Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45

Thread: Starting a beginner in parallel or starting in wedge?

  1. #1
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Livingston, MT
    Posts
    697

    Starting a beginner in parallel or starting in wedge?

    Had a lively exchange this evening on the Snowsports Instructors of the World page in Facebook. I remarked that I move people out of the wedge as early as possible to avoid some of the stemming habits that can form. Some BASI guy got very snarlish with me because I obviously don't understand the wedge and don't know how to teach it. And the finest scientific minds are constantly working to improve our knowledge of the wedge because it works for everybody 100% of the time.

    My point was that in the US over the last 2 decades 82% of new skiers quit at the low intermediate level and the number one reason was "low proficiency" My OPINION is that bad stem habits make one look bad while skiing and it causes a lot of discomfort on anything but a groomer and can actually get ya out of control in bumps and deep crud. I believe that wedge to wedge-Christie is the source of a lot of that. The study by SIA also shows that people can survive a black run they quit taking lessons,so we never get a chance to help them ditch the stem habit

    So here are my questions,

    1) Do you start people in parallel?
    2)What percentage?
    3) On what criteria would you base that decision?
    4) What are the elements of the dreaded "Intermediate Barrier?

    All respondents will receive a gift certificate from the SVELT Lounge for party fluids
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

  2. #2
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Australia & Colorado
    Posts
    2,986
    Intermediate barrier... Ok not sure what this means exactly but I'll guess...

    Unable to initate turn cleanly... not carved... but simply not pushed/pivotted. Nothing wrong with a pivot - Ted uses them to advantage when it suits his needs... but there is an issue when all you can do is pivot. (Especially a low skill push version)

    Poor balance and recovery skills. We all know it - butt hanging back there while they push the skis around skipping the top of the turn. Hit a small undulation and yard sale ensues.

    Lack of edging skills. No finesse No ability to traverse in some cases. (Seen this up close in an instructor)

    Coupled with poor understanding of speed control. One of the big reasons for rushing the turn start is to skip the acceleration that facing down the fall line provides. Providing means of controlling speed and practice at both slow(er) and fast(er) skiing can stretch the comfort zone considerably.

  3. #3
    Looking for a house Snow Sport Instructor
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    I live in Breckenridge
    Posts
    654
    I thought the big dropout rate was for folks who tried skiing and never came back???? I have not heard that 82 percent who got beyond the basic wedge quit.

    A stem habit results from a poorly-taught wedge turn/christie. If the turn out of a wedge is taught to begin with the inside foot, a "bad" stem habit never results.

    THERE IS A GOOD STEM USE!!!!! There are circumstances when the stem is totally appropriate.

    DTP (direct to parallel) can result in bad habits if not taught correctly too.

    To me, the "intermediate barrier", or plateau, is very similar to the golfer who never scores below 110, the mountain biker who never goes off a road, the tennis player who only volleys, etc: Lack of appropriate practice.

  4. #4
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Australia & Colorado
    Posts
    2,986
    Quote Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
    To me, the "intermediate barrier", or plateau, is very similar to the golfer who never scores below 110, the mountain biker who never goes off a road, the tennis player who only volleys, etc: Lack of appropriate practice.

    I like it Kneale!

  5. #5
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Livingston, MT
    Posts
    697
    If you ask someone what level skiers they are they seem to equate that with whatever terrain they survive on a regular basis. groomed snow and speed can mask a lot of things but when conditions get deep or cruddy, things fall apart. But, it seems that people stop taking lessons in there somewhere so they don't get the directed coaching they need to ditch the bad habits.

    @LT...ALL of the things you mentioned are visual signs on the plateau. When conditions go south or terrain gets steep or when they get in to bumps it seems like the amplitude of ineffective movements grows alarmingly or at least noticeably.

    I was responding to a video posted on that FB page. It isn't in public domain and I couldn't find a way to copy it over. This outfit has a phone app with 70drills in it. The one they posted as a selling point was what they called the Truck Driver. Skier is in a wedge with pole tips stuck between binding and boot toe. To cue the turn (say turning left) the skier extends the right arm straight out front and the left arm pulled back. The skier then threw their weight on their right ski and was instructed to push down on the pole to pressure the ski and angulated heavily at the waist AWAY from the turn to the outside all the while tipping the right ski on edge.

    They asked for comments and I posted that I didn't like any of it. to many inefficient movements and potential for some real bad habits and this BASI guy crawled all over me. All I said was if the student was athletic enough to contort themselves that much they can handle parallel entry so why risk forming bad habits with a bad drill. I guess I called his baby ugly:/ I never do that do I?

    Let me be more clear what I am thinking about intermediacy. The first thing I look for as any kind of convergence in skis or boot tops. If there is I take a look at the specific source which is a stem of one variety or another 99.9% of the time. The issue in my mind is that the need to hold on to the comfort of that downhill BTE until a new stability is found on the inside ski is an off center move. The skier may still be balanced and have a solid base of support but they just spread center all of the mountain and many times uphill. for those long moments it takes to get rearranged and re-centered there is no control over the shape of turn and as LT points out, now they are in the fall line and accelerating so the big skidding pivot is next as they jam on the brakes almost always pressure is back in the down hill heel and the tail is starting to break loose and that seems the cue to do it again.
    The PSIA "Stepping Stones" does have a start-in-parallel track. Does anyone use it?

    @ Kneale...I agree with all you said. A stem can be useful sometimes but we don't want people skiing like that everywhere they go. The figures came from the 2014 Snowsports Industries America (SIA) study. If you are interested you can download it in PDF from their website. The second they quit reason is because they don't have anyone to ski with. When they asked people who still ski why they don't go more often the reason again was #1 = low proficiency and #2 was not having anyone to go with. I absolutely agree that poor teaching or poor practice with wedge to wedge-Christie is a source. Being my usual wise guy self I might say that hey, maybe if you learn to ski your friends won't mind taking you along. I am a cruel person, but you know it happens that way sometimes.

    To your definition I would add that PERFECT practice makes perfect. Practicing poorly is just time on the snow to no end. Without occasional coaching to guide practice bad juju can happen.
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

  6. #6
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Australia & Colorado
    Posts
    2,986
    MtG - not speaking for Kneale as I'm sure he will speak for himself when he turns up...

    but I had read his "lack of appropriate practice" as encompassing that... Poor practice is not appropriate... I had assumed(I know should give that bad habit up) that he added the word appropriate to cover the other contingencies

  7. #7
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Livingston, MT
    Posts
    697
    to the annoyance of many people, thinking helps me to make things into memory. I think we are all on the same page, yes?
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

  8. #8
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Australia & Colorado
    Posts
    2,986
    I believe so MtG

  9. #9
    Looking for a house Snow Sport Instructor
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    I live in Breckenridge
    Posts
    654
    Me too.

    The pole-tips-in-the-bindings thing is something I first saw as a "joke" on a really old (circa 1950s-60s) Warren Miller film. The lean-away-from-the-turn practice in a wedge is a tactic from the same slightly post-WWII era of skiing that is well ingrained in the history of ski teaching. I still see it used by folks who should know better. It has an appropriate use as a drill, but not as a way to ski.

  10. #10
    Looking for a house Snow Sport Instructor
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    I live in Breckenridge
    Posts
    654
    Quote Originally Posted by mtguide1 View Post
    to the annoyance of many people, thinking helps me to make things into memory.
    I think that finding ways to describe things helps my understanding.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •