Originally Posted by crgildart
I'm always in favor of strong wedging skills along with everything else. It's difficult to negotiate tight chutes, and nasty lift corrals without strong wedge skills in your toolbox.
I agree, crgildart, you just hit the tip of the iceberg with that statement.
I've been skiing all of my life, I'm 47yrs old and have been on and off skis 46 of those years. My biggest complaint about skiing is that the new equipment (shaped skis vs Straight) allow a skier to progress to parallel skiing too quickly. Simply (no offense to the good instructors here) roll the ankles and you can parallel. The down side of this is that the skier that learns this way does not have a feel of a balalnce stance as this progression is over passed and when it becomes required at the higher levels it is now difficult to learn. Bad habits have been formed an now must be un-learned.
Read some of the questions asked in the forums and you will clearly see what I'm talking about.
I guess the best way to discribe this is when you learnt to ski a straight ski, you learnt to "drive the ski" (muscles, wt shift, counter motions, etc) to make the tight turns that come very easily with a shaped ski which is primarily "carve the ski" (roll from side to side to various degrees depending on the turn size desired (yes I'm over simplifiying)).
Again reading the forums we see examples of skiers that are not in control when something unexpected happens. This happens because the skier while they appear solid (and feel they are level 7 or 8 and for the most part ski in conditions which one would exect of that level) miss the basics which would allow them to avoid the situation. Very good example of the equipment determining the ability vs the technique determinig the ability.
Dumb old basics are required, while seldom used with shaped skis. When required they show the difference between a true level 8 or above vs a skier that looks like a level 8 and in reality are level 5 or 6.
Shaped skis are here to stay (I'm glad I finally broke down a got a set this year), put fun back in skiing (less effort to ski).
For the industry it definitiely attracts and encourages new skiers as the appeared progression is great, but lets not forget that, What it appears and What it is! are different things.
Teach the basic well, don't dwell on them, as the skier progresses, they will recall some of what has been taught and the overall ability will be better (and safer for all of us).
Sorry this is my primary pet peave about current skiing and instruction, again sorry to the good instructors out there, I do appreciate and see the difference when you are teaching, both in instruction and how your students ski. The rest, please learn and listen to these knowledgeable individuals.
Bit of history, I have skied with lace up boots and cable bindings, my first buckle boots were Trappeur Boots 2 or 3 sizes to big (blue and black cuffs) clear out sale, was all that I could afford at about 12. Skied my dad's old 210 Yellow Arnstiener Blizzard at 14 (I was about 5-10 weight about 105lbs) talk about learning to drive the ski, when I raced them in high school, I used to lock the bindings by cranking the screws all the way down, couldn't twist the toe piece with a pipe wrench (DIN Eqv. prob about 40 or more) on 10-12yr old bindings in '78. My idea was if the ski came off the binding had better come with it. Luckily no injuries. I'm sure that this will bring back some memories good/bad for the "old" guys/girls.