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A note for my on-line pals

post #1 of 167
Thread Starter 

There's a great rag that you all should check out - Inside Tracks. It's simply the best skiing rag I've ever seen.

Another great web site is peterkeelty.com. It's going through a revamp and the new version will be on-line 7-15. Check it out for a preview.

Finally, on all this PSIA versus brand x thang, I'm finally able to speak; one as an entrepreneur -- not as a televangelist (as LisaMarie so aptly put it), two, as someone who loves the sport and has looked carefully at it.

First, as an entrepreneur, talking to the ski instructors that hang out here, whatever puts more money in your pockets, -- not the "man's", that's what I'm about. And if the two are one in the same, that's cool too.

Then, as a consumer who simply loves the sport -- I'm for whatever is best for; me the customer, skiing, and the long term growth of the sport.

On instruction, and relating to the advancements in equipment, it's clear that changes are necessary and now over due.

Shaped skis have forever changed this sport and it's time for ski school directors everywhere to see this. Not only this, boots are better, and proper alignment is now a reality for all of us, not just world cup racers.

So, I truly believe that the largest percentage of skiers, the ones who are truly responsible for the bottom line, are not being taught technique focused around these profound advancements in skiing.

However, I understand that Rome wasn't built in a day. But that's not an excuse now. From what I know, shaped skis have been in the market for about 5 years now. If the teaching exists, but heretofore has not been possible to teach due to equipment restraints, now's the time to dust off the manuals! Or, if there's a brand x, and brand x really is the way to go, do it. Or, if there's others that have been successful, learn from them! Just do whatever is best for me, the customer.

So, ski school directors, get off the schnide. It's time for instruction to catch up to the equipment. Just remember that if you teach me to ski better, I won't fall down as much, which means I'll have a lot more fun. Then, because I have so much fun at your ski area, I'll be back more. And you know what? I'll bring my family and I'll tell everyone I know. I'll take more lessons, I'll buy cokes and beers, maybe even some property. What else could you ask for?

And of course, I have to temper my post with a quote that I learned years ago from a mentor:
"Free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it".

Yep. That about sums it all up.

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 167

Dittos on IT and the Pete Keelty web site.
post #3 of 167
I'm not sure that quote, which you put at the end of your post is true. This website alone shows that you can get plenty of good advice for free. I for one have learnt a lot from reading threads on this forum for about the last 9 months. I'm sure there's others like me, just reading and staying quiet - except I've come out of the woodwork now!

Now most of what I've learnt from all the sound advice is still in my head, since I have little opportunity to apply it on the snow.

One of the best threads I ever read here was one where Bob Barnes explained in great length that basic wedge turns, when done properly, have more in common with expert skiing and with all the moves that a good skier makes than a parallel skidded turn. Parallel isn't everything, definitely not when you start out...

Still, I'm going to practice some of the progressions I've found on the HSS website when I get the next opportunity. But I won't buy the book. I might want to do a camp with Lito, though, because I like his attitude and approach. Love his first video!

All the best

post #4 of 167
Just wanted to add that Peter Keelty is the ski tester for IT, so if you find yourself liking both outfits (as I do), it's no coincidence!
post #5 of 167
A note about Lito, He's a great guy with some different views. I find his passion for skiing and gift for explaining and teaching with "laymens" terms appealing. My Father, Uncle and another friend went to his camp and all raved about it. He seems to be all about having fun on the slopes rather than "follow this progression to become ..."
I have posted bits of emails I have gotten from him. If you have not yet gotten it, his third video is specifically about how to take what you learned on the first video and apply it to shaped skis. He is also putting the final touches on a new book due out sometime this summer. I'm looking forward to it.
post #6 of 167
I did a Lito camp 4 years ago and really enjoyed it. He used instructors from the Aspen Ski School and the one we had was very good. It is a less technical approach than PSIA or PMTS.
post #7 of 167

Definitely agree with you about Inside Tracks - Lisa got a subscription to it last season and I found it to be really good, with no fluff.

The more "commercial" ski rags are ok, but they tend to have the same "bought and paid for" style that nothing is every really bad (if they bought an ad). Same thing that's wrong with Stereo Review, Car & Driver, PC Magazine, and all the other specialty glossy mags. Yes, there's a wealth of info, but you have to filter out the marketing-related nonsense. Whereas IT has believeable opinions.

Not getting into the specific "brands" of ski schools, but I pretty much agree with your points in this thread on instruction and equipment. The big improvements I made over the past couple of years (Not as big as yours but not nearly as many ski days as you unfortunately!) came from instructors that knew how to work with the new equipment. People who didn't try to get me to master the older styles of skiing.

Which ironically I was still trying to do, and had never done very well. Instead it was what works for the student, with his equipment. The techniques they taught me, which included some very subtle movements and adjustments, wouldn't have worked on the older equipment.

But that's ok with me, I don't ski on that equipment any more, and barring a TEOTWAWKI scenario with only old 210 cm straight skis left in the one ski house left standing, I don't intend to again anyhow.

I'm not in a position to know or judge whether PSIA or CSIA or PMTS or CWAJGA is "best", but as a consumer of ski services including ski instruction, I have found that instruction that accepts and works with the modern equipment's inherent capabilities works for me.

I think there are some parallels with the technology fields which you and I (and several others here) are in that make sense here.

As a software engineer and manager of other developers, I'm eclectic about methodologies in my profession. I may use a RAD, "controlled chaos" methodology like SCRUM for one project while using something CMM-level 3 or higher compliant for another, depending on the client's needs and the project's natural form. But I always do have a methodology and project structure in mind, even if I can't always put a brand name on it. I think the best ski instructors may well do something similar. Forget strict progressions, whether they be Harb or Lito or "Centerline" - instead what's the client's equipment, experience, desire, need, available time? What's in my toolkit to help that client maximize her/his opportunity to meet his/her goal? And also importantly, did I (the pro) and the resort give the client the best possible "experience" in all aspects, both technical and customer service?

Another parallel I see is that training of professionals, and the work they perform for the client, must reflect the state of the art now, not the old days. Yes, I can (barely) manage to read a core dump the old-fashioned way - but we have IDEs, interactive debuggers, intelligent editors, validators and just-in-time compilers now. I don't need to - and the newer, less-experienced developers coming up in my team definitely don't need to waste time with that when they need to start thinking in XML and Java instead of 1983-style programming.

We need to train people and encourage people to use these tools and adapt their professional skills to the tools that exist now. It may be fun to remember the old days when we (well not me) all programmed in assembler, unless we were "real manly men" programming in machine language itself - but that's not going to get the financial services e-commerce application or the new telephony application serving the customer any time soon now.

I fondly remember my old private-label department-store brand "Jordan Marsh Metal Skis" (actually an OEM by either Head or Hart I believe) but I also remember I could barely do a stem christie on them (showing my age here). I'm a darn sight better on my XScreams (some 35 cm shorter too) and got even better from instructors who helped me learn how to use them.

See, lots of stuff we have to talk about and in part agree on about skiing. Good topic-starter here SCSA, thanks!

post #8 of 167
Thread Starter 
Hi Mark, what's happenin!

I'm with you. It's going to be really interesting to see how this all shakes out, talking about the instruction. I mean, it's pretty obvious that things need to change. And, on the flip side, I think the whole darn thing is fascinating.

One thing for sure. I have studied enough of what PSIA teaches to know that they teach skiers to make their first move with their uphill ski. Beginners it's the wedge and experts, they call it banking, rolling the uphill ski onto it's big toe edge.

Who am I to question this? Right? All I know is that it just doesn't add up. Why, if the goal is move downhill, is the first move on the uphill ski?

Now, I also understand that instruction has been limited, due to the equipment. But, like I said, that's not an excuse anymore.

All I know is that I think this period we're in is going to go down as being really important in skiing. What do you think?

