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my comments on Expert 2

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 

"the book" should be on its way to you by Wed or Thurdsay. I have seen enough. Been there, done that.. Breakthrough on skis was much of the same without the preaching. I'll read some more before I send it over.

A lot of good stuff but a lot of limiting stuff too.

1. I wonder how someone with wide hips gets properly aligned using his techniques. wouldn't that put you on both outside edges? or if you do the alignment with the feet touching wouldn't that put you on both inside edges when you stand naturally?

2. How does one pull the feet together without using large muscle groups. I worked on this in 1990ish when I read and practiced all of the breakthrough on skis before the video and actually reading the first edition of Lito's book. The only muscle I can think of that would actively pull the boots into contact are the groin, and thigh, (correct me on this lisaMarie or JohnH) and yet HH espouses that you want to change your skiing to use no large muscle groups and only small muscle groups with no steering. Lito's book taught me a great deal about my skiing and at the time enforced my attempts to ski with my feet in a narrow stance. All the weight on one ski helped a great deal on old stiff straight skis but I have found that the 2 footed stuff is even better on my "new soft shaped skis"

3. I do see how if you were stuck in the intermediate rut or first starting out this system would move you to the upper intermediate or even towards the expert range. Lito's clinics and books will do that too. But I think one would be severely limited in range of skills. There has to be so much more coaching/skill building once you get to the "expert" level that HH talks about. Racers that had bad habits as he points out would benefit from his teaching, I think all skiers would probably benefit from some of the things he is teaching but I don't see it as the end all of teaching. Maybe book 3? Even Lito had to re write his stuff for breakthrough on skis III to account for new technology.

That's enough rambling for me.

If other insights come up, I'll add them.
post #2 of 78
Not just wide hipped people, women, because of the "Q angle have a problem with this". Boot buckle tight stance would involve some contraction of the adductor, inner thigh muscles. I'm not knowledgeable enough to guess how it would effect technique. all I know is, I don't like it!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #3 of 78
Thread Starter 
I was being non-sexist but since you said it.. women and q-angles are exactly what I was thinking.
post #4 of 78
Thread Starter 
I thought you were gone. good to hear your thoughts. If you get this before you leave, I think I was on that track about angles. doesn't sound right. especially since I just had my alignment re-checked when I purchased my skates and was contemplating having a new set of footbeds made for my boots at the same time. We put my old beds on the "alignment" machine (2 boards with right angle hinges on the front and some bars that stay at right angles with the boards you are standing on. These boards are sitting on small dowels that will find their own alignment depending on the bottom of your feet. then you stand with your feet at a natural position (shoulder width for me and we look at if the hinged bars are straight up. (90 degrees with the floor) if they are we check to see that the bars hit you on the front of the knees(centered). After this we press straight forward and see if the bars wander off or stay in alignment with the knees (to see if the feet are pronating or supulnating) at least that's how I see this system working. I have checked on hill with an instructor and they feel I am aligned properly too. I guess I don't need new footbeds except that the tops are getting pretty ratty...
post #5 of 78

Don't just bail... Discuss it! O.k. you might need a little help from snowkarver for that.
A question though. Do you ski with your feet together? (hinge rivets of boots pressed together) If not, how far apart?

Just don't get out on the porch and start ranting...
post #6 of 78
Bob has it right. Argue anything you want - but for christs sake start backing it up with evidence. Looking back at these threads, nearly everybody has quoted great skiers - physics and other sources in their arguments . . . except for you. You seem to argue only for the sake or arguing.

Debate like an adult and present EVIDENCE, or leave.
post #7 of 78

Two things I find unpleasant with HH's preachings, from your 1st post here.

1) It sounds like HH is trying to tell us (instrucotrs or general skiing population?) to do our own alignment?? This is disturbing. I've been teaching skiing for 18 years, and I still don't know how the good alignment experts work their black majic. I would never suggest that alignment be a DIY practice. Especially once you start making permanent modifications to skis, boots or bindings. That's just bad karma.

