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Liven up the Summer, GLM vs PMTS

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
So, the Epicski forum is dying? There is never any new topics? The old members have moved on? The place is dead and uninteresting? Hummm, ah, we’ll have to change that eh.
Juan Pierre has just gotten back from Summit county where I got into discussions with Bob Barnes. Bob has a way of motivating me too the topic of skiing. Mind stimulation if you would like to call it that. By no means have I dropped out of Epicski, only a siesta. So, let’s bring in a new topic and really liven the place up. I have been here since day one and never seen this topic.

Today’s topic is a comparison between Cliff Taylor’s GLM (Graduated Length Method) (a direct to parallel approach from the late 50’s) and Harald Harb’s PMTS, a more modern version of direct to parallel. In both methods the over riding goal was to eliminate the eeeeeeevillll wedge and open skiing to the masses.

I was a product of the GLM method and have now studied the PMTS method. Here is my analogy. First off, both methods capitalized on new emerging technology. GLM on the use of short flexible skis and PMTS on the introduction of modern shaped skis. Both methods promised instant success to the ultimate goal of parallel only skiing. Both methods depended on a very narrow stance.

Basically the GLM method was to start out on very short skis, learn how to side slip, learn how to do hockey slides, then learn how to link hockey slides into continuous turns and then move up in ski length. The end result was an advanced intermediate that could do windshield wiper turns on just about any terrain out there including steeps.

What did GLM do for me. It allowed me to turn when and where I wanted to for the first time. I was hooked on skiing. Suddenly I was better than 97% of the skiers on the hill. I had confidence, I had youth, I had stupidity on my side. Back then, just get out of my way and let me show you how. Did I have fun with GLM? You bet your sweet bippy I did. GLM lead straight into the freestyle , new school movement in the 70’s. Ahh, the booze we consumed while skiing. Windshield wiper turns don’t deteriorate much with the over-consumption of booze. Windshield wiper turns were perfect for bumps and the nasty tight hard packed terrain of the 70’s midwest ski hills. I must admit to having fond memories of GLM. Sorry guys but it was the ONLY way to ski. Anyone not tapping into this method in the 60’s was getting ripped off by the likes of the PSIA, buzz cut, black plastic glasses, over the hill Ott & Co. types. yahhh. Windsheild wiper turns served me well into the early 80’s when I picked up telemark hot and heavy. Yahh, I was bored with downhill skiing.

Enter a 14 year hiatus of nothing but free heel telemark skiing and back to try my luck at downhill. I had quit drinking, grown up a bit and wanted to join the “ESABLISHMENT”. What better way than becoming a ski instructor. I trained under the PSIA umbrella and learned to ski by the ONLY method worth having. I was now able to ski better than 97% of the skiers on the hill.

Now along comes this goon trashing my pin and offering instant gratification, the ruse of instant parallel and expert skiing. The promise was PMTS. Now anybody who comes along and trashes my pin for the purpose of a marketing ploy is going to get some instant resistance from the likes of me. Well is he wrong? Ahhhh, I certainly benefited from the GLM method, without which, I probably would have dropped out of skiing. I had a lot of damn fun huffing my way all over the place. Would I trade the GLM method for what I know now? NORFOLK & WAY. So, would I entirely discount PMTS? No way, I think SCSA has a point.

I have now had the opportunity to ski with really good skiers who were the product of the PMTS method of direct parallel. Were they able to ski all the terrain I could and were they having fun? You bet. PMTS uses the lift and tip method of turn entry on very shallow easy terrain then working your way up through harder terrain, rather than longer skis like the GLM method. The PMTS method produces skiers with much better turn shape, speed control and skiers using far less energy to ski than the old GLM method but I found some very striking similarities between the skiers produced by the two direct to parallel methods.
First, both direct parallel methods produced skiers with similar looking styles of skiing.
Both skiers from the GLM method and the PMTS method tended to extend more upwards to release the skis than that of skiers produced by non direct methods. This is probably due to the very narrow stance. I also noticed the tendency for a shallow turn entry followed by heavier edging in the second half of the turn. Both methods tended to produce skiers who favored one type of turn, whom then modified that turn to do everything. Both methods produced skiers who tended to ski smaller turns in tight places but ironically, their type of turn limited their ability to achieve speed or quick direction changes in those very places.

