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Giving a lesson to help with a new pair of skis

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am just curious to know if a lot of instructors get approached by
people who have trouble skiing on their (likely non demoed) new
skis and have you been able to give them enough direction to
get them enjoying their new skis?
How to handle a new pair of skis has been something I have usually
been able to nut out for myself and I remember when I brought a pair
of Volkl P10s years ago I was able to tell from my first fall how they
were to be skied.
post #2 of 12

Caveat Emptor - Just my humble opinion

Cassina,

It does not happen a lot. Some resorts do offer demo packages that include the services of a pro to help you adjust to the new ski and choose what works best for you (mine does). When we first introduced shaped skis, we did teach a lot of shaped ski specific lessons. But now that we're in like the 5-6th generation of shapes, the need for this is long gone. It's been my observation that skis have been getting significantly better on a 2-3 year cycle. A ski that's a generation or more newer than your old gear is so much easier to ski that you have to make some really bad decisions (e.g. getting race stock skis for an intermediate) to end up in a pair that you need help to learn how to drive.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Cassina,

It does not happen a lot. Some resorts do offer demo packages that include the services of a pro to help you adjust to the new ski and choose what works best for you (mine does). When we first introduced shaped skis, we did teach a lot of shaped ski specific lessons. But now that we're in like the 5-6th generation of shapes, the need for this is long gone. It's been my observation that skis have been getting significantly better on a 2-3 year cycle. A ski that's a generation or more newer than your old gear is so much easier to ski that you have to make some really bad decisions (e.g. getting race stock skis for an intermediate) to end up in a pair that you need help to learn how to drive.
What you are saying then is most people are like myself and am able to
nut out for themselves how to ski on their new skis. The example you gave of an intermediate buying race skis is what I actually did when
I was an intermediate because I was unaware at the time the intermediate skis I had brought were too unstable once I had grown
into them. I did demo the race ski and while I was not up to racing speed
on my first day in no way did I find my decision to buy them a bad one.
Only over the last 2-3 years I have gained an interest in all terrain mid fats AC4, Public Enemies. After a few days on them though the urge to
step on to the racing skis comes back and vise versa.

I am just wondering with the average ski buying punter never experiencing
racing or mid fat skis what feeling they would get if they were to try those catagouries of skis with perhaps some instruction. I always say to people that the best skis for icey conditions are race skis and for soft conditions mid fat/fat skis, as race skis have the best edge grip and vibration damping and fat skis float over crud/soft snow helping to avoid
knee twisting falls that can happen with narrow skis.
post #4 of 12
I've taught a fair number of lessons to people who changed from straight to shaped skis, and couldn't figure out the difference. But, I've never run into someone wanting a lesson to learn to ski a new pair of skis of the approximate same shape.
post #5 of 12
Cassina,

I have had many lessons (both group and private) where the student has bought a new pair of skis and needed help with adjusting their technique to feel in control. After skiing on an older pair that have been flexed out (lost their camber), and dull edges, a new pair that is stiffer, more responsive, and sharp feel like they are too much to handle compared to the worn-out ones they are acustomed to.

Often an adjustment in stance and more precise movements are needed to control the skis. After one lesson and some practice, the student is smiling. Hope this answers your q.

RW
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassina View Post
The example you gave of an intermediate buying race skis is what I actually did ....
I always say to people that the best skis for icey conditions are race skis and for soft conditions mid fat/fat skis, as race skis have the best edge grip and vibration damping and fat skis float over crud/soft snow helping to avoid knee twisting falls that can happen with narrow skis.
Well Cassina, it's actually pretty hard for the general skiing public to get their hands on a real "race ski". Odds are you ended up with a stiff slalom "racing ski". Race skis that are made for World Cup racers come in many shapes and sizes but they bear only a surface resemblance to things you or I can buy. The few that do make it out to people with connections usually end up with people who know what they're getting. Most members of the skiing public would find true race skis to be highly uncomfortable to ski on (think championship bull riding versus a gentle trot on horseback).

And you might be surprised how well a well tuned all mountain ski handles ice compared to the average pair of "race" skis appearing at your lcoal mountain.

