or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Instruction heresy

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
"Why can't a beginner at least an athletic beginner learn to ski like an expert right off the bat?"
"Carving for beginners is possible today because of technological advancements that allow a ski to be short but also soft and fairly radical in sidecut."

Sound like an excerpt from a review of a new "how to ski" book?

Actually those statements are from an article that appeared in the January 1981, yes 1981 issue of SKI magazine entitled "Start With A Carve" by Dick Needem. The statements themselves were attributed to Stu Campbell who advocated the NEC (Natural Easy Carve) methed over the existing then popular GLM method using different equpment and techniques.

I stumbled accross this article in an old ski scrap book. It got me thinking that rhetoric and hype aside for the most part skiing has been more evolutionary than revolutionary.

I thought that it was particularly interesting that what we somewhat derisivly call "pencil skis" today were "more flexible and torsionally rigid" as well as "fairly radical sidecut" skis in 1981.

Just some food for thought.

P.S. This is a great topic forum.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited April 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bob, Sorry I inadvertantly sent my post in well before it was completed. I liked your answer though and respect your contributions tremendously.
post #3 of 9
Well Lostboy, if you or anyone else have certain skills and balance you can progress very quickly. For example if you are a professional hockey player, you understand about edges, and of course you come to the slope with supurb balance skills that easily adapt to skiing.I would someone with these qualtiies would advance very quickly.

If you roller blade, in line skate, figure skate you would also have skills that are translatable to quickly becoming an accomplished skier.

But for anyone not of good balance or understanding what edges are about, then its going to take some time no matter your athletic skills. Your athletic skils can quickly be used to teach balance, and learn the co-ordination skills that are necessary to ski well.

The learning of balance is different with each skier,but necessary in order to make significant progress in the sport.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited April 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Same apology as I gave Bob Barnes. I mistakenly sent my initial post after only the first sentence had been typed.
post #5 of 9
Bob B.- I am more impressed each day with the methodology that I teach, thanks to PSIA. I am curious about one thing. The more M.A. that I do the more I'm convinced the "common thread" most often missing at all levels is extension. Picture the average level three customer who creates a great deal of rotary motion via their upper body. Wouldn't extension, blended with a little rotary motion in their feet/tib/fib be the key that unlocks a quicker path to open or dynamic parallel turns? The more I look at folks as I teach or ride chairs, the less extension that I see.

P.S. I took the day off today and went to Loveland for the first time since moving to Colorado. I was mesmerized. Spring has not arrived to that neck of the woods. What a wonderful place to ski. It reminds me of Europe and/or Sunshine in Alberta.
post #6 of 9
Interesting comments and opinions abound on here.... Lostboy has added yet another to the mix.

"Skiing has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary".

What would it take to "revolutionize" skiing today? When was the last "revolution" in skiing? Seems that much time must pass in order to pass an appropriate judgement.

Some might say that new school jibbing is the new revolution, as Freeze magazine proclaims. But shit, I've seen B&W photos of guys doing flips on 7 foot wooden skis with lace up boots and beartrap bindings.

I am lucky to be able to ski on the latest and greatest of new equipment at little or no cost. There I am with my Rossi 9X Pro's or my Bandits in my scintillating yellow Race 1 boots and some guy rips by and dusts me. He's got duct tape on everything and a pair of RD Bad Dogs on his feet - a perfect match for his 5 buckle Garmont boots. His poles don't even match, except for the fact that they are not made of carbon fiber and they are both quite bent.

So I adjust my hundred and fifty dollar Briko goggles which are perched atop my two hundred dollar Giro helmet, wipe my snotty nose on my hundred and twenty five dollar Swany gloves, adjust my nuts in my four hundred dollar Karbon pants and think "what revolution?" I got all this stuff and the right revolutionary look and this guy blasts by me on equipment that you'd have a tough time getting thirty bucks for at yer next garage sale.

So, does the "revolution" live within each of us, to be determined and measured by our own little personal victories? Because skiing itself has changed relatively little in our lifetimes. Is the essence of the revolution to be transcendent of your equipment, your clothes and your stuff? Is the revolution to simply express yourself to your fullest, free of the need to have the next big thing? To simply learn to be yourself?

Skiing can change your life. That is the revolution.

And so, I will go out into the people and there I will rid myself of my posessions. I shall give to the people my Rossignol skis and boots. I shall place my helmet upon the head of a young man who yearns to rip and huck. I shall annoit him with the holy sunscreen and place upon his face my cherished goggles. Into his hands I shall thrust my fashionably bent racing poles. I shall recite the holiest of chants such that his days might be blessed with gobs of powder to soften his hucks and protect his ass. I shall ingest the holy potion and perform the naked snow dance. Thusly I shall proceed, cleansing myself of the evils of the material revolution. I shall perform the naked snow dance for six days and six nights. On the seventh day, I shall renounce my identity and I will travel deep into the forest to seek enlightenment. There I shall fashion my own skis from young, supple saplings. From the bark which I will strip from the trunks, I will make my own helmet. I shall hunt for food, and create functional ski clothing from the hides of elk and buffalo. My beard will grow long and my hair wild. And I shall ski every day.

Not 'til Tuesday though, because I'm going heli-skiing!
post #7 of 9

What are you on, and where can I get some?
post #8 of 9
Rusty Boy: I'd guess that much of the upper body rotation you observe results from folks pushing out the tail of the outside ski to turn. They probably made initial turns in a wedge following a suggestion to push harder on the outside ski after they pushed out the heels to make the wedge. The tail thrust often encourages turning the body into the turn, partly because of the unconscious practice of using the inside ski of the wedge turn as a fulcrum. (I stand on my left foot so I can push out my right foot). The original pushing out is an extension of sorts, so the solution probably wouldn't be found in an emphasis on extension, at least with the outside leg alone. If you could encourage extending both legs, you might reduce fulcrum application and shoulder rotation. They really need to go back to learning to turn in the wedge by steering the fronts of both skis.
post #9 of 9
I tried something new today with a young lady in a lesson who was reported to be a world class figure skater. She had never been on skis. I had her sit on a stool and rotate/turn/wiggle her feet. I showed her how her femur never moved. I then stressed balance and told her to think about remaining "centered" on her boards. She began making the nicest turns that I have ever seen in twenty minutes. It was awesome. Soooooo... I think you are right Kneale, in that extension is not the magic key that I seek. Teaching obviously involves skill blending.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching