|Originally posted by TomB:
...My biggest fear/reservation about taking lessons is that I will learn next to nothing... Like many of the members here, I do know a fair amount about skiing technique. ... Due to the rich information provided in this forum, we probably know as much or more than many instructors who don't bother to keep current and simply regurgitate information that is either well known or outdated. This puts many of us in a strange position: we are not expert skiers, but we know quite a lot and we are well aware of the shortcomings in our skiing. We need tons of on-snow time to fix that. Having an instructor remind us of our deficiencies is a good thing, but not always necessary ... Unfortunately my season is way too short (about 30 days). In my book, this is not enough to get new skills truly incorporated in my skiing. But it's the best I can do.
TomB - That was an excellent post. IMO, you just described a lot of the regulars on Epic, including me.
Other than attend excellent clinics such as ESA, there is, of course, another way to solve pretty much all of the problems you identified -- become an instructor:
- You will learn who are the best instructors at your hill (without risking a penny of your own);</font>
- You will get to clinic and freeski with them;</font>
- By definition, your new buddies like to teach, so you will receive pointers at a maneagable rate;</font>
- Your #days/season can go as high as your non-skiing life allows (at zero monitary cost).</font>
- You may get some benefits at other resorts including reduced rates, instant skiing buddies/guides, etc.</font>
- As a rookie, you will be teaching beginners, so there will be no real pressure on you to ski at a stellar level for your job, yet at the same time, your skiing will improve rapidly.</font>
After being away from it for 20 years, I'm contemplating getting back into teaching for exactly these reasons.
I skied with the TD of our local ski school a few nights ago and had an absolute blast. We had a good (ie, not oversimplified) discussion of prioritizing the things I should work on in my own skiing. It was great to have an external, unbiased, truly competent opinion from an L3, and be able to get his comments whenever I want.
I was even able to learn without overt discussion, simply by following *exactly* in his tracks. In recent years, I have been gushingly complimented on my choice of line by lower level skiers that I have been teaching/guiding. This guy took choice of line to new heights, even on a trail that you wouldn't think needed a conscious choice of line. I was more relaxed skiing exactly in his tracks, compared to one run later when I was when on my own. This was in spite of his tendency to go about Mach 2, whereas skiing with friends and family (or even left to my own devices), I just tend to lope along at Mach 0.2.
As I have gotten older, I find I have fewer and fewer friends who ski better than me (or for that matter, even ski at all -
), and being a member of the SS provides compatible people. I met more people at my local mountain in a few hours the other night than I have met in years of patronizing the place.
Anyway, Tom, you ought to give instructing some serious consideration.
Tom / PM[ December 11, 2003, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]