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Making turns

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Greetings All,

You know, it just occurred to me. I have absolutely no idea about how the rest of the world (non-PMTSians) makes turns. I'd really like to know.

So how does everyone else make turns?
Do you make turns the same way we do?
Can you describe how you make turns?

Let's see, what's the best way to start this thread. Hmmm. Okay, how about this?

Walk me through, step-by-step, linking parallel turns going down the slope.

Let's get a good thread going. Lousy threads are "immoral" and "bad karma". Ha ha.

If I don't get any action on this I'll assume no one cares and I'll delete it. But if you wouldn't mind...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 88
Thread Starter 
Of course I know how we (PMTSians) make turns, I wanted to know how you make turns, "you" meaning, I guess, non-PMTSians.

This is not about you or me, or right or wrong, unique or not, or any of that stuff. I just want to know how other people make turns.

Can't you just walk me through how you make a parallel turn?

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 88
Thread Starter 
No no. I just want to understand.

I'd still to see a paragraph or 2 from you and some other instructors here on how to make a turn. Pretend I'm a student and I'm standing across the fall line.
post #4 of 88

That's the problem. You can't just rattle off a list. Every skier is different, and there is no "right" way to make a turn.

If you are trying to bait us by saying that PMTS has a list to make a turn, then that would be the achillies heel of PMTS. If you took 10 people and stood them on the hill, they'd make turns 10 different ways.

And if we were to describe centerline skiing from beginner to expert, it'd take much more typing than anyone would like to do.

As Bob said, go read the posts about technique. Do NOT ask us to re-hash or re-type all of that stuff just so you can try to debate us about it. Go read the posts. If you find something you don't like, and want to argue with, quote it.

But don't forget your statement:
May 23 13:33pm "The HH Debates:An early one (long)" thread: I'm not qualified to talk about PSIA and even instruction, for that matter. And I'm not going to. Slap me if you see me doing it.

So don't try to start teaching us how to teach, or you'll get slapped again.

**Due to the power shortage, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off indefinitely.
post #5 of 88
SCSA, part of what Bob and John are saying is that all of us (you, me and "them") can make the same size turn on the same terrain with the same equipment and basically look the same to other folks but describe the movement individually by emphasizing different aspects of it. You and I can both say "tip the inside ski onto the little toe side", but, internally, that effort can feel quite different to each of us. I might sense the change in pressure on my leg at the bootcuff when I do the tipping, where you might sense the little toe pushing against the outside of the bootlast. None of us feels exactly the same things in exactly the same way, and when you add in variances of body size and makeup, boot design, ski characteristics and even the elasticity of different bindings, there's no real comparison. That's why it's important for an instructor to be able to express the same thought in a variety of ways and choose several exercises for each level of each part of each skiing skill.
post #6 of 88
I gots de answers! ... If a pretty girl is on your right, turn right. If she is on your left, turn left. If she is uphill... wait. If she is downhill... don't turn!

Now, dats da right vey to ski! Und vee haff veys of makink you ski dat vey... and like it!
Wait! Just saw pretty girl flash by... brb

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #7 of 88
Thread Starter 
No, no, I'm not baiting anyone here. I really want to understand.

Okay, I understand that there isn't just one (one system) way to make a turn. PMTS does teach one way, other systems, I guess, teach different ways. Ok. So teach me "your way" to make a parallel turn.

From a students perspective, just tell me one way to make a turn - don't confuse me. I've paid for my lesson and my assumption is that you're (instructor) an expert. Now, teach me how to make a parallel turn, Mr. or Mrs. Expert.

Again, this is coming from a students (me) perspective. One huge advantage I see is that making parallel turns has been broken down into a step-by-step, simple language, that even a knucklehead like me can understand.

Now here's a business perspective. If you can't easily describe your product or service, how do you expect anyone to buy it?

Back to a students perspective, if you can't describe to me how to make a parallel turn in a paragraph or two, or in 10 steps or less, then I need a different teacher. I mean, still, no one has been able to simply describe to me how to make a parallel turn.

If there's one thing that the skiers I've talked to all say, this is it - skiing has been made easy, and from there, expert skiing is truly attainable. Sure, it's what HSS calls expert skiing. But students don't care. We see Harald, Diana, Rich, other PMTSians, skiing and we're transfixed (maybe even blinded). We're shown a clear path to "ski like them", (for lack of a better description). Heck. Where do I sign up?

And it's not smoke and mirrors. You practice what they teach and you can actually see yourself improving - fast, getting to "expert skiing". How and Why? Because it's simple! I mean, from a students perspective, it's nirvana. How fast you get there is all up to the student.

I really don't think skiers care that we're only learning "one way". All we care about are the results. If "one way" is producing great results, and will get us to expert skiing (again, what HH calls expert skiing), that's good enough for us.

