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Not To Piss Anyone Off...B

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
But are ski instructors any fun to ski with?

I've never skied with one outside of the 2 lessons I've taken. Here's an example. We meet up with a friend of a friend who is an instructor. First words out of his mouth. "If you want to ski better you should get a new pair of boots." I, politely nodded and smiled.

So are they all judgemental? Can they, do they put aside their training and instincts to analize, critique, suggest, perfect their technique, and just ski for the sheer fun and thrill of it?

Just curious.
post #2 of 64
The job breeds the "know-it-all syndrome." There's nothing that you or I can do about it.
post #3 of 64
My experience is that there are some who are a lot of fun to ski with, but those guys generally don't stay instructors for very long. If you think about what the job usually entails, it explains a lot.
post #4 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
But are ski instructors any fun to ski with?

I've never skied with one outside of the 2 lessons I've taken. Here's an example. We meet up with a friend of a friend who is an instructor. First words out of his mouth. "If you want to ski better you should get a new pair of boots." I, politely nodded and smiled.

So are they all judgemental? Can they, do they put aside their training and instincts to analize, critique, suggest, perfect their technique, and just ski for the sheer fun and thrill of it?

Just curious.
It probably would have been best for all involved for him to observe your skiing for a few runs before offering an unsolicited suggestion.

However, how was the comment being presented? Was he be being snide, or was he trying to simply be helpful? He might very well had your best interests at heart - how many times do we read here on EpicSki that a proper fitting boot is critical to good/comfortable skiing?

I've done some instructing for performance car driving, and from complete newbies to people who've done it a while, I often make comments on things that are, IMO, basics like hand placement and when/how to use the clutch. I have no idea how much ski experience you have, your proficiency, and the condition of your gear (for all I know, you're pro level and your duct tape wrapped boots are the best in the world ) but perhaps the instructor saw something that could help make your skiing more enjoyable for you.

I think your reaction was appropriate, but keep your mind open enough to realize that there's always room for improvement and there are people out there that can help you out. With better skills come more confidence, which should translate to much more fun.
post #5 of 64
We have a group that is skiing with Eski and Holiday on a monthly basis. We set the agenda and they reach into the bag of tricks to make it challenging and to progress our skills. We are a diverse group of advanced to expert skiers and enjoy the company of each other and our coaches. Its kind of like skiing with some friends who can kick your ass, but hang with you, support and encourage, your progress, pass along new skills and refine them. The biggest difference between a talented ski instructor and a skilled friend, is the instructor has spent years analyzing how movements affect skiing, and how to build positive movements into your existing skill set.

There is clearly a wide variation of motives for being a ski instructor / coach, and an equally wide degree of effectiveness. Places like EpicSki make it easy for you to hook up with an instructor that shares your geographic location, interests, skills focus and stoke for the sport. If you are active here, there is no reason you should ever have to go into an instruction situation without knowing exactly what you are in for and the kind of person that will be working with you. So who would YOU like to ski with and learn from? Bob Peters, theRusty, Bushwacker, ssh, tetonpowderjunkie, Lonnie, Bob Barnes, Weems, any of the ESA coaches, Eric Deslauriers, Wade Holiday, Robin Barnes, Dan Egan, Bud Heishman, Joan Rostad...How about a run down Big Colouir with Ursala? That is just a small sample of who is here. If you're motivated, and receptive to new input; there is no end to the possibilities and diversity of instruction.
post #6 of 64
Instructors personailities are like everyone else - there are some good ones, some bad ones, some vain ones, some wierd ones, some anal ones, and so on. In general, though, you will find most instructors are pretty passionate about skiing. You really have to be if you want to advance.

It is only natural then that you will find many like to talk shop a lot, even when just casually skiing with freinds. As anyone will find on this forum, for some people, picking things apart and analyzing things is fun and reflects on their passion for the sport.

Granted, there are some skiers and instructors out there who border on neurotic, and cannot talk about anything else, even when skiing with friends. If it gets annoying, just try to start up a conversation when they begin to give a synopsis of the latest gear trends - how about those Patriots! If they can't take the hint, and you feel like you would rather jump from the lift than listen to the analysis anymore, just politely go you own way.
post #7 of 64
Some friends want some "feedback" while we are skiing. I'm OK with that but try to limit it to the first half hour ... after that, lets just ski.

