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PMTS: Cutting edge,,, NOT! - Page 3

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 Originally Posted by Si therusty, Maybe it's just me but I continue to see a major problem in using the term "rotary to talk about both forces applied to a ski and movements of joints. I've taken some of this from previous posts I made but I think it's directly relevant. People here talk about the three things you can do to a ski: pressure, edging, and rotary. (While I think pressure and rotary are both ineffective terms and can be counterproductive I'll leave that for another time). From here I take a definition of rotary in terms of the force and/or torques one applies to the ski through the boot/binding interface. I try to differnetiate any other discussion of "rotary" as one dealing with body positions and movements (although many posts don't allow for this as they employ a vague concept of "rotary"). In theory it would be very simple to measure "rotary" torque applied to a ski by placing pressure sensors on the inside and outside of both the forefoot and the heel of the foot. (Alternatively we coul place the pressure sensors on each side of the binding toe and heel piece). If, for example, we measure an increased pressure on the outside of the forefoot and inside of the heel we know there is a net rotary torque being applied to the ski. Of course given this point of view perhaps it might be better to talk about "significant" rotary torque applied to a ski as it would probably be the rare case where there wasn't some slight differential in pressure gradient (as measured from some established neutral) on opposite sides between fore and aft of the foot. If you want to talk about hip rotation (femur rotating within the hip socket) then I would suggest you need to invovle a complete description/analysis of the kinetic chain that gives the net effect in terms of action ON THE SKI. As I've said, you can have lot's of hip rotation without imparting any net rotary torque on the ski - just lift and tip your foot without rotating it to see a demonstration. I just don't see or understand the importance so many people seem to place on active and passive hip rotation or movevment around any particular joint. What's important from my point of view is what the net effect on the ski is. Typically, what I do at any joint is pretty much automatically accomplished based on my overall goal, i.e., tip the ski, rotate the ski, retract the ski, etc. Certainly in working on my skiing I may occasionally focus on specific movement about a single joint to try and improve or correct the kinetic chain, but in general it is not a point of focus as it rarely a single joint issue that needs to be addressed. I think one of the best things about PMTS is that it focuses on the most basic movement patterns (with appropriate cues for proper initiation and sequencing) without breaking things down in a conterproductive fashion.
Just curious, really am. Who took the term "Rotary" and decided it only applies to the forces directly acted on the boots/skis? I got your point about MP's and how they should be fully described top to bottom but I don't understand the need for the limited context of the word "Rotary". I suppose it could simplify some of these endless conversations about this method or that though? Counter is another term that gets bandied about and still to this day I have no idea how the different schools are using the term, sometimes. As a racer counter is simply hip counter (been defined ad nauseum in many other threads). I do agree that the "Primary Movement" concept is sound and is a good coaching approach. Why fix all of "that" when you can put the athlete's attention on one thing and affect the whole chain, yeah, makes sense. We (the MSRT) are after the same thing (I believe) and that is bringing skiers to carving much quicker than conventional methods and like PMTS, we have tons of experience doing it and the results of our racers in course conditions to prove it. So if all HH is after is getting the skier to stand properly on their skis, carve a clean arc instead of learning all this steering stuff and extraneous movements to higher level skiing, then where is all the aggravation coming from?

I just haven't been around long enough and should keep my mouth shut, this topic is so heated and I certainly didn't help with my last post. As a race coach some of the things I read not just from the students but from the man himself just confuses the crap out of me and takes away from the what was apparently a very good idea- break high level skiing down for the recreational skier and into primary movements that are easy to understand and execute. Something got messed up along the way, or so it seems.

I'll stay out of this for now on, sorry if I offended anyone.
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 Originally Posted by Si Maybe it's just me but I continue to see a major problem in using the term "rotary to talk about both forces applied to a ski and movements of joints.
By PSIA definition, "Rotary movements involve turning some part of the body relative to other parts." Therefore, in PSIA nomenclature, "rotary" is a body movement.
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 Originally Posted by Si People here talk about the three things you can do to a ski: pressure, edging, and rotary.
Not usually. It's usually tip, turn, pressure (in terms of what we can do to a ski). On the other hand, the PSIA Skills Concept comprises balancing skills, edging skills, rotary skills, and pressure control skills. These are blended with the right intensity, duration, rate, and timing to produce efficient and effective skiing. Note that this structure was introduced in 1974 as a framework for what can be done on skis and not what should be done in any particular situation or with any particular equipment.

Balancing movements lead to maintaining balance while in motion.

Edging movements lead to adjusting the angle of the skis in relation to the snow.

Rotary movements lead to turning and guiding the skis.

Pressure control movements lead to managing and manipulating pressure variations between the skis and snow.

Note, too, that "More advanced skiers use rotary movements that are subtle, originate from the lower body, and are distributed evenly throughout the turn."

All of this from Chapter 2 of the PSIA Alpine Technical Manual, c 2002 Professional Ski Instructors of America Education Foundation.
PSIA definitions:

counter: ...typically refer to a relationship in which the lower body turns against or opposes the upper body or vice versa.

countered stance: ...involves the inside (uphill) half of the body (foot, knee, hip, hand, shoulder) leading the outside (downhill) half of the body through the turn. ... a natural stance when traversing or turning and can be decreased or increased due to internal or external factors (speed, actions, intentions, etc.).

counter-rotation: Twisting the upper body in one direction and the lower body in another direction at the same time.

Agreeing on definitions often helps communication to actually occur.
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 Originally Posted by therusty Well, I've seen all of ONE PMTS green cert on skis. This person is also level 2 PSIA certified. I don't see how a video of this person's skiing could possibly help PMTS. It's good skiing, but no different than solid level 2 skiing. What I heard from this person was that it was a good clinic with good information presented, but good skiing is good skiing. The problem with looking at one instance of video at this level is that it's way too easy to pick out the flaws and see those as reflective of the system and way too hard to pick up the good points that are actually reflective of the system.
I guess I'd like to see some before/after or otherwise outcome-oriented evidence. Just because I (or anyone) skis well doesn't mean that I know what I'm doing to ski well. Just because I can articulate some ideas doesn't mean that they work for everyone (or anyone!) else. And so on.

In my world, it's outcomes that matter. What's the change affected and the overall direction and magnitude of the accelleration?
From everything I've gathered, including having the PMTS manual, it seems that everything taught by PMTS could be taught by a PSIA (ATS) instructor, and it fits very well, and in most cases, has been taught for a very long time with some minor exceptions. In PSIA's ATS, there is nothing to "unlearn" if it's done correctly. You do not unlearn a wedge. You increase your existing skill base and the wedge will turn into a parallel turn naturally.

However, aside from the PSIA bashing by HH, which is constant and very annoying, PMTS seems to be very limited. The instructor is given a very limited "bag of tricks". It seems that if the student doesn't get the way PMTS dictates the progression, the instructor's options are to talk slower and/or louder. And while PMTS talks a lot about balance and alignment, these fit very well in the PSIA sphere, yet PMTS doesn't get into teaching and learning styles and communication. Basically, it seems a lot more instructor centered, even though they say it is not. But those statements are not backed up. PMTS has a one-size-fits-all mentality, which after 20+ years of teaching all kinds of people, would not work in the real world. That said, HH is just trying to make a living. I hope he does well, but I hope he can do it with a little less mud slinging than a political campaign, which so far, he has been unable to do.