2) Harb wants us to use our little muscles, not our big muscles? Small muscle groups get fatigued quickly, and are meant to be used for fine adjustments. It takes some amount of power to be smooth, since with power, comes the ability to make minor adjustments without having to force movements. Pretend you are trying to get the lid off a jar. If it takes every ounce of strength you have to open it, do you think you'll be able to open it smoothly and carefully, or is it going to explode in your hands? It's the same with skiing. If I can use big, powerful muscles to gently control my skiing, and small muscles only for fine tuning, then I will have much greater control.

Thanks for the notes. I hadn't heard those views of HHis before.
post #8 of 78
Thread Starter 
also please re-read my first post. 3rd point.
I see a lot of good stuff in the system but I also see some limiting factors that I pointed out. A lot of what he teaches (or preaches depending on who you talk to), has been covered in other "breakthrough" instruction systems. I read and studied Lito's "system" for years and advanced by leaps and bounds. I went as far as sharing my books/videos with my friends and buddies, giving away books as gifts. But I also found that there is more to learn after that. It was a great stepping stone to the world of expert skiing. I am very happy PMTS has worked for so many people but I wonder how many of them will go on to even greater levels of learning by surpassing the bounds of the HSS and moving beyond the box his system creates.
Every system has it's flaws. The best skiers are the ones that move beyond the teachings of any one system and incorporate all they learn, regardless of who taught it, into their skiing.
post #9 of 78
John H, My experience with HH concerning alignment did not focus on making anyone an alignment specialist. He was trying to get us to understand how alignment effected skiing and to do some experimentation for individual results. I learned a lot and it has helped me when dealing with some of the alignment specialists in my area. Many of them have turned out to be smoke and mirrors guys.

Wacko, I am also a fan of HH, but have also enjoyed learning from others and taking what works best for me. So far it's been HH, Demo Team members, Summer Race Camp, Lito, DesLauriers & Egans, PSIA Divisional Clinics, and friends.
Keep your ski learning mind open and don't drink the Koolaid
post #10 of 78

You wrote "Fer cryin out loud! All I do is report back what I hear from others and what I'm experiencing myself."

Followed in your next post by "Neither one of you will ever admit that I'm right."

So which is it? Are you trying to be right about something, or are you just reporting and being objective? You contradict youself constantly.

You also wrote "Everytime I present something, either Bob, or Gravity digs in their library and finds something to contradict what I say."

Yup! They do. By people with much more credibility than HH (Harb is only less credible because he is trying to make a profit, and disparage others in the process - he is a good teacher). They also know from their own experience that what they say is true. They don't preach the word because they like the guy who stated it.

In your personal and professional life, you sell something, right? If someone were to ask you why they should spend their money with you, I would hope that you have real answers for them, and don't just reply "because" like a six year-old. Yet, that's how your arguments here have been going. You do not have the ability to back up anything you say with your own observations. Only the observations of Harb himself, who does have a bias and a grudge. And you persist with these arguments, to the point of offensiveness, rhetoric, and insults. You have become completely passionate about something you know little to nothing about, and try to argue. It's like arguing with a child. Sad part is, as I've said before, you're older than that. Act with a little maturity and reason.
post #11 of 78

Thanks, I feel better!
post #12 of 78
Buns of Steel was #1 in its category. Dose'nt make it a fitness bible.
post #13 of 78
Thread Starter 
You mean Buns of Steel isn't the end all and be all of fitness....

post #14 of 78
John, in focusing on small muscle goups, I think that what Harb is trying to get the reader to do is shift from bodily force-based skiing to inertia-based skiing. This is why I said earlier that using the inside foot is a weak move. However, I don't think that the action of steering the feet is all that powerful. And it involves both the large upper leg muscles and the small ankle muscles. How much force can one generate just by steerin the foot anyhow? Maybe I'm missing something here.
Speaking of large muscle groups, it is interesting that in short turns, Harb wants the reader to rely on the lower body unwinding from an anticipated position to skid a flat ski through part of the arc, before setting the edges. Nothing wrong with this, of course, we all ski like this frequently. However, it is possible to perform carved short turns quite differently, such as the turns you and Pierre eh have described, and that I enjoy doing. Although certainly not as well as you guys. Anyways, the short turns Harb describes are definitely "old school". And are certainly more appropriate for intermediate skiers to learn. But he does not go beyond them, and I thought that this book was geared for advanced skiers.