So although there may be a few pros like Ron who do teach many "new ski" lessons, most of us don't. With the exception of the shaped ski revolution and snow blades, I've never personally known someone who bought a new pair of skis and needed help to adjust to them.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Well Cassina, it's actually pretty hard for the general skiing public to get their hands on a real "race ski". Odds are you ended up with a stiff slalom "racing ski". Race skis that are made for World Cup racers come in many shapes and sizes but they bear only a surface resemblance to things you or I can buy. The few that do make it out to people with connections usually end up with people who know what they're getting. Most members of the skiing public would find true race skis to be highly uncomfortable to ski on (think championship bull riding versus a gentle trot on horseback).

And you might be surprised how well a well tuned all mountain ski handles ice compared to the average pair of "race" skis appearing at your lcoal mountain.

So although there may be a few pros like Ron who do teach many "new ski" lessons, most of us don't. With the exception of the shaped ski revolution and snow blades, I've never personally known someone who bought a new pair of skis and needed help to adjust to them.
I was aware that there are 2 catgories of race skis and you are
right the skis I got were not labeled "Race Stock" I ended up buying Rossignol 7G GS Skis that were common with instructors at the time also. I guess there was a bit of ego in me wanting to buy them but
at no time did I have any regret.
I agree modern all mountain skis have about as good an edge hold
as a race ski and a ski I enjoy is the Volkl AC4 although they don't
have quite the vibration damping as a race ski but they are not far
off
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
I've taught a fair number of lessons to people who changed from straight to shaped skis, and couldn't figure out the difference. But, I've never run into someone wanting a lesson to learn to ski a new pair of skis of the approximate same shape.
I wouild have to be one that felt there was no difference between coming
from a straight to a carver other than you can carve at a slower speed
as well as a high speed on carving skis. I could not carve at a slow speed
on my old Volkl P10's. If you know how to carve on a straight ski the
transition is not so noticable I guess.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Cassina,

I have had many lessons (both group and private) where the student has bought a new pair of skis and needed help with adjusting their technique to feel in control. After skiing on an older pair that have been flexed out (lost their camber), and dull edges, a new pair that is stiffer, more responsive, and sharp feel like they are too much to handle compared to the worn-out ones they are acustomed to.

Often an adjustment in stance and more precise movements are needed to control the skis. After one lesson and some practice, the student is smiling. Hope this answers your q.

RW
I remember going from Rossignol 7G skis that I did not know were worn
out to Volkl P10's and they did feel more demanding to handle but I was
able to nut out how they skied ok as I said. One catagoury of skis which
does take a bit of getting used to on firm terrain is midfat/fat skis, as
the tails can chatter without a weight shift and you would need to try
a pair to get an understanding. Perhaps this is why midfat/fat skis have
not taken off on ski areas that get few doses of powder each season.
post #10 of 12
A few years ago I went on a quest for a new pair of skis. It was fun trying out different skis. It was not difficult at all figuring out what could be done and what needed to be done to ski them and get their best performance. IMHO, if someone can't nut it out for themselves, they could really benefit from a lesson regardless of whether or not they bought new skis.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassina View Post
I...the skis I got were not labeled "Race Stock" I ended up buying Rossignol 7G GS Skis that were common with instructors at the time also....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassina View Post
I wouild have to be one that felt there was no difference between coming from a straight to a carver other than you can carve at a slower speed as well as a high speed on carving skis. I could not carve at a slow speed on my old Volkl P10's. If you know how to carve on a straight ski the transition is not so noticable I guess.
I actually had a pair of Rossi SGS's, nice ski at 30 mph or so; but, the normal (like there is really such an animal) skier moving to a shaped ski that I have seen as an instructor have never felt a straight ski carving at speed, and they're usually trying to rotate the new shaped skis from a position other than centered on the ski.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
I actually had a pair of Rossi SGS's, nice ski at 30 mph or so; but, the normal (like there is really such an animal) skier moving to a shaped ski that I have seen as an instructor have never felt a straight ski carving at speed, and they're usually trying to rotate the new shaped skis from a position other than centered on the ski.
That would explain the popularity of carving skis then if the normal skier
is able to make carving progression only on carving skis, and would explain
why I did not notice any major difference when I tried a carver for the
first time. I fell in love with the Mid Fats though as my falls in heavy
soft crud reduced substantially.
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