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Should instructors free ski (rip) in uniform? - Page 3

post #61 of 101
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SCSA:
Nothing like oz to get things back on track.

So. Don't you guys (Barnes, everyone, etc.) think that the industry is pushing carving on groomed runs much more than ripping all over the mountain?

Then, if so, how can this be good for us? The more things get groomed the worse off we are - like Todd says.

But, I don't get it. Wouldn't they sell more lessons if they preached the all-mountain thang?

That is exactly what they need to push SCSA! Take a look at the hill on any given day and see how many people skid and scrape their way down. In the East it takes only a couple of hours to turn groomed runs into very hard and icy slopes - all due to the lack of carving/scarving skills. And I am not talking about railroad tracks here, but rather about skiing along the length of the ski, tails following the general path of the tips. There is no way to ski non-groomed runs (with powder, crud, chop) unless you have the skill to carve/scarve your way through snow. Skidding is guaranteed to make all-mountain skiing very difficult and often impossible. I saw ample evidence of that at Fernie.

And grooming is a necessary thing. Many resorts do not have the terrain and low skier visits that a Fernie or a Copper have. Try skiing at a Tremblant at Christmas or in the weekends and by end of day you will see slopes that are far worse than a western resort will ever see! And the worst slopes are the beginner and intermediate ones, bye the way. If you don't groom these, you will never get beginners/intermediates to learn anything. Even at Fernie, if they groomed nothing, 2 days after a dump you would get only bumps, crust, crud. Before you know it, experts only will be able to ski the mountain. This may be OK for some, but resorts have to run a business and keep up skier visits, right?
post #62 of 101

I don't think free sking should be paid! Instructors should get paid for 8 hours (or however long they are at the mountain, ready to give lessons). Paying instructors only when they teach is what I find unacceptable.

As for displaying "extreme" skills, I am not sure how much value that has for the average skier. Most skiers don't give a hoot if the instructor can ski extreme stuff or not.
post #63 of 101
I don't think there is anything wrong with grooming. You want to sking into April on good base, you gotta work the slopes to build that base.

If you don't want to see a groomer for entire day, go to backcountry.
post #64 of 101
TomB has a good point about the usefulness of displaying "extreme" skills. Most skiers probably would not be enticed into a lesson by those displays. For the average skier a display of solid technique would probably be a better motivator.

And I believe the liability/litigation demon would probably rear its ugly head. What if it's mid-December and the ski school is paying you to rip the bumps under the chair and you have a season ending crash such as Oz did? Where's your income for the remainder of the season? (There's probably a quick answer to this one but not being an instructor I do not know the intricacies of your contracts).
post #65 of 101
It's funny to see comments like "instructors out free skiing make the ones who have to go to line up feel jealous".
In my experience as a full timer, the real problem seems to be lack of work, not being made to work! We seem to be busy sometimes, but mostly, I'm working an average of 4 hours a day. sometimes more, sometimes less.
Going out free skiing is my way of filling in the spare hours.

Last year at Mt Snow, for the 2nd last week of the season, work suddenly dried up alarmingly. There was only a few of us comprising ski school. So we'd go out skiing, wondering if that was it for the season, and one guy proposed getting carboard boxes, and writing "SKI LESSONS $30" on them, and wearing them while skiing under the chair.
You know, I think that might have worked!

(for the last week of the season, everyone disappeard and I was "it" for ski school, and was doing wall to wall privates, 8 hours a day with no lunch!)
post #66 of 101
I don't know. How can someone who rips not be ripping all the time? Good skiing is good skiing, whether it's a wedge demo or a pivot slip or bumps or powder.

The question here might be restated: why do people take lessons? Then you would know what instructors should or should not do to bring in the business.

I find my students take lessons because it adds value to their skiing experience. They get something out of it.

Being able to rip is, unfortunately, not the sum of the value, and students are savvy enough to recognize this. It is a given that I know how to ski. What they want is a teacher who knows how to get good skiing to come across to them.

It's the improvement in the student's skiing that sells the instructor and makes the ski school money. Friends say, "Hey, Joe, what in the heck happened to your skiing?" Joe says, "I've been taking lessons from so-and-so." Next thing you know, the friend is booking lessons with so-and-so.
post #67 of 101
Yep, the only good line from that otherwise stupid movie: "The skiing is the easy part" [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #68 of 101
One thing that I saw last year was that the Ski School fenced off an area of a slope and offered a free analysis of your skiing. An instructor at the gate to control flow and a couple of instructors at the bottom watching and going over the results. Something like come in for a free brake inspection. Have no idea if it had the desired effect.
post #69 of 101
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
I took the level II exam with a PMTS "green" cert who has a great deal of difficulty tipping/carving. As I ski with this person I see turns initiated by "lightening" the inside ski and then the foot rotates, the tail conveges and nearly touches the nearby tail and the tip diverges. The lightening of the inside ski merely serves to take the inside ski off any edge and start skidding. It can certainly be argued this is not what PMTS teaches and is merely poor skiing on the part of this instructor. I can't answer that question. I do know this person has a great deal of difficulty putting two skis on edge to initiate a turn. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO and seasonal observations.