I'm really not trying to debate. I'm trying to describe what I see from a students perspective. I really think there's a lot to learn from this stuff for all you instructors out there. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 88
Wait a minute Jyarddog! Your so-called 'answers' sound suspiciously like the BFD in my XSCHUSS methodology:

 The BFD, or Backside Focus Drill - Find a member of the opposite sex with a cute butt, and follow them down the slope without their awareness.

I may have to enlist the services of Oboe to look into this further!

(Check out the thread below entitled, "Ski Better than 103% of the Population," if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about.)

BE the skis!

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tominator (edited May 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 88
I may live to regret this, but here it goes. I am describing a carved turn on groomed slopes. If the snow is difficult or there are bumps or the pitch is very steep, then additional skills/movements may be used to make it happen.

1. Let's assume that you are balanced over the sweet spot of the skis before the turn.
2. Initiate the turn by tipping the skis into the turn. Ankles relaxed, knees flexed.
3. Lead with the inside shoulder/hip/knee (as opposed to doing active counter-rotation or leading with the inside ski).
4. Keep upper body relatively perpendicular to the slope (via hip angulation and/or bending).
5. Use rotary movements or leveraging (for-aft pressure) to control the radius of the turn (I prefer to think of initiating these movements from the ankle not from the knees - much like in-line skating).

These things happen more or less simultaneously, bye the way. Also, I do not distinguish between inside and outside ski. I use both in the same way and the pressure distribution depends on the terrain. I never think of how close together or far apart my boot are. I do what comes naturally.

The major difference from PMTS is that I don't actively lift (or lighten) the inside ski. A more subtle difference is that I angulate and lead with the inside shoulder/hip/knee, which PMTS does not advocate. But then PMTS teaches a non-active/non-aggressive manner of skiing, which I don't find appealing.

SCSA, remember that this is my version. Ask five skiers how they turn and you get five versions of the description. Ask five pros how they turn and you still get a couple of versions (but I assume that pros use more consistent technical jargon).
post #10 of 88
post #11 of 88
Mr. Barnes said, "will summon the correct movements and minimize the incorrect ones" and "does NOT represent "good skiing" ".

These statements, and other similar statements in other threads,lead me to believe that you do think there is a right way and wrong way to ski.

You must also believe your way of teaching is the best way or you would use some other method.

Quit trying to please the masses and flat out say "There is a right way to ski and I teach people how to ski the right way".
post #12 of 88
Gee! How about taking a lesson and then coming back and posting about it.

Or would that be too objective?
post #13 of 88
Thread Starter 
I think my whole point is that skiing should be "productized". Here's why.

If skiing is an "art" as someone here said, and if it's not defineable, as at least in this forum it appears not to be, then you're instantly turning away millions of skiers/customers from the sport. Hence, the "terminal intermediate" problem.

I submit that the reason why skier numbers are flat are for these very same reasons. That expert skiing appears, at least from the outside looking in (and that's really how buying decisions are made), as unattainable. Or if it is attainable, it's so unclear as to how to get there that it appears to be unattainable.

I also submit that if skiing were "productized", "Here. Follow these directions...", with expert skiing being the "product", that many more skiers would take up skiing and/or return to the slopes.

It's human nature. No one will buy a product they don't understand, or that has been made too difficult to understand. I mean, look at what's taken place here.

I asked one simple question - "How do you make a parallel turn"? Still, no one has described it in a way that I can understand. I had to fish through links, most of which were unclear, and some even appeared to contradict one another. Very confusing, to me, John Q. Skier.

Guys, it's just too hard.

You've all said, "There's not just one way", "skiing is an art", "expert skiers just have a feel for what they do", etc.
Hey man, as John Q. Skier looking at this, you might as well be telling me that it's hopeless. No, you are telling me that it's hopeless. This is exactly what's keeping skiers away from the sport and I wish you'd all see this.

Make skiing easier to understand - productize it, and you will see an increase in satisfaction and participation, I guarantee you. People buy products - they have for hundreds of years.

I know you all don't like to see plugs, but it's my honest opinion.

HSS has made skiing a product - not an art, and that, if that's all they did, is a big step forward from a consumer point of view. I've never been told, "skiing is an art" or any of that other stuff. I'm told step by step instructions as to how to become an expert skier (as defined by HSS, and again, that's good enough for me). It's clear and concise, easy to understand.

I think I've made my point here.

I'm not telling you how to teach - I'm a student and I'm not qualified. I'm only telling how I learn, and my observations from talking to others.

Finally, I'm telling you how customers think and behave. This, I truly am qualified to speak about. Why? I'm not going to talk about my business, but I invented a methodology (a product) that's now used by thousands of companies each day. If there's anything I understand, it's customer behavior.

Anyway, thanks for your time, I appreciate it.

