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my skiing sux and wy wife is worse - need help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
i have lived in tokyo for 9 months and visited hakuba last weekend with my wife - the 98 olympics at nagano held some events at hakuba, so apparently the snow is pretty good.

anyway, i'm not very good at all and my wife was so bad that she could only manage 4 successful turns all weekend at the bottom of the mountain (she refused to go on the ski lift because she was too scared). her problems are that she is not good at sport activities and is too scared when she goes more than 2 mph, so she bails out on her snail turns as soon as her skis point down the slope.

can someone tell me:
what can she try to get some confidence? ..she's almost too bad for a group lesson and private lessons start @ usd100/2hrs here - if you can find someone that can teach in english!
good news is that she is willing to try. are short little skis an option because they're slow and cross less?

any ideas much appreciated.
(skiing is one of the few getaways from the rat-race here and we want to be able to ski together).
post #2 of 12
Your situation sounds very familiar. My wife didn't start skiing till she was in her mid forty's. She is not very athlectic, is afraid of heights, and has a touch of vertigo. However, in spite of all this, she has turned out to be a pretty decent skier. She skis most of the groomed black runs on the mountain, and rarely has a problem keeping up with the rest of us. Point being, if she can do it, anybody can. I don't know about the ski schools over there, but there must be some kind of learn to ski program available for beginners. I can't overemphasize the importance of a good lesson. Leave the teaching to the pros. If I had tried to teach my wife how to ski, she probably never would have continued, not to mention the damage it could have done to our relationship.
Good Luck
post #3 of 12
Stay on the easy terrain! Let her build skills and confidence.

Fear is no useful emotion.

Try Telemark or cross country equipment , just skate around, walk up, glide down. Nice and easy. There is no need to make turns if the slope is kind enough and the runout safe.

This is a new enviornment, one needs to get familiar with the medium.

When she can relax, the turns will come. Then find the english speaking instructor or, you could brush up on the local language.



I cannot endorse the rope together thing,
If she pulls just as you are making a difficult transition,...

Now there are two of you in the crash!

[ December 24, 2002, 06:03 AM: Message edited by: CalG ]
post #4 of 12

You're between a rock and cliff! Go ahead and spend the $100 on the private lesson. If you don't she'll spend at least double that shopping while you ski!

I'd also recommend that you take her for ice skating lessons. The balance and edge control skills of skating transfer well for skiing confidence.

One more idea... Join a ski club. If she meets some other wives that are also learning to ski, she might be comfortable and brave with familiar peers during a group lesson.

If nothing works, golf is a good activity for couples.
post #5 of 12
Welcome to EpicSki! We hope you will enjoy being a part of this great forum!

I might suggest going to one of the Club Med's there in Japan. Then both you and your wife can get an entire week of instruction at no additional cost above the cost of a great vacation! And you will find that Club Med/Japan hires alot of Australians and Kiwi's, so language should not be an issue.

From a professional point of view- don't make the mistake of trying to teach her yourself- , This is a recipe for disaster!
What ever the cost- it'll be cheaper to your mental health by turning her over to a pro to get the job done!

Good Luck, and we look forward to hearing how you both are progressing!

post #6 of 12
At risk of offending the Bears by mentioning another forum, Paulas Ski Lovers often has a poster from Japan. His name is Saburo and he is very helpful. Perhaps a post over there would get a few answers.

There is a web site .... Ski Japan .... or something like that, it is a bit "youth dominated" and is just about all English speaking. There is quite a bit of information flowing regarding that community (English speaking ski/board types in Japan and a few were instructors. I would hunt them down.

Good Luck. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #7 of 12
Leave her home, and find a girlfriend who's a ski instructor. Awesome ski partner, and free lessons, ka-ching!
post #8 of 12
try tying a rope to her waist and ski behind her. If she starts going to fast, pull on the rope to slow her down. That way, she can make turns, and also she has someone to control her speed. [img]smile.gif[/img] Do that, and as she gets better, don't pull on the rope as much. She'll develop control and start speeding up gradually, so she won't notice it [img]smile.gif[/img] kinda like frog in cool water, then gradually heating it. The frog doesn't notice it's heating up because it's gradual [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #9 of 12
The 2003 EpicSki Academy in Utah is looking for students just like your wife!

Check it out:

post #10 of 12

You sound pretty desparate to here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. The advice about the lesson is a good one. With the right instructors, they do work and make a difference. Here in North America, often there are group beginner lessons. Try to find one that is for women only, preferable taught by a woman instructor. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BE YOUR WIFE'S INSTRUCTOR. It usually never works out ! Let her work at her own pace, and within HER comfort range, NOT yours.

2.The best idea would be to go to a resort for four or five days, that has a total immersion process. A two hour group lesson in the morning and a 1 or 2 hour lesson in the afternoon. Do not be in the same group as your wife! Four or five days in a row of skiing, will create a situation to allow for great strides in progress, and determine whether or not your wife may ever enjoy the sport.

3. If you both read and understand English, I would suggest ordering the book "Breakthrough on the New Skis," by Lito Tejada-Flores. You can order it from amazon.com, accessible from the home page of this web site. The book is an easy read, and the explanations will help reinforce what you are learning in your lessons.

Skiing is an expensive sport, and to get the most for your money, it appears that you will have to spend whatever is necessary for lessons, if you want you, and your wife to enjoy the sport.

I hope the above helps ease some of your desparation.
post #11 of 12
As a certified ski instructor, the best advice i could possibly give you is to take the plunge and go for the lesson. We are trained w/ stratagies to help get your wife down the hill and love this great sport. It may seem expensive but it is the best way to go.

Hope this helps

post #12 of 12
Another plug for the lessons - even if it does mean going for a private lesson.

You think your wife is Unathletic??? I'm a disabled skier - & I cannot even stand on 1 leg in my house in bare feet! My first few lessons consisted of being 'TOWED' down a hill by a long suffering instructor who was used to teaching blind skiers. I spent the next 4 years 'screaming' & 'yelping' my way down hills - I now ski reasonably well. So YES anyone CAN ski - work is required & a GOOD (well GREAT in my case) instructor is a BIG PLUS. Find one she like - male, female - whoever SHE relates to & trusts - emphasis on TRUSTS trust is good when you are VERY scared! I always prefered guys to gals. To each his own most of my female friends prefer guys. They don't like 'macho' type guys though - we all go for older male instructors - a bit of grey hair is handy - they are less muscle bound & MUCH more sneaky! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

Good luck to both of you with the skiing quest. If she wants a little female 'support' tell her she is free to PM me anytime (there is an icon at the top of this post to do that)

Enjoy [img]smile.gif[/img]
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