So, whats the point? Well, instant gratification and skier retention are really big points that I feel that direct to parallel methods, if done properly, better address the skiing public. If you then want to really learn how to ski and truly enjoy the whole mountain in ways only imaginable, then pursue some unlearning and re-learning into more versatile REAL expert skiing. Canned ham before you try real ham, sound ok to some folks. [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #2 of 43
Juan Pierre! Great to hear from you again! In the "old days", you and I locked horns a bit - wouldn't call it flaming, exactly Then we got to talking, we met and had dinner together with your illustious daughter and Mrs. oboe, and I got to listening to you. Remember when I was going to quit skiing, I was so frustrated? Then you got me into short skis. Voila!! Instant gratification! I stayed in the sport. That got me to step two and step three. Sure, I still love my little Rossi T-Powers - but now, I REALLY love my Rossi Bandit XX's which are 10 cm longer and lots fatter, love all kinds of snow, and even learned a thing or two from another Bear who has asked not to be named. So do I think that PMTS, or GLM, or anything that gives yuh fun right off is good? Yessir! First, make it fun - then, the desire for more will follow.

Glad you brought this up, Pierre! Will you be going to the gathering in Utah?
post #3 of 43
Pierre eh!--Back with a VENGEANCE--what a great post! I'm interested in seeing where this one goes. Your story of your GLM experience is one I've heard so many times (but rarely as well told)!

GLM (with which I had no direct personal involvement myself, but which was still being used at a few ski schools when I started teaching in the late '70's) created one of the biggest stirs of excitement in the sport in a long time. Lots of new beginners joined in, lured by the promise that expertise was only a short time away. The problem was that, while the skis could indeed remain quite parallel, the turns resembled true "expert" skiing in few other ways. Rather than graduating to longer skis and finding that they could ski like experts, many skiers found that all they'd really learned to do was operate those little tiny skis. GLM created the dubious "short ski" rage of the '70's, when skiers on the Olin Mark IV in 160 cm skidding all over the mountains became the bane of "real" skiers everywhere. Fortunately, most ski schools, and most skiers, eventually realized the illusion and false promise that GLM really was, and along with Disco music, it faded quietly into oblivion, where it belongs.

But it DID create excitement! The illusion of being better than 97% lasted for most skiers for at least a while, before boredom and frustration set in. We (instructors) learned something from it--particularly that skiers DO look for instant gratification. And that perceptions that the sport is difficult to learn are high on the list of things that keep people from trying it--and that anything that "promises" to shorten the learning curve has real marketing value. We also learned that shorter skis CAN help learning--PSIA's ATM (later ATS) used a modified short-ski progression, where shorter skis for beginners helped ease the awkwardness of the first experiences, but where the techniques of "real" turns were still taught.

While PMTS does represent a modernized version, with arguably a better biomechanical basis, it bears many resemblences to GLM, especially on a marketing front. The movements it teaches IN THEORY lead to "good" skiing, but as you have seen, Pierre eh, the actual result for many students is skiing handicapped by poor movements and a lack of versatility.

Before anyone flies off the handle on this one, I am not suggesting that this is entirely the fault of PMTS, and certainly not that other teaching programs have not been equally guilty. Indeed, by sheer numbers, PSIA ski schools have certainly taught more "bad" lessons than PMTS ever will! It is, and always will be, a question of the understanding and ability of the individual instructor. "Direct-to-good-skiing" is the goal of all good teaching. Great instructors, focused on the needs of their individual students and not handicapped by any particular dogmatic approach or any linear progression, will ALWAYS teach the best lessons!

Good to see you, Pierre eh--and good to see you back!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ July 20, 2002, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #4 of 43
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Ahh Bob, although you were not a product of GLM, seems to me that you told me that you got sucked into the dark side in the 70's as well.

