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Old School and Doesn't Care

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What do you tell a committed old school skier? My brother came out from Kansas and skied with me this weekend. We had a great time, but I was aware he is locked into an old style of skiing so I thought maybe we could try out some newer skis and perhaps discuss some alternatives. John skis on Atomic BetaCarve 9:18 skis with a 62 mm waist. Thanks to SierraJim, we got to try out some new Nordica SpeedMachine Mach 3. Well, my brother managed to make the Mach 3s look like a grand old-school ski.











So, feet locked in a close stance and weight just a bit back of neutral can look pretty on a groomer. After switching back to his regular (lighter) skis we tried a bit of the off-piste, but when the going gets tougher, the problems really seemed stack up and make life difficult. He is a proficient skier in bumps and chop, but in true crud, things get bad in a hurry.











So, my question is, how do you convince someone who is satisfied with their skiing, and believes it to be the way skiing should be done (its good skiing, and what they taught us) that there something more. I'd love to get this guy into an Academy or other ski lessons. Reluctantly, I don't think it will ever happen, and I focus on having a good time rather than instructing or being critical. Still, I'm curious if anyone has some suggestions on motivating a good skier to seek new skills.

And, I occasionally resemble this skier, so I may make personal use of your advise.
post #2 of 21
Are you sure the skis would have made a huge difference? I mean he came all the way from Kansas! How often does he do that? You got him onto what looks to be some serious pitch there - I mean, he wasn't in Kansas anymore. He might have been in vertical shock. Perhaps a few weekends of warmup runs would help.

ST
post #3 of 21
Well, remember, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still..." So, you need to know if he cares about the benefits that a change could bring. For example, does he think it possible for him to be able to ski that off-piste with smooth confidence? Would he like to learn how?

Would he like to be able to arc railroad track trenches on the groomed, and swoop like the DH racers could back in the day?

Would he like to be able to ski longer (each day and week, plus over the course of his life) with less energy and pain?

Those are all possible with relatively little change. In fact, for most of us who learned "old school," it's learning to reduce or eliminate movement rather than increasing exertion. That's why it's so much easier now.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Sir turnalot, the pitch was fine. We actually came off a few cornices and into well skied chutes with bumps with no trouble. Those pictures of things falling apart are not typical and are in sun baked heavy mank. I was never able to make a narrow ski turn in that stuff either. FWIW, I was on 99 mm waist skis in that stuff and it felt great. I may have had an ulterior motive to make my younger and more physically fit brother my equal. You know how brothers can be

Steve, I think you hit the nail on the head. I was skiing a wider stance and making large, fast GS turns on the groomers, and John enjoyed his classic Wedlen. Try as I might, I was unable to convince him that there is merit in the other turns (in terms of saving energy, efficiency fun). As he said. "This is how we learned, and I'm good at it".
post #5 of 21
Get him a monoski. Seriously, we need to bring back Le Mono, every fad comes back eventually.

Scott day glo race poles are back next year, the mono ski would solve his crud snow problems without changing technique and he can be cutting edge new school by reverting to bad 80's technology.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Steve, I think you hit the nail on the head. I was skiing a wider stance and making large, fast GS turns on the groomers, and John enjoyed his classic Wedlen. Try as I might, I was unable to convince him that there is merit in the other turns (in terms of saving energy, efficiency fun). As he said. "This is how we learned, and I'm good at it".
Did you just turn it up and smoke him?

Not to say it's not "ok" to ski like that. If that's all he cares about, then it'll do nothing to try to convince him otherwise. But, if he sees his older brother out rippin' it up and he can't ski the same lines or keep up, well...
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Did you just turn it up and smoke him?

Not to say it's not "ok" to ski like that. If that's all he cares about, then it'll do nothing to try to convince him otherwise. But, if he sees his older brother out rippin' it up and he can't ski the same lines or keep up, well...
Well, I did a lot of waiting. The big problem was getting so far ahead that little bro got lost. Its really hard to hang with a short swinger if you're carving big GS turns at mach schnell.

I hope we planted the seeds. To be honest, he hasn't been paying attention to the changes. He recognized RR tracks this trip, and since his favorite ski place is Breckenridge, perhaps I'll just turn him over to you someday soon. No one should ever have to take instruction from their older brother...sheesh, even I know that. :
post #8 of 21
Well, give me a shot at him and we'll see if he sees the benefits.
post #9 of 21
Just keep him in deep heavy snow with long skinny skis so he won't be able to twist them around and skid. He'll come around eventually.
post #10 of 21
There was a guy at Steamboat today that had Raichle Flexon 5's, K2 610 FO and Tyrolia 250D's...wait for it.....wait for it... with safety straps!

He was old school.
post #11 of 21
Yeah, but could he rip?
post #12 of 21
Quote "So, my question is, how do you convince someone who is satisfied with their skiing, and believes it to be the way skiing should be done (its good skiing, and what they taught us) that there something more." Unquote

Does he really believe that he skis the way that it should be done? Or, does he just ski the way he knows how?

Why should he take the time and the effort to learn the modern method?

1) To look more stylish? Then you should have no problem in convincing him to learn the modern methods.

