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More quality instruction on tv

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was watching OLN's skiing program on the tele this evening, which has become a bunch of fluffy filler with about 30 seconds to one minute of actual racing being shown, and they had a segment for ski tips, as they do with the Pontiac World of Skiing (or whatever it's called).

In this show, they have Eric DesLauriers (sp?) supposedly giving beginner tips. My first thought was that no beginner level skiers are watching this show, so what's the point?? So Eric proceeds to try to show a "beginner" direct to parallel move my tipping the inside (downhill) ski to start a turn, then lighten it to move through the turn. Not an untested theory, I know, but the absolute worst demo of such a move, that I've ever seen! He starts by flattening his skis (which, BTW, the boots were touching), and initiating a "patience turn". He then proceeds to catch the inside edge of that downhill ski before he gets to the fall line, and creates a rather distinctive wedge/stem, at which point, he plants a pole, lifts his inside ski completely off the ground, and skids to a stop. Simple as that! "okay, then folks, we'll just link a bunch of those together." At least he was consistant. Every turn he made included the catching of the opposing edge, the wedge/stem, and the lifting of the inside ski, always starting and ending with boots locked.

You know, if they want to get a famous name skier to teach on tv, have him teach something that he understands, like hucking a 20 footer, or zipper-lining the bumps. WTF?!?!?!

We can now add Eric DesLauriers' name to a growing list of realy innane ski "instructors" on tv, to include Rob Butler and my personal favorite: The Ex (didn't they get a divorce a few years ago?) Mr Chris Evert (a.k.a. Andy Mill)! :
post #2 of 27
There's a couple of characters posting on rec.skiing.alpine who strongly advocate some interesting techniques for beginners and beyond, including teaching them to turn by lifting the inside heel of the ski (like thumpers, but for all skiing!). In this way, one can dispense with the Evil and Ineffective wedge (allegedly).
post #3 of 27
John, why don't you PM eski and ask Eric to comment on your post here? Maybe we all can learn something

post #4 of 27
John, I caught that last night, and I was cringing too. I actually felt embarassed for him. He should stick to what he knows. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #5 of 27

Great description! I didn't see it, however, I can picture it.
post #6 of 27
Well he can add another lousy instructional appearance to his tv repetoire. The absolute worst is "Ski the Steeps Vol. II" by the X-team.

Actually you can't even call it bad instruction since there is none at all. It's just the "X team" telling you how great they are and you should come ski with them on a heli trip. It's the most shameless advertisement disguised as an instructional video I've ever seen. It's a pretty bad ad too since you're just really pissed off that there's no content at all.

At the very end a few of them are sitting at the top of a nice sunlight mountain in Canada or Europe and "look" at skiers coming down a run. (It's obviously not where they are-some of the skiers look like they're in VT!) So they watch these people take big wipeouts and laugh at them, joking "Did you teach him that?" or "They must have been in your class!"

They're just the coolest though.....
post #7 of 27
Well...I have to say that reading the first post in this thread, I really laughed out loud. A bit of criticism is a good thing! I would put forth that there is a lot validity to the concept being expressed to beginners. Most people with reasonable balance can acheive linked parallel turns faster then many give them credit for in the teaching that is done in many lessons. You're right about flattening the skis to released the turn. When coupled with good upper body position at the end of the turn (it faces the new turn) then the skis will draw into the falline, then the continuation of lightening the inside foot on its turning edge will create dependable turns for the beginner skier in appropriate terrain.

As for shooting in general, there is an inherent risk in television and editing in that you can't control which "take" they put in the final edition! So, maybe they picked a shot that I would not have. Tough to say, but hey, I doubt it's that bad (haven't seen it yet).

Lastly, and very honestly, I have to agree with Tog that Advance to the Steeps Volume II really sucks. I just threw a case away, because I can't even bear to give it away! Dan Egan put that together and, unfortunately for evryone, never consulted any of the other of us (me and my brother, Rob, Dean Decas and John Egan) and we never saw any of it until it was WAY too late. I can't even stand having my name on that one. Acutally, I'm planning on telling Dan to take it off the market. So...if anyone here bought it, I'm sorry you had to go through that! Junk it and get the original Adance to the Steeps. That's a terrific video with a lot of great instruction and information.

So...there you have it, hope everyone is having a great winter. And I hope you like the other advacned ski tips coming in later weeks on OLN, same bat times.

Best regards to all,
post #8 of 27
Hey ESki,

How about a trade? I've got a practically new copy of Volume II - only viewed once! - that I would gladly trade you for a copy of the first one!!!!!

How about it?
post #9 of 27
I didn't see the segment on OLN, but I swear, some of the instructors on here continue to amaze me. The amount of attitude in the instructional forum here is unreal. This forum is far worse than the often ridiculed Powder forum. I seriously have a hard time believing any ski tip by Eric D. was *that* bad.

