Friday, January 20, 2012

The tyranny of carving...

Carving goes back a long way; I remember carving, or trying to, back in the early 70s after reading Georges Joubert's book which arguably were the first published work to shine a light on a technique that ski racers of that period would use occasionally with the equipment that was available at the moment and on the best prepared racing courses of the times.

With ski sidecut and construction not yet optimized, carving was hard to achieve and it took the tail end of the 20th century to give that technique both the notoriety it needed and the legitimacy it deserved. Yet, all along, carving has just been a mean to and end (skiing) and not the sport's holy grail as many would have us to believe.

That's right carving works best in certain snow and terrain conditions and can totally lose its meaning and purpose in deep snow, bumps crud and challenging conditions, not to mention extremely steep terrain. Yet there are those fanatics who seem to think that there's no salvation without carving.

Of course, I can't disagree more with that view and was reminded of it, a few days ago as I was skiing with a group of local “expert” skiers that couldn't keep up with me on some very steep, yet perfectly groomed Deer Valley ski runs. While they were stuck to their regimented “carving” maneuvers I was free to fly, be my natural self, and maximize the speed that this particular ski run would allow. That's right, whatever it took; not just carving!

No comments: