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Those turns...illustrated - Page 3

post #61 of 141
BB
The information is easier for me to follow in your third choice. Nice work, when do you expect to release the new book?
post #62 of 141
Barnes,

Are the illustrations meant to define wedge turns and such, as part of the history of skiing?

Or, are the illustrations meant to support some thought that the wedge is still useful to teach skiers?

If it's the latter, there's no doubt in my mind. The industry needs to perform some tests. Test cases of real skiers, being taught to ski. Fat ones, skinny ones, black ones, white ones, whatever.

Real skiers. One group taught to ski the, I guess, PSIA way. The other, taught to ski using direct parallel.

The direct parallel camps need to step up and back up all this "no wedge turns" stuff. The PSIA needs to prove that wedge turns still matter.

It's time.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Cheers,

[ July 07, 2002, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #63 of 141
Bob, very nice work. I also have to give #3 my vote. Would you be so kind as to post when the book is available? I tried to get the last edition some time ago, but it was no longer available.

Cheers,

Pete
post #64 of 141
SCSA,

We all know your position on this matter. You were urged to get certified and to teach. You took the first steps and abandonned the process because you said it hurt your back to stand around in a PMTS class.

You have been skiing for two years. You have no teaching experience. Direct parallel works very well for some people. I have students that I have gone to a direct parallel scheme.

There are situations where the wedge is needed as a teaching tool.

Here is what you fail to comprehend. The movements in the wedge/wedge christie/open parallel are all the same. You either refuse to listen to this, fail to understand the movements, or refuse to accept this concept.

You have screamed for two years about the wedge. You have no experience teaching and two years experience on skis. Compare your knowledge to the folks here who have been teaching for decades.

I simply wanted to make sure the record is straight!
post #65 of 141
Rusty,

I can't argue with the facts.

But I'm not arguing or looking to take this fine thread sideways. Just thinking out loud, that it sure would be nice to compare teaching systems.

You sound like you don't think doing test cases would prove anything. Fair enough.

Cheers,
post #66 of 141
Rusty,

Seems to me that good teaching can utilize (or overcome!) just about any teaching system. If given adequate time a good instructor can guide someone to a reasonable level of proficiency with a variety of approaches.

In general, however, I think most knowledgeable people find that there are a great number of terminal intermediates who regularly rely on a wedge and other "lower level" movements. I think that it is very natural to postulate as to whether their having been taught a wedge somehow early on in their skiing (either a braking wedge or even a gliding wedge) has contributed to this situation. On the other hand, one could ask whether there is a better approach that would lead a skier with the same (most likely limited) instructional time to a higher level of skiing.

So, let's start addressing the question of what is the most effective way, with limited instructional time or even just a self-help approach to help lower lever and terminal intermediate skiers to improve, overcome the barriers they face, limit the barriers they will face in the future, and better enjoy the sport. I am more than willing to entertain the argument that a proper taught gliding wedge can be an important component of a solution. However, a good instructor telling me they use it all the time doesn't necessarily satisfy the question.

My own observations and experience suggest that there are some methods that are much more effective than others in such a situation of "limited" intervention as well as situations for more consistent intructional time. I have also talked to many skiers who have tried standard lessons and other typical approahes without success yet have found what they consider to be dramatic improvement from "alternative" approaches. The number of people I have met who felt like thay had a good "standard" lesson that helped them improve seem to be much fewer and far between.

One of the reasons I hang out here is that I am interested to hear about the experiences and opinions of intsructors who have so much experience to share. So please don't take this in any way as being close minded on the subject.
post #67 of 141
I like the 3rd sequence best although they all work. .
post #68 of 141
Can someone explain what the big deal is about Stem Chisties, and why they are so evil? I don't consider myself a beginner, yet I'd be the first to admit I do them from time to time. First turn in a tight chute is one situation that comes to mind. To me it's just another tool in the bag of tricks, or is this just another reason why I'm a long way off being an expert?

An instructor one time went to great length to explain how the great racers, both past and present, may go out and spend a whole session in the wedge position. It all makes sense when you consider why.

Cheers,

Pete
post #69 of 141
Pete,

A stem christie is a great move to have in your bag of tricks. The reason it has gone out of favor is that whether an up stem or down stem is used it is a defensive or negative move (movement away from the intended direction of travel). In a down stem the downhill leg is used to initially block your momentum before committing to the new (other) outside ski. In an upstem the tail of the uphill ski is brushed away from the new turn creating a direction change uphill before the ski is pressured. The inside is then retrieved by bringing its tail to match as opposed to a tips in movement by both skis.

Each of these moves does have a place in modern skiing as long as they are recognized for what they are and used at the appropriate time.
post #70 of 141
Also, please be aware that a stem christie and a wedge christie are two completely different movements/turns. As described above, a stem christie begins with either the uphill or downhill ski. In a wedge christie both skis are swept apart at the same time and then simultaneously both ski tips are moved towards the intended direction of travel to change direction.
post #71 of 141
Bob and others,

I know that you have repeatedly stated that the "mechanics" of a prperly executed wedge turn, stem christie, and open parallel are the same. First, I don't think mechanics is the issue here but rather dynamics. While a skier may demonstrate the ability to control the edge angle of the ski or steering through "proper" body mechanics, that is only one part of the story. What the skier perceives, however, is another critical part of the picture.

Many inhibitors to proficient skiing arise from a fear of falling and speed. Having the center of mass and the balance point safely tucked between two big toe edges creates a home base of security. As many here have pointed out, they think that this is necessary for many people to get started. I don't think this is necessarily true in the majority of cases. By teaching a wedge early on I think you are often teaching a fall-back position early on (getting on a big toe edge to prevent the possibility of a downhill fall) that will be relied on much too frequently and inhibit progression. It is only natural. Additionally, I would add, that my observations and experiences in skiing have supported this hypothesis in a very consistent fashion.

Bottom line is that contrary to your supposition I don't see these three sequences as being similar at all.
post #72 of 141
Thread Starter 
Hi Si--

At some point it becomes a simple question of understanding--you either do, or you don't. But I will throw one more thought at you, if it helps.

You mentioned "dynamics," which in physics refers to the branch of mechanics dealing with bodies in motion and the forces involved. "Dynamic" is a word we've tossed around quite casually here, and SCSA asked a reasonable question earlier--"what is a DYNAMIC parallel turn anyway?" We use "dynamic" to describe balance in ski turns, but to be accurate, if balance means an "equilibrium of forces"--in other words, the sum of the forces is zero, then turns do NOT involve dynamic balance--EVER.

