Clendenin method camps//

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Codger, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Codger

    Codger At the base lodge Skier

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    does anyone have experience or opinions regarding the clendenin instructional camps
     
  2. mdf

    mdf back to being an ordinary Gatheree Skier

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  3. DavidSkis

    DavidSkis Thinking snow Skier

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    From the videos I've seen, it appears to be instruction aimed at low intermediates who are stuck on blues and just want a way to move through terrain without necessarily skiing it at an advanced level. This is not a knock on it. But if your aspirations are to be a true expert, from what I've seen of the model, I would say it limits the skier.

    For example, in the clip below, John teaches the skiers to point their skis up the hill at turn initiation. But in order to become an expert, you need to be able to do the opposite. Experts don't turn their skis up the hill at the start of the turn; rather, they manage the speed by drifting the top of the turn if necessary, and carve from the point of the arc when they want to gain speed.


    In the MA I've seen, they actually make fun of the student: "The first thing that John would like to know is what you're looking for down there." Come on guys - you need to update your teaching model with all the advances in learning psychology from the last 30 years.


    It does look like a lot of skiers like the clinics. And it appears they give a lot of tactics for surviving in terrain that's beyond the skier's ability.


    ...but the tactics this skier's using (sideslipping, twisting quickly through the top of the turn) are the opposite of what an expert would do in that terrain. That said, he seems to be having fun, and that's often a sign of success in skiing.

    So if you're a senior who's stuck on blue runs, and your only goal is to get some tactics to move you around more of the mountain, I would imagine you could learn some tools from one of those camps. And that's a perfectly valid goal!

    If you're looking for long-term improvement on the path to expert skiing, I'd be more apt to send you to someone like JF Beaulieu or another Canadian level 4 (as that's the system I know the best), or perhaps Rookie Academy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  4. Doby Man

    Doby Man Out on the slopes Skier

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    It’s pretty straight forward stuff. As the following video depicts, it pretty much covers the use of the epiphany pad to find the love spot so you can have a good cascade. It is sort feels like a cross between a ski lesson with Billy Kidd and a Kamasutra workshop with John Denver singing in the background. In my dream, Billy Graham was playing the ukulele and it was snowing.


     
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  5. Living Proof

    Living Proof We All Have The Truth Skier

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    I know a few people who have attended the JC ski camps, both in Aspen and Chile. I've watched his YouTube video and his DVD, the sales pitch is compelling, learn to ski bumps in a couple of days. One friend is very positive about the experience, especially how it helped his wife become much more comfortable skiing bumps. Another friend states she preferred another teaching program, and, the JC program had limited value.

    I've practiced his technique when skiing with the friend who is a proponent, he refers to that turn as another "tool" in his quiver of turn shapes. You will learn to weight the little tow edge of the uphill ski, and then flatten both skis to "drift" or skid through the balance of the a very controlled turn. I always simile a little bit when watching his video, thinking "damn - I'd love to find soft Aspen bumps" to practice on.

    My advice is to obtain his DVD to better understand his movements. I they continue to appeal, and, you are in Aspen, and, your pockets are deep enough, give it a go.
     
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  6. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    @DavidSkis objectively speaking why is drifting the top of the turn better than turning up the hill? wouldnt it be beneficial to know both?
     
  7. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    I'm trying really hard (and I think failing) to find a diplomatic way to say: "This man does not understand skiing, and his method is contrary to how good skiing actually works."

    If you want someone to teach you a series of bad habits that intermediate skiers use to cope with terrain that's above their head - maybe he's exactly who you want.
     
  8. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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    I have no dog in this fight but I'm curious of why you or others thinks Clendenin method is "contrary to how good skiing actually works" and "how teach you a series of bad habits that intermediate skiers use to cope with terrain that's above their head".
     
  9. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I've read Clendenin's materials extensively, but I have not attended his very popular camps. I'm impressed with the way he comes up with non-intimidating "fun" terms for the different things he teaches. There's nothing wrong with coming up with catchy phrases that help make unfamiliar movements accessible to willing and eager adult students. There's nothing wrong with the way he teaches weight transfer at the top of the turn, and nothing wrong with the way he teaches bumps. These are mainly bump camps, by the way, making bumps accessible to those who are intimidated by bumps.

    The people here who are making fun of his camps and terminology are experts who would not go to the camps themselves, and who feel those camps are beneath their dignity. One poster has suggested camps he'd go to; the ones he has suggested are appropriate for him; they are often attended by instructors seeking high end technical understanding. @Codger, is that who you are?

    Clendenin's camps are just the thing for many skiers who are not already experts, who are not yet on the cusp of being experts, and who are not instructors seeking technical knowledge, but who want to improve their skiing in the bumps.

    Go.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  10. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I am actually no clendenin fan........reading previous post before this thread will show that....

    I just do not see a problem with someone turning up the hill for speed control. Its the easiest way from a strength perspective to control speed. Objectively speaking if your goal is slow speed, why not?
     
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  11. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Ditto what Josh said about turning uphill to slow speed.

    Clendenin teaches a way of initiating turns that is similar to the PMTS approach (but not an exact match).
     
  12. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have no dog in this fight. I would just like to caution about taking things out of context.

    I watched the videos posted above, and after about five decades of skiing, can easily imagine a context where the particular instruction would make a lot of sense (not just the context where it is nonsense), e.g. getting rid of the perma-stem some (many?) cautious skiers may have picked up by spending too much time doing stem christies (that's just one example, there are many more). I can easily see how this clinic could provide the breakthrough needed for some skiers to practice better skiing, without their old bad habits, and with the tools that allow them to ski without fear or negative movements, and thereby acquire new skills.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  13. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    the method is also popular with folks who are looking for ways to ski that are easier on knees and hips. It does work well for that.
     
  14. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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    That's my impression as well, so I say "whats wrong with that?" I've been too many places where bumps are place in the steep terrain or they are too "icey" (hard granular imo). For someone trying to getting comfortable, those are harsh conditions to begin with. Also, IMO, learning balance in the bumps is biggest gating item for intermediates, Once balance is developed a lot of bad movement or trends can washed away.
     
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  15. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Plus Johnny C is a hell of great guy and a legend. :thumb:
     
  16. DavidSkis

    DavidSkis Thinking snow Skier

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    This is a question that's way off-topic for the thread... but...

    Let's not mirepresent - My statement was that you need to be capable of drifting in advanced skiing. Of course it's good to be capable of doing everything.

    The advanced skiers in the great white north with good performance generally progressively release the edges through the end of the change of direction (after the fall line). The advanced skier has some good lateral movement that lets pressure build on the outside ski as they progressively tip through flat, up on edge, and shorten the new inside leg. The momentum into the next turn comes from the previous turn, progressively allowing more glide through the end of the arc by reducing edge angles. See our eastern demo team members for good examples.

    If your speed control comes from turning up the hill, by definition you lose your downhill momentum, it slows your across-the-hill momentum, and your centre of mass ends the turn up the hill. Now you're stuck! To make a turn, you can:
    • Twist the feet through the top of the arc, resulting in a z-turn OR
    • Haul your body over the skis to the new inside, resulting in low pressure on the outside ski, and a long top of the turn, OR a very pushy extension, which will push your body further to the inside of the arc later in the turn (leading to more pressure on the inside ski and less shaping) OR
    • Take a long time to flatten the skis, resulting in a big dead spot OR
    • Do some combination of the above

    To be fair to you, I will agree that from what I can see, what you're saying is completely consistent with PSIA. I took a look at the PSIA interski team and picked a random end-of-turn frame from a long turns segment and here's what I got:
    psiademo.PNG
    To me, it appears that they ride the ski very much across the hill (almost back up, as you've described). The consequences I see are that they end up to the inside at the end of their arcs (blue), and make a big up-and-over movement to move to the inside at the start of the turn (red). Here's the video:
    So I truly believe that the PSIA sees this 10% piece of the skiing pie differently, which leads to some pretty different outcomes on snow. (For what it's worth, I'm not saying that my point of view is shared by all of the 3s and 4s in my country! But I do see these differences emerge when comparing our best with the PSIA.)

    @LiquidFeet , please understand that I would not make fun of this camp. I think it's good for individuals whose end goal is to just be able to ski most runs on a mountain. Philosophically, there is nothing "wrong" with having that sort of goal. It probably won't lead a skier to expert skiing (at least the tactics I've seen would have to be reworked). But it probably leaves many lower intermediate skiers satisfied with their skiing and happy with the money they've spent.
     
