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Int'l Ski Technique: NoSpag? Robin? Others? - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Current(in denial)Director here, during the early eighties there was quite a bit of interest. Look at nastar, racing is not the self measurement device it once was....but, (drum roll), I predict a comeback. The SLCO and OLN's WC coverage, plus a revitalized Nastar...maybe, hope not just wishful thinking.
OK...Snowkarver, here comes the shocking self confession time. As my amateur racing was winding down (mid to late 70's) I competed in PFA events. At Whistler (can nat)while competing in overall(I was a bumper)I place an unintentional 4th nationally in ballet.....hold down the laughter Spag! I credit much of my recovery balance and spatial awareness to that and diving as a kid. I still freak instructors out in clinic occasionally with a leg braker, corkscrew or tip/tail spin on the 188 shapes.
Ok, cool notoriety, also one of the first two or three guys to toss a Lincoln Loop in Canada (take that Shane McKonckey, I knew yer Dad). In those days nationals overall was a 4 event, air, bumps, ballet and gelande. The big boys in Canada Daigle, Bowie, Athens, Eaves and others. Long hair, funny clothing....but it was a gas for a year or two,,,,remember the Midas Mufflers?
Ok...enough True Confessions....I will never mention this again.....this post wil self destruct before I do!
post #32 of 57
No no, PLEASE mention it again!!! I find this really fascinating!

You must be an AWESOME SSD, BTW.
post #33 of 57
Interesting discussion... This seems to be an argument at every ski school. I've been a PSIA member now for 8 years (Cert level II, practicing for III), and it seems I've witnessed at least three changes in philosphy that followed, rather than joined, current racing trends. Even examiners here in the East will admit that we, PSIA, tend to ignore, or treat with contempt, new techiniques that our racing brethren discover, only to integrate it into our system a season or two later. We have over 200, mostly parttime, instructors at my piddly hill, and you would think I'm asking people to leap off a 200 ft cliff band if I suggest taking a clinic on the NASTAR course! No one wants to look bad, never mind learn something... I believe that there is an immense amount of skiing knowledge and personal skiing improvement to be gained on a race course (even more so with the technological advances in our equipment). BTW, I am not, and never have been a racer, but I love to try and improve my times every week, and I always try to take my classes through the NASTAR courses.
post #34 of 57
I know visibility used to work pretty well. Lately it seems they just complain about the closed run.
The new NASTAR does seem to be catching on. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
USSCA's program seems to be growing pretty well these days. Maybe the ski schools could integrate some coaches into their programs and PSIA can concentrate on what they do best.
post #35 of 57
I have been advocating specialized accredidation in PSIA/AASI for a few years now. I say this, to keep the focus on the fundamental technical aspects of both skiing and riding. In ultra trendy PSIA-W the leaders of Lotusland are entertaining pipe and park teaching for exam at L III!!!
I believe there should be a National Accred. system at Lev II for Children, Pipes and Parks, Seniors etc. but keep the exam process unfettered by trends, fads and aquisance to the industry image based market twits.
Racing is different, a quantifiable, objective appraisal of modern skiing/boarding from which all technique flows. Level II and III should include a timed GS component.
Can I lose the freedog confessional posting now? A youthful indescretion. I just liked the zipper and air...thought I'd meet groovy chicks!
post #36 of 57
Stepping back to Nastar. As a former Associate and certified course setter in Far West Ski Coaches Assn (circa, 1980), I set Nastar courses every weekend at the area I was working at. I now go to an area and just look at the courses. They are more like a SG than a loose GS, which was the original intent of Nastar. Most of these courses are just bad and unsafe. And there is no rythym to them. Spacing between gates is far to great and they are just out of the fall line. In otherwords, they are not fun and far too fast.

post #37 of 57
Hmm...I think I'm the only person around here running a racing program (Loveland Racing Club)I keep thinking I'm becoming an endangered species.

But... we have shown Loveland Ski Area management the financial benefit (early incremental revenue to offset fixed start of season expenses.) It's becoming a good niche for the mountain.
post #38 of 57
Speaking of niches, Ed. How is Serge? I heard he was overcoming an illness.
post #39 of 57

This is news to me; I'll check and let you know.

Serge really isn't running the ski school on a day-to-day basis. He hasn't for some years. I guess he is SSD emeritus.

Incidentally, LRC is completely independent of the ski school.
post #40 of 57
Thanks for checking...something about diabetes or something. He is a Loveland icon...and in his younger day...the big man could rumble!
post #41 of 57
Yes, he does have diabetes, but the problem this summer was a bleeding ulser. It appears to be stable. He's still a pretty damn good skier.
post #42 of 57
There are race camps at Breckenridge, that some of the instructors teach/coach in. For instance, United Aairlines has a ski club/race program. Racing was a big part of the instruction program I had at Buck Hill, MN years ago. My "alma mater".

Oh YEAH, ballet moves. I used to play with thos a lot, when I was younger and more flexible. I still enjoy tip drag spins to take a quick look at what my students are doing (during rare "follow me" transport manouvers). A good old Ruel (Royal) Christy is still a lot of fun, when was the last time you ever saw anybody do one of those? Worm turns, leg breakers...

