csdavidson18Having skied both disciplines and knowing several people on the world cup circuit ski racing is a much more dynamic intense training program which breeds the best all around skiers. Just about every guy in the fwt started racing before skiing all mountain.
This. It makes more sense to get the technique from racing, THEN go to FWT contests. If you have the skills honed in racing you can branch out into other disciplines. If you don't start out racing you really can't get into it later. The bump skiers are similar.
Having said that, the top big mountain guys are among the best in the world as pure skiers. Anyone who thinks Bode or one of those guys could just enter an FWT contest and win easily, or produce an top level AK segment, is wrong. It would take him some time. Rahlves is actually a great example, he became one of the best big mountain skiers ever, but he had to work at it. Same with Jeremy Nobis. Those guys had the technical skills for sure, but it took time to hone it to big mountain. Also, both Rahlves and Nobis were guys who skied big mountain on their own before getting filmed. Racing will give you technique which can be applied to big mountain, but you have to actually apply it. I think Rahlves is actually a candidate for being the best skier who ever lived given his success on the race course and the fact that he became an INCREDIBLE big mountain skier.
Anyone who does not think that racing makes you an incredible skier knows nothing about skiing.
Most of the best big mountain skiers had a background in racing or moguls. There is a reason for that.
Bump skiing, like racing, does not get enough credit here. Jonny Moseley is one of the best skiers ever, maybe the best. What modern mogul skiers do is incredible. To do an off-axis 720 in a bump line and ski the bumps perfectly is mind blowing.
With all that being said, I don't know that Bode Miller would be a better big mountain skier than Shane McConkey was. However, I think Bode could ski big mountain and compete more easily than Shane could race, and McConkey was a racer. In fact, McConkey's background in racing and moguls is probably part of the reason he became a candidate for the GOAT.
Remember one more thing: Racing requires some bulk to generate the momentum to get good times. Some smaller guys might have the technical skills to win a race but are not big enough. Some of these guys can become incredible big mountain skiers in technical terrain. Candide was a bump skier, and he is incredible in big mountain. Had he started out as a racer I think he would have developed the SKILLS to be great, but might not have had the bulk to get winning times.
You can go from racing to other disciplines, but you really can't get into racing if you don't start young. It is too competitive and the difference between winning and finishing in the middle of the pack is too small. You really have to completely devote yourself to it.
Give the racers some respect.