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taking lessons, figuring it out on your own, reading how-to-books, etc. - Page 2

post #31 of 36

Lessons/instructor clinics combined with mileage. Epicski has also been a good "reality check" and I enjoy different people's perspectives on development. 

 

Also, I, like Skierish, have found it helpful to ski with friends a step faster or better than me to make me step outside my comfort zone.

 

I also find, in the same vein as MDF and Xela, that books help either "fill in the gaps" or to revisit concepts from lessons--or to identify topics I want to investigate more in my next clinic/lesson. I do find books a good primary source of info when learning about off-snow activities like tuning, gear, etc. The problem with books is that they provide no feedback on performance, so readers are left to assume they've just done an exercise correctly (even if it wasn't even similar or created a negative change).  

 

I haven't personally met any good skiers who haven't taken lessons (good being a relative term; my idea of good is anyone who skis at or above the level 3 instructor standard). That said, I do know a few good skiers who haven't paid for lessons! 

 

This discussion dovetails nicely with past threads about why people don't take lessons

post #32 of 36
Thread Starter 

When I started skiing I followed people who I thought skied pretty well.  They thought so too, since they skied fast.  I learned to keep up, but it didn't feel right.  (They were skidding around very fast without much versatility on hard NE groomers.)

 

To figure out what was wrong with my skiing as it had evolved while following these fast people around, I took numerous lessons.  These were all disappointing for various reasons.     

 

I bought all the how-to books I could find and worked from those.  I thought I understood what to do from these authors but later found out I was sometimes way off.  As others have stated above, there's no feedback and you can embed some pretty odd habits that have to be unlearned.  

 

I began racing in two local beer leagues.  Racing is supposed to make you a better skier.  There was no coaching involved; I got better at gates, but I can't say it applied outside the gates.

 

I read extensively here on Epic.  That helped me to absorb the technical language and understand the politics of the skiing world.

 

I became a ski instructor.  After some time I've found mentors that can guide me to the next level.  Their personal instruction has been by far the most effective thing in this whole process.  Those are my breakthrough days.

 

I acquired instructional DVDs as well, and poured over them.  The ones I got turned out to be very good (Rick Schnellman), and have allowed me to put most of the technobabble into a clear and workable  conceptual framework. 

 

Through all of this the most exciting growth happens when I figure out things on my own.  Coming to understand something while working with a coach can never match the sublime pleasure of discovering new movement patterns while out there alone on the snow.  

post #33 of 36

In 30 years of skiing, I can point to 30 days that made me into the skier I am today.  Between semesters in college I bought a 30 day pass to Mary Jane.  This was before cheap passes, and I couldn't afford a season pass or lessons.   I had a group of friends who were great skiers and I could barely keep up (I'm fortunate to still ski with most today!), so I needed to improve.  

 

I was extremely motivated to get better and decided that maxing out my mileage in 30 days was my best hope, and all I could afford.  I skied 28 out of 30 days, everyday except Christmas and New Years.  I drove 130 miles round trip each day from Denver to Mary Jane.  I also checked out all the books and magazines on skiing from the local libraries and read them at night.   I was eating, breathing and sleeping skiing.

 

I mostly skied by myself, but occasionally would ski with a buddy and get some tips.  I made a rule that I couldn't go home until I skied every run that was open at least once, regardless of snow conditions.  The entire mountain was open by the second week.  They had just installed the high speed quad at the Jane, so there were no lines and it was a quick 8 mins lift to bumps, bumps and more bumps.   I believe this is where my Advil addiction started smile.gif

 

At first I had to stop numerous times on each run.  By the end of the 30 days I was skiing most runs top to bottom and I had skied myself into pretty good shape.  I was also much more smooth and efficient... better technique can develop out of necessity.   

 

When my out of state college friends returned from Xmas break they were amazed at how much I improved.   I remember them being dumbstruck.  They couldn't believe what they were seeing.  I went from pretty sucky to a decent skier in 30 days.   If you want to get better quickly, give it a try... YMMV!!


Edited by tball - 6/4/13 at 11:44am
post #34 of 36

^^^^^ That story is why I loved fuzzybunnybaby and HippieFlippinNM's adventures so much.  At least I had a warm place to sleep in my parent's basement.  Those guys slept in their cars!  

 

Fuzzybunnybaby's skiing had improved remarkably the last day I skied with him at A-basin, a little over a month after skiing with him for the first time at Copper.  

post #35 of 36

I started skiing on a university ski club trip where the the package included lift tickets, rentals and 5 days of 4 hour lessons per day. I found that I could get down the mountain but I wasn't sure that I knew what I was doing or how I was skiing. I then read some books (LeMaster and Elling) and got a better understanding of what skiing was about but I couldn't visualize some of the concepts that were discussed in the books. It was only after I watched all the Building Blocks DVD from Rick Schnellmann from beginning to end that I began to understand in a coherent way why good skiers do certain things, etc. and how to apply those things to my skiing.

post #36 of 36

One of my projects for the upcoming season is to learn how to organize some good video of myself and friends, and then do it. As it is, a combination of lack of camera skills, lack of equipment, and lack of willingness to commit precious slope time, have conspired to make virtually every attempt at shooting video with analysis in mind an abject failure, unless you feel like watching a fuzzy black dot weaving microscopically across an undifferentiated field of fuzzy cotton for a few seconds, until you hear the cameraman say "oh crap," as he realizes he started the shot facing the wrong way and has to spin around to catch the skier as he passes by. rolleyes.gif)

Ha Ha!!  One of the best things about Epic is some of these posts to the topics.  Greg Stump watch out !!
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