My understanding is that this was already done
Originally Posted by Rick H
What would be really neat, would be to get some first timers together. Divide them into two groups. Teach one group the current PSIA methodology and the other group PMTS the current PMTS methodolgy. After two days, see how each group has progressed. Anyone want to try this?
This was not strictly a PMTS comparison, since it did not exist at the time, but when HH was on the National Demo team a test like this was done with what HH wanted to teach vs the normal progression as taught at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if it was shortly after this the split developed.
I'm sure others here know the results of that test.
It would surely be interesting to do the test again now that PMTS is more fully developed.
The thing to remember about PMTS or any system like it, is the wedge based instruction systems eliminate the need for much dynamic balance in it's early to mid stages. Dynamic balance in skiing for most people requires proper alignment. Thus, only the first release of the 3 taught in PMTS works well with the non-aligned beginner. Once you get to the SP or WR, alignment becomes much more critical. Even a beginner can be ready for a SP on their 1st day, thus alignment is more of an issue in PMTS than what most places teach.
Most students in a group starter lesson are not going to pay or take the time for a proper alignment. Some ski manufacturers make skis specifically geared towards the beginner (like Elan). It would be nice and maybe a requirement to rethink the binding system so that alignment could be done with an adjustable platform on the binding or part of the binding. That coupled with a machine to measure properly could allow basic alignments to be done quicly and at low cost for the beginner industry. (the balance shim process in use in colorado could be adapted to this easily)
But, the question of PMTS camps is a little different in that those are not typically beginners, but stuck intermediates looking for a breakout. That's a different market altogether. In this environment with no more than 6 students to an instructor progress is more student directed then the larger beginner class. It is also populated with big money paying adults that are thus motivated to learn. Once again, this is the opposite of what most beginner ski school classes are like.
It would be interesting, for the thought of comparing the two systems, to simply establish a survey methodology clasifying students and quantifying results. Solvista is already a PMTS school, so just start gathering statistics and see if further research is warrented.
My eldest son and wife are part of the larger percentage of skiers that take a first lesson, felt totally unsafe and have never skied again. The retention rates for people in this scenerio makes ski schools border on fraud. (isn't like 80% don't ski again) If that retention rate is true, the future success of the skiing population would grow tremendously with even a 5 % improvement in the never ski again people. In both my families instances it was specifically the wedge that they were taught which on shaped skis makes the tips want to cross as soon as you tip then inward in a snowplow, that made them feel unsafe. This does not occur in a PMTS approach and I'm sure the wedge is a large factor in the high beginner dropout rate (people that want to try sking and try it in a lesson and never ski again).
I know from reading this forum that many here can not concieve of an approach that doesn't start a beginner out on a wedge, but that's just reflects the fact that these people are not dual trained in both systems. There are many here that post that are dual cert in both PSIA and PMTS so they would be the ones best to comment on how the two approaches can be used with true non-aligned - mass beginner settings.
Thanks BigE - I've always been interested in what they teach there. Do you ever go to searchmont?