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Breckenridge or Keystone Instructor Recommendation

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Looking for some tweaking and confidence building

 

1. Post-ACL Reconstruction

2. Relatively new to shaped skis

3. Former competitive mogul skier

4. Decade absent from the sport

 

Any recommendations for an instructor at Breckenridge or Keystone (or Colorado EPIC Resorts)?

 

I guess I need some help learning how to "ski softly" and let shaped skis work for themselves a little. I'm used to being an east coast carver/mogul skier and need to start skiing appropriate to my age level. ;)

 

 

post #2 of 17

Karen, Your post is very intriguing. It's great that you are returning to the sport and exploring the next chapter in your ski world. I noticed you skied in January for the first time in about a year. How did that go? Did your knee give you any problems? Obviously taking things slow enough to minimize the risk of re-injuring that knee must be part of your plan. I am also intrigued by the age appropriate comment you posted. I remember a good friend and training partner of mine reacting to a comment I made about getting old and abandoning my pursuit of that next level of accreditation. He shared how many of his joints were artificial and how the only thing slowing us down is our mind. I'm not suggesting you return to the competitive world stage but to be honest you own some extraordinary skiing skills and more than likely you only need to explore non-competitive skiing from a minimalist frame of mind. Exploiting the qualities of the skis you use generally come down to a lot of patience activities. Near flat skiing skills are an especially relevant area you might consider exploring. Rounder and smoother turns (less staccato movements), progressive loading and unloading of the ski over the entire length of the turn, and a smaller range of motion outside the bumps are areas I would suggest exploring.

 

As a long time ski school staff trainer, race coach and patrol trainer I've worked with a variety of skiers from junior racers to Europa cuppers and helping them find satisfaction skiing but not pushing the envelope to that same level is often the hardest adjustment. Although for others with nothing left to prove the fellowship of friends and family drive their skiing after retiring. Honestly though coaching kids in their discipline often gives them greater satisfaction than just free skiing, or working in a ski school. I'm sure I'm not saying anything new here but you represent a particularly unique challenge for the average ski school coach. Beyond level 3 (full certification) coaches would be my recommendation. At Keystone we have more than a few such coaches, myself included. At Breck, Tom Banks, his brother Jim, and Doug Perini come to mind. Hope that helps and if I can help in any way contact me directly. I would love to share some turns even if it's not in a lesson.

Don (JASP) Duran

Keystone Ski and Ride School

ski_coach@live.com

post #3 of 17
Tom and Jim, both PSIA examiners, both teach lessons. Doug runs the ski school and I doubt he'd be available. Other examiners on our staff at Breck (there are upwards of 20 current and emeritus PSIA education staff and national alpine team members here) available for lessons include Randy Brooks, Steve Edburg, and Jenn Losch. Scott Provorse, an examiner emeritus, has a wonderful soft touch in moguls that might be helpful.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

Karen, Your post is very intriguing. It's great that you are returning to the sport and exploring the next chapter in your ski world. I noticed you skied in January for the first time in about a year. How did that go? Did your knee give you any problems? Obviously taking things slow enough to minimize the risk of re-injuring that knee must be part of your plan. I am also intrigued by the age appropriate comment you posted. I remember a good friend and training partner of mine reacting to a comment I made about getting old and abandoning my pursuit of that next level of accreditation. He shared how many of his joints were artificial and how the only thing slowing us down is our mind. I'm not suggesting you return to the competitive world stage but to be honest you own some extraordinary skiing skills and more than likely you only need to explore non-competitive skiing from a minimalist frame of mind. Exploiting the qualities of the skis you use generally come down to a lot of patience activities. Near flat skiing skills are an especially relevant area you might consider exploring. Rounder and smoother turns (less staccato movements), progressive loading and unloading of the ski over the entire length of the turn, and a smaller range of motion outside the bumps are areas I would suggest exploring.

 

 

Feb 3 was the one year anniversary of tearing my ACL, but I did not have surgery until late May. I'm sure you're friend and I could combine quite a list when it comes to injuries/surgeries. Ironically, the knee was my first skiing related surgery.

 

This was the post on my knee rehab:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/120528/let-the-acl-healing-begin

 

The first day was short since I was at Deer Valley to watch a Freestyle World Cup. I just needed to get out and get that first day over with. No problems with the knee while skiing. It felt strong and I skied down the side of the mogul course where it was pretty icy (there had been very wet snow turned to ice). Woke up in the middle of the night and had to ice the knee, but not sure it that had more to do with 3 days on my feet or actually skiing.

 

As I always, I resort to drills when I first get on the snow--it's out of habit and I don't do it consciously. First day out, everything felt right--smooth, accelerating, energy being transferred from one turn to the next. Second day nothing felt right, but to make the best of it, enjoyed the sun out on Peak 9 and watched some ski TV in the lodge (falling while getting out of the top bunk at 2 am didn't really help.) I have high hopes for this weekend! :) I just know that sometimes getting out and getting some instruction and/or video, I can shorten the learning process and find myself having more fun out there.

 

I'll email you when I have a little more time.

post #5 of 17

I look forward to hearing from you Karen.

post #6 of 17
Karen are you looking for a private or group lesson? A one time tuneup or a coach and ongoing relationship?

Mike
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Karen are you looking for a private or group lesson? A one time tuneup or a coach and ongoing relationship?

Mike

 

Group lesson so I can go a few times to tuneup. Probably would rather go, then practice a couple of weeks, and then go again and repeat a cycle like that.

post #8 of 17
You can get started this year. Next season I'd suggest the Breckenridge Lesson Club -- unlimited group lessons Thursdays-Sundays with some blackout periods (and a real deal at $350). I've skied,with quite a few instructors at Breck but the number who are really good is relatively few. Currently I'm skiing with Franz (Dave Tyrell) who is excellent. We ski a bunch of technique in the early AM then freeski in the afternoon. Matt Bellevue is quite good as well as is Doug Burg (but he is part-time this yr) and Jen.

Of course, I suspect you'd have a spectacular lesson if Mike Hafer (a member of the PSIA national demo team) wasn't doing management and choose to teach for a day.

Mike
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Tom and Jim, both PSIA examiners, both teach lessons. Doug runs the ski school and I doubt he'd be available. Other examiners on our staff at Breck (there are upwards of 20 current and emeritus PSIA education staff and national alpine team members here) available for lessons include Randy Brooks, Steve Edburg, and Jenn Losch. Scott Provorse, an examiner emeritus, has a wonderful soft touch in moguls that might be helpful.


I've had wonderful lessons with Tommy Banks and Jenn Losch. But there's an obvious choice for an ex mogul skier at Breck that you may be overlooking due to "PSIA level bias"?  Although actually I don't know what level he is.  Kevin Handley.  Ex pro mogul skier and tons of fun to ski with. He knows his stuff and is also very willing to work with people where they're at.  I do the Breck lesson pass, and I ski with Kevin and his crew more often than not. In fact, I hesitated to comment because I selfishly want these folks all to myself.  And for someone concerned that age is a factor, watching Kevin shred the bumps, grey beard and all, will be a revelation.

 

I would ski with Jenn Losch much more often if I could - she typically teaches on weekdays.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

You can get started this year. Next season I'd suggest the Breckenridge Lesson Club -- unlimited group lessons Thursdays-Sundays with some blackout periods (and a real deal at $350). I've skied,with quite a few instructors at Breck but the number who are really good is relatively few. Currently I'm skiing with Franz (Dave Tyrell) who is excellent. We ski a bunch of technique in the early AM then freeski in the afternoon. Matt Bellevue is quite good as well as is Doug Burg (but he is part-time this yr) and Jen.

Of course, I suspect you'd have a spectacular lesson if Mike Hafer (a member of the PSIA national demo team) wasn't doing management and choose to teach for a day.

Mike

 

Ssh.  The lesson pass is secret!  Okay, not so secret.

 

I also have greatly enjoyed skiing with Dirk (can't remember his last name). When Kevin messed up his achilles last year, I skied a lot with Dirk in a "low 9s" type group.

post #11 of 17
We have the season lesson program as well and it works well for "recreational" advanced skiers. Competitive skiers often find that group a bit below their level though. Not always but that is always the risk of group lessons that must move at the pace of the slowest participant. Then again if your group matches up well it could work out well. The programs do hinge on many factors that include daily walk ins and I would not be doing my best to not mention those possibilities. Not saying that will be case, just a possibility.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

We have the season lesson program as well and it works well for "recreational" advanced skiers. Competitive skiers often find that group a bit below their level though. Not always but that is always the risk of group lessons that must move at the pace of the slowest participant. Then again if your group matches up well it could work out well. The programs do hinge on many factors that include daily walk ins and I would not be doing my best to not mention those possibilities. Not saying that will be case, just a possibility.


At Breck, they've split off the lesson pass entirely from the "normal" lessons. We meet in a separate gathering area, and the groups are often around 10 people, whereas I think normal Breck lessons are restricted to four people.  We don't have to ski with walk-ins who may (let's face it, who inevitably do) rate themselves higher than they should.  This split is new this year.  Does Keystone still do combined groups?

