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HH's Book

post #1 of 316
Thread Starter 
Anybody else order the new Harold Harb book? I've had mine for two weeks now and have gone through it a couple of times. I think the information in the book is 'laid out" in a very orderly progression as well as every section having detailed photomage illustrating the context of each chapter. There is an abudance of pictured illustrations illustrating the instruction in the text.

It's very thorough and HH has done a very nice job of explaining the why and how behind his PMTS principles. If you desire to revamp your skiing and eliminate the transitional up movement, this book will definitely provide you the information to build that skill set. Old habits die hard for sure, but I'm eager to try tipping and flexing and see if I can improve my skiing.
post #2 of 316
roundturns: I'm eager to try tipping and flexing and see if I can improve my skiing.

It certainly won't hurt your skiing. I am going to order the book as well.
post #3 of 316
When I decided to start skiing again at age 62 (and after a 25+ year hiatus)-I ended up reading almost every book on skiing that I could get my hands on. Watched many videos as well. While I found some tips from many sources that helped my skiing, Harald's PMTS stuff always worked especially well for me. I have had his new book (The Essentials Of Skiing) now for about a month. Simply put--it is the best book on skiing that I have ever read. The 6 essentials are "spot on", and the book is loaded with drills and photo montages that are really helpful. I think that this is the best $20 you could ever spend if you're serious about taking skiing to the next level.
post #4 of 316
I just finished reading it. Good book. I like it better than his first two books, but it does not completely replace them either. This new book barely addresses one footed outside dominant skiing, interestingly enough. and GASP, he even has some wide stance exercises in there. A lot of good stuff about tipping in there. I think if you want to carve your turns on shaped skiis, this may be the best book out. Besides having clear explanations and diagrams and exercises, there are many dryland exercises included as well. Highly recommend.
post #5 of 316

Essentials of Skiing

Here's a deal for you:

Buy a copy of Harald Harb's Essentials of Skiing. Read it, give the techniques a real try. If you don't like it, PM me. I'll buy the book from you and donate it to my local public library. Several of the ski racing clubs are using this book including Vail and Crested Butte.

If you do like the book, please let us all know, and ask your local library to buy a copy for their collection.

Harald Harb is the best selling ski technique writer. He has five ski technique books in print including his instructor manual and boot fitting manual.

post #6 of 316
SSG, are you affiliated with Harald Harb in any way? Although your guarantee is impressive, what motivates you (other than missionary zeal, of course)?
post #7 of 316
<moderator comment>I have merged the posts on this book into the existing thread in the Technique forum. Let's try not to divert a thread devoted to a specific book. Thanks.</moderator comment>
post #8 of 316
Please note that my offer to buy back "Essentials" was made to SkiMangoJazz if he tries both books and prefers Weems'. I asked him to give the techniques expressed in both books a sincere try and post his results.

Nolo, I have no affiliation with Harb. I pay for his books and ski camps. I'm asking folks to give various techniques a sincere try and post their results. In my case, a natural klutz and low energy person, PMTS resulted in me becoming a very good skier where other instruction did not achieve that.

post #9 of 316
A few years back i used Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier book and DVD. I liked them and they helped my skiing. Harb's skiing on the DVD is absolutely spectacular.

However... I am no longer using the PMTS methods having had excellent coaching from high level PSIA folks like Tom Burch and others and the two methodologies aren't compatible in a lot of ways so I've chosen to weight both skis together often and to embrace rotary motion when needed.

So SSG I will say that I prefer Weem's approach at this point (although I haven't seen Harb's newest book.)
post #10 of 316

I would really like to hear more specific commentary from you about specifcs here. What about PMTS do you find conflicting with PSIA and why do you find PSIA better for you. I don't know many people who went the opposite direction form PMTS, though I know a few that tried PMTS for a while and simply say now that they find PMTS a bit narrow minded...part of their whole toolbox but they are not limited to only PMTS.
post #11 of 316
Well bts I agree that what I learned from PMTS is a part of my toolbox, but there are clearly some areas that a student of skiing can't bring from a lesson with one to a lesson with the other, unless you want to get ridiculed.

For example my recollection is that Harb rejects two footed skiing, advocates a very narrow stance and says that you should not use foot steering.

If I was to take that into a lesson or coaching exprience with a PSIA instructor I'd be told to put more weight on the inside ski, to widen my stance more so my knee can clear the other knee, and that to tighten up a turn smaller than the ski geometry allows, that foot steering is necessary.

These are clearly diametrically opposing viewpoints. Both methods may work, but to achieve a high level of accomplishment in a set of technical movements you just gotta choose one set! To use an analogy if you wanted to become a great tennis player you'd just have to choose between a one-handed or a two-handed backhand and perfect that chosen methodology.

