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Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier II

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm an advanced skier who's in the midst of a bit of a skiing breakthrough, as I've had the good luck to get my hands on a whistler/blackcomb season's pass last year and this year and am now getting around 30 days a season instead of my previous 10 or so. I've also switched from an old pair of 195cm dynastar s9's to a new pair of 177 r:ex's this year. Needless to say my skiing ability is improving fast - I'm really happy with the results I've been getting but am wondering if I can boot the learning process into an even higher gear.

Is HH's 'Anyone can be an expert skier II' a good buy? From its description on amazon.com it looks like it might help me with some of my more subtle technique issues, since I definitely can't afford W/B's ridiculous instruction prices.

Also, is this a different book from 'Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier: Powder, Bumps and Carving'? Amazon is a bit sketchy on whether or not these 2 are the same or not.

[ February 06, 2004, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: graeme ]
post #2 of 21
graeme, I read Harb's first book and spent 30 mins or so thumbing through his 2d book. I'd skip the Harb books and go straight for both of these:

The All-Mountain Skier (2d Ed.), by R. Mark Elling

Ski the Whole Mountain, by Eric DesLauriers

Both books take a much more effective look at good skiing movements, and will be easier to digest than Harb's "Anyone..." series books. I have a copy of Elling's first AND second editions, and the 2d Edition is much better because it's better related to modern equipment. I haven't read Eric D's book but have read plenty of his instructional stuff, and I am sure he conveys ski technique clearer and better than Harb.
post #3 of 21
I believe they are the same book. I'm looking at it right now and the complete title is "Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier 2 Powder, Bumps, and Carving". The ISBN number is 1-57826-074-4.
post #4 of 21
Here is the deal with the Harb book: It contains a progression of exercises, which if PROPERLY done in the sequence of the book, will guarantee that you will be a vastly better skier. Note, however, that it requires a level of commitment that you may not be ready for. Because you need to do all the exercises many times over, even if you think they don't apply to you. There are "tests" at the end of each chapter so that you will know if you are doing the tasks correctly.
To truly be an expert, you will need training beyond the scope of that book. But for a good foundation, it is a great resource, because you may need to start all over with your technique. It's worth the investment in my opinion. There is a video that goes along with it, you may want to get that also. And similiar to this site, there is a FORUM devoted to Harb's teaching, where you can ask him questions about your progress. Good luck!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
Here is the deal with the Harb book: It contains a progression of exercises, which if PROPERLY done in the sequence of the book, will guarantee that you will be a vastly better skier. Note, however, that it requires a level of commitment that you may not be ready for. Because you need to do all the exercises many times over, even if you think they don't apply to you. There are "tests" at the end of each chapter so that you will know if you are doing the tasks correctly.
To truly be an expert, you will need training beyond the scope of that book. But for a good foundation, it is a great resource, because you may need to start all over with your technique. It's worth the investment in my opinion. There is a video that goes along with it, you may want to get that also. And similiar to this site, there is a FORUM devoted to Harb's teaching, where you can ask him questions about your progress. Good luck!
Thanks - I'd clarify a bit by saying I've been skiing in the PNW for about 22 years now, so there are a lot of techniques that I am pretty comfortable with, but the switch-over from semi-straight to real shaped skis has opened my eyes a lot and got me interested in more formal instruction.

I had a lot of formal training as a kid, racing and otherwise, but obviously all of it was using the old straight-ski techniques.

I'll say again that as whistler/blackcomb is pretty much the only mountain I ski, real instructor-led training is by NO means affordable. It just isn't an option on my budget. At whistler, a measly 3 hours of private instruction will still run you $400 cdn. I love skiing, but there is a limit!

That said, I do think I have the commitment neccesary to get to that 'next level'. I want to go from where I am now (confident on steeps and in pow, fairly fast and confident in soft bumps) to being able to rip the nastier, icier bumps and pick a better, faster line through Whistler's often-tight trees. I also want to conserve more energy and be able to look a bit farther ahead while picking a line.

I'll have an opportunity to spend a solid week up at Whistler in March, and I was thinking that this might be a good time to get into a decent ski-instruction book and try things out day-by-day over the course of the week. Worth the investment? Would there be better books out there?
post #6 of 21
What you need probably goes beyond the scope of that book.
post #7 of 21
You could try the ski Esprit programs at Whistler.

They have good instructors usually & small groups - from memory 3 people - in a higher level group you may even do less people.