I fondly remember my 75 Olin Mark IV's with Burt Bindings. What a trip man. They were far out man, all 160cm of them. The Burt bindings were great cause the ski would pop back onto your feet through the many inevitable ski releases due to poor technique. Ignorance is bliss though, I was convinced that Wayne Wong and Stein Erickson had nothin on me. Juan Pierre, badass extrodinare.

Bob, I guess what suprised me about the two direct parallel system outcomes was the similar styles of skiing. The GLM system clearly pushed at rotary bias low edge approach and the PMTS system swears to be all edge bias, with no rotary. We all know that the type of rotary used is the biggest single factor in how a person skis and what bad habits they pick up.

Both Cliff Taylor and HH were products of programs with very wide scope and both clearly exibit great versatility in their skiing. The only explanation that I have is that Cliff clearly picked pivoting and counter rotation for rotary mechanisms and HH chose to completely ingnore any rotary mechanism all together. Skiers of low skill will naturally use whatever form of rotation works. If an instructor ignores rotation, the student will dictate the type of rotation used. I just thought it funny that the two systems at opposite ends of the centerline model would produce very similar styles. Maybe I am not even looking at this right though. I could be seeing lack of versatility as style. Could style and lack of versatility be the same.

Overall from what I have seen though I would pick PMTS every time over GLM.

Come on SCSA, take your hand off the carrot and chime in. By the way, I had a room mate in college who once told me very straight faced. "Try the other hand, it feels like somebody else is doing it". Remain calm though, I don't dislike PMTS.
post #6 of 43

My understanding of GLM was that the pivot-skid would fall away as one continued in the program. The problem with GLM was that students felt so successful after the first lesson or two that they pronounced themselves "done" and then went out into the world to pivot-skid forevermore.

By choosing to stress initial results, GLM failed to sell its buyers on the long term results.

Is this the case with PMTS as well?
post #7 of 43
Hi Pierre, how was the western trip? You sure bring back memories though!!!

It was about the mid-60s when the owner of our ski area announced that we will offer GLM and for the whole ski school, about 35 of us then, to be there on that October afternoon.

Sure enough, Cliff Taylor showed up with a truck load of GLM skis, 3,4 and 5 foot length, and after he got through flirting with my wife he helped us unload it.

After that we went to the basketball court of a nearby high school and everybody took their shoes off, stood on a separate piece of newspaper for each foot, arms outstreched horizontal.

And then we did the Twist, Chubby Checkers would have been proud. The whole thing consisted of bobbing up and down and twist. Up-twist-down, up-twist-opposite-down.

You likened those turns to windshield wiper turns, they are not really. While WW turns consist of pushing the heel of the skis out to the side with the fulcrum being near the tip, the GLM turns were swiveled underfoot like a propeller.

Though our area offered GLM and we tried it in our school program, the transition from the five-footers to the regular seven foot skis and teaching the pole plant (GLM starts out without poles) along with edging proved too cumbersome.

Even at the last stages of GLM turns were swiveled underfoot, resembliing hockey stops which didn't quite make it more so than turns.

So GLM went away quietly one Summer. I heard something that Cliff bought back the equipment at ten cents on the dollar, but don't quote me on that, it is just hearsay, the fact is that all the GLM equipment disappeared between seasons.

I'll have more to add as the thread develops, but let me say that if there was a mile between GLM and the PSIA, there are only a few yards between PSIA and PMTS.

post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 
Nolo, I could ski better than 97% of all the other skiers after a six week school lesson course. Why would I want to continue, I could ski everything, even the so called "level 9 terrain".

Ott, seems to me I remember being told to pivot both feet (two bar stools). Don't know where that got lost. As soon as I could extend and pivot both together (one bar stool) and connect hockey slides I didn't need the likes of 20's something old farts telling me what to do. Counter rotation was far out, the wiggle look man. In the mid 60's all adults were suspect and seemed to have an attitude that we know whats best for you, we have been through more than you ever will (WWII, depression,Korean W, Cold War, etc.) Adults were refered to as thee "Establishment".

So it is today. I want to impart all that I know on the youth but in reality , unless I can incorporate South Park and Sponge Bob into my lessons I am wasting my breath. Extend on Sponge Bob, flex on square pants. Yah, especially at the high school level.
post #9 of 43
What the heck can I comment on?

Being serious, there's no way that I can proffer anything that's qualified other than that how much I love PMTS.

I don't know about Cliff Taylor. Although I will say that I do remember him and GLM. My dad, was going to get me started this way, but we couldn't afford new skis, if I got better.

Juan Pierre does a nice job by bringing up the topic, we need some good stuff to talk about.

gang members and leaders will drop in, offering their thoughts. Cult members (I gotta go back to to cult status - until I've seen sure signs of growth), all three of them, will drop in too, hopefully. Where's SnoKarver? He knows about stuff like this. But there's not much I can add here.

Other than that, the two similarties between Cliff and HH seem to be that both were driven by equipment. Cliff's system was about getting longer skis as you progress (right?), HH is about learning to take advantage of shapers.

Is Cliff still alive?
post #10 of 43
There's one more thing.

Juan Pierre avoids me because he thinks I'm a bad influence. Seems our friend Juan used to like to party a lottle and I bring out the bad boy in him, witness the tree skiing, which really wasn't tree skiing - more like "avoid death" skiing.

Juan Pierre. Here's to you and my boy Rusty_Good_Looking. Maybe there's something I can learn from you two.

post #11 of 43
Here's something else.

If HH and co. never make it to the masses, does that mean he's failed? That what he says doesn't work? No way!

HH just got back from the hood. Said to me that lotsa movers and shakers on the US team are lovin it, practicing his way.

There's lotsa folks out there who believe. Customers like me, who'll be his forever.

Then, if the comparison between Cliff and HH is to say that HH is yet another trend....

Not so fast, bell bottoms breath!

Cliff's system may not be in use anymore, or is it? Everybody I see, is on their little sisters skis! Wasn't Cliff all about short skis?

Then, I can tell you that HH and that hottie Diana Rogers ain't going no where - get used to them. That HH, he builds companies the old fashioned way; profits, customers, grow slowly. One of the reasons why I believe in him so much.

Now, yours truly gave the sage advice to load up on WC too. But, at friggin a buck a share, I thought it was worth the risk! Buy a thousand or two shares. You'll either lose a grand or two, or make tons.

But LD is here to stay, just like great ski instruction products or services.


[ July 21, 2002, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #12 of 43
>>>Then, I can tell you that HH and that hottie Diana Rogers ain't going no where - get used to them.<<<

SCSA, as PSIA leans more and more to teach direct parallel to folks as an option, I suspect that PMTS will be absorbed into the PSIA schools all over the country and be available to all, anywhere.

And if I live long enough I will be pointing back to it as I now do to GLM.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that PMTS will go away, it just won't be called PMTS and it won't be Harald Harb's anymore. PSIA will make it their own and they won't infringe on a copyright because they will call it something else and ever so slightly change it.

Just my guess.... ....Ott
post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 
There's one more thing.

Juan Pierre avoids me because he thinks I'm a bad influence. Seems our friend Juan used to like to party a lottle and I bring out the bad boy in him, witness the tree skiing, which really wasn't tree skiing - more like "avoid death" skiing.
Not so fast Chrome Dome, surely you are not suggesting that I was recalcitrant in skiing through the trees at moderate speeds that day with you. You did get the competative juices flowing a bit but I did not feel that I was tempting fate. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 43
Realities of the Wedge, by Harald Harb

Every so often someone sends me an excerpt from a ski forum on the Internet. You can guess at my
amusement when I saw what was being discussed in this particular thread. I had just returned from a week in the Florida Keys, fly-fishing for Bonefish, so my mind was clearly not on skiing. By the way, the fishing wasn't that great - wrong time of year - but then again, catching isn't the main reason for fly-fishing in the first place.

I understand a thread on a ski forum was started where a skier asked, "What's the difference between GLM and PMTS Direct Parallel?" At first, many thoughtful and accurate responses were given before the Traditional concepts of skiing were again served up by a few instructors as the requisite way of learning to ski.