Another issue I have, is that all the people expousing the merits of PMTS are all folks who have skied with HH and his top coaches. How many of these people have skied with the top brass of PSIA in something other than an exam format (D-Team, examiners, etc) and are still willing to bash PSIA? I haven't found any yet. Plus, the PSIA D-Team is a LOT more accessable than HH and Diane. When was the last time HH and crew came to the east coast, much less the mid atlantic, to put on a clinic? The people who have skied with HH like to bash rookie or near-rookie PSIA instructors and compare them to HH. Next time, try comparing apples to apples and compare someone on the D-Team to HH, and explain how their skiing and skiing theories are so inefficient or out dated and need to be unlearned. I've skied about 70-80 days with about 10 different current and former D-team members over the past dozen years and can tell you for certain that there is nothing but the best, most current info coming from these folks. As a matter of fact, former D-Teamer and consultant to them, Shawn Smith, spends a lot more time with not only the US Ski Team, but with racers and coaches from WC race teams from all over the world. As opposed to HH, who likes to analyze WC racers (a good thing) and make hypotheses about what they are doing (not such a good thing), Shawn Smith sits down with WC coaches and listens to what they are working on and works with them. He brings this info to the PSIA Ed Staff so that they can determine what is useful for the recreational sking public and what is strictly race/gate/speed oriented, and what might benefit the PSIA membership and the skiing public. When I spent a week with Shawn a few years ago, and he brought out his laptop, not only could he show us exactly what the WC skiers were doing, he could tell us what they were trying to do, why, and who was doing it according to plan, and which countries were working on it and what other things they were working on. It's all very interesting stuff and makes me much more willing to keep paying my PSIA dues. Does HH even attend Inter Ski and sit down and listen to the other ski schools of the world? Those other skiing and teaching methods are very much in line with PSIA, yet I don't hear HH beating up the Austrians.
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 Originally Posted by onyxjl PSIA does not offer a system with the same consistency as PMTS. Through my observation as a student, I have come to gather not all PSIA instructors are teaching the same things. I have heard some on this board admit that some PSIA instructors are still a bit behind the learning curve. PMTS, primarly because of its smaller, tightly structured, highly regulated environment does not have this same draw back.
This is the crux. PSIA isn't a system of ski instruction! It's an association of instructors organized for the purpose of distributing information about ski and snowboard teaching. It also certifies on the basis of the knowledge and skills of those instructors.

I think the "certified once, certified forever" aspect of PSIA is inappropriate and short-sighted, and likely contributes to a number of the issues that folks here have expressed.

PMTS is a specific progression for learning skiing movements, and is therefore consistent. Whether it is long-term valuable for high-level skiing skills is yet to be seen (IMHO).
Steve and Gary,

I can't say that I think I have a chance in hell of changing PSIA, PMTS, or other terminiology. I'm just pointing out the confusion I have with how you guys write about skiing. The last post by Steve just drives the confusion further. Just a couple of examples:

Using the term "turn" is really full of confusion. I edge my skies in order to turn. So to me edging is one way (perhaps my preferred way) to turn the skies.

Rotary (as you/PSIA have defined it) does not always lead to turning (as I think you are using the term) or guiding the skis. I may rotate a variety of joints to produce relative turning of one part of the body to another to produce a pure tipping of the ski.

The quotes from the PSIA Alpine Tech Manual only work to support my difficulties with the approach and conceptualization of skiing it is describing.
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 Originally Posted by ssh This I would very much like to see, indeed.
It sounds like a few PMTSers will be at the gathering coming up.
I am simply communicating the commonly accepted definitions of the terms. If we're going to use terms, we should use them to mean what they are commonly accepted to mean. If we want to mean something different, we should use (or invent!) a different term that does not already have a commonly accepted meaning.

Regarding "turn". I think of turning the skis in a static position (i.e., not moving along the snow). Another word to use would be "twist". Neither of these turns are defined in the PSIA ATM.
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 Originally Posted by Max_501 It sounds like a few PMTSers will be at the gathering coming up.
Regretfully, I will not be. I must return Thursday night after the ESA...
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 Originally Posted by Si I edge my skies in order to turn. So to me edging is one way (perhaps my preferred way) to turn the skies.
...and, FWIW, I don't think you are "turning" your skis by edging them. I think you are turning yourself that way, but that's not the same thing!
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 Originally Posted by ssh PSIA definitions: counter: ...typically refer to a relationship in which the lower body turns against or opposes the upper body or vice versa. countered stance: ...involves the inside (uphill) half of the body (foot, knee, hip, hand, shoulder) leading the outside (downhill) half of the body through the turn. ... a natural stance when traversing or turning and can be decreased or increased due to internal or external factors (speed, actions, intentions, etc.). counter-rotation: Twisting the upper body in one direction and the lower body in another direction at the same time. Agreeing on definitions often helps communication to actually occur.
Thanks for the defs!

countered stance: ...involves the inside (uphill) half of the body (foot, knee, hip, hand, shoulder) leading the outside (downhill) half of the body through the turn. ... a natural stance when traversing or turning and can be decreased or increased due to internal or external factors (speed, actions, intentions, etc.).

