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best way to improve in 1 week

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have one week of vacation, must be used before christmas of this year. I am considering a trip alone, no kids, no wife, just me and the skis. I am looking for a way to seriously improve my skills. Something like the ESA would be perfect, but like I said it must be before christmas and it must be out west. Co. Utah or NM. I can wait until the last minute and go where the best snow is or blow it off if adequate terrain is not open. What are your suggestions for instruction. Who, What, Where, How.
post #2 of 20
What level of skier are you now? What area of your skiing would you most like to improve? Have you checked the instructor listing here?
post #3 of 20
If it was me in your shoes, I'd go the cheaper option of doing an advanced group lesson in the morning and then practising/free skiing in the arvo.
If you bought a ski and lessons week package, you'd save some money AND, if you decided you'd like to do a few privates (having sussed out who the good intructors were) you could convert your group lessons to privates.

Check if any of the hills in your view have packages for your level of skiier.

If you are a low-level skiier, the downside is that morning lessons tend to be busier. Although you are going in a quiet time.
If you're advanced, the lessons probably shouldn't be too big.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hardest question in the world for me to answer. 45 yo male. Been skiing since I was 8. Took about 15 years off in the middle there somewhere. Skied 55 days last year. 35 the year before. Have had a least 1 full day of private lessons each year for last three years trying to break 20 years of bad habits. Back seat driving, feet and knees together just like 1978. Just had boots refitted at bootdoctors which I think will make a big difference. My heels were coming way up as I tried to move weight out of back to a more centered position. Can't ski powder at all over 8 inches deep. We live in Texas, we take what I can get and that usually means the powder is gone by the time I get there. Can cruise any groomer any color and look like a very good skier. Through in a bunch of vw bugs on a black and the ability is far from desirable. Little bumps on black and I am ok. Would like to move into steeper terrain before I get any older and find that fast line in medium and bigger bumps. Previous privates have not been much more than a tour guide with some great guys who are great skiers. Easier terrain I can make that carve work. Steeper and rougher terrain and the old instincts kick in. Keep trying to make that turn from hips rather than letting the ski work. Ski 167 K2 mod x with marker 1200 pistons. Skis might seem a little long for 5'6" 160# skier but shorter didn't work at all for me, might help in bumps though. Anybody who doesn't know better thinks I am very good. People who do know better would probably say somewhat advanced.
post #5 of 20

One option is an X teams clinic at Grand Targhee from 12/8-12/12.
Another option is a Mahre camp at Deer Valley from 12/12-12/16.
Did you say SERIOUSLY improve your skills?
post #6 of 20
A different thought!

Have good footbeds made and your boots balanced! Best bang for the buck IMO!

Before you spend your hard earned money on lessons or camps, take away the impedaments to progress that left unaddressed will stunt your progress and potential. Once you are standing in an efficient position fore/aft and laterally your skiing will improve instantly!! Then take lessons or a camp and enjoy your new found proficiency. Sure, you can adapt and ski with misalignments but energy used to compensate detracts from fluidity and accuracy!!
post #7 of 20
To Maximise your time to improve:
1. Fix your boots if you have heel lift, either heel inserts or better fitting boots. tightening them doesn't solve the problem, but makes the forward flex problem worse. More flexable boots may also be beneficial along with allignment.
2. Try (demo) some other skis, the K2mod-x is a stiff ski made for ripping gs turns and really unforgiving. Something else in the length you like, but not as high performance, but wide underfoot and at least a 15 to 16 meter radius cut.
3. Practice the technicue you are working on, on terrain where you can focus until it starts to become part of your skiing. Then you can start to apply it to more difficult terrain. Learn to ski the more difficult terrain S L O W L E Y. Then when in easier bumps, also ski them S L O W L E Y.
4. Start to recognise when you are getting out of balance (what part of the turn). Beginning, middle, end. Once you know, you have a basis to work from. It is a hard transition to make from 70's style traditional skiing to contempory skiing (as you know).
5. Quality lesson-----quality practice.
Quality lesson-----quality practice.
" " " "
" " " "
you get the point. OOOh! have some really serious fun too.

I am shure others will add 6, 7, 8, and more

While skiing, only focus on one thing at a time (one single item).

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I did have new footbeds made and put in last week at bootdoctors. I am sure this cured the heel problem.
post #9 of 20
Maybe you should adjust your expectations. Many skiers like yourself want to be "better in a week." A golfer who shoots 80 would need a year of instruction and mucho practice to lower his handicap by 1 or 2 points at the most.

