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Would you watch more competitive snowsports?


Would you watch more competitive snowports?
Yes, if it was shown at a sensible time
69%
 69%  [ 51 ]
Yes, if it showed more of the head-to-head, skiercross-type events
19%
 19%  [ 14 ]
Yes if it showed more freestyle (aerials, moguls, acro, halfpipe etc)
5%
 5%  [ 4 ]
No, it’s all boring unless someone falls over
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
No, it all looks the same to me
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
No, I’m just not interested in the competitive side
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Voted : 73
Total Votes : 73

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This article over on SnowRacers discusses the current difficulties in alpine ski racing, possible causes and solutions. Ise responds:
Quote:
The question they need to ask is why the average punter on the slopes feels totally detached from competitive skiing. Is there any other sport where the recreational participants have so little interest in the professional sport?

So, to the poll...
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I think one of the problems is that since Ski Sunday has been intergrated into Sunday Grandstand, there is no set time for it. At least when it had its own show you could make sure you were staring at the TV at 5.15.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I would watch more competitive skiing if there was more of it on terrestrial TV. I'm not happy that Ch 4 scheduled much of its skiing coverage late at night, but I would normally set the video to record it. As I don't have $ky and Eurosport is no longer available on digital TV I'm limited to whatever contracts Ch 4 manage to secure (plus whatever coverage remains on Ski Sunday, although this has gone downhill faster than the skiers it features). I think there's a lot that could be done too improve the quality of coverage, but a first step should be to make sure that all World Cup events in any one discipline are covered.

If the organisations that manage competitive skiing were interested in maximising public interest in their sport they would have a different strategy for selling the TV rights. As their strategy seems to be maximise broadcast revenue I assume they don't really put a high priority on public interest.
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As per rob@rar.org.uk, except I usually forget to set the video Sad
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PG, I think you've missed an answer...

- yes, if there was more of it on TV.

I have Eurosport, and spend far too much time watching the Extreme Sports Channel snowHead but there is still a need for more on terrestrial TV. Many times on Eurosport, the coverage has ended well before the British contenders have their run Crying or Very sad
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Elizabeth B, as mod I think you can add an option? It's not too late....
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I watch what I can of all the disciplines my favourite is the slalom and the board-cross events, It does mean setting videos and scanning the schedules at the moment though.

I think it needs an organsiation like sky to sponsor a series to bring it to the main stream. Sky are quite good at this. A case in point would be the revival of speedway since sky have sponsored the world grand prix series at the elite league in the UK the sport has experience a revival. There are increased spectators at meetings and people are more aware of the broader picture within the sport. A comercial benifit has been that there is an increased interest in sponsorship which is bringing more money into the sport.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I think the issue goes back to how people learn to ski and how they view their skiing. A lot, or even most, of skiers don’t pursue a process of continual improvement or if they do don’t really have any process to actually improve. If a majority of skiers were thinking more about the technical aspects of their skiing they’d start to take more of an interest in racing. I really think the actual state of coverage on TV is a distraction from this issue; the TV companies aren’t stupid, if there were an interest they’d follow for their own commercial reasons.

When I returned to skiing from boarding for a few years I took lessons from a guy who’s main activity and interest is race training for juniors and he’s really made that connection for me between what we do on the slopes as recreational skiers and what the racers are doing.

So, I think this is actually related to other threads that have been going about buying skis and the points I was making there. To repeat that, instead of buying skis and boots every few weeks of slope time the majority of us would be better off taking lessons and looking at the technical aspects of our skiing from which an interest in racing would, I think, naturally follow. And this must turn on the quality and availability of training available.

I reckon this winter at Geneva, Lyon, Salzburg, Munich etc they’ll be 100’s of thousands of UK skiers arriving each weekend, the number arriving with new skis and boots will be massively larger than the number arriving with lessons booked or a firm intention to do some lessons.

Ski schools and providers of training have a vast untapped market, as I say, out of all the skiers arriving each weekend only a tiny percentage will be taking lessons. Commercially the ski schools are foolish not to exploit this, if they did then I’m convinced you’d see an explosion in interest in racing.
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I watch snowsports mainly for the scenery...since I've started ski=ing I do pay more attention to how they're doing it and with what equipment.
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I agree with ise, on the skewed sense of priorities people have re lessons vs kit, but there have been many posts here saying "I know I'll never be that good and I'm happy just to cruise about on some blues and have a nice lunch". These people know they would improve with lessons but choose not to. I guess many Sunday footballers know they would play a whole lot better if they got fit, but, well, it seems like a bit to much hard work. But that doesn't stop them tuning into to watch footie on the tv.

Ok, skiing will never be a national sport and never have any serious profile as we don't have (much) snow, but skiing is held in tremendous affection by those who go. Tapping into that affection is surely the key. Does this hinge around: personalites (Baxter, Mckenna etc); scenery; competition; technique; travel; glamour? All of the above are in the mix somewhere...
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I start watching a bit before I go on my trips. Gets u in the mood. I don't really pay any attention to the results, times and standings.....just soak up the event and the feel of the resort (via the TV of course!).

I think the difference with skiing and boarding is that you enjoy the surroundings and atmosphere almost as much as the sport itself.

Let;s be honest you don't cast admiring glances at the design of a squash court or marvel at a golf course.

As for the mountains......different gravy!!!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
ise, I think that might be one way to increase apprecation of/interest in competitive skiing, but I doubt that many people would relate their own technical development to the skills used by racers. I enjoy Formula 1 on the TV but even if my life depended on it I couldn't describe the racing line through a chicane! I watch it because of the drama, the spectacle and the fact that I can relate to the drivers because so much of the coverage features them as human beings rather than just the top half of a crash helmet poking out of a ludicrously powerful car. That's not to say that there shoudn't be a slot on each Ch 4 ski programme by an instructor who could give some "virtual lessons" and relate them to what the racers are doing, but more than anything else I would like to get to know the racers as individuals, see how they train, select their kit, what their hopes and aspirations are, etc.

As an example, my girlfriend enjoys skiing but has never watched it on the TV, but even though she has never been in a racing car she is very interested in F1 and can talk at length about several of the drivers and how good she thinks they are. She is pleased when Button does well, because ske likes him, and disappointed when Shumacher wins yet another race, because she doesn't like him. If we want people to be passionate about competitve skiing we have to show the competitors are real people working incredibly hard to achieve their results, so we can share their success and disappointment with them.
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As an insomniac I manged to see quite a lot last year on Channel 4...usually at 2 in the morning! Trouble is once I got started I couldn't go back to bed 'til the race was over....not good for concentrating at work.

I used to love curling up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon to watch and I'm still keen to see who's at the top of the standings. Bring back Ski Sunday...with Alain Baxter, Leslie McKenna et al we should be supporting our local snowsports heros!
They show Tim Henman...why not other British sporting stars?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I agree with Philip.

Skiing is not inherently competitive in the same way that football or other sports are. Most of us ski for our own pleasure and the competitive side is not something that we aspire to (except between mates of course). We watch it on TV with vague interest, but not because we care about the result.

It is the same with climbing - most climbers are only interested in actually doing the activity. They may read climbing magazines for the articles, to give them ideas for their next trip and to hear about new routes that are being climbed. They may even enter the odd bouldering competition at their local climbing wall. But very few would ever dream of wasting an afternoon watching someone else competing in a climbing competition.
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I'd watch anything they wanted to show me as long as there was snow somewhere. I'm easily pleased.
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Is the apparent lack of interest due to the fact that the British do not have any world champions in these disciplines? Personally having chosen to spend all my holidays on the snow I feel I have a greater understanding of how awsome, abilty wise these competitors are rather than a sport which I do not participate in myself. I still find it incredible that brilliance is measured in hundreds of a second over long challenging courses.
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I would if it was interesting i would, downhill/slalom just bores me to tears. To me everyone is doing the same thing over and over again...........bit like motor racing - grand prix for example.

Any thing doing flips, tricks, cross racing etc on whatever type of sliding weapon, i'd definately watch.

Also just to see some snow is nice snowHead
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Chris B wrote:
Is the apparent lack of interest due to the fact that the British do not have any world champions in these disciplines?


but we have (sort of)...world no.1 in boardercross. world champ title and Olympic gold will surely follow......

see http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=3106
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What about Leslie what'shername from scotyland. Isn't she a world champion, or could well have been (i.e. leading) until have a bad accident? I think we are doing very well in the junior side of things?
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Our speed ski=ing team sounds pretty good as well
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Philip Prior wrote:
Let;s be honest you don't cast admiring glances at the design of a squash court or marvel at a golf course.

As for the mountains......different gravy!!!


I don't know any golfers who don't watch the competions on TV, which was rather my original point. Golf's actually a really good comparison with skiing in this context, technique is all and the connection from personal performance to competition level is clear. This obviously speaks to the points made in some of the posts above.
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One thing that helps to inspire an interest in competitive ski racing is to have a go yourself. It doesn't have to be competitive of course.

In North America a number of resorts have NASTAR slalom courses set up in which anyone can pay a couple of bucks and have two runs down through the gates.