In an attempt to combat the blatant misrepresentation of "PMTS Direct Parallel", I offer these comments.

The "System", PMTS Direct Parallel does not teach the wedge. The reasons are clear and
important. The wedge keeps skiers from learning rapidly. The wedge and its progressions used by
traditional systems worldwide are flawed and create flaws that continue to limit skiing progress in beginning and intermediate skiers. We call them "Dead-end Skills". In fact, the wedge progressions are what keep skiers at intermediate levels.

Those who still defend the wedge have yet to study, understand, use and be properly trained in the power of the effective alternative. Let me make clear that I don't blame instructors. I know they have allegiances and commitments to other organizations, time constraints and financial considerations limiting their motivation for further training. These are all valid reasons for not moving ahead or pursing
education. Some instructors feel threatened and defiant of other approaches that challenge their way of thinking. I respect everyone's right to have these feeling and emotions, but it doesn't stop me from challenging the current systems and telling the truth about the differences. I also have the right to disseminate information and the public has the right to decide what is the superior product in ski teaching.

As many of you know, my company, Harb Ski Systems, offers ski camps employing PMTS Direct
Parallel. PMTS has been used in over four hundred thousand lessons in the past four years. In our ski camps, week after week, we are virtually undoing the movement mistakes skiers learned from the wedge and other traditional instruction. The most common comments made by skiers after attending Harb Ski Systems Camps are: "I cannot believe they are still teaching the wedge." and "I will never take another traditional lesson." It is very frustrating to skiers when they discover they have been led
down the wrong trail.

Shaped skis have changed the playing field. The wedge and its enhancements are unnecessary
components if an accelerated teaching system using shaped skis is desired. However, if someone wants to learn the wedge, they should use traditional skis. The wedge is easier, and control with it will be better, on traditional skis.

The proponents of PMTS Direct Parallel unequivocally understand and acknowledge that a wedge stance may result, even when skiers are taught "Direct Parallel". Often, the torque created through leg alignment twists the skis to a wedge. In fact, many humans cannot control the inward rotation of the femur in balancing situations on skis. Many intermediate skiers have difficulty standing in balance on
one ski without skidding the ski tails. Standing on one ski is part of an overall, comprehensive, on-snow balance assessment done with every PMTS Direct Parallel student. The wedge and its many
stages of development make this situation worst. The wedge is already a pre-internally-rotated
position of both femurs and it accentuates and ingrains this predicament in beginning skiers. Therefore, not only does the "PMTS Direct Parallel" system teach "Direct Parallel", but it also incorporates alternatives to reduce and undo the influences of beleaguered rotary movements and wedge maneuvers.

The defense I often hear from traditional instruction is, "We teach the gliding wedge not a braking wedge." True, a gliding wedge is better than a braking wedge, because it is closer to parallel. A braking wedge is acknowledged even by traditionalists to be hard to unlearn once you become dependent on it. It is naive to believe that a beginner will stay in a gliding wedge until they become parallel. The gliding wedge, which is often suggested as the "saving grace" of the wedge progression, is
discarded by beginners for the reliable, bracing, defensive wedge as soon as they move from the beginner slopes to even slightly more difficult terrain.

Ski teaching has moved on; soon skiers will be able to differentiate between instructors who have pursued alternatives. Skiers are already asking for PMTS lessons at the major resorts. Remember to remind your friends and clients who want a PMTS Direct Parallel lesson to ask for an Accredited PMTS Instructor, to get the "Real Thing".
post #15 of 43
Good post, Pierre.

I remember GLM very well. I used to swear at those short skis and how they messed up the bumps. Having taught PMTS for three seasons, I think the big problem with it is, we do a good job and get people skiing very fast. Then they go out and have fun on the rest of their vacation. Because they are having too much fun, they forget to come back for a follow-up lesson. This is where we could really build some long lasting skills. First the basics and then refine them. I suspect the lack of follow-up lessons was the cause of GLM demise.
post #16 of 43

Thanks's for posting HH's reply. I think it will generate a great deal of interesting discussion.

