Skiing has changed. The innovation and breakthroughs to new, unexplored sides of skiing are slowly coming to a standstill. As we have witnessed, competition skiing, be it big air, slopestyle or halfpipe, is progressing through stagnation of difficult and technical trickery over stylish and fluid showings. With the current progression, it will be a cold day in hell before a smooth, carved 900 Tail will win over a rotating double flip with a dubious grab.
Some of us blame the competitive nature of extreme sports.
Some of us blame the mainstream exposure.
Some of us blame the interference from the IOC.
I blame Warren Miller.
For decades, Warren Miller has been an influencing figure in the skiing industry, connecting many a family once a year to huddle together in a theater and listen to Miller's soothing narrating while witnessing both the old and new sides of skiing on the big screen.
Until he sold out. For years on end, his famous line closed off the movie night for the viewers:
"If you dont do it this year, you will be one year older when you do."
A truly inspiring, and yet vague philosophy. What is this mysterious 'it'? I believe it was a driving force for many aspiring young skiers and even older, more experienced snowhounds to push themselves a little bit more whilst on the slopes, while still enjoying all the fun in skiing. Now, that era has come to an end.
In Level 1 Productions' 2009 feature film "Refresh", Miller was a special guest star, meant as both a throwback to for the older generations and an introduction to a ski film legend for the young ones. It was nicely glued together, and many alike waited anxiously for his eternally quotable finishing quote. Alas, the legend had been tarnished.
No more did he let us imagine our own fun, how we push the sport forward and how we decide the future of skiing each year. No. This time he had a different agenda. He abused his own infamy in the skiing scene. He knew his influence was close to that of Brangelina's to the blogosphere. He knew, and he had waited for so long to take the reins from us all. Little did we know, that all that time spent listening to his smooth, calm voice was just an act to lure us in through sonic hypnotism. We had all been under his spell even before our births, and due to the ungratefulness of the youngest skiing generation of tall-tee toting, full tilt rustling, Saga sacking afterbangers, he had decided to take the style out of our sport.
"If you don't do a double cork 1260 this year, you'll be one year older when you do."
Just like that, he took away the magic. He sealed us all inside a silent vacuum which exist only of the largest spins, the biggest flips and worst of all, the inability to see how ridiculous one looks with a quadruple layer of man-dresses - on or off the hill.
I blame Warren Miller.