Thursday, March 17, 2016


I know most of the 4 or 5 people who read this blog are so damned good at skiing they think improvement, or trying to improve, is for lesser humans.  Each of you would enjoy laughing at instructor-speak or coach-chatter.  "Hah, I just click in and go, never think about anything, I've been Best Skier at my home ski area since I was 2, why would I have any reason to think about ski technique?"

I understand.  It's a burden being at the top of Maslow's hierarchy in everything you do, and having to spend an entire life there since you hit that apex around age 2 or 3.  Most people work their whole lives at something to get somewhere in the middle of Abe's pyramid.

But for the occasional person who arrives here by accident or because someone somewhere told you, "go read that insane reactionary asshole, see who he's trying to boss around with his caveman views today," maybe you're curious about skiing technique because you're not one of those Born Masters.

If that's the case, you could do far, far worse than to read posts by username Metaphor_ at EpicSki.

This post is a perfect example of his pithy, neutral and wise observations on one of the commonest mistakes people make when talking or thinking about "expert skiing" -- which I put in quotes because it'd be a level of pseudo-expertise the person's inhabiting if he or she is following the thinking that Metaphor_ kindly and wisely corrects in the post.

Ultra-focus on "shin to win" or "stay on the balls of your feet" usually comes from someone who hasn't experienced great skiing through either vehicle.  Usually it's being said by someone who is repeating what he/she heard somewhere else and, maybe, what he/she has been trying to do when self-teaching skiing.

The emphasis on power point @ rear of arch = priceless, bullseye, etc.  If you're on the balls of your feet, you're the same as the MTB rider who is descending in that endo-prone, imbalanced position with body momentum capable of tipping over or rotating around a point somewhere ahead of the front axle.


Chet Redweld said...

I'd guess the "balls of the feet" thing gets mistaken use because the idea, on a blank slate, is applicable to a skier who habitually skis from directly under his/her heels.

To say "get on the balls of your feet" is a cue which, in most cases, gets the heel-biased skier a little bit more forward of that heel in foot-feel-focus.

But if you actually skied on the balls of your feet all the time, you'd be doing just what Metaphor_ said.

Trying to ski like that would be uncomfortable to me, but I'm not a woman, nor a short man, and so I've never spent time in shoes with high heels or heel lifts.

Also, it would result in shitty skiing, uncomfortable posture or not.

Chet Redweld said...

I think "feel the arch of your foot, ski from under the arch" is a better cue, because it points more toward the ultimate goal, and less toward symptom-alleviation.

Chet Redweld said...

Someone who has to ski on the balls of their feet all the time probably has their bindings mounted too far rearward.

Chet Redweld said...

And flippy-spinny freedogger "park" skis are so forward in their mount that a skier on them ends up on his/her heels to access the rear half of the ski.

Chet Redweld said...

(Assuming he/she otherwise knows how to stand on a pair of skis, that is.)

Chet Redweld said...

No wonder those TGR and blister fools (as opposed to the occasional, and these days relatively non-participating, actually knowledgeable person within) think mount point is so critical. Manufacturers who design the skis sure don't know, it's the average slashy-skid heel-pushers who really know the design and know the mfr screwed it up. I can't ski like Hoji because Dynastar screwed up the mount point, or the design, or something else. I probably need DPS skis.

Chet Redweld said...

What will become of entities like blister, and manufacturers like Moment, ON3P, etc., when this current era (usually they last 10 yrs tops, if history is reliable) of Mountain Lifestyle is over and the yuppies and hipsters move on to Powerwalking or Segways on new asphalt "tour courses" in Yosemite and Yellowstone?

Get it while the getting's good, bubble-blowers. Those bubbles always pop.

Last Mountain Lifestyle eras was just after the Vietnam War, when Colorado experienced its big influx of flatlanders moving there to Progress the Backward Western Rednecks. Then, if you recall, the ski "industry" took a nose dive in the early 80s.

The new MtnLfs who had moved to Boulder (if adventurous) or Aspen (if rich) turned CO on its head, creating a megalopolis between Boulder and Denver, homogenizing everything, and turning that part of the state into Consumerist Valhalla and Showoff Central.

The cratering in the 80s was because of the fake growth of Mtn Lfstyl being a fad.

Buckle up for the next crash, ON3Pers and blisteroids.

Chet Redweld said...

I liked the OLIE acronym someone here used in the past. Less cumbersome than "mountain lifestyle yuppie/hipster."

Harold Caidagh said...

Seems you might want to caution your neighbors in Missoula about its inevitable crash, Chet.

But maybe Mayor Engen has a trick up his sleeve and has 5 new billionaires lined up to move to Missoula and create a top-heavy economy forever. With that kind of move, and the closing down of every vehicle for blue collar work and blue collar subsistence, Engen may actually succeed in Aspenizing Missoula. Clearly that's his plan to date. Whether he'll accomplish it is another question. Thus far he's doing fairly well. But you'd expect that from a Travel Agency Owner, right? Especially one who used to write for the town paper, boosting "progress" and "development" in accordance with Lambros family wishes.

Chet Redweld said...

George Babbitt!

Yuppie Pioneer said...

I moved to Missoula 3 years ago because I knew I was getting in on the ground floor of Aspenization. Friends envied me because I sold my house in Wicker Park for 875k and got an even bigger house in Missoula for that price, with prices always going upward thanks to Mayor Engen's stellar promotion work. People like me are making Missoula habitable for professionals. My children will grow up to be their generation's Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn and Sam Schultz and Eric Bergoust, if only we could get half-decent ski coaches at Snowbowl, which will happen as soon as we replace all the chairs with high-speed 6-packs and groom all the runs and level out all the fall lines and pave the Snowbowl Road with heating coils inserted in the asphalt so I can drive my Tesla up the road at 50mph proving my superiority. There's a lot of soul in Missoula, and it's all because of people like me. Face it, you don't belong here any more Mr Redweld. You should probably move to Darby, at least it will be 5 or 10 years before we've turned the whole corridor between Lost Trail Pass and Missoula into a shopping valhalla with numerous options to push your baby jogger up a pristine path in any one of a number of the Bitterroot Mtns canyons. You're just a jealous reactionary, like those Darbarians. You'll get pushed out just like they will. We're already modernizing Hamilton and Stevensvile.