To answer your question, SCSA, "dynamic" in the sense of "dynamic turns" simply suggests that there are substantial forces involved, due to higher speeds, steeper slopes, tighter turns, and so on, and that these greater forces both require greater activity on the skier's part--more edge angle, greater inclination into the turn--and provide the opportunity to USE those forces to bend the skis more and carve more cleanly.

In that sense, Si, let's look at those wedge and wedge christie turns again. In any turn, the CM takes a shorter path than the skis, crossing over and moving toward the inside of the turn, as indicated by the red and blue lines of my illustrations. At high speeds, the CM is well to the inside, allowing the outside ski to form substantial edge angles and to shape or carve the turn easily.

At very low speeds ("low dynamics"), though, those two lines aren't very far apart. A narrow or one-footed stance places the CM directly over the feet/foot. An open stance--whether parallel or wedge--allows the CM to be to the inside of the outside ski even if the lines are together--even if the skier is standing still. The necessary cross-over move (to the inside of the outside ski) and the edge angle required to make a clean turn can ONLY take place in an open stance if the speeds are low!

I've described this relationship many times, yet apparently I've failed to get the point across, Si. The relationship between the CM and the outside ski that shows clearly in the wedge turn and wedge christie diagrams simply cannot happen with a narrow or 1-footed parallel stance! You are absolutely right--it's a question of DYNAMICS--the forces required to allow the skier to incline into the turn just don't exist at low speeds. And there's nothing the skier can do to alter that, given a particular speed and turn shape.

So your skier, in what I would still consider to be an ill-advised effort to avoid a secure, stable stance in the first place (why?), CANNOT MAKE A QUALITY TURN with the movements you suggest! With that outside ski directly beneath his CM, he can't turn. If he just moves his CM to the inside, he will fall over. He has only two options for turning: one is to make a very gradual turn, relying on gravity to pull him down the hill (fine, if that's the path you want to take, but since you aren't in control of that path, you aren't making the "perfect turn" that all this discussion springs from). The other is to twist the ski sideways into a gross, flat skid.

Now THOSE are different "turns" than the ones I've illustrated indeed!

Yes, it's a question of dynamics--over which the skier has no control. The forces involved in a turn are directly related to the speed and turn radius, as well as the mass of the skier. You can't change your mass much in a turn, and if the speed and radius are given, then there is NOTHING you can do to control the dynamics! You just can't "lean" into a turn if the forces don't allow it--you'll fall.

So in summary, the only way to create the necessary movements of good turns, without the forces that occur in more "dynamic" turns, is to use an open stance. Beyond the above, the open stance alone allows appropriate steering movements--a closed or one footed stance requires either NO steering, or twisting movements originating in the upper body, both of which are, again, DIFFERENT than the turns in my illustrations.

Note (again) that I am referring to OPEN STANCE, not necessarily WEDGE. As I've reminded you, even if your argument was valid, it is an argument against the open stance, not the wedge.

Given the mechanics (dynamics, if you prefer), that I've described, including the requirement of the open (which does not necessarily mean "wide") stance, and the steering activity of both legs independently, the simple truth is that THE WEDGE HAPPENS. I'm getting a little tired of repeating this. It is not a preference, an option, a directive, or an instruction--it's simply a fact! It is demonstrated every single winter day, by thousands of skiers, yourself, myself, Harald's self, and Hermann Maier's self included!

You just can't pick up that inside ski in my diagrams and either hold it up or move it next to the other ski without needing to adjust everything else in order to keep the skier in balance. It can't be done! It's a question of dynamics.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #73 of 141
I could swear that I see plenty of skiers wedging around where the dynamics would easily support parallel turns.
post #74 of 141
Thread Starter 
True enough, Miles--of course. There are lots of mistakes that we see out there, eh? But even here, the fault lies not in the wedge itself--if it is a fault at all (some of those wedges we see happen in World Cup races!).

The wedge can be misused and mistaught--I've certainly never denied that. Some skiers are naturally timid and prone to defensive "brake-riding" techniques. A chronic wedge may be the outcome of this defensive state. But a braking parallel technique is just as likely--as probably 99% of real skiers show! Defensiveness--like any intent--will rule technique. It may or may not reveal itself as a braking wedge, but eliminating the braking wedge is highly unlikely to eliminate the defensiveness!

If someone uses a wedge or an open stance because he's feeling frightened or unstable, "forcing" him to take the brakes off (on the same terrain) or to narrow the stance is likely to INCREASE the anxiety--not make it go away!

The solution to all this is to make sure new skiers experience the joy of fear-free gliding, whether they do it in a wedge or a parallel stance, or both. Taking the brakes off requires confidence and a degree of comfort. In an uncomfortable scenario, removing the defenses only increases the anxiety!

I know that some could argue that removing the defenses might allow the skier to discover the effectiveness and control of OFFENSIVE movements. I agree. But it isn't very likely to succeed unless the skier actually ENJOYS the sensation of gliding--unless the environment feels "safe" in the first place.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #75 of 141
Thread Starter 
Just a couple points, SCSA, which we have discussed before...

First, testing is, of course, the right thing to do! But remember--every single lesson an instructor teaches is unique, and every one is an experiment, a "test." Some lessons work out great; others don't. All good instructors learn every time they teach a lesson.

At the same time, the differences between one lesson and the next run far deeper than just the exercise lines used. Indeed, that is probably the LEAST significant factor in most lessons! What is important is the delivery, the pacing, the teaching styles, the environment, the moods and relationship of the student and the instructor, the accuracy of the identification of the student's needs in the first place, the type, timing, and accuracy of feedback given, and so on. As far as technique goes, what is important is the mechanics, not whether the student used a little wedge.

Second (a point that you may never be willing to accept, but one of utmost importance to this discussion)--these diagrams are NOT expressions of what OUGHT TO BE. They are illustrations of what IS. They represent stages of development that skiers DO go through, regardless of how they are taught.

Yes, they do represent certain consistent movement patterns that are essential to modern PARALLEL high-performance turns, at these typical stages of development that HAPPEN. They represent "good" mechanics at the wedge christie level, for example. Well-taught skiers will look fundamentally like these diagrams at these levels. Poorly taught skiers will still pass through these developmental stages, but they will show fundamentally different mechanics and tactics. Both their wedges, and their parallels, will show the same fundamental characteristics that are different from what the illustrations show.

There are low-level skiers who make all the right moves, but ski very slowly and perhaps timidly, with minimal skill development. These skiers will tend to demonstrate a wedge as they enter the turn, simply because it is very difficult (not to mention unnecessary) to make an accurate parallel turn at very low speeds. (Note that it is NOT difficult to make a POOR parallel turn--as we have also discussed.) This reiterates the point I made in another thread--where I described a clinic with some very fine, highly skilled instructors, including one PMTS-certified, who, told to make PARALLEL turns at very low speed, made "perfect" wedge christies! These were expert instructors, trying NOT to make wedges, and they did anyway. This was a "test" that perfectly demonstrates my point that THE WEDGE HAPPENS! It's an experiment I've repeated many, many times.

Like I said, it is not that the Wedge Christie SHOULD happen, but that, since it DOES happen, we should recognize when it is done right, or not. And, of course, the same is true of parallel turns. If a skier shows the right mechanics without a wedge, great! That means he/she has passed beyond the wedge turn/wedge christie level. (And yes, this can happen quickly, even "immediately" with the right student, equipment, motivation, and environment.) If the skier shows the WRONG mechanics, regardless of wedge or parallel, the MECHANICS--not the wedge or parallel--should be addressed.

What is important to see in these illustrations is that THEY ARE ALL EXACTLY THE SAME (wedge turn, wedge christie, basic parallel, dynamic parallel). Speeds and skill level increase, but the fundamental mechanics are identical. If you find something objectionable in the wedge or wedge christie diagrams (and you well might), you will find the same problem in the basic and dynamic parallel diagrams (this assumes that I have drawn them all accurately). Objecting to one without objecting to the others, though, would involve a misunderstanding at a fundamental level.

So study them. If you find inaccuracies, let me know--I'll fix them. When you can see that these diagrams are all the SAME, then you will know that you are starting to comprehend the basics of skiing! If you find something fundamental to object to, fine--let's discuss it--but it will apply to all four skill levels, wedge and parallel! Observing that some show wedges while others don't is no more relevant than the colors of their clothing, or whether the edge diagram is on the side or the bottom. Look deeper--the truth lies beyond the surface. Look at the movements! Keep at it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #76 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
I could swear that I see plenty of skiers wedging around where the dynamics would easily support parallel turns.
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:
The solution to all this is to make sure new skiers experience the joy of fear-free gliding, whether they do it in a wedge or a parallel stance, or both. Taking the brakes off requires confidence and a degree of comfort. In an uncomfortable scenario, removing the defenses only increases the anxiety!

I know that some could argue that removing the defenses might allow the skier to discover the effectiveness and control of OFFENSIVE movements. I agree. But it isn't very likely to succeed unless the skier actually ENJOYS the sensation of gliding--unless the environment feels "safe" in the first place.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:
Hi Si--

At some point it becomes a simple question of understanding--you either do, or you don't. But I will throw one more thought at you, if it helps.

....

So your skier, in what I would still consider to be an ill-advised effort to avoid a secure, stable stance in the first place (why?), CANNOT MAKE A QUALITY TURN with the movements you suggest! With that outside ski directly beneath his CM, he can't turn. If he just moves his CM to the inside, he will fall over. He has only two options for turning: one is to make a very gradual turn, relying on gravity to pull him down the hill (fine, if that's the path you want to take, but since you aren't in control of that path, you aren't making the "perfect turn" that all this discussion springs from). The other is to twist the ski sideways into a gross, flat skid.

Now THOSE are different "turns" than the ones I've illustrated indeed!

So in summary, the only way to create the necessary movements of good turns, without the forces that occur in more "dynamic" turns, is to use an open stance. Beyond the above, the open stance alone allows appropriate steering movements--a closed or one footed stance requires either NO steering, or twisting movements originating in the upper body, both of which are, again, DIFFERENT than the turns in my illustrations.

Given the mechanics (dynamics, if you prefer), that I've described, including the requirement of the open (which does not necessarily mean "wide") stance, and the steering activity of both legs independently, the simple truth is that THE WEDGE HAPPENS. I'm getting a little tired of repeating this. It is not a preference, an option, a directive, or an instruction--it's simply a fact! It is demonstrated every single winter day, by thousands of skiers, yourself, myself, Harald's self, and Hermann Maier's self included!

You just can't pick up that inside ski in my diagrams and either hold it up or move it next to the other ski without needing to adjust everything else in order to keep the skier in balance. It can't be done! It's a question of dynamics.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
OK, there's a lot to respond to here but I'm gonna do my best to be brief and concise.

1) Bob, I am pretty sure I understand what you are trying to say. Because I don't agree with your supposition does not mean I don't fully understand it. You don't have to continue to repeat it. What I think you are missing is that there are other considerations (specifically perceptual issues) that you do not integrate into your model and descriptions. Perhaps I think these are of greater importance than you do. As I have said (repeating myself here) my experiences strongly support the important role they play in "terminal ski development paths."

2) Miles, I am right with you. I think your succinct point is the reason why it is at least worth exploring possible alternatives.

3) Bob, I don't think I am (at least yet) trying to advocate for closed vs. open, wedge vs. parallel, or anything else. I am just trying to reach some common ground on the influence of mechanics, dynamics, AND perceptions on a skiers progression. I think you say it wonderfully in the first quote I have from you above. I can definitely agree with you here. In the next quote I think you dismiss one approach to achieving "fear free gliding" that I think can have a large role to play:

"He has only two options for turning: one is to make a very gradual turn, relying on gravity to pull him down the hill (fine, if that's the path you want to take, but since you aren't in control of that path, you aren't making the "perfect turn" that all this discussion springs from)."

I think this can actually be a tremendously important part of the path to the "perfect turn." I have seen such an experience create immediate and dramatic change in persons skiing on numerous occasions. From my limited experience this is more true in kids than adults. I can get both to exprience this situation. The adult says wow, now I understand what the skis can do but often goes back to their "security blanket" of big toe edging with a wedge, stem turn, etc. The kids more often take off once they've experienced this and fequently never look back.

Didn't get to completely finish but I've gotta run. Hope this makes some sense.
post #77 of 141
So I guess what Barnes is saying is that he's claiming that skiers naturally use wedge like movements, on their way to parallel skiing. That wedge like movements are natural, so take advantage of those natural movements to help skiers get to parallel skiing.

