Going into this season, I was a hater of the new wave.
Fuck the bunch, fuck track suits, fuck shuffles, and fuck style over tech.
I was not a very good skier then. I thought I was, I could do a lot of different jump tricks, most of the basic rail tricks, and I thought I was a decently clean and comfortable skier. Looking back on that thought, I could not have been more wrong.
This year was a big year for me. It was my first year of college, I switched ski mountains, and skied with new people, I also got A LOT BETTER.
I went from skiing my little home mountain Ski Sundown, and Okemo, to Sugarbush, notorious home of the new wave on the east coast. Going into the season, I was not stoked on this. I was a jump skier, someone who wanted to start competing more, and someone who couldn't give less of a fuck about being creative. I wanted to get to a point in skiing where I had big tricks I was comfortable with so I could make stock edits, and put together good comp runs.
Skiing bush is a very unique park experience. The feature density is insane, the lips are low and wide, and the feature creativity is out of this world. Its a skate park, not a slope course.
At first, it wasn't that sick. I did a lot of strait slides. I skied down to the jumps as fast as I could so I could work on my cork 7s and switch rodeos.
I got bored, quick.
I dipped my toes into the new wave as a joke. I started doing shiftys everywhere, buttering off knuckles, doing carves on my 180s and 3s and landing with ridiculous arm swing and head bang. I would exaggerate all of my gestures. I would do ridiculous looking nollies and shiftys and after bang everything like I was hitting the ground with the force of a freight train.
It was all funny, but after doing this every afternoon (I would get tired of trying and bored of my tricks), I would notice that I was better the next time I was on hill.
My dexterity was improved, I learned new ways of doing things and my skiing got WAY more stylish.
I learned front swap front 2 almost accidentally after fucking around with shifty front swaps, all my jump axis were more wobbly, and I landed clean with afterbang.
All of the exaggerated ridiculous looking moves I was doing while messing around were incorporating themselves into my skiing, and it didn't look like a joke.
It obvious that practice makes us better, and the tricks we practice a lot are the ones we are best at. I was practicing my tricks in the air and on rails, but I wasn't practicing them when I was just skiing. If your skiing isn't clean and stylish, if you aren't able to style out a strait air off a side hit, you obviously won't be able to style out a flip trick on a jump.
Seems like common sense, yet its not something I ever thought about.
Changing the way we ski and dabbling in new things makes us better. The new wave shouldn't be an excuse for progression to stop. I agree with that. But for people that think it can't be good for their skiing or skiing as a whole, You're wrong.