I took a clinic at Tremblant the other day with some other instructors. I was a bit mystified by a few things. The biggest shocker was the course conductor insisted that the Canadian crouch is the strongest skiing stance. Not just crouch, but practically butt in the air and doubled over at the waist. I initially commented that I disagreed. The conductor demonstrated his theory by having us all take our skis off, stand in our boots, close our eyes, and then push us from different directions. His logic was he couldn't push anybody over--so the stance must be the strongest for skiing!
I didn't want to be perceived as difficult, so I didn't comment further. But I see issues with this premise:
- When we're skiing, our base of support is already huge! We can move our skis back and forth under our body to manage any tugging that happens. So herculean stability isn't necessary, but adaptability is. I'm actually envisioning that this stance could limit our range of motion fore-aft since now there's very little room to bring the skis backwards.
- This pushing exercise didn't take into account the need for pressure control. If your butt's practically in the air, and you hit a bump, you're gone.
- Chest over knees is bad news for our knees.
- When you're doubled over, your lower back is now absorbing all the shock from your upper body.
So... am I crazy? I could understand if the advice was to explore moving through this stance, but that's not what the course conductor was saying. He was literally touting the Canadian crouch as the optimum stance for skiing. The idea was not open for negotiation or reinterpretation. I also do see a lot of lower level instructors doubled over at the waist out here. What in the world was going on? I'm open to integrating new knowledge, but the idea that the crouch should be our go-to stance just seems alien to me.