I'm sure that if I went the other way I'd be told how wrong my methods were too. What I see is PMTS saying there is only one way to heaven. PSIA isn't quite as close minded, but they don't have to be, having a practical monopoly on US ski instruction.
post #12 of 316
Yea I hear ya there. I'm at a point where I prefer to give loyal allegiance to nobody because I personally think they all have good and bad points. I'd rather take the good from all of them, then the good and bad from only one in an effort to remain politically correct with my fellow ski instructors and examiners. Fortunately, my skiing often speaks for itself, but I do have to watch what I say sometimes to avoid debates or making people upset who have spent so much time on one system or the other. I will say that I think the errors in PSIA out-number PMTS by a pretty wide margin. This may in fact be the last year I spend anymore time with ski teaching for this reason alone. I've about had it with trying to walk that line of high performance skiing and talking the talk that PSIA folks wanna hear which is often in direct opposition to high end skiing IMHO. (Ducking for cover now)

By the way, you should check out the latest PMTS book that just came out. Surprisingly, he does not mention once the idea of one footed skiing for the entire first 100 pages and even after that only mildly mentions it and refers to his other books. The largest chapter on tipping makes not one single mention about outside ski dominance. I don't think he mentions in there once about a narrow stance either. He even has one drill(only a drill) that uses an extremely wide stance in order to obtain some new sensations. This book really hammers on exactly what it says it does "the Essentials of skiing" without getting hung up in some of the controversial topics like outside ski dominance. Though he still does advocate the idea that pivot-based turning is bad, he does say in there somewhere once that after you have learned the essentials of carving via tipping instead of pivoting, that you might opt to add a bit of pivoting to the mix. However, his main point is that the fundamental of turning should not be based on rotary forces, but rather on getting the skis to do the turning for you via tipping. That particular point is definitely in stark contrast to current PSIA thinking where leg rotation to turn the skis is a primary skill, (on the D-teams list of concepts it is #2 and tipping is #4).

Anyway, there is good stuff for you there in that new book, even if you want to continue with PSIA. If nothing else, his breakdown of tipping is remarkable and explained much better than anyone from PSIA has ever explained to me.
post #13 of 316
I would like to check it out. PMTS got me in touch with the little toe edge and really got me to understand tipping and edge change.

Although rotary is a primary skill, I still find high level PSIA coaching to emphasize using the skis sidecut to turn. Another difference I just remembered is that PMTS emphasized lingering in the float portion of the turn, and Weems (PSIA too?) said to change the edges as quickly as possible and avoid spending any time in the neutral position.

It's all good, but it's hard to get down on your knees at night and have to choose "hmm which god should I pray to tonight?"

Suspension of disbelief - helps when you're watching a movie, and helps when you're following an instructional and functional model.
post #14 of 316
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
PSIA isn't quite as close minded, but they don't have to be, having a practical monopoly on US ski instruction.
That comment is a matter of perspective. I find PSIA to be as closed minded as anyone else about certain topics that they want to be closed minded about. Just because they openly embrace rotation based turns when PMTS does not, does not make PSIA more open minded in general.

You're right about one thing though, if you want to work with a ski school and get along with everyone and be successful from a political perspective..you pretty much have to embrace the PSIA way of skiing (ie, NOT open minded). I can't bring myself to do it, though I've been trying. The only way I can do it is to keep my mouth shut, being very careful who I help to improve. How ironic is that, I wanted to be a ski instructor to help others get better. Yet I have to be careful about keeping my mouth shut or else I have to teach concepts I fundamentally disagree with. I can't do the second thing, my morals won't let me do it. Best I can hope for is to stay out of the limelight and help whoever will listen. Or get into race coaching, where they are concerned a lot more about results and not which organization you learned it from, which is becoming more likely.
post #15 of 316
It is sad, I agree. And you're probably right about the closed-mindedness, I take that back.

My point isn't only that you have to do it to be successful politically in a ski school (although I'm sure you're right there!) but that to be successful as a skier you need to choose a path of learning and progression. For now I'm sticking with the PSIA method, but am open-minded enough myself to play around with other things, and to realize that I've CHOSEN ONE way of doing it and that other ways exist.
post #16 of 316
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I would like to check it out. PMTS got me in touch with the little toe edge and really got me to understand tipping and edge change.
This new book also has a lot to say about counterbalance and counter-action (ie, angulation and countering), a topic kind of avoided by PSIA recently.

Although rotary is a primary skill, I still find high level PSIA coaching to emphasize using the skis sidecut to turn.
PSIA is definitely coming up to speed with the concept of tipping, but they are still figuring it out. What they realize now is that its a key concept. They just haven't broken it down and analyzed it to the degree HH has. But at least if you read his book #3, nothing in the chapter on tipping is going to conflict with PSIA..its only going to enhance what they are trying to do.

