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The Wedge Hammer - Page 3

post #61 of 83
I don't see where anyone on this board has condemned John for his zest for learning to ski. In fact, I have observed just the opposite. I have seen Bob Barnes and Rusty Guy be very patient with John's posts and trying to look at things from John's point of view. I know several people on this board have offered to ski with John at any time.

The great thing about this board is the diversity of skiing ability, experience and perspective. There is no right or wrong. In order for there to be
discussion and learning, people have to be willing to look at both sides of the coin. Most of us are here to learn, not to simply try and convince others that there is one way that is the scientifically proven best way to ski.

Unfortnately, the written word on a post is not a discussion where the participants can hear the inflections in voices, see facial experessions and other non-verbal gestures that may help people to understand where
the other is coming from. Perhaps some of John's posts are simply misunderstood. People can certainly respect other people's views without agreeing with those opinions.

I have learned a great deal on this board and will continue to do so.
An open mind leaves room for all kinds of learning opportunities.
post #62 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31
I have learned a great deal on this board and will continue to do so.
An open mind leaves room for all kinds of learning opportunities.
I think that sums it all up quite nicely.
post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Aaahhh... OK .... Diana suggested just the above for me.... & could offer NO ALTERNATIVE when I said I was unable to stand on 1 foot for a count of 5 (no skis just me in the loungeroom) hence I would be unable to 1 ski traverse....

Is Diana a bad instructor then????? Or how do you account for the "bad lesson" ......

Could a FIXED concept of how to learn be counter productive???

Could having an OPEN MIND be constructive???
Dis,

I don't know Diana, except by reputation, which is supposed to be pretty good. However, hearing the statement above, my answer would be YES! Any teacher that can't offer any alternatives, especially to those with physical limitations IS a bad instructor in my book. At that point, she is no longer an instructor or teacher, but a video tape.

Along the line of teaching beginners, my approach to a level 1 (never-ever) lesson is one that facilitates the student's abilities, and has the flexibility to progress toward either DTP or Wedge.

When I ask a student to make their first attempt at a turn, I have them start in a somewhat wide stance (for balance), and use their right foot to make the right ski turn to the left (that's the very abridged version). Some students will turn both feet and make a parallel turn, and others will have a more passive inside foot, and a wedge will result. In some cases, I'll even get people who use a wedge to one side but not the other. However, because I haven't asked them to make a wedge to make the turn, the active steering foot/ski promotes a proper turn which can accomodate either style of turn. I'll have many classes where some of the students are turning with parallel skis and others are using a wedge. After doing this a few times, it becomes apparent, well before you ever ask for the first attempt at a turn, who will use a wedge and who won't. Once I have determined that info, I can adapt individual instruction to each person to lead them toward whatever their ultimate goal for that first lesson is (comfort, safety, going slow, performance, speed, etc).
post #64 of 83
Hi Arcmesiter, as for John. Reading his analitical posts, correct as they may be, I have the suspicion that he is thinking about every little move he is supposed to do while he is skiing, thus my Jaegermesiter post. His analitical mind going full blast while he is skiing, analizing every turn, might actually slow his physical advancement. Pre- or post-analyzing may be OK, but I don't think the mind can analyze quick enough and come to a conclusion while making linked turns, at least mine can't and I don't think I'm at the senility stage yet.

....Ott

P.S.. John also has the tendencies to be judgemental of others, may they be beginners or experts.
post #65 of 83
Ott,

You got it man. I am an analitical type. I know what has to be done to make it happen, its just trying to make the old bod do it that is the problem. It is hard to turn off the brain when I ski. However, I have had major break throughs when I "just ski it."

Those of us that overthink stuff have to remember that skiing is a physical sport, not a mind game. We have to let our bodies figure out what is going on and as Nike says, "Just do it." Sometimes I hum (or God forbid sing) when I ski. It gives my mind something to do while my body tunes in on what the mountain is telling it.

Those of you that happen to be "natural skiiers" have to remember that there are actually people out there that need to think through every step before they can attack a problem. This is part of being an instructor and being able to taylor your approach to meet the needs of your client.
post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
I think it is unfair to condemn John, or anyone else, for their zest to learning more about skiing. John appears to have taken a path that includes studying most anything available on learning how to ski. That this may have resulted in his being further along the path of gathering conceptual information than he is as yet on the one of physical exploration and application of all those concepts is understandable and not that uncommon, especially in the instructor community.
Permit me to respectfully agree and disagree with your thoughts on John.