Unless asked, I hold my tongue and there are a few race parents that I ski with that .... well ... it takes a lot to stay silent but to date I've managed.

If they ask .. fine .... if they don't let someone else tell them. :
post #8 of 64
Have you dated a grade school teacher?

Most jobs has some imprint on the person. The language is one such area.

Teachers, instructors, drill sergents. If they're not careful, they come across as "talking down" to people, because that's how they need to talk at work.
post #9 of 64
Try being married to a psychologist. LOL.

Actually, the instructors I have skied with, many on this forum, have been great and old added comments when I asked for them. But..with that said..I always feel that I am being critiqued.
post #10 of 64
I don't think it has anything to do with whether they are instructors or not. Some people are just a-holes, or arrogant, or not well-versed/diplomatic, or just too young/limited to know better (which sounds like what happen in this case, if the dude criticized your boots without ever seeing you ski; I am sure we all know skiers on duct-taped boots who are the best skiers on the hill). Happens in all walks of life. Smile and move-on.
post #11 of 64
Wait a minute, are we talking about Crank's yellow boots: ?
Crank, the guy has a keen sense of the obvious. I said the same thing. But then I saw him ski

I didn't know Crank. We met on retro day at Killington - the Phillfest. "Look at that guy's boots", first words out of my mouth.

Just kidding, they aren't that old and if they work, enjoy. I'd say the instructor is a wise ass.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Wait a minute, are we talking about Crank's yellow boots: ?
Crank, the guy has a keen sense of the obvious. I said the same thing. But then I saw him ski

I didn't know Crank. We met on retro day at Killington - the Phillfest. "Look at that guy's boots", first words out of my mouth.

Just kidding, they aren't that old and if they work, enjoy. I'd say the instructor is a wise ass.
LOL, he wasn't wearing them just for retro day. Funny thing is, they are 20 year old Lange Tii's, the yellow ones. No one is saying people skiing in 20 year old Flexons need to get new boots.
post #13 of 64
I’ve had several opportunities to ski with instructors outside of lessons, and in all of those instances I’ve counted myself fortunate to have that chance for a number or reasons:

1. I’ve made a friend somewhere along the way. I choose to ski with people whose company I enjoy. Why would an off duty instructor be any different?

2. Not only do I get to ski with a friend, I get to ski with someone who’s almost certainly a better skier than I am. Way cool.

3. If you are at the instructor’s home mountain, and if you are not supremely knowledgeable about that mountain, chances are you’ve hooked up with an ideal guide for a few runs, the day, or what have you. Insider dope regarding hidden stashes, unmarked tree runs, and the like is something that I particularly relish, and can turn a good day on the hill into an exceptional one.

4. Simply by inviting me along on his or her day off, the instructor has given me a delightful vote of confidence regarding my own skiing. Lord knows that many instructors enjoy teaching, and all of the ones that I’m friendly with take their skiing skills very seriously. I surmise that on a day off, these folks would prefer to ski with someone that they consider fun to ski with, not a person that would inhibit their enjoyment of a day of free skiing.

I realize that my instructor buddies want to enjoy their free time, but I will tell them that if they have any advice that they wish to give me regarding my own skiing, they should feel free to speak up, and that I’m more than willing to listen to anything that they’ve got to say. Such talk is usually confined to the lifts, as that’s where talk belongs. The hill is for skiing. What I choose to do with their information is of course my own affair.

Should I find myself in the company of an instructor, or anyone else for that matter, whose company I did not enjoy, I’d probably just explain that I had to go see a man about a dog, take my leave, and head off around the mountain alone, seeking my pleasure in my own fashion.
post #14 of 64
I'd welcome any free pointers from an instructor or anyone else that knows what they're talking about. I can certainly use them. Were you struggling adjusting your boots that caused him to make that comment?
post #15 of 64
I've been an instructor up in Vermont for the past four seasons, and I think that I'm a lot of fun to ski with! I teach in the teenage program for a reason... I'd much rather ski than do drills and they, for the most part, agree. There's nothing that Id rather do for my "work" than take out level 7-8 teens for a guided tour of the woods and steeps, skipping lift lines and hunting out fresh lines, drops, etc. I give pointers on many things throughout the day, and teach many different skills, but for the most part we just ski where ever and whatever THEY want to ski. My advice to you who is looking for a fun instructor is to ask for one. It'll be easier if you take a private lesson so you know that you will get what you want, but ski instructors make great guides. They usually know their mountains as well as anyone and are more than happy to just cut lift lines and ski with someone. It's not too likely to happen in a group because it's probably not what most people want, but ask at your local ski school desk and I'm sure they'll have someone who can give you what you're looking for.
post #16 of 64
Thread Starter 
Actually they were not the yellow TII's (which will probably be retired any year now) This was a long time ago. My boots were only about 8 years old at the time, practically brand new for me. They were high-level competition boots, just not the flavor of the day.

No I was not struggling or adjusting my boots. I was standing in the parking lot. The guy never saw me ski and the boot comment were the first words out of his mouth. He may well have thought he was being helpful. I wasn't seeking help. At the time I has just returned from an epic season ski bumming in Tahoe and was skiing at the highest level of my life.

I like Yuki's attitude. Just shut up and ski.
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
The job breeds the "know-it-all syndrome." There's nothing that you or I can do about it.
I've been an instructor for 11 years, and I rarely offer unsolicited advice. I ski with other instructors, many whom are waaaay better than me, and they hardly ever offer unsolicited advice; they're also a blast to ski with. Instructors know the mountain better than most people, instructors ski better than a lot of people, and instructors are in it for the love of the sport. Anyone who says differently likely doesn't know what they're talking about.

Are there instructors that are a bore to ski with? Of course. I just don't think it applies to the majority of instructors.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Actually they were not the yellow TII's (which will probably be retired any year now) This was a long time ago. My boots were only about 8 years old at the time, practically brand new for me. They were high-level competition boots, just not the flavor of the day.

No I was not struggling or adjusting my boots. I was standing in the parking lot. The guy never saw me ski and the boot comment were the first words out of his mouth. He may well have thought he was being helpful. I wasn't seeking help. At the time I has just returned from an epic season ski bumming in Tahoe and was skiing at the highest level of my life.

I like Yuki's attitude. Just shut up and ski.
Wow, this must have been a long time ago...what brought back these memories? :BTW, what were the boots?
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
But are ski instructors any fun to ski with?

I've never skied with one outside of the 2 lessons I've taken. Here's an example. We meet up with a friend of a friend who is an instructor. First words out of his mouth. "If you want to ski better you should get a new pair of boots." I, politely nodded and smiled.

So are they all judgemental? Can they, do they put aside their training and instincts to analize, critique, suggest, perfect their technique, and just ski for the sheer fun and thrill of it?

Just curious.
Fun?

FUN!?!?!?!?

You want fun, son? Go to Disneyland.

I am absolutely no fun to ski with. That's not my job. My job is to improve your skiing and everyone else's. Whether you asked for my help or not. Whether you're paying me or not.

Whether I know you or not, I'm going to INSIST that you ski properly or not at all.

I am exceedingly judgemental. If your hips or knees or elbows or ears aren't in exactly the right position, WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT. If I catch you smiling for any reason at all, we go back to doing snowplow drills on the bunny hill until that impulse to smile has been eliminated.

Skiing is serious business. You must treat it as such.
post #20 of 64
I worked as an instructer my last year of high school and first year of college. Most try to publicly convey the attitude and beliefs of the director regarding equipment so they can keep the job with free skiing, gear and food discounts, and a private equipment hut/locker room. Many of these folks are also reps. It might be that that arse was a Nordica rep or something like that. Anyway, I bet we could fill up a thread about funny ski instructor stories pretty quick!
post #21 of 64
I see myself trying to teach my friends to ski as well. It's difficult not to give them hints on how to becoming a better skier if they ski bad And I'm not even an instructor..
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
LOL, he wasn't wearing them just for retro day. Funny thing is, they are 20 year old Lange Tii's, the yellow ones. No one is saying people skiing in 20 year old Flexons need to get new boots.
When you get to the nitty gritty, a 20 year old Lange probably gives up very little in performance to a newer version provided it fits right. Acid test would be, if you went out tomorrow and bought the lastest and greatest 2008 boot and didn't associate any improvement in your skiing, you just confirmed that your commitment to your old boots has not compromised your skiing. If you're set up correctly in your boots and they represent a flex that is responsive to your inputs and what you want the boot to do, other than cosmetics and the age of the boot you can probably ski them indefinitely.