Another difference I just remembered is that PMTS emphasized lingering in the float portion of the turn, and Weems (PSIA too?) said to change the edges as quickly as possible and avoid spending any time in the neutral position.
HH also says to change quickly. I remember vaguely the float concept from the first books. I do not think this is meant as a technique to use always. They want to emphasize edge to edge skiing. There is some mention of the float in the new book and he makes sure to point out that its less than a second of time. Its only dwelled on in PMTS as a concept..because there are important things that need to happen during float. But more importantly, some skiers rush to get past the float and extend too rapidly on their new outside ski. HH is trying to get them to flow through without pop extending on that new outside ski and causing it to smear out or to use more energy than is needed and also that would be ineffective on ice and other places.

One point about the float period is that you are weightless during this. Its a very good time to be tipping your skis. Tipping your skis when you're standing on them with pressure is more difficult. So you can see the intention is not unlike what Weems was telling you, to get onto the new edges via tipping actions as soon as possible. But make no mistake, there is a float period that exists and its a prime opportunity to get a lot of tipping done. PMTS just takes advantage of this to get the early tipping done.

It's all good, but it's hard to get down on your knees at night and have to choose "hmm which god should I pray to tonight?"
lol. Yea. I choose none. Be agnostic.

Suspension of disbelief - helps when you're watching a movie, and helps when you're following an instructional and functional model.
That will work for a while, but if you live with your blinders on about things which are flat out wrong, one day you will wake up and realize you've been living in denial and regret it. FWIW.
post #17 of 316
Great post borntoski!

As to living with blinders on, I think that suspension of disbelief is not inconsistent with an awareness of reality. It is a conscious choice we make, but not a state of denial, just a foray into a world we choose to embrace for that period of time.
post #18 of 316
Float also indicates that you have released the CM from it's arc -- a key accomplishment.

It is also the point at which any pivoting of the skis occurs prior to edge engagement. I am not talking about pivoting via pivot slip mechanics. I am talking about pivoting via tip the ski and pull the inside foot back to the heel of the stance leg mechanics. Float enables a pivot entry to the turn.
post #19 of 316
This is true what you say BigE, though, not what HH teaches. But a good general comment in support of embracing the notion of "float".
post #20 of 316
All I can say is that I am simultaneously grateful that I haven't run into the close mindedness that some (like BTS683) have and that I have a ton of freedom to explore my own understanding of skiing out loud with brilliant people who are open and generous with their time, their thinking, and what they are studying and endeavoring to understand. None of them have ever asked for my affiliation...

I have heard that there are those who are dogmatic, but gratefully I have not had the experience of interacting with them in the course of my explorations on-snow (although I have met a few here on EpicSki... ).

For me, I have experienced a lot of experimentation, discussions of a broad range of ideas from a wide spectrum of sources, and multiple approaches for growth and learning.

I find it interesting that EpicSki's own ESA events include as coaches current and past PSIA Demo Team members, at least one PMTS Trainer, Ski the Whole Mountain co-author Eric DesLauriers, The Encyclopedia of Skiing author (and EpicSki regular) Bob Barnes, members of other nation's demo teams (New Zealand, for one), and at least one former Olympic racer (not including Deb Armstrong, who will be at ESA Aspen). That's a pretty eclectic bunch, wouldn't you say? Not a lot of close-mindedness or egocentricity there, either, in my experience (and the experience related from the recent ESA in Stowe as another example).

There are a lot of close-minded people in the world, but in my experience, most who are closed are avoiding demonstrating their ignorance by blindly sticking with what they think that they know. That said, there are those who will have strong opinions about the efficacy of something in skiing and may grow weary of debating their point when it's either misinterpreted or misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented (all of which have happened here on EpicSki to multiple highly-skilled contributors). It can be difficult to distinguish between "close-minded" and "weary of explaining in the face of what seems to be intentional misinterpretation".

I know that my personal perspective has been misinterpreted (and, I think, intentionally misrepresented) multiple times here, and I try to be clear about my opinions of things. For instance, many see me as "PSIA" because I try to respond to misrepresentations or misinterpretations and clear up what I intentionally view as misunderstanding. Since I've read a lot of PSIA information in the past three years, I feel qualified to address some of those things. (For example, tipping is actually integrated with rotation in the Skiing Concepts: "Steering action of lower body is coordinated with tipping the legs to maintain balance and alignment throughout the turn.") But, I've also read a lot of other stuff (including all of Harb's books, the DesLauriers' book, Elling's book, LeMaster's books, and a number of others that don't get discussed here much) and watched even more on video. I'm an insatiable learner, and study everything I can. But skiing is life for me, not livelihood. And I gave up needing to be right 8 years ago.

