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PSIA info attn: DCHAN

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dchan- yarddog here. As I mentioned in some other post here, I blew a tryout for instructing at the first of this season. As it turned out my boots caused my feet to go numb as well as being in extreme pain all day long. Speaking with the director of the area after getting cut He was shocked and told me to get my boots looked at. I did. 1000% better. As it was, it was the most embarrassing skiiing I had ever done. Now I'm back to my old self again.
So, I'm going to try next season at Timberline on Hood. Is there a PSIA site I can go to for information I and study to be ahead of the game so to speak?
The gal who cut me said she liked everything else about my presentation, teaching abillities, attitude, etc. it was my balance which sunk me. If you can't feel your feet, you can't balance. problem solved.
You've spoken with Mikla on line here a number of times. He and I are at the same level, but he has skied 60 times this year to my 5! (money or lack of, here). Next season will be better. I'm amazed at how I've rebounded back to the skiing level I'm at right now with only 5 trips to the hill. Now I'm refining. I ski with Mikla now and then. He's a very fine skier in every sense of the word. As soon as his knee heals we're going to mess around up on Palmer on hood in May.
BTW- read your article on bumps. Very good. I had a year of bump instruction, but the active compresion/extension rather than just floating was an excellent tip from you and Bob Barnes. Bob-aka the dog.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #2 of 25
Not sure why you directed this message to me. I'm not an instructor nor am I the best skier on this sight. I guess I get into a lot of the discussions. Sorry if I led you to believe I knew that much about PSIA or instructing. I just love to ski, enjoy helping and am a "how does that work?" kind of guy.

But here goes..

Bump Article? are you talking about the posts. I had been working on bump skiing for the past few years and found myself longing to ski them with less effort and more grace. The posts I have been putting up are just a compilation of my experiences and lessons. They worked for me and made sense.

PSIA I'm not sure if there is an online source of study info but I do a lot of websurfing.
has a lot of articles that might help. check out the section on Certification. If you can find someone that is a member of PSIA you can probably borrow their copies of TPS.

Good luck on the ski school tryouts next year.

I don't know how I stack up with the skier base here. The only people I have had the pleasure of skiing with on this forum so far is JohnH, AC, DesertDawg and Harpo. I can keep up is about all I can say. How well or how technical? I'm working on it.

Depending on my job situation next year I may try out for a ski school but with e/commerce going the way it is, who knows.

Boots and balance That's everything....
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
You're good as anybody. Enjoyed your many posts. This was a post a while back on page 2 of some thread about bump skiing. Thanx for the link.

yes. balance is everything. Bad boots can mess ya up! (or looking at the pretty girls instead of paying attention to that next bump coming up! <G> More later. Gotta rip.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #4 of 25
JYD- Who in the Portland area did you consult about boots? I'm relatively new to the area and need some fitting done. Shopping around for a boot mechanic in either Portland or Bend. Or I'll stop in Mt. Hood area as I pass through...
post #5 of 25
Search the site for boot fitters. In one of the threads was as list of fitters up in the OR area.

Found my old info. Here's one of the suggestions.

Sam Bennett Ski & Sport
2168 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97210
Phone: 503-226-1305
Ask For: Sam Bennett
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[This message has been edited by dchan (edited April 20, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 25
dchan- Thanks. I'm aware of Bennets. I was looking for feedback from a satisfied customer...
post #7 of 25
Are you going for your level 1?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Powderjunkie- I agree with Dchan. Sam Bennett's is good. That's where I got my boots stretched and deflexed. Still a bit of numbness now and then but that's not their fault. I just have a wide foot. Another one is Hillcrest Ski & Snowboard. Ask for Pauly. He's there on Fri and Sat. He fitted my wife's boots when no one else could. He's one of the best. 503-656-4455 If you wish, e-mail me for my phone # Maybe we can hit Hood together. Mikla will be well by May. We plan on hitting the Palmer glacier in late May. BTW- Bennett's is easy to miss. Dchan's got teh address right, but it's a small place. When in downtown, Portland, find Burnside and head west (away from the river). This is on the west side of town. Just about 20th or so you see Jim fisher Volvo on the left. Just past the dealership and across the little side street, on the same side of Burnside is a series of little store fronts. one of those is Sam Bennett's. It will be easier to park across the street from Fisher Volvo in the grocercy store lot and walk across, or go around the block and park on one of the side streets (King St. is close by). Parking is terrible around there. Or e-mail me for phone # and I'll take you down there. it took me 3 circlings around city blocks to find it. I looked like a damned buzzard coming in for dinner!