By the way my brother in law skis in the yellow Langes from a couple of decades ago.
post #23 of 64
I suck, I know it all and am crabby.
post #24 of 64
I'll have to agree with Bob here; you're starting with the wrong premise. Are teachers supposed to be "fun?" Nope, they're supposed to teach you something efficiently and well. Fun is what you have with your buddies after the lesson. The best lessons I've had were from guys who were all business; they didn't let me get away with s**t and they weren't shy about pointing out how I could be doing something better.

As far as taking a shot at your boots, he might have waited a bit, but everybody has their own style. I've taken some hits for my skis (especially my chronic habit of putting off tunes), my boots, even my gloves one time. So your instructor wasn't a new-age therapist. Deal.

The issue you never bring up is: Did you learn something?
post #25 of 64
I'll drink all your beer, too.
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Wait a minute, are we talking about Crank's yellow boots: ?
Crank, the guy has a keen sense of the obvious. I said the same thing. But then I saw him ski

I didn't know Crank. We met on retro day at Killington - the Phillfest. "Look at that guy's boots", first words out of my mouth.

Just kidding, they aren't that old and if they work, enjoy. I'd say the instructor is a wise ass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
LOL, he wasn't wearing them just for retro day. Funny thing is, they are 20 year old Lange Tii's, the yellow ones. No one is saying people skiing in 20 year old Flexons need to get new boots.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

I've never skied with one outside of the 2 lessons I've taken. Here's an example. We meet up with a friend of a friend who is an instructor. First words out of his mouth. "If you want to ski better you should get a new pair of boots." I, politely nodded and smiled.

.
Before I add my real answer to the question of this thread, I HAVE to post this pic of the three amigos of BumpPhest! This is an interesting array of colour in the Boot Department!:
post #27 of 64
I have skied with quite a few instructors. In all honesty Most have been awesome, will offer assistance if you are open to it but not, if you're not.

I have skied with some who offer unsolicited advice, in an inappropriate environment, and in an inappropriate manner. Those make me annoyed and a tad crazy. I wanna say what harstradt says......Shaddup and Ski!


That being said, I believe that instructors, have a difficult time turning off the Instructor switch, the difference is how they manage it.

Some of the instructors I've skied with in an social environment, who have been phenomenal, and I'd love to ski with any time, Kneale, Tcary, and Cnewbound.
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Fun?

FUN!?!?!?!?

You want fun, son? Go to Disneyland.

I am absolutely no fun to ski with. That's not my job. My job is to improve your skiing and everyone else's. Whether you asked for my help or not. Whether you're paying me or not.

Whether I know you or not, I'm going to INSIST that you ski properly or not at all.

I am exceedingly judgemental. If your hips or knees or elbows or ears aren't in exactly the right position, WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT. If I catch you smiling for any reason at all, we go back to doing snowplow drills on the bunny hill until that impulse to smile has been eliminated.

Skiing is serious business. You must treat it as such.
Not only that but ski with Bob and he's likely to take you to some of the absolutely worst snow you've ever seen. Ok, you may find some other types of snow with him as well but as we know they are no fun anyway.
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Fun?

FUN!?!?!?!?

You want fun, son? Go to Disneyland.

I am absolutely no fun to ski with. That's not my job. My job is to improve your skiing and everyone else's. Whether you asked for my help or not. Whether you're paying me or not.

Whether I know you or not, I'm going to INSIST that you ski properly or not at all.

I am exceedingly judgemental. If your hips or knees or elbows or ears aren't in exactly the right position, WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT. If I catch you smiling for any reason at all, we go back to doing snowplow drills on the bunny hill until that impulse to smile has been eliminated.

Skiing is serious business. You must treat it as such.
Bob, I LOVE IT!!! If I can get you a gig in the Catskills - will you accept?
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
Before I add my real answer to the question of this thread, I HAVE to post this pic of the three amigos of BumpPhest! This is an interesting array of colour in the Boot Department!:

That guy on the right - ya, that one, with the Kryptons and yellow jacket. He looks like the kind of guy that would be married to a psychologist. I saw another one of those just this morning while I was shaving.
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