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Gloat... and then FLOAT... - Page 2

post #31 of 48
posted by keili: How does a 5'2" woman ski 4 feet of new powder?"


With an air tank and fins???

(if you say this word over in your head while looking at it, it ceases to be a word that makes sense, then ceases to be a word altogether.) :
post #32 of 48
Kiersten, I don't know if my issues are specifically "female related," but here goes:
The biggest mistake I make in powder is not establishing my speed first. If I try to turn immediately, its one of those extremely rare occaisions where I actually go BOOM! [img]smile.gif[/img]

I also tend to use too much strength and force, instead of allowing the skis to "float."

David7: Yeah, it seems like the Perfect Turn pros at Sunday River decided to take a powder day for themselves. The lesson was a freebie, and they gave me a ticket to take another one on a different day. I was in too much of a good mood to be even the slightest bit angry! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #33 of 48

It's evident that you put quite a bit of heart and effort in your reply towards me so I feel that I owe you a response. Likewise this will be my last post in this regard since it is contrary to what we are all here for, gaining knowledge about the sport.

My post was intended to support Rusty's efforts here over the time that I've been a member here and I stand behind my original post. As to his tone, I don't get wrapped up in that and I accept it for what it is. If you think his posts have been mean and intended to denigrate others, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I don't think that's the case, but if it is then I obviously wouldn't support those efforts.

I certainly agree with your assertion that everybody has the right to post here and expect a civil reply. I hope that I follow that standard and I think I do.

As to your question, "Will you appreciate me if I take exception to sub-par advice that Rusty might make in his posts?" My answer would be absolutely and I think Rusty would say the same. In this sport, like all others, there are different levels of knowledge and experience. The less knowledgable/experienced like myself have to learn from the more knowledgable/experienced people such as yourself. I appreciate, and have stated such on many occasions, all of those who post here such as yourself, Rusty, Bob, Ydnar, and many others whose opinions that I've learned to trust and respect.

Hopefully this reply will clarify where I stand. I don't think that you and I have any real differences as to where we stand other than our interpretations of Rusty's intentions. The bottom line on that subject is that only Rusty knows what his true intentions are. The rest of us are simply assuming we know.
post #34 of 48
Thread Starter 

post #35 of 48
Originally posted by kieli:

I think they just pissed in it. :

On another note, I can relate to your comment that 48" of East coast pow was not your all time favorite condition.

Unless you are a pretty experienced powder skier, that's an awful lot of work and frustration. Add to the equation that the snow was probably relatively heavy (H2O content-wise), and you were probably on <70mm waisted planks.

But if you're ever lucky enough to encounter half that amount of Utah cold smoke, with a pair of pow-planks on your dogs, beware.
An incurable addiction will be born.
post #36 of 48
Thread Starter 
hey x-dog

for the record... I did have A LOT of fun... I wasn't frustrated... tho it was hard work. On hardpack I can just let em rip... it's different.

and yes - I was on 64 waist skis!!!!! Add that to the equation and I earn some major rock star brownie points.

I am determinded to get better and *NOT* reply on equipment.

post #37 of 48
Non - Instructor - long time skier here....
so good to hear that you all are learning too....
I've always found that the best "tidbit of learning" from any leasson was when the instructor went "outside the box" and showed you something that worked in the conditions...

I think they call that evolution..

Thanks for the thoughtful thread!
post #38 of 48
My take is, be careful before you drink the Koolaid. I have received excellent coaching from PSIA, Lito, (just don't watch him), Harald Harb, Eric DesLauriers, and others both PSIA and not. In someways it reminds me of bootfitting. We all know people who are considered "the experts" and it is disappointing to find that some of them are more smoke and mirrors than actual skill and knowledge.

If you really want to learn you need to do more than expect the instructor to magically impart the skills you wish to master.

You need to read, listen, inquire, watch good skiers and seek out skilled people you can connect with. This connection involves an instructor who will speak and teach at your current level of understanding.

[ December 11, 2003, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: Lucky ]
post #39 of 48

I offered an apology to Ric in the forum, I sent him a p.m. in addition, and asked him to give me a call. I understand your sentiment concerning the sandbox. I too offer an apology to you!

I used to watch gunsmoke and your pleas for peace remind me of a bar room brawl with Miss Kitty in the middle telling folks to calm down.

I do feel a little bit like a cross between Saddam and Osama. I'm only half as "vicious" as it seems

I also have to say I'm torn in terms of how I react to Ric. I don't have any desire to prolong the discord, and would suggest it is in fact best discussed in private messages, or on the phone. Heck maybe he and I ought to actually do something unique and talk in person. I suggested that to him and we'll see if he is lead in the same direction.

I do think the thread is exceedingly thought provoking. You said the lesson put a smile on your face and I think the no one will argue that is of utmost importance.

I will reiterate I think the way the lesson or lesson segment was predicated was dumb. Had the instructor said we're in lousy conditions and I'm going to show you the necessary technique to deal with the conditions I would have no concern. Before anyone says it, I will say, on many occasions, I have looked back at lesson presentations and decided I said a great many stupid things.

Thought I'd say that before someone else did......oops I resorted to sarcasm.

This discussion has lead me to a couple of thought and I will ask you first whether they should be asked/discussed here or in a seperate thread. I will pose the genesis for the discussion here.

#1 Does PSIA create "de-facto" dogma? Here is the thought. I did my cert levels in three successive years. If there was one thing drummed into me it was concerning shoulder rotation. I did my level III cert with a guy who is by any standard a great skier. He has a little rotation of his shoulders in every pivot slip and every wedge christie. He flunked by a couple of points and this was cited as the rational. I guess you beat clinicians over the head with an idea long enough and my point is it becomes a fact. Do I recognize the need for whatever it takes in wild conditions? I will leave that as a rhetorical question.

#2 My second query, is to my disdain, more esoteric. Lets imagine a lesson with a new student or someone new to any set of conditions. If the student walks away "happy and smiling" is it a good lesson? What if there is a preponderance of evidence that the technique being taught is outdated or not particularly up to date? For example, what if a busload of LTS students rolled into Eldora and all they were taught was a breaking wedge, to abstem, up unweighting, shoulder rotation to initiate a turn, etc.?

Before someone says it....yes these are all tactics I will employ if needed. Sarcasm....there he goes again :

Before someone says it these are all movements I make in my skiing every day although they may not be a goal. It's like a bad stutter, yes Ric I'm trying to inject a little self depricating humor and my wager is it will upset your sensibilities. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

In the scenario I present if the student goes away smiling is it mission accomplished?

Sid Vicious

[ December 11, 2003, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #40 of 48
Dear Sid, who says PSIA is always right. They were a bit slow (in some regions) to address shaped ski techniques. I happen to like PSIA and feel they provide a lot of structure, but are they more accurate than the French, Germans, Swiss, Austrians and ski coaches in the US who may use different methods?

Another problem is examiners or DCL's who seem to think they are god. I realize that during the exam the candidate should understand what is expected and be able to perform at the expected standards, but some of the best examiners I have experienced were able to relax the group and get the best out of them instead of standing there with a scorecard and the you will have to impress me attitude.

I find it interesting that most of the D-Team members and non-PSIA coaches I have received coaching from seem to use very simple and direct methods to achieve learning goals while many DCLs and some examiners seem to make it convoluted and overly technical.
post #41 of 48
Kieli, I first offer you an apology for hijacking your thread. I will make this one last post to it, and then drop the matter.

Your quoting of comments I made about my opinion of the current state of PSIA is completely irrelevant here. They have nothing to do with the fact you have made some very unpleasant comments on various threads. This has to do with YOU, and your attitude toward those writers who are trying to learn, and who may not have some of your "knowledge and experience". Would you, as you stated in another thread, have approached this instr right in front of kieli and her fellow students to tell him he was wrong? After all, for K, it was working!

I agree with a couple of your comments. We are all here to further our knowledge of skiing in all of it's dimensions. And I too appreciate straight forward individuals.

But let me ask you, since you seem so keen to increase your understanding of the sport, what did you learn from Rusty's comments about the instr kieli had her lesson with? Did you learn from the constructive feedback he gave as to why he thought the info given was so poor? Did you learn from the thoughts he offered about the conditions being written about?
If you did, then I only got an edited version of his post. I read a couple of sentences casting aspersions upon a pro who felt he was doing something positive for his students.

My comments to Rusty were the culmination of having read, on several occasions, denigrating comments directed not at the content of, but at the writers of various posts/threads. With no supporting information, he has made bold comments about the past and future of individuals he does not know. Sarcastic, joking, or whatever, he comes across MEAN.
Just as might be expected in person, there is a certain amount of tact which might be expected in such cases. Even if one disagrees strongly with something written by another, at least agree that the individual has the right to post it. But that individual should have the right to expect civil rebuttal as well.

You wrote, "I for one appreciate someone like Rusty stepping up and taking exception to advice that he feels is subpar or flat out wrong based on his knowledge and experience." I can appreciate your sentiment, but is he the one to take exception? Will you appreciate me if I take exception to sub-par advice that Rusty might make in his posts?
You expressed that you are fairly new to the sport, and that much of what you read sounds plausible. That does not necessarily imply any of it is correct. I would ask that you place those same standards against the professional replies you read here as well. No pro on this site (or anywhere) has all the answers. And those of limited "knowledge and experience" have even fewer answers.