Here's a link that's kind of related:

I'll step out now and let the Bears take over. Back to the cheap seats.

I think all of this is fascinating and I truly feel that the industry is slowly moving forward. But, the true sign will be when we start to see black and hispanic kids/families on the slopes. When there's black and hispanic members of the ski team. When skiing has finally appealed to the masses, not the classes. How to get there? Productize it.

Here's to hoping that occurs in my life time. I for one, would love to see it and it would make me proud to say that I'm a skier.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 88
Paul, that was by far the most intelligent post you have made. Want to see the black and Latino kids? They are riding snowboards in LA! Because the equipment is cheaper, and easier to have fun on with little experience.
post #15 of 88
Ok. Time for me to chime in..
SCSA, As a product, I can understand part of the alure.. I had a chance to chat with Lito since ryan posted the link to his website. My dad and some of my relatives took his clinic. Coming from him, it sounds more like he agrees that there are flaws in the current ski school system and the biggest one is not the teaching quality per se, but more the amount of time taken for the lessons. The 1-2 hours for a few tips is a "rip off" for the average consumer as for most people the 1-2 hour lessons are not enough for most to build and ingrain movement skills that will last.
He prefers to run camps that last a minimum of a week in order to work with the students longer. For those that are ready to make that jump, then great. For those that need a rigid structure to learn from then by all means package it. For a lot of those who have reached "expert" according to someone's book or the ability to ski "parallel" there is so much more to learn that can't come from a rigid system.
I hesitate to get into the how to make a parallel turn because for me it depends on terrain, how small of a turn or large of a turn I want to make, snow conditions.... I will make parallel turns, stem turns, swing turns, short swing turns, hop turns, step turns, scarvy turns, pivot slips, one ski outside edge turns, wedge turns. Whatever makes it fun to get down the hill.
post #16 of 88
Ok,SCSA,you have finally compelled me, after a good month auditing this outstanding forum to come out of the closet. I have been lurking here (creepy ain't it) admiring the tenacious tolerance of this thoughtful and articulate tribe...pros, in the honored sense of the term...Pierre, Ott, Tog, Bob et al! do you make a souffle? Buy a cheap cook book or study under a chef. Turning an art? Yes, but don't ask Monet probably need linear direction...try painting by numbers!
Anyway, thank you all for the vicarious (up till now) chat...after 27 years in the business, you have reaffirmed my "raison d'etre" and solidified my underlying faith in pros, old and new, parttime and full!!! You guys are the reason, I stay in it! Thanks....I guess since my genie is outed....I will drop by (in cyber person more often)
post #17 of 88
Welcome aboard Robin,
Good to have another opinion.
I see you are in BC? Not at Whistler/blackcomb by any chance? I'll be there with a group of 30+ skiers in January. Interested in setting up lessons but will worry about that in November when the season gets closer.
Also are you the same Robin from JR's neck of the internet?

Again, welcome.
post #18 of 88
Thanks...I hope! I have seldom been accused of perfection...although I have won a few! I was a DD in NM (down from BC) at a destination resort and now at a "factory" as you have described your situation, outside LA...strange place for a canuck to land, but learning alot!
I would be pleased to provide whatever insight I might is indeed a delicate mobile(sp?) to keep in balance...all stakeholders...guest,instructor, SAM.
Got back from the NSAA conf. in Palm Springs...alot of old suits stressing because areas like yours and mine are not retaining high enough numbers to make realtors in Vail wealthy...don't know about you, but, run out of students lately? How about qualified pros....ah but that's another thread....
post #19 of 88
One other thought,
Most of the time when I'm freeskiing and I'm sure a lot of other "experts" are the same, don't even think about how to turn. It has become "instinctive" or second nature for most. I see I want to turn there and I do. I want to avoid that person, tree, rock, I turn or adjust. no thinking about it. To say this is the way you have to do it means very little freedom in creating your own style...
post #20 of 88
Thread Starter 

A ski school is a business - it's part of a whole, area operations, right?

Any business run by "compromise" will eventually fail. Or, if this is truly the case, then they're failing already and area operators have accepted it as fait accompli.

As a business owner, I say "kah kah". Fix the ski schools so that they're aren't any compromises.

In my opinion, the whole key to get more skiers on the mountain is customer satisfaction. I also feel that ski instruction is an integral part of customer satisfaction. If customers are satisfied, they'll keep coming back for more and they'll tell others.

My approach, as an area operator, would be that I want skiers on my hill so they'll buy cokes, coffee, booze, and lunch. High profit margin products. Do whatever it takes to get them up here.

So if I owned an area, here's what I'd do to get skiers on the hill;

1) Implement a "productized" ski instruction program.

2) Give most of the money to the instructors - let's face it, you want great help, you pay for it. To offset the loss, I'd find sponsorship for the ski school.

