Greatness on skis. How do you define it?
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JohnL
November 12, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
The Bode thread got me to thinking. Dangerous situation... How do you define greatness on skis? What single skill really separates the minnows from the sharks? All of the following are important, but is there any one that stands out?

Ability to use outside edges?

Ability to stay fore-aft centered over changing terrain?

Ability to see and anticipate well ahead of your current situation?

Ability to use the right amount of edge pressure?

Ability to not kill yourself when you are inverted traveling at 70+ mph? Hopefully this doesn't happen too often.

Others?
Jim
November 12, 2008
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
John - for me, its not so much the specific, definable skills as it is the overall picture. A skier that defines "greatness" to me is one that just looks smooth through any type of terrain whether it be groomed (easy), powder, bumps, crud, ice, etc. More to the point, a lot of folks can look good carving through a groomed trail of moderate pitch. True greatness is that same technique applied evenly on that knarly, steep-pitched, bumpy, wooded trail covered in powder, crud and ice! All the individual skills you mention are necessary to accomplish that goal.
comprex
November 12, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
The ability to intuitively develop tools, skills, motions, technique no one has taught, coached, demonstrated or otherwise previously exposed you to.
JohnL
November 12, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:
The ability to intuitively develop tools, skills, motions, technique no one has taught, coached, demonstrated or otherwise previously exposed you to.


Very interesting answer. Are you talking about naturally picking up the technique of the very best or inventing a technique that no one else has done before? Or both?
comprex
November 12, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Both: certainly the invention part, and 'naturally picking up' involves much similar ability to

- visualise one's own (body,gear,terrain,motion) context,
- see the gaps and weaknesses,
- see possibilities
- control the things one knows without great effort
- experiment with the unknown

A gross example would be Bode and racing shaped skis. Ask yourself "How the !%(^#@#^ did he know ahead of time that this is what he needed?"

Similar, smaller-scale examples occur almost daily at top levels, I think.
comprex
November 13, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Did we get it?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 13, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Greatness on skis... How about the US Army's 10th Mountain Division? Skiing on old wooden "stick" skis with 70-lb rucksacks on their backs, armed to the teeth and taking over the alpine sections and snow-capped mountains of Italy. Whatever we do today for leisure skiing hardly compares to the sacrifice and rigorous training of these hardy soldiers. Good exercise in both survival, technique and leadership.

Several greats came from them, Sen Bob Dole, Dave Brower, former director of the Sierrra Club and Pete Seibert who went on to found Vail.
jimmy
November 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Originally Posted By: JohnL
Dangerous situation... How do you define greatness on skis? What single skill really separates the minnows from the sharks? All of the following are important, but is there any one that stands out?

Others?


Greatness on ski's is kindo like porn to me i cannot define it but i'll know it if i see it......

What I consider dangerous is not the same as you John. I think being aware of the danger you are exposed to and and being able to see your way to get to a safe place is a sign of greatness. Remember we were discussing control a while back? Crush brought up the idea that a more advanced skier is not concerned with being able to stop anywhere anytime but more concerned with seeing down the hill, finding a safe place to stop and ski to it.

Awareness & vision. Knowing when to take a digger might also be a sign of greatness laugh .
tromano
November 14, 2008
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Originally Posted By: JohnL
The Bode thread got me to thinking. Dangerous situation... How do you define greatness on skis? What single skill really separates the minnows from the sharks? All of the following are important, but is there any one that stands out?

Ability to use outside edges?

Ability to stay fore-aft centered over changing terrain?

Ability to see and anticipate well ahead of your current situation?

Ability to use the right amount of edge pressure?

Ability to not kill yourself when you are inverted traveling at 70+ mph? Hopefully this doesn't happen too often.

Others?

Don't know alot about great skiing. But for myself two big things that I ahve been working on for years are looking where I am going (eyes up) and moving where I am looking (agressiveness).

After that having great balance and core strength help alot too.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 14, 2008
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,861 posts
As a recreational skier, greatness for me can be summed up as the ability to adapt to changing condition without a discernible difference to the observer. The ability to ski anywhere in any conditions without an apparent change in body position or technique.
Crush
November 14, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
i wrote some stuff and then i erased it.


i'm not really sure - maybe there isn't any. maybe it's just some one who fully devotes themselves truly to skiing.

one definition of genius is to know what you are best at.

with devotion, you can achieve anything.
Roger Z
November 14, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
When the proper response to any given terrain is unconscious and you can spend your time marvelling in the glory of the moment.
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