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Stop fooling yourself and the guest (edgie wedgies)

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've had it....wedgie edgies are banned at my school! You can get a free one if you attend a 2-hour clinic on how to use one...or in adaptive. Why?
Watched a lev II get a 4 year old pvt. and immediately slap one on and hit the lift. Why would anyone pay 70 bones to have their kid go out with a certified pro...when they could spend $12.95 and do it themselves.
There a children's programs all over the country slapping them on, using harnesses, hoola hoops, smoke and mirrors and calling these kids skiers.
I have run successful 3 year old programs and know what the reasonable expectations should be....but teach the skills dammit! Trying to wean kids off of crutches like wedgie edgies to reverse the lack of functional tension sufficient to hold a real wedge is a pain in the ass!
Be a professional and do your job!!! What's next, marionette strings?
Rant over.
post #2 of 30
How did he get one on a snowboard? [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Nice, Miles!
It is frustrating when kids come in from other supposedly "enlightend" high-profile Resorts and the parents insist "my kid has been skiing blues" only to find out they have been subjected to tip clamps their entire skiing career. They are not doing anyone a favour.
There are obviously circumstances where they are valid, but instructor's incompetence or laziness is not one of them. I find it an injustice to defraud guests and bugger up a childs foundation with the damn things. It just isn't necessary or professional.
post #4 of 30
What is a wedgie edgie?

Sounds like something I bought when I was on one of my famous benders.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
It is what the seniors did to you in High School before they shoved you into your locker SCSA!
Actually, it is a tip clamp device that you will find in most experienced instructors pockets, that rarely come out....and frequently do in poorly trained children's departments.
post #6 of 30
The edgie weggie is the BAIN of any childrens ski coach's existence, short of spoiled kids who would rather eat brussel sprouts for every meal than ski with you. I am in agreement Robin! Use it when needed then throw it away. I used to tell parents who showed up with them already on their kids ski's that short of their children having no muscle control over their legs they wouldn't be allowed to use those things. The parents whined more than the kids. If they are having a problem making a wedge then get off the blues and onto a small slope to show them. end of story
post #7 of 30

I agree with you 100%. What I see is the problem is educating the parents into realizing that skills are being developed while the kids are "playing" in the school yard. Zooming down hill on a leash, etc., is not developing skills, but it keeps the parents happy. Oh my kid skiis! Big deal.

The ski academies and ski coaches faced this a few years back when the "competencies" were developed by USSA. Parents were upset because there was too much "free" skiing, and not enough gates. They had to be educated (this year's theme) to realize that 6 year old Johnny couldn't do what 10 year old big brother was doing. Muscles, body development, CM, social, pyschological are all different at different age groups.

If skiers and instructors haven't read a copy of the USSA Skier Athlete Competencies (there is one for snowboarding also), they should. Their site is www.usskiteam.com
post #8 of 30
Yay, Robin!

I have always hated the "ski bra" (the generic name: Edgie-Wedgie is a trademark) and the leash. I make it my business to transfer my aversion/contempt to my wee clients when they show up wearing a bra. No parent has ever tried to hand me a leash.

You are exactly right that these "aids" cut the instructor out of the picture: they assume that the kid is handicapped and that the instructor can't adapt a technical program to suit the child's abilities.
post #9 of 30
Oh yeah!

What are you guys doing, using that damn thing? Throw it away!

If they make you use it, you owe it to the sport to; first tell the SSD to Foff and die, then to quit.

Go teach somewhere you can do some good.
post #10 of 30
Has anyone considered that the difficulty students (not just little kids) demonstrate in struggling to hold a wedge may be a very clear statment (that we have been ignoring) from the body genius as to just how un-natural and internally conflicting a wedge stance really is?

