If nobody ever saw you ski, how would you ride the park?
Consider the following: Alex Hall, a skier of undoubtable technical ability is at Saas- Fee or Stubai or any other top tier park. AHall, in this imaginary realm is the last man on earth. He has no one to talk to, no one to watch him, no one to affirm that his style is indeed, very dank. AHall has never interacted with anyone. For our purposes, he was spawned on this empty planet simply to ski.
Every day the chairlift spins and everyday AHall skies in solace. Every day is bluebird, 4 degrees and a little bit slushy, but never enough to make speed an issue. Theoretically, Ahall has the rest of his existence to strive towards a better version of himself? He has every day to become the ideal AHall, the SUPREME AHall. What would ideal be? How would he really ski if no one saw?
This line of questioning is pretentious, but it raises consideration about what we consider as the quintessential skier. What do WE, the collection of observers have to say about AHall’s skiing and what effect does it have on the skier himself? To answer this question lets think about being alone for a second.
Lisa Guenther in her book, Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives, has this to say: "Other people, the stimulation which they provide, and the examples they set allow us to conceptualize what is ideal for ourselves"
Within Guenther's logic, Ahall has no way of checking whether or not his dank tricks are indeed dank. He has no one to tell him that grabbing blunt in a dub 12 looks better than grabbing safety For that matter, nothing can effectively convince him that skiing a beautiful park is more ideal than smearing feces all over his face. In Guenther’s eyes, Ahall would have no way of meaningfully persuading himself to think that the tricks that he can do on skis, is what he should be doing.
For the sake of argument let’s say that some way or another Ahall makes the conscious decision to continue skiing this perfect park each and every day. What would this create? What vile mutation of the beloved Ahall might come about in this situation?
I don’t know, and I can’t tell you precisely, but here’s the take.
I don’t think AHall would do any tricks because fundamentally he wouldn’t have a reason to do so. If Ahall has never seen anyone or seen any stunt, why would he bother? Obviously he has the technical ability to do tricks, but what would he stand to gain?
I don’t know what he stands to gain. Maybe he’d uncover the universal hit of dopamine everyone gets when they land switch as if they never left the ground. Maybe he would do tricks for the same arbitrary reason that he chooses to go skiing every day. He’d probably like the feeling of whatever tricks he does do. Whatever he does, whatever this eternally lonesome Ahall performs won’t be the same charade as what we see today.
Maybe he does cork 3’s and b2’s like its nobody’s business, I don’t know for sure. Nevertheless, his skiing in this realm would look wildly different than @alexhallskiing. I don’t think in this world, AHall would find himself doing many tricks because in this realm the goal of park skiing is as clear as mud.
Skiing park would be a meaningless pursuit in this realm. Even a skier at the top of his game would have no reason to do it. Skiing is an aesthetic sport and without a third person it would cease to have meaning. The ideal skier is a constructed by the people, and can’t exist in this realm. Skiing is a collective experience and it meaning can only be validated through other people. We need the homies to clear the mud.
So just think about skiing if no barked at the top of the inrun, filmed from the knuckle, or erupted with emotion when you bang the shit out of a trick.
Ask yourself, would it be worth it?