I'll buy it, if it's really true that wedge like movements are what skiers do naturally, on the way to parallel skiing.

The question is, are wedge like movements really natural? Then, where is the evidence to support the claim?

Yes, Barnes has done a great job putting together the montages. But, let's not forget. Those aren't pictures of learning skiers. Those are pictures of professional skiers, given a certain set of movements to demonstrate. It'd be like me, giving my programmers tasks and then saying, "See! This is what my customers do."

So right now, I think there's no proof that wedge movements are natural. Yes, there's diagrams that seem to support the claim, but those diagrams are just one persons idea of how it is.

If this industry is really serious about grooming skiers, then we need to see real skiers and follow them along. We need to see lots of skiers before any qualified thought can take place.

The direct parallel camps and PSIA need to step up and prove their programs. Not to forums, early adopters, or peers. But to the entire professional skiing community. No plug here, but at least my buddy HH is presenting his findings to the International Congress of Skiing.

This skiing business, I've never seen anything like it. Never in my life have I seen so big an industry literally run by the opinions of a few insiders.

Edit:
I removed the general statement that ski instruction is so bad. Clearly, it's not. Like, if a student landed any one of the pros that hang out here, I think they'd get a whale of a lesson.

Cheers,

[ July 08, 2002, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #78 of 141
SCSA,

I have to compliment you on the manner you have reacted to all this. It's fun to have a discussion without anger.

I should I guess it is my contention that any teacher must make a determination as to what will work best for their student. PSIA is promoting "direct parallel" in their most recent curriculum as one potential "stepping stone".

I will say it again. There are students who do best when operating initially from a wedge.

Lastly, the mechanics of a wedge turn as well as the movements are, as stated by a variety of folks, no different than for a "parallel" turn.

It is eversion. Left tip left or right tip right.
post #79 of 141
[quote]Originally posted by Si:

Si, A few requests:

Bob and others,

What the skier perceives, however, is another critical part of the picture.


Would you please elaborate on "perception" in the skiing context?

Additionally, I would add, that my observations and experiences in skiing have supported this hypothesis in a very consistent fashion.

Would you be so kind as to give us summary of your ski instruction background ?

Bottom line is that contrary to your supposition I don't see these three sequences as being similar at all.

What specific mechanical differences do you see?
post #80 of 141
[quote]Originally posted by Ski&Golf:
[quote]Originally posted by Si:
Si, A few requests:

Si: What the skier perceives, however, is another critical part of the picture.

S&G: Would you please elaborate on "perception" in the skiing context?

Si's Response: In the literal sense perception would refer to the way in which one integrates, processes, and recognizes the combination of all sensory input available to them. In this instance I am especially interested in the issues surrounding a novice or intermediate skier's perceptions of moving down hill, the consequences they can evoke (i.e. fear of falling), and the natural ("reflexive") response to prevent a fall by leaning into the hill, getting a ski on edge to resist the fall (braking), etc.

Si: Additionally, I would add, that my observations and experiences in skiing have supported this hypothesis in a very consistent fashion.

S&G: Would you be so kind as to give us summary of your ski instruction background ?

Si's Response: I'm a nobody in terms of skiing. As I have stated on numerous occasions I have no formal teaching experience (I guess I wrongly assume that people have seen and remember previous comments by me to this end). My teachnig experience is limited to friends and family. However, I have participated in a few different ski and instructor camps and always closely observe and learn from other skiers in these types of environments. I am a somewhat advanced skier with a biomedical background as well as a personal (not professional) interest in motor learning. Perhaps the only thing you could (or could not) consider a credential of some sort in my case is that I have recently had an article accepted for publication in The Professional Skier which deals with the topic of "percetual barriers to ski learning."

Si: Bottom line is that contrary to your supposition I don't see these three sequences as being similar at all.

S&G: What specific mechanical differences do you see?

Si's Response: I guess, as I've stated before, I don't think this is necessarily the only critical question here. There is no doubt similarity in the body mechanics used to set the skis on edge and (if your so inclined to use the term) steer them. The consideration that is lacking here is the perceptions of the skiers in these three situations. In the first the skier is consistently protected from a fall or excess speed by being on opposing edges with converging skis. In the second the level of "protection" is reduced but still relied upon in critical portions of the turn (when committing down the fall line). In the third, these protections are for the most part absent.

It is my contention (not fact - an opinion!) that skiers may readily fall back on this type of "protection" if it is an integral part of the teaching progression. My limited experience in working with people and additionally my observation of skiers in all sorts of environments (lots of opportunity for that) is that this happens all the time. That does not mean a good instructor can't use these methods in a teaching progression and move beyond them, only that their general use by a wide variety of instuctors in diverse settings with different length and intensity of student contact is worth examining in terms of their detrimental as well as useful outcomes.


[ July 08, 2002, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: Si ]
post #81 of 141
This is turning into an interesting discussion.

I liked what Bob said:

Quote:
At the same time, the differences between one lesson and the next run far deeper than just the exercise lines used. Indeed, that is probably the LEAST significant factor in most lessons! What is important is the delivery, the pacing, the teaching styles, the environment, the moods and relationship of the student and the instructor, the accuracy of the identification of the student's needs in the first place, the type, timing, and accuracy of feedback given, and so on. As far as technique goes, what is important is the mechanics, not whether the student used a little wedge.
But you know, I also see what Si is saying:

Quote:
I am especially interested in the issues surrounding a novice or intermediate skier's perceptions of moving down hill, the consequences they can evoke (i.e. fear of falling), and the natural ("reflexive") response to prevent a fall by leaning into the hill, getting a ski on edge to resist the fall (braking), etc.
The wedge vs. parallel debate is a question of trust, that is, how much does the student trust in his/her ability to "do sports"? If you perceive yourself as "unathletic and uncoordinated" you will invent the wedge all by yourself. Anyone who has descended a steep hill on foot has wedged a foot along the way. The thing about movements is they really don't have to be taught (unless you're learning the hula or something) but "called forth." They're already in the repertory.

Unconfident students can gain confidence IN THEMSELVES from a wedge. Mike Porter told me that at his ski areas in Europe they are using tubes that turn to introduce the concept to people as a pre-skiing activity. The wedge isn't a way to ski, it's a way to introduce turn mechanics to a novice. SCSA and Si, sometimes you gotta lower the difficulty of the task. The student will: why do you think snowshoeing and cross country skiing is on a growth curve while skiing is not?