Finally, I have some final thoughts about today, and I'd like your feedback. Check it out.

later -<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 167
Yes, very interesting times for skiing as an industry, and rather critical for it. As for instance ASC's plight and the overall declining skier numbers point out. (and my continually declining ASC stock...). It's good we all have this lively but reasonably under-control "virtual ski house" to share and talk about this stuff, thanks to AC and to all the many participants.

<blockquote>Finally, I have some final thoughts on that firecracker of yours. Check it out and I'd like your feedback.</blockquote>

Hmmm... I'm going to take your "firecracker" comment that in the spirit of a compliment about Lisa, since it would clearly be what AC would like me to do here. Beyond that, I don't think any of us should be commenting on other people's friends and family whether those significant others are members of this community or not. What I will say is that if she's a firecracker, she's her own firecracker. Her comments are her comments; her friends are her friends (they may be mine too but that's not the point), and her friends' comments are theirs, not hers or mine.

Hey, she's an in-your-face New York Woman (I'm listening to BJ Thomas' "Eyes of a New York Woman" from an oldies mix CD I'm burning as I compose this.) Like I've said before, Miss Not-Betty-Crocker. If that makes her a "firecracker" then hey, that's part of what attracts me.

As a former 20-year New Yorker myself before moving to Boston (20 years doesn't quite qualify to make me "from" NYC but it's close), we New Yorkers tend to all appreciate an in-your-face, "you talkin' to me?" approach.

We're from a "you give as good as you get" culture. It's how you survive on Wall Street or Villa Ave or for that matter the Vertical Club. So if someone lobs a literary equivalent of a SCUD missile, well there's a whole battery of verbal ABMs just ready to be lit off. Also a "you protect your friends for life" kind of background.

What do they say in the world of diplomacy? "They had a 'Frank and open' discussion"? Which means it stopped short of throwing furniture. OTOH, that means that neither party was afraid to bring out their deepest concerns - that content was more important than posturing, and that each party cared deeply and passionately about their position yet still tried to communicate. You ought to see some of the project meetings at the average brokerage firm.

Clearly you, me, Lisa, Todd, Bob, Tog, Lisakaz, Charlie, Skiminker, SnoKarver, g-dubs, almost everyone here (nobody feel offended or left out, I'm just pulling a few names out of the air) all feel passionately about this sport, about learning it, doing it, hanging out and shooting the bull with others who do it, and debating the technical aspects of it along with the cameraderie. So sometimes we'll have "frank and open" discussions. As long as we don't stay over the line of reasonable discourse, it's all part of the fun. I've already laid out the other day what I thought that line was.

For me, the "storm" has already blown over. We've all got a lot to share about this sport, so let's get on with that and get past all the other nonsense.

But like I said, always on guard, always ready...it's that city "street sense".
post #10 of 167

Good point that you're making about moving with your downhill ski first, when you're moving downhill. As usual, I'm too lazy to do my research, but I remember that there was a thread a while ago in which Bob Barnes compared skiing turns to directional changes when walking, i.e. that if you were walking along and a friend called over to you from the right, you would most likely step first with your right foot towards him/her. Bob then applied this to skiing.

As you can probably tell, I'm a bit of Bob fan - he just explains things so beautifully without getting too technical. You can actually picture things in your mind's eye. Bob, I hope you're reading this. I have appreciated all your input!

Going back to making turns, when I was skiing in Austria last our instructor tried to teach me - and the emphasis is on TRIED here - racing turns. If I remember correctly, they actually involved sort of pushing yourself off the old stance ski just before you turn, to give you a bit more momentum. Now, my question to everyone here is: did I understand this correctly? Is this a modern racing technique or is it outdated? Some of the instructors that were in our group appeared to be very old school, skiing with there boots locked together. They did it very well, though, looking extremely elegant. However, that's certainly not my style and not something I aspire to.

dchan - I do want to get hold of Lito's "new skis" video. Unfortunately, you can't get it in shops over here. BTW, Lito has just updated his website for the summer edition. I love his poetic writing.

post #11 of 167


One thing for sure. I have studied enough of what PSIA teaches to know that they teach skiers to
make their first move with their uphill ski. Beginners it's the wedge and experts, they call it banking,
rolling the uphill ski onto it's big toe edge.