Dchan, you said earlier that some skiers may be more advanced than PMTS can address. You may be right. This forum is one of the few places that such skiers can easily access
information appropriate to them.
You read the book. Where do you think that he could go in a book 3 without getting into steering? If he wrote about racing, he might have to change his position on the VERY narrow stance.
post #15 of 78
Thread Starter 
Perfectly put MilesB
I have not read it completly but what I have read would put a beginner or intermediate at a much higher level.
Yes I think the stance would have to be re-addressed for racing, more extreme skiing, Steep untracked and crud. Steering and rotary skills need to be addressed for tighter carving. I think he shot himself in the foot by writing that everything can be done with his "system" and everything else is "myth" instead of putting an out for himself as far as there may be more to learn and by telling his students that this is "the Way" if that is what we are getting. If HH believes that all skiing can be done this way I'll be sorely disappointed. If he feels this is a way for the masses to accelerate their skiing progress but realizes that there is more and just didn't put that in his writing, then I blame his writing skills more than his skiing and instructing skills. I have been looking tat the bumps section and I noticed he says to keep the upper body facing down the hill. Doesn't this infact create some steering/rotary even if unintentional just because as your skis head across the hill there is tension built up in the natural position of your waist and relation of your upper and lower body. when you release the edge your body will want to unwind. How do you avoid the steering/rotary created by the simple physics of this?
post #16 of 78
Bob Barnes said "ski instructors love students who have the beginners attitude, regardless of their level".
Hey, that means I'll be loveable forever!

{just fishing!}
post #17 of 78
Thread Starter 
I'll bite. you sound lovable anyways.
Yes I'm married too.

If you are hoping for a bite from BobB, you will have to wait until Saturday. He should be paddling by now.
post #18 of 78
Oh, a bite from anyone is okay. Wait, that came out wrong!
post #19 of 78
Thread Starter 
would a nibble be better...
oops that probably didn't come out right either...
post #20 of 78
these threads are either flaming barbeques or kissing fests! aarrrgghh..!

Lm you are lovable and will be forever...
post #21 of 78
Allright back to the topic. (damnit!)

So what do people expect of wacko in this discussion? I mean besides actually discussing? (which he's not been able to sustain-...aarrrghhh!)

With only 2 years of skiing, no teaching ever and no knowledge of the history of teaching what do we expect to hear?

Isn't the only thing he can talk about his experience? He's not really credible in any other area no?

So wacko, cut with the diatribes/parroting of what you've heard. In "arguing" you don't have much to go on since you have zero perspective.

(I'm not sure this will get us anywhere anyway)
post #22 of 78
Thread Starter 
ok. I have more thoughts now that I have been through the "undergraduate" portion and "graduate" portion.

1. HH goes into a section he calls weighted release in which he talks about a problem we asked about earlier. by stepping onto the uphill (new outside ski) so to lighten the new inside ski this creates a problem as the CM has to move up the hill in order to begin the journey down hill. He agrees that to get around this problem there is now a weighted release (from what I see 2 footed skiing) in which instead of shifting the weight to the new turning ski you roll or tip your inside ski to the little toe side. (Hmm seems I have heard this one before by Lyle "downhill sport let's move down hill") Ok that part addressed. Is there a contridiction there? I don't know. I won't go into the details of the exercises and new names but I will say if it were not so preachy and condescending sounding of the way some of us were taught I might even promote people to read it. So far I think any good instructor will give you this information.

2. Carving clean arcs in the snow... the way to check if you are doing this turn around and look after the turns. are there 2 clean narrow arcs sliced into the snow? (doesn't that mean both feet were carving?) then you are doing it correctly. There were several good exercises in this area but they are also things I learned from my good non-PMTS instructors. Of course they have a new fancy name too. ULBC (upper lower body co-ordination)

3. I still don't see how a lot of these skills will get you down a 40 degree pitch with an 8-10 foot wide track between trees. jump/hop turns are the course for the day in those conditions.

4. Also the keeping of the body facing straight down the fall line I think creates "rotary" forces that would be very hard to counter act. These will be input into the skis if you want them or not. HH does not address it in this way but seems to skirt the physics of this. Instead saying put the inside ski on a higher angle to get it to turn tighter than the "natural radius" of the shape in the ski. Have not yet figured out the physics of that. If it is supposed to be light and unweighted getting a higher edge angle will not cause it to flex more to create a tigher curve. You must put some weight on it to get it to engage the snow and flex. but that's 2 footed skiing. Yes it will cause the whole body to move farther out (in order to stay balanced over that inside ski) and create more edge angle on the stance or weighted ski but if it is not turning too wouldn't it try to go straight and cross the tips if it were not flexing. either that or you would have to steer it away (can't allow steering)

Enough for now. The book is moving on to the next person on the list.

So in the sense of "is this a good book", I think it is poorly put together and causes some contridictions. There are some good points and exercises but I found it condescending and a little confusing since there is probably a great deal of "new terminolgy" for old movements already learned. I think the teaching comes across too rigid with not enough adapting or thinking outside the box to adjust for different body types, learning styles, skiing styles or terrain.

would I buy it or recommend it. No. but not based on the PMTS part of it but just the poor writing and condescending way some of it is written.
post #23 of 78
Great, he's "invested more than you can think" in this system yet he continues to produce lousy books. A sure sign he refuses to get help (i.e. a real editor, designer etc) or the help he gets has close to zero input. Yet he's the best!

It's really too bad. I mean who wants a lousy book?
Compared to Mark Elling's "All Mountain Skier" they're crap.

Is there any type of "satisfaction guranteed" to the book?
post #24 of 78
dchan, lemme try to address some of your list...

1) the weighted release works better if you don't try to "step" and especially "up" on the little toe edge of the new stance ski, but rather balance on it deliberately (monetarily) before releasing into the new turn... promotes balance on the new stance foot early, just before you tip into the new turn. By only balancing, your CM won't move about...

2) Now this gets a little interesting. I really like doing the ATS cross-under with (delicate) rebound, with a two footed stance. What a gas! However, in PMTS, if you get a bit more stance foot dominant in the "power phase of the turn", pull the free foot back, while flexing it slightly, you'll get a bit of a split to the skis based on angles and the tilt of the terrain. Twords the end of the turn, narrow up, release, then start geeennntly extending that new stance foot, while really tipping, pulling back and pulling up (flexing/lightening) the new free foot. It's very amusing! Personally, BOTH carved turns feel great! Which is better? Dunno! LOL!
However the PMTS way seems to require a bit less effort, which is interesting.

3) Sometimes, ya gotta hop! However, I have been able to ski in terrain like that with carved turns, using/demoing "new style" slalom or carve skis. Stockli CarveX in a 168 for instance, or the Rossgnol T-Powers. I still like Scott Schmidt style pedal turns on the radically steep with weird, snotty snow! And that is not in PMTS at all... roflmao!

4) Another interesting area. I love skiing bumps, and I would say that the least amount of change, for me so far between the so called TTS (Traditional Teaching Systems) and PMTS, has been in bumps. And your comment about rotary stuff in bumps happening in bumps is right on. PMTS does not EVER talk about rotary as somthing you add, but as something that happens, usually passivly. But jeez, ever watcha a good bump competition? How about those full on rotary moves. So I dunno, I personally have felt little change in my bump skiing. And except for my "slightly wide stance" in the bumps, the comments I have received from PMTS folks wouldn't change much about how I do bumps. But I did not cert at that level yet, so I'm sure I'll learn more...

Now the tipping of the free foot progressively will force you to stand in balance on the big toe of the stance foot.

Have you ever tried these moves, with a little coaching/correction? Just curious.

Rusty Guy tried a few with me today at A-Basin, he found them interesting, and enlightening.

Have you seen the Level 2 Video?

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver snokarver@excite.com
post #25 of 78
ooops, funny TYPO, I meant...

balance on it deliberately (momentarily)
post #26 of 78
Thread Starter 
Actually I have done most of these exercises but just not called what PMTS does. So my point was not so much the mechanics but the fact that it's not exclusive to PMTS. They have fancy new names for some of the moves. When I first tried them yes very enlightening and very awkward at first. My problems are with the way they are presented in the book. In earlier exchanges with PMTS Wacko, he kept espousing the need to lighten the inside ski even lift it. ie 100% weight transfer. I went through this phase on straight skis back in 89-90 after working with Lito's book and finally his first video and more recently progressed past this. mr Wacko was early on telling us how this is the end of the instruction and I was wondering if I was missing something about the instruction. I know now that he needs to progress further into the program and learn a little more about the mechanics of the skiing. He will then be able to explain with more "facts" about how the PMTS exercise really works.
The stepping onto the "new outside" ski early was just a stepping stone to the now 2 footed matched edge angle lesson I got this past year. (If I had 160 days in 2 years....) I'm lucky to get 25 days a year. and until the last 5 years most of the days I would get in were one day here, one day there and maybe a weekend or two of 2 day trips. I now get 2 1week long trips to really ingrain the movements I'm learning. and I have been skiing for 37 years.
I am impressed that Wacko has learned so quickly but better than 97% and telling us we have all learned wrong and are teaching everything wrong is way across the line as far as I'm concerned. I'm open to understanding the different teaching styles and styles of skiing and will try to incorporate what works depending on the needs and situation but to tell someone there is only one way.. I don't think so.

Also try to ski in waist deep Alta chopped up powder on short sl skis in regal chute or hour glass chute and I suspect you will resort to pedal or jump turns too. Switch to longer mid fats like X Scream series and you will end up in the trees unless you have the other skills under your belt too. Just my opinion.

also no I have not seen the video. If you want to check my attempt at video taping myself www.sfo.com/~dchan/dchan
Since this video, I have been working on less counter rotation in the belly/power portion of my turns and moving across my skis more smoothly and extending through the turns. I guess in PMTS it would amount to pulling back of the inside (less weighted) foot. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 78
Hey snowkarver,

Why don't you address this issue of "the skis really do turn themselves"- wacko

What's the sidecut on your skis? 16-18m ? Let's say you get it down to 14m with flexing. That's still a pretty large turn. You just tip, weight and move and the skis "just turn themselves" into short radius turns?

Also: What do you do if you want to change (make it smaller) the radius of the turn while your making it?

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tog (edited May 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #28 of 78
Jamie Lee Curtis is too masculine to play me. When I saw Galaxy Quest on an airplane, every body thought I was arrogant because I was laughing at my own movie.
post #29 of 78
I have a question for wacko -

How well do you think you would be skiing if
a)you didn't take any lessons?
b)you took PSIA lessons?

and a comment on shifting wght to the uphill ski -

since skiing is dynamic you can actually move your cm downhill while shifting your wght to the uphill ski - shift your wght to your inside edge of the uphill ski and your cm will be shifted downhill.

But alas, I am an uneducated skier, don't know the diff between the phantom foot and the phantom of the opera or the diff between gliding wedge, braking wedge and a sand wedge.

I do think the wedge is very usefull and can not imagine not using it.

And how different is PMTS shift your wieght to the up hill ski, to a PSIA instructor taking someone down the bunny hill in a wedge and having them shift wght to the uphill ski to start the turn?

Now a question for a PSIA or wide stance skier (WSS).

As the terrain gets steeper and the speeds increase your stance narrows, IE the distance between your legs narrows as the vertical distance between your skis increases. Is wide stance only referring to your stance in a neutral posistion?

Why is alignment so critical? if you are using independant leg action and actively steering you would automatically correct any alignment issues, no? The only time alignment would be an issue is when relaxed in a neutral stance and going straight.

Anyway - just some thoughts from the trailer park.

PS. As for my personal views on this whole topic I am on the anti HH side.
post #30 of 78
"The whole key is to follow/trust the system and do exactly what they say. There's no compromise".
Man , that is the scariest thing you said so far. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
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