There is a lot of truth in this post. It is possible to be a strong all mountain skier and skarve your turns away. A too narrow stance will not allow carving skis to carve easily and consistantly. Teaching methodology learnt badly will produce bad results which if not recognized correctly will reflect back to the original learning methodology in a very skewed way.


Comparing the turns of a person on short (-170) carving skis on groomers and the turns of a skier on all mountain skis (+180) skiing off piste can lead to a lot of picky argument.


All those intermediate skiers with a wide flat footed stance we see on the hill are most probably a product of their own refusal to put time into upgrading their skills rather than a demonstration of possible PSIA wide stance teaching and should not be used as examples of the superiority of any particular teaching "system"


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 11:08 AM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #70 of 101
Back on topic.

I had my season ending crash whilst teaching. If it happened at the start of the season I would just be of the hill and in the office for a month. In my case my class was a bunch of rippers so thats what we where doing. Slow turns through flat bumps was not an option. It could happen anytime, anywhere. Skiing is a very unforgiving sport.

In looking at ways to "entice" new students at the mid to upper end of skiing I think the on hill visibility of base SS skiing skills is important. These skills should be displayed in a "look at them having a hoot time" way. No ego trippers required.

It is true that good skiing is exhibited at all speeds and in any part of the mountain by those that can. What I think needs some work is the "amplitude" factor on the front side of the mountain. It is know that people are attracted to "show" and motivated by wanting to belong to an "elite" group. The problem arrises when the "elite" group becomes invisible to the general public by way of rules that make this group anonymous.

Traditionally people where attracted to skiing as an escape. The mountain towns and ski instructors seemed to be visibly having all the fun and people where attracted to this.

Are ski instructors still seen in this light or are we just "workers that ski"? How can we recapture the attraction of being "carefree" and "approachably elite" at our local hills so that we are not all second string to the "Special Name Camps" that few can afford or have the balls to attend.

People are sold on "Name Camps" and marketing strategys like HH etc. They are hungry for real skills and will take the "tough stuff" teaching IF it is marketed and presented correctly.

In my past SS experience (the 80s) Ski instructors where all pretty well involved in the whole resort marketing strategy. We where out there in the lodges, the bars and the restuarants marketing in uniform (paid). Is this still the case where you work or do you clock on for showtime and clock off at home time?

Many questions. The industry needs them.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #71 of 101
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PowderJunkie:
[QB]TomB has a good point about the usefulness of displaying "extreme" skills./QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

See again you are taking it to "extreme" (no pun intended). What is extreme about things that I listed as possible demo options? Glade skiing (more common at some places than others, but that is where the best snow is on any given day), cornice entry/chutes (80% of upper runs at Snowbird off the tram require some knowledge of this, otherwise you are just taking catwalk to mellow stuff), crud/cut up snow (again part of all mountain skiing).

All of the above is part of all mountain skiing. May be not in the Eastern resorts, but certainly out West. And it is certainly part of "having hoot time" for advanced skiers. Equipment is making it easier and the bar is moving up, why would not SS help moving that bar up instead of trailing behind celebrity camps. Snowbird is already doing that with their ski camps and Powder experiences where you get a guide on a powder day and ride tram all day long. Just make sure you can keep up (all for $70 per day). Seems like a good value to me and when I know I can keep I will be first sucker in line.
post #72 of 101
Another sad but true fact, is that many people percieve themselves to be infinitely better than they actually are. As I've said before, my pet peeve, someone says that they "do" black diamonds, and if you watch them ski, they are indeed "doing" the trail in the most obscene sense of the word!

Look at the # of fatal accidents as well as serious injuries we've heard about this year. Every skier who ended up either hurt or dead probably thought they were more than capable of either skiing those particular trails, or performing those skills.


Do you know how many times I've been on a chairlift and some moron looks down at an instructor and says, "I can ski better than that!" Then you watch them, and, well, you know.

So, lets take this exaggerated sense of one's abilities, and have that person watch an instructor rip. Unfortunately, most of these people would not take a class, they would simply try to copy the skill, with rather serious consequences!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 11:50 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #73 of 101
Small thing, but it can help you keep from getting judged harshly when in certain crowds: out west they are not called "glades", just trees. There is a practical difference of course, glades have usually been thinned out with chainsaws, trees sometimes have been - but usually are au'Natural.
post #74 of 101
They are already copying Jeremy Nobis, so they would not descend to copy SS instructor.