SCSA, I am of the opinion that you are mistaken. I'm PSIA level 1 certified and and I can't find what you have described in any PSIA training material, nor has it ever been taught in this manner to me in a PSIA clinic.
post #12 of 167
Thread Starter 
Hi Charlie,

Here's where the can of worms will open. In my case, I've only learned brand x - it's all I know. I make turns one way and have a very specific plan for skiing, anywhere on the mountain. Where ever I ski and in whatever conditions I ski in, my plan is the same.


I know you follow the brand x thang. One concept you must "get" if you're to be successful, is the weighted release. I can tell you that until I mastered it, I was having some trouble. And once I mastered it, which wasn't really until the end of May, well, my skills went to a whole new level.

One thing I'd like to know. How motivated are you? What are your goals with skiing? Do you aspire to be great? Or is recreational skiing enough?

These concepts I'm talking about are truly the finer points of skiing and they're technical. But don't let this scare you. I'm a knucklehead, as you know. I've learned them. Because, one thing that brand x has done really well with their "system" is to describe it in a cliche free manner and to lay it out in a common sense approach.

If you're in that "intermediate area", my best advice would be to follow one system religously and don't listen to anyone else that doesn't/hasn't done the same until you've mastered it! All that'll happen is that you'll get confused - you won't improve.

If you're trying to make a decision as to which system to follow, talk to instructors here and else where that are certified PSIA and brand x. They're truly the ones who's opinions you should trust. I mean, if you were going to buy a Ford, who's opinions would you trust more? Ford owners or those who'd heard about Ford?

If you're an intermediate and you think you can "mix and match advice", I think it's a big mistake and I don't think you'll ever really improve. You'll just learn to do bad habits better.

Why? Because, you're going to get a bunch of different opinions as to "how to ski". This is the biggest problem with traditional ski instruction, talking about getting beginners to the expert level. It's not productized and it should be and it ends up confusing people because it's so vague.

With brand x, there's one way and one answer for every problem you're having. So, progressing to the expert level is so much faster.

So, if you want to "mix and match advice", I shouldn't be answering your posts. I'd be a hypocrite. I'm not certified, but I'm a student who's learned, almost mastered this system. So, you and I could chat as students.

Talk to me -
post #13 of 167
Thread Starter 
Rusty, What up!

Okay, maybe I'm wrong. PSIA folks chime in.

Aren't beginners taught the wedge? If you're going across the hill in a wedge and to make a right turn, you would tell someone to transfer weight to the left ski, then bring the right ski in. Is this correct?

Then, in parallel skiing, PSIA style, you're going across the hill and you want to turn right. Isn't the school of thought that the first move would be to immediately roll the uphill ski from its little toe edge on to its big toe edge? Isn't this what's referred to as "banking?"
post #14 of 167

How can you have "almost mastered the system," when HH is refining the system daily? When you have a Black pin, then let's talk. I have a Green pin and I have a lot to learn about the system. Have you ever tried to understand Student Directed Ski Instruction? From what I have read of your posts, you fail. One of the tenants of SCSI is "understanding." Understanding what you say and how other people take what you say is your biggest failing. Try to soften what you say and don't try to come off as "knowing the system', because you don't.

post #15 of 167
Thread Starter 
Rick H,

I'm talking from a students point of view, you're talking from a teachers point of view.

As a student, yeah, I'm a graduate, this is what I mean.

Rick, I have a style and it's never going to change. I yam what I yam.
post #16 of 167
Then how can you question the way anyone else learns or teaches? If you yare what you yare and ain't neever goin' to change?
post #17 of 167

As a student you still have a lot to learn. Weighted release is just a start. Try doing linked one ski turns on blue/black runs and then you might have graduated. But then there is flexion releases.....

