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Help me get the most out of my lesson

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


This is my first season skiing and I've had 11 great days on the slopes but starting to feel like my progress the last few days is not what it was like on previous days. I knew this would happen sooner or later and now I want to make the most of some private instruction I'll be signing up for at my local mountain rather than noodling around trying to reinvent the wheel.


I can skid turn/pivot every run I've encountered regardless of pitch in my sleep but I started wanting to go faster and skids just weren't going to cut it at speed. I figured out how to carve by doing some upper/lower body separation drills I use to do when I figure skated competitively and it worked out pretty nicely. I didn't trust my skis to grip hard enough into the snow for large edge angles so I bought a pair of GS cheater race skis and they made a huge difference in my carving the first day on them. I started pulling g forces on easy and standard blue runs I didn't feel before and now I'm addicted.


The problem I am encountering now is I cannot seem to build sufficient pressure into the fall line on the steepest blue runs to make true GS turns. I end up making these super G turns instead which gets me going pretty fast (but in control) and having fun but that's not what I'm looking for anymore. I'd like to make proper GS turns on black runs and I know there's something in my technique that's holding me back.


I'd like to get some private instruction at my local mountain where I have a season pass, Mountain High. To instructors who taught people the techniques I'm looking for, what would you recommend in terms of lesson duration? Is there anything I should do to specifically prepare for to get the most out of my lesson? I'm still new to this sport and I just want to make sure the time I'm investing is time well spent. My time is more valuable to me than money. Thanks to everyone in advance!



post #2 of 5


Go to the ski school director and explain what you are looking for.  Better yet, call a few days before to make sure you can get what you want on the day you will be purchasing the lesson.  You may need to coordinate your schedule with that of the appropriate instructor.


Be sure to say you have done competitive figure skating.  You will need to establish credibility right away to get what you want out of this lesson.  The figure skating background should lend credence to your claim of being able to carve after only 11 days on snow on cheater race skis, since this quick skill gain is unusual for a beginner.  Any instructor or ski school director is going to wonder what kool aid you drank unless you explain your figure skating background, then the doubt should fall away.  


Ask for an instructor who has an extensive background in racing and who has done race coaching.  This is not the case with all instructors....

A race coach/instructor should be able to do a good job instructing you in carving.  


Slalom skis may be needed to get the exact effect you seek.  You'll find out in the lesson.


A second bit of advice; carving is fast.  To become a great skier, you'll need to be able to ski in control, with pleasure and joy, at slower speeds than carving offers, on all kinds of terrain.  There are crowds, and there are terrain variables; both necessitate a slower approach.  Carving at maximum speed is not the only thing strong skiers do out there.  You'll need to learn to steer your turns as well as carve.  Be willing to let your instructor teach you some fundamentals about steering your turns as well.  Skiing is so full of surprises and excitement if you diversify your interests. 


Best of luck!

post #3 of 5

Great advice from LF...I will add that you should avoid weekends/holidays (unless MH has a race course).  It has been years since I skied in So Cal, but there is no way you are going to be able to do much carving on GS skis there with weekend crowds.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks both of you great advice. Lucikly I work a 9/80 schedule and get every other Friday off, so Friday morning it is! I try to avoid Saturday afternoons like the plague, you are right it's near impossible to get any good high speed turns in with all the snowboarders sitting in the middle of the runs. Not to mention the way they funnel steep runs directly into the green hills without a section to really put on the brakes if you're charging.


LF, thank you I will definitely call ahead and ask for an instructor with race experience. I am all for fundamentals and will definitely keep an open mind. Really I'm just excited to be on the snow whenever I have time to make the drive. From your (or anyone else's) experience, how much time would you ideally like to have with a new student to teach carving and the like?



post #5 of 5

How much time?  There's no telling.  Just gotta move into the future and see what it brings.  Some learn faster than others.  

How much time to become the best you can be at skiing?  A lifetime.  Some lifetimes are longer than others.

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