Additionally, a number of the ski school programmes include a "fun race" as a part of the experience - usually coupled with a video recording that you can watch after.

The first time that I ever did something like this was a dual slalom race highly non-competitive environment - it was in the Banff area's "Club Ski" programme. Despite the relaxed nature of the event, I found myself looking across at the person I was racing against, and felt the most enormous adrenaline rush as we got the "racers ready.....3...2...1...Go" from the starter*. Ever since then I've been hooked on running gates, and even at my comparatively advanced age, determined to better my performance, next time.

*I came second Crying or Very sad
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I think part of the problem (for me at any rate) is that you can't see the facial expression of the competitors, even in replays/slomos. Think of Stuart Pierce's reaction to his penalty against Spain in Euro 96 (atoning for the Germany WC 90 miss), the strutting belligerence of Freddie Flintoff, the iron determination of Martin Johnson slamming into an opposing forward, the concentration of Jonny W, the Henman grimace, etc, etc. That intensely human element is missing from televised skiing. Of course I'm moderately interested in the technicalities, but to the likes of me they all look perfect anyway. It also never looks as fast on TV as up close (I hate watching videos of myself, because it always looks so tame compared to what it felt like).
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Just an idea, but with todays technology it should be quite easy to attach a tiny video link to the skiers, then you could see the course from their eye view, great for getting a view during crashes Shocked
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The best technology I ever saw was for the world championships last year, they were superimposing the positions and lines of the skiers on the course. What was really obvious was how close the top 10 or 20 racers were, you see the figures of 10's or 100's of a second but when you see the guys less than a body distance apart you realise how close all the top skiers really are.
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It's just not exciting watching a bunch of guys in head-to-toe tights skiing down a slope with a clock ticking but no visible opposition. Once you've seen one go down, you've seen them all. Then we just watch on hoping for a good crash. When the crash occurs we feel guilty about our ghoulish motives. So downhill skiing is associated with boredom and guilt: we stop watching. No one is watching after New Year.
The sport needs a radical overhaul. It needs to return to its beginnings. I understand the original races involved a whole load of skiers belting down an ordinary slope all together. No ice and no clock. First home was the winner.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Frankly I'm really suprised that board/skier cross has not caught the TV production companys eye.Surely these fiercly competitive events which really provide an exciting watch could be aired after or before the conventional downhill stuff to pack out the winter sports coverage. Whilst everyone's different I also think the "shoot and scoot" races are pretty gripping too (and I'm trying to put my self in the shoes of someone who does'nt ski - the rest of us will watch anything with snow involved!) Like the idea of Robs virtual lessons/explanations of technique
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Jonpim, the DHO still do a race like that each year, about 30 people in a mass start down the ladies downhill course above Grindelwald. quite a show as they go past, but as a spectator you only see them for a few seconds so not a great spectator sport
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You know it makes sense.
A frightening proposition if the snow is a bit suspect. Done the mass start race DGO is talking about several times, thankfully only falling once!!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Annehillskiing, couldn't be the reason you're looking for a helmet by any chance ? Laughing
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Poster: A snowHead
D G Orf wrote:
Jonpim, the DHO still do a race like that each year, about 30 people in a mass start down the ladies downhill course above Grindelwald. quite a show as they go past, but as a spectator you only see them for a few seconds so not a great spectator sport

I'm disappointed, D G Orf! ... you mean you don't take part?
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PG,
Quote:

... you mean you don't take part?


Damn right, but I have helped with the running of the event and the calculation of the results (not as simple as it sounds as it gets split into age and gender catagories), besides I always prefer to ski for fun I'm not competetive enough to want to race Little Angel
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I checked the 2nd option, but since I lost access to Europsort my social life and outdoor
activities have increased.
I used to watch Ski events on Eurosport all the time, now that I yhink about it, I was watching Eurosport all the time, regardless of what sport was shown...
Anyway, a little more coverage of the head to head events (like skiercross) would do good to the overall image of skiing sports..
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Quote:
Anyway, a little more coverage of the head to head events (like skiercross) would do good to the overall image of skiing sports..