RH<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Rick H (edited June 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 167
Something that SCSA and others are missing is that many ski instructors are high school dropouts looking for a free pass. So what do you expect.
post #19 of 167
Thread Starter 
Rick H,

There's not one move in either 1 or 2, book or video, that I can't do really well.

Maybe you and I will do some turns one day - you'll see for yourself.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #20 of 167
Thread Starter 

Funny on the "Hey..." thread. I could carry on, but then I'd end up right back in the shi**er.
post #21 of 167
Thread Starter 
John J,

I'm not questioning Charlie and I fail to see where you come up with that.

If you think I'm questioning TTS, I'm only saying what I see to be it's weaknesses and what I feel could be done, in my opinion.

She asked for my advice, and I gave it to her, one student to another.
post #22 of 167
post #23 of 167
Thread Starter 
Hey MilesB,

Real quick - I know you'll appreciate it.

I had a data T1 as soon as they came out - my offices are in the carrier hotel.

Anyway, as soon as I installed it, all my guys wanted to work more. It was hilarious. One night I came down to the office and there they were - partying, smoking, drinking, checking out you know what on the 'Net. I mean, this was the mid 90's. Jeez, they were so happy.

So, when I came in, all their faces turned white - they thought they were in big trouble. I just laughed (even partied with 'em for a while).

I just told 'em that if they wanted to smoke, they'd have to go out on the fire escape.

To this day, one of my guys loves me just because of that night. I mean, talk about building loyalty with your people...

later -
post #24 of 167
By reading your posts; don't you?
post #25 of 167
Thread Starter 
I'll leave that one up to you to decide
post #26 of 167

Aren't beginners taught the wedge? If you're going across the hill in a wedge and to make a right turn,
you would tell someone to transfer weight to the left ski, then bring the right ski in. Is this correct?

Then, in parallel skiing, PSIA style, you're going across the hill and you want to turn right. Isn't the
school of thought that the first move would be to immediately roll the uphill ski from its little toe edge
on to its big toe edge? Isn't this what's referred to as "banking?"

In a word, no!

That is not correct. I guess I have no objection to hearing you talk about PMTS, however, I would ask that you stick to subjects with which you are familiar.

I think this is an important moment. For months, you have been critical os PSIA and ATM. How can you be critical of something when you cannot describe the most basic tenet of the teaching methodology? It is at best foolish!

post #27 of 167
Thread Starter 

We have to respect the others here who've offered some real good advice to us - let's not air our dirty laundry, and let's keep things cool.

It's time for some others to jump in and add some stuff. Although, I'm not real sure what the subject is.

If we're drifting, let's set a topic and then let's discuss it.
post #28 of 167

Do they actually have black and green pins?
post #29 of 167
You can probably order it on line at Lito's website. or Amazon.com

This link may not work. I'm not sure it they are keyed in on my cookie..

post #30 of 167

I'm not airing dirty laundry. Remember who has been your biggest supporter. You have been VERY critical of PSIA, our teaching methods, and in particular teaching the wedge.

Now it appears that you have very basic misconceptions about how PSIA certified insructors teach. So again, I ask the question, how can you be critical of a system when you don't understand the teachings? It would be tantamount to me criticizing any teacher or teaching system in any discipline when I don't understand what they teach. It is fatally flawed and very foolish.

You have demonstrated a severe lack of understanding about the ATM adopted by PSIA. I don't care if you applaud what you have learned via PMTS, however, it is now clear to me you don't have the depth of knowledge to compare it to the PSIA centerline model because you have demonstrated a serious lack of understanding.

This is not dirty laundry. I like you. I applaud your skiing ability. I am proud of your dedication. You simply have demonstrated to me you don't understand what I teach.

All I'm looking for is for you to admit/realize that you have been critical of a teaching system that you know little about. I came to meet you to learn about PMTS. If you are going to make comparisons do a little more homework and don't attempt to speak with any authority about the ATM.
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