I'll leave it alone, a bit dated using the word "natural" when in fact, never mind. I'll leave you guys to your debate. PSIA vs. PMTS, a beautiful thing. Someone almost threw the USSA/USST in there, that would have been even more beautiful. Why not have three instead of two methodologies going at it

I do like the open endedness of the PSIA defs, however, always leaves the door a bit open for variations on the theme, a good thing.
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 Originally Posted by Si Steve and Gary, I can't say that I think I have a chance in hell of changing PSIA, PMTS, or other terminiology. I'm just pointing out the confusion I have with how you guys write about skiing. The last post by Steve just drives the confusion further. Just a couple of examples: Using the term "turn" is really full of confusion. I edge my skies in order to turn. So to me edging is one way (perhaps my preferred way) to turn the skies. Rotary (as you/PSIA have defined it) does not always lead to turning (as I think you are using the term) or guiding the skis. I may rotate a variety of joints to produce relative turning of one part of the body to another to produce a pure tipping of the ski. The quotes from the PSIA Alpine Tech Manual only work to support my difficulties with the approach and conceptualization of skiing it is describing.
Glad to see your trying to understand what ssh is trying to say, but arguments about semantics always digress. I find it's better to understand and move on.
Steve,

Just remember you folks are making me read and use terms (or defintion of terms) that I think don't work very well! I'm just telling you about the confusion they create for me :
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 Originally Posted by MattL Glad to see your trying to understand what ssh is trying to say, but arguments about semantics always digress. I find it's better to understand and move on.
Well the trouble is that when used in context I truly can't always understand what they are trying to say given the vague and broad definition of some of these terms and their lack of specificity.
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 Originally Posted by ssh PMTS is a specific progression for learning skiing movements, and is therefore consistent. Whether it is long-term valuable for high-level skiing skills is yet to be seen (IMHO).
I have my reasons to believe this is true. I don't think I have learned anything from PMTS that prevents me from skiing at a high-level. I've probably augmented it, but I don't think I've thrown any of it away.
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 Originally Posted by Si The quotes from the PSIA Alpine Tech Manual only work to support my difficulties with the approach and conceptualization of skiing it is describing.
The quotes do not describe skiing. They describe body movements. The distinction is important, and a key to the process of developing clear intellectual frameworks for understanding and communicating about skiing.
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 Originally Posted by Si Well the trouble is that when used in context I truly can't always understand what they are trying to say given the vague and broad definition of some of these terms and their lack of specificity.
One of the reasons instructors don't use the terminology with guests!

The lack of "specificity" (say that fast 10 times) is deliberate as to not dictate a linear progression.
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 Originally Posted by ssh This is the crux. PSIA isn't a system of ski instruction! It's an association of instructors organized for the purpose of distributing information about ski and snowboard teaching. It also certifies on the basis of the knowledge and skills of those instructors. I think the "certified once, certified forever" aspect of PSIA is inappropriate and short-sighted, and likely contributes to a number of the issues that folks here have expressed. PMTS is a specific progression for learning skiing movements, and is therefore consistent. Whether it is long-term valuable for high-level skiing skills is yet to be seen (IMHO).
if Haraldo (sorry Mr Rivera) would admit to this -- that his PMTS system is all about presentation and deconstruction and a simpler alternative to what might be more confusing/difficult/frustrating about non-PMTS -- and quit the PSIA bashing (for reasons ssh well states above) I think he'd have a lot fewer critics.

well said ssh.
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 Originally Posted by BigE disski is not suggesting that one should not work on balance, or that working on balance won't work.
That is a misrepresentation of what I said. Disski has expressed concern that PMTS doesn't work for her as a student because she has trouble balancing on one foot, a core PMTS idea. Thus, PMTS may not work for her without modification to her personal situation.