On a side note, his new book is great. Even though a lot of the segments in the book have already appeared in magazines (Skiing I think?), its a great book for all mountain skiing.
post #10 of 27
MXP...tell you what, you just go ahead and throw that copy out, email your address and I'll do my best to send you the original. I actually don't have any more but I think my booking office has some to send out. I'll check!

Thanks Matter, glad you liked the book! You're right that there are some repeat photos from Skiing Magazine, but many fresh ones too!


P.S. Sorry to miss the UT gathering, sounds like a blast and was hoping to make a couple days. Have fun! I hear it's a bit thin so bring the petex and, remember, they're only skis.
post #11 of 27
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:
John, why don't you PM eski and ask Eric to comment on your post here? Maybe we all can learn something

I for one learned a lot from Eric's responses. First of all he is a mature self confident person who is not defensive or derisive. Second, he is not "religious" about his beliefs but has experience that convinces him of the merits of the methods and approaches he advocates.

Eric continues to impress me as someone I would love to meet, ski with, and learn from.
post #12 of 27
We should take all these TV ski teachers out and string them up. Then maybe we will get the BIG BUCKS! [img]tongue.gif[/img] ------Wigs
post #13 of 27
Wigs, you crack me up! Quick and final solution but it makes this German a little queezy

Si, I have always believed that one should try to get interaction with a person directly if possible and eski has provided an insight into the questions asked and he agreed with them that not all that was put out by/about him was stellar. It takes character to do that and I admire him for that, and other things too, like his skiing and enterpreneurship.

And as Wigs implied, learning to ski from TV ski tips, and even books, is less than desirable, a real live ski instructor is far more reliable in feedback to the students.

I'm not agaist books per se, but I've had experiences with students who misinterpreted what the books and videos tried to teach and suffered by it. Many books are put on the market to whet the appetite of skiers who want to learn more to take one of the courses offered by the authors. eski and Harb are among them and those books are powerful advertisement.

My belief is that, unless one is cut off from live instruction, one should prefer a live instructor over books or videos, may it be skiing, piano playing or tennis,etc. Unlike academic, read 'booklearning', physical activities are a hands-on learning expirience.

post #14 of 27

Thanks for your gracious offer!

I PM'd you my address.

post #15 of 27
Actually, I have seen some good instruction on the tube from some of our PSIA pro’s. And I too have seen some pretty shabby TV teaching. The big name racers, extreme skiers, etc, that haven’t had any real time teaching the sport or instruction/training on how to go about teaching someone how to ski, haven’t a clue on how to teach a beginner skier. I for one do not believe that they should be allowed to express there thoughts on how a beginner skier should go about learn how to ski on TV where it reaches so many folks that are pondering the thought of learning how to ski. One, the new skier gets the wrong information and visual picture. And two, we have to fix it when it doesn’t work. So for all out there that uses the TV as a teaching aid. Make sure that the person doing the teaching is a teaching pro. Is affiliated with a credited organization that specializes in ski instruction. And most important of all, they look good in their ski clothes. : ------------Wigs
post #16 of 27
Originally posted by Matter:
I didn't see the segment on OLN, but I swear, some of the instructors on here continue to amaze me. The amount of attitude in the instructional forum here is unreal. This forum is far worse than the often ridiculed Powder forum. I seriously have a hard time believing any ski tip by Eric D. was *that* bad.

i saw it and, although i'm no instructor nor do i have the desire to be one, it WASN'T *that* bad. some of our epicski instructors really need to lighten up.

it's probably not easy to put togther a meaningful instruction clip that lasts only 1 or 2 minutes.
post #17 of 27
I have taken private lessons with Eric's group over the last two years - sorry I couldn't make it out this year, Eric - and have learned a ton about skiing. But as to Eric's personality, enthusiasm and integrity, he's an inspriring guy. It's all about skiing and having a good time. No preaching about systems, thank God.

The only thing I felt bad about was Eric's colleague, Alan Riley (sp), waiting for me at the end of each run. But he didn't make me feel bad and I'm quite certain I gave him a few laughs with my skiing. After my encounter with a small pine, Alan remarked that's what they refer to as eco-terrorism in Taho.



[ January 27, 2003, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: rob ]
post #18 of 27
It wasn't a good demo. There was a disconect between what he said and what he did. It was obvious that he lacked training in low level demos. No one is saying he's not good at teaching what he's famous for, but a poor demo serves no one, including him. I felt embarassed for him. Still do. He should stick to what he's good at or learn good begginer demos and progressions. He is right when he says many can progress much faster than many allow them too.

[ January 27, 2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Ric B ]
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
First off, I have to admit that I'm only slightly embarrassed that Eric is ESki. I probably would have been a bit nicer had I known that. Admitedly, I love the way he skis when he's in his element. And it's not the first time I've offended anyone here, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I have a nasty habit of speaking my mind.

