The very first and important things that instructor MUST introduce on the beginner lesson are SAFETY and FUN.
Our ski school use different methods including direct parallel. I personally tried to teach all of them. In my experience, you can successfully teach direct parallel only to good athletes in some other areas such as hockey, figure skating, mountain biking… Otherwise your students are not safe and not having fun.
Majority of people who take beginner lessons are people without very developed motor skills and any sense of balance. Otherwise they would not need a beginner lesson, they would just look at their friend and would be comfortable on green terrain by lunch. When you have a group of 10 people that can not stay balanced and do not have strength to lift their ski – DIRECT PARALLEL DOES NOT WORK – it does not create happy skiers, it creates frustrated, scared, unsafe individuals that are dreaming about lunch break. With gliding wedge taught properly they will be parallel by the 3rd lesson as soon as they will pick up speed. In fact, it will be easy for these students to pick up speed as they feel safe, will have fun and will fully relay on their instructor.
P.S. Gliding wedge is not an American invention. I have been thought how to ski employing gliding wedge method in Eastern Europe 23 years ago.
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