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Book Recommendation for Level 3 skier?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My 34 year old sister, who has been skiing for only a few seasons and has 2 days in after a 2 year hiatus, is frustrated and stuck at a Level 3 ability level.

She skis a mean wedge and is competent at linking long turns, but leads with her upper body, is terrified of steeper blue terrain, and is really uncomfortable in moderately populated trails due to the amount of lateral real estate she requires to manuver.

Oh, and she's extremely hard on herself, negative, bitter, and close-minded about **any** tidbit of helpful advice. It took a lot of finnessing to get her to practice a simple side-skid down a modest hill, just to introduce her to an alternative method to walking when she finds herself stuck on something too uncomfortably steep.

I (and her husband) know better than to give her "instruction" (we'll get our heads bitten off). The lessons so far aggrivate her -- it's a matter of finding an instructor compatible with her attitude. She does really wants to be out there, though -- nobody is forcing her to take up this sport!!!

Aggrivating.

Anyhow, she's a logical and smart woman when she's out of the "pressure" of being on the snow. I wonder if a "how to" book would give her something she needs as her next unlucky instructor begins spitting technique, terminology and criticism at her?!?!?!

Anyhow, as a new snowboarder, I found The Illustrated Guide to Snowboarding to be extremely helpful in preparing for my first day on the hill, and after four days on the board and a sense of basic proficiency, I reference it regularly to analyze my progress, technique, etc.

Scouring the web, I don't see any similar books for skiing. Based on reviews, Skiing for Dummies looks too basic for her ability. Most everything else looks focused towards strong intermediates wanting to advance.

Two that did catch my eye were Ayone Can Be An Expert Skier by Harald Herb, and The New Guide to Skiing by Martin Heckelman.

Anybody have any experience with either of these books, something better suited for sis, or other sage advice to help her push to the next level?
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Two that did catch my eye were Ayone Can Be An Expert Skier by Harald Herb, and The New Guide to Skiing by Martin Heckelman.

Anybody have any experience with either of these books, something better suited for sis, or other sage advice to help her push to the next level?
I have Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier and it worked great for my family.
post #3 of 27
Ask her what she thinks of these online instructions
http://www.harbskisystems.com/olg.htm

If she allows as how there's a chance those just might be possibly OK, I prefer the Instrutor Manual and Green/Blue DVD.
http://www.harbskisystems.com/publications.htm

And, NO PUSHING to the next level. When she has a smile on her face most of the time at this level and wants to progress, then it's time. Do work to get her better and better at this level.


Ken
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
I wonder if a "how to" book would give her something she needs as her next unlucky instructor begins spitting technique, terminology and criticism at her?!?!?!
Why not ask her?
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Why not ask her?
: I did ask her, and she was pretty agreeable to that idea, hence my post here.

Whether the right book exists, and your collective opinions on whether book learning could be of assistance to her, were the basis for my question.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
Ask her what she thinks of these online instructions
http://www.harbskisystems.com/olg.htm

...And, NO PUSHING to the next level.
Thanks for the links, Ken!

I forwarded this to her to see if this might be what she's looking for. I hope the book uses good illustration to accompany the text. I'll try to find a copy locally and review it.

And I'm in complete agreement, no pushing from me. I told her that in order to progress, she would need to push herself to complete turns across terrain that she feels is challenging. She does have enough of an understanding of the basics to realize that her progress is largely in her own hands.

She currently views every fall and her reliance on a wedge as a failure, which causes her frustration and negative throughts. I want her to look at it all as a learning experience and to ski within her comfort zone, and out of that (I hope) will come confidence, self-awareness and progression of ability.

The snowboarding book I referenced, Kevin Ryan's Illustrated Guide to Snowboarding, spends a whole chapter on positive thought and zen-like thinking. I pooh-poohed it and skipped over it before my first day on the board (I consider my attitude to be fairly positive), but found it somewhat enlightening when I went back and read it after a lackluster day two.

My sister, on the other hand, can definitely benefit from some good vibes, and I think I'll lend her the snowboard book just to read this one section!
post #7 of 27
I'd strongly recommend "All-Mountain Skier : The Way to Expert Skiing," by R. Mark Elling. See http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/007...lance&n=283155.

Don't be put off by the "expert" reference in the title. It's got instruction for all levels and even more important, a breakdown of skills, concepts, drills, equipment, lingo, conditions, terrain, etc., that are very helpful for developing skiers. Good illustrations. For me (another adult newbie) it was a very helpful off-slope guide to visualize what I was trying, and what I was experiencing, on the slopes.

Also, when I took lessons, I understood what my instructors were saying and doing much better after reading the Elling book; the reading made the lessons much more productive.

