Reasons for teaching the wedge according to CTKook:
Originally Posted by CTKook
1. Money (you have to come back for more lessons to unlearn the wedge and proceed to the next level -- there's a long history behind this in terms of teaching progressions, with the original reason for some techniques (but not the wedge) being simply to keep'em coming back).
2. Control. Both physical -- much easier to deal with large numbers of beginners in a small area if they're rocking braking wedges -- and psychological. In terms of psychological needs, it can be funny to see how distressed some (a minority, but a noticeable minority) people can get when they see someone getting taught without the "pizza." All sorts of great professions, cops, doctors, and ski instructors, have a minority of people get into it to have power over others. The wedge gives you more power; none of that carefree edge-riding stuff for a while.
I get the feeling a lot of people on here don't actually talk to beginners after a "wedge" lesson. A very common complaint is knee pain. It is what it is.
This post is close to ridiculous. Seriously. No, actually it is ridiculous.
Let's take it from the bottom:
"A very common complaint is knee pain"
From whom? Students who've just learned? - False.
Maybe people who've been wedging for years? There are very few of these people and they most likely don't take lessons. They probably ski one day every few years. People Doing power wedges down too steep trails? - Rarely happens except for kids where it can be quite common. Most of them don't complain about knee pain. They're too young. Adults would be far more likely to complain about hip pain from doing too much wedging. In general this statement bears no resemblance to reality except in one spot in one mind in CT.
If you're doing a gliding wedge, there's very little stress on the knees unless you're doing it in inappropriate terrain. Like steeps and moguls.
2) Let's just take this statement:
"All sorts of great professions, cops, doctors, and ski instructors, have a minority of people get into it to have power over others. The wedge gives you more power; none of that carefree edge-riding stuff for a while."
Wow, the wedge is a power trip to those who teach it! You can think anything you want and construct all sorts of reasons why it's true but that doesn't mean it has any relation to reality. Do you really think that instructors enjoy hanging out in beginner areas corraling errant begining students as if they're cops? First off, the skiers don't just ski around in full control like robots. It often is a lot of physical work to help them in many ways. It also can be dangerous - season ending injuries occur in these areas from getting hit. This is not uncommon.
There's nothing "carefree" about a never ever going down the slope uncontrolled in edge lock.
Next is the fact that a lot of places simply do not have room to do immediate parallel skiing. It can work, and when it does you just go with it. A lot though need the control of a wedge in very small space environments. The goal is to get out of there as quickly as possible.
1) "You have to unlearn the wedge"
No, actually you don't. There's nothing that's taught in a wedge that needs to be unlearned. When they acquire more skills they go beyond it. Correctly taught wedges have correct movements in them so there's nothing to unlearn.
You need to get another book then that one written in '98 that you seem to be getting you're info from.