Why do you suppose we have such a high dropout rate after the first lesson? We ASSUME it's poor instruction, but has anyone bothered to find out?

I do know of one tightly controlled survey of beignner students that was done from the rental shop records last season at a major resort. A major finding was that beginners were surprised at how difficult skiing is.

I think poor instructional method is probably partially to blame, and to blame for that is probably the minimal experience and knowledge on the part of beginner teachers. A good teacher can break it down and dial it up. PSIA's Stepping Stones is a catalog of many (but never all) the possible steps in a student's progression from beginner to expert skier. Only a ski instructor needs to master all of the steps or to ever see it as a "grand linear progression." Students should skip around as the opportunity arises. PSIA has finally got something for instructors to play with instead of to execute like steps in a task analysis.

The big question: will instructors "get" it, or will the interpreters try to squeeze Stepping Stones into Final Forms and cause it to suffer the fate of the Centerline--misunderstood, vilified, its potential forever unrealized?
post #82 of 141
I dont know if I'm the only one that read it this way, but it seemed to me that Bob was saying that in certain circumstances any skier will wedge. Regardless of his ability level, and even if he is trying not to. Its just another move and nothing to be afraid of.
post #83 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
This is turning into an interesting discussion.

....

The wedge vs. parallel debate is a question of trust, that is, how much does the student trust in his/her ability to "do sports"? If you perceive yourself as "unathletic and uncoordinated" you will invent the wedge all by yourself. Anyone who has descended a steep hill on foot has wedged a foot along the way. The thing about movements is they really don't have to be taught (unless you're learning the hula or something) but "called forth." They're already in the repertory.

Unconfident students can gain confidence IN THEMSELVES from a wedge. Mike Porter told me that at his ski areas in Europe they are using tubes that turn to introduce the concept to people as a pre-skiing activity. The wedge isn't a way to ski, it's a way to introduce turn mechanics to a novice. SCSA and Si, sometimes you gotta lower the difficulty of the task. The student will: why do you think snowshoeing and cross country skiing is on a growth curve while skiing is not?

Why do you suppose we have such a high dropout rate after the first lesson? We ASSUME it's poor instruction, but has anyone bothered to find out?

I do know of one tightly controlled survey of beignner students that was done from the rental shop records last season at a major resort. A major finding was that beginners were surprised at how difficult skiing is.

...

[/quote]

Nice contribution Nolo. Let me make clear that I personally think that there are people for whom a wedge is the right way to introduce skiing. I would postulate, however, that in the best case with reasonable equipment, alignment, terrain, and instruction, a non-wedge approach has some advantage as I've discussed.

You've talked about beginners finding skiing difficult but I hope you'll agree that it doesn't have to be that way. With best practices I think (again a postulation not fact) that most can find good comfort with a non-wedge approach. It's not just a wedge but any of the many movements that are inefficient and not generally a part of proficient skiing that I think we might want to try and avoid.

Let me give two examples from my own experience to help illustrate my point:

There were two skiers of very similar ski levels I tried to help last year. Both tended to stem their turns, lean into the hill, rush the turn from big toe to big toe edge (pushing their heels out along the way), etc. Both could, however, comfortably maneuver many black diamond runs. One was a 14 y.o. girl (skiing for 6 or 7 years with lots of ski school lessons) and one a fiftyish long time (but occasional) skier (also a professional tennis instructor). In both instances I got them on an easy blue slope and started by having them traverse, lighten and tip the downhill ski, and then nicely carve a single turn. From there they both quickly progressed (within 2 runs) to the point that they were making consistent parallel mostly carved turns on blue terrain. When left to to their own, the teenage girl continued to progress and didn't at all resemble her previous self. The tennis pro almost immediately went back to his old ways.

I didn't feel the need to ask the girl anything but what I got from the tennis pro was that he could readily feel the difference between the "before" and "after" and thought it was real progress and in many ways more fun and exciting BUT he just didn't feel comfortable and so he returned to his former ways.

While age probably has a lot to do with the outcomes here I also think personality does as well. In the young girl's case she was a risk taker and could easily make the transition. The tennis pro - not. In his case I believe he would have been much better off and enjoyed skiing a lot more (spending more time at it!!) if he had been taught with a different approach that focused on achieving comfort with ski movements and free fall as opposed to ski movements that focused on security and avoided or limited the free fall experience early on. Given his balance and athletic skill I have little doubt he would have benfitted greatly from a no-wedge beginning.

OK, I do not want to make this into a wedge vs. non-wedge debate, I think that is one small part of the issue. The main point is that I would like to see skier's perceptions (and their short and long term consequences) better integrated into the analysis of different prgressions. Again, my hypothesis is that by doing so we might have better outcomes, especially with average skiers who only get limited opportunity for instruction.

I am afraid by addressing the wedge I have turned off some people. I find this very unfortunate as some of those are probably people from whom I could learn a lot in regards to the perceptual issues I am interested in.
post #84 of 141
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I dont know if I'm the only one that read it this way, but it seemed to me that Bob was saying that in certain circumstances any skier will wedge. Regardless of his ability level, and even if he is trying not to. Its just another move and nothing to be afraid of.
You are right, Epic, and I am frankly surprised at how resistant some people have been to this notion! Nolo has alluded to it as well in her post above--the wedge happens, whether we teach it or not. So let's make sure that we identify and work with good movement patterns, allowing human nature (and biomechanics) to take its course!.

Human nature is what it is, and no geometric relationship of the skis is going to change that. I'm surprised to have to actually emphasize what I would have expected to be so obvious, but not all students respond the same way to the same stuff! Si--you contend that people will get "stuck" by their natural instinct to defend themselves, so they shouldn't be "allowed" to, for their own good. First, this is absolutely NOT necessarily true! Second--and most important--yes, a few individuals may thrive when you take away their safety net and "force" them to perform without it in a frightening situation. Those are the ones who will improve by quantum leaps and bounds--to use the Stepping Stones analogy.

But those individuals are the minority! It is hardly guest-centered--and very much NOT EFFECTIVE from a learning perspective--to increase someone's already-paralyzing anxiety by forcing them to, for example, balance on one slippery foot when two doesn't seem to be enough! There are psychological reasons why a wedge, with its stability and potential to control speed, is a very helpful maneuver for beginners. At the very least, the wedge opens up a great deal of terrain that would be inaccessible to a new skier for a long time, if he had to rely on complete, parallel, non-braking turns to control speed.

AND there are mechanical reasons why the movements and anatomical arrangements involved in the wedge are far preferable--far more similar to the movements of advanced turns--than a typical parallel stance (especially a locked or one-footed parallel stance). These are the wedges in my illustrations here--they are not defensive. We've discussed these things many times, and like Epic, I'm starting to wonder if I'm wasting my "breath." But I'll try again, for what it's worth!

Si--your concern about creating bad habits is valid, and your points well-taken. Please explain, though, why you think, despite the biomechanical reasons (which I will expand on again in a moment) and the wealth of experiential evidence to the contrary--that it makes sense to "force" beginners to increase their anxiety, develop INAPPROPRIATE movement patterns, and try to balance on a narrow two-footed or one-footed stance--when EXPERTS find this difficult at best, and when it encourages negative movement patterns and tactics that contradict good skiing in the first place! Not to mention the frustration of failure!

One more time.... Here are a couple scenarios for turning, with a novice, yet athletic, comfortable skier starting in a parallel traverse across the hill. I'll try to keep this simple, but it's going to be detailed, and thus fairly technical(be warned!)

Let's set the stage: In a traverse on "comfortable" terrain, with a natural, athletic stance, both skis are tipped on edge, with the downhill ski, if not both skis, tipped at or beyond the "critical edge angle" required to hold. Because of the relaxed, balanced stance and the effects of gravity, there is more weight on the downhill ski (just as there would be more weight on the downhill tires in a car traversing across the hill--it's natural, unless we fight it). To simplify the discussion, let's say the skier is going from right to left, with the right ski being the downhill ski. He's about to make a right turn, down the hill. What are the options?

(Let's assume that he is COMFORTABLE pointing and going down this hill, that there is no fear or defensiveness. This is hardly a safe assumption, in most cases, and I still find it hard to believe that anyone would even consider "forcing" a frightened student to turn downhill, without a safety net, and without brakes! But we'll remove the psychological barrier, and the beneficial defensive uses of the wedge, for this discussion, focusing purely on the mechanics. Despite his comfort, though, the "comfort zone" is small, and his speed is necessarily low.)

************************************************** ***********
Turning Option 1) "Right tip right to go right."
************************************************** ************

Regardless of the actual instructions used, the student's intent is to GO downhill, and his focus is on turning both ski tips down the hill. Since it is in the way of the left ski, he MUST initiate the movement with the right, downhill, ski. Because he's standing mostly on it, and it is tipped on edge to hold in the traverse, he must reduce this edge angle until it releases, and he can steer it with his leg. So (consciously or not--who cares?) he rolls his foot and ankle toward the "little toe" edge. The ski does NOT need to be completely flat to release--it simply needs to flatten beyond the "critical angle." As he rolls the ski off its edge, the "kinetic chain" of causally related movements moves his entire body down the hill as well, into the turn, beginning the "crossover" move that will result in his CM taking its shorter line to the inside of the path of his skis.

Once the edge of the downhill ski releases, our skier guides both skis down the hill into the turn, using active, muscular steering movements of his feet and legs. His intent is NOT to make a wedge--it is simply to make a TURN--right tip right to go right. But a wedge happens. WHY?

Remember--he's standing with most of his weight on his downhill ski. That ski is still somewhat on edge as the turn begins (it is all but impossible to completely flatten the downhill ski at initiation from a traverse, at very low speed, without falling too far into the new turn, and there is NO force yet pulling the skier's weight to his outside ski).

So that downhill ski is much harder to turn than the uphill ski. Add that this novice skier's edging (flattening) and steering skills are only rudimentary at this stage. As he tries to turn BOTH skis down the hill, the uphill ski turns more easily, and more quickly, resulting in a slight ski convergence (wedge).

I repeat--this skier is NOT trying to make a wedge, but the situation makes one extremely likely. This is exactly what happened to top-drawer instructors in this scenario in the clinic I've described (a couple times). SCSA--you asked for evidence that "the wedge happens." Is this not highly convincing evidence--when even a die-hard, "direct parallel," avoid-the-wedge certified and skilled PMTS instructor makes one when trying to make a parallel turn? Is it not revealing too that, rather than being offended, he expressed joy at his new-found understanding? What more evidence do you need?

(For the record, MY intent here was to help these instructors make--and understand--a "certifiable" wedge christie. Even PSIA instructors invariably struggle with demonstrating this maneuver, usually because they are "trying" to make a wedge christie! I created a scenario where a wedge christie was inevitable, and told them to try to make parallel turns. Voila--perfect wedge christies, providing all the necessary evidence to demonstrate that THE WEDGE HAPPENS. I've done this many times, with instructors up through trainer-level, and I'll do it again. I am not making this up--it is not theory or hypothesis. It is repeatable, empirical EVIDENCE!)

In any case, if highly skilled instructors doing everything "right" discover a wedge, who in their right mind would "demand" that beginners avoid it?

(And remember--this wedge has NOTHING to do with the "other" reason for a wedge--that it is a useful, defensive tool that all good skiers use when needed. We ALL need security, and especially early learning experiences need to be FUN and not anxiety-filled. Why would any instructor, at this fragile and critical stage, try to INCREASE a student's anxiety? Like the wedge, anxiety happens too!)

Anyway, let's get back to our turning skier. He continues to move down the hill, with that gentle, inevitable gliding wedge. His body (center of mass) moves appropriately into the turn, helping to increase the edge angle of the outside ski, and helping to DECREASE the edge angle of the inside ski. As he approaches the "fall line" (straight downhill), speed builds, and gravity's pull increasingly aligns with centrifugal force to conspire to pull the skier out of the turn. So he moves ever farther INTO the turn to counteract and balance, and his weight distribution moves increasingly toward the outside ski. That inside ski becomes progressively lighter on the snow and flatter, and therefore easier and easier to steer. At some point, the inside ski turns more easily than the outside ski, and the same "right tip right" effort causes the skis to match--to become parallel.

The outside ski, as pressure and edge angle build, increasingly carves the turn shape, as the skier continues to steer the inside ski actively through the turn to completion.

