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cost of lessons - Page 3

post #61 of 93
I think that the more TRULY proficient the "friends" are {i.e., people who SKI, as opposed to DO advanced terrain} the better they will serve as role models.

The day before the Academy, I was blessed with the opportunity to ski with a group of Bears; Si, Tog, Arcmeister, Pierre, Bob Peters and Jimmy D.

These guys are pretty much life long skiers, posessing skills that may in fact be unattainable to me, having learned only a few years ago, in my mid 40s.

That being said, with the influence and inspiration from these truly phenomenal skiers, I did end up skiing a few trails that I may have deemed impossible. But they did have the sense to advise me not to go with them, when they went off to ski some "killer" trails.

I do agree with Si regarding the psychological element of skiing. Often, our likes and dislikes have more to do with our mental "interpretation" of the different spatial patterns that present themselves on the hill, then the actual challenge that the trail really poses.

Its taken me 3 years to figure out that I do NOT really have a significant problem with steep, but narrow, no matter how unchallenging, kicks in my clausdrophobia.

Go figure!
post #62 of 93
>>>Its taken me 3 years to figure out that I do NOT really have a significant problem with steep, but narrow, no matter how unchallenging, kicks in my clausdrophobia.

Go figure!<<<

Lisamarie, I've run across many people with the same phobia. It has to do with having a safety net. On wide slopes, even steep ones, if you have a balance problem, say, you can always keep turning to a stop to regroup , but on any narrow trail you don't have that option and there is always the fear of running out of room.

post #63 of 93
Do what I do when I run out of room on narrow trails or in the trees - sit down! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #64 of 93
Everybody is right here. This is to answer dirtnsnow from my own experience. This is long and it is all about me, me, me

I was a very athletic competive hockey player and I took up skiing in my teenage. I became good fast on the most crapy equipment someone could find. I read books on skiing, most outdated, watch the world cup and ski every weekend. I would had loved to take lessons but could not afford it. I hanged with the extreme kids of the time, doing bumps, 360 and backflips. One day, I paid for a lesson from a CSIA level 2. I paid the big bucks and learned nothing at all. Waste of money.

Later I started to date that ski intructor and got to hang around with the ski school. I learned nothing there except that you don't need to be that elite racer to join the school and that's what I did and got certified CSIA level 1. During the certification process, one of the examiner took me aside for a few run after the exam. She changed my skiing forever in 30 minutes only. She gave me the chance to experience the difference between what I was doing wrong and what I should be doing. It is much different than being told to not do this or that.

Leap in time, I join a ski school here in the U.S and sadly it seems that at small hills the ski school look like a retirement program for average skier. Some of those are great teacher for intermediate but would not be able to teach and ski icy bump runs or really challenging terrain or even ski dynamic carve turns. There is very few ski instructor that can teach advance skiers at this mountain, less than a handfull. But among that handfull there is 2 or 3 that are exceptional teacher. Those are the only few I thrust to help my technique and that can provide significant feedbacks. A few run here and there with them is often enough to get me working on something or just feeling the subtlety of a different way of skiing.

The bottom line is you can become an advanced skier by reading, watching video, skiing with other advanced skiers but you will not get to the level of true expert without the train eye of a ski intructor or coach who devoted their life to the sport and accumulate the toolbox to resolve problems that experts face. I have never encounter someone that could do that as a recreational skier. Our lifetime is not long enough to reinvent the wheel in everything we do.

All ski instructor are not create or made equal in knowledge, talent and in sincere desire to see their student progress. Try to get the ones that have both. When you will find one, it will worth all the money.

If you want to improve you have to understand that skiing is so technical that you will always have room for improvement. I don't know any expert skier, world cup racer included that think that they know it all. When they do, they stop to progress and worse usually they regress. That is what it takes to get better that you take lessons or not. If you think you have nothing to learn as you take a lesson you are closing yourself to learning. I see that in some instructors believe it or not. They think they know it all and usually plateau at level 2. It was kind of fun to see those guys looking at themselves on video; their mental image did not fit what they saw on screen. They have access to all the ressources they need but they don't learn form it.

Last word, Being an expert can be fun. Some of my favorite terrain is the nightmare of some advance skier. For example, I love to blast through crud at really high speed. Have I stay an intermediate or advance skier, I would had never know about it.
I took a level 3 clinic this spring and I began to play at high speed in the crud. To my surprise the examiner loved it the most even if I was pushing my limits. Not having the stess of taking an exam help me to ski more playfully and generate more positive comment all weekend than the too often static skiing associated with the attempt to reproduce the same turn over and over. During the more relax play time the technique so hardly acquire will be expressed in a more flowing natural manner.