I’ll agree he is gaining a strong base of conceptual knowledge, probably beyond many in the industry. And I’ll absolutely agree he is nowhere near as far along in his application skills. As I said in an earlier response to one of John’s posts-he has miles to go before he skis and miles to go before he knows. That was an intentionally gentle way to say what I felt necessary to post a bit more forcefully in this thread.

I also agree with disski, that what we reject is the relentless, linear assertion of what is right and wrong when many of us recognize his significant limitations cannot substantiate those posts.


Quote:
While working with John I certainly enjoyed his quick understanding and commitment to making changes when he was guided through relevant experiences that provided either clarification of or correlation between his cognitive understanding and concrete skiing experiences.
I think all in this forum hope John's grows in understanding and ability. I'd love to spend a day skiing Copper with him when it is fully open-with no lessons or technical discussions-just skiing for the joy, the love of the sport and enjoying the absolute beauty of our environment.

Quote:
Each of us is somewhere unique on our own special learning path, and progressing at our own pace. So I’d only suggest we value the path of others, as we would have them value ours.
If indeed we are to value the path of others (as you suggest-and I wholeheartedly agree) then it must be reciprocal. John must accept and acknowledge that the vast years of experience of that so many contributors to this forum display are not based on antiquated knowledge, preconceived dogma or politics. Experience, on the firing line, is the best teacher. That will lead to real dialogue from which learning can flow.

Unfortunately many in this forum (and other forums) may ascribe a validity to his assertions that is unwarranted. And occasionally the response from some of us will be, to quote a wonderful fellow trainer when we screw up (and we all do), “ I’m going on call BS on that”.-he's from Long Island and a bit direct. Or, as we all hopefully use in our teaching, make a check for understanding.
post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil
And occasionally the response from some of us will be, to quote a wonderful fellow trainer when we screw up (and we all do), “ I’m going on call BS on that”.-he's from Long Island and a bit direct. Or, as we all hopefully use in our teaching, make a check for understanding.
down here we seem to be a bit more direct... or to quote 2 of my instructors... "THAT is not skiing THAT is crap... lets try it again"

No that is NOT being horrid - I am a tad sensitive & tend to chose more patient instructor types - but I also hate BS - so they know that they can be blunt when required... that is what happens when I make a true mess of things.... why would they say it was less than horrid - I can feel how terrible that attempt at the "new" technique is... it feels totally awful & must look the same....

Mind you a decent attempt elicits jumping & hollering from the same guys.....hand pumps & all.... so I tend to believe that it balances out....
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
down here we seem to be a bit more direct... or to quote 2 of my instructors... "THAT is not skiing THAT is crap... lets try it again"

No that is NOT being horrid - I am a tad sensitive & tend to chose more patient instructor types - but I also hate BS - so they know that they can be blunt when required... that is what happens when I make a true mess of things.... why would they say it was less than horrid - I can feel how terrible that attempt at the "new" technique is... it feels totally awful & must look the same....

Mind you a decent attempt elicits jumping & hollering from the same guys.....hand pumps & all.... so I tend to believe that it balances out....
I've seen that route too and it has its values. One of my old technical directors in East used to be very direct-"What the f*** was that, thats not it-get up there and do it again". But when you got it right he was your greatest supporter. And the staff loved him-I.J was the technical director for the Eastern Division of PSIA back then and just a marvelous, incredibly knowledgable human being-even if he did ocassionally treat us like his road paving summer crews. Sometimes we'd screw up just to piss him off and enjoy the rants.
post #69 of 83
[quote=disski]down here we seem to be a bit more direct... or to quote 2 of my instructors... "THAT is not skiing THAT is crap... lets try it again"