Add to that the fact that most instructors of skiing or golf really aren't that great at teaching the fine points of complicated physical movements to moderately skilled pupils. Usually instructions are some version of "do this" or "do what I do" with no insight into what it should feel like for the pupil to actually accomplish the physical act. In 35 years of skiing, I think I have had a half dozen "aha" moments of ski instruction. And those took an entire season of practice to really get down.

For middle-aged adults, true physical improvement is glacially incremental. We would all like to be better, and we will only get better with effort. But why saddle yourself with unrealistic expectations?
post #10 of 20
(cough, cough, ahem) Is this on? Thank you.

With all due respect to Ebough, a week is plenty of time to "get better". It's even enough time to achieve dady8tor's goal of "seriously improve my skills". The stated goals are to carve on steeper terrain and be able to handle more difficult moguls, with a possible learn to ski deeper powder thrown in. Yes, a single two hour lesson is probably not going to do it. Yet I do have students make breakthroughs (aha moments) in one hour privates every year. It's not likely, but it happens. Given dady8tor's self description and the boot fix, there's a very good chance that a week long camp can hit at least 2 out of the three goals. I've been attending week long PSIA/AASI events that are equivalent to camps for years now. I've walked away from every one with at least one "serious" improvement.

Dady8tor's self description does not match up to a single digit handicapper. My guess would be more like a teens handicapper: good but not very good. At this level you are missing some of the fundamentals that can be applied across all shots. Build just one of those fundamentals, and you can significantly change the results. At this level, a single improvement in putting, short game or driving alone can knock 3 strokes off. Last year, with 10 lessons, I went from a 21 to a 12. Yes it can take time and practice to lock in the results. In golf, it can take a while for the results to impact the handicap. In skiing, once you know "how", it does not matter how long it takes to lock it in. Mentally, the result has been achieved.

Anyone at any age or skill level can have an "aha" moment. Even though my hit rate is under 10%, I strive for this with every student. Even at <10%, it happens a lot.
post #11 of 20
yep - I was going to say I feel sorry for ebough...

I made breakthroughs every season so far & cannot imagine taking lessons & not improving.... although no ONE lesson will result in change the whole picture that bud described will & has resulted in improvement EVEN after my instructor told me three season ago to lower my expectations because even NORMAL people take longer to make improvements at my (then) current ski level.....
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by disski
...EVEN after my instructor told me three season ago to lower my expectations because even NORMAL people take longer to make improvements at my (then) current ski level.....
No accusations implied here, but please define NORMAL. (and I'm not talking alpine vs. adaptive)
post #13 of 20
Is November 17 too soon? http://www.pmts.org/flyers/fallcamp05.pdf

Or, hook up with one of these Instructors

You will like the result. If you make one of these connections, please do report your progress back here after the week.

post #14 of 20

easy ...

Ski two weeks. Change jobs or quit all of that summer baloney! NOW get with the program!

sorry that just had to be said .... who can ski for just one week?
post #15 of 20
Originally Posted by lennyblake
No accusations implied here, but please define NORMAL. (and I'm not talking alpine vs. adaptive)
ah but I was
post #16 of 20
Don't know when it starts and right now the snow conditions aren't looking too good - but hopefully that'll change soon. Anyhow, Taos is having a special in honor of the Ernie Blake Ski school's 50th anniversary: a ski WEEK for $50.00 (not including lift tix). Still, a week's worth of lessons from one of the best ski schools in the country is a pretty good deal. Check out their website for details and to see if the timing works for you.
post #17 of 20
Holy crap, that is an awesome deal, Mom!
post #18 of 20
Better at moguls, steeps and powder in a whole week eh?

Pick one. Better still, pick what you and an instructor classify as the single most important move you need to improve and focus totally on owning that single move. They say (whover "they" are) that you need to execute a move a thousand time before it is yours...

You've got a week. Choose well.
post #19 of 20
1/2 day private lessons at Alta, spend the afternoons working on the skills that you learned in the morning. This will be costly, but effective.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by Canyons
1/2 day private lessons at Alta, spend the afternoons working on the skills that you learned in the morning. This will be costly, but effective.
I agree with Canyons. Find an instructor that is a really great skier (and instuctor) in ALL aspects of skiing, take 1/2 day private lessons all week. I don't think an intermediate can really tell if someone is truly skilled so you'll need some better method to qualify people.

There are techniques in skiing that are really pretty simple but not natural. Someone with skills needs to be watching you and telling you what to do and what not to do. Most intermediates do pretty much everything wrong so doing things right will feel very unnatural. It'll be difficult to force yourself to ski differently than you're used to. After a full week of someone pounding corrections into your head you should be in pretty good shape.

If you really want to improve it will be well worth the money. I really believe that the better you are the more fun you have. Good luck.

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