If I were to read every word which gets posted on EpicSki, and edit for accuracy (or take exception), it would be more than a full time job! Instead of ripping on those writers, I attempt to help educate them, to the best of my "knowledge and experience".
There is an adage in teaching- "You learn more when you are talking (in this case- writing), than when you are listening". So I let them write. Sure, I chuckle, laugh, and snort at some of what I read. Some of it is really funny, because it's so far off base. But I don't believe I go out with my keyboard blazing, belittling or denigrating others, just to show off any supposedly superior level of knowledge.

post #42 of 48
Rusty, I like your open ended questions. The fact that you accomplished Level III in three years with all your hard work so far IS great. Good entry point to the Great Beyond of ski teaching!
I'll tackle your first question, as I think it also encompasses the second one.
I often marvel at the close parallel between PSIA and Christianity as they have evolved historically in our human little minds. The beauty of their essence gets almost completely distorted and misconstrued into narrow prescription and orthodoxy. The foibles of the organizations' people sometimes woefully obscure the messages' beauty and universality.
Does PSIA generate "dogma"? No, but some of its members do. The posts here and on other skiing websites attest to confusion (and sometimes ill will and alienation) caused by well-meaning people furthering misinterpretation. Accuracy suffers relative to both the speaker and listener. Sometimes, choices and their rationale become one simple dogmatic prescription because a "pro" needs to supply an "answer." Outcome-based types don't want to be confused by options, they want their money spent for a lesson or their time studying for an exam to buy The Grail. But consider the depth of your understanding now, versus when you were embarking on your Level I armed with a few simple concepts.
The center of Centerline is an exam, training and performance ideal for efficiency of movement, but not a one size fits all prescription for the guest. It is a tool, but not always a teaching outcome. An exam candidate who exhibits a persistent, entrenched movement pattern impeding overall versatility and accuracy at the standard is in a far different professional assessment situation than an instructor teaching a tactical or technique option to a group of students facing four feet of Eastern snowfall.
So what is "up to date" anyway? Abstems, braking wedges, up-unweighting, shoulder rotation all are beloved and antique movement options. Their use nevertheless still can be dictated by present day skier intent, motivation, physical ability, conditions, equipment, terrain and safety. The real key lies in what the skier desires and needs for the situation at hand in partnership with realistic guest-centered assessment by the instructor. And perhaps the ethical dilemma is resolved if the instructor presents movements as choices and options with rationale among many rather than "The Way".
The guy flunked his exam because he couldn't stop rotating his shoulders in a couple of demos. But he would not have been "wrong" to teach and demonstrate shoulder rotation in deep powder as worth experimenting with. It's too bad for PSIA as an organization that kieli's instructor aired dirty laundry in presenting his option, but a good thing as you noted that his people were happy and loved their powder experience.
So on another point who can you trust, if even the top pros with the most "knowledge and experience" don't have all the answers? To further Lucky's metaphor, beware of the person who sells only one brand of Koolaid, especially if they lack both curiosity and a sense of humor on the path to the pitcher and ice cubes. Take what you need, but spit it out fast if it tastes funny.
I appreciate your apology, by the way. You have a real passion for accuracy that always shines through what you post. I appreciate your humility regarding your own skiing and teaching abilities. It has appeared paradoxical in the face of your humility that you took at times such noticeably stringent inventory of your peers. Are you now striving for both accuracy and more compassion? You could help more of us. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #43 of 48
Way to make your points, vera. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Certification is a gateway and examiners are gatekeepers. Many get through the gate, but not everyone gets to the other side of complexity, which I think is another milestone farther down the road.
post #44 of 48
I like this vera:
I often marvel at the close parallel between PSIA and Christianity as they have evolved historically in our human little minds. The beauty of their essence gets almost completely distorted and misconstrued into narrow prescription and orthodoxy. The foibles of the organizations' people sometimes woefully obscure the messages' beauty and universality.
Does PSIA generate "dogma"? No, but some of its members do.
I never quite thought of it that way but its true. I think the parallels might exist because christanities tent is huge and all encompassing and so it PSIA's. PSIA's main concern is with certification not doctrine which is very efficient given the amount of funds that PSIA has to work with. I think the certification process can generate a fair amount of dogma through its missunderstanding. Many instructors can't really separate the certification process from every day teaching. For many its one of the same.
post #45 of 48
Thread Starter 

no apology is needed... I never felt that any of your comments were directed to me personally and I have understood that your posts have been sarcastic in nature.

text is a super hard medium... people ALWAYS misunderstand each other. I think it was very mature of you to offer a public apology. my "sandbox" retort was simply to infuse some humor and an attempt to get OFF this subject.

we are all adults here and in my opinion this matter is closed... no hard feelings and no need for you to prostrate yourself to the SKI GODS.

have yourself a great weekend... PEACE.

post #46 of 48
Rusty - in the name of bringing something productive out of this thread, I'd like to know what your approach to this lesson would have been. We know what the conditiopns were like, we know a little bit about Kieli's skills, and expected outcome, we know what kind of equipment she was on. What would your approach have been?
post #47 of 48
I only have a moment to type while at my "real job" in Cincinnati.


In the event we ever have a top ten post your parallel between christianity and PSIA has to be included in my vote. A hobby for me has been to explore/study/read about extremism/fundamentalism in various religions including christianity, judaism, and of course the muslim faith. Your post blew my mind and I would vote it should be a seperate thread.


I don't want to dodge the question. Last spring we had the "storm of the century" at Eldora. It eventually amounted to a dump of seven feet. By noon on tuesday it was was deep, loaded with moisture, and was the toughest stuff I have ever endured.

My issue is not with rotation, retraction, avalement,etc. It was the predication or context in which it was initially presented. An ancillary qualm involved the history of, "been doing it this way for years".

I am not a good powder/boot top monkey snot/crud/windslab skier, however, I would have first made a speed is your friend speech, emphasised a progression ot tipping, dialed in some retraction/redirection all while maintaining balance and core strength.

When all that failed I would have done precisely what the guy or gal did and said up unweight and rotate the hell out of your upper body. That was certainly what I was doing last spring at Eldora.

What is really interesting is my daughter who is five feet tall and could care less about the "how" of skiing did fine in the stuff. She just wanted to have fun!

Gotta go.

[ December 12, 2003, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #48 of 48
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
...I am not a good powder/boot top monkey snot/crud/windslab skier, however, I would have first made a speed is your friend speech, emphasised a progression to tipping, dialed in some retraction/redirection all while maintaining balance and core strength.

When all that failed I would have done precisely what the guy or gal did and said up unweight and rotate the hell out of your upper body. That was certainly what I was doing last spring at Eldora.
I know you asked Rusty what he would do, but I'll jump in with what I actually did during a similar deep, heavy snow situation with novice powder skiers.

During the peak of our own big (2.5 foot) mid-Atlantic dump last spring, my daughter and I were surprised to happen upon a neighbor family out in the deep, wet, heavy snow at the local ski hill. Dad looked to be about a level 4, and the two pre-teen kids were about 3's. They were struggling terribly to get down a wide green slope. They were falling frequently, and were clearly tired and even a bit frightened of what they had gotten themselves into.

If there ever was a time to show somebody a safe, conservative, 5 mph, "100% guaranteed-to-work" way to get down the hill in heavy snow, this was it. This was not the time, and these were not the people for retraction unweighting /rotation, or even a simple "speed is your friend" speech.

Instead, I reassured them that it was just fine to be in a wedge, but the details of their current technique (eg, muscle them around, lean out over the downhill ski to weight it more, etc.) just wouldn't work in this snow, and that they HAD to move both knees in the same direction whenever they wanted to make a turn. To relieve the tension, I humorously demoed the difference between this and the unequal weighted A-framing they had been doing by intentionally flopping over in the snow with their old technique.

I also demoed that this new technique would allow me to make extremely tight turns even at barely-moving speeds, so they didn't have to worry about learning a technique that only worked when you were going fast, and they didn't even have to bounce around and worry about their balance to make it work (dynamicism could come later).

The two kids caught on immediately (within a few turns). Their dad took maybe a dozen turns, but within a couple of minutes, they all were in line behind me, skis running deep in the snow (no float at all at these speeds), snaking down the run. We probably started at a mind-numbing 2 or 3 mph, but the further we went, the more I closed up my wedge, slowly picked up the pace, and took them further out of the fall line. By the time we got to the bottom, they were all making nice turns, and instead of wanting to quit, now the kids had big smiles on their faces and wanted to go back up and do it again.

If any single incident ever convinced me of the importance of teaching corresponding vs opposite edges early to skiers, this was it. The "fundamentals" really do work, *especially* in unusual snow conditions, so if someone, even an advanced skier is having trouble in deep snow, I would go all the way back and work on them first (at slow speeds) before introducing condition-specific techniques.

Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
...What is really interesting is my daughter who is five feet tall and could care less about the "how" of skiing did fine in the stuff. She just wanted to have fun!
After having similar experiences with my daughter, I'm not all that surprised. Kids are so light that even on skis of normal width, they float extremely high in the snow, and don't have to pay attention to their technique as much as us lead-bottoms do when it gets deep.

Tom / PM

[ December 12, 2003, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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