I like, " You ski so badly you're hurting my eyes!"-------Wigs
post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil
I've seen that route too and it has its values. One of my old technical directors in East used to be very direct-"What the f*** was that, thats not it-get up there and do it again". But when you got it right he was your greatest supporter. And the staff loved him-I.J was the technical director for the Eastern Division of PSIA back then and just a marvelous, incredibly knowledgable human being-even if he did ocassionally treat us like his road paving summer crews. Sometimes we'd screw up just to piss him off and enjoy the rants.
I like that.
post #71 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
When I ask a student to make their first attempt at a turn, I have them start in a somewhat wide stance (for balance), and use their right foot to make the right ski turn to the left (that's the very abridged version).
May I suggest an experiment? Next time you have the opportunity, ask them to use their right foot to make the right ski turn to the right and just see what happens. You may be surprised.
post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
May I suggest an experiment? Next time you have the opportunity, ask them to use their right foot to make the right ski turn to the right and just see what happens. You may be surprised.
Two things happen with most beginners, they lean into the turn with their shoulders and they put too much pressure on the inside foot. From that position, people don't have the strength, balance and coordination to turn the right ski to the right. If a turn were to happen at all, it would be rail-roaded on the little toe edge of the foot, with no pressure on the other foot, and they lose their balance.

I have tried it when I was first trying DTP, but so few people could do it that it was a waste of their time and mine. As was mentioned by others here, I teach people to ski, not skiing to people. The method I evolved to has the flexibility to go either way, but the method you suggest is too rigid and has no recourse if someone finds it difficult.
post #73 of 83
JohnH,
Suspecting you are starting from a wedge, what you promote is historically traditional methodology concieved for longer skis with very little sidecut that when used on modern equipment abuses rather than takes advantage of the sidecut technology. Consider expanding your learning to provide your customers a more contemporary learn to ski experience that provides the potential to advance quicky and easilly to parallel skiing, if they so choose, using the same movement patterns they learn with on day one.

First, consider narrowing the stance for starters, your wider stance is only inviting the very problems you describe.

A narrower stance has several advantages.

1) Reduces the edge angles of each ski and the skis angle to each other.

2) A narrower stance (feet just inside hips) easily allows leading inside foot movements in the direction of each turn, precluding the urge for the upper body movements the wider stance promotes. As suggested by SSH, release right ski to go right, left to go left (there was no suggestion to tip over and rail the inside ski). Lightening and rolling the lead/inside foot toward little toe to release that skis edge will start each turn more easilly as that ski tip can be guided into the turn.

3) First turns are frequently finished in a matched ski parallell stance, allowing quick progression to parallel activities using the same releasing movements. This precludes developing habits dependant upon the wedge stance to be un-learned later.

There are a lot of ways to teach people to ski, but consider whether what you teach now is a modern or historical approach, and which your students would prefer given a choice?
post #74 of 83
Thread Starter 
While in Austria 2y ago I had the opportunity to ski for an afternoon with a local ski-instructor that has done all possible levels available in Austria. He said that the biggest problem still is to get people skidding parallel turns. He showed me a drill they are using at the moment.

You wedge down straight in the fall line on an easy flat slope and alter pressure on skiis in a rhytmical way. Then you add more weight to each ski and soon you will start to skidd your skiis. Problem here is to keep going straight ahead. Your skiis want to turn but sicne you are skidding abit you will eventually be dooing short skidding turns in a parallel stance.

Fun carving skiis and really wide tail skiis are not good for wedging. They start to carve at the back and cause trouble in wedging paradise.
post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
JohnH,
Consider expanding your learning to provide your customers a more contemporary learn to ski experience that provides the potential to advance quicky and easilly to parallel skiing -snip-

2) A narrower stance (feet just inside hips) easily allows leading inside foot movements in the direction of each turn, precluding the urge for the upper body movements the wider stance promotes. As suggested by SSH, release right ski to go right, left to go left (there was no suggestion to tip over and rail the inside ski). Lightening and rolling the lead/inside foot toward little toe to release that skis edge will start each turn more easilly as that ski tip can be guided into the turn.
Of course this sounds good in theory but in practice in the real world it's another story. Think about a new skier....everything about the experience is completely new. They're sliding, there's noise, there's wind, they have weird clothes on and all of that equipment. They can barely stand up let alone walk. The move you are describing is so subtle especially at the speeds and therefore the appropriate angles that there is little feedback for them even if they were compeltely comfortable. This makes this move difficult for most new skiers to understand let alone execute. By far the easiest way to get a turn is through the use of good old pressure. And nothing about pressuring the outside ski precludes good skiing habits in the future.

