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skis for coaching

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

Just been for a week skiing in Italy. After not skiing for the past 6 years and joining here a few months ago. I encountered talk of a change in skis used, ie fat skis, mid fats 90mm plus waist skis from almost everyone one here.With all this talk i was expecting to see lots of these wider skis being used on the slopes. But i didnt. 

I went about inspecting whilst battling my way in lift lines, not once did i see an instructor on anything other than slalom or gs skis mostly Atomic or Volkl (regardless of teaching snow plough or the racing clubs). I asked a few instructors about only using race skis to teach and they looked at me like i had two heads. The instructor i had lessons with said he would only use banana skis(rocker) if it was a big dump and freestyle skis for the park, everything else always his slalom skis.

 

Am i correct in saying there is a difference in opinions of equiptment used either side of the pond?

post #2 of 89

I think there is. I was in Austri last week and the same was pretty much true there to. I personally feel that in the older established ski nations; Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland there is a big macho thing about race skis. Also many intructors come from a racing background which explains a lot (read into that what you will) I find though reading lots of threads on here that there is almost a similar obsession with going wide in North America.

 

Personally I can't quite understand why you would want to ski on big fat skis unless you were in really deep stuff. On the groomers and in many more tricky conditions they're not necessarily the best weapon. I wonder if fashion and fad are somewhat having an effect on things.

 

To me it's a bit like when I read endless articles and speak to people about skiing they're always saying about skiing steep stuff and being off piste. You'd expect that the harder terrain would be crowded out and yet when I ski in Europe, most black runs are just about deserted and off piste similarly so.

 

Unless you live in a ski area or are fortunate enough to be able to carry several pairs of skis toyour destination an all rounder ski is I believe the best option. By this I mean something that's capable in most conditions; quick enough edge to edge, holds well, handles the bumps and will give you a decent ride off piste. For me that means something probably 75 to 85 cm waist.

post #3 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

 

 

To me it's a bit like when I read endless articles and speak to people about skiing they're always saying about skiing steep stuff and being off piste. You'd expect that the harder terrain would be crowded out and yet when I ski in Europe, most black runs are just about deserted and off piste similarly so.

 



i know what you mean, everyone i talk to speaks of off piste and ripping it up, but i never saw any one off piste but to be fair conditions were tough, unbreakable - breakable crust in the same runs,

Black runs though i find really annoying, watching people continually struggling down looking at any point capable of putting themselves in to a wheel chair or for that matter fumbling uncontrolably down in to the back of me and me being in one,

 

An instructor did mention to me, he was under the belief in the States they dont have to be a racer prior to being an instructor like in Europe. 

 

post #4 of 89

That's true but they don't have to be per se in Europe. I've always struggled with the concept that skiing gates fast makes you good at understanding and analysing the travails of the novice skier. On the controrary it can make for a gap in understanding in much the same way that the best football(soccer) coaches have rarely been great players.

I believe that one of the strengths of the PSIA and CSIA is that its pros have come through essentially the same system that they are now teaching in, giving them a more accurate insight into their clients problems, aspirations and anxieties.

post #5 of 89

If someone's been through a good race program, they understand a couple of things. One, the mechanics of skiing, movement analysis, etc... Two, they've received a lot of coaching, so they understand how to learn. This isn't always translatable into knowing how to teach, but it's a big step in the right direction.

post #6 of 89
Performance skiers will want to ski on performance skis, generally, with special equipment like full rockers saved for special circumstances like big powder days or park use.

Most European instructor training programs include a fairly demanding racing component as part of the highest levels of certification.
post #7 of 89
Thread Starter 


 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Performance skiers will want to ski on performance skis, generally, with special equipment like full rockers saved for special circumstances like big powder days or park use.
Most European instructor training programs include a fairly demanding racing component as part of the highest levels of certification.


   do you believe this racing eliment is essential? im in the understanding they have to be with in 18% of a racers time from the europa cup, what skis do you use to teach on?
 

 

post #8 of 89

The majority of my students are on fat skis with varying forms of rocker, so when I finally broke my new atomic access out a couple of weeks ago I have been strictly teaching and skiing on them. I've been clinicing on them too, even rode them in a carving clinic. They laid trenches just fine.

 

When I'm standing in front of a group of hard chargers on fat skis I will have more credibility with them if I'm on similar gear, and I can relate better to what they are experiencing with their skis. Most of my students have only one pair of skis, and they ride them in all conditions. Besides, I've been having lot's of fun on them.

post #9 of 89

Seems like it. Most instructors I know are on mid-fats, park skis, or a blend of the two. I did a CSIA PDP on my Atomic Bentchetlers today, at my 135 foot vertical home hill today. It was icy as hell, and my everyday park skis have seriously detuned edges. They made some nice turns. That being said, for an everyday ski in my conditions, I would go with about an 85mm waist park ski, like the Atomic Punx. I ski switch 75% of my day, twin-tips are a must. I love teaching on soft skis, and park skis are durable (students love to run over skis).

post #10 of 89

Personally, I think that using a racing ski for teaching isn't a good idea at all. A racing ski by its very nature is stiff and heavy, and is designed to tenaciously hold an edge in any snow. Despite the popular image, we instructors generally spend a majority of our time teaching novice level students on novice level terrain. For that application, a light, soft ski is far preferable than a stiff, heavy one. My teaching skis are a pair of foam-core twin tips with an 83 waist. I also have a pair of heavy carving skis, but they never, ever come out when I'm teaching. I could make them do what I want, but I don't see the need to make my job harder by using a tool ill suited to the task at hand. Also, with the skis on as I climb, sidestep, skate, and generally maneuver around a crowded beginner slope, a light ski is hugely beneficial. One mountain I worked at a few years ago would provide a number of short (120-130cm) skis for instructors to use while teaching. They were old rental skis that had been taken out of rotation. I loved them, because they made maneuvering around extremely easy.

 

I feel that instructors who are using a race ski either don't have another option because they are so focused on racing that their entire quiver is race skis, or because they are letting their ego get in the way of practicality.

post #11 of 89

Flatlander, since you ski switch most of the time, have you considered mounting your binding switch?

post #12 of 89

Nope, I haven't, but it's an interesting idea. I saw somebody who did that on another thread. But like I said, when I am instructing, I spend 75% of the time skiing switch. It allows me to set turn shape for my students, while watching them ski at the same time. When they are beginners, it allows me to easily catch an out of control child. Of course, I always wait for the run to be empty before setting off, just so I don't hit anyone.

post #13 of 89

I'd suggest taking you students to terrain that they can handle without you skiing backwards in front of them. Then you can demonstrate forward skiing, which is probably what they've paid to learn.

post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I'd suggest taking you students to terrain that they can handle without you skiing backwards in front of them.


Great idea, doesn't exist where I work. We have a VERY shallow bunny hill, with no lift that needs to be hiked, and what amounts to a fairly steep blue run, especially the windblown, icy portion at the top of the hill. That's all we have. For next season, another lift is going in to access some flatter terrain, to be used as a beginner area. For now, the bunny hill is good to learn to snowplow, then some basic turns. After that, the kids are worn out from hiking (and myself, I hike that hill 20-30 times a day, sometimes running, sometimes carrying students' gear, and sometimes giving a piggyback ride to a tuckered out student), and it's time to head over to the chairlift. Yes, I would love to be able to take them to easier terrain. The fact is, it isn't there, or isn't accessible. As for demonstrations, they still get them, as the chairlift exits at the top of the bunny hill. However, in order to get back down to ride the chair back up, the steeper run must be skied down. Far from ideal, but you make do with what you have. As for setting turn shape for students, why does it matter which way I am skiing while I do it? I want them to follow my tracks, and concentrate on their skiing. Doing it switch lets me be closer while watching them ski, as well as keeping me in range for constant verbal feedback on how they are doing. Seems a hell of a lot better than setting the turn shapes, stopping, and watching. This way, I can stop them at any time, on the fly, to fix any issues with their skiing. After all, I have to pack a ton of content into a 1 hour lesson.

post #15 of 89

Sounds like you are making do with what you have. You might want to consult with the more experienced instructors at your hill. Is everyone teaching backwards?

post #16 of 89

Just the ones who can actually carve backwards will do it, the others do a backwards snowplow when helping skiers on their first couple runs, acting as a 'brake', especially at the icy portion at the top. Of course, once a skier advances to the point that they can set their own turn shapes, and it's time to demonstrate more advanced skiing (angulation, lower body separation, etc.), I'll go back to skiing forwards for the whole run. However, because lessons only last 1 hour, and we rarely get any skiers better than the low end of intermediate registering for lessons, it's switch skiing for most of the day. Sometimes I'll ski forwards for some of the more complicated drills that require more than a short demonstration, especially when making that all-important transition from wedge to parallel turns. It's a breath of fresh air to get somebody who can actually ski for a change.

post #17 of 89

Concerning turn shape, most people can follow someone who is going forward just as well as they can follow someone going backwards. But I won't second guess your teaching method if that's what works best on the terrain you have to work with.

post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Concerning turn shape, most people can follow someone who is going forward just as well as they can follow someone going backwards.


Following forward or switch, it makes no difference. The reason I do it is so I can more easily watch people and evaluate their skiing on the fly. I have found that it is the best way to offer fast feedback on their skiing. If I were to ski halfway down a run and stop to watch them ski, I'm not as close to them, so I can't evaluate their skiing as well. Also, by the time I stop them, on such a small hill, it's going to be another trip up the chairlift to apply what I want them to change.

 

post #19 of 89

Generally speaking, following an instructor who is skiing forward will be more beneficial to most students than following an instructor who is skiing backwards. It is possible to observe students by looking backwards. It is not always necessary to ski backwards to keep an eye on your students.

post #20 of 89

Think more about what the student needs rather than what is easier for you.

post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Generally speaking, following an instructor who is skiing forward will be more beneficial to most students than following an instructor who is skiing backwards. It is possible to observe students by looking backwards. It is not always necessary to ski backwards to keep an eye on your students.


eh whatever? I teach more in month than you do in a decade. skiing backwards I can point direct and watch what is happening. 

 

When I ski forward I try not look back at all most people who tons of upper body rotation to do so. 

 

 

on the skis I like 90-100 mm twins to teach on I am great skier and with the exception of one J2 i coached this year I could do anything I needed to do on those skis well above the level of the student. I teach alot of low end lessons and whens its high end its almost always off piste biased race skis would make no sense.   With the J2 I grabbed SL skis because that what we are working on. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #22 of 89
Lotta sword-waving going on here.

Skiing backward to impress your students pretty much puts the focus on you, and not on them.

Unless the lesson goal is backward skiing, that is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

eh whatever? I teach more in month than you do in a decade. skiing backwards I can point direct and watch what is happening.

Josh -- rein in the ego, pal. I think we're more interested in what's being taught and how, rather than whether you're the most badass skier at Stowe. No need to make this a competition.

(I ski backward in lessons sometimes because it enables pointing, observing, etc. as you say, but doing it all the time suggests preening not teaching or coaching)
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post


eh whatever? I teach more in month than you do in a decade. skiing backwards I can point direct and watch what is happening. 

 

When I ski forward I try not look back at all most people who tons of upper body rotation to do so. 

 

 

on the skis I like 90-100 mm twins to teach on I am great skier and with the exception of one J2 i coached this year I could do anything I needed to do on those skis well above the level of the student. I teach alot of low end lessons and whens its high end its almost always off piste biased race skis would make no sense.   With the J2 I grabbed SL skis because that what we are working on. 

 

 

 

 

 


You are awesome!

 

post #24 of 89

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post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post

Josh -- rein in the ego, pal. I think we're more interested in what's being taught and how, rather than whether you're the most badass skier at Stowe. 


Yep. Makes you sound like an angry pimply faced 15 year old and probably not befitting of your actual skills.

 

post #26 of 89

I like to match my skis as closely as possible to my students skis. 

 

JF

post #27 of 89
Thread Starter 


dont take this the wrong way but at times you really do make yourself sound an idiot, you blow your own trumpet an awful lot, let others blow it for you if youre so great,

btw whats a j2
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post


eh whatever? I teach more in month than you do in a decade. skiing backwards I can point direct and watch what is happening. 

 

When I ski forward I try not look back at all most people who tons of upper body rotation to do so. 

 

 

on the skis I like 90-100 mm twins to teach on I AM A GREAT SKIER and with the exception of one J2 i coached this year I could do anything I needed to do on those skis well above the level of the student. I teach alot of low end lessons and whens its high end its almost always off piste biased race skis would make no sense.   With the J2 I grabbed SL skis because that what we are working on. 

 

 

 

 

 



 

post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post

Lotta sword-waving going on here.
Skiing backward to impress your students pretty much puts the focus on you, and not on them.
Unless the lesson goal is backward skiing, that is.
Josh -- rein in the ego, pal. I think we're more interested in what's being taught and how, rather than whether you're the most badass skier at Stowe. No need to make this a competition.
(I ski backward in lessons sometimes because it enables pointing, observing, etc. as you say, but doing it all the time suggests preening not teaching or coaching)


lol we do not ski backwards to impress students I almost never get a comment on doing this, almost every coach I know does this.

 

the real point was saying this. If your a high end coach the majority of your lessons can be taught on whatever you got because there is going to be noone is even close to approaching what your able to do. a J2 IE a Junior racer aged 15-16  though a wrench in this plan as they can ski better than the majority of instructors/general public and he wanted to to get better at retraction SL turns. I got off the rockered twin tips and got on a pair of FIS SL skis.

 

post #29 of 89

I do think there are a lot of instructors that spend waaay too much time skiing backwards. Josh isn't one of them though.

post #30 of 89

I skied mostly forward while teaching my kid this season but flipped switch between turns to talk to him and point out instructions, then flipped regular turned, flipped switch to set up the next turn shouted "follow me!"  flipped regular to provide turn shape tracks for the next turn, then stayed forward for awhile flipping switch for a few seconds periodically as needed to watch closely.

 

 

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