Disski is quite clearly aware of the role balance plays in skiing, probably more acutely than most of us.
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 1) do you control the skis or do the skis control you? 2) Skidding a turn entry does not compromise balance, if your skill set includes the ability to balance. Why would you believe that? Who told you that rubbish?
(1) You control your skis by the combination of edge angle and applied pressure.
(2) Skidding is OK on smooth snow. It isn't OK on crud, ruts, powder, etc. Last Friday I was working on my PMTS technique in flat light...I found myself skiing from pack to crud to bumps to ruts to pack without being able to see what snow was coming next. My technique didn't change...the skis sliced through whatever was there. My balance was on these edges slicing through the snow, not on ski bottoms bouncing across the snow...nor on my bottom bouncing across the snow.
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 Does a wedge turn or a wedge christy turn involve femur rotation without inversion/eversion? I think the sticking point is that they require more femur rotation than the amount of inversion/eversion induces.
Yes. The foot is rotated to get the ski into the wedge position. One main problem with a wedge christy is that it must be un-learned for the student to progress to parallel turns. There is no need to learn a wedge at all except maybe for emergency brakes. There are other techniques that work faster to get the new skier to parallel turns without ever doing a wedge.
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 what will do more to help pmts than anything is to post video of a few of their "green certs" and/or a few of the recreational skiers who have attended their camps.
Yep, before and after videos would be fun. I did get to see the rapid improvement of the six skiers in my group, and spoke with the others at lunch and after skiing. Their comments were the same as what I saw in my group. I didn't see or hear of anyone who left the camp dissatisfied.
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 Ken, make the trek out to Steamboat and join Warren, Rick, Jeffrey, Tommy and myself at our clinic. I think you'll come out of it a bit better, a heluvalot faster and bit less zealous
If it was close enough for me to tow my travel trailer to live in, I'd do it. It would be fun. Travel, lodging, camp, & ticket costs take the fun out.
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 Hmmm...John Mason disappears only to reappear as SoftSnowBoy.
I'm not John Mason. I think he's in Ohio. I'm in Washington State.

My offer is still open. Anyone with an open mind can buy the "PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual," from Harb for \$30 and give it a real try. If you don't like the results, I'll buy it from you and donate it to my local library...limit one.

Ken
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 Originally Posted by Si Just remember you folks are making me read and use terms (or defintion of terms) that I think don't work very well! I'm just telling you about the confusion they create for me :
I think I understand, but I also think that we should work to understand generally accepted terms and their usage, instead of trying to use those terms to mean something else. This is true in most fields of endeavor (in my experience). I've fought the "try to change the definitions" fight before in my more idealistic ( : ) youth, but now I just try to communicate within the understood context.

So, if a PSIA-trained individual says, "rotary", you can assume that's what they mean.

A bit more on this from the manual: "Remember that the term "rotary movements" has many different uses in skiing. Rotary movements can be efficient in some ski situations and inefficient in other situations. Rotary movements can be overused, resulting in stemming, skidding, and over-turning; or they can be under-used, resulting in unfinished turns. An appropriate blend of rotary movements with edging and pressure control movements is a highly developed skill that take time and practice."
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 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy One main problem with a wedge christy is that it must be un-learned for the student to progress to parallel turns.
Ken, I know Harald likes to go on about "un-learning", but do you gnow what a wedge Christie turn actually is?

I'll give you a description:
Most of the pressure is on the outside ski, with it on edge. The purpose of a wedge Christie is to get matching edges of the skis, by starting with just using the outside ski's edge.
Does that not sound extremely similar to what was said above as the early stages of PMTS, where the idea is to use the outside ski almost exclusively?
(also, I'd hate to have to take up PMTS, and have to un-learn skiing on just the outside ski, to skiing on both skis - at least with TTS, you are taught to use both skis from day one)
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 Originally Posted by ssh I think the "certified once, certified forever" aspect of PSIA is inappropriate and short-sighted, and likely contributes to a number of the issues that folks here have expressed. PMTS is a specific progression for learning skiing movements, and is therefore consistent. Whether it is long-term valuable for high-level skiing skills is yet to be seen (IMHO).
Thankfully this is not really the case. To maintain your PSIA Cert, you must continue to attend education events. Now all we need better control on what kind of education you take and if you really understand and incorporate it into your skiing.

I guess once you have a PSIA cert you can can claim you have it. The better option would be for the schools to pay based on if you maintain your Cert and membership. That might encourage the membership to keep up with what's being learned by the D-team from the other international schools.
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 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy Yes. The foot is rotated to get the ski into the wedge position. One main problem with a wedge christy is that it must be un-learned for the student to progress to parallel turns. There is no need to learn a wedge at all except maybe for emergency brakes. There are other techniques that work faster to get the new skier to parallel turns without ever doing a wedge.
Not in a modern progression.