Is a narrow wedge important? Absolutely. A breaking wedge or a wedge with high edge angles is a loser no matter what comes nextin the progression. And turn shape and learning how it controls your speed is king of all.

The thing to remember is that as much as the big kahunas of ski instruction want you to believe that all of this is some new methodology much of it is the same and achieves the same results. It's a semantics game being played by people who want to mystify a simple set of maneuvers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
There are a lot of ways to teach people to ski, but consider whether what you teach now is a modern or historical approach, and which your students would prefer given a choice?
I think that what students want would be what is most effective for them and there is nothing about the modern approach other than the fact that nobody takes lessons anymore that has been proven.
post #76 of 83
Sidecut wrote "Of course this sounds good in theory but in practice in the real world it's another story. "

While I understand that might be the assumption by anyone unfamiliar with the entire process, quite actually, it is based upon actual real world practice, backed up by biomechanics as well as teaching and learning research.

The tidbit above is but a view from the blimp, not the whole process that leads up to that first turn.

The "Introduction to Skiing" program we teach at my real world crank out the beginner lesson ski area most often yields spontanious christies (matched parallel finish) as our students first turns.

If anyone is interested in receiving a copy my full "Pathways 2 Parallel" document (that I just sent to John), upon which our ITS Program is based, PM me with a return e-mail addres and I'd be verry happy to share it. Your beginners may not know what they are missing, but they should not miss what may best meet their needs because their instructor has limited options to offer.
Arc
post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
If anyone is interested in receiving a copy my full "Pathways 2 Parallel" document (that I just sent to John), upon which our ITS Program is based, PM me with a return e-mail addres and I'd be verry happy to share it. Your beginners may not know what they are missing, but they should not miss what may best meet their needs because their instructor has limited options to offer.
Arc
If any of you are really interested in understanding this, I highly recommend you take Arc up on his offer. I did last year, and learned a lot from it. Good stuff!
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister

backed up by biomechanics as well as teaching and learning research.
Arc
I'm excited about receiving and reading the document.

Now this next comment is not directed at you but when I read the above statement I can't help but think: How in the world did I ever learn to ski on wooden skis with cable bindings and leather boots when so much thought has to go into it now in an age where skis are designed to turn themselves and boots transfer information when you even think about turning? Something just doesn't quite seem right. The problem remains, most new skiers don't stick with skiing and those that do end up in an intermediate rut that they do not progress out of and then eventually drop out. While there is a technical message that filters down from above, there is no message on how to actually teach effectively.
post #79 of 83
I would agree. Arc lays it out as good or better than I have seen it done anywhere. It is well worth a study. Later, RicB.
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
Pre- or post-analyzing may be OK, but I don't think the mind can analyze quick enough and come to a conclusion while making linked turns, at least mine can't and I don't think I'm at the senility stage yet.

....Ott
I'm an engineering student. I'm incredibly analytical about most phases of my daily life.

One of the reasons I truly enjoy skiing so much is because I'm able to free my mind from such technical overstress. I'm reacting to what I feel underfoot, preparing for what I see ahead, and thats it. If something is wrong with my skiing (plenty) one of my ski buddies will point it out, hopefully in good humor.
-Garrett
post #81 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
JohnH,
Suspecting you are starting from a wedge....
Sorry, Arc. I wasn't real clear in my description. I start from a straight run, with a functionally wide stance. Not exaggerated, but not "narrow", as too may people end up heavily weighting the inside ski if they start in a stance that is too narrow.

I haven't had a chance to read the 386 files you sent me . But I'll get a chance at some point (hopefully).
post #82 of 83

Review of PMTS by the National Association of Ski Area Management

I posted a link to the article over on the PMTS forum. Just trying to avoid duplicate posts.

http://www.realskiers.com/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?t=349&sid=c3337080b766b84bca34575e42 c2921f
post #83 of 83
I know I use the wedge alot in the lift lines cause I will come down the hill kinda quick so I don't have to use as much energy to get to the lift line...do like a half hockey stock to align myself to the lift line then a last minute wedge to avoid hitting the person in front of me...that way I get into the lift line completely off momentum from the trail.
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