Teaching Turn Initiation to Upper Int. & Advanced Skiers

Nancy Hummel

Ski more, talk less.
Instructor
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Posts
576
Location
Snowmass/Denver
And many beginner group lessons are only 1.5 to 2 hours long, leaving little time to do anything other than one way to turn left and right and stop.
You can teach proper stance in a 2 hour lesson. You can also encourage people to come back for another lesson.

If you are relegated to a 1.5 hour lesson, I think you could come up with a streamlined progression to make the best use of the time you have.
 

SKskier

At the base lodge
Skier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
18
Location
Europe
It's actually within 12.5% for men and 17.5% for women and the standard is from 2 50 point FIS skiers. See attached. And no, none of these folk would be top 50 WC skiers, although there are ski instructors who have been top 50 WC athletes.

https://www.nzsia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NZSIA-SKI-Speed-Test-Outline-.pdf

Do WC athletes have great technique? Absolutely. Is it useful to observe WC technique? Sure. Is it relevant to instructing the general public? Less so.

Mike
It means they build-up GS course(= app. 55 sec. run) and limit is 62 sec., right? A friend of mine, had 50 FIS points, but he don´t consider himself as a "good skier".
I found his records and +7 seconds(in one round) racers in GS are usually on 50th place on national level(here in small country). So skier with that instructor limit would not be within Top1000 on world.

And for sure - that testing course for instructors is never "injected" and this is very important, not only those 7 seconds. In softer snow there are less differences in time(between better and worse skiers) than on ice - average racers(yes, 50 points is nothing special) often slide off etc.

I was once skiing on icy WC slope(haha, must try) and it was nonsene - out of control, fight for life(of course i am not racer, but also some local average racers with 50 points had serious problems). I think that many top level instructors would have problem on injected WC courses, these NZ demo skiers also - due to difference in technique I mentioned in previous post.

And for general public? i know a lot of "action hobby" who want to compete and be the best as they can. They are fully preparing in summer with special S&C training
and for those is necessary to study and apply race principles, not "grass" for show...
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
2,001
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
It means they build-up GS course(= app. 55 sec. run) and limit is 62 sec., right? A friend of mine, had 50 FIS points, but he don´t consider himself as a "good skier".
I found his records and +7 seconds(in one round) racers in GS are usually on 50th place on national level(here in small country). So skier with that instructor limit would not be within Top1000 on world.

And for sure - that testing course for instructors is never "injected" and this is very important, not only those 7 seconds. In softer snow there are less differences in time(between better and worse skiers) than on ice - average racers(yes, 50 points is nothing special) often slide off etc.

I was once skiing on icy WC slope(haha, must try) and it was nonsene - out of control, fight for life(of course i am not racer, but also some local average racers with 50 points had serious problems). I think that many top level instructors would have problem on injected WC courses, these NZ demo skiers also - due to difference in technique I mentioned in previous post.

And for general public? i know a lot of "action hobby" who want to compete and be the best as they can. They are fully preparing in summer with special S&C training
and for those is necessary to study and apply race principles, not "grass" for show...
Well, regarding those NZ demo skiers, one of them is Tim Cafe. Tim Cafe is also the coach for Alice Robinson. Do you know who she is?
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
2,001
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
BTW, 50 points is in the top 690 for the men in GS, and the top 505 for the women. In the world. That's pretty elite company. (based on the 2020 preview points list).

Mike
 

SKskier

At the base lodge
Skier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
18
Location
Europe
Well, regarding those NZ demo skiers, one of them is Tim Cafe. Tim Cafe is also the coach for Alice Robinson. Do you know who she is?
I have evaluated video of Carving on FIS GS r23m skis of Lorenz and some general principles I usually see in demo skiers. So "those NZ.." were RmG and PL,
and they do not have any FIS record in Alpine. Tim Cafe had in his prime 20 points(as is written on Wiki) and was racer, so I do not doubt about his personal abilities in WC course.

I add some example from a guy with 50 points who I coach in S&C. Then I compared exact typical times from FIS races(GS) and what it means when somebody is +12%.
Also a difference between average course for instructors and serious injected race course.

I asked generally if somebody has a video of those 2 famous demo guys in gates(ideally with timetable of them and other skiers on that day)
or on some real icy slope and carving. I don´t doubt they are real excellent skiers in all conditions but not comparable with average EC skiers
in carving.

Then - to avoid my "individual approach and opinions" etc. - I wrote something about details where I see differences in technique, so it would be fine
to comment(anybody) it, where I am wrong or something like that - no offense.
 

LiquidFeet

lurking
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
2,673
Location
New England
You can teach proper stance in a 2 hour lesson. You can also encourage people to come back for another lesson.
If you are relegated to a 1.5 hour lesson, I think you could come up with a streamlined progression to make the best use of the time you have.
Of course you can. I do all that. Thank you.

What I don't do is teach several alternative ways to turn in that short 1.5 hour lesson, which