Also, from the manual: "Not everybody shows up to a ski lesson with short, shaped skis. Not everybody feels comfortablel going straight to a parallel turn. Not all ski areas have the appropriate terrain and layout to allow a parallel approach for the beginner. Just as important, each personal learns at a different rate, especially under different conditions and different situation.

"Because of these variables, it is important to be able to guide the students along an alternative route to efficient and effective skiing. The wedge, which until recently was the foundation of teaching skiing, continues to provide an alternative for getting students to parallel (emphasis theirs)."

Please explain to me how it is that PSIA advocates the wedge as the primary approach to learning to ski?
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 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy My offer is still open. Anyone with an open mind can buy the "PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual," from Harb for \$30 and give it a real try. If you don't like the results, I'll buy it from you and donate it to my local library...limit one.
I went to buy it and found out that I can't buy it on-line. : I have to fax my order or call them. The two options have been inconvenient given my personal schedule. I may do that, however.
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 Originally Posted by dchan Thankfully this is not really the case. To maintain your PSIA Cert, you must continue to attend education events. Now all we need better control on what kind of education you take and if you really understand and incorporate it into your skiing. I guess once you have a PSIA cert you can can claim you have it. The better option would be for the schools to pay based on if you maintain your Cert and membership. That might encourage the membership to keep up with what's being learned by the D-team from the other international schools.
Totally agree, David. I've just seen some folks maintain their certs with a "ski for fun" clinic. I know that's not the point, and I look forward to some changes there.

BTW, this is not to say that all, many, or most long-time certs are this way. Not at all! Just that it does create a bit of a challenge in at least some cases (and more traditional instruction as the shift takes its necessary time to occur).
Properly done wedge christies do not need to be unlearned. Just refined.

Now does it need to be in everyone's path to being a better skier? Probably not.

Besides, In PMTS isn't there an accepted movement name for a braking wedge (something that must be unlearned according to PMTS) Liftline stopping something?

Proper movements for terrain and intent. If the terrain warrents a braking wedge, What the heck is wrong with it? Without it in my bag of tricks I suspect there would be an awful lot of people ticked off at me for running into them.: Especially on those little narrow cat tracks where there is not enough room to turn or hockey stop.
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 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy One main problem with a wedge christy is that it must be un-learned for the student to progress to parallel turns.
According only to HH.

This seems to be his mantra and his whole life has become devoted to this fallacy.

The wedge and wedge christie is NOT something that needs to be "unlearned". the wedge position is fairly unnatural and uncomfortable, we would probably all agree on that. However, it is a MUCH more stable and controlable platform. It is MUCH easier to balance in a wedge than on two railed skis in a narrow stance. A skier progresses from a wedge christie to parallel by learning to edge and pressure the outside turning ski more and relaxing the inside ski and bringing it along through the turn. This is not unlearning but the polar opposite - a natural progression of skills. I would agree that for some people, DTP is the way to go, but if you try to force it on all of your students, you are doing them a serious disservice and teaching to your desires, not the student's needs.

Have you ever learned to windsurf? To me, PMTS is like teaching people to windsurf on a short sinker board using water starts, as opposed to a board that floats the sailor and has an uphaul simply because they don't want student's to have to "unlearn" sail/mast steering and learn use board/foot steering. Sure, a few may get it, but not the masses.
clearly Ken has not attempted to teach a 30-40 something 30-40 lbs overweight Cubical sitting office worker or engineer how to stand on skis. let alone do a straight run on boots that are too big and skis that are too long.

In a perfect world we would only get athletic new skiers with boots and equipment that fit properly and have lots of other balance and strength building activities in their lives.

PMTS does have it's merits and a lot of the forward thinking instructors incorporate the teachings and mechanics into their skiing and teaching. Is it cutting edge? not really, Just how it's marketed.
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 Originally Posted by onyxjl PSIA does not offer a system with the same consistency as PMTS. Through my observation as a student, I have come to gather not all PSIA instructors are teaching the same things. I have heard some on this board admit that some PSIA instructors are still a bit behind the learning curve. PMTS, primarly because of its smaller, tightly structured, highly regulated environment does not have this same draw back.
When/If PMTS has 30,000 members, lets see if they all stick to the dogma...

L
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