen the Majority of skiers do anything...but in a black and white world it gets awful easy to speak in absolutes.  I am really not sure why these threads rankle you so...are you really incapable of getting past the constant hawking of a set of ski instruction manuals/ videos and high priced group lessons? 

No one in these threads is pushing any technique, making claims of best vs. worst. This ain't a 'how to ski" thread.   

No one is asking for lessons in this thread.  I am just looking at what is, and why it is, and how it works.  If you don't feel you can contribute to that, or add some thoughtful direction, or if you just feel the whole enterprise is beneath contempt-well, that's all well and good, maybe this ain't for everybody.  But why participate at all in this thread?  What are you after?  Seriously, sometimes I really get the sense you are actively selling a product more than engaging in discussion over here (a sense others have had elsewhere, right?).

You have a different style of skiing and it is born from different goals, different ideas of long term enjoyment and a different  image you like to craft of your skiing.  I assume you ski very well and to a level that makes you happy.  All very worthy variables (as much as any excessive pursuit of recreational playtime is worthy, of course....but we're all guilty on that count). Why aren't you content with that?  Those who want to learn to ski like you (especially on this forum) already know where to look.  And of course, you are free to start all the technique threads your heart desires (of course, they happen in a less controlled atmosphere over here than they would over there, but most posters on this forum are already sympathizers). 

Just saying, you're spoiling for a debate that is well outside the boundaries and the spirit of these threads.  It reminds me of how confrontational religious evangelists always try to pull conversations sideways so they can slide in their spiritual pitch. 


« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 03:57:13 pm by midwif »

midwif

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Learning to ski in my later 30's and my first experience being taught
the "mighty wedge", I think there was little hope any natural athleticism
was going to overcome a bad start.

For many on this forum, I think that is why we have been attracted to PMTS.
Sequential building blocks that make sense. Something our brains could work on
since the body wouldn't do it automatically.

Those young jibbers are quite amazing. But like Botti said, any effort on our part to emulate
would result in pain  and probably injury.

That loose and easy look is remarkable and I know in my heart I will never attain much of that
relaxed look while I ski.

But, I want to remind everyone that all points of view are welcome here.
You can even admire PSIA  teaching if you want.
I'll try to keep the snickering to a dim level. ;D
"Play it Sam"

meput

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Hey Lynn,

Happy to see that you are now giving Rhett his due. I guess if we don't know what to do, we will just have to go to home to Tara.

HighAngles

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The Hoji videos are jaw droppingly good skiing.  I quite literally sat their with my mouth agape as I watched Eric descend down that pillow line in the first vid.  That's skiing from a different world - possibly a different plane of existence.

There are skiers who can ski rockered skis with good technique.  Many have racing backgrounds, some do not.  There's quite a crew that regularly ski at Loveland on their big boards no matter what the conditions and they achieve some really great angles - generally very big toe/stance ski dominant skiing (lots of little stems between turns in their releases), but at least they're not living in the backseat.

There's style and then there's the technique that's the foundation of the style.  If the style is lacking a sound, fundamental solid foundation in how to properly use a ski then it's hard for me to give it much props.  That's where the comments on the "athleticism" come from, because the only way to survive using a backseat and twist the skis style is to have strength and good joints.  They won't last long skiing like that.