Spyder- Yes- going for level 1. Always scared sh*tless when I try something new and I'm being judged. Kind of like when I took my first mogul after no moguls for years! Buddies yell, "That's right, Bob! Good way to make a snoman... hit a mogul, fall, roll downhill!" All you see is ass, tea kettle, ass, teakettle, ass, teakettle.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
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[This message has been edited by jyarddog (edited April 20, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by jyarddog (edited April 20, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 25
I took my L1 last yr and have been studying to take my L2 at the beginning of next season. If you want tips and help I can give you studying ideas.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Spyder- I'd appreciate that very much! thank you. I went to the site Dchan posted. One article spoke of learning from your evaluation even if you got cut or failed. I learned about my balance being off. i truly agreed without argument. I truly hated sounding like a carpenter who blames his tools, but my boots hurt so much I couldn't tell where the heck my feet were. That now having been solved made a world of difference. I can now feel the slight changes balance neccesary with terrain changes. According to one article I should go practice making the more basic turns such as wedge turn, stem christie, etc. Since these are the turns beginners and low intermediates will use I need to be able to model these correctly. I can see that a lot of this stuff one tends to forget about through the years.
Any tips you can provide let me know. I'm your student.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Bob Barnes- Thank you for your input. I am a certified teacher in Oregon, so that helps a lot. When i got cut at Hoodoo I truly learned the importance of balance and the lack thereof! <G> Now that my boots are fixed it's far easier to be aware of balance changes needed. Now is the time for me to get started. Skiing has given me so much, it is time for me to give back to others.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #12 of 25

Thanks for the feedback. I plan to get over to Sam Bennett's next week. I've bought two pair of skis from them over the last year but boots (as we all know) are a different matter. I prefer a boot mechanic who comes recommended.

I'll get in touch the next couple of weeks and see if we can linkup on Mt. Hood. It's been two weeks since my own knee arthoscopy and I'm itching to ski. The recovery has been superfast but no time last weekend or this one. And all my skis are in Bend.
post #13 of 25
If I can get your email I will shoot a list of things to go over and a few things that will come up.
But as BobB said the best way to really get ahead is to work with a TD in a ski school, typically they are also the ones who give the L1.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Powderjunkie- e-mail is
Bend, eh? That's where true powder lives! e-mail me and I'll give you my phone #. You too Spyder.
Would like very much to take some runs with ya all. Had a couple of chances to go up last week, but I'm tired of skiing alone. Daughter and boy friend copt out. Wife is still too scared to go. 45 minutes into her first lesson she tweaked her knee. Scared ever since. I told her she can't stop because of one owie. Perhaps next season she'll try. In the meantime- gotta get backup there soon. Also, end of May Mikla will be on skis again. He'll be down to Portland ready to go. would be nice if Dchan was in the area. Where is Spyder from? Bob

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
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[This message has been edited by jyarddog (edited April 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 25
Jyarddog; Bob B. made a valid point about us "non instructors" being useful as barometers of progress. I myself have made the transition from beginner to intermediate through feedback on this forum.
As one who already teaches, you know about the different teaching and learning styles; visual ,auditory. During a ski lesson, the student has access, of course to visual and kinesthetic cues. As a result, many teachers are less than perfect in their verbal explanations. I see this in my industry; aerobic instructors who have wonderul content in their lesson plans, but can not cue, and communicate to their students what is needed for optimal perfomance of the moves.
Granted, sometimes too much explanation brings the student into information overload, but having precise verbal skills is a nice talent to have. And there are instructors who post in their forum whose verbal descriptions are so filled with texture and dynamics that I can FEEL what they are talking about while sitting at the computer.
I assume you know about Bob Barnes' book The Encyclopedia of skiing? An excellent book for both teachers and students.
I realize of course, that your problem in the exam had nothing to do with poor explanatory skills; from what I've read of your posts nobody could accuse you of that! But this is a great place to develop those skills even further, and even have friendly {usually} debates about the validity of different teaching styles.
Besides, IMHO we are a cool group of people!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie- True!
This is a great family here. I've been elsewhere and seen ego trips, bashing, etc. Got tired of it. Here, I've learned very much. Dchan has helped. Spyder is going to send me some links and ideas on how to get ready for level 1. it's great to be somewhere where everyone helps everyone. Wish we all had enough money to meet somewhere some season and ski together. It would be a blast! Then, when I crash and burn I can look up at everyone and yell, "I meant to do that!" bwahahaha!
All good lesson plan formats have these basic elements in them: review, input, model, guided practice, independent practice, evaluation, review. The first review is where the teacher finds out where his or her students are at. This was we know where to begin. Input is kind of like lecture on what we are about to learn. Modeling - teacher does it. Guided practice- students do it with help from teacher along the process. Ind. prac. students do it alone (homework). Evaluation- test on Friday! <G> Review- cover in general what was learned. Next lesson, or from evaluation, you go back and reteach what may need work on.
On line or in books one has to be detailed. in the classroom, not neccesarily a good idea. Our classroom is on the hill. Personal attention and positive reinforcement is a must. If you give too much detail it deludges the student with too much info too quickly.
A friend of mine who is an excellent skier, admits he doesn't have the patience to teach was trying to teach his daughter's girl friend of about 9 or 10 yrs.old some things. What he was saying was absolutely correct, but it was too much all at once. She was falling every 10 ft. here she was, on the deck, skis off, crying. I told my friend I'd take a crack at this. He went on down the hill. I sat with her; talked and joked a bit; calmed her down; gave her just a couple of pointers to concentrate on. This time she made it 30 yds! After she fell, she was laughing, not crying. She got up and tried it again... another 30 yds. Then it got a little better. She finally got good enough she could ski with my friend's daughter the rest of the afternoon, albeit bailing out often, but she had fun. And that's the main thing... have fun. (Besides- I could then get back to skiing with my friend.) i.e. Don't water a flower more than it can take!

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #17 of 25

Does your hill have an instructors training clinic? These are usually held in November or early December.

If your hill does not..... sounds like they had a "ski off" to fill instructor slots, I'd find a place that does.

These are usually held over four days or so on weekends. In essence they will teach you what you need to know to deal with skiers up to Level 4.

Usually, participants are hired directly from the clinic. I like this approach better than a ski off because they will have seen and evaluated you over four days.

Cost is about $150 to $200...... so it's basically a cheap lift ticket..... well worth it. The money may be refunded if you are hired.
post #18 of 25
Good point about economy of words in an on snow lesson. Check out the posts of skiansb. She can say a volume in a paragraph!

In another thread, you put in a link to an article by Todd Murchison {who BTW has a book coming out in the fall}. Although his writing always shows depth of knowledge and insight, his on snow teaching style is characterized by creating an environment that someone is comfortable to learn in , as opposed to giving out lots of info. Example: I'm pretty strong {for a girl} and have a tendency to "muscle my skis". So he turns to me and says "You know your'e working really hard, watch me!". And with this little impish grin, he takes off with the levity of Peter Pan. It was the quality and mood of those movements that got me past some of the misconceptions I have about skiing.

Your story about skiing with your friend's daughter brings to mind a book by Richard Bach called Illusions. In an early chapter, the main character takes a little girl who is afraid of heights on an airplane. When she comes down, she tells her grandfather that she is no longer afraid of heights, and is going to be a pilot when she grows up.

This brings up something I've been thinking about, lately. Matters of trust. In my short time skiing, I've noticed that there is a big differentiation of skills and terrain I will attempt, depending upon the instructor. But it is very difficult for me to put a finger on what the allusive personal quality it is that makes some teachers inspire a greater sense of trust from their students. I have a feeling that it has more to do with the type of person you are, rather than what the PSIA can teach you.

If you look in the General discussion board, there is a thread entitled something like Annual Gathering of the Bears, about planning a trip for all of us next year. Of course, people being people, there is a bit of a debate as to where we should go!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Lisa & Yuki- Sorry I took so longer in getting back here. I had to put a load of wash in. Yep, I'm a well trained husband... and I always put the lid back down, even!
Lisa, have you skied with Tod before or is the book so well written you felt he was speaking to you, personally? I'll have to look into that book as well as Bob's Encyclopedia of Skiing. Do you know that skis were once called show shoes?
Yuki- I don't know in Timberline has that training school. It probably does. They told me to apply in the fall. Where I tried out this season was Hoodoo in the Sister's or Santiam Pass... where I embarrassed myself. Gawd was I lousey! Yes. They were filling empty spots.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #20 of 25
Todd's book is not out yet, but he has a bunch of articles on the internet. He's also a frequent poster {under a different user name} on this and other ski message boards. I decided to take a class from him based on his writing, and the attitude he displayed about teaching via his forum posts.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
It would be an honor to take lesson's from Todd or Bob B. Sometmes I feel I'm bending over at the waist too much. I ask my friend about it. He says no, quit worring about it, but sometimes it feels like that. But then sometimes I feel I hold my tongue wrong when putting in golf!

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
SPYDER- Again, yes, send me any info you feel might help me get started on the right track for level 1.
Hope your operation goes well.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #23 of 25
Sorry bout the delay, I sent the email today. I have been in whistler since the 22nd trying to squeeze thoes last few days out. If anyone is headed up there bring graphite wax, otherwise be prepared to kiss your tips.
post #24 of 25
Spyder, What type of graphite wax? All temp. or a fairly high temp. Have you found a brand that works better than others. I have tried quite a few different waxes such as Hertel Spring solution, NotWax, Swix and Toko yellow but they all seem to get sticky on warm days.
post #25 of 25
i have used a few but didn't know them by name, just "borrowed" a little here and there from friends when I worked their skis. Most will preform fairly well, the yellow wax and a a graphite wax are two different things, "yellow" wax is just that wax, while the graphite addition really makes a difference in spring conditions, usually looks like a black stick of wax. Tho to make a point it does not work well in colder conditions and it is best to remove as much as possible before next season. Hot scraping does a good job of this.
Another thing that helps is to have a high structure pattern ground into your skis, this will also help reduce stiction, for spring skiing.
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