There is also a number of people who can't spend entire day polishing parallel turn on a groomer. It is personal thing, and there is not a single right way. Like I said before if this market is not significant for SS to go after, I can live with that.
post #75 of 101
Too bad more recreational skiers, and more pro skiers (Instructors, Patrollers) ARN'T copying Jermey Nobis! No, I think most of them unfortunately don't ever get any real exposure to such role models. No, I think they would rather watch football usually. :

Incidentally, AJ Kitt and a few others of that background are PSIA instructors as well. We've got a couple on our own staff that used to be Pro Tour racers. There is a lot of variety out there, its a big world. So generalizations are somewhat inaccurate.
post #76 of 101
Absolutely nothing at all wrong with trying to extend one's limitations. If someone already has decent parallel turn on groomers, why continue to obsess on that. But if someone's parallel turns on groomers are less than opyimal, I really don't think they should be skiing down a double black diamond bump run!

So much of what I see , especially in the east, is people with minimal skills, trying to ski advanced terrain, or perform Nobis type tricks. As a result, they either harm themselves or others.

I've said this many times before, but most of us on Epicski are not the average skier. You went to a ski camp to learn advanced skills, which I think is great! But many would not consider doing that. Instead, they would try to figure it out for themselves, which does'nt always work.

BTW, at Fernie, they do a "ski off" prior to your lesson. If they think that your basic skills essentially suck, they will not let you take a lesson in powder. Rather, they keep you by the poma lift! I heard alot of whining from people who seemed to think they were better than they were.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 12:28 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #77 of 101
Todd M.: I was J/K. I am not passing judgement one way or the other. I am already convinced. I personally took a group lesson at Snowbird, did the ski-off thing, ended up in upper level, they hooked me up with instructor and I ended up with full day one/one lessson. Had a great time.

Never in my experience have I been limited by instructor to ski certain type of terrain. I think SS can deliver. The question is how to convince more advanced skiers that lessons are valuable for them.
post #78 of 101
When I think of Nobis, I think of his previous incarnation as the racer and technician. Controlled and powerful skiing - not the "newschool" trickster. I forgot he is into that stuff now! Heh! Well, I'm sure he is good at all of that because he was such an accomplished athelete at the National level on the USST.

Oh - and I'm with you Eug, the issue isn't if SS's have folks with the ability to coach at any level, its definately how to convince folks of the fact.

A big problem is that as LisaM and others have pointed out, many more advanced skiers don't think they have anything to learn at all. Since the best atheletes in the world in any sport get full time coaching, its a silly viewpoint - but prevalent.

I've mentioned before that I think since skiing is one of the few sports Americans participate in where they don't get scored or score points, they honestly have no idea how they ski. And if they are going faster than most of their friends, and its fun -- they must be 'ruling' right?! And there is nothing wrong with thinking that, except for the good of the entire industry (and the good of Americans vs. the world in ski competition) it would be great if we could get people to realize that there is always more to learn, and always somebody who can teach you!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 12:34 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Todd M. ]</font>
post #79 of 101
Lisamarie, I know from reading your posts you've spent a lot of time and money on learning to ski. But wasn't it you who only recently skied her first black diamond and was suprised by the difference between East and West trail designation? What makes you think you're qualified to assess peoples abilities to ski tougher terrain. It sounds as if you are halfway to arguing that we should have to pass some kind of test before being allowed out on the slopes.

BTW following on from the cellphone thread perhaps these instructors could display their phone numbers while out "ripping".

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 12:48 PM: Message edited 1 time, by PNWBRIT ]</font>
post #80 of 101
Actually Nobis I have not seen Nobis do any of the "new school" tricks, all I have seen him do is ski really fast on very steep faces in any of the movies I have seen with him skiing. I think he is one of the most impressive skiers out there personally.
post #81 of 101
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PNWBRIT:
Lisamarie, I know from reading your posts you've spent a lot of time and money on learning to ski. But wasn't it you who only recently skied her first black diamond and was suprised by the difference between East and West trail designation? What makes you think you're qualified to assess peoples abilities to ski tougher terrain. It sounds as if you are halfway to arguing that we should have to pass some kind of test before being allowed out on the slopes.

BTW following on from the cellphone thread perhaps these instructors could display their phone numbers while out "ripping".

Aw come on! Quit getting yourself into a hissy fit! Do you have any idea how utterly silly sound?? I'm advocating no such thing!

As for my abilities to asess other people's skill, well, unfortunately, I seem to be "cursed with a gift". Extremely good eye, only average skills. When I lived in NYC., I helped many dancers get into professional companies by evaluating their audition pieces and explaining, without actually showing them what they would need to change. part of it comes from an extensive background in kinesiology and biomechanics, part of it is just having a good eye.

