Old School vs. New School | VailDaily.com

Old School vs. New School

Kent Roberg/New Media Editor

I recently spent a Sunday on the hill with an “old-school’ skier. I know, it was frustrating.

All weekend I had been frustrated on the hill. I was riding with good people. The lift lines were short and the runs wide open. But I was in a bad mood and feeling grim. Why? Then it hit me – old school riding stinks.

I started to feel limited – trapped. I was being denied the freedom of riding.

The mountain is huge and the possibilities endless, besides, you don’t stay ahead of the pack by waiting for it to swallow you.

Carving big turns and hauling ass is fun – for a while. That’s what you do getting from one spot to another. It’s part of navigating the mountain. And that is one element of the new school of riding.

New school is about being part of the progression of the sport.

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It’s about developing your own personal style. It’s about learning new jibs and buttering tricks on the way to some sick drops and deep stashes. It’s about doing it all and doing it well. It’s about making up your own tricks – like the Potpie, the Hungry Man, the Drunk Trucker and the Angry Slut.

“Old new school’

Sessioning the park all day? Big tricks in the pipe? That’s certainly part of it – the old new school if you will.

On the professional level new school riding is associated with guys like Shawn White, Dave Downing, Jussi, and locals like Josh Malay. The list goes on. Fill in the blanks.

A group of skiers dubbed The Canadian Air Force and Mike Douglas are credited with helping develop the new school of skiing and twin tip skis. Peter Olenick from Carbondale took new school hardware home at the Aspen/Snowmass Thanksjibbing weekend on the 30-foot wall under the lights.

Speaking of Aspen/Snowmass, they felt bitter about being dissed by the F.I.S World Cup circuit so they put together a kick-ass contest and called it Thanksjibbing Weekend.

Decidedly progressive and certainly new school, events like this get people excited about the evolution of skiing and riding.

Taking it to the next level in downhill just means going faster. Great for the guy going fast but boring to watch. Maybe someday some guy in a spandex suit will go so fast no one can even see him. He might even break into another dimension or combust. That would be super – super old school.

Old school debt

We all have a soft spot in our hearts for the old school: the mullet, ’80s rock, neon and any other trend our style which has been put to pasture all form part of our cultural heritage. It is what pulls us apart and brings us closer together.

We are collectively a progressive culture – continually searching and growing. Trendsetting can be awkward and stumbling in execution and hilarious to look back on. However, truth be told, we owe everything to the old school.

Without things like telemark skis, the Snurfer, the Beatles invasion and the sexual revolution none of us would even be in school. Inevitably today’s new school will be tomorrow’s old.

Until then I’ll be keeping it old school chasing the new school down the hill.

Keep it real, keep it old school, but move over and make room for the new school on the chair.

Old School

– Long Skis

– Unitards

– Telemark skis

– Carving

– The Stem Christie

– Powder 8s

– Moguls

New School

– Buttering tricks

– Rails

– Jibbing

– Twin-Tip Skis

– 360 mute grabs

– 540s, 720s, 1080s

– Front and back flips

– Terrain Parks, even old-school legend Arapahoe Basin boasts a park.