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Skiing movements - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Thread Starter 

Yeah, there's really no "proper" or "improper" way. You have to remember, this is all in the interest of talking about the finer points of skiing -- being a ski nerd.

But in all reality, yes, I'm totally with ya. We're all out there, having a blast. I'm certainly not about saying what is, or what isn't -- right -- "It's all good".

And, when I'm skiing, I'm really out there all by myself. I'm now very selfish -- I ski for myself.

But, I am a turn freak.
post #32 of 48
This thread has flowed in interesting ways. Nice post Holiday! Yes, the only "proper" way to make a turn is to have fun with it, or to win a race with it, or to miss a tree with it, or....

In fact, the only way to measure "proper" is to test the outcome of the turn against the skier's INTENT. Did the skier intend to scrub speed? Did his/her movements accomplish it? Or did the skier intend to control direction--and what was the outcome?

Only when the intent is clear can we determine whether a particular movement is "proper" or not.

On the other hand, there are skiers on the hill that most of us recognize as truly superior skiers. It is worthwhile it to examine what it is about these skiers that makes them great. Clearly it isn't only a matter of how much fun they're having--there are novices and intermediates out there having a blast, but these are not the skiers I'm talking about.

What SCSA is alluding to, I think, is this idea that there are truly a few universal characteristics that make some skiers great--certain movement patterns, tactics, habits, "rules" they follow--in addition to the versatility that allows them to break these rules whenever and however they want to.

What are these characteristics? Well, I've described some of them very generally with the idea that great skiers habitually glide rather than brake ("the slow line fast"). That doesn't mean that there aren't some great brakers out there--only that few of us admire their skiing or desire to emulate it!

And there are also some movement patterns that, as habits, are more effective than other patterns in more conditions. Gliding skis are skis going pretty much in the direction they're pointed, as opposed to gross sideways skidding. Skis going the direction they point is only one of many effective options on perfect groomed snow, but the farther we venture from the corduroy, either toward blue ice on one extreme or deep powder and crud on the other, the more essential it becomes to keep the skis going the direction they're pointed.

If we accept that this gliding is a universally desirable habit (without denying that it is only one of many important techical options), then we can indeed sort many movements into "proper" and "improper."

Again, it all comes back to intent. No movement is right or wrong until it is tied to an intent. And no intent is right or wrong until it causes an injury, or causes us to stop having fun!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #33 of 48
bulldozer turn.
SCSA, have you tried this?
Pierre had me do these last year on very flat terrain.
Pierre has a thread out here somewhere on it.
It helped me take the negative movement out of my transition. It sounds like you could use it in your skiing.
post #34 of 48
Thread Starter 
Barnes said it best.
post #35 of 48
thanks for the well stated responses to my rant, gentlemen. Once again, I've seen the wordsmith (BB) in action I lay down my keyboard to you.

I love the words effective, efficient, and intention. Movements can more or less effective and more or less efficient at creating what was intended.

The word proper just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it was something in my childhood...


post #36 of 48
Thanks Holiday!

As you can probably tell, words like "proper" grate on me too. But we have a dilemma, especially as instructors. People want to know the "right way." They want clear instructions.

American ski instruction made big progress in the 1960's and '70's by moving away from the rigorous, technique-oriented European skiing "systems" to our more humanistic approach, with the "Skills Concept." But we got into trouble when we could no longer define what made a "good" turn. "Well, there's a lot of ways to make a turn. If you enjoy it, it's a good turn." Fuzzy statements like that one don't turn too many people on, when they're looking for a clear, simple answer to "what should I do?"

But the answer "there are lots of good ways to make a turn" really IS true! So there's our dilemma!

PSIA's "Center Line Skiing Model" of the late 1980's was an attempt to solve the problem without returning to the rigorous "There is only one way" European methods. (Sorry to put you through this, SCSA--but it IS important history!) The Center Line Model provided a "map" where all possible skiing movements and every turning variation had a place. It identified specific movement patterns as those of the Center Line itself, which represented contemporary, efficient, precise "line-control" "offensive" turns. It traced those basic movements as they developed from early beginner skill levels through expert, with several distinct, but arbitrary, "milestones."