Just wondering if there might be a better, more efficient way to learn......?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 31, 2001 12:16 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #11 of 30
You know, I've never liked the "kid-on-a-leash" thing when I've seen it at the hill because it seemed like the kid was always relying on it being there and it makes for some nasty heavy adult/small child wrecks, but I had mixed feelings about the edgie-wedgie and other tip connecting devices. I thought that as long as they were being used with students who didn't have the muscle control to hold a wedge (the very young) and were removed after those muscles were developed, they weren't doing much harm. I figured it was a way to get them used to sliding on snow. I'm not sure what to think now. I know a lot of ski schools won't accept students younger than 5, so a lot of parents resort to whatever tricks they can find.

What's the answer? Certainly not snowboarding!?! :
post #12 of 30
The only justification for a Wedgie-Edgie is a physical/neurological limitation. If an unimpaired kid can jump rope, he doesn't need his ski tips tied together. If he can't jump rope, he shouldn't be in ski school. The slopeside babysitting program might be appropriate, but not ski school.
post #13 of 30
Way to go Robin! Any pro that uses them should be de-certified. A real pro does his/her job as an instructor and TEACHES!

Happy New Year all!
post #14 of 30
Fair enough. I wasn't taught that way, so I didn't have any first-hand experience with them. Not something I would go for first, anyway.

Of course, back in the day we were left to our own devices once we did a couple lessons. In todays world, not a whole lot of parents would be willing to allow their children the same freedom to explore the mountain alone at a very young age. Shame...
post #15 of 30
When was the last time any of you taught a one or two year old to ski?

When my daughter first started to ski at age one, her vocabulary was very limited. Teaching her the skills damit I don't think would have worked. I was amazed at how with the edgie wedgie she figured out, on her own, what she needed to do to make the skis turn. I used to hook one of my poles around the rubberband to pull her in the lift lines. She actually figured out that if she made a big wedge, that made it more difficult for me to pull her. She thought that was funny(age 2). My daughter no longer uses a edgie wedgie (gone before 3) and can ski all the greens and some of the easier blues at Beaver Creek.

At one point you say you can get one (EW) if you attend a clinic and then finish with "Be a professional and do your job!!!". Which one is it?

And sorry Alaska Mike, the skiing has only been used to get her familiar with the mountain environment, now we start to Snowboard (age 5).

And another question I have is why someone should be able to jump rope before attending ski school?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 31, 2001 09:25 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Vailboarder ]</font>
post #16 of 30
Don't know the answer about jumping rope, but I did read somewhere that if you can play hop-scotch (not drink it), you are reading to read.
post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 
Vailboarder, my daughter had a functional wedge by 17 months, independent by 18 months, no edgie wedgie....lot's of work though. There are circumstances where they work...such as you described and others have intimated.
Once a pro has attended a clinic on how, when and for how long to use them effectively, we give'em one. It is then rarely used.
It is amazing how fast the learning curve is for the kids when a pro has to bend over and hold the tips for a short period. No fun for anyone (especially when they grab yer head...I hate that)!!
Incidently, if you know how to use one, the Try-O-Ski from Switzerland is superior, but costs more, and takes up more pocket space.
post #18 of 30
Edgie wedgies are a great tool for teaching little kids to ski. I don't think you should use one for more than about a run and a half, but they are quite usefull. Have the little skier do wedge change ups for a run, and then undo one side. Tell the kid that the "magic worm" will still work, just not quite as well, and keep skiing. Then, take the whole thing off, and the kid is skiing on thier own. You can also ski backwards, and manipulate the the edgie wedgie with a pole (use the handle, and hold the basket!). They should test for good edgie wedge skills at Level 1.

Of course, we don't use them in group lessons, only privates. For the three year old one hour early bird private, they are awesome. As one of the trainers at Mammoth Kids, I encourage all my new instructors to get a couple for use in private lessons. Most of the vets don't need the advice, they already know from experience. Of course, there are a few that swear they do not need them. They just find themselves skiing backwards holding the kids tips together. One of the funniest things I ever saw was one of our instructors skiing a group of adult first timers down the beginner slope, with three of them using edgie wedgies. I will not mention what ethnic group they were.

