Skiing Backwards : An Issue
Started by Pavelski in Ski Chatter - 14 Replies
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Jul-2012
Pavelski
Bandit just posted the world record "switch skiing" speed.

No problem with that for me.

No problem with backward skiing in parks.

The issue I want to address is doing such "stunts" in open, all public, all level slopes. I have noticed over the past few years that the "moves" practiced in parks is now spilling over the general ski slopes. A greater audience some would say.

I have seen great skiers going down backwards on intermediate runs with speed , hit a dip, and then do several rolls with various ski items flying off. Falling is part of skiing and I have no problem with that . What concerns me is when a skier, having his ( yes,, mostly young males) blind spot downhill thus not seen where or who is in his path. Falling is fine. Falling or hitting a person below you is not fine.

Saying, "sorry I did not see you" is not a valid excuse.

Worst is the person who goes to edge of run, goes up a small rock outcrop or log and then doing a quick turn takes off , does a great 360, etc,,, and lands across ski run. [b]Again great skier. Great move but not in general public runs since chances of a child or fallen skier being at right spot for accident are high.

That is the function of the "fun parks". To try all sorts of moves in a controlled setting, with skiers who watch out for such moves.

The first safety "item" is the brain and what the skier does with it. Then comes the helmet.

By all means do your "tricks", sideways, upside down, backwards, one ski, two skis, no skis, but think of the others please.

Just my opinion.
Jul-2012
OldAndy
Yep Pav.

Totally agree with you.
Jul-2012
Billip1
As usual, Pavel has encapsulated much common-sense in his post.
Jul-2012
Pavelski
Imaging this.

In beginner slope with a 5 year old. He decides to go to edge of ski run and as he turns back into center of beginner slope he falls.

At same time a 12 year old , coming down that very edge decides to take off on a log just above where the 5 year old fell.

The boarder ( it could have been a skier ) hits the 5 year old right in the chest. Both now cry. One from pain the other from emotional shock.

I feel guilty because it was my fault! I should have been above the 5 year old and protecting him from other skiers/boarders ( I tend to take lots of space physically and psychologically when I ski with grandson.

The 12 year old was not going fast and was not reckless. He was just trying, "tricks" on an open free slope. Lack of experience and foresight were his limitations.

Problem is I am seeing more and more of such "actions" by skiers of all ages and boarders of all ages.

Skiing has become for many, not mastery of going down with fluidity and elegance but how many "tricks" , moves you can do with the most persons watching.

The dangerous slopes are all the slopes levels under chairlifts since that is were the audience is. The safe runs,,,,,well those narrow very steep ones far far away from audience.

See you there"
Jul-2012
OldAndy
pavelski wrote:The safe runs,,,,,well those narrow very steep ones far far away from audience.

See you there"

Jul-2012
Far Queue
Once again I am 100% in agreement with you Pavel.

Perhaps the solution would be to create a new grade of piste, say a blue diamond (I would guess that most of these stunts tend to occur on blue runs or easy reds, due to it being where people are practising things), which is separate from a full blown ski park, and then assign specific areas where the general skier knows that he needs to be aware that people may also be trying basic stunts. To back this up, you would need to have sever penalties for people who try these stunts on standard marked pistes.
Jul-2012
Pavelski
Far Queue,

You are so right. In a few years there will be "variable" ski lift tickets in various colors and with chip embedded wrist bands.

Major ski resorts are now testing such systems.

Want to go in "extreme snow park" where triple backs can be done? You will have to have a competency rating of 5, helmet, back protector, wrist protection AND parents signed waiver. A computerized gate will allow you in.

Yes there will be a "protected area" for rank beginners or children. No stunts there. Pure skiing !

Like in some areas that have a gate for "extreme" skiing with trees, couloirs, steep, steep dips,,you will have soon lifts that will take you to zones for the big boys. To get in lift you will have to "prove" you can do it.

It is coming since the issue is not just skiers oriented, the skiing system which must address issue of increasing deaths and injuries. Too many deaths due to avalanches in my area. Too many injuries even with helmets.

The skiing industry must recognize its responsibilities or else politicians will do so.

Strange to mandate "pure skiing" areas or zones.

It is coming.
Jul-2012
OldAndy
All too true about the future of ski domains Pavel.

I think the most pertinent point is that the areas MUST take the lead to arrive at something safer and at the same time workable for us skiers. This is potentially difficult as if a single area takes steps they risk skiers/boarders just going elesewhere where "free" skiing is still available.

Safety is probably not a great selling point - although I may be wrong on this point?

Not sure how some skier/boarder rating system could be implemented? Across countries? Easily open to abuse in my view.
But sensible policing on the slopes has to increase in my view.

If skiers et al cannot move towards something that works then legislators will. And then of course legislators may not be skiers so who knows what would result.

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