Any growth potential for skiing?

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Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:55 am

So this is one of my favorite subjects. People say skiing has declined because of less snow. I also think that skiing has declined due to bad marketing. I'm wondering if given less snow there is a kind of skiing that can be viable. Like a kind of low snow skiing. Can we sell a kind of skiing that doesn't rely on pure white snow and a good base. Like if you have frozen ground and a base that is an inch thick with an inch on top is there a kind of skiing that can work then and deliver fun. Biking has a sport Built around marginal weather -- cyclocross. Could skiing develop such a sub type that could become popular given the increase of marginal snow conditions matching what I described?
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby Neuro » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:06 am

Can't see it how that would work honestly, but surely rollerskiing could be much bigger. If only one could get across how it trains the whole body and is fun, but I suppose the risk factor is holding a lot of people back.

If more ski producers and shops had a brake option, and if people could see top skiiers using fully protective gear to make that less uncool, that would help a lot. And dedicated or designated tracks of course. As it is now, it seems to be mostly for diehards and the foolhardy which it really shouldnt.

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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby jt10000 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:46 pm

JeffOYB wrote: Like if you have frozen ground and a base that is an inch thick with an inch on top is there a kind of skiing that can work then and deliver fun.
No.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:16 am

jt10000 wrote:
JeffOYB wrote: Like if you have frozen ground and a base that is an inch thick with an inch on top is there a kind of skiing that can work then and deliver fun.
No.


But we have fun skiing such conditions every time we do it. Which is often. It seems like anyone could easily have fun then. What's not fun about skiing? The skis are gliding same as in any other condition.

What is the minimum condition for good skiing? When does skiing become bad?

To me, skiing is bad when skis snag on you and throw you -- when they're grabbing on dry stuff. If the trail doesn't have anything dry or grabby on it then you're good. So if there's at least some frozen base we're good to go.

Now, I will accept having occasional obstacles in my snow. So will my local pals. It's like occasional rocks that surprise you when trail-biking. Annoying when it happens and inspires you to keep your eyes peeled but no big deal. After a couple laps we sort out where bad surprises are and set a line that avoids them -- just as in trail biking.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:23 am

Neuro wrote:Can't see it how that would work honestly, but surely rollerskiing could be much bigger. If only one could get across how it trains the whole body and is fun, but I suppose the risk factor is holding a lot of people back.

If more ski producers and shops had a brake option, and if people could see top skiiers using fully protective gear to make that less uncool, that would help a lot. And dedicated or designated tracks of course. As it is now, it seems to be mostly for diehards and the foolhardy which it really shouldnt.


Yeah, the fitness side of RS could catch on better. It sure does give a good workout. Like inline skating only better.

...But it's such a far cry from the pure glide and fun of snow. The fun factor of snow skiing seems 10X more. So it seems like snow skiing -- as long as there's enough snow to ski on -- should be more marketable.

What do ppl value more: fun or fitness? W snow skiing you get both.

My question is: What is the minimum amount of snow needed for fun or viability? What is the minimum condition that delivers skiing? What is skiing? Is it like an on/off switch?

I still think that frozen ground plus any amount of frozen snow base plus maybe even just a half-inch on top for cush means that 100% ski fun switch is turned on. The ski doesn't care how much more snow is under it as long as it has that minimum.

How much of a problem is it if there are occasional obstacles or grabbers involved? ...Is it a problem for trail-biking? How much risk/damage is there?

I have skis I've skied marginal trails w for 10 years. They're still fine. I'd say that occasional base-grabs, friction, etc., are irrelevant to skis nearly all the time.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:29 am

I think there's a market-ruining situation where the XC skiing mainstream is focused on velodrome-like conditions, if comparing to biking, when most skiing is like casual trail-biking.

Skiing doesn't even seem to admit that it's a sport that has several styles: a velodrome sort of trail is considered the basic acceptable play surface standard.

It denies that it has a mtbiking aspect that has its own potential which contrasts with its velodrome aspect.

Roadies accept cobbles or even gravel in its conditions sometimes. Track racers insist on smoothness all the time. Which makes sense for them.

