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A little test

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Reading and participating on this board over the last year has been quite enjoyable. It's given me the opportunity to get updated on the current technical focuses on the PSIA side of the profession (I'm a race coach), it's allowed me to keep fresh my own mental clarity on how the many technical areas in skiing cohesively mesh, and it's helped me refine my presentation of those technical themes into a more concise package.

But along the way I've noticed something in many of the posts. Way to often I observe posters who have a good grasp of the current popular technical terms and mantras promoted within their proffession ranks, but don't seem to have a clear understanding of how and where these words and themes fit into the whole efficient skiing picture.

I don't condem that. I understand because of the high employee attrition/turn over rate associated with ski instruction that many of the pros here are probably reletively new to the party, and confusion and learning is just part of the process. Nothing wrong with that. Part of the benefit of being an instructor/coach is that it provides a great opportunity to delve into expanded technical understanding and personal skill development. Becoming an instructor, for many, is the starting point to their most significant period of advancement in the sport.

To promote that continued journey of learning I thought a little test might be of value. Here's the question, see what you can do with it:

aS AN INSTRUCTOR YOU WILL ENCOUNTER STUDENTS ON VARIOUS SIZES AND SHAPES OF SKIS. tHESE VARIATIONS WILL HAVE SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE ON THE BODY POSITIONS AND TECHNICAL APPLICATIONS OUR STUDENTS APPLY TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASKS WE PRESENT. bECAUSE OF THE SKIS OUR STUDENTS HAVE WE CAN'T ARBITRARILY DISMISS THE MANY DIFFERENT BODY POSITIONS AND TECHNICAL APPLICATIONS WE SEE AS WRONG. tHEY MAY BE WHAT IS NECESSARY, BECAUSE OF THE STUDENTS SKIS, TO ACCOMPLISH THE PARTICULAR TASK.

tHE QUESTION FOR YOU IS; WHAT SPECIFIC BODY POSITION CHANGES MAY WE SEE AND WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY. wHAT TECHNICAL MODIFICATIONS MAY BE APPLIED. tRY TO TOUCH ON ALL THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SKIING AND TIE THEM TOGETHER IN YOUR RESPONSES. nO SINGLE CONCEPT WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE IMPLICATIONS THEY HAVE ON OTHER TECHNICAL AREAS. i'M LOOKING FOR VERY SPECIFIC EXPLANATIONS OF WHY A MODIFICATION MIGHT BE MADE AND WHAT MECHANICAL PURPOSE IT WOULD SERVE. fOR THIS EXERCISE ASSUME THE STUDENT IS IN A GOOD BOOT SET UP, THEY ARE NOT A FACTOR, AND STUDENTS HAVE NO UNIQUE BODY STRUCTURE VARIATIONS, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SKIS. aND BACK OFF THE BUZZ WORDS, KEEP YOUR EXPLANATIONS CLEAR, TECHNICALLY COMPLETE, AND MECHANICS BASED. nO EXPLANATIONS DEPENDENT ON VAGUE POP NOMENCLATURE.

Good luck!
post #2 of 9
FastMan, just a couple thoughts---
Could you clarify further by giving some examples of what you consider to be buzzwords or vague pop nomenclature?
Also, you might draw the boundaries a bit tighter by providing a scenario or skier "examples" to compare and contrast, particularly for our lesser experienced instructors for whom you're proposing this exercise.
Thanks-
post #3 of 9
Fastman, hardly a little test!

my understanding is that you want a concise explanation of how skiing has changed since the mid 90's when parabolic/carving/new skis were introduced, by showing how a skier on either sort (new or old) will need to employ differing body posiitons and applications. (I envisage a class of mixed new and old skiers with the instructor sitting on the snow fence.)

The explanation must revolve around the question why have the skis changed, to what purpose and with what effect. What is either skier trying to get their skis to do in order to make turns?

The train of thought might be as follows: more sidecut allows a quicker edging and earlier reverse camber to allow the ski to carve rather than skid. This requires body movements which don't unweight and lift the tails around, but increasingly roll the skis onto edge to arc themselves. Body positons have to cope with the greater speeds and the countervaling forces a carving arc generates so there is less rotation, less bouncing unweighting and more consideration of sound strong biomechanics and pressure management by angulation and flexion (an explanation of carve+skid may be required).

Somehow you have to demonstrate all this without yourself changing skis. I do think at some stage the instructor has to announce which skiing mode he is teaching and come off that fence.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Vera. I'm defining buss words and vague pop nomenclature as ANY of the trendy terms we instructors use to communicate between ourselves or sometimes impress upon our clientele our superior knowledge. Sometimes these terms are used to a mask a lack of true foundational understanding. Sometimes it's just a matter of not understanding how much technical principle lies beneath the terms being used.

For this test I'd like respondents act as if their speaking to people who have no knowledge of skiing, and upon who the use of professional terminology would fly right over head. Communicate complicated principles completely and clearly, in language anyone on the street could understand.

I've left the parameters open by design. I'd like to see the respondent choose scenarios involving tasks which they believe would present significance.

Daslider, your on the right track. Any response will probably need to demonstrate an understanding of how and why a ski turns, as you suggest, and why different skis turn differently. You speak of the contrast between straight and shape. That's a good focal point to assume, it's the most obvious and easy to compare, but even subtle differences will occur within varying shape ski geometry's, and these too are open to discussion.

And you've hinted at discussions that might occur on how carving might have to be supplemented with another technique, but it could also be observed and explained differences even when not diverging from carving, or without carving involved at all if someone cared to explore that area.

Hope those hints help get everyone started. Happy Easter!
post #5 of 9
FastMan

imo you're widening this way too much - I think Vera was trying to focus you down a bit! If all the complexity has to have layman's translations (no professional shorthand) and if you include all ski shape variations you've got alot to consider, add to that all the possible moves on all those skis and you're asking for a technical manual and history book?

Are you a publisher?

btw, in your opener, it wasn't clear to me what you meant by 'WHAT SPECIFIC BODY POSITION CHANGES MAY WE SEE AND WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY' are you really meaning 'changes' as in changes we might recommend for improvement, or maybe 'variations' that might already exist because of equipment.
post #6 of 9
Please clarify
"... VARIOUS SIZES AND SHAPES OF SKIS"?

Are you including 10-yr old pre-shape era equipment? Or are we going to confine this to equipment of the modern era and intended outcomes reflective of contempory skiing?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:

if you include all ski shape variations you've got alot to consider, add to that all the possible moves on all those skis and you're asking for a technical manual and history book?
FASTMAN:
An explanation of every possible variation seen in every possible situation/task is not necessary. Each respondent need only choose one situation/task and explain in great, clear, and technically all encompassing detail. The many movements of skiing are based on a common set of fundamental bio mechanics and physical laws.

Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:

Are you a publisher?
FASTMAN:
Nope, just an empty pocket, more passion than sense, bored cause the snow has melted, professional ski bum!

Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:

btw, in your opener, it wasn't clear to me what you meant by 'WHAT SPECIFIC BODY POSITION CHANGES MAY WE SEE AND WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY' are you really meaning 'changes' as in changes we might recommend for improvement
FASTMAN:
No.

Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:

or maybe 'variations' that might already exist because of equipment.
FASTMAN:
That's closer. I refer to technical and body position variations our students may employ to accomplish the task we present to them. Some of the variations may be a result of improper technical application by the student, but some may be efficient variations mandated by the skis on their feet. It's up to us to know the difference between proper and improper deviation.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arcmeister:
Please clarify
"... VARIOUS SIZES AND SHAPES OF SKIS"?

Are you including 10-yr old pre-shape era equipment? Or are we going to confine this to equipment of the modern era and intended outcomes reflective of contempory skiing?
FASTMAN:
No limitations, the choice of focus is up to the respondent. But as I said above, the respondent should isolate and comment on a specific situation/task. If explained thoroughly the same fundamentals will surprisingly emerge regardless of the specific topic chosen.
post #9 of 9
Take a look at ESki's posts for the essence of the type of anwers you're looking for. He certainly can communicate key skiing concepts simply and effectively without the use of jargon. Here's a recent example:

Thread: Collapse that outside ski for a quicker transition
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