This is the wedge christie, described and defined. If the speed is even slower, the skier more timid and less skilled, he may never reach the point where the inside ski lightens and flattens enough to match. The result--despite the very same intent and fundamental movements--will be a wedge turn, start to finish. As confidence, speed, and skill grow, the "crossover" will be more distinct, as will the active tipping of the downhill (inside) foot to help release the edge, and the same intents and movements will result in a basic parallel turn. They are all, again, THE SAME, arising from the same offensive intent to "go that way," and involving the same fundamental movements, combined with increasing skill and with the changing dynamics of increasing speed. Wedge turns, wedge christies, and parallel--they are THE SAME.

************************************************
Turning Option 2--"Parallel at all costs."
************************************************

Our athletic, novice--and let's even allow him to be "fearless" (at low speed)--skier is in his traverse across the hill to the left again. For whatever reason, he wants to avoid the wedge described above. (And I'll grant that one LEGITIMATE reason would be that he absolutely WANTS to be parallel at all costs. As long as he WANTS something, with full awareness of any potential negative consequences, a good instructor should help him achieve his goal. As follows

The wedge WILL happen, of course, if he follows the focus I described above, despite the movements being fundamentally identical to those of expert skiers in parallel turns. So he must change tactics.

What caused the wedge above? Remember--it resulted from more weight on the downhill ski, and some edge engagement, combining to make the downhill ski harder to turn than the uphill ski. So let's eliminate these two factors.

To eliminate the pressure on the downhill ski, the skier could step to the uphill ski and lift the downhill ski off the snow (if he has the balance--let's assume he does). This would work! But as we have discussed, it involves a move of the body (CM) UPHILL, in the wrong direction (the wider the stance, the moreso). And it results in the CM being directly above the uphill support foot--hardly the "centripetal position" required for a turn, where the CM must travel INSIDE the arc of the support foot. (This movement, and the resulting position, are the polar opposites of the movements described in the wedge christie.)

Still parallel, but our skier hasn't turned yet. What can he do? He can either stand on that uphill ski, which is pretty flat on the snow, and wait patiently while gravity pulls him into a long, gradual turn. Or he can twist the ski to turn more tightly, in the process pushing the ski away from his body to create the required "centripetal position." It takes one hell of a confident, athletic, beginning skier to remain smoothly in balance on that slippery uphill ski racing down the mountain. And even so, because gravity alone determines the turn shape, the skier is not in control of it, so this "patience turn" is at best NOT the "perfect turn" we're looking for.

The other alternative--the pivot/tailpush of the flat uphill ski, with its resulting gross skidded entry, doesn't much resemble our "perfect turn" either, does it? It is difficult for even an advanced skier to balance on a skidding ski--nearly impossible for a beginner, so he's likely to either fall to the inside, or to have to continue the gross twisting movements of the support foot in order to keep it beneath him. And those twisting movements, without the "fulcrum assistance" of the other foot, must originate from the upper body, at best.

But AT LEAST HE'S PARALLEL, by golly!! All fundamental movements, tactics, and intents of good skiing have gone out the window, but at least he's parallel, the way he wants to be. And he's on one foot, kinda' like an expert--not exactly balanced there, but he's on one foot. It's a win, I guess. But I'd like to strangle the person who planted in his mind this notion that "parallel" is so important, and that the wedge is evil! This thought will stunt this person's growth as a skier in many, many ways!

How else could our skier make a parallel turn, under these circumstances? A more active tipping action of the downhill ski (foot and ankle) to flatten it and release its edge more completely will allow him to steer it as described in the wedge christie--without creating a wedge. A LITTLE more speed will help immensely here, just as it makes turning a bicycle easier. Shorter skis with deeper sidecut turn more easily and more tightly on their own, helping to create the "dynamics" of higher level turns at a lower speed. Focusing on this tipping movement, developing the confidence for a little speed, and a little encouragement from the instructor, will move the skier very quickly past the "wedge christie milestone"--so much so that it may never show its face! These days, with the equipment available and effective teaching, "direct parallel" is so close to a reality that, for practical purposes, we may be there.

To be fair, I believe that this last paragraph actually describes the intent of the PMTS progression--and that my description of the grossly skidded twisting parallel turn above is NOT. The so-called PMTS "phantom move" at initiation is a very applicable focus on this tipping (flattening) of the downhill ski to make the complete release that facilitates a parallel initiation. Further, it encourages the "kinetic chain" that, done skillfully, results in the necessary "centripetal position" of the CM for a turn. I do--adamantly--object to actually LIFTING the downhill ski and actively transferring weight to the uphill ski prior to initiation, for reasons that I hope I've made clear above (and elsewhere). (Lifting a ski, balancing on one foot, and so on are great balance exercises--but as pre-requisites for a turn, they cause many problems, as I've described.) SCSA--you have many times quoted your PMTS trainers saying that "lifting is learning, releasing is expert skiing" (or something to that effect). I say, if releasing is (part of) expert skiing--which it is--then what's the point of "lifting" for beginners? It just causes problems!

Without this "lift" move, I find actually very little else to object to about most "direct parallel" teaching progressions--except the misleading focus on parallel itself! As I described (I hope) above, a focus on movements--not on parallel or wedge--will create parallel turns when they are appropriate.

All right, enough! I have tried very hard here to explain (again) the biomechanical reasons why a wedge may appear in good skiing, even when the skier is offensive, balanced, moving "perfectly," and not trying to make a wedge. The OTHER reason for using a wedge in teaching--the defensive braking function that it makes so easily accessible, and the extra stability that a wider platform makes available, are benefits when they are needed. Yes, they can become detrimental habits, but no more insidiously so, or more necessarily, than any other bad habit (and for my money, far LESS insidiously than the bad habits introduced by an inappropriate focus on parallel turns with weight transfer). There are skiers who SHOULD be taught to avoid the wedge, and who have learned bad "dead end" movements from inept teaching with the wedge--but no more so than those who have learned dead-end movements from inept teaching AVOIDING the wedge.

It is indeed a delicate line, Si, between creating the security and comfort necessary for learning, and avoiding the "leap of faith" that the true "dynamic balance" of high-level skiing requires. You are absolutely right here--this point is not insignificant, this problem is not uncommon, and I am very aware of it. I agree with you! But its solution points to the very essence of the art and science of effective teaching! The problem is not solvable simply by avoiding the wedge at all costs.

These things all support my biggest contention--that truly effective ski teaching is not so simple that we can expect new instructors with only two or three days of training to accomplish it! Yet that is the reality of many ski schools. New, inexperienced and inadequately trained instructors teach the vast majority of beginner lessons in ski schools across the U.S. Only the customer can change this, because those inexperienced instructors come at a bargain rate for the resort, maximizing their profits, yet ultimately shooting the industry in the foot!

