So I have been thinking to myself lately... just what the hell is a Newschooler? I mean we as a group are a bunch of Newschoolers... and this website (and the word newschoolers) has become a brand that represents a movement in skiing...
People always use the term Oldschooler... but where does the line get drawn?
Last night, I was twittering, and was in a feisty mood. I think I was sort of "intelligent trolling" where I wanted a reaction out of someone, but simply to cause a quality discussion on an issue that I feel needs talking about.
I posted this tweet:
"You know... every day a new #newschooler is born.... And another #oldschooler gets too old to ski."
I almost used the words "...another #oldschooler dies." but I thought that was over-disrespectful. I think I should have though, because I got this response from @bouldershades:
@Newschoolers FYI: #oldscholler 's have "been their done that". News flash you can't be newschooler for ever my friend so enjoy LOL
Which made me really angry. HOwever... I was the one that set the definition of Newschooler vs. oldschooler as age. Of course, not being a closed minded moron, I posed the response of:
@BoulderShades AH, but the key is in the definition of what a #newschooler really is. Is it a person's age, or a state of mind?
Which Is sort of where I want to start this discussion. I think that the definition of a Newschool skier vs. an Oldschool skier is within the state of mind of the way they approach the sport.
You have a rewind a bit though... because remember that skiing used to be super free spirited and crazy in the '60s and '70s. Hell those guys did way more drugs and partied a TON harder than our top pros do. It was more during the '80s and '90s that skiing got ultra lame. THat was in fact when I came through my youth in this sport... I was almost finished my teens when the newschool movement came around.
Before that though, skiing was all about racing. Boots were tight, skis stiff... and the entire world of skiing was about competing and winning. I mean there was always powder junkies and dudes like Glen Plake keeping it real, but there was an overwhelming amount of what we will now define as "oldschoolers" out there. Skiing wasn't about fun, it was about WINNING.
Come the newschool movement in the late '90s... and all of a sudden skiing was about having fun again. It even spread to the rest of the sport... all mountain skis became the big sellers, and people wore comfortable boots again... damn the performance.
Now... Anyone calling themselves a Newschooler would have a ton in common with Wayne Wong back in the 60s if they existed at the same time. Both of those people would probably hate some aggro race coach.
Racing vs. Park skiing... Easy. Racing oldschool park skiing newschool.
However... powder and big mountain then comes into the mix. This is where I think we have a really fucked up distinction of Newschool vs. oldschool. Too many times people are like "oh those stupid newschool park rats they don't know how to ski". Well hold on... why because I like park do I not know how to ski? Why in the bowels of christ would you think that my love of the terrain park keep me from shredding trees on a pow day?
Flipside is also true though... dudes shredding lines and hucking cliffs don't have the same attitude as ski racers. They're fun loving, free-spirited, adrenaline junkie who love massive airs just as much as the next guy.
Then start to get into stuff like BC booters... Newschool or oldschool? Old or young? Powder or park?
Take most "newschool" ski movies these days... powder jumps off cliffs and street rails. Sure street rails are newschool, but a jump off a cliff? Shit that might require skiing....
Once you start comparing, the rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper... Shit man I had a fucking WICKED conversation once with Klaus Obermeyer (founder of Obermeyer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Obermeyer)... where I asked him what he thought about this Newschool stuff. He said "I LOVE IT! I love that you guys get that skiing is supposed to be fun. The sport lost that for a while. When we were younger we used to jump off of everything!"
Dude is 92 fucking years old, and still shreds aspen like 80 days per year.
There's the easy answer of just "we're all skiers" but sadly if that was true, the guys on TGR wouldn't call out park rats for not knowing how to ski. To call out Newschool is to logically make you Oldschool.
Oldschool is a state of mind where you feel you're better than others, and that your style of skiing is the only thing that makes people a real skier.
Newschool is a state of mind where you want to do something new and have fun on skis wherever you possibly can.
My one final comment on this insane rant is this:
Don't be oldschool about your newschool activities. Don't think that just because someone does't slay the park they suck.