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Review, "Encyclopedia of Skiing"

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Two big differences versus what I know, big differences. Not saying right or wrong, just saying really different.

On the PSIA "Centerline Dynamic Turn", which is, "...an advanced turn, requiring a high level of skill...".

The lady in the graphic on page 99 looks like how we (cult members) ski, but how to get there is not the same. The only similiarities are that the skis do become flat to the snow, for a moment. We call this the "float".

Unweighting, page 291. Bob says that, "...unweighting is not required for all turns..." and goes on to say that, "Unweighted skis cannot cause direction change..."

In the cult, I think the release/relaxing the stance ski is the same as unweighting. If so, this is required for every turn. In fact, it's pretty much the whole foundation of the system.

Then, I could demonstrate in a drill where releasing the skis does in fact cause a change of direction. Harald does it in the "2" video.

So far, interesting reading, but not the same as the cult. I've seen a few similarities, like "Thousand steps", but that's about it. Studied the "Centerline Model", definitely not the same, or even close.

And, no evidence what-so-ever of "stealing".

More to come...
post #2 of 54
Typical misreading and subsequent misstatement, SCSA. If you're going to comment of the validity, you need to read the thing from page One (yes, the preface) through Page 309. Then think about it a bit. Then make your comments.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kneale Brownson (edited July 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 
Bob and Kneale,


First, I refer to PSIA by calling it a gang. In fairness, I'll refer to PMTS as a cult.

I have been through the whole book. My angle on this is simple. For months now, I've listened to gang members and leaders accuse HH of stealing, and that his system is really just "Centerline Model", with a few new twists. I wanted to see if there was any truth to these claims. As a student of skiing, if the cult system was stolen from somewhere else, then I wanted to get to the source.

I see absolutely zero evidence of these claims anywhere in Bob's book.

I am not here to say which is better. In fact, if one is in the gang, this appears to be a very good book.

I feel that I am qualified to make a judgement, because I've practiced the cult system for 2 years - 120 ski days, all day, every day. I've studied the books and the videos, I've taken lessons, and I've been to a camp.

As a contributor to this forum, I want visitors to know what the facts are, vis-a-vis these claims. I also want visitors to know that the cult system, and its approach to skiing, is completely different than the gang. Again, I'm not going to say which is better.

Moving on, the cult system does include some of what's in Bob's book - kind of. But, HH has never claimed that he "invented" these.

1) The Javelin turn.
In the cult system, it's been modified. The ski is placed direcly over the top of the stance ski, not crossing over it as described on page 146.

2) Page 232, Retraction Turn, "The turns for big moguls and deep powder..."

At first glance, the retraction turn appeared to be similar to what we're taught in powder, a two footed release. We are not taught to use a retraction turn in moguls.

In the cult system, a two footed release is used in powder. In powder, as part of the turn, we're taught to flex both legs, starting with the downhill leg. The movements of release and transfer, are the same in powder, as they are anywhere else.

Bob says, "The retraction phase may require an active pulling in of the legs, or it may simply involve relaxing the resistance against the forces at the end of the turn".

The only similarity I can see is flexing both legs. But, then Bob tells the reader that flexing both legs may not be required. In the cult system, there's no choice - the instruction for powder skiing is clear and precise.

More later....
post #4 of 54
LOL, cool book, eh SCSA? Keep reading, there's good stuff in there.

Hmmm, mogul skiing is ALL about retraction and extension... Well good mogul skiing anyway. When I have watched you skiing bumps, and you're "dialed in", you're doing retraction turns.

A little more focus on relaxing of BOTH legs in powder is needed simply because you have to weight both feet more equally. On the groomers, or less fluffy conditions, the free foot is already pretty relaxed... less weight on it.

That's why Bob's "relaxing the resistance against the forces at the end of the turn" is so RIGHT ON. If you have force on both feet, you'll have to relax both feet. More of a "stance foot dominant" turn, then the "relaxing" or releasing move will be mostly on the stance foot.

Unweighting is all but gone in modern skiing. However, it is an EXCELLENT tool, and can get your skis around (roatary method)in a hurry. A pretty physically demanding way to turn on flatter terrain though. If you want to get into really steep terrain, you had better have unweighting (hop turns) in your bag of tricks. You gotta have rotary skills for that stuff. And, happily, it's less work to do them on the steeps. I still like that good 'ol pedal turn (ala Scott Schmidt) for the nasty snow on really steep terrain.

