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This_aint_my_real_ac t1_jbq230h wrote

Guess need to narrow to Alpine Skier/Racer


Jibjumper t1_jbq5p93 wrote

Which is a 100% justifiable take. For me the reason I clarify it that way is that racing is a discipline of skiing, but being a good racer doesn’t necessarily translate to being a good all around skier. It’s tough because while there are some big mountain events, being the best skier is subjective. In order to be considered in that conversation though you have to prove yourself across several disciplines imo.

For example I know and have skied with some incredible park skiers capable of doing triple corks, that couldn’t ski trees if their life depended on it. Or racers that are comfortable at 70 mph, but couldn’t go off a jump bigger than 10’ without being destroyed. To me skiing is about being able to start at the peak, pick a line, and navigate it all with style. Whether that’s cliffs, groomers, jumps, powder, crud, bumps, trees, and everything in between. That’s where Candide comes in because there’s really no one out there capable of going as big, as fast, and with as much style, on the most diverse terrain possible as he can. He’s the guy that every pro skier in every discipline will stop and say “how the hell did he just do that?”.


24PercentMajority t1_jbqbfba wrote

Most world cup skiers are going to ski well on terrain that isn't just gates. I'm not talking tricks, but just terrain. There's probably some flat country slalom racers that this doesn't apply to, but racers at this level live on the snow and and good at far more than just skiing gates. Many are capable of laying waste to big mountain, in the off season.


Jibjumper t1_jbqdpq6 wrote

Oh I’m not denying that, or saying racers can’t ski other terrain. I’ve been skiing since I was 2, grew up 15 minutes from Park City, had friends growing up that were professional skiers/boarders, worked in the industry for 15 years. I’m not trying to be uncle Rico saying I could throw a ball over them mountains. I would say I’m a very competent skier, and because of that I recognize how huge the gap is between what I can do versus a pro.

That doesn’t change the fact that some of the best big mountain skiers could be top competitors in racing if they tried, but doing what Candide does is in a different class. It takes a certain kind of person and skiing is so much more than gates, so I’m not knocking what they do, but race results only mean you’re the best racer.


BM_3K t1_jbrn5sx wrote

One, there's no way to objectively determine who "the best skier" is overall, so it's really just a silly topic. On the flip side racing produces concrete results so deciding who the best ski racer is is a much more manageable thing (you did make a distinction between best skier and best racer here). Second, I really don't think many pro big mountain skiers could switch to racing and be competitive at a pro level. There is so much that goes into technique and skiing in a race course no matter the discipline requires you to be near perfect and then some. I just don't see anyone that hasn't been seriously training in race courses their whole life to stand a chance against pro racers.


Jibjumper t1_jbrpo0z wrote

So I raced in high school, was on the mogul team, and skied park and big mountain regularly. I never took competition too seriously because I saw the gap between my level and the top .01% and didn’t care enough about those disciplines to push hard in any one direction. I was friends with a lot of skiers that were racers and I worked as a liftee on the night crew at Park City when the racers would do their training. I watched Sarah Burke’s crash that ultimately took her life and called it into ski patrol while working on Three Kings lift. I’ve been surrounded by ski culture my entire life.

Like I said not every all mountain skier could be a racer, but it would be easier for an expert non racer to get into racing, than someone that focused on racing growing up trying to get into big mountain/park skiing. When you know what you’re looking for it’s really easy to pick out who the former racers are from the lift than people with a racing background. Racing requires a different technique that changes your style and it’s hard to break those habits. I personally know people that switched focus to raving later in life and vice versa, and the general consensus from both groups is that it’s harder to unlearn racing than it is to learn.

It makes sense for something like car racing to consider the best driver someone that exceeds in racing (despite there being many types of driving), because cars are more or less designed to operate on a road/track. With skiing it’s different because you have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. It’s a whole different beast to do things like drop a cliff, straight line a face in Alaska, or have enough control to throw a trick while skiing through trees. It’s much more subjective, but anyone that has some real experience skiing can pick out what a next level skier looks like. Racing still takes a ton of discipline and I’m not diminishing the accomplishment. Like I said being the best racer is just that, being the best racer, but it doesn’t mean they’re the best skier.