3) Make ski instruction a loss leader in order to draw more skiers. I'd make lessons free for most (those who normally couldn't afford it) and really cheap for the rest - so cheap that they couldn't say no to taking lessons.
post #21 of 88

Put instructors on year around salaries enough so that they can quit the day job and train all year round. Do that and you will have the best damm ski school in the world.

Oh yea, and let the instructors set the lesson length!


post #22 of 88
Seeing the proliferation of postings, a question occurs. As a business owner, when the hell do you do business?
post #23 of 88
The allure of skiing for me is in some sense just the opposite of the title of the HH books. I was drawn in, as I am to any sport, because "NOT anyone can become an expert, and for those who do, it takes years of dedicated effort. But it is alot of fun for those who aren't experts." You know, "How do I get to Carnagie Hall?....Practice."

How's that for a catchy slogan?

I want something open-ended, where you never can achieve all you want, and where gains are proportional to effort, and where effort is fun. it's a continuous process, not an end point, and the process is fun.

As for why blacks and latinos aren't more into skiing, I doubt is has much to do with systems or lessons. Look around at most ski areas. Acres of upper middle class white people with expensive equipment buying expensive lift tickets and a depressing number of arrogant snotty kids with more money to blow on a day of skiing than most black kids have in a month. Not rocket science. I mean, I feel guilty for the amount of money I had available to get my 7-year old daughter lessons when so many 7-year old girls don't have three good meals a day. Free lessons isn't going to help this at all; as SCSA said, it's a marketing decision to get people to spend alot of money later, and most minorities don't have that money to spend later, so why would they want to get themselves or their kids hooked?

(Sorry, I'm sure that offended somebody, but that is the first impression of most ski areas, if not the actual reality. As I mentioned before, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better than that first impression the reality was.)
post #24 of 88
Thread Starter 
In my plan, the instructor does great.

Because think about it. If you're (instructor) making, say, $100k a year teaching, that means that I'm (management) making 1000 times that - per teacher (an exagerration, but you get the point). It has to mean that; your customers are thrilled and loyal - that I (management) have a fantastic product. Because, the better the instructors are doing, the better the product (ski instruction). And if the product is great, that means customers are thrilled. You know, on and on.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most ski areas the smaller kind, like Loveland and ABasin? Aren't they wondering how to compete with the "chains" - Vail Resorts, Intrawest American Skiing Corp? Isn't their whole thing skier visits?

If I was a smaller area, I'd focus my entire strategy towards getting skier/riders, keeping them, developing word-of-mouth marketing, etc. It's really just good old fashioned business (maybe that's the problem - too many consultants preaching "Value Proposition"). And of course, my plan would be heavily centered around the ski school.

Well, I've just handed them their plan on a silver freakin platter.

Area operators just don't get/believe what I've just described. Well, you know me, here I go:

I guarantee that if an area operator gave me the task to do what I just said, it'd be successful. And, to back up my claim, I'll even do it on performance. If it doesn't work, don't pay me. If it does, I get paid more.

Okay, now I'm really going back to the cheap seats.
post #25 of 88
Paul, a couple of things.
1. Free lessons. A local resort (Robin's competitor, in fact) used to offer free lessons for level 6-9. Very few people took them.
2. The loss leader is all loss. Generally, as people become better skiers, they go to bigger destination type resorts more often. Perhaps there actually is an incentive for smaller resorts to keep skiers at a lower level!
post #26 of 88
Robin, do they still have ski lessons at Mtn. High? Or is it all snowboard lessons? And when are they going to put in a real bathroom at West?
post #27 of 88
Besides, SCSA, part of what Bob Barnes was getting at was that PSIA is about more than just "how to make a parallel turn"; making a parallel turn isn't the beginning and end of teaching people skiing.

~Michelle H.~
( )
Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

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[This message has been edited by skiandsb (edited May 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #28 of 88
Testing from the home back after my PM MB ride...I will try to answer. Perhaps some national standards, indices etc. for comparison reasons....but SCSA you amaze me with your astute assessment...finally in field of your expertise? Robin
post #29 of 88
Thread Starter 

You're missing the customer loyalty concept. A lot of businesses do.

Any business, can build customer loyalty.

The best businesses are built entirely around customer loyalty.
post #30 of 88
I'll try to answer WACKO's original question.

How to turn
Left turn from straight run down fall line.
1) Roll Right ski onto inside edge.
2) Let pressure/angles build as ski starts to carve. Keep pressure on outside (right) ski. Inside ski is used for balance. Inside ski has similar edge angle to outside side and is (roughly) parallel to outside ski.
3) Cross Center of mass over skis (from inside turn to outside turn), this will end turn by flattening ski out. Ski will then seek fall line ending turn.

To link turns let skis stay in fall line for very short time.
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[This message has been edited by NordtheBarbarian (edited May 30, 2001).]</FONT>
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