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I can't believe I showed up late for a bump thread. :nono: Great discussion and topic!!

I need to defend the dignity of the zipper line. At the highest level, the zipper line is the way bumps are intended to be skied.

How does the zipper line apply to beginning bump skiers?

Beginning bumpers need to visualize good bump skiing. When beginning bumpers look down from the lift which skiers should they model? How would they someday like to ski? What's their end goal for skiing bumps?

I hate this talk about only competitive bump skiers or the young can ski the zipper line. That's bunk. Same with the idea the zipper line will necessarily destroy your body. That's not true either.

I see those often repeated myths as excuses. If folks don't want to ski the zipper line, ski them how you choose. Please don't try to dissuade beginning bump skiers from trying to obtain the highest level of bump skiing.
 

Monique

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Defend your thesis!
It's self-evident!

Take our beginning bump skier to any hill with good bumpers. Ask her who are the best bump skiers. She'll say those skiing the zipper line, assuming the dark side hasn't gotten to her yet.

She'll probably also say she could never ski like that. To which, an anti-zipper line propagandist will reply "You're right, that's only for competitive bump skiers and the young, and it will destroy your knees." They will probably also reference the stupid Warren Miller quote that is promulgated by the non-bump skiing crowd.

That's tragic. If someone is taking a bump lesson, the last thing you should do is tell them they can't reach the pinnacle of bump skiing. It's like telling your kids they are not smart enough to get into Harvard or MIT.

Full disclosure: I didn't get into Harvard or MIT, so I majored in Bumps at CU. ogsmile
 
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dbostedo

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It's self-evident!

Take our beginning bump skier to any hill with good bumpers. Ask her who are the best bump skiers. She'll say those skiing the zipper line, assuming the dark side hasn't gotten to her yet.
Saying the best bump skiers ski zipper line, does not necessarily mean that's the way bumps are meant to be skied. Those could be two different things.

And as someone this is thread is targeted at, I'm going to posit that there is no way bumps are "meant" to be skied - what I'd like eventually is the capability to ski them in various ways and choose for myself.
 
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Saying the best bump skiers ski zipper line, does note necessarily mean that's the way bumps are meant to be skied. Those could be two different things.
As I said above: "At the highest level, the zipper line is the way bumps are intended to be skied."

It's okay if one chooses not to ski bumps at the highest level. Please, just don't dissuade beginners from aspiring to do so.
 

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As I said above: "At the highest level, the zipper line is the way bumps are intended to be skied."

It's okay if one chooses not to ski bumps at the highest level. Please, just don't dissuade beginners from aspiring to do so.
I think you're missing my point. I'm saying that just because it's the highest level skiing, does not mean there's any mystical connection to "that's how bumps are meant to be skied". Zipper line may be the most difficult, require the most expertise, and be the aspirational way to ski them. But that's different than saying that's how they are meant to be skied.

I.e. meant by who? Who determines it? That phrase implies to me that other ways of doing it are wrong, or at least less right.

I want to capable of skiing the zipper line. If I ever get there, and still find a different way of skiing them more enjoyable, perhaps that different way is how they're meant to be skied.

Yes, I'm arguing semantics here, but I'm also arguing that telling someone there's 1 way the bumps are meant to be skied, might make them shy away from even trying.
 
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The last thing I want to do is discourage anyone from skiing bumps. There are many different ways to ski a bump run and have a blast doing so.

My beef is with the anti-zipper line sentiment littered throughout this thread and espoused by many skiers, many of whom are incapable of skiing a zipper line.

Bump skiing is a discipline. It's an Olympic sport with coaches and athletes training every day to ski bumps in the zipper line.

The zipper line is also how the best non-competitive skiers will ski at any mountain with a semblance of a bump skiing culture.

Again, I feel it's self-evident and shouldn't even be a point of contention that skiing the zipper line is the highest level of bump skiing. Telling beginners otherwise is a disservice and offensive to folks who have spent their lives refining the craft. That's my perspective as a skier who has grown up in a bump skiing culture.
 
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I have no idea what "highest level of bump skiing" means.

There's no doubt that mogul competitions focus on the zipper line. They ski the zipper line because that's what the judging criteria requires them to ski.

When I -- and 99% of the skiing public -- ski bumps, there's no judge, so I don't feel particularly constrained by their criteria.

I view skiing as personal expression. You have a white canvas below you and you get to do whatever you want. Personally, i find the zipper line to be boring -- it's totally predictable. Marcus Caston's "return of the turn" video showed high-end bump skiing that was anything but zipper line and it was a lot more fun to watch then any bump skiing competition I've watched.

I don't think that bump skiers should be discouraged from skiing the zipper line, but unless they aspire to competition bump skiing, I don't see anything wrong with not skiing the zipper line. I took my share of lessons, bump clinics, etc. I don't recall ever being told "not" to ski the zipper line. I was simply taught skiing techniques that would apply all over the mountain.
 
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I have no idea what "highest level of bump skiing" means.
Well, then, that's probably worth discussing. With other skiing disciplines, there seems to be a consensus what is high level. It's just odd this is even a discussion for bump sking.
Marcus Caston's "return of the turn" video showed high-end bump skiing that was anything but zipper line and it was a lot more fun to watch then any bump skiing competition I've watched.
Huh? Anything but zipper line? I was about to post that video as an example of high-level bump skiing. The majority of skiing in the video is zipper line:


I'd love it if beginning bumpers aspired to ski like any of those guys. Do note that Marcus is kind of over the top in over exaggerating a wild style of skiing to emphasize the theme of the video.
 
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Exhibit B of high-level bump skiing is a video of Blake Saunders @KingGrump posted earlier in this thread:


Blake can ski bumps any way he chooses. When he's skiing at his highest level, he's skiing in the zipper line fast, crazy fast, but in total control. He's an awesome guy and a friend. If anyone is at the Jane, he'll likely make the time to ski a few runs with you. His skiing is really something to see. Send me a PM and I'll put you in touch.
 
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Exhibit C of high-level bump skiing is the Bumpapalooza video from last year:


Note there's a nice variety of skill levels demonstrated in that video. They all are working toward the same high-level skiing goal, though, the zipper line. (I'm not in the video, just love what they are doing.)
 
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Monique

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Again, I feel it's self-evident and shouldn't even be a point of contention that skiing the zipper line is the highest level of bump skiing. Telling beginners otherwise is a disservice and offensive to folks who have spent their lives refining the craft. That's my perspective as a skier who has grown up in a bump skiing culture.
The flip side is beginners thinking they are "supposed" to ski the zipper line, and feeling completely defeated when they can't, or feeling they're being given some sort of "lesser" option when instructors teach them different tactics. (Although arguably you may need to master those tactics on the way to the zipper line. I assume.) This describes my experience.
 

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The other is a timing thing, brain stoppage. You're right, with downhill momentum my brain seems to work. Absent that it's not making the connections. Maybe this season I'll try to fix it.
*nod* I think part of the drill is to turn the bumps into a pump track, where you need to generate energy on the down side to get you up the up side. At least, that's how I interpret it. *OR* when you switch directions, try to get some speed on the turn ;-)
 

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Hm. Not that I could ever be a zipper-liner at my age, but I've never envied that skill. It's impressive, certainly, but not enviable (I speak only for myself). Bang, bang, bang, knees, knees, knees, no thanks. I don't think I'd ski that way even if I could. I'd rather flow.

That doesn't mean I'd tell anyone never to ski zipper line. That would be absurd, like saying never ski gates or never ski powder. Not for me to decide in any case. If he or she decides competition bumps is where it's at, burn it up. But I doubt I ever will.
 

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...Bang, bang, bang, knees, knees, knees, no thanks...
Hmm... that brings up something I just realized I'm assuming, but maybe shouldn't be. Does zipper line bump skiing have to be "bang, bang, bang"? Or can it be slow (or slowish at least) and controlled?

I've been assuming it could be done in a more controlled fashion. If we're talking about high speed zipper line banging, then I don't even want to try that with all the knee problems I've had.
 

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My experience with bump skiing is that if I’m proactive with absorption (I.e., back pedaling) then it doesn’t hurt my knees. If I get “caught” (for lack of a better word) the bumps can deliver a jolt.
 

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When I watch really good zipper-liners skiing bumps really fast (including some videos in this thread), it doesn't seem like a lot of impact. Despite the popular vernacular, it doesn't seem like "bashing" to me so much and graceful an fluid absorption of the bump, Kind of like frozen slippery kung fu. I understand that some people find it boring or ugly to watch but in my personal opinion it is a thing of beauty and certainly the highest form of mogul skiing. Different strokes for different folks.

Now, about beginners thinking they are supposed to ski the zipper line and getting discouraged when they can't, well you have to learn to walk before you can run. I mean it seems there should be an acceptance of the fact that there are intermediate steps to get to an ultimate goal. You don't tell beginning racers to shin and cross-block every gate the first time they get in a slalom course, but that's the destination.
 

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The flip side is beginners thinking they are "supposed" to ski the zipper line, and feeling completely defeated when they can't, or feeling they're being given some sort of "lesser" option when instructors teach them different tactics. (Although arguably you may need to master those tactics on the way to the zipper line. I assume.) This describes my experience.
I have seen noob in the freestyle team and they work on skiing direct from day one. IMO, using tactics helps to play around with different approaches, release points and the feel of the snow.
 

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No, zipper line does not have to be full impact.
Agreed. I posted the vid below many years ago and it's still appropriate now. With firm conditions you can use low impact but good technique. In soft snow or freshies.... yeah you can let it fly and let the snow cushion the impact.

 

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