Ok so I just got home from a massive night out, 15 beers or so..near 2am - so excuse me if this is doesn't sound right.
I'm writing this because I thought about it tonight after a few ales and I think its definitely a concept worth talking about..
How far can our sport go?
When I say out sport - I'm talking about newschool, freestyle skiing - park stuff. Massive rotations, ridiculous pipe tricks, insane x-games runs, amazing movie segments like nothing you, I, and the rest of the world had ever seen before.
Where is the line drawn?
We all (well some of us) remember back in the day of state of mind, fade to black, degenerate, propaganda, happy dayz...
Shane szocz, vinnie dorion, mike nick, JF, Mike Douglas, Mosely..these guys would throw down 3's and 5's, maybe a 7.. kangs and japans..clean grabs, X games golds would be taken out, and kids would be super stoked..then a year later someone would throw a rodeo or a misty in there and it was unbelievable - NS would have 100 threads about it.
The young guns come along.
Not dropping names but guys would pull 7's 9's out of the bag and the crowd goes wild..and they still do. e.g 2001 winter X big air - from memory T-Hall pulls out a sw rodeo 720 for gold..crazy shit at the time. super stoked.
Fast forward to today - I look at X, USFO, random edits from some great NS members and some of the J.O Super Sessions entries and we have skiers absolutely NAILING double corks, double flips, 10's all 4 ways, 12's even 14'ws with some style..and this has all happened in the last 5 or so years...70-80-90++ ft jumps..chads?.. it's amazing.
My thoughts tonight were that if we look how far we have come in only the last 5-10 years, then how far can we go??..The progression we have seen in the last 10 years has been absolutely phenomenal, but is it sustainable?
What I mean by that is, are we going to have to make jumps that are so big that we end up having deaths in the sport for the sake of progression?
Resorts are simply not going to put 120+ ft jumps in their parks for the sake of liability - which is understandable.
After thinking about it I can't possibly imagine what skiers (and many of whom are members on this website) are going to be doing in 5 years time. There are already guys trying to get sw triple flips down..are we getting to a point where there are jumps that are needing to be so big that there are fatalities - a few examples of close calls - Look at Derek Spong & Mike Wilson gap crashes. Then there are the T-Hall and Simon bails. I could go on with names but this is a dangerous sport and that is expected - (props to CR for killing it again).
I'd love to see style as the main driver towards competition results and that the smoothest sw flat 7 takes it, but I don't think it will happen - skiers need to keep stepping it up and thinking of something new!
This is a question of sustainability of our sport. Where are we going to be in 5 years time and can we keep progressing at the same rate as the last 5 years? Personally looking back, it's been mind blowing what some kids have done.
What will win Winter X Slope 2013? Because after coming so far, keeping the popularity of out sport means that our athletes need to keep progressing because the spectators will naturally expect new tricks, year-by-year.
Cliff Notes: 7 Years ago a misty 7 wins X games Big Air, Now its a perfectly executed double with a mean grab. How far can this sport go - do we need 180ft jumps in parks to be able get that triple? - Will people die? Is freeskiing competitively sustainable, or is there a limit to what is possible?