I think it is REALLY cool that you are reading Bob's book.



<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited July 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 

What up!

It's an interesting read, particularly from a historical point of view. Like, I found out that the name "christie" comes from the town of "Christiania" in Norway.

I don't think I've made any judgements - I know I used that word.

One personal goal is to find out about the "Centerline Model". After all, if it is the same, as been claimed, then I wanted to practice it, because I've had so much success. But it's not and I won't.

Then I wanted to find out if HH's system has been taught before. I think visitors here have been given the impression that HH has stolen from the gang. I mean, I was even unsure. So I wanted to know if this was true. So far, with exception to the Javelin Turn, which HH has never claimed to invent, only modify, there's no similarities.

"Enclyopedia" is not meant to teach people how to ski, like the "Expert" series does. It's a reference and defintion point for gang members and leaders. That, is done really well and I'll tell you right now that I'd recommend it for gang members and leaders.

Since there isn't a gang book - "How to ski", well there kinda is, but everyone told me not to buy it (Alpine Manual?) this was my only choice to compare gang versus the cult.

More later...
post #6 of 54
Thread Starter 
Side note, not related to why I'm reviewing the book.

What this is starting to remind me of is "Newtons Telecom Dictionary", written by Harry Newton. Harry basically put Computer Telephony (CT) on the map. Harry's book (now website) is a "must have" for CT people.

But in order for "Encyclopedia" to be a "must have", and for it truly to be an encyclopedia, Bob needs to add a bunch of new definitions.

Like, under "D", readers should know about "Direct Parallel", same with "H", Harald Harb.
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 

I just saw your post. I'll add that I can see where your book would be a "must have". But your niche should be in definitions, not opinions. Do like Harry did. If you went this way, I think you'd have a "must have", if you don't already.

So now I'm totally confused. I'm just trying to figure out what the heck PSIA and TTS (I'll drop cult for now) is all about! Does anybody out there really know? Then, compare it to PMTS. The reason why I chose your book is because it's the only thing out there that appears to even come close to describing what TTS/PSIA is about! Members of this forum told me to read your book to find the answers to my questions.

Now I'm totally confused and ready to throw my hands in the air. If you're telling me that your book isn't a good representation of it all, THEN WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE FRIGGIN TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND A BOOK THAT DESCRIBES THIS WHOLE THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'll stop until I hear from you.
Pulling my hair out!!!!!!!!!!!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited July 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 54

The reason you are pulling your hair out is you are looking for something that is not there....A PSIA manual on the way to ski.

PSIA publishes material on how to teach skiing, a far more involved undertaking.

Look at the system as an entire thanksgiving dinner. It simply isn't edible by one person at a single sitting.

It takes years to ingest the entire system. To do so you have to become a student of it and start from the beginning. The intro
Then step one. Then step two. The how to ski part comes in chunks relative to professional knowledge outcomes for each step.

You are trying to eat the whole enchilada. Problem is it's not just one enchilada. It's all the enchiladas a restaurant may cook in an entire year.

Don't try. You are after something different.

Nonetheless. Here is a link. I can't get you directly into the article(s) I'm pointing you towards, but finding them once you're in is easy.

Click the link.
Then click "Articles"
then click "Alpine"
Then click "Efficient Body Movements in Skiing"

Then, if you want,
click "Inefficient Body Movements in Skiing"
Please read the intros as they state the purpose of the material. www.psia-nw.org

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 54
Roto, you describe exactly what SCSA's problem is: He wants to have an explicit description of how to do something for which there are literally hundreds of approaches. He embraces one such approach because that one is provided as an easily-described, single-focus pathway to the goal. He wants to compare that "system" to others to validate that system (apparently through denigration of the other approaches, probably because that's what the leader of his favored system does to promote his WAY). Of course, it the fault of all the other approaches that he can't find a succinct outline of their "systems". His WAY has such an outline. Why don't all the others?
post #10 of 54
SCSA...trouble with Roto's enchiladas? They are never made from a recipe. The chef simply cooks each individually to the tastes of his guest. It ain't written down. Each is designed by the chefs intuitive understanding of the guests needs, and tastes and the correct application of spices, methods and experience. Unsettling isn't it for a person of Taco Bell tastes?
post #11 of 54

You hit the nail on the head. Let's not forget how this whole diatribe started,"I learned via PMTS and in one year I'm better than 97% of the population." An ancillary argument then sprung up denouncing the wedge and PSIA.

SCSA wants to compare apples to oranges and determine the superiority of one fruit. What amazes me is the amount of time and energy that we have all spent supporting "our methodology" with one person who seems intent on simply criicizing.

I don't think SCSA wants to understand. I suggest he wants to garner enough information to say, "I'm right...all of you are wrong." Why do I say this? The guy's track record. He prides himself on being argumentative, coming in as he puts it, "guns a blazing."

SCSA- I still like you, however, I simply think you should give up your quest to make comparisons and determine superiority.
post #12 of 54
Hi Bob,

While I don't want to derail the main discussion, you posted a statement a while back (yesterday) that I'm not sure I understand--or agree with:

"Summary: There is only one good reason to unweight the skis. That is to make it easier to twist them and/or move them sideways."

I do not dispute your premise that a ski (or board) needs to be weighted to turn reliably. I don't agree with your conclusion.

What about air?I can think of plenty of situations--and good reasons--where unweighting in this manner is an appropriate move: gap jumping bumps, hucking cornices and tabletops, and ollie-ing SLOW signs are but a few that spring to mind.

Just kidding about the slow signs.

BTW, I have had the good fortune to experience another turn mechanism--but one not so reliable as pressure from the snow or gravity. And, come to think of it, the turn (or redirection) happened while I was unweighted:

This happened while skiing in gale force winds that would literally redirect you while airborne. Yes, you did have to redirect your board to stick the landing, but the primary turning force seemed to be to come from the air itself. Yowza!

But that was in New Hampshire, where the laws of physics are known to break down.

And it would only turn you one way.
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 

Okay, here we go.

You and I don't have to be pals - and I could really care less if you, or anyone else here likes me.

You all have always accused me being high on emotion and low on facts. So then, I try to gather facts, asking logical questions, and then you criticize me for doing just that. Un friggin believable!

It's obvious. You have no plan and no system. Why don't you do skiers out there a big favor and quit calling yourself teachers. You're not. Teachers have a plan and a methodology.

You guys are fine as long as people go along with whatever it is you're really about, which no one really seems to know! Or, as long as someone doesn't come along and ask a few questions. The minute someone like me comes along, you're more nervous than a crook at confession.

You'd have to improve just to be called unorganized.

So there.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 54
Thread Starter 
No Plan + No System = Nothing to teach
post #15 of 54

First of all I do like you.

I also think you are high on emotion and low on facts. I applaud you for gathering facts. I simply suggest you are gathering facts in order to laud PMTS and deprecate any other teaching methodology.

How do you know whether I have a plan or a system?

Have you ever taken a lesson from me? Have you ever seen me teach? Have you ever talked to any of my students? I suggest what you are saying is foolish. I am merely a level I instructor with one years experience. IMHO, PSIA has done a tremendous job of equiping me to teach skiers. Again, how in the world can you talk about my plan or my system? Have you ever taken a lesson from any PSIA certified instructor? I think these are important questions.

I think I understand what you are trying to say.In your opinion PMTS provides a system and a plan for teaching You see PSIA and ATM/Centerline as being less defined. I would suggest to you that your difficulty with my plan or my system is a lack of exposure on your part.

Please don't take such a contentious stand and I do hope we can always, as you put it, "be pals" because I'm all about relationships.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Rusty Guy (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #16 of 54


I have read
enough of PMTS to know what HH calls an expert. An expert according to HHSSPM is someone who
can properly initiate a scarved turn on groomed snow. Thats just about book definition of a level 6-7 or
advanced intermediate.
Declaring PSIA as irrelavent does not make it so.



Great post! You make me want to fly to Ohio and see you guys in action on a busy weekend.

When you posted and used the word "scarved" I harkened back to seeing SCSA ski and my movement analysis. SCSA, you do the deed with your boots locked together and I think my main criticism was a lack of extension and rather static flexion. In other words, a lot of leverage and a stance that veritably prohibits carving.

I recently saw a copy of a text written by HH. I think it is his most recent. The thing that stood out was his stance. I did not see any picture with him skiing with his boots locked together. I was somewhat amazed.