The Center Line Model put other movements and turn types "off" the Center Line, and introduced the concept of "Linear" and "Lateral Learning." "Linear Learning" involves developing the same skills and movement patterns to a higher level--progressing up the Center Line. "Lateral Learning" involves exploring DIFFERENT movement patterns and other turn types, which may also include different conditions and tactical situations.

So everything is there. The Center Line answers the basic question (theoretically) of what are the fundamental, habitual skills and movement patterns of good skiing. "Lateral Exploration" recognizes that these "Center Line movements" are not the only important movement patterns out there, but helps instructors and students know where they're going when they explore "off the Center Line."

That's the theory. In practice, unfortunately, far too few instructors seemed to grasp the intent of the Center Line Model. For many, the movements of the Center Line became the only movements they allowed themselves to practice and to teach--which for practical purposes returned them to the inflexible dark ages of the past! Others saw the "milestones" along the Center Line (Wedge Turn, Wedge Christy, Basic Parallel, Dynamic Parallel), as being goals in themselves, rather than mileposts along the roadside. In so doing, they missed the point that the fundamental movement patterns of each milestone are exactly the same as all the others, and they emphasized instead the DIFFERENCES--primarily the wedge vs. parallel arrangement of the skis, the presence of absence of a pole plant, the amount of ski bend, pressure, and "carve".

And that confusion got us (PSIA) into a lot of trouble--rightly so!

Anyway, PSIA is working on trying to clarify its models so that inexperienced instructors can become more effective more quickly. Other organizations like PMTS have tried their own approaches, most of which involve (as will PSIA's new models) a clearer, more narrowly focused progression to teach "fundamental movements."

I fear that the pendulum may again swing too far toward the inflexible past, but perhaps that is preferable to the confusing present! Ultimately, the real solution will only come when ski resorts recognize that there is NO WAY to "create" truly effective instructors with only 5 days of "training"! They'll either be clear but inflexible, automatons teaching the same lesson to all students, or they'll be dangerously creative and unclear, teaching who-knows-what because they don't fully grasp the big picture!

Alas! Folks--the solution is up to you! Demand experienced, qualified instructors, and the resorts will have no choice but to pay enough to keep these people around. It's out of our hands....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #37 of 48
Thread Starter 
I think Barnes has nailed the issue on the head. People like me don't want fuzzy statements about how to make a turn. We want specific instructions! Then, once we learn how to make a turn, it's up to us to modify it or take in other instruction.

Some of the data is already there.

Alternative ski instruction is experiencing rapid growth - PMTS and Lito are really popular now. What's the common denominator between the two? They both preach a technique driven, this way to make a turn, approach. So if that's the approach that skiers are experiencing the most benefit from, and I believe it is, the numbers support my beliefs, then it's simple. Give the market what the market is craving for.
post #38 of 48
Nice history lesson. It took me back to freeskiing at my favorite ski school. We used to always say, " let's go do some lateral learning", because we were a funky little ski school that rarely hung out on the center line.
Anyway, until the next time.


post #39 of 48
Thread Starter 
We've gone from skiing movements to ski instruction. Cool with me.

I think from a business point of view, ski instruction is a product that's setup to fail -- the way it is now. Like Barnes said. Instructors just don't make enough money at it. And, instructors are really the product that's being sold.

So, the industry dominants either need to; change the product of ski instruction because, let's face it, it is not a quality product, or, give it up entirely, because it's better not to provide it then to provide something that's mediocre.

Maybe turn ski instruction over to private enterprise? Barnes's company would provide ski instruction services and pay Copper rent. Copper would issue Barnes's company a license to provide its services. The license would come up for renewal each year or so and be based entirely on customer feedback.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 19, 2001 01:32 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
post #40 of 48
Thanks SCSA, Bob BArnes and others. Through my experineces last year and the discussions this summer on turn initiatin and other similar threads, I realized that I needed to improve my turn initiation. In starting with the feet, I sometimes ended up getting hungueaning a ittle too much on the inside foot. The weighted release, or falling into the future, will be the key if I can successfully master it. BTW, that is part ofthe reason I asked in a previous post about early season drills. I hope our season starts soon, but I want to make the most of it.
post #41 of 48
QUOTE]Originally posted by SCSA:
Maybe turn ski instruction over to private enterprise? Barnes's company would provide ski instruction services and pay Copper rent. Copper would issue Barnes's company a license to provide its services. The license would come up for renewal each year or so and be based entirely on customer feedback.[/quote]


Thats how is throughout Europe & Japan. Towns, Lift companies, Co-ops, and Individuals run ski schools. It has not done much generally for instructors pay or working conditions BUT one can work as a registered individual instructor and build their own cliental. This is the way to make money. True free enterprise.

The US & Oz resorts\SS have similar setups except the Oz working conditions and pay are crap. In Oz if I set myself up as an individual business I would be refused a lift pass to operate at a resort. I would be working "black" as it is called. There is a big demand for individual client based instruction in Oz BUT the resorts lease the land from the Parks service and so the resorts control the whole scene. Conceptually you can teach privately but you cannot ride the lifts. SS is the biggest clear profit maker on the mountain and the “general” instructor pool is basically bottomless. The resorts use these factors to maintain the status quo.. I guess all teaching has a dilemma. Do you want to teach or do you want to manage teachers = income plateau vis income progression. I believe that SS generally can be viewed just like an office in the motivational structure of the individual members. I also believe it would take the unionization of ski schools to achieve a better balance between what customers pay and what instructors receive. APSIA, CSIA & PSIA etc are training\certification organizations. The resorts will have it no other way. (In varying degrees)

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #42 of 48
QUOTE]Originally posted by SCSA:
"Maybe turn ski instruction over to private enterprise? Barnes's company would provide ski instruction services and pay Copper rent. Copper would issue Barnes's company a license to provide its services. The license would come up for renewal each year or so and be based entirely on customer feedback."

SCSA you are starting to come full circle and realizing where the problems with ski instruction are. They are not with PSIA or with PMTS but with Ski Area Management. Most SAM dictate to a certain extent what is taught.
post #43 of 48
The ugly head of liabliity insurance shows its true face.
post #44 of 48
I remember discussing this with you pierre.

Something along basing the operation out of the airstream and having the accounts in the Cayman Islands...heh-heh

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 19, 2001 07:39 PM: Message edited 1 time, by zeek ]</font>
post #45 of 48
boy, has this thread wandered around like a druken sailor. SCSA is right, ski movements to what is proper to "black ski schools" and instructors getting paid what their passion and training say they are worth.
Amazing transitions. I think things are starting to head in the more euro direction oz eluded to. Here in tahoe, we have a couple of new ski teaching/guiding systems that are organizationally independent of the resort operations. Nastic (north american ski training center, is run by national demo team member chris fellows), and All Mountain Professionals (Run by Eric Delauriers and utilizing his RSD teaching method). Both of these companies work with the upper level skier: the skier that traditional resort schools have lost due to the inconsistencies of quality. (One day you get a great lesson with a seasoned and passionate veteran, the next you get some kid with 5 days training and one season of practice.) These two offshoots are bright lights on the horizon for ski instructors looking for options. Can I do this and make a better wage? Do I have to teach huge beginner classes to make money? Anyway, I type way to slow to be able to probe any deeper into this idea here, but out here in the west, we may be creating the template for that format SCSA spoke of.

Until I learn to type faster,
post #46 of 48
I just read through this thread for the first time from beginning to end and all I can say is "WOW".

This is some quality forum!

post #47 of 48
Does anything change with "the move" when the terrain gets steeper and maybe narrower?

It seems like the transition time would be much shorter/quicker and in some cases there might be an active movement off of the uphill ski (like pedaling a bike.)
post #48 of 48
What appears to happen is that there is less tipping of the inside ski at the start of the turn, allowing the flat skis to pivot down into the fall line. Now obviously this will only work on firm snow. For deeper snow conditions, a traditional retraction move is used to start the turn. Which PMTS students should be familiar with already.
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