  17. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    @DavidSkis, I'll respond more from personal experience than from my readings of the Clendenin material.
    Keeping the skis moving along a round path until the turn is fully completed, e.g. pointing across the hill, or maybe even slightly uphill, does produce speed control. This is a good thing for beginners and novices. They don't have much edging, their hips are not waay inside the turn and their skis are not at high angles. I suspect you are not talking about the usefulness of completing turns for these skiers, who need to find a way to get down the hill without continually gaining speed.

    The big up-and-over move is also not necessary in high level skiing when the skier completes the turn. Look at this example below. The quite capable skier has released the upper body /CoM before releasing the skis. Those skis are pointing across the hill, completing the turn (although not for speed control :). There is no up-and-over hucking necessary to start the next turn because this skier has shortened both legs to allow them to end up under his body, and he has released the upper body ahead of the skis to allow it to travel downhill across those skis.
    releasing the CoM before the skis.png

    My personal experience does not come close to what this racer is doing. But often I do something maybe slightly related. One can direct both feet back uphill under the body at the end of a turn as the skis continue along their curved path. Directing both feet up under the body, with both legs shortening, releases the upper body to travel along a line downhill, over the skis, as the skis keep going. The skis will cut under the upper body as it heads downhill. This will produce a speed-controlled old turn and a brand new turn with no need to huck self up and over.

    I have no idea if this is what Clendenin teaches. Getting adult skiers with years of embedded habits to separate the upper body from the feet/legs is difficult. Clendenin does not seem to focus on "separation" so much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  18. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I am pretty sure I am turning up the hill here with out any of the bad things you describe as happening. BTW this is done slow, I can do it much faster as well, but was I literally made this video as to show an alternative to Clendine to post in a thread about a year ago. I wanted to show you could ski slow with out being square to the skis like Clendine is.



    I am fairly certain I can turn up the hill going slowly even on a groomer and not do any of the above you describe, I just wanted to be clear that this is not the only way I will ski, it just something I teach to people who want to explore terrain and will not be able to make dynamic short radius down the fall line, controlled open parallel works just as well. I typically ski much more in the fall line but still rounds turns. The PSIA selectors honestly really like my skiing, and I am not trying to emulate them at all, but do what I feel is most fun, but still clean and efficient.. but my skiing is really irrelevant to how I am going to teach a scared adult intermediate how to navigate their first flatter woods run, or first blue bump run.


    Yeah the thing is the PSIA is a huge organization and saying this is how the demo team member ski, so all PSIA people ski like this , isnt really true. They are pretty squared up to their ski in that photo, but they are not Z turning, and also not doing any of what you describe. I honestly think Sebastian Micheal, and JF are amoung the best tech skiers in the world, but its doesnt mean their way is the only way.
     
  19. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    Josh - I'm sorry that no one engaged with your point (which is good). Why am I being quoted to indicate that I think turning up the hill is bad? Where in my post do I address anything about moving up the hill?


    I'm a little sad that I have to state this for the record...

    I believe that there are two ways to slow down, "moving snow" and "moving uphill". I vastly prefer moving up the hill when possible for its increased energy efficiency and decreased impact on the body.

    Finishing turns == Good.
    Going where you do want >> Not going where you don't want.
    Offensive skiing >> Defensive skiing.

    Balancing over the inside ski and upper body rotating to initiate the new turn == bad.

    The line he's picking and teaching (a great line!) is entirely independent of the terrible mechanics he demonstrates and appears to teach. I promise that balancing over the inside ski and upper body rotating is *not* easier on the knees or hips. It means that you are necessarily slower in the bumps and less able to manage terrain as it comes at you. Balancing inside, and upper body rotating directly leads to higher impact bump skiing.

    My disagreement lies *there* (and only there).

    None of my disagreements listed above should indicate in *any* way that I think Mr. Clendennin is anything less than a great guy.
    I fully agree he is legendary.
     
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  20. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    So yeah I entirely agree with the balance on the inside ski, and upper bod rotation.....both of which are bad end goals, I can not think of any time in a ski turn where upper body rotation into a ski turn is good. Although balancing on the inside ski as a drill can have merit, and there are snow condition where being able to stand evenly on both feet can work better(although its really hard to feed balance back into the inside with out having outside ski balance mastered).
     

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