2) To have more fun? Then you may have a tough time. Does he ski often enough to devote the time to fight through the learning curve in order to enjoy carved turns?

3) To confidently ski crud? Will he be skiing enough crud to make it worthwhile to give up a week of enjoyable skiing in order to learn the newer method?

4) To become a better skier? He looks like a pretty good old school skier. If he wants to improve, then learning the newer method is probably the only way to go.

If he gets to ski only a few weekends a year, then he is probably better off just to go out and have fun.
post #13 of 21

hook him up

Tom,

Hook him up with some new school carving skis.....you know what they did for me.....

Further, I bought mrs hrstrat57 some ladies Volkl gammas, super sidecut...she said she didn't want them, likes her old skis, take em back...yaddi yaddi you know the story.

Then she ski'd em....and said wow these are real nice, so easy to ski.

Now, after I taught skiing for nearly 10 years, never violating the "never help your spouse ski" rule she actually observes my skiing, sees the differences in our technique and has actually asked a few questions and applied some things I have told her(simultaneous tipping, lead with LTE, allow natural tip lead to occur are a few things she has actually digested successfully).....I do this reluctantly and with much trepidation of course: but she is asking and learning.

If she says shut up, well my signature below always rules The time I spend with her on the hill is precious, I won't jeopardize it to feed my ego. Clearly you feel the same way about your brother....

I suggested she click on the free demo team vids below so my points could be further elucidated......well, she wouldn't look at Lito 10 years ago either

Get him some skis, have him look at the demo team vids.....I think you might be surprised...

...don't push it though, teaching a brother how to ski is nearly as dangerous as teaching your significant other:

Feel free to send him to me too, I'd be happy to do your work vicariously.

________________________________________

BTW dunno if you know it but I got some near mint exploders....they are bomber...I wrote a review in my volkl budda explosivs thread.....

Have fun at the gathering, really wanted to be there..... esp now that I got the skis for it.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Well, remember, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still..." So, you need to know if he cares about the benefits that a change could bring. For example, does he think it possible for him to be able to ski that off-piste with smooth confidence? Would he like to learn how?
Of the excellent questions Steve has asked, I suspect this is the one that might actually matter to him. This is where his old school technique really falls apart. Does he want to ski it, or does he just want to say that he doesn't deign to ski such crappy snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Would he like to be able to arc railroad track trenches on the groomed, and swoop like the DH racers could back in the day?

Would he like to be able to ski longer (each day and week, plus over the course of his life) with less energy and pain?

Those are all possible with relatively little change. In fact, for most of us who learned "old school," it's learning to reduce or eliminate movement rather than increasing exertion. That's why it's so much easier now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Those pictures of things falling apart are not typical and are in sun baked heavy mank.

<snip>

Steve, I think you hit the nail on the head. I was skiing a wider stance and making large, fast GS turns on the groomers, and John enjoyed his classic Wedlen. Try as I might, I was unable to convince him that there is merit in the other turns (in terms of saving energy, efficiency fun). As he said. "This is how we learned, and I'm good at it".
Yes, that's how he has fun, and he is indeed good at it. It will be difficult to motivate him to change (and see an apparent temporary reduction in skill level while he's changing) when he likes what he's doing and it usually works for him. If he's in shape, he might not mind the energy input, and he might not have a problem with pain (for now, anyway). His perception of the immediate benefits may be minimal.

If he's not interested in skiing crud, mank, etc. with more grace and less effort, there probably isn't much motivation for him to change. Suppose you just offer to let him Wedel down his "boring" groomers (even though you know how to make them more fun) and tell him you're going to go ski something interesting and meet him at the lift. You'll find out if he wants the challenge or not. If not, you won't be able to motivate a change. Let him have fun his way.

Another little point: Saturday a.m., a friend of mine loaned me some short, stiff slalom race skis to try out, just for fun. "No bumps - don't bend them," he said. I took a few runs to get the feel for a little monster with a 10m radius, and then took a couple of runs with another friend who likes those fast, swooping carved GS turns on his Metrons. He's a former instructor, and his technique is solid.

Now, I'm not saying we were going anywhere ultra fast. I'm not a particularly fast skier. Still, I made about three round, complete turns for every turn "R" made, and had no difficulty keeping up, or even going faster than he was. Short turns are not necessarily slow ones. Maybe your brother can consider that point, as well.
post #15 of 21
You may just have a time delay. Us old guys can be stubborn. If you wait a bit and then expose him again (especially without you around to say I-told-you-so) he might see the light. That's certainly the way my own conversion went.

Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.
post #16 of 21
I had an elderly gent from italy (via NY) last year, who skiied, of course, very old-school, and it was really knocking him around. He was beat after a couple of hours. So his son stuck him in a lesson with me.

Well, i figure that these guys have spent a lot of time learning the way they ski, and trying to get them to totally change it will be very difficult. Both motivationally and physically.

So, with this chap (and other feet-together good skiiers), I showed him how to balance on the skis better. The old style had the skis being pushed out a long way from the body, which is physically tough. The new skis want us to be on them, so we first of all fixed that. Felt pretty good according to the chap, but he still could ski the way he felt was the "right" way.

We worked a bit of pressure control in too, to unstiffen the legs a bit.

And I knew I was on the right track when, later in the lesson, he remarked that he might let his feet come apart slightly as it felt OK. I'd mentioned the new style, just so's his understanding would be full-picture, and now he was coming round to the idea on his own.

I still ski pretty narrow (according to trainers), so maybe he could see that it was possible to ski narrow but not be stuck together.

I use this approach with old-school skiiers who are good at what they do... work with how they already ski, and just integrate the basics of new-school.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
There was a guy at Steamboat today that had Raichle Flexon 5's, K2 610 FO and Tyrolia 250D's...wait for it.....wait for it... with safety straps!

He was old school.
I'm old school, too, and my stuff is older than his, but at least my Salomon 505's have brakes. For me it's not a case of clinging stubbornly to the old ways, it's economics. Use old stuff or stay home. I'm actually looking forward to upgrading some day when the budget allows. I plan to start with boots and then skis the following season.

I buy a fourpass every year, and maybe one or two other days, so the learning curve thing could be a slight obstacle. I also wonder about getting the chicken and the egg ordered correctly. Do I learn the new techniques on low-end rentals before demoing, or do I demo skis until I find something I like and learn the technique on them? Or do I learn the techniques on the demos? How do I evaluate the demos if I don't fully know how to use them? I wonder if I would chose a different ski depending on which path I take to get there.: I mean, about the time I finally get everything sorted out, I'll be like 90 or something and have to hang up the sticks for good.

It might be enough to motivate a guy to do nothing more than putting some new bindings on the old skis and go wedeling off into the sunset. 'Cept my old stuff will eventually break down and I'll have to replace it anyway. What's an old guy to do?
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Morrison,
In spite of my unfortunate characterization above, particularly in the crud, my brother remains better than the vast majority of skiers on the hill. He has tools to deal with steeps, moguls, and chutes, but lacks experience and optimal gear in powder and crud. While styles have progressed to a more aggressive, or at least independent stance and use of edges, the old school style still delivers in many places.

Develop a working relationship with a ski store so you know each other. They will cut you a deal on demoing skis where the cost of demos (if any) is applied to purchase. This is especially true if you are buying boots from them. No need to go too radical with width or shape. Many new skis are tolerant and forgiving of older styles and can get you into newer technique. I can ski high edge turns on skis with a 30 meter radius and 100 mm waist. I figure that other than width, that is not too different from older "straight" skis or first generation shaped skis. Much of what you hear about new style is nothing more than the use of high edge angles and a wider independent stance that we associated with racing. Like racers, it might take some coaching to get it. Finally, skis only 2 seasons old can be had for up to 70% off retail. If budget is a big issue, this is the answer. 06-07 models are already 50% off, and retailers like SierraJim probably have the inventory an knowledge to set you up where you need to be.

Skill development can be the biggest investment. The instructors here will probably have ideas. I think what is important is you interest in adding to your bag of tricks, rather than settling for what you already know and are good at. That is a sign you are not too old of a dog yet.

I owe him a makeup pic, so, here is John in a steep moguled chute in Thunder Saddle. A little less sun and crud go a long way (and my camera makes this look a lot flatter than it is).

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
There was a guy at Steamboat today that had Raichle Flexon 5's, K2 610 FO and Tyrolia 250D's...wait for it.....wait for it... with safety straps!

He was old school.
Heh, I saw a guy at Wachusset on Head Standards with non-din bindings, rear-entries, and bamboo poles. I got the hell away from him...
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
...Short turns are not necessarily slow ones. Maybe your brother can consider that point, as well.
Beta Carv 9:18 has 18 meter sidecut? He can learn to carve on these without giving up the quick turns. While the ski may be too narrow for him to confidently ski the manky snow on, it isn't holding him back from learning to carve on the groomed. Learning to turn with less skid will help in the mank, too.

If you already told him to get a little more forward and to roll the sks from edge to edge to make the turns, and he said no, then don't worry about it. Maybe he heard you and just needs some more time on skis to work on it.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

...So, my question is, how do you convince someone who is satisfied with their skiing, and believes it to be the way skiing should be done (its good skiing, and what they taught us) that there something more. I'd love to get this guy into an Academy or other ski lessons. Reluctantly, I don't think it will ever happen, and I focus on having a good time rather than instructing or being critical. Still, I'm curious if anyone has some suggestions on motivating a good skier to seek new skills.

And, I occasionally resemble this skier, so I may make personal use of your advise.
He lives in Kansas and, I assume, doesn't ski regularly, and skis beautifully and has fun as it is? Don't change a thing. Maybe get him some beatup beat-up AR5s as a practical but still whimsical holiday present, and let him sort on his own how to adapt his technique, slightly, to the gear.

As far as getting him into an expensive ski camp...well, if he WANTED to really learn modern technique a summer doing drills on inlines, for at least 30 minutes of actual physical practice at least three but preferably four or five times a week, followed by a carefully selected racecamp that offered freeskiing groups could be helpful.
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