New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Falling on purpose?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
in the 'should he do it thread?' physics man posted the following

'Then, with some stretching exercises and practice (dryland and on-snow) in learning how to fall safely, and good coaching, he will be good to go.'

I have often wondered about the reaction to instructors persuading pupils to deliberately fall in order to learn how to fall. Is this done in the US?

It would be possible for a novice to fall awkwardly and then blame the instructor for the injury, and yet I suspect many injuries are actually caused by people not knowing how to fall properly. Deliberate practice falls would help such people.

In these litigious times would you get students to fall deliberately?
post #2 of 23
We had a few threads about this before.

Try doing a search to find it.
post #3 of 23
I think some people fall better than others, having some intrinsic body awareness that others seem to lack. Sometimes, though, that won't necessarily save you.
I might explain to the prospective skier a few basics about what can happen when you fall a particular way. Bob.Peters addressed this a bit when talking about the importance of knowing how to self-arrest.
When I would ski with my former girlfriend, I'd show her how to "lay it down," for example if she knew she was off-balance and knew she'd fall. The notion of giving in to the moment and going with the flow of it (as much as possible), rather than resisting the inevitable with body contortions that might get you a landing that will get you some damage.
I think it's good to at least address the notion you will fall at some point, so think about how to protect yourself as best you can, knowing there are no guarantees of favorable outcome.
post #4 of 23
Knowing when and how to Cut ones losses is an important part of good judgement.


"Laying it down" on ones own terms can be a much better option than holding on to a bad investment. A hard fall after a 90 foot royal christi hurts way more than falling head over tea kettle into the soft stuff that grabbed your ski in the first place. Plus, all those antics draw stares and unwanted attention from skiers around you.

For me, A "good" fall is one of the few things that brings out a real laugh on a typical ski day. That's likely just a release and relief, but I still laugh!

Regards

CalG
post #5 of 23
Falling has been pretty much deleted from "the curriculum" in instruction.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
yuki wrote : 'Falling has been pretty much deleted from "the curriculum" in instruction.'

that's a shame imo. A fall is one certainty in skiing and most injuries involve a fall. Why not practice falling and be taught how best to do it?

Would instructors be worried about insurance?

Kids who have played sport which involves repeated falling such as rugby do fall so much better and willingly, you don't see the dangerous attempts to resist when it is already too late. It is all part of playing in the snow.

Kids who try too hard not to fall are developing negativity and are not going to learn where their limits are.

So where is the problem?
post #7 of 23
There are a few areas that are (probably for legal reasons), no longer taught ... falling and getting up.

The minute someone takes a fall and is injured in the process we would be in court in a heartbeat.

We tell them the best way to get up is to take off a ski or skis. If I were to "formally" demonstrate the push with the poles the first "brain surgeon" that popped a ligament and would sue our pants off.

In another thread it was suggested that part timers, as contracted individuals (not true employees), may face greater personal liability for our actions we should be extra careful.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yuki

thanks for your comments, although they fill me with gloom. What is seen as US Liticulture is arriving here as we speak, no doubt lawyers are planted in ski schools for just this purpose. It is very sad. I am not supposed to help a child up for fear of 'interfearing' with them. It is all very sad and a fantastic waste of the human spirit.

Just wait for someone to sue you for not having properly taught them to fall! Couldn't they be pre-emptively sued for our loss of sleep and everyone's loss of joie de vivre.

We're all crazy now.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by CalG:
"Laying it down" on ones own terms can be a much better option than holding on to a bad investment.
Very eloquent! I think that the propensity for experts to be hurt more than intermediates is many times caused by trying to hold on too long.
post #10 of 23
When I was a kid, I look judo lessons for a year or two. When you learn judo, you learn to fall from every conceivable angle. You spend more time learning to fall without hurting yourself than learning to throw the other guy. Learning to fall has provded to be an invaluable life skill; it's saved me from many injuries. Going down hill on a mountain bike, I've gone over the bars countless times, hit the ground in a roll and gotten right back up on my feet without getting hurt. The only time it's failed me is skidding out going uphill on a the face of a rock.