 

I've briefly met @rx2ski at Mother's Day 2013 at A-Basin, and have seen a few of her posts here and elsewhere, and I believe she may be looking for a way to ease in to skiing and gain confidence - which may happen very quickly - as opposed to jumping right in and shredding at top speed. 

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
I've briefly met @rx2ski at Mother's Day 2013 at A-Basin, and have seen a few of her posts here and elsewhere, and I believe she may be looking for a way to ease in to skiing and gain confidence - which may happen very quickly - as opposed to jumping right in and shredding at top speed.

 

You hit the nail on the head. When I started skiing again last season, I felt good (for a decade off the slopes and a half a dozen various ankle and neck surgeries). Probably too good--that's why I ventured back in the moguls even though I told myself I would wait. Got in the back seat and heard the pop, but didn't fall. Dang OMD (Obsessive Mogul Disorder). This year is my year to take it a little easier instead of diving right in. Plus, I've always wanted to become a better powder skier!

post #14 of 17

So Karen what skis are you using, or do you plan to use for skiing powder? The trend towards wide skis has produced a bit more float but a bad stance on any skis make powder skiing a struggle. I rarely suggest any significant stance changes, perhaps a slightly narrower and mostly two footed stance but wholesale technique changes in powder suggest you should make those corrections everywhere. The biggest change is mental, try to be in tune with how the skis are reacting in the snow and avoid forcing things. Patience as the skis seem to turn in a slow motion way is a very common comment. Resistance to pivoting might be a better way to describe this though. In reality, if the turn size and shape are similar, the snow depth is somewhat irrelevant. At least as long as you aren't trying to do swing turns. The perception that tripping over the skidding skis will happen, is generally a sign excessive and habitual pivoting is present. Again, that's a corrective adjustment that you would be needing to explore everywhere else not just in powder. A common problem is a lack of absorption in the last phase of the turn and this in turns creates the need to hop and pop off a strong edge set. It's actually a lot of fun since it's a very three dimensional feeling as the skis plane up and down in the snowpack. A rounder line with more equal pressure in all phases is another option that features a bit less dive and breach moments but if the snowpack has a layer that you don't want to break through this option makes a lot more sense. Somewhere in between these two options is where most powder skiers operate. Again, it's not a huge technical change beyond the absorption, tactically speaking the rounder lines represent the biggest tactical change.

Hope that helps,

JASP


Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/5/14 at 6:21pm
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

So Karen what skis are you using, or do you plan to use for skiing powder? The trend towards wide skis has produced a bit more float but a bad stance on any skis make powder skiing a struggle. I rarely suggest any significant stance changes, perhaps a slightly narrower and mostly two footed stance but wholesale technique changes in powder suggest you should make those corrections everywhere. The biggest change is mental, try to be in tune with how the skis are reacting in the snow and avoid forcing things. Patience as the skis seem to turn in a slow motion way is a very common comment. Resistance to pivoting might be a better way to describe this though. In reality, if the turn size and shape are similar, the snow depth is somewhat irrelevant. At least as long as you aren't trying to do swing turns. The perception that tripping over the skidding skis will happen, is generally a sign excessive and habitual pivoting is present. Again, that's a corrective adjustment that you would be needing to explore everywhere else not just in powder. A common problem is a lack of absorption in the last phase of the turn and this in turns creates the need to hop and pop off a strong edge set. It's actually a lot of fun since it's a very three dimensional feeling as the skis plane up and down in the snowpack. A rounder line with more equal pressure in all phases is another option that features a bit less dive and breach moments but if the snowpack has a layer that you don't want to break through this option makes a lot more sense. Somewhere in between these two options is where most powder skiers operate. Again, it's not a huge technical change beyond the absorption, tactically speaking the rounder lines represent the biggest tactical change.

Hope that helps,

JASP

 

I've only skied on my carvers "All Mountain" skis so far this year. K2 Superfree (120/76/104)

I haven't taken out the Volkl Auras yet (131/96/114).

 

Ironically, looking like I'm not heading up to Summit County this weekend since I'm afraid of getting stuck up there and I have big deadlines in work, I'll probably keep to Eldora. Maybe I'll take the Volkls out for a ride. :)

post #16 of 17
I am watching the Olympic women's moguls tonight and really enjoying the differences between rec skiing and competitive mogul skiing.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/6/14 at 9:09pm
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I am watching the Olympic women's moguls tonight and really enjoying the differences between rec skiing and competitive mogul skiing.

 

Luckily I was in it before the manufactured moguls era. We had to take air off of a mogul and didn't have any pre-built jumps.

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