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Back Talk - November 2000

First Tracks
posted: 11/28/2000

NO MINDLESS DRIVEL HERE
When my long-standing subscription to SKIING expired last year, I went to the web to renew and discovered that Ski and SKIING have the same owner. Based upon your description of the difference in tenor between the two magazines, I chose to renew with Ski instead. What a mistake. After giving Ski a chance for one year, I have decided that Ski articles are devoid of substance. Just because I've matured in my reputation and can afford first-class recreation doesn't mean I've become brain dead. On the contrary, I demand entertainment as well as information from my skiing magazine.

Over the years, I have always ripped out pages from Skiing because of the great information it contained on travel or gear or technique. I have a thick file full of Skiing articles. During my one year reading Ski, I have accumulated nothing.

Please do not let the common ownership of these two vastly different magazines cause the level of professional journalism at SKIING to deteriorate into mindless drivel like Ski's. I just renewed with SKIING. Thank you.
Vance McNeilly
San Juan Capistrano, California

Bravo! The letter of the year! You just scored yourself a free SKIING baseball cap, my friend.¿Ed.

SECOND PLACE GOES TO...
I recently picked up the September 2000 issue of SKIING. I've been a diehard skier and racer for as long as I can remember and have always waited for the day in the middle of August when my first edition would show up in my mailbox. Looking at the newest issue, I remembered why I always looked forward to it. Every article recalled emotions and memories from some of my best ski days. Thank you for providing me with such a great mag. Don't change a thing.
Andy Blaisdell
Berkeley, California

A sticker for you, my friend, to keep spreading the good word. ¿Ed.

TINY MAILBOXES
I recently received the last issue of my Skiing subscription. It solidified any feelings I had about not renewing. All your magazine does is cover partying and sex that occurs near ski slopes. The first issue read (which got me to subscribe) actually talked about skiing; I guess that must have been a special issue. This past year, your magazine was a waste of money and space in my mailbox. Cancel my subscription.
Kelly Slowik
via the Internet

Unfortunately, you were too late with your letter. You see, we've recently rented our subscription list to Hustler, Juggs, and Variations. Enjoy.¿Ed.

PREACH ON, MY BROTHERS
I've lived in Utah for 20 years and am a member of the state's prominent religion. In your "Got Milk?" article February 2000, you poked some fun at the LDS Church¿they need to lighten up. During my 20 years in Utah, I have found my neighbors to be very close-minded. I have heard some very offensive comments about members of other religions and groups. They cannot accept ideas different from their own but get upset when others don't accept them.

Sometimes we need to have our feathers ruffled. Keep up the good work. I read the article and found it fun, but I knew you would get hit from a lot of crybabies. If your article would have been about something other than not allowing the world to enjoy a glass of beer or wine with their dinner at the Olympics, the whole state of Utah would have written and told you just how great it was. Keep on riding the white stuff and enjoy.
Jeff C.
via the Internet

It's unfortunate that so many readers were hurt and offended by the photo of alcohol consumption in view of the Mormon temple Backtalk, September 2000. I believe that the lampoon was not aimed at the church or its members, rather the laws of the state. By imposing its values onto the general populace, the Church has left itself vulnerable to the use of the building as a symbol for the law.

Further, to equate such a photo with bigotry is to demean the mery of Joseph Smith and his early followers. Mr. Smith would have considered such an incident to be a mere gnat, if he noticed it at all. He knew how devastating real religious bigotry could be.
Robert Klusener
Fresno, California

NOT SO GAY AFTER ALL
I have always enjoyed SKIING magazine and only recently renewed my subscription. I'm wondering if I made a mistake. What's up with the prostitution article and the trashy picture of the almost nude guy talking about Gay and Lesbian Ski Week. My 11-year-old loves the magazine, but I could not let him read the last two issues. If you are going to become a sleazy, trashy magazine, please unsubscribe me.
Name withheld
via the Internet

If I wanted to be bombarded with homosexual propaganda, I would pick up a copy of Out!. Your article "Alternative Aspen," March/April 2000 was probably the strongest negative advertising you could have sent us regarding Aspen. I used to enjoy the place in the '70s. Has it really turned into the glittering rat hole you represent in your magazine?
Ted Kucklick
Los Gatos, California

It's too bad you had to ruin your last issue of the year by including such a ridiculous article on the gay and lesbian event at Aspen "Alternative Aspen," March/April 2000. What does this have to do with skiing or the skiing lifestyle you think you portray in your magazine? You guys (and girls, so as not to be politically incorrect) are a joke. Start sending me the magazine again if you ever figure out what it's really all about. Skiing, that is.
Joe Monahan
via the Internet

Variety is the spice of life, people. Break out your feather boas and enjoy.¿Ed.

