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learn to ski at home [before ski season starts after moving to ski country, a Beginner Zone thread]

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi- I just moved to Utah not too long ago and really want to learn how to ski. I'm a bit intimidated to just throw myself at the mountain so was wondering if anyone knew of any "learn to ski at home" videos or tutorials online I could access before hitting the slopes and taking actual lessons at the resorts. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

post #2 of 15

as a skiier who began in feb 08 just shy of my 46th bday, i would recommend klaus mair's sofaskischool video : its just the best visual instruction you will find. perfect basic movements, if you start with his lesson, i think potential to become a maestro is high. i have skiied with klaus this year, he is a class act as a human being too. the website and you can order online, ask him questions via email:

www.sofaskischool.com

there are threads on this forum also about the dude.

its around 30bucks, trust me best 30bucks you will ever spend.

 

also, taking lessons on the slopes from "technically proficient" instructors in your area is invaluable and an investment which will provide returns over a lifetime. you live in the US' ski mecca, that part should be easy. tremendous skiiers in your hood and so no problem for you to find an instructor or many for that matter. some skiiers can be "d*cks" - arrogant but funny thing is most of them are actually pretty mediocre when it comes to skill, most of the really good skiiers are pretty constructive and motivate others to get better. its a sport where friendships are easy to come by (ofcourse like in anything else, a**eholes do show up now and then!)

 

klaus mair has an introductory video clip on youtube,  its probably the most watched ski clip on youtube. anyway here it is:

 

 

a more step by step approach is also available from Rick at www.yourskicoach.com ; this is more of a "building blocks" approach, its good stuff, you have to decide what approach you prefer. Rick's a contributor to epic ski and is around here somewhere! the cost of this dvd series is higher. he is definitely someone who can give you counsel. here is a video which encapsulates rick's approach: step by step

 

 

 

folks have different goals in learning to ski. some just want to feel they have "conquered" the slope, i.e. somehow make it down slopes and then graduate to harder ones, others focus almost totally on becoming a better skiier, and there are those in between...you have to figure out where you are along this spectrum.

 

one last piece of wisdom, my little boy is the one who made me learn to ski, he taught his old man that "skiing is good for the soul" - i assure you that is greater wisdom than anything you can find in any religious text! its a religion but one where the mind and body move as one at velocity and its a mind-bending dance..what could be better!


Edited by dustyfog - 5/27/2009 at 05:21 am GMT


Edited by dustyfog - 5/27/2009 at 06:37 am GMT


Edited by dustyfog - 5/27/2009 at 06:39 am GMT


Edited by dustyfog - 5/27/2009 at 06:39 am GMT
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your recommendations and words of wisdom!  I will check out both of the suggested videos/dvds and see which one feels like it might be the most helpful.  I truly appreciate your advice and can't wait to get started and join the "religion"!

post #4 of 15

New2skislc--Congratulations on finding skiing.  Can't comment on the sofaskischool dvds but can comment on the dvds from Rick (www.yourskicoach.com)  Building blocks approach, very highly structured.........for me as a structured person, makes a lot of sense.  Not much gloss.....but packed full of info and ever increasing level of challenge in drills.  Also gives you access to online help from Rick (former world cup race coach).  Wouldn't hesitat to recommend these DVDs -- the only question is are they the right fit for YOU and at this point in your development.  IMHO, if the answer happened to be yes, you'd progress more quickly than some of the rest of us have (but not necessarily with more enjoyment!!!!).  Whatever you choose, all the best and welcome to our wonderful addiction!!!!!!!!!!

post #5 of 15

New2skislc,

 

The biggest problem in trying to read / watch and learning something like skiing or golf is that it is very challenging to "teach" the body the physical sensations and truly understanding what the correct movements are supposed to feel like.

 

In skiing one of the biggest challenges you'll face down the road is learning how to balance on the outside ski, a physical movement that in many ways challenges the mind's perception of what the body should be doing.

 

In addition to watching videos, I would encourage you to do activities this summer that put your body in positiions similar to what you see in the videos.  You could and should try:

 

Constantly work at improving your balance.  Do exercises at the gym standing on one foot.  Brush your teeth or put on your socks while standing on one leg. 

 

 

Invest in a pair of roller blades (or possibly Harb Carvers if you want to spend the money) and a pair of ski poles and try to emulate the carving movements you see on the videos on a gentle slope while roller blading.

 

If you hike, you can use the trip down the hill to practice movements (holding your arns in the skiing position, pushing off the left leg to turn right quickly, etc.)

 

Biking, particularly the movements you make when making sharp turns, are similar to the movements you make when carving a turn.

 

In other words, you won't be able to just read and learn... you'll need to figure out ways to practice and learn the movements.

 

Good luck.

 

Mike

post #6 of 15

The original video version of Breakthrough on Skis back in the early ninties was generally considered to be, along with the companion book, the best instruction video ever made back in the days of straight skis. I have heard it said that it should be required reading for all ski instructors. There has since been an updated version produced since shaped skis came on the scene called Breakthrough on the New Skis, which I really liked, as it includes video of a handful of gifted skiers with varying backgrounds from instructional to racing that all share the same common theme, the same basic fundamental building blocks that seem to be a common denominator for all the truly great skiers of our time. Well worth the investment, IMO.

post #7 of 15

new2skisic,

 

Welcome to Epic!

 

Some good materials mentioned above.  My advise, as a full time instructor, is to be patient and don't have the expectations that you will be able to ski like the instructors in the video after a few lessons.  Take the time to learn the fundamentals of skiing, don't try to short-cut the process.  It takes a lot of time and experience to get proficient on skis.  Enjoy to process instead of trying to leap into situations that you are not prepared for.

 

A capable private instructor will help you set the pace of your learning and give you guidance on what slopes you should be skiing.  Making some wrong choices on where to ski can actually set back your development as a skier that takes a very long time to undo defensive movements that can result.

 

If you haven't already done so, don't rush to buy equipment.  I advise to try (demo) some different skis that your instructor may recommend and try on boots with someone that is very knowledgeable about boots when you go to the shop.  Many new skiers buy equipment that is too high performance for them (thinking that the equipment can enhance their learning) and that can also hinder their development.

 

Welcome to the world of skiing.  Have fun an be safe.

 

RW

post #8 of 15

 

 

Quote:

If you haven't already done so, don't rush to buy equipment.  I advise to try (demo) some different skis that your instructor may recommend and try on boots with someone that is very knowledgeable about boots when you go to the shop.  Many new skiers buy equipment that is too high performance for them (thinking that the equipment can enhance their learning) and that can also hinder their development.

 

Great advice Ron!

 

Karl

post #9 of 15

When you begin be weary of well intentioned friends.  Would almost recommend that your first few days on the hill don't let them near you, listen to your instructor.  More beginning skiers never got by the first couple of days because a friend said, "lets go to the top, you can do it, follow me".  If you wait for the progress you will have a LOT more fun on skis soon.  Ron White spelled it out well up above. 

 

Also you do not have to start at one of the high profile resorts.  All will have good ski schools, some will direct themselves more towards beginners programs.  Ask around a bit.  Hey all you SLC folks reading this, help the newby out. 

 

Your most important technique to develop is smiling.

post #10 of 15

+1 On this one.  I think that being with friends that make it look easy instead of being with someone who is struggling is much as you are is a major confidence shaker, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

When you begin be weary of well intentioned friends.  Would almost recommend that your first few days on the hill don't let them near you, listen to your instructor.  More beginning skiers never got by the first couple of days because a friend said, "lets go to the top, you can do it, follow me".

post #11 of 15

You can learn to ski at home if you skate (ice not rollers) good. Put a blade on edge and it will turn - as a ski. Braking is very much the same.

Videos tell how skis work and what to do to make them work...

 

When starting to ski from 0-1 level, take hockey skates and go skating for a couple of hours. Speed up and make some sharp turns L->R->L->R  then brake... Again and again... You can make good speed on skates - you won't be afraid of speed on piste.

 

Add some skiing lessons when you go to ski and everything should be fine

Edit: Better private lessons, so instructor can adjust lessons according how fast you improve...


Edited by irafar - 6/12/2009 at 08:29 am GMT
post #12 of 15
New2ski,   Videos, books, movies etc. are all good but only for the hype and your desire to learn.  DON'T try to learn to ski from watching a video.  Inline, climbing etc. may help you get in shape but are not going to teach you how to ski.  You will not learn how to ski sitting on the couch - never happen.

Read everything you can here in the Beginners Zone and you will learn more about what and how you should approach this winter in Utah.  Abov e all you will be undertaking a lifetime of thrills, fulfillment, sometime frustration and you will make many life long friends.

There is one way to become an accomplished skier;  Time on the Snow . Thats the fun part.  Good Luck.
post #13 of 15
 The best thing you can do is go to the Deseret News ski clinics held every year starting in Sept. They teach the classes at a park then go to Alta when the snow flies, at a very reasonable cost, I think it may still be free. I'm not sure of the teachers now but they were the ski instructors from Alta and they may still have help from the University of Utah ski instructors.
post #14 of 15
Very good info here. Thanks a lot guys
post #15 of 15

bump

 

An old thread from 2009 in the Beginner Zone that has some pretty good suggestions for beginners who want to get a head start during the off season.  While some of the ideas are specific to living in SLC, others are helpful in general.

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