[ May 25, 2003, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: Frenchie ]
post #65 of 93
Frenchie, that is one great post! Thank you! You're a thoughtful skier. and you write like our relatives north of the border. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Can we expect to meet you on the hill, maybe the Academy or the gathering?
post #66 of 93
Excellent post Frenchie. Thanks!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #67 of 93
Merci, Frenchie! Et, très bien dit!

Il parait que ton leçon valait bien l'argent parce que tu as pu sortir avec la monitrice. C'est doué, ça.
post #68 of 93
Thanks everybody.

Thanks for the invitation, I will certainly make it to one of the Epic ski gathering or the Academy. This is such a dynamic group of people. You know French Canadian got the best of both side of the Atlantic. We can be call the cousin of both American and French

Ma leçon a payé au centuple! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
Au fait, ton français est très bon. Où as-tu appris?

[ May 25, 2003, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Frenchie ]
post #69 of 93
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:
The other is to advice dirtnsno how to afford lessons on his allowance and what he earns as a "Custodial service professional" (don't you love that [img]smile.gif[/img] ) which probably means cleaning up around the house. But there is so much good advice for both people here which proves the value of this forum, makes me proud.
No, actually I'm a janitor at the high school. Good hours, good pay, bad work. But what can you do? I agree, there is a lot of good advice.
post #70 of 93
the cost of lessons is a disincentive, especially when the product is a real lottery. When I was young and strong, I liked the idea of getting the odd lesson, but seldom did it, because rolling up to the counter and paying all that money just didn't seem to ever grab me at teh time. And on the rare occasion that I did do it, the lesson left me feeling a bit flat.

When I got older, I started to face the fact that I couldn't rely on my strength forever. Already a day in heavy snow was seeing me deaded by mid afternoon, yet really old people I knew were able to ski it all day. Time for technique.
Luckily, my resort had a season-long Masters programme going, and I had the notion that if things weren't good, I could complain or change groups or whatever, it wasn't like I only had an hour or so to achieve miracles.

Anyone who is aware of this forum in the US can ask for recommendations at their resort, instructors to ask for if they book a lesson, and that way they are pretty-well guaranteed that the money they spend will pay dividends.
post #71 of 93
Rusty Guy and Tom, I think I am coming off to you as being anti-instruction which is not the case at all. Good instructors absolutely know how to instruct technically, motivate, and expand upon the joy of skiing. I am of the opinon, however, that certified instructors often (not always) balance the scale a bit too heavily to the technical side. Certainly for those instructors who haven't developed quite far enough with their own motivation and intent this is especially true.
Si you have hit on this one. I think you're 50 50 on this one is low. Its higher than 50% that rely to heavily on technique. That's I think, due in part to the nature of the certification process.
post #72 of 93
OK, I'll trot this out again:

My father and mother were musicians and music teachers. In addition to their "day jobs" in school, they gave lessons in our home. My father gave violin lessons, my mother gave piano lessons.

I can not imagine that they would have consented to give "a lesson". If they took on a pupil, it was for an extended period of time. That pupil took MANY lessons. It would have been absurd for anyone to waltz in, plunk down some bucks, and say "One hour lesson, please!"

Are there "musicians" out there who never took a lesson and are having a "good time"? Of course. Every so often, one of them is so dedicated and talented, she really turns into an important musician. Most of us just aren't there.

If a person just doesn't CARE that much about playing the violin, or skiing - just wants to "have some fun" - FINE! It's a free country [more or less]. Don't want lessons? Cool! have a nice day! Maybe you're better without lessons than I'll ever be WITH them.

For those who are in love with the sport and will never know enough about it - in their thinking bodies or their dancing minds - there is no substitute for dedicated learning. Some is from reading, watching, insight and experience. Some is from coaching. You know, my father was an accomplished violinist. Nevertheless, once a month, he went to NYC for some time with his coach.

There are times - and there are instructors - in which case one single lesson can open your eyes and breath life into your limbs. Those occasions are priceless. For the most part, like any other activity you may consider worthwhile, it takes more than a single occasion to do the job.

The EpicSki Academy with four really fun and intense days on the hill with the best coaches was more than worthwhile. I hope that someday they stretch it to five days. Continued coaching throughout the season - and of course some free time and even [ugh] summers to let it sink in - that process is worth what it costs.

