Originally Posted by EdgeByter
I can ski forward and have pushed the limits that direction to such an extent I could grab my ski tips and ski (at least before I started wearing all the hip padding and my skis got shorter). I could even do 360's in that "dog" position. For those who try this (or think I'm making this up) the tricks are to start using a phantom move by diverging you inside tip and twisting it to edge it with your hand, and to lift your tips up off the snow with your hands before you make the edge change going backwards. Harder to lift one leg while doing it though, but even a Royal Dog 360 is possible. Of course this is possible.
I find that when going faster and trying to turn quicker that a somewhat forward, shins on the cuffs position, is lacking in several respects and is much more likely to cause me to spin out, cross my tips, hook an edge, or have the skis slowed more by terrain and put me even further forward. All of which can quickly lead to a fall. Of course you can be too far foward, who has suggested otherwise? The vast majority of what I've read in books and on-line say most skiers need to be further forward. Perhaps the reason so many skiers don't follow that advice is they feel too vulnerable to falling to be so far forward. So learning to ski well with their feet out in front of them more, much earlier in the game, might better prepare them for the steeper terrain you talk about below where having the feet out front (we seem to agree) is necessary. I spend most of my easy cruising time in a pretty balanced position (for me anyhow, with my weight balanced pretty much over my ankles and just moving back and forth with the changing terrain). But when things get extreme I get my feet out in front of me. That works better for me then. I think I've figured out why too. I think more folks should try it, so I'm advocating for it. But I'm certainly not saying it is the only right way to ski or it is the right way and the other ways are all wrong. Perhaps there is a reason beginners sit back. Perhaps there is a reason Heluva says so few skiers ever really get forward on their skis. Maybe a ski school that enhances rather than fights the natural tendencies could develop better skiers quicker. It is frustrating when someone who won't even try something tells you that it won't work, especially when you already know that it can. Again, I agree with you, when things get steeper, the VB effects get greater, thus the need to get the feet futher forward in the bottom of the turn increases....this shocks a lot of people in true expert lessons in extreme terrain...but it only takes one or two turns for them to become believers. All experienced instructors working high end/expert terrain know this. Look at any big mountain extreme skier at the end of the turn, they all look like racers with their hips behind their feet. Who are you arguing with?
Apparently I'm not arguing with you, but do you know how rarely I've ever seen a statement like yours above from anyone, much less a ski instructor, or even in most ski instruction books.You mention that your advice shocks a lot of people. I'm guessing that is because it is so rare. I'll bet the shocked include a lot of ski instructors that don't ski in more extreme condition as you apparently do. I think the reason that it shocks a lot of people is because they have bought into the always stay forward dogma that has been around for a long time and still seems to be the common knowledge of skiing even among most instructors. I have seen it over and over again (just look at the early comments on the Quad Burn thread). They are who I'm arguing with.
I'm not saying how anyone should ski, but since the back seat seems to be some sort of sin in most ski school dogma I may sound like I'm saying that is the only way to to ski, especially to someone projecting their own "there is only one right way and I know what it is" attitude on to me. I'm just trying to give the devil his due and open some skiers eyes to the fact that their are many different ways to ski and some work better sometimes and in some conditions than others do. For me they do anyhow. Maybe it can work for you to. Focusing on only skiing one way is pretty boring. Back when the Wedeln was the top skill taught by ski schools I talked to people who went through ski school for several years, reached the top level and then got bored and quit skiing altogether. I found that hard to believe, I mean get a little imagination, you are not just limited to what you have been taught in school. But apparently they thought they were. You are putting words in peoples mouths that arent there. You are creating your own argument.
I'm not sure which words you are talking about. I'm writing from personal experiences. I'm not making this up. From something Heluva said in another thread, I gather you are an instructor (or higher) in Canada (and I'm also curious which one you were in that video).
I saw some video done by a well known instructor from Whistler on TV last year and again had a glimmer of hope that some ski schools might finally be "getting it". Later, I talked to a guy who had gotten some direct parallel instruction at Whistler and he had good things to say about his progress there. When a friend's, never had skied, over 50, wife wanted to learn to ski, I volunteered to help her, partly because I wanted to see if my ideas regarding teaching novices would work with a timid older skier as well as they did with younger more daring skiers. I hoped to be her first instructor and start with her first day on the slope (actually, earlier with some exercises to practice at home). Unfortunately, the family went to Whistler together early that season before we had a chance to go skiing together. Given the good report I'd heard, and the video, I had hopes the instructors there would at least keep her away from the Wedge. After three days of lessons there she was much worse off than if she had had no lessons at all. She couldn't even ski down the slightest slope using the Wedge that they tried to teach her there, but now also had a lot of bad habits to break (that had been virtually etched into her Amygdala by fear). I'm happy to say my radical teaching methods worked for her too. After maybe six or seven more times skiing, she now enjoys skiing groomed intermediate slopes mostly parallel. Unfortunately, she still occasionally reverts to the little stem (especially at slower speeds and on steeper slopes) she picked up from the Wedge she was first taught that seriously gets in the way of pivoting off both her heels to turn parallel like I helped her learn to do. That stem hangs up the inside ski tail and forces her to lift that ski off the ground to complete the turn (which makes the turn more awkward).
Fore, middle, and aft all in one turn. The best skiers used to use all three (and still can if they want to). That is how I've spent most of my life skiing. I pretty much needed to do that in order to get straight skis to carve. But, boy the ski instructors did not like the aft part of that sequence. You wouldn't want to let them see that at ski instructor tryouts for instance. Back then they expected folks to be as far forward at the end of the turn as at the beginning. As I said before, there are glimmers of hope sometimes, but when you are in an aging bureaucracy change sure happens slowly. You are making stuff up. I have been in this game for a long time, and the fore/middle/aft has been too. I dont know anyone who knows anything that makes the statements you have attributed to them.
I am not making stuff up. I'd agree that "anyone who knows anything" wouldn't make these statements. Perhaps I've had too much contact with those who don't know anything.
We seem to agree on a lot. When did you start skiing? When did you first become an instructor? Under which program? What were your influences? Which books did you find valuable?
This will be my last post for awhile, have fun.
Edited by EdgeByter - 5/31/13 at 1:50pm