I'm truly sorry that BTS and others like him have had such awful experiences with egotistical ski teachers. How sad for those close-minded ski teachers that they miss the joy in life over something so silly! My hope is that they will see the limitations they've imposed on themselves and others and will learn to play. After all, isn't that what skiing is supposed to be? Fun?!
post #21 of 316
post #22 of 316
Right on, ssh.

I don't want to be a better skier than anyone else or be certified by any specific organization; I just want to have more fun skiing each and every time I go out, with fewer and fewer limitations on where or what I can ski.

I really liked Eric's book, "Ski the Whole Mountain," part of which brought to mind visions of HH's website that I'd read earlier... And Weems' "Brilliant Skiing" is like nothing I've ever read, in a good way. Now I'm working on a new one that my Dad sent me called, "A Weekend Warrior's Guide to Expert Skiing" by Stephen Phipps (2006, DaoEn Corporation, Boise, Idaho). I'll likely grab HH's new book eventually, too. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not to be scrounging for information in so many different arenas at my stage, but it's fun and I think it enhances my mental concepts for what skis should do, at least!

And part of the reason (OK, the main reason) I'm going to ESA Tahoe in March is that it sounds like the goals of the ESA coaches are to help me be a better skier without the politics or bickering about anyone else's teaching technique. I'm really looking forward to that!

post #23 of 316

Immediate results

Putting all old hostilities aside this is the best book on skiing yet to be published. This is a world class skier and coach giving the best information you can access for only $20. It deserves to be in every ski library in the world and it is destined to be a classic. This book will revolutionize skiing thinking and understanding as it is so easy to use understand and apply. I have been using it for three weeks and it has already paid for itself twenty times over. Do yourself a favor, no mater how you ski or what you believe is right , this book will help your skiing immediately.
post #24 of 316
Based on what I have read here I just used the link provided by softsnowguy and ordered this book from Amazon. I'm looking forward to it. I am so glad I found the BB forums.

Bill w
post #25 of 316
I agree with most of what BTS683 is saying. I am learning that the animosity between various teaching camps/styles is so great that one has to learn to be very subtle and careful with their statements.

I was present through all the "internet wars" between PMTS and PSIA in the past and I thought all that was history. Apparently that is not the case and one could easily offend one or the other.

Like BTS683 I am going to pick the best of all worlds and learn to be more subtle.
post #26 of 316
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

It's all good, but it's hard to get down on your knees at night and have to choose "hmm which god should I pray to tonight?" .

Never worship any approaches to skiing. They are merely intentions to help you across the bridge in different ways.

Seek, study, learn, challenge, respect, risk, practice, enjoy, transform, transcend. And pray for snow.

And Happy Holidays.
post #27 of 316
Originally Posted by carv_lust View Post
This is a world class skier and coach giving the best information you can access for only $20.
Psst. $20? Weems will let you download his for free....

post #28 of 316
For those of you that don't know, you can access Amazon (and our other affiliates) by clicking on the Partners tab at the top of the page.
When you purchase from one of our affiliates (after accessing their site from EpicSki), EpicSki earns a referral fee which helps to cover its hosting and development fees.
post #29 of 316


I continue to be amazed at how many books and theories are made about such simple physics. Physics that was explained to me decades ago in five minutes by a man selling skis. It is even simpler with highly shaped skis, because changing the shape of the decambered ski from it's natural side-cut radius can be left as a highly advanced skill. I fail to see what is so complicated about tipping skis onto their edges and riding them. It should also be painfully obvious that a ski edge that is cutting it's way forward will not arc/carve (you know what I mean), but will smeared if you try and rotate it. The more the edge grips the better it carves; pivoting requires the edge not to grip. I suspect that the debaters are refusing to give the devil his due, not because they are too stupid to see the points, but just because they are trying to give no quarter in war of egos.

BTS, maybe it will help if you look at the pivoting as an advanced skill to be learned beyond carving. You don't teach motorcycle road racers to slide their corners before you teach them to lean the bike and "arc", but no winning racers get by without being able to slide in the corners.
post #30 of 316
Thread Starter 
It's evident from the picture on the front cover of the HH book , that one footed skiing is not being advocated . HH is clearly skiing on both sets of edges. Although its never discussed (that I have found yet) in the new book, compared to his earlier books it would appear skiing with all the weight on the downhill ski has been modified. I think the change or new emphasis has become flexed inside leg, extended outside leg, flexion of old downhill leg to begin transition to new set of edges.

I'm very pleased with the book and DVD and think most will find it very informative.
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