There isn't even really a roadie corollary in skiing. It's one world: ski courses should ideally be prepared to be as smooth as velodromes. This applies to all types of skiers, in their view.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby jt10000 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:32 pm

JeffOYB wrote:I still think that frozen ground plus any amount of frozen snow base plus maybe even just a half-inch on top for cush means that 100% ski fun switch is turned on. The ski doesn't care how much more snow is under it as long as it has that minimum.

JeffOYB wrote:My question is: What is the minimum amount of snow needed for fun or viability? What is the minimum condition that delivers skiing? What is skiing? Is it like an on/off switch?


I've re-ordered the two paragraphs above to highlight that you're not actually asking questions. You have a very strong opinion.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:42 pm

I am asking a question (so you're wrong about that). And I have my own answer but I wonder what others think. (One can both ask a question and have their view of the situation. So overall you're wrong.)

If anyone is interested they can feel free to respond or speculate on the snow-level situation as it relates to popularity potential. But nobody should feel free to hassle the discussion itself or anyone's approach to it.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby jt10000 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:49 am

JeffOYB wrote:I am asking a question (so you're wrong about that). And I have my own answer but I wonder what others think. (One can both ask a question and have their view of the situation. So overall you're wrong.)
Then please be clearer. Don't ask a question as a general definition but ask "What is the minimum for you to enjoy...."


That said, I don't actually believe you care about what other people think unless they agree with you. I think you're looking for confirmation, not information. Look at your response to my "No" - rather than taking it as information about my preferences, you seem to have to argue with me as if we're talking about universal principles.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:43 am

jt10000 wrote:
JeffOYB wrote:I am asking a question (so you're wrong about that). And I have my own answer but I wonder what others think. (One can both ask a question and have their view of the situation. So overall you're wrong.)
Then please be clearer. Don't ask a question as a general definition but ask "What is the minimum for you to enjoy...."


That said, I don't actually believe you care about what other people think unless they agree with you. I think you're looking for confirmation, not information. Look at your response to my "No" - rather than taking it as information about my preferences, you seem to have to argue with me as if we're talking about universal principles.


You keep doing this. It is crazy.

Like anyone, I ask questions as I see fit. Answer per netiquette.

My response was further thought on the topic.

As usual, your speculation on my motives is both irrelevant and wrong.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby jt10000 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:55 pm

Here's another person saying the same thing about the way your write, in another thread you started:
Jeff, it's obvious you don't think balance drills are helpful. Fine, don't do them but please refrain from asking what people think of them and then arguing with them when they don't agree with you.

So I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

If you actually want to learn what others think, you should take my critique of your language seriously. Take the critique as a service, think about it, and perhaps adjust your use of language.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby PortlandORXCER » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:00 pm

If you ask me, the whole point of skiing is getting out there when there is a nice blanket of snow on the ground. It sounds like you want to attract athletes who normally aren't XC skiers but the problem is that you want them to enjoy skiing in poor conditions. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I don't particularly like skiing in poor conditions. I've done it but that's because I've had races to train for.

The conditions that you describe are driving the sale of fat bikes, which, in my opinion are a much better vehicle for a thin layer of snow than XC skis. You can get a fat bike for around the same price as XC skis and there are a lot more places to ride it. Would someone actually go out and buy skis so they can ski on 1" of snow?

Another thing to think about: nearly everyone has to drive somewhere to go skiing. You will have to convince them that it's worth the drive. Xc ski racers may ski on bad conditions but they have already been hooked. To attract other athletes you'll be competing with spin classes, people going to the gym, triathletes hitting the pool, etc.

But, good luck in this venture! If I were you I'd contact Jan and Brian at Gear West or Avho at Finn Sisu. They have their fingers on the pulse of XC skiing in the upper Midwest. The should be able to help.

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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby jt10000 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:58 am

PortlandORXCER wrote:Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I don't particularly like skiing in poor conditions. I've done it but that's because I've had races to train for.
I think many people feel like you do.