Would I have my ski students fall on purpose; no. Too much liability risk plus the time to get them back up.

First time I take my students up the carpet to the top of the learning slope, I explain and demo a safety stop. I state that should they be headed toward something dangerous, several feet before they get there, the should just sit down back and to the side. The carpet runs up one side of the learning slope and there's little 1' or 2' wide stream on the other. It's good for them to know how to fall before they get to one of these in case they panic and forget how to turn or stop gracefully.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
learn2turnagain

so are you suggesting don't learn to fall on the slopes, but do learn somewhere else like the judo mat?

if it is so intrinsic to skiing why not learn there?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:
so are you suggesting don't learn to fall on the slopes, but do learn somewhere else like the judo mat?
if it is so intrinsic to skiing why not learn there?
If you want to learn to parachute, you go through dry land training before attempting your first night jump. If you want to learn self defense, you take classes rather than learn by going to some dark alley and take on croaks in a real brawl.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by NE1:
...I think that the propensity for experts to be hurt more than intermediates is many times caused by trying to hold on too long...
Where did you hear that experts have a propensity for being hurt more than intermediates? In my experience, it is exactly the opposite for a bunch of reasons:

1) Experts simply fall less often (per hour on skis), so their exposure to risk is less.

2) Experts have a much better appreciation of when it's time to "lay 'em down".

3) IMHO, someone colliding with you at high speed is one of the main safety issues in skiing these days, and on black terrain this possibility is greatly reduced.

4) True experts don't have a need to go fast and show off even if the slope around them is crowded. They know when to throttle back and are happy to do so, wait for breaks in the traffic, etc. Inexperienced intermediates are always showing off for the people a year behind them on the learning curve by doing things like straightlining crowded green runs. Another example: experts in the park have refined their technique by summer work on trampolines - OTOH, a lot of park wannabes will attempt anything, knowing that if they injure themselves, they will be considered to be even more of an expert by their friends simply for attempting the maneuver. :

5) Often the slow twisting falls of beginners and intermediates cause more harm to soft tissues than a full scale yard sale.


Tom / PM


PS - To support this claim, as far as I know, the only injuries sustained by ski instructors at my mountain this season were caused by guests running into them. I think its safe to say that the instructors could be considered fairly expert, while few of the guests are in this category. In my own case, this season, I have had about 26 days on skis including teaching, clinics and freeskiing pretty fast with other instructors. I had exactly one, non-injury producing fall, and it was for a very odd reason: When I was riding up a lift, snowguns coated the *bottoms* of my skis with this amazing, strongly adherent layer of glop/rock hard ice. When I attempted to get off the lift, my skis stuck as soon as they touched the ground, and simply wouldn't budge. I double ejected, reclaimed my skis which were still in the same position, pointed precisely forward on the unloading ramp, cursed and laughed a few times, found something hard to scrape them off, and vowed to wax more frequently.
post #14 of 23
summed up quite nicely, PM
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:
learn2turnagain

so are you suggesting don't learn to fall on the slopes, but do learn somewhere else like the judo mat?

if it is so intrinsic to skiing why not learn there?
I have to say there are expedients that need be taken. People pay there $79 and expect to at least go up and down the learning slope lift. I have an 1.5hours to get them there. If I had 4 hours and Americans had patience and fitness, I'd spend two hours just on skills-- detailed familiarity with equipement and environment, all sorts of stepping just in boots, then all sorts of stepping just in skis, falling down, getting up.
I have 1.5 hours. Some students would be too tired to walk 25' if I spent more than 1 hour on the pre-skiing skills part of the lessons.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Josseph

I take your point and agree that some really useful fall-learning can be done elsewhere as in judo etc.

However, if we can safely assume that beginners will fall and that falling in skis takes some extra/different skills, why would an instructor be liable for the consequences of a measured attempt to prepare a client to deal with such a fall? It seems to me perfectly reasonable and it is hard to see where the negligence lies, in fact not doing it might be more negligent.

It seems to me like a cop out in the face of an absurdly litigous culture. Why is it any more dangerous than taking someone skiing in the first place?
post #17 of 23
One part of falling over I deal with is if you fall over, 'STAY DOWN'
until you come to reasonable stop. Don't try to set your feet sliding and push yourself up with your hands or save yourself with your hand.

This is not for people who go on slopes where they are likely to need a brief on sliding out of control for any distance, more for your kind of crash and slam beginner's gang.

I don't often mention it's to save their ACL's unless they ask.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:
However, if we can safely assume that beginners will fall and that falling in skis takes some extra/different skills, why would an instructor be liable for the consequences of a measured attempt to prepare a client to deal with such a fall? It seems to me perfectly reasonable and it is hard to see where the negligence lies, in fact not doing it might be more negligent.

It seems to me like a cop out in the face of an absurdly litigous culture. Why is it any more dangerous than taking someone skiing in the first place?
Well, how well-versed are ski instructors in the art of falling? How much do ski instructors practice the art of falling as oppose to the art of laying down railroad tracks?

I do agree with you that pointers on how to fall and how to get back up should be included in beginning and intermediate lessons. However, I really wonder how much of this a paying customer will tolerate? Afterall, he/she is paying big money to learn to ski, and he/she might object to spending a lot of time learning how to roll around in the snow.
post #19 of 23
Comments?

Why is it OK to learn to fall from a martial arts instructor, but not from a ski instructor?

Falling is often part of both activities.

Multiple standards?

Injury stats? I have no "tables" to reference at hand, but...

As a patroller getting the "industry lowdown" at any of many "medical training sessions".

The injury "profile" is "more severe (traumatic) injuries to more advanced skiers.

Equipment is good, good skiers are moving faster. Stationary objects are still moving at the same speed they did when skis were varnished oak.

Energy = MV^2

CalG
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by CalG:
...The injury "profile" is "more severe (traumatic) injuries to more advanced skiers...
I can believe that, and not to press for niggling details when you already said you don't have the statistics at hand, but now you've got me curious:

1) In your comment, does "more advanced skiers" imply intermediates get more severe injuries than novices since they are "more advanced"? Does it really also mean that *true* experts (or pros) get more severe injuries than wannabe expert-intermediates?

2) Do you have any feel for how the rates of all reportable skiing injuries would compare in terms of "per 1000 skier days" when various experience / skill level groups are compared? Doing the comparison on a rate basis like this will partially compensate for confounding factors like there being fewer experts (or pros) than beginner-intermediate recreational skiers, but that they probably are on the hill many more hours per season, etc.

Is there any publicly accessible place that keeps tabs of the injury statistics at this level of detail? It would be interesting to see the data summarized in these different ways.

TIA,

Tom / PM
post #21 of 23
The ability to take a fall properly should never be left out of training for any sport. I have 11 and 13 yr old daughters that figure skate plus my wife is also a coach and I have watched them hit the ice repeatedly with out getting hurt . Earlier this season my youngest was in a collision with a skater 30+lbs. heavier than her , if she did not have the fall control and recovery instincts that have developed in her 9-10 yrs on the ice we would have been sitting in the childrens hospital dealing with a brain injury not just bad headach and getting stitches.
Taking a hit in hockey , a fall or hit in martial arts , controlling a slide off a grand prix motorcycle or tripping over the cat will all have your instincts working to help you recover or lessen the blow . Why not train and fine tune those instincts?
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by CalG:
Comments?

Why is it OK to learn to fall from a martial arts instructor, but not from a ski instructor?

Falling is often part of both activities.
When I did Aikido, falling was practised as it was NECESSARY to be able to go with a move to avoid injury (twisting arm and wrist breaks for instance) and this generally required hitting the deck.

Now I do Tae Kwon Do where the likelyhood of falling over is about the same as skiing, falling over is not practised. There is no specific injury to be avoided.
post #23 of 23
I dropped a boarder that was about to hit me while I was teaching a class. I used an arm sweep from my martial arts stuff. It put the guy on his back with no damage.

Later, we started working on "some moves" since a few of our guys have karate and judo backgrounds. heck, we should formalize this into an instructors self defense system "skirate or skijutsu" ..... actually skip the jutsu part cause that would be more agressive and involve using our poles as pikes to skewer em".
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion