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"Cultural" hurdles?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My Norwegian friends half-jokingly comment that my "cultural" genes may prevent me from ever being a good skier. I'm not ethnic Norwegian and where I'm from, white sandy beaches are the norm, not snowy white slopes.

My friends claim to have observed that we who don't "have it in the blood" are doomed to mediocrity. I ache to prove them wrong. So. Is this just cultural arrogance or is there some truth in what they're saying. What about you other "culturally challenged" skiers out there? Have you managed to become competent skiers and what say you instructors about this theory?
post #2 of 8
Ask them what happened to Michael Milton then...
post #3 of 8
Black Arrow, it is more an issue of motivation, time on task, and good coaching/practice.

People who have learned as children have a pretty good kinesthetic advantage, but often have some really weird "cultural" habits to offset.

Your aching will suit you fine.
post #4 of 8
If "cultural genes" or "have it in the blood" determine ability or movitation then I guess I will always be doomed to want to invade France via Belgium. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] I also grew up in the South yet I am a Level 7 skier and Level 7-8 snowboarder and a Certified Instructor. I rode down the highest lift-served double black diamond slopes in North America for the first time last season. [img]smile.gif[/img] I try not to let my ethnic German, ex-Southern, double-X chromosomes hinder me. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]

I have to agree with Weems that motivation, mileage, and good coaching/practice determine the final Level you reach. I will mention however that it is Weem's Instructor's FAULT that I got turned onto teaching and committed to becoming a better skier/rider. In the effort to prove his instructor wrong, that I could get hired to teach snowboarding (scientists must test theories), - I got hired and later PSIA/AASI Certification. [img]tongue.gif[/img] ....Due to continued Loveland Instructor clinics, mileage, and expert coaching by Sargent Steve (Snowmass), my riding continues to improve and I may get Level II certified next season.

I have a small group lesson ticket in my equipment bag. I hope to redeem it on March 13 at Snowmass for a snowboard bumps clinic - hint, hint. It's my off weekend. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #5 of 8
Well, guess there is NO hope for me!
Born and grew up in Zimbabwe, never even saw snow until I was 26, and did not log any real ski mileage until I was 40.
Somehow, I managed to overcome my cultural deprivation, and this week passed my PSIA-E Level 3 skiing exam. Guess it must be the accent.

: :
post #6 of 8
I'm of Irish roots but my wife is Norwegian. When we have the annual "Norsk Invasion" ... they "talk a good ski" and can rattle off the WC winners, but when you say "let's go ski" ... none of them do.

It's more like following baseball here, everyone does but few play.

One of our prized photos here is a picture of my son (jr. racer, self and Stein) ... He was my absolute hero in my teens.
post #7 of 8
Originally posted by XX Boarder:

Due to continued Loveland Instructor clinics, mileage, and expert coaching by Sargent Steve (Snowmass),
Steve Ochko?
post #8 of 8
Err, that would be "Sargent" Steve Hay. Last year I had the worst time breaking some toeside turn bad habits. I looked downhill all the time, didn't complete my toeside turns, didn't get my forward knee into the hill, I had my shoulder aimed in the wrong direction...... Steve showed no mercy in making me aware of where I was looking at all times. It worked!!! I'm a great fan of MA now but I'm afraid I can't use Steve's techniques on my kids but I do use them on adults. I followed one of his adult Level 1 classes around in January and took lots of notes. I'm harvesting ideas for my bag o' tricks. I really appreciated him letting me do that. He'll know who I am.

I also talked a 45 year old guest at the hotel I was staying at into taking a beginner magic lesson under Steve. The guest originally was going to try to teach himself how to snowboard but after explaining the benefits of lessons and Steve's teaching style, he took the lesson. He was linking turns by the end of the day. When I saw him at the end of the day and asked how his lesson went, he was just beaming. He didn't know whether to go skiing at Vail the next day or take another snowboard lesson. He finally decided he had so much fun in Steve's lesson that he was going back for another lesson the next day.

You have a great bunch of instructors out there.
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