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

  1. #41
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
    mtguide, whether DTP works or not depends a lot on the beginner terrain available. If it's icy and has no run-out, and if there's some pitch to it, one needs that wedge to keep the beginners from freaking out.
    I guess we are lucky that way out here. Ice is a 20year event Again, there any number of factors involved. Hard snow would actually make the side slip stuff a bit easier. Tuning to stop is the first thing the learn with the first turn. They have to repeat that in both directions until I am sure they have it right before I start any parallel skills.

    In your experience, what is it about hard snow that makes people freak out and what is it about the wedge that mitigates that emotion?
    Last edited by mtguide1; December 2nd, 2014 at 09:13 PM.
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

  2. #42
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Hard snow: Speed and fear of acceleration. New skiers can't feel the skis gripping the snow. Their imagination moves quickly to broken legs and they freeze up.
    Wedge: Slows the speed. Thus there is less imagined trauma and more intellectual nimbleness during the lesson.
    By hard snow I mean man-made groomed, set-up overnight so that it's hard to plant a pole in it so that it stays upright when you let go.
    If we had natural snow all the time instruction would be easier, but we don't. Lemonade time!

    Yes, side slipping is easier on hard snow, as long as they are in rental boots that fit well. Which is unfortunately rare.

  3. #43
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
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    Rental boots that fit well, military intelligence, jumbo shrimp...terms that don't fit well together)) I used to think it was the broad stable platform that made the wedge a "safe" position, but it has to be the most unnatural, contrived sports position on the planet. I am more of the opinion now that the speed control comes not from the shape of the wedge (most people can't stop in a wedge) but from the fact that the skis are on low edge angles and in more constant and consistent (pressure) on the snow throughout a turn from the top to the bottom and that "center" is easy to maintain.

    When the wedge-Christie is introduced it is an off-center move to the outside and often uphill. It is far too easy to produce an ab-stem in the process. Stemming removes the ski from proper control at the top of the turn. Often, people stem right into the fall line and while they are busy reestablishing "center" and balance, they are accelerating. Then, just as soon as they feel stabilized they jab at the snow with downhill BTE...the dreaded Z. Now too aft and with the downhill tail skidding out, the amplitude of the ab stem increases etc. How often do you see a stemmer make 4-5 turns then stop? The kinetic chain set in motion by the first stem feeds a causality loop that gets out of control in a hurry. they have to stop (usually the two tails down the hill skid) and gather themselves and repeat, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

    Time for me to play my usual role here as antagonist the more I look at the PSIA methodology, the more I am convinced it is a weak attempt at a mass-market approach. I believe it is representative of the resorts' control over individual schools. "get 'em skiing". Talented L2s and 3s I have met teach a lot of non-PSIA stuff. Nothing in the PSIA reading materials I have purchased so far do anything but create terminal intermediates. If a student is lucky enough to draw a "rebel", they can move beyond the dogmatic approach of PSIA, BASI, CASI

    Here is a URL to the Army's Northern Warfare Training Center ski training manual. Even the Army is embracing newer methods that PSIA "demigods" poo-poo.

    http://www.wainwright.army.mil/nwtc/...SKI_manual.pdf

    Make note of the descriptions on the use of the inside ski.
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

  4. #44
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    PSIA does not publish anything in its manuals that designates how to initiate a turn, nor how to finish a turn.
    This is a big hole in its technical materials.
    For that reason PSIA does not indicate how to use the inside ski, one way or another.

  5. #45
    Looking for a house mtguide1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
    PSIA does not publish anything in its manuals that designates how to initiate a turn, nor how to finish a turn.
    This is a big hole in its technical materials.
    For that reason PSIA does not indicate how to use the inside ski, one way or another.
    Right?!

    One would think that the alleged titular leader of the free world of skiing would have this all whittled down to precise science. It all smacks of bureaucratic legerdemain. If the skiing public knew just how ill prepared many L1s and L2s are to help improve their skiing, PSIA would likely be out of business. It is a system that serves the resorts and not instructors, nor the skiing public.

    Maybe it is time for RSIA. REAL Ski Instructors ....I know a lot of them. they pay there dues and pretend in the exams like they believe the BS. then they go teach it the way it works...
    Last edited by mtguide1; December 3rd, 2014 at 04:50 PM.
    "If you are lucky enough to be on the mountain.....You are lucky enough"

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