Definitely. You wouldn't think that we'd just had a weekend of World Cup boarder cross, with WC leader Brit Zoe Gillings taking part. Barely reported in the press either, as she 'only' managed 13th, getting knocked out in the quarter finals. Still WC leader though, after three races.
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Tony Lane wrote:
Chris B wrote:
Is the apparent lack of interest due to the fact that the British do not have any world champions in these disciplines?

but we have (sort of)...world no.1 in boardercross. world champ title and Olympic gold will surely follow......
see http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=3106

Spoke too soon Tony! - she's got great potential, but it's a bit early to make forecasts for Turin! Yes a great couple of races to start the season in Chile, but Zoe came down to earth with a bump in Saas Fee over the weekend, back in 13th place in the WC boarder-x... Can't find out what went wrong, there's no reports on her performance anywhere, surprise, surprise - not even in the specialist snowboarding sites and blogs.
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ise, How would you suggest we exploit it? Look at Nadenoodlee's remarks on the women's ski week's thread. Her attitude is fairly widespread - how can one counter it if a skier does not come for that first lesson? I always try to enthuse my beginners with the idea that there's a whole world out there to explore (technically) and I think it works. But then what percentage of beginners book with their TO because they think its ??? get rubbish lessons in groups of 12 or more, and then go off deciding not to waste their money again?
Sorry - rant over! Embarassed

Jonpim, How sad that you feel that way. When Alain Baxter won his bronze medal I was in a bar in LDA. there were a number of Brits in the bar. I was jumping up and down etc, and they were, like, errrr????????????? I said "have you just seen that? Britain's first every alpine medal" "So what" was the reply. Poor Alain!
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Quote:

I said "have you just seen that? Britain's first every alpine medal" "So what" was the reply. Poor Alain!

I'm sure if it had been a part of another terrible 'reality' show, i'm sure thousands would take notice! Wink
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easiski, if I knew you can assume you'd be seeing the explosion of ISE ski schools all over the Alpes Very Happy

I'd not read the post from Nadenoodlee until you pointed me at it. It's a common attitude; I'm an expert in this since I had pretty much the same attitude if I'm honest. I spent a lot of time boarding when I first moved to Europe and had the time to develop the skill, I suspect part of that was a subconscious frustration with not progressing at skiing. When I started to ski again part of my logic was that given the large number of days I had each season just "going out and doing it" was going to be totally unsatisfactory.

I’d expect your attempt to enthuse your students does work, it usually does. You’re saying the fault lies with the TO’s? I suspect you’re right; even the independent travelers for the most part started traveling with TO’s and it must have been instrumental in forming attitudes.

I think BASI ought to be doing a lot more to promote the “brand” and creating a market, they seem to have the balance wrong between being a standards organization and promoting their members interests (i.e. creating a larger market). Interest in competitive skiing would follow. I wonder sometimes about other vested interests though, more money spent on tuition and the better skiing that follows would hit sales of new skis and boots very quickly. People would start to see more improvement for money spent on tuition than kit, most kit bought is on the assumption it’s going to improve the punters skiing in some way or in some conditions.
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2 Rite we need more snowsports on T.V! I, sadly don't have any extreme sports channels and there's limited coverage on Eurosport so I've taken to watching ski deals on T.V travel shops just 2 get a glimpse of the snow! rolling eyes
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I think it must be a reflection on the more functional style now taught (in conjunction with the better style possible for ordinary skiers with carving skis) but I remember a ski teacher when I was young once saying that racing technique was just relevant to what racers were trying to do and wasn't a good model for normal good skiing style. Can't imagine someone saying that now.

I generally feel that I want to just go out and enjoy myself and not "waste" skiing time with lessons. But I know I would benefit from lessons...well, perhaps... I have bad memories of skiing with Martin Epp and being made to learn his one-turn-suits-all bouncing-up-and-down turns. Damaged my style for more than a season till I managed to remember how i did it before (I carved before and didn't after!).
The only time I've sort of had lessons in recent years was a semi instruction SCGB holiday (half the time with a guide, half with Mark Jones). I enjoyed the skiing (Mark was an even better guide than the guide) but only got one teaching suggestion from him in the whole week by actively asking for a suggestion of how to improve. Strange - It's not as though my style is that wonderful, and I've heard that others have got alot from him.

Except to get the Fleche "Vermeil" for the ski club Gold "race" section (got it on the third try, its really hard if you aren't a racer) I've never gone in for a ski race . If I had skied during my late teens or 20s perhaps I might have - but pistes (let alone competition) are not what skiing is about for me now.
I only go on pistes now to access off-piste. Learning to ski crud and breakable crust well is another way to improve your general style.

Similarly I only did the SCGB gold because almost everyone on a particular holiday did parts of it. Otherwise I doubt I would have bothered (nore did I much enjoy the little bit of assistant-judging of it I did later). But once I had 2 parts I wanted the rest!
Perversely, though, I think it's a pity the Gold test has been discontinued, It's something I'm proud to have (and I'm rather aware my skiing has to live up to, and often doesn't.
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