I want to also thank you for the level headed tone you've taken of late and the interesting discussions that have resulted.

I want to be succinct in order to make my point. There is a GREAT DEAL of validity in what PMTS teaches. I simply have problems with a few of the tenets. My major concern being a "stance ski" A secondary concern is when I see PMTS folks lifting the inside ski in order to create a stance ski. I know you guys have the expression about lifting and lightening. Well...if HH thinks a wedge creates bad habits, I can point out a female PMTS instructor who seems to lift her inside ski about four inches on every turn.

Here is my other point and this is the important one. Just as I acknowledge that PMTS does a lot of things well, my annoyance with the old SCSA was the attacks on PSIA. We're not perfect, however, like PMTS we do a few things fairly well.

Lastly, picture in your minds eye two skiers on a green run side by side. One is in a slight wedge and for the sake of this example is being taught "PSIA" methodologies. The other has there skis "parallel", has been skiing for the same amount of time, and was taught initially the PMTS methodology. They want to turn left and begin to do so.

The whole deal is about movement. The PSIA student will begin a process of eversion, supinating the left foot, or tipping it, and turning the left foot to the left. All I know is the PMTS student will lighten the left foot,tip the left foot, and create a stance foot with the
right foot.

My point is this. In order to turn left the two beginners have to point their skis to the left and their stance as a starting point really does not matter.

I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.
post #17 of 43
Be it PMTS or GLM:

Given two distinct groups of students, what would the "success" rate be for?

Group A ..... Destination Resort such as Vail with a "captive group" for the week. This group is comprised of 25 to 35'ish types who are probably more "in shape", better educated and have a higher degree of motivation.

Group B ..... Pocono/Metro feeder area for New York or Philadelphia. They are "day trippers" or at best are out of the city for a weekend. They are 40 to 50'ish and probably don't belong to a fitness center.

My prediction here is that a PMTS approach for Group B, would be a disaster. Their goal is to survive a day on the snow and "bond" with their kids for the weekend.

GLM or PMTS may be/have been, very good tools for some markets but are hardly "be all/end all" and would be very ineffective for some areas of the country.

[ July 21, 2002, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #18 of 43

Many thanks for the kind words.
Yeah, I'll let you guys hash it out.

post #19 of 43

I'd have two ask group B what their "other" hobbies are or have been. Give me a group of guys who play a little hockey and I'll go "direct" with a great deal of boot work and start doing one thousand steps.

SCSA-What's with my new name? You have lost me!
post #20 of 43
Folks, just so ya know, Rusty is one of these guys that got all the cheerleaders, I know it. Hence, my new name for him.

Me and my buddies, we got all hippy chicks.


A person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles.

Yep. I'd say that definition fits me pretty well. Not as much hair, but oh well.

[ July 21, 2002, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #21 of 43
Some good comments about the topic and each other.

As Yuki points out, there are pluses and minuses to both systems (or did I put words in your mouth? didn't mean to) and the type of area and the intro skier's needs will determine which one "will take". (I'm from the NY area and don't take offense to your comment)

Until I try the PMTS system, I can only make one-sided comments. One day I would like to try, to broaden my appreciation of snow sports.

The reason why I liked Yuki's comments is that as a martial artist (and there are many schools), he can appreciate the difficulty in teaching only one system. As the practitioner gets more proficient, some of the other school's philosophies/movements creep in. Some schools are created on the sole basis of wanting to be completely different from the others. How many ways can one place one foot in front of the other?

How many ways can we turn our skiis? Many. Some more proficient than others, but it shouldn't take away from the enjoyment.

If we know that the client is coming back for more lessons, is the end result of GLM, PSIA, PMTS all the same? If the client is not coming back, which one should they start with?

This is not a highjack of the topic, it is just meant to clarify in my mind where on the skiing skills progression are we making the comparision of these different systems...beginner (less than 3 lessons), intermediate, expert.
post #22 of 43
Gotta looove those hip-hip hippy chicks!

This is an amusing thread. I remember this stuff, yea... After learning and continuing with 60's Austrian technique, I was presented with the chance to teach skiing for the first time in college.

Guess what? It was GLM! I found it to be a lot of fun, and like Pierre, eh! It changed my skiing. The trainers I worked with messed around with a lot of 70's freestyle stuff, and we drilled a lot of skiing on one foot as well, and the "wrong foot" or banana turns. Short skis didn't ALWAYS suck, so I kept 175-180's as well as 190-200's in the "quiver".

I reaaaaaaalllly liked my Head Yahoos, in a 180. Interesting ski, it was quite wide, a lot like todays midfats, with less sidecut.

The GLM was marketed as a "fast track" to skiing, and it worked well, but did have the limitation of being a "one-turn" wonder. Linked hockey stops. I taught a lot of college and high school kids, and it worked pretty well, with the limitations of that one turn.

I always felt that I got something out of GLM because of my previous skills, and had been really working on my wedeln turns, the 'ol short swing. GLM modified the move a little, and smoothed things up. But I really think that screwing around with the old-fashioned "hot-dog" stuff (that actually involved turns) probably helped my skiing even more.

Then came years of ATS/Centerline/PSIA stuff, midwestern division, liiiiitle tiny hill. I learned a lot, and taught a lot of free beginners lessons on the rope tow. As time passed I built up my personal bump skiing to the point that I actually got some regular privates, etc.

Fast forward about 9 years, I finally moved to Colorado, and started teaching at Breckenridge. The internal training at Breckenridge... well, I was a "one turn wonder", because it was ALL about bumps. Ask CDC! He remembers... [img]smile.gif[/img]

Breck's training was far better than anything I had ever had, and this includes the PSIA. Of course a lot of the trainers are PSIA, but I spent a lot of time with Aussie trainers, and some from Europe once in a while. Wider perspectives.

Now, enter the shape skis. This occured during the peak of Breck's internal training, aka the "University of Breckenridge". And guess what? I definately got better training from the "U of B" than PSIA. I was impressed, a lot of the trainers just jumped on them, and started working on them. I was hooked on shape skis on the first run, myself.

But only the "wild cards", the trainers that experimented the most, these were the folks that I kept training with. But it seemed unfocused at times, and not always clear...

During this period at Breck, I was also working as a bootfitter, and even started working with alignment. I had my alignment done RIGHT for the first time.... so my knowledge continued to grow...

Now, here I am, ripe for something. In hous training at Breck changes a lot, and, at least for me, was not nearly as good as the UofB was. I was hungry for knowledge, and well, like in the movie "Mooooore Input"!

After seeing and reading some of Harald Harb's stuff, I started using it in my lesson content. I was not trained from the PMTS folks yet, but it worked really well.

So I was quite ripe to try the PMTS training program. I can tell you this, it is NOT GLM, and it is a lot closer to PSIA, especialy the PSIA "new school" thinking, which is good for everybody.

PMTS is being marketed like GLM? Yea, somewhat, but so what? Harald gets more than a little passionate, and his enthusiasm sometimes rubs some the wrong way. He actually likes the controversy, and it does raise awareness of what he's got going on.

Personally, I see through that. He AND Diana have developed something quite special, and I have improved my lessons, as well as my "bottom line".

I do have the awareness of years of teaching ATS/Centerline/PSIA methods, and have worked with and amazing number of people over the years. One of the most common themes is either trying to get rid of the wedge, and especially in years gone by, losing the stem christie.

Nothing I have used in the past is more effective than the "bag-o-tricks" I have been learning from PMTS for losing these habits, and getting into strong parallel skiing. Period. It's NOT just the phantom move either, as powerful as that is.

I know what you are seeing in your friend Rusty, and I have seen it before too, imagine that. Lifting the foot all the time is silly. But some people kind of overdo certain moves, and this happens with any ski teaching system...

