I realize it has been nearly 5 years since this thread was started, but was wondering if anybody came to a more substantial conclusion regarding the balancing issues commonly related to some Asian and most Indian and Pakistani first time skiers.
I've been teaching skiing for over 12 years in south central PA and have taught thousands of people to ski. The business coming out of Baltimore and D.C. results in lot of first time lessons to people of various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
You can see the looks of dread on the faces of instructors when we see a group of Pakistani, Indian or Arab first time skiers walk out of rentals. We've become so PC that nobody seems to have openly explored why these ethnic groups have such problems learning to ski.
I've had dozens and dozens of Pakistani and Indian skiers who could not find success at the straight run stage of the learn to ski progression. The calf moves to the back of the boot, the skis drift down the slope until the feet are ahead of the hips and the skier simply falls down (aft). Side stepping and standing is almost impossible in fast snow conditions. The slipperiness of frozen granular and hard pack causes the ski to move easily and the movement of the ski seams to set some of these learners into a spasm or cause them to thrash about in an attempt to regain balance.
I think ZiggySkiier is on the right track. It must be something cultural related and the link could be to how motor skills are developed at an early age.
Evidence to support this from my experience includes teaching several families together that had immigrant parents and first generation children. The children did not exhibit the fore-aft balancing issues, however the parents did.
The level of activity and sports seems to have little to do with these issues. So does anybody know any of the differences between how Western cultures and Eastern cultures teach their children to walk, run, stand up, sit down, etc?
I really want to unlock this mystery to determine if there is hope for these learners to find success and enjoy the full potential of the sport.