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Suggestion for things to work on this winter?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm new to these boards but have really enjoyed some of the threads - helping to get me to think differently about my skiing and making me even more excited about the season ahead. Thanks to all.

I wonder if I could get some ideas for what to focus on this year.

A little background.

I guess I am just about an expert skier - I ski the whole mountain, enjoy chutes, bowls, confident in crud and powder (although never been in really deep stuff - mostly skied in Europe), ski the fall line in the bumps.

I think my technique is fairly good but I am largely self-taught. Actually that's not really true, I have learned by skiing with good skiers, watching them, asking for advice. Learned most of this while I worked two seasons in the Alps. In any case, I have had very little professional instruction (2 weeks of ski-school as a kid, two half day private lessons since). I still feel that I am making subtle improvements each year (with the help of the Atomic 9.22s I bought three years ago - big change from my old 200cm K2 SLCs!).

This year I am thinking of taking some lessons to give me a few things to think about. My question - what should I ask to do? I was wondering whether race instruction would bring benefits to my allround skiing (no desire to compete).

I realise that photos or vid would help - I'll have to try to get something digital.

Welcome your thoughts

J
post #2 of 8
1) If you can, ask someone you trust to recommend an instructor. The instructor is the most important variable in a lesson.

2) Take a moment to jot down all your goals for improvement. Settle on the three most important goals and prioritize them.

3) When you meet your instructor, he or she will want to do two things--find out your goals and expectations for the lesson and watch you ski (do a skills assessment).

4) Then together, you and the instructor can agree on the desired outcome(s), put together a plan of action, and have at it.

5) After the lesson, take a moment to jot down what you'd like to keep from the lesson so you can refer to these notes from time to time during the season.
post #3 of 8
I have two suggestions Jedster:

First, using the link on this website [ they get some credit if you do ]go to Amazon.com [ or what ever is appropriate in the UK ]and order "Breakthrough on the New Skis," by Lito Tejada-Flores. It is an easy read and there a lot of things you can do on your own, since you have indicated that much of what you have learned is self taught. If you do follow Nolo's advice it will help reinforce a lot of what you should learn from any ski lessons.

Second, because you profess to being an expert or almost expert skier, if you have not already learned it, emphasize early weight transfer to the uphill edge of the uphill ski. In a dramatic way, this is done by stepping off of the downhill ski with the obvious result of engaging the outside edge [ little toe side ]of the uphill ski. A more subtle way, is through the relaxation of your downhill foot and leg, so that by default your weight is transfered to then uphill ski.

Plant your pole, tilt your unweighted downhill ski toward the little toe edge, and your turn should commence almost automatically. Then match [ i.e. bring it in next to ] your unweighted ski next to the weighted ski. Practice all this on rather easy terrain until it becomes automatic [ i.e you don't have to think about it.]

It's all explained much better in the book.

Best of luck
post #4 of 8
Jedster,

The Skier's Edge by Ron LeMaster is another book you may find helpful. The last person I recommended the book to credits a breakthrough in his skiing to closely reading the book and getting a new pair of boots. This was Wear the fox hat. He has a testimonial in the equipment reviews forum.

And, of course, Bob Barnes's The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing is a MUST for any serious skier's library.

By the way, my comment about the instructor being the most important variable might be misread. I meant that from the student's perspective, the instructor is the most important variable.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Nolo,

Thanks for the advice. I am certain that you are right - finding a really good instructor has to be the most important thing, everything else is secondary. Skiing in Europe makes this a bit more difficult in that once you are a capable skier I think it is important that the instructor's English is excellent(as my French is pretty bad) otherwise they find it difficult to communicate the subtleties of further improvement.

In terms of setting goals I guess here I was looking for some suggestions as I dont have a clear objective other than to be "better". I don't claim to be a superstar - I am sure that a good instructor will find plenty for me to work on - so maybe I should just book a check-up.

Thanks again,

J
post #6 of 8
I know some good ones in Fiss(?sp)(austria)

Or if you want to go ski touring in the Dolomites see this lot

skiare

Mark MacDonald from there is an examiner & instructor trainer here who comes highly recommended by some of his clinic people for level 3 Oz exams....
post #7 of 8
To buy books from Amazon in the UK, use this link:

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/stores/browse/-/welcome/468294/epicskicom/

AC gave it to me, and it seems to work.
post #8 of 8
Jedster,

There's a Scotsman, Ewan Cameron, and a Polish guy, Andy Kropp, who have a skier development program that operates out of Chiemsee/Garmisch called Ski with the Pros. I was one of their examiners, so I can personally vouch for these two guys. In fact, Ewan is an examiner now. They are excellent, their English is excellent, and they are delightful company.

Ski with the Pros is a member ski school of the Northern Rocky Mountain PSIA division.

I'll send you a PM with the contact info if you'd like.
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