Also, you really do not have to have good assesment skills to figure out that if people are getting killed or suffering serious injury on the slopes, they are probably atttempting things that are far beyond their abilities. And as I said before, since many morons actually think they ski better than the instructors, who knows whether they will try to compensate for their apparent lack of endowment in other areas by trying unsucesfully to emulate them.

That being said, I do think there should be more classes that appeal to advanced skiers {and I am not PRETENDING to be one of them}. But that's not really the topic, is it?
post #82 of 101
Good statement LM. I'm trying to summarize the concept (probably been done before by someone far more eloquent than I will ever be):

"The best teacher is the one who can advance their students skills beyond his own limitations."

Now if there were a way to demonstrate those teaching abilities to the crowd sitting on the chairlift I believe far more people would head for the SS desk and sign up.

I think nolobolono and dougw were on the right track with their earlier posts. I remember various ski schools having their demo team put on a little show every afternoon. Revive it and put the show closer to a major lift or lift loading area.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 04:26 PM: Message edited 1 time, by PowderJunkie ]</font>
post #83 of 101
uh huh! You know at Whistler/Blackcomb, many people take the level 7 or 8 Ski Espirit programs. But every Sunday evening, the instructors do a "performance" on the mountain. Perhaps that influences more of the advanced students to take a lesson.

I do agree with Tom B. If the instructors are skiing in uniform, pay them for an 8 hour day. they are probably going to end up answering alot of questions anyway, so it is not their free time.
And since its not their free time, they should not have to give it away for free!
post #84 of 101
Having skied with LisaMarie I must concur with her that she has natural movement analysis skills. She takes tons of lessons because because she herself is in the physical training/biomechanics profession, and recognizes the value of it. I train instructors full time, and among even instructors who might outski Lisa - very very few ask as pointed, complex and specific of questions as she does.
post #85 of 101
And taking class with Todd, who is a master at percieving detail and subtlety in technique, well I've developed an even more critical eye!

BTW, if anyone ever saw Todd skiing in an instructor jacket, they would be truly inspired to take a lesson. Think about the qualities described in Witherall's Athletic Skier! Todd encompasses just about all of them.

Another thought; At a ski clinic last year, the instructor told us to pick someone who's skiing style we like, preferably someone with a body type at least somewhat like our own, and try to "put our own body" [figuratively] on their skis. I chose an instructor form one of the other classes.

This year, she was my instructor, and I noticed one of the biggest breakthroughs I've had in awhile.

So relating this to the original topic, yes, there can be some value to having instructors free ski in uniform. Some pitfalls too.
Like anything else!
post #86 of 101
LM There's no hissy fit going on over here lady! I just think your talking BS.

Dance audition critic to ski skills analysis that's a little tenuous isn't it?

Todd, LM may take a shitload of lessons and be able to recite every ski manual written backwards. But the progress she has made does seems pretty slow for someone with her so often proclaimed athletic talents.

I've read others trying to get her to loosen up and just go for it but it does seem like the ski school business has just another perpetual intermediate on its hands. SCSA while also an avid student of technique seems to have been able to keep that enthusiasm while understanding that the sport is about the skiing and that just learning is not an end in itself.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 05:21 PM: Message edited 1 time, by PNWBRIT ]</font>
post #87 of 101
You know, as soon as I read people belittling others, and trying to score cheap points, I conclude that they are not worth reading, and move on.
Just because someone doesn't bash their chest and bray about what a rippin' skiier they are, doesn't mean they aren't.
post #88 of 101
Ant, when they continually remind us how slowly they are progressing isn't it fair to comment in what is after all a forum debating ski instruction
post #89 of 101

LisaM's perception that she has progressed slowly is not accurate, but it is her viewpoint because of "modesty" (interesting word, look it up!).

You see us in debate here often, but people are here because they love the sport -- and are passionate about it. Not because the process is the end itself.

Great skiers love the learning too, and find that as they get better - they have more fun.

I'm an avid coach and student of the sport, a technical/biomechanics geek by nature - but get constantly told "man you look like you are out there relaxed and having fun!" because I am. I don't do robot turns, I hop around, lay out, spin around, skid and carve . . . I play. And so do many others here.
post #90 of 101
And what was it Ac said about this having to stop?? Why is it that every time I come back to this forum, there's some macho man trying to show what a "dude" he is by flaming a female. Man are you pathetic. I would venture to say, from reading LM's posts that she is progressing just fine.And we have already heard from her instructor, who has actually skied with her, that she does in fact have excellent analysis skills! That to me says more than your infantile ranting!

And given the nature of her profession, she is more apt to be critical and modest about her skiing than a "stud" such as yourself!
Now can we go back to the original topic and end this pissing contest?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 05:41 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Patricks8 ]</font>
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