ESki, you provided a valid, thoughtful and remarkably calm reponse. It doesn't go unappreciated! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

That said, I can't take back what I said, and I do not feel I was being too harsh. Maybe I should be more critical of the production and TV producers and less of you (there was definitely a bit of education in your response). I don't know your ski teaching background, but if it doesn't include a few years of teaching beginners to ski, and a lot of doing what they had you do for the cameras, they shouldn't have asked you to demo it. As I said in my original post, they should have you doing advanced skiing tips (that's what you're famous for, and I doubt too many beginner skiers would be watching that show anyhow). However, they are tv producers, and not ski instructors, so they don't know what they are looking at. That's your job. I also have to admit that I've never been fortunate enough to be in a situation where people are paying me to do skiing tips on tv, and I have no idea how the process works. It sounds like you don't have enough control of the final product, which is a huge problem, but may be part of what is in your contract for doing these sort of things. Maybe, as the celeb, you could add a clause to your contract, that nothing makes the final cut without your approval.(?) As a ski instructor who prides himself on his ability to provide the highest quality instruction I can give to my students, I would have a hard time letting go of any quality control to the tv producers. Especially when the video shots will be shown on international tv. I guess, at that point, if they take the QC away from you, you need to make the tough decision as to whether you want the paycheck, or to not let something go out that you don't like, with your name and picture on it.

Thanks for the response, Eric!!!

post #20 of 27
When I saw it, I didn't think the point of the segment was to teach people to ski as much as to try and show non-skiers how easy it can be to learn. I saw it as a "Look - just a few simple steps and you're skiing" kind of thing. It struck me as more of an advertisement to get non-skiers to try the sport than anything someone was going to learn from. Who thinks they're going to learn a new sport from a 2 minute TV segment??
post #21 of 27
Eric, great response to this thread. I think it does show us the problem with producers- you just don't know what the hell they're going to put up there. I apologize for the "well he can add..." remark though I stick by the review of Vol. II.. Unfortuneately I never saw Vol. I and just bought II at the store on impulse hoping to learn something. I'm amazed that Dan thought it would be any good for anyone including those who might profit from it. Your honest assesment of it is very admirable.

post #22 of 27
Indulge me in my pitch:

As an individual watching ski "instruction" on TV, would you gain more insight if you were watching an individual (TV segment host) being taught by the experts? That the segment was presented from the perspective of the student and not the teacher?

The idea: Can you take a "terminal intermediate" to a higher level in one season by attending various specialty clinics? One clinic per TV segment. Establish a baseline at the beginning: SL, GS, moguls, park, steeps, and powder. Compare at the end of the season after attending the various camps.

The viewer is exposed to different teaching programs and locales, and hopefully easily identify with the segment host/student.

post #23 of 27
Can I be the subject?
post #24 of 27
Often I have snickered at some of the "instructional" comments, clips, etc that show up on TV. Whether made by Bob Beattie, Andy Mills, or anyone else, more often than not, they miss the mark. Having been involved in various projects over the years, I agree with Eric (Eski) that final cuts usually leave the best info on the cutting room floor. They go after "bites" rather than substance.

I applaud Eric for his integrity and honesty re: certain videos not being up to the standards he obviously holds for himself and his camps. Don't let go of that integrity- it's rare in the ski industry as a whole!

Warren- you propose a wonderful idea! Heck- I'd volunteer my time to assist in a project of that nature. But the bottom line becomes- who pays for production, and how are they going to profit from it. So unless you have found a benefactor who is will ing to have no commercial interest in the project, it's likely not to happen. PSIA itself hasn't been able to put together a cohesive video project which accurately imparts good technical information AND represents good teaching!

But in the final analysis, anything which gets more skiers/ boarders out onto the mtn is a good thing! But lets keep it straight and honest!

post #25 of 27
"As an individual watching ski "instruction" on TV, would you gain more insight if you were watching an individual (TV segment host) being taught by the experts? That the segment was presented from the perspective of the student and not the teacher?"

Definitely. I would. Even better would be for me if they also analyzed the techniques and tactics used by the gate or mogul racers in the competitions they show, breaking it up into slo-mo, carefully showing pointers that a lay skier would miss. I watched the Olympic races, I recorded them, I took some pointers, but then I had a friend come over who has been racing since he was 7, and he pointed me to things on that tape that his coaches used to stress to him and that I absolutely totally missed.

I wish they had this kind of TV instruction.

[ February 07, 2003, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #26 of 27
The best TV instructional segment I ever saw was taught by Weems.
But he's even better in person! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #27 of 27
Suggestion: instead of using the TV as a very temporary and forgettable learning aid, why not check out the real thing by getting Eric and Rob Deslauries book, "Ski the Whole Mountain."

It can be ordered at a very favorable price from Amazon.com. Be sure to access that site through this web site from the home page, so AC can get a little something for your efforts.

There is something for eveyone in this book, from the almost fledgling beginner, to the most hard corps off piste expert.
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