I have privates regularly & find that a group of 2-3 works better. So you should do well in a Ski Esprit group. If you take a few lessons in a week the instructor should be the same one & I think you get a discount for 5 ski esprits.

If you get Michael Berthoud (meesh) say hi [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 21
I haven't taken Ski Esprit so I can't compare but judging from what you've said about prices, without a doubt the Dave Murray Camps are the best value for money. As a seasons pass holder you will get 50% off. I've had Jacques Morel and Willie Raine. They're both awesome. Be forewarned that you must be prepared to work hard to improve. They're exceptional at taking good skiers; finding flaws in said good skiers' techniques and customizing instruction so that such skiers can become better skiers.

The camp runs 3 days and goes the whole day. For you I think the cost will be $ 250 for those 3 days.

The instruction is centred on gate-training but there is a lot of free-skiing.

At first I was a little hesitant because I wasn't interested in running gates at all. Then only after I took the course did I realize that the gates were merely a tool to teach technique.

I was in a rut previously and made the switch from straight to shaped skis so it sounds like we were in the same boat.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I cannot recommend them enough or say enough good things about the Murray Camp.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by LeeL:
I haven't taken Ski Esprit so I can't compare but judging from what you've said about prices, without a doubt the Dave Murray Camps are the best value for money. As a seasons pass holder you will get 50% off. I've had Jacques Morel and Willie Raine. They're both awesome. Be forewarned that you must be prepared to work hard to improve. They're exceptional at taking good skiers; finding flaws in said good skiers' techniques and customizing instruction so that such skiers can become better skiers.

The camp runs 3 days and goes the whole day. For you I think the cost will be $ 250 for those 3 days.

The instruction is centred on gate-training but there is a lot of free-skiing.

At first I was a little hesitant because I wasn't interested in running gates at all. Then only after I took the course did I realize that the gates were merely a tool to teach technique.

I was in a rut previously and made the switch from straight to shaped skis so it sounds like we were in the same boat.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I cannot recommend them enough or say enough good things about the Murray Camp.
Thanks for the info - this sounds like it's a little more in my price range and may be exactly what I'm looking for. I'll definitely investigate it before my trip in march. I'll be up there tomorrow so hopefully if I have the time I'll be able to get myself into the ski school to ask some questions (if i can tear myself away from the freshies [img]smile.gif[/img] ).
post #10 of 21
you're a good man, Lee! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #11 of 21
Skiing books like those for golf and personal growth, offer many approaches, techniques and exercises. Most have a formula or paradigm. The Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier book 1 introduces a complete system for the beginner skier to the expert. It is a different approach from the main stream instruction systems. Through the chapters you can pick up the instruction anywhere on the movement continuum. Implementing the exercises and movements will improve your skiing, but you might find that the idiosyncrasies that already exist in your skiing could influence your end result. The techniques in the book will make you aware of your movement weakness and offer changes to strengthen the weak areas. The alignment section advice alone will save you money and time.

Expert 2, the second book, is direct and immediately experiential. It peals away the layers of confusion built up in ski teaching from years of technical stagnation. The information in the book addresses, how to achieve and maintain balance, balance transfer, how and what movements change edges and create angles. Comprehensible self awareness and self-evaluating methods that are unique to teaching literature are part of the program. Insightful methods about all forms of skiing attach extra value to this publication.

My personal skiing experience is enriched by methods I have adopted from the Expert Skier series.
post #12 of 21
Perhaps sometimes we try to feed to our minds the stuff for which our bodies hunger.

Superb instruction, practice and mileage, muscle memory - and insight. Books have their place, and it's somewhere after, not before, these other factors. Let not the world be too much with us.
post #13 of 21
Heck, books are alot better than lessons. They're cheaper, safer, it's alot warmer in my den than on that slippery white stuff, and I always do all of the drills perfect here on the rug.

I like Harb's books. In fact, while I'm typing this I'm standing on my outside foot and lifting and tipping a Sam Adams.
post #14 of 21
I will agree with the title-
"Anyone can become an Expert"...

But it isn't going to come from a book, regardless of the author. I don't care if it's Joubert, Witherall, Bear, Larson/Majors, Abraham, Gallway, Harb, or even Barnes!

If it's going to happen, it will happen out on the hill! It will happen after countless hours of practice. It will happen after hundreds of days on snow. It will happen with the guidance of truly knowledgeable skiers. And there are NO shortcuts, regardless what any book claims! Lessons can help direct the student down a narrower path of discovery, but no amount of money is going to buy that student a single turn, if the foundation of time and experience hasn't been laid.