No, maybe edgie wedgies are not the most highbrow way of getting little guys to ski, but used correctly, they can be a great short cut. Arcmeister may not think much of the wedge, but good luck on getting 3-6 year olds to ski with out it. Unnatural? So is skiing, that's why we are not born with ptex on our feet. Not to mention even the best skiers in the world use opposing edges quite often. Functional skiing.
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Spinhelli, I think we are getting some of your students.
It is obvious to preface this debate with "if used properly"...they aren't. I too, own one...probably used one once or twice in a season.
We used to average 30 3-year olds a day during busy times in NM.....never used a WE and could virtually guarantee independence in 3 days in a hybrid group/lift private format....musta been the rarified air.
post #20 of 30
Three days? Use the edgie wedgie right, and try three runs!
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Like I said...I think I am meeting some of Mammoths students. I am refering to a group format Children's Center lesson with some one on one. Three days is the guarantee in our posted "reasonable expectations chart" it is a conservative estimate. Most are independent in 1 day.
In a private format the typical 3 year old should be independent without an EW in 1-2 hours. I totally agree! If not....send in yer pin!
PS. just pickin on Mammoth...90% of the kids we get from there are spot on....although there is alot of students out there coming in with frankenstien arms or hands on the knees....who the hell is still doin that?
How is the snow up there....get any rain?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 01, 2002 11:52 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Robin ]</font>
post #22 of 30

Why is it that you're so stuck on teaching methods that are so 20 years ago?

Is it because you're a lousy teacher? Or is it because you can't afford decent training?

You are living proof that my statement; "The worst thing you can buy at a ski area is a ski lesson" is way true.
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Wrong again, SCSA! Mammoth has an exceptional school (by PSIA-W standards). And Spinhelli typically on track.
The worst thing you can buy at a ski area is baselodge burger.
post #24 of 30
Robin - It has been the best season in quite a while. The top opened with great skiing in the chutes before Thanksgiving, and it has just gotten better. Lots of powder and windbuff days.

SCSA - Actually, we pay our instructors to train every day. We clinic them on the clock; teaching, bumps, ops, park n pipe, powder, crud, steeps Etc.. everyday. This why Mammoth is known as a great training area, and a great school.

OOps - sorry guys, I just dignified SCSA with a reply. Sorry, that was really lame.
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was there ed core/tech team earlier...snow was great, company was better!
post #26 of 30
Robin - I was also in attendance. Who did you clinic with? I had David Manetter, Scotty somebody, and someone else I don't remember. I am not a big fan of those type of events, where everyone seems to be trying to prove they are Tech Team material, but this one was pretty fun (except for the day with Scotty somebody). Although, I almost dropped out the first morning when our clinician did not take the group up top for freshies when it opened. I think it was because he (and most of the group)had not skied yet this season. It was like my 20th day, so I was pissed, but we went up later, and it was still good.
post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 
Jesus...I was in your group! I was the outta shape guy in the red! Who are you!?!
post #28 of 30
I was one of three Mammoth guys in the group. Dave was the English one, Skip was the tall one. I wore a black helmet, blue jacket, and redish orange pants. I was on K2 Mod Xs.
post #29 of 30
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The worst thing you can buy at a ski area is baselodge burger<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen, Robin!

As for the Wedgy-Edgy thing--I've always said that EVERY exercise has something wrong with it--otherwise, it would be skiing! The same goes for external physical training aids like the tip clip. Exercises generally exaggerate something, or leave something out. Tip clips, as you have said, can substitute for proper training, motor control, or skill.

But, for the other side of the coin, every exercise has a place too, if used properly and carefully, for the right reasons, and with full awareness of its pitfalls. The same, I suspect, is true of those tip clips. They do get overused and misused a lot, but I believe that they can probably help when used with discretion and skill.

Spinheli--it sounds to me like you've been able to use the W-E to good advantage, rather than as the crutch to substitute for effective instruction that Robin complains of.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Just an update...got my issue of TPS today, great articles, one on edgie-wedgies from a coupla Sandia Peakers.
Pretty much lays out the controversy, yet like Bob says a great excercise misused, overused or converted into a mode of skiing is a bad deal. Like everything else from angulation to litigation it is always based on the quality of pro.
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