I skimmed the Harb materials a long time ago and my recollection is they were not such a good fit with the standard instruction methods where I was skiing. Which may simply reflect different teaching methods. I'm not really up on the whole PSIA (national standard (?)) / PMTS (Harb) debate; others here have much stronger and better informed views, and I don't know at this level if it should be any concern at all. But I wanted to offer the Elling book as a another alternative.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01
I'd strongly recommend "All-Mountain Skier : The Way to Expert Skiing," by R. Mark Elling.
...

I skimmed the Harb materials a long time ago and my recollection is they were not such a good fit with the standard instruction methods where I was skiing.
Ok, thanks, I'll look for that one, too (I initially dismissed it because of the "Expert" in the title).

And sis just emailed me back about the PMTS stuff: "It is a little confusing. I'll look it over again when I have more time."

We'll see...
post #9 of 27
I second the Mark Elling book.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
I second the Mark Elling book.
Ok, excellent, satisfied customers always make the best references.

Or, BigE, I could just let her in on the golden rule of skiing: When in doubt, tuck it out!
post #11 of 27
Sounds like a different direction geared at her level, that is not youz guys, might be a good tactic.

There are two books that might appeal to her better. One is Skiing and The Art of Carving by Ellen Post Foster and Women Ski by Claudia Carbone. I have the second edition of Women ski and its excellent but a bit dated. There could be a more recent copy in print by now.
post #12 of 27

I'm going to take a different tact here...

Based on this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Oh, and she's extremely hard on herself, negative, bitter, and close-minded about **any** tidbit of helpful advice. It took a lot of finnessing to get her to practice a simple side-skid down a modest hill, just to introduce her to an alternative method to walking when she finds herself stuck on something too uncomfortably steep.

I (and her husband) know better than to give her "instruction" (we'll get our heads bitten off). The lessons so far aggrivate her -- it's a matter of finding an instructor compatible with her attitude. She does really wants to be out there, though -- nobody is forcing her to take up this sport!!!
How about this one? The Tao of Womanhood by Diane Dreher

My wife is reading it now and it's excellent. Very empowering and uplifting. She's read a couple of sections from it on skiing to me and I really liked what it had to say.

L
post #13 of 27
Here's another approach. Inner Skiing, helped me a lot when I was a beginner. Not technical, more mental - which sounds like what she needs. Scroll down the Amazon page to read the reader reviews!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067...books&v=glance
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
She skis a mean wedge and is competent at linking long turns, but leads with her upper body, is terrified of steeper blue terrain, and is really uncomfortable in moderately populated trails due to the amount of lateral real estate she requires to manuver.

Oh, and she's extremely hard on herself, negative, bitter, and close-minded about **any** tidbit of helpful advice. It took a lot of finnessing to get her to practice a simple side-skid down a modest hill, just to introduce her to an alternative method to walking when she finds herself stuck on something too uncomfortably steep.

I (and her husband) know better than to give her "instruction" (we'll get our heads bitten off). The lessons so far aggrivate her -- it's a matter of finding an instructor compatible with her attitude. She does really wants to be out there, though -- nobody is forcing her to take up this sport!!!
who took a level 3 skier on blue terrain? no wonder she is terrified.:

if she is on terrain that is "terrifying" she won't slide.....she'll seek all the friction she can find, or as you describe it....a mean wedge.

i don't believe a text is the answer. i think a qualified instructor is. the first thing the instructor will find is appropriate terrain that is condusive to learning.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
who took a level 3 skier on blue terrain?
Who did? She did! Her reasoning is she was comfortable on it two years ago, so why not now? (She wasn't skiing any better two years ago, but I'm sure she felt less anxiety at the time.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
i think a qualified instructor is. the first thing the instructor will find is appropriate terrain that is condusive to learning.
I agree, and you're wrong. The instructor dragged her down something even steeper, then proceeded to tell her that she did everything wrong.

I think it's more appropriate we find an instructor conducive to learning, but it's time consuming and expensive for her to demo more than one instructor per day.
post #16 of 27
I would recommend Lito's book - Breakthrough on Skis. The link to the new edition - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...74727?v=glance

Apart from being a great instruction book, the real strength is in Lito's gentle approach and ability to explain the same concept in a varety of ways. Reading it puts you into the right mindset to approach skiing the right way, and thats half the battle
post #17 of 27
Defcon, great idea. A very motivational book.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
i don't believe a text is the answer. i think a qualified instructor is. the first thing the instructor will find is appropriate terrain that is condusive to learning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
I agree, and you're wrong. The instructor dragged her down something even steeper, then proceeded to tell her that she did everything wrong.
I still think Rusty is right. She didn't get the right person.

L
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
advice to help her push to the next level?
I have to agree with Rusty Guy on the terrain issue. Until she is controling her speed by turn shape, blue trails are going to promote defensive skiing. Big wedge, stiff legs, upper body rotation...the whole lot.

Books or lessons, for the love of god use terrain that lets her glide.

Sorry about her instructor, people like that can give people like me a bad name.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
I agree, and you're wrong. The instructor dragged her down something even steeper, then proceeded to tell her that she did everything wrong.
Ugh. Then find a different instructor. Trial and error looking for an appropriate will waste time and $$$. Why not post the mountain she will be the next time she goes out and ask for a recommendation. Someone here may know an appropriate instructor for that mountain.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn
Ugh. Then find a different instructor. Trial and error looking for an appropriate will waste time and $$$. Why not post the mountain she will be the next time she goes out and ask for a recommendation. Someone here may know an appropriate instructor for that mountain.
She is comfortable at Donner and Sierra at Tahoe and has had lessons at both. This day in particular was at Sierra.

At Donner, the lack of professionalism and lesson content left me wanting when I recently took a snowboard lesson there, but my sister tells me she found an instructor there back in 03/04 who she found effective. Too bad she doesn't remember his name (doh, but "he reminded me of our uncle James," she says).

She wants to go back to Sierra and take advantage of their early-bird $59 private lesson. Anybody have recommendations for a specific instructor to ask for?
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
She wants to go back to Sierra and take advantage of their early-bird $59 private lesson. Anybody have recommendations for a specific instructor to ask for?
You might want to start a new thread with "Looking for an instructor recommendation at Sierra" in the title and then briefly explain the situation. People browsing and not interested in the topic of a book, won't see your question.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
I tracked down Elling's The All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiingat a local store. I skimmed through the first couple of sections and it looked to miss the target for a skiier still fighting the wedge.

I passed on it.

Instead I picked up Heckelman's The New Guide to Skiing. Of the available books, Heckelman's has excellent photos to accompany the text, and many exercises to help a new skier discover and develop their edge. It is also very simple to read.

FWIW, I prefer illustrations over photos (particularly when all the photos are of the same fella) -- a good illustrator can emphasize a form or technique in a way that is difficult to capture through photography. In this case, however, the illustrations in Elling's book were sparser than I had hoped, and just not concentrated on beginner technique.

However, Elling's text was very informative, and I'll probably pick up a copy for myself.

And yes, we'll continue the search for a good instructor in a follow-on thread.

Thanks everyone for your input. Oh, and SkiMangoJazz, my wife, who is not a skier, has expressed interest in Inner Skiing. There's hope yet, but I'll let her tell me when (if) she's ready.
post #24 of 27
Good move on the pass. I keep forgetting that Ellings book starts at the intermediate stage, it does not address the wedge.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01
I'd strongly recommend "All-Mountain Skier : The Way to Expert Skiing," by R. Mark Elling. See http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/007...lance&n=283155.

Don't be put off by the "expert" reference in the title. It's got instruction for all levels and even more important, a breakdown of skills, concepts, drills, equipment, lingo, conditions, terrain, etc., that are very helpful for developing skiers. Good illustrations. For me (another adult newbie) it was a very helpful off-slope guide to visualize what I was trying, and what I was experiencing, on the slopes.

Also, when I took lessons, I understood what my instructors were saying and doing much better after reading the Elling book; the reading made the lessons much more productive.

I skimmed the Harb materials a long time ago and my recollection is they were not such a good fit with the standard instruction methods where I was skiing. Which may simply reflect different teaching methods. I'm not really up on the whole PSIA (national standard (?)) / PMTS (Harb) debate; others here have much stronger and better informed views, and I don't know at this level if it should be any concern at all. But I wanted to offer the Elling book as a another alternative.

Mark Elling's book -- 2d Edition if you have a choice -- is the best out there, the drills are sequenced for skier levels, the info is given in a straightforward style, and best of all, Elling is NOT dogmatic about skiing the way Harb's book can be. Elling's book gives the skier more flexibility to consider what might work, and to experiment to find what works, and best of all, it tells you what to look for in your experiments so that you can feel them working. In this way, the book is far superior to all other alternatives.

bias disclaimer - Mark Elling used to be Ski School Director at Snowbowl where I ski regularly. Anyone who spends seasons skiing there will have to know a lot of different techniques and tactics to deal with our huge array of terrain and conditions. In some ways, IMO, Elling's experiences at Snowbowl while writing the book's First Ed give him a bit of an unfair advantage over the instructor writers who ski the groomers all day. Also, I've met his brother Brian, who did the book's line drawings, and still lives here and skis here. I met him a few weeks ago at Lost Trail.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
bias disclaimer - Mark Elling used to be Ski School Director at Snowbowl where I ski regularly. .... Also, I've met his brother Brian, who did the book's line drawings, and still lives here and skis here. I met him a few weeks ago at Lost Trail.
Uncle -- If you see either of these guys again, tell them thanks from a big fan. I was a total noob when I first picked it up (though never at the wedge stage) and give this book much credit for bringing me up to speed much faster than I ever hoped. I pack it on every trip and have given away four or five copies to other learners.
post #27 of 27
tell her to check out my book when it comes out.
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