WELL, SHUSH MY MOUTH
Damn. Shit. Piss. Asshole. Bullshit. These words, used by your adolescent writers, apparently trying to appeal to adolescent readers, could describe what I think of your writers and their efforts. Were it not to make an example, I would use more imaginative words. Usually this type of language is the sign of a limited vocabulary, a stunted brain, or trying too hard to be "with it."
David M. Herring
Rockport, Texas

Aw shucks, David, out of 30,000 words, there were only five you found objectionable? Throw us a bone here.¿Ed.

ANGRY GUY
Your pro-snowboarding article, "Write For Your Right To Ride" March/April 2000 should read: You foul-mouthed, immature, out-of-control jerks, you shouldn't have any rights¿and that's the girls. The guys border on subhuman. Ski areas need to think about designating trails for snowboarders. This would help confine these turkeys and keep them away from the decent ski populace.
R.L. Brooks
Austin, Texas

We think this guy needs a hug.¿Ed.

LUBE UP
Having had a one-inch equilateral triangle (skin cancer) removed from my lower lip in the 1980s, I can only say thank you to Susan Schnier for her article "Incendiary News" February 2000. Avoid UV like the plague. I'm a slatherer; I hope you are, too.
Walter Johnson,
Amarillo, Texas

BRAIN FREEZE I am a freestyle skier from Massachusetts. A couple days ago I read your article on how to ski bumps with shaped skis "Bump It Up," March/April 2000. I personally don't like people uncovering all that ice through my bump line. Here in the East, we ski ice enough and it's not particularly fun.
Alex Pynn
via the Internet

Were we reading the same article? There was mention of a technique to "scrub speed," but even the pros do that before they air.¿Ed.

HAIL HARB
I've been reading Harald Harb's articles on skiing instruction in Skiing magazine for the past few years. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation for the excellent advice he has been dispensing. My skiing has benefited immensely from his columns. "Free-Foot Skiing" February, 2000 was especially helpful. I had the opportunity to practice this procedure shortly after I read it, and the results were quite dramatic. The turns I produced felt strong and powerful. Thanks again.
David Pee
via the Internet

EASY ON THE CHEESE
Why do we have to keep seeing these articles by Harald Harb with horrible photos? It's bad enough that the text is a mix of well-known techniques with goofy alterations. When I saw the photos for "Free-Foot Skiing" in the February issue, I cringed. What a way to set skiers back¿having an image of a skier in soft snow with the inside ski unweighted at the end of the turn, and with a bunch of rotation. Now, in the March/April issue, he's back with "The Long and Short of It." The main photo has a skier displaying a truly absurd amount of rotation. Is Harb trying to send us back to the '60s? Skiing has lots of great photos of great skiers, don't pollute it with those hideous Harald Harb hackers!
Scott Peer
Glendale, California

Harald is a devout counterrotator. Look at the photos again.¿Ed.

BREAK A LEG
Your article on skiboard safety "Little Skis, Big Step Back?" January 2000 made it sound like nonreleasing bindings were going to kill you. You need to factor in that skiboarders go in the park a lot more often than skiers do, resulting in more injuries. Don't forget that one reason skiers are often not allowed in halfpipes or parks is because if they drop a ski, it's in the way. You should do some more research before totally putting down skiboard bindings. And no, we'll never have releaseable bindings.
Name withheld


Write us at backtalk@skiingmag.com or Back Talk, Skiing, 929 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302

Letters to the editor should include the writer's full name and hometown. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.results were quite dramatic. The turns I produced felt strong and powerful. Thanks again.
David Pee
via the Internet

EASY ON THE CHEESE
Why do we have to keep seeing these articles by Harald Harb with horrible photos? It's bad enough that the text is a mix of well-known techniques with goofy alterations. When I saw the photos for "Free-Foot Skiing" in the February issue, I cringed. What a way to set skiers back¿having an image of a skier in soft snow with the inside ski unweighted at the end of the turn, and with a bunch of rotation. Now, in the March/April issue, he's back with "The Long and Short of It." The main photo has a skier displaying a truly absurd amount of rotation. Is Harb trying to send us back to the '60s? Skiing has lots of great photos of great skiers, don't pollute it with those hideous Harald Harb hackers!
Scott Peer
Glendale, California

Harald is a devout counterrotator. Look at the photos again.¿Ed.

BREAK A LEG
Your article on skiboard safety "Little Skis, Big Step Back?" January 2000 made it sound like nonreleasing bindings were going to kill you. You need to factor in that skiboarders go in the park a lot more often than skiers do, resulting in more injuries. Don't forget that one reason skiers are often not allowed in halfpipes or parks is because if they drop a ski, it's in the way. You should do some more research before totally putting down skiboard bindings. And no, we'll never have releaseable bindings.
Name withheld


Write us at backtalk@skiingmag.com or Back Talk, Skiing, 929 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302

Letters to the editor should include the writer's full name and hometown. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.

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