My own conclusion: Don't buy "a lesson". Buy an experience - either a multi-day on-snow academy, or a series of lessons through the season, with a lot of introspection all year - or all of the foregoing. For most of us, we don't know what we don't know - and here's how to find out, and enjoy the growth.
post #73 of 93
(edit: reply to Pierre's point! Oboe and I must have posted simultaneously).

If PSIA expands the Guest Centered Teaching thing nationally, and IF already-certified instructors are exposed to it, then this deficiency will be rectified. Detection and Correction ("movement analysis" in the US) used to be focussed on straight out ID of skiing faults and fixing them.

Now this GCT thing has the instructor finding out what the guest understands about skiing, and what their actual goals are. so the instructor and the guest won't be talking at cross-purposes, and the instructor can tap into what's motivating the guest. It's a great advance in instruction.

[ May 25, 2003, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: ant ]
post #74 of 93
NYNY, the key to skiing icy moguls or any moguls slowly without gaining speed is so simple nearly everyone misses it.

In addition to a good short radius round turn, it takes patience. Its so simple. The speed at which you initiate you're turns in bumps is directly porportional to the speed gained in the bumps. Initiate the turns in slow motion and your speed stays low. Initiate the turns fast by throwing the skis around quickly and the speed increases quickly. Its that simple.

Most skiers way overturn in bumps. You have considerably more time that you think. This all goes back to intent. You intend to turn fast and you will ski fast. You intend to turn slower and you ski slower. Bumps are the biggest mind game on the mountain.

[ May 25, 2003, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #75 of 93
Frenchi, je l'ai appris en Suisse. Et aussi, j'avais une fiancé belge. Et maintenant, j'ai une belle-fille française. Cela me manque--parler français.
post #76 of 93
Frenchie, je l'ai appris en Suisse. Et aussi, j'avais une fiancée belge. Maintenant, j'ai une belle-fille française. Cela me manque--parler français.

You're right you French Canadians have the best of both.
post #77 of 93
Originally posted by Pierre:
NYNY, the key to skiing icy moguls or any moguls slowly without gaining speed is so simple nearly everyone misses it.

In addition to a good short radius round turn, it takes patience. Its so simple. The speed at which you initiate you're turns in bumps is directly porportional to the speed gained in the bumps. Initiate the turns in slow motion and your speed stays low. Initiate the turns fast by throwing the skis around quickly and the speed increases quickly. Its that simple.

Most skiers way overturn in bumps. You have considerably more time that you think. This all goes back to intent. You intend to turn fast and you will ski fast. You intend to turn slower and you ski slower. Bumps are the biggest mind game on the mountain.
I think that is why the 'flow down the hill' image works so well for me... When I hear that i see a mountain stream & the fast bits go over the rocks(bumps) but the slower parts meander around the rocks & trees...
post #78 of 93
The water down the hill thing has never worked for me. I tend to be very defensive in moguls and I do overturn (scared of heights, and each mogul is like being up on a stool!).

I know you have to commit fully: you can't be planning to stop each turn. Pierre's advice is quite effective for me, I've had it before (I've had so much moguls instruction, I think I've heard every approach: my problem is mental).

Fear will make you want to whip the skis around early. Control through the turn is just as important in moguls as it is in all other skiing, not just control through the end of the turn.
post #79 of 93
Yeah ant - funny isn't it .... because I am such a stress monger in bumps normally - but when I got to Thredbo last season my instructor was trying to get me to work on stuff up in Central Spur area & then one run he said 'That run - what did you feel then? - what did you think about? - that was much better' & I had to admit that my Falls Creek instructors words on 'flowing down the hill' had come to mind just before i started & sort of stuck there for the run.....

We talked about it & what I associate with the phrase - seems like I always 'see' a mountain stream - we think it
a) relaxes me
b) gives me a 'picture' of options on where to turn - that lets me not have to 'concentrate' on a 'spot' to turn so much - but lets me see a few alternate 'routes' the water may take & how I think it would go there

It seemed to work so well that the Thredbo instructor kept trotting the phrase out for me .... I still can't hit that feeling on demand - but strike rate is better than anything else we have tried...

It seems to work better when I have my Falls instructor around - I think because his skiing style enforces the image for me (he can even be skiing zipperline or behind me - I just seem to do better in his company in bumps)
post #80 of 93
One trick to help slow down the initiation is to push the toes down to regain contact of the tips with the snow. The tips are in the air as they go over the falls. If you press them back down into the snow, you regain control, and time, and you can slow everything down because you feel in control from the outset. You don't have to jump (or crank) to the recovery at the end.

When you're moving forward you don't have control of direction change until the tips are stirring the snow. So do that first.
post #81 of 93
Yeah - that is another thing that has been helping a lot - I am somehow starting to work out how to keep the skis on the snow a bit better - but the guys at Thredbo are not really sure how I have learnt it & I keep forgetting to ask the Falls Creek one if he has been slipping in 'drills' I don't know about in the 'lets go ski that stuff' bits...

There was a big vendetta a while back to teach me that stuff - but it kept ending with me either in tears or close to tears - because I would get so frustrated at my inability to do what was asked.

The result was simply 'ski more' rather than 'work on this stuff' because there was plenty of other stuff to do...
post #82 of 93
Ski more is not a bad idea, because you can develop touch and miles without judgement or paralysis.

Some of this stuff, to master it, you've got to sneak up on it. Small increments balanced by lots of practice in all situations. If it becomes a big project, it becomes a BIG project. And then it becomes an insurmountable obstacle. It's a question of too much attention, and perhaps too much investment. Come back to it when it feels right. I think that's the idea they're trying to convey.
post #83 of 93
We did - well rather we have not really done much work on bumps - but of course we keep running into them.
The nice cruisy off-piste bit we like has a run out through the gnarly black bumps...

That is how my Thredbo instructor noticed i have suddenly become better at keeping skis on snow - somehow in the 12 months I had started to work out how to use my legs/ankles better - but I really wasn't aware of having done so...
We are a little unsure if it is the Falls Creek instructor having been sneaky (he has managed to teach me to jump - another inconceivable for me - started by making me 'bounce' on the oversnow track ripples).

It may also have to do with me spending a LOT of time on skates last summer - &needing to lift my front toes when I hit small obstacles - I may have learnt more 'foot feel' skills than I realised. I had managed to skate across tram tracks in the dark.
post #84 of 93
Thread Starter 
OK back to the icy stuff. I know it would be impossible to figure them out here, gotta get on them with someone like Pierre. My biggest prob with them is in the troughs, skis slam together, then its all over. The runs I do are pretty steep, I've hit patches of ice and slid for 40 feet, sideways, not fun. Yet I see some people banging down them no prob. It might be a mental thing, a fall in these areas has actualy paralyzed some people in the past, put many in hospitals. The knowledge of this stays in my mind as I go down them. Every year I do get better, conquered a run this year that I never did before, spring conditions helped, its 40 degrees of huge moguls. I'm going to continue to take a few lessons each season, I haven't had a bad one yet. A steep and deep camp is in the future, maybe for my 40th B-day. Hopefully I'll get to make a few turns with some of you somewhere.
post #85 of 93
Originally posted by NYNY:
OK back to the icy stuff... My biggest prob with them is in the troughs, skis slam together, then its all over...
The obvious answer is STAY OUT OF THE TROUGHS. Too many people are afraid of the tops of the mogul, so they head into the trough. That's just wrong. There is planty of terrain between the tops and the troughs, so it's easy to avoid both.

I think the greatest breakthroughs in mogul skiing come from developing the perceptual skills to see all the options that are actually pesent in even the nastiest bumps.

post #86 of 93
I love the troughs. They're turned shaped and heading in the right direction.
post #87 of 93
Thread Starter 
Sometimes the troughs is the only place to go. At one place I ski, the moguls build up to over 8 feet in height, not a good idea to try to go over them. I'll work on it. Videos will be shot next season, maybe that will help. Fun to look at anyway.
post #88 of 93
NYNY everything in you're post speaks to all out defensive skiing on ice. Defensive thinking results in defensive negative braking movements on skis. Braking movements on ice with a car or on skis are a disaster.

Learning good offensive technique takes ratcheting down the difficulty until intimidation is not a factor then building up to the steep ice again with the right offensive frame of mind.

There has been much discussion on Epicski on Defensive vs Offensive skiing. Enough to consume great volumes of band width.
post #89 of 93
Best way to cure defensive skiing:
Come to Academy
Take class with either Weems or Pierre
Resistance will become futile!
Nothing left to do but enjoy the ride!
post #90 of 93
You can try this line, where you go across 2 bumps for every one you go down. It gives you the space you need to easily slow down almost to a stop between turns.
If you INTEND to do it, it won't look like flailng. Do it really smoothly, and nobody will notice,
Try not to go more than 2 bumps across, though. That looks lame no matter how you do it!

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