So, having said this I ask three questions. SCSA, why do you ski with such a narrow stance and do you think this is prescribed by PMTS? The only true experts may well be world class racers, and can you name one world class racer skiing with his boots locked together? Do others agree that HH skis in a fairly narrow yet certainly not boots locked together stance?
post #17 of 54
Nonetheless. Here is a link. I can't get you directly into the article(s) I'm pointing you towards, but finding them once you're in is easy.
Click the link.
Then click "Articles"
then click "Alpine"
Then click "Efficient Body Movements in Skiing"
Then, if you want,
click "Inefficient Body Movements in Skiing"
Please read the intros as they state the purpose of the material. www.psia-nw.org

check it out
post #18 of 54
Thread Starter 

You're right. When we skied on May 15, my flexion was terrible. I fixed that. Now, I get lots of flex and I flex as part of my movements to start the next turn. My skiing has really improved since we skied together.

On my stance. Maybe that also has widened up some, but not much. I aim for a narrow stance - that's the specification.

I now also practice visualization technique. This has helped to know exactly the movements I'm after.
post #19 of 54
Thread Starter 

I went to the site and read through some articles, including "Efficient Body Movements in Skiing".

That article is just bullet points. Nothing that would help me or anyone else understand what the precise movements are.

I've looked at everything you all have given me. I've seen nothing that's precise, or that tells a skier what the exact movements are. That's because you all say there aren't any - exact movements to describe.

Is that true?
post #20 of 54
Bob, your last post illustrates the problem. If someone who has skied as much and has researched as much as SCSA does not know the right questions to ask, how can you expect a novice skier to know? And if a student asks for something different than what you percieve to be best for him, you have said that you will try to get the student to learn what YOU want to teach him. Take for example the ever popular "I want to learn moguls" request. You have said that if the student lacks fundamental skills, you will try to change the focus of the lesson. So it really ISN'T student centered, is it? And if it isn't, why not have a rigid progression that can be used by both novice and experienced instructors effectively, and that is easy for a student to know where they fit in?
post #21 of 54
Thread Starter 
It's taken months, but I've uncovered the real truth.

The real truth is that Harald didn't steal a thing. His system is exactly that - his, 110%

And, there is no system to traditional ski instruction except wedge turns. No system, no documentation, nothing! This flies in the face of education and learning, yet they all say it's ok. What a bunch of crap!

For hundreds of years, people have gone to school. There's not a 1000 teachers in each class - there's only one. And, there's not a 1000 ways to teach English, there's one way. Why? Because that's how people learn.

For hundreds of years, athletes have had coaching. There's not 5 head coaches of the Broncos, there's only 1. Greg Lemond has probably had a few different coaches, but only 1 at a time. What. Do you think an athlete could learn if they had two coaches, both saying different things? Of course not. Same thing in school. Could anyone learn if each class had two different teachers, each saying two different things? Could teams win without a game plan, or a strategy? No way.

But, in ski instruction, it's different. It's ok not to have a plan and it's ok to have a 1000 different opinions, and options as to how to ski. At least that's what gang members and leaders think. It's bs, nothing but bs. They ought to be ashamed of themselves and go apologize to every skier who's ever taken a lesson from them.

God bless Harald. I can see why he abhores these people and the culture they represent.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #22 of 54

Please don't take this the wrong way. You have demonstrated how little you have been able to learn about the language employed by ATM/ATS and PSIA. Flexion is in essence the opposite of extension and I was suggesting you had TOO MUCH flexion. In essence your ankles,knees, and hips were too "folded up" during the course of your skiing and that pressure/edging during the "control phase" of your turns caused too much leverage/skidding/scarving. So, increased flexion is NOT something I was advocating. If you came to me I would simply try to straighten you up, increase the extension that you utilize in your turns and work on exercises to open angles,ankles/knees/hips during your turns as opposed to closing those angles. You tip well with your inside foot, although IMHO you cannot tip really well until you adopt a different stance.

So, I guess I would argue I do have a plan and I do have a system.PSIA gave me those tools. I would also go so far as to say you do not understand the ATM if you are suggesting it is desirable to utilize flexion to initiate a turn.It is a blend of tipping and extension.

Lastly, I think this lowly level I PSIA cert could improve your ski technique. What in the world could a level II or level III cert with ten or fifteen years of experience do for you? Think what Pierre, or Bob, or Ott or any of the myriad of others could add to your life.
post #23 of 54
Thread Starter 

C'mon! When you go to English class, the teacher doesn't sit down with Johnny and say, "Well Johnny, what would you like to learn?".

The teacher hands Johnny a book and says, "This is what you're going to learn Johnny, and if you don't learn, you'll fail the class!"

Where's the partnership? This is what I mean. You all have your own way that you call teaching, but really isn't, because if it was, you'd teach just like they do in English class.

"Joe skier. Here's a book that we're going to use in our lessons. When you get home, you can also watch a video. In the book and video are lessons, and tests.

I just watched you ski. Here's what you need to do - what we're going to practice is on page 23".

That's Harald's system, and how he teaches. And that's why he's having the success he is.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #24 of 54


There's not a 1000 teachers in each class -
there's only one. And, there's not a 1000 ways to teach English, there's one way



I think an English teacher would suggest you say you might want to take a look at your verb conjugation. If my memory serves me correctly, you stated very proudly that you completed your formal education at the end of the ninth grade. Now your telling us about education principles?

In fact there are thousands of ways to teach English and any university professor would not want to be told how to teach in any other manner. I was an English major at Duke.

Now you're an expert on education AND football? I'm good friends with Dick Lebeau who is the Bengals coach. I'm fairly certain he would agree there is a fairly wide varyance in styles and methodologies among NFL coaches. That may well be why there are winners and losers.

I suggested earlier today you were seeking evidence to denounce or depricate PSIA certified instructors. Based upon your last post I submit my case.
post #25 of 54
Thread Starter 

You seem to be a nice guy. And you have the ability to help people. Go learn Harb's system - then go teach it to skiers. Be a hero, not a clone.

Until then, you're right. I don't agree with you, or your culture. And I'll continue to speak out against it.
post #26 of 54

John Dewey was a famous educator. In the early to mid twentieth century he began to think and write about the manner in which schools teach children. He came up with the term "reflective thinking".

In 1933 Dewey defined "reflective thinking" as follows;

"Active persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and further conclusions to which it tends."

So, perhaps we are all involved in an exercise of "reflective thinking" as we sit here on a July night typing about skiing.

How does Dewey's idea fit in with yours about teachers sticking a text in front of a student and cramming information down their throats.

You have now entered my Bailywick. My little consulting business involves raising capital campaign monies for independent schools. I'm in the process of helping a Colorado school raise 10 million dollars. There are a variety of scientists in Boulder lined up to give the bulk of this money. I assure you these fine men are not contributing to a school that teaches in the manner you describe. They want reflective thinkers, hence, my familiarity with the tenets of Dewey.
post #27 of 54
Thats why I came to ski with you. To learn about PMTS, to expand my horizons. I run four days a week with a woman who is a PSIA cert and a green level via PMTS. I more than likely will go take a PMTS course, however, it won't make me a hero and I won't abandon those things I have learned or will learn from PSIA.

Why must it be one versus the other. Will you seek PSIA certification? As I stated, I'm anxious to learn all I can. My friend has suggested she learned a great deal about teaching from the folks at PMTS and this woman has a strong academic background both as an undergraduate and at the graduate school level.

It's not one or the other. You are making it the Hatfields and McCoys, and as I stated before, this may well be the reason your relationship with HH soured.

You aren't exactly "poster boy" material.
post #28 of 54
Thread Starter 

Are you really a smart guy? Are you really going to tell me that getting a lesson from you is better than a PMTS instructor?

With PMTS, I get; books, videos, lessons, practices, tests, study guides.

What do I get with your lesson? Do I get a book to take home that covers exactly what you taught me? No. A video? No. Study guides, practices, tests? No.

Maybe I get your card with a bunch of links scribbled on the back of it - that's if you can remember the links and if I can read your writing.

But these links aren't really what you taught me today. They're just vague desciptions that confuse me.

That's the reality of ski instruction, Rusty. Face it, it's terrible and it's the worst product you can buy at a ski area. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #29 of 54
Thread Starter 
And I'll tell you something else.

I may not be a poster child and you can say all you want about me, but at least I'm speaking out against the machine.

And HH and I get along just fine. We argue, just like you and I do.
post #30 of 54
Only you can judge whether my lesson is better. I cannot argue the support offered by PMTS is fantastic. That is a very valid point.

I have to ask the question and I'm not trying to paint you into a corner. What are the costs associated with the entry level PMTS coursework? How much are you paying for that video? Did every person who took a lesson at
Sol Vista last year get that level of support? I get plenty of "documentation from PSIA at every clinic I attend. What is the difference? I don't give videos to my students and I doubt any PMTS green level does either.
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