I credit toying around with those freestyle moves with my learning to ski on the wrong foot, and later turning on one foot. Fun stuff, and ever so stylish with a pair of... Cheeseburgers!

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver
post #43 of 57
Used to do that Ed, worked coaching a race team in "SomeWhat" County, CO for a bit, then was Race Director in SW CO after that before getting sucked (briefly) into management. Looking into starting something up again out here in VT, my own program this time . . .
post #44 of 57
When were you in Summit Co? What team were you coaching? FYI I'm a contemporary of Todd Pitcher.
post #45 of 57
As a kid I played and competed around Summit Co. through the 70's & 80's. Then I worked up there 1/2 the year in 1991 and in 1994.

Todd Pitcher, no kidding! Great guy, he and/or his sister Noel are the ones who should have ended up running that mountain, and if they had . . . I'd would have stayed too! When/where were you around Todd? Santa Fe days?
post #46 of 57

University of Colorado. I'm still here after a stint in grad school (another physics man) in the east.
post #47 of 57
Is Todd P. quite a bit older than you? He must be around 50 now. You guys were in school together? Did you ever meet any of the rest of the Pitchers when you knew him?

If I were doing it all over again, I could easily see making a life in physics -- I've been nuts for it most of my life, but I got sucked in a different direction(s). Do you specialize in an area of physics?
post #48 of 57

I'm a couple of years older than him, I think. I'm in the high tech software world with a background in expensive venture capital startups. Original degree was in solid state. I use a lot of the math now, but none of the physics.
post #49 of 57
As opposed to all those darned *cheap* venture capital startups?
post #50 of 57
There's another reason some people don't like running gates. If you already know that you're slow, its a bit unpleasant to have your face rubbed in it. And some people, by nature, hate to be involved in ANYTHING competive.


I was just browsing through Witherall's "How the Racers Ski". {I know, I read too much!}.
This was not supposed to be a book for my own technique. But since I teach conditioning in a college town, I thought it may be a good thing to have.

But here's the surprise. The stance and alignment that Witherall recommends seems infinitely more functional and natural than that exaggerated foward lean that so many instructors expect.

IMHO, it would probably be less frightening to go faster if you didn't feel like you were ready to do a face plant.

I enjoy running up steep hills, which means I have to run down them. Of course, there is a natural amount of foward lean on the way down, but not so extreme.

Perhaps if the alignment taught in a regular PSIA class bore at least a few similarities to racing technique, people would be less adverse to racing.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #51 of 57
So, what is a regular PSIA class?
post #52 of 57
Touche! You are way too smart! Okay, there is no such thing, since every PSIA class I've taken is different.

Only precious few teachers forgo that exaggerated foward lean, though.
post #53 of 57
Witheral's first book came out in 71, it was updated in 84 but still works. Have you read The Athletic Skier?
post #54 of 57
Yes. I was actually amazed when I read the copyright date! I know its been updated, but its still ahead of its time.

I enjoyed Athletic Skier, too. Really got me thinking about different attributes of my own skiing that need some work. Not referring to technique now, just qualities.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #55 of 57
Athletic Skier isn't great on technique but really gets it together on stance. I was fortunate to sit in on a clinic by Dave Everard that was attended by Jeannie Thoren.
post #56 of 57
Actually, directly related to this topic, Robin, there is something I've thought about asking you for awhile.

Every year, I attend a large number of fitness conferences. The one's that atke place in the US, try to have an international appeal; IDEA International, DCAC World Expo, ECA World Fitness.

Each of these conferences will cccome up with new ideas, but parameters, guidelines and limitations are always a major issue.

But then in August, there is CANFITPRO, who's theme is "Strengthening Canadian Fitness, One Pro at a Time".
Very few non Canadians even receive the conference brocheure, only those who are extremely involved in the fitness industry.
And the Canadian Minister of Health is sometimes the keynote speaker.

But, in contrast to the conferences in the US, the Canadian presenters take the attitude that , okay, you have some new toys, now lets take them OUT OF the BOX and see how many ways we can play with them. And even though a large number of Canadian fitness presenters are also physical therapists, there does not seem to be this litigous obsession with making every move so safe that it is boring! IMHO, I learn more in 3 days in Toronto than I do in 5 days somewhere else. But then again, I am somewhat of an "out of the box" type of person.

My questions: Do you think this is happening because in some ways, Canada is a "younger" country than the US, and what we are seeing is a youthful spirit of adventure?

More importantly, does this attitude about teaching occur in Canadian Ski schools and other forms of education?

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #57 of 57
Hi, Lisamarie. It has been a while since I lived or worked in Canada. I got my CSIA III in '89 the last time I "worked" there.
I don't know that Canadians see themselves as younger. I do know that the country typically is less litigous in "some" respects. I am fairly certain that lawyers are unable to work on "contingency" which eliminates a lot of nuisance or slap suits. The Ski Schools operate very similarly to American counterparts. Perhaps Jocanadian or other "encumbant" nationals could help here.
One interesting note, you basically can not teach skiing in Canada without cert (a certain amount of risk management in and of itself) And CSIA members are covered with liability insurance through their dues (which I haven't paid in a few years). The CSIA dues are similiar to PSIA for the individual, less with exchange.
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