One mere thing... HIYA Pierre! Welcome back! I didn't know you and I had such similar ski education paths. Very interesting!
post #23 of 43
I think snowdancer is Murchison.
post #24 of 43
Rusty & Kee Tov:

I start with the usual line "intro questions" questions and try to establish what other sports and hobbies to form some frame of reference. There lies the problem ...... many of the folks have done nothing. Fully 25% of the average class are just not active in ANYTHING at all, have weight problems etc. They come as members of church or social groups.

The northern Catskills where Kee Tov works sees a bit more dedicated breed and the younger and agile/fitness oriented client from Manhattan, but I'm sure you have a percentage of the "couch crowd" too.

In an average class I will introduce the "gliding wedge" .... close to parallel, using the pressure to initiate turning. BUT .... I also have to resort to teaching the "survival wedge" so that I don't have half of the class heading for the lodge.

I'll probably be moving on this year to a bit more agressive area that caters more to the youth market where the clients are residents or "condo-commuters"..... and take their skiing more seriously, perhaps my perspective will be changing too.
post #25 of 43
I have only my experience with PMTS to go by - some emails exchanged with Diana.

Seemed very determined to teach EVERYONE the same way - no ability to adapt the teaching.

That was enough to convince me to stick with my instructors methods. APSI, PSIA, CSIA (One teaches at Aspen & does teach direct parallel there). At least they are quite innovative in their approach to teaching.
post #26 of 43

It's not a friend of mine who lifts the inside ski! It's someone I have only met once. I will say it may be that when I saw the woman doing it she could have been doing some sort of drill, although, the skiing looked fairly "upper level" and rather "dynamic".

The PMTS accred that I'm speaking about HAD a very pronounced weight transfer and hip movement to the new stance ski. In addition,she lifted or lightens her inside ski so much that the tail of her inside ski literally covers or overlaps the tail of her stance ski. She is working to correct these issues like all of us are in our skiing and will get it fixed.

I guess I'm saying any teaching system or student can lead to or fall into bad habits.


I've been married to the prettiest cheerleader you've ever seen.....for 23 years!
post #27 of 43
post #28 of 43
Bob Barnes said it early on:

Great instructors, focused on the needs of their individual students and not handicapped by any particular dogmatic approach or any linear progression, will ALWAYS teach the best lessons!

This is the best advice any instructor, or potential student can take. Regardless of the method, be it GLM, which was around before I was born, PMTS, or the CSIA's FTTP. A good intsructor always determines the needs of the student and proceeds accordingly.

Many things, not just ski length or it's shape, affect the ability of beginner student's to learn to ski. Fitness, athletic ability, past experience in other sports or athletic endeavours, confidence, and many other psychological factors all go into the success of the student becoming a skier.

In Canada, we use FTTP which, as most experience pros would tell you, is what good ski pros would do anyway. It is based on teaching students sound fundamental skills while recognizing the help that some of the newer technology can provide. It's real strength is that it is student centered and doesn't tie itself to anyone maneuver or dogma. If a student doesn't need to use a wedge to learn to turn effectively, then don't use it, if another student does need that wedge, then do use it.

In my experience I have found, that it doesn't really matter how good a student gets in the first day, week, year, of their skiing life for them to catch the bug. As long as they are having fun, that is the key for developing lifelong skiers. I work with the pros in my school on making sure that every lesson they teach is not only safe, and the students learn something, but that it is fun.

You never go on a second date if the first one was boring.
post #29 of 43
post #30 of 43
The Perfect Turn System uses something similar to GLM, 110s in level 1, 120s in level 2, 130s in level 3. It seemed to facilitate learning for me, but I am baffled why a few years later, I found it so hard to ski with snow blades.

As far as teaching systems go, it seems to be human nature to think in absolutes. This applies to anything! Look at some of the threads in Health and Fitness. People seem to get obsessed with which is "better" weight lifting or aerobics, and which diet is the "best". In truth, there are no one size fits all answers to these questions.
IMHO, ecclecticism rules.

The problem is, ecclecticism is not always good business. People tend to think in terms of sytems and product. But in the long run, this may be why people will jump from system to system, diet to diet, in search of the perfect plan.

Me, I prefer the Chinese menu view of learning.
Can I have one from column A and one from column B? [img]smile.gif[/img]
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