Certainly, some will learn faster than others. Thats human nature. But those individuals would also be the ones who would pick up any other sport more readily than the average person. Could you imagine how Tiger Woods might pick up skiing, were he to be so inclined? With his level of self control and body awareness, he would be an ideal student. Dancers, equestrians, and ice skaters all seem to transition easily into our unique environment.

I doubt if there is much of a difference between all of the protagonists of this argument, in what is perceived to be "expert" skiing. There is no one guru who has an exclusive lock on what makes a good turn, or how best to teach it. Every student will respond differently to different approaches. But how each pro attempts to get the message across is unique. It is a challenge to a good pro to have a broad enough background that they can match up the ideal method for each students receptive capabilities.

Maybe a particular book, article, video, or discussion happens to trip your switch, and gives you some insight to a facett of skiing. Great! But you still have to go out on the snow, and make it real!

For until then, the old adage holds true-

"Looks Good on Paper!"

:
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by vail snopro / ric reiter:
Could you imagine how Tiger Woods might pick up skiing, were he to be so inclined? With his level of self control and body awareness, he would be an ideal student.

:
Tiger said in a recent interview he has never even touched snow, he is a warm weather person. But since his fiance is from Sweden he may have to someday.

Of course if he tries skiing (or God Forbid-Snowboarding) Nike will have to get into the business and pay him millions.

Bet he could even go Direct Parallel!!!!

[ February 08, 2004, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Ski&Golf ]
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by disski:
You could try the ski Esprit programs at Whistler.

They have good instructors usually & small groups - from memory 3 people - in a higher level group you may even do less people.

Be aware that a couple of years ago W/Bchange the focus of the Ski esprit groups. They are no longer instructional per se.

To promote other ski school packages the Ski Esprit 3/4 day deals are mosty guiding. Some of the instructors still incorporate an element of instruction to ensure that the group is up to the terrain they would like to explore.

The focus is on having enough technique to explore the mountain at the speed of the group. People are grouped by where they want to go and how fast they want to ski and thn by their technical ability.

Groups are often 7 or 8.

The instructors are good but some places are not on the official itinery... All depends on your instructor.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by oboe:
...Books have their place, and it's somewhere after, not before, these other factors...
What you say is undoubtedly true for the majority of people, but I feel obliged to point out that there will be exceptions to this order of things, and as a professional instructor, it will be imporant to recognize when you have such a student.

For example, take a look at the first letter to the editor (p.6) in the Winter 2004 "The Professional Skier". In this case, the student couldn't do anything that he didn't first "understand". However, once his cognitive needs were satisfied, he could make his body do very impressive things with surprisingly little practice.

I certainly don't ever start out with a 100% cognitive approach, but I have run into a couple of less extreme examples of this myself among beginner adult skiers. In these two cases, the people had apparently each looked over a book on skiing before taking their never-ever lesson. Their intellectual understanding of knowing how long sticks can possibly turn and control their descent seemed to greatly settle their fears. Of course, it's also possible that the mere fact that my "explaination of skiing" was consistent with what they had read allowed them to trust me, which in turn allowed them to try the things I was asking of them. No matter what the exact mechanism, reading a book first (coupled with the cognitive based instruction that they obviously wanted) clearly helped these individuals progress rapidly.

Tom / PM
post #18 of 21
Tom - I used to be sort of like that....

I have always had a HUGE need to 'feel' a movement...

but also a MASSIVE need to understand what I was trying to feel...

If I don't understand it becomes very hard for me to focus on the task... my mental frustration can almost grind me to a halt...

Telling may help me do the movement - if I can see a correlation to what I know. I may also get nothing out of the explanation - except settling my mind down to allow me to learn. I do need the explanation first though.

If my instructor wants me to just experience something he will specifically tell me that is what we are doing & that he will explain it all later. I know he will meet that need & I can let go enough to ski.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
but also a MASSIVE need to understand what I was trying to feel...

If I don't understand it becomes very hard for me to focus on the task... my mental frustration can almost grind me to a halt...
OMG disski men must be a real challenge.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />but also a MASSIVE need to understand what I was trying to feel...

If I don't understand it becomes very hard for me to focus on the task... my mental frustration can almost grind me to a halt...
OMG disski men must be a real challenge. </font>[/quote]Yes - they have such silly boy brains
post #21 of 21
Bear? ric you're dating yourself.

[ February 11, 2004, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
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