Efforts to create fundamentally sound, simple, universal progressions--"cookbooks" to help novice instructors succeed more consistently--are great! This is what PMTS purports to do, and it represents much of what PSIA and others strive for. But ultimately, these efforts cannot substitute for the experienced, skilled instructor who really knows what's up.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ July 09, 2002, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #85 of 141
Thread Starter 
Si--your examples are good ones! But they do not address the issues we've been discussing here. You described your skiers in the "before" phase as STEMMING, PUSHING, focusing on twisting the OUTSIDE SKI. And you--rightly--addressed these problematic defensive movements (and if you were successful, you addressed as well the defensive INTENTS that caused the movements). Good job!

But by now, you MUST understand the difference between defensive "stems" and offensive "gliding wedges," the black and white distinction between the venerable Stem Christie and the contemporary Wedge Christie that I've illustrated. Pushing the outside tail out is certainly not the same as pulling the inside tip INTO the turn!

It appears that you DO recognize these different movements. The only remaining step is to make sure you attribute them correctly--put the blame in the right place. The WEDGE is not at fault in your students--the STEM, and the defensive intent that produces it, is.

They probably DID receive poor early instruction, that played a big role in their current difficulties. They were probably taught to stem!

We are not far apart in ideology here, Si. But I think that there is still a distance yet to travel in understanding! I hope you will take the time to read my post above carefully, although I apologize for the time that will be required to do it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ July 09, 2002, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #86 of 141
Si,

I would like to present the argument to you that your observations are skewed. Not because you have been faulty in making the observations but because of that wonderful thing we call statistics. Almost everyone out there was taught a wedged based beginning lesson. Unfortunately most of these lessons were taught by fairly inexperienced instructors. There are some definite problems that can arise from poorly taught wedge progressions. Therefore it is no surprise that you are constantly running into skiers who have problems that can be traced back to the wedge. I would contend that if as many skiers had been taught by PMTS methods by instructors with the same level of experience we would be able to find an awful lot of skiers out there who would be held back by the dead ends that would be found in a poorly taught direct to parallel progression.

You further point out that PMTS concepts work wonders for these skiers when they are introduced to them. This is no surprise. You are taking people who have achieved a level of comfort in the skiing environment and giving them sound principles to work with and doing it in an environment where they are very comfortable. It is no problem for a student to stand on/over one foot and tip the other foot and experience gravity drawing them down and into the turn if they would be comfortable straight running the same slope and reaching the terminal velocity for that particular hill. I do a very similar thing all the time but instead of using the PMTS dogma I just tell them to point their toes to the right and then point them to the left and see what happens. They find that pointing to the right takes them to the right and that pointing to the left takes them to the left. We refine this by playing with pointing the right toes right and the left toes left and seeing what happens. Guess what they go right, they go left. When I feel that they are ready for it I introduce the rather sophisticated tip the right foot to the right and the left foot to the left move and again the students ability to go left and right is enhanced. This whole time I haven’t given a thought to whether they are starting out with a wedge stance or a close stance or a wide stance because I know where they will end up at the end of all this, skiing mostly parallel with a strong commitment to the outside ski and the CM moving to the inside of the turn. I know that this may sound incredible but in all the years that I have been doing this, which goes back to before the advent of shaped skis, I can’t think of a time when it didn’t work. My students have referred to it as magic and sometimes I think of it in the same way. Its so damn simple and it works every time.

Wrote the above last night before reading Bob and Si's posts today but aI think that it still applies, I have even more.

Si, you have attributed the students leaning into the hill to fear of falling down the hill. I would like to give you another reason for this movement/position. The student never was taught to change directions using efficient movement patterns so they are trying to change directions using their upper bodies. They lean where they want to go and at the end of their turns they want to go uphill to slow down. So of course they lean uphill.

I have more to say about your comments on students needing to be introduced to the free-fall sensation but I’ll have to do that later.

Got to get to the gym,

Yd

[ July 09, 2002, 09:17 PM: Message edited by: Ydnar ]
post #87 of 141
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

I hope you will take the time to read my post above carefully, although I apologize for the time that will be required to do it!
Thanks Bob. Looks to me more like a chapter from one of my Ph.D. student's dissertation than a forum post! BUT, as I get through their chapters I am sure to get through yours as well. However, I will make sure to do so in a late night session with at least a glass of wine or beer. Cheers!
post #88 of 141
Now wait a minute.

Barnes is telling us that the majority of skiers can't learn to ski with direct parallel. They just don't have the skills.

The direct parallel folks are telling us that all skiers can learn to ski, with direct parallel.

Now, Barnes is a pro, and the direct parallel folks are pros too. Between them all, there's like a zillion years of experience.

I dunno. The whole thing just doesn't spell mother to me. :
post #89 of 141
Bob

Excellent work and very clear illustrations.

Sorry to flog the horse but IMHO the weighting of the skis should be more even to portray a "modern" dynamic turn. Having all the weight to the outside ski certainly illustrates weight transfer to the layman BUT as an instructor I would hate to have a student quote your illustration back to me when I am teaching dynamic parallel on shortish modern skis.

I make this point as for the past eighteen months I have read, been lectured and attended clinics held by PSIA, APSI, Austrian & US ski team trainers to apply a more even pressure application to both skis through the turn.

Perhaps simply clarifying the weight transfer issue in the text will suffice BUT I do not think it should be left as illustrated.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #90 of 141
Now I get what Barnes is saying.

What he's saying is that instructors shouldn't go around saying, "Wedge turns are evil!" So Barnes. Does this mean you won't be wearing one of HH's "No Plow" patches?

Well. Barnes has a ton of experience. If he's saying that in some cases the only way to get a student to learn is to show them some sort of a wedge, or wedge like movements, then that's the way it is.

And, it isn't just his opinion. Well, it is, but it's an opinion that's been formed after teaching a zillion lessons and clinics.

So he's observed a lot by watching. Am I right?

If so, the conclusion seems to be this. That wedge like movements certainly are not the desired way to teach skiers. I'll agree with this in the interest of progess, because I know next to nothing about ski instruction.

But I think the jury is still out as to what percentage of skiers should or shouldn't go to direct parallel. Here, is where I'd like to see studies done. The whole ski industry could probably benefit.

Cheers,

[ July 10, 2002, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
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