In my case, the closest place is a grass field 15 minutes away (a little walking plus a few minutes on a train). I just don't go anymore for fun/enjoyment unless it's truly good, because I don't enjoy it. I used to when I was younger, but I'm done with that.

I'll drive an hour for bad conditions on groomed trails (a few inches of hard snow base with some snow on top of that, which means at least 5 to 8 inches compacted down) sometimes. But an inch of snow on top of a frozen ground/hard snow/ice base? No fun for me.

I know my wife doesn't ever want to ski in marginal conditions - it hurts to fall when it's like that.

It might be possible for us to have fun skiing on an inch of snow if the surface underneath was some kind of soft rubbery surface that doesn't freeze hard (to make falling OK) with slick man-made material on top then some snow. But frozen ground/ice with a little snow on top? No way for me or my wife or, I believe, most people.

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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:43 am

yeah, harsher to fall, there's that.

my suggested scenario is frozen ground > inch base > inch on top. so not quite as spartan as just one inch.

our local gang has found a lot of interesting fun in minimal conditions. i just had a non-expert rave to me about how fun it was when we all went out as a group in a couple inches of translucent slop where we could see leaves underneath and water was flowing thru it. it was mesmerizing. ...and it skied great. you woulda got wet if you fell, tho.

our couple dozen locals have had such great ski outings in low snow conditions that we really would just never call it bad or poor. that just wouldn't be accurate for us. and we're a wide range of skills and styles.

i've heard that fatbikes are cool -- but also that they're still a lot of work in any snow. is that right? i tried a steel one once in snow and disliked its tractor style when i could've been gliding. i've since tried a pricey lightweight fatty and it seemed better. my friends can blaze on them on hardpack. they seem to have helped them step up their dryland mtbike game. i tried a fatty w studs on thin snow over icy trail last winter and crashed twice. big studs on 26" bike hooked up perfectly so the fatty didn't rule that day. i could see fatties being awesome in slop. but around here ski-love is strong even tho very few take up the "duty of racing and training." we just keep having fun on snow. so the guys w carbon fatties that i know are still skiing whenever there's enough snow. ...yet there's another big local tribe that just fatties all winter no matter how nice the snow is so they must be having fun.

...the local fatties sure do wreck the trail for other users. many fatty scenes i know of are now taking initiative and buying a groomer for their region and getting policy in place for trail sustainability. they seem to be doing better than skiers. or at least they're playing catch up quickly. however, in my immediate region there seems to be no sense of caring for the trail. they "U" it out, it freezes, then they can't even ride it. Ugh.
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Re: Any growth potential for skiing?

Postby JeffOYB » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:20 am

another aspect that is a positive that goes w low snow is typically it is WARM. our low snow skiing isn't nasty boilerplate. I'm not talking about that. we'll have a week of low snow at 25 nites, 35 days. these temps are easier on ppl than 5degF packed powder, esp w a breeze. ...a breeze at 35 is nice.

back to our CX scene... we have more CX riders around here than XC skiers. the CX riders are nuts. they love their marginal conditions. crash risk is just more fun for them, lord knows why, it still makes ya bleed and bruise. but it's not THAT bad.

...but they DO finally quit once the GROUND FREEZES. so what kind of slushy frozen ground sport could they then get into? fatbiking, i suppose? that certainly has taken off. ...fatbiking has a base of shops. it has marketing. however, each of the buffs seems to get sucked into a ramping up multi bike process where they end up with a lighter model. they hop from $1000 > $2000. Right?

hmmm, why do i love CX? because it's so LIKE XC! ...has anyone in the ski biz bothered to tell this to any bikers? ah, but CX is NOT like groomed highway type skate XC -- which is more like road-biking. CX is like Trail XC... which happens to be the ignored kid in the ski family -- no, most of the kids, all the kids -- more ppl do trail skiing than groomed skiing, they just don't count as much.

...but but... our local middleschoolers could easily go out and play on skis in marginal snow getting tons of glide. ZERO of these kids are getting fatbikes. I can readily haul a minivan full of old ski gear and get a dozen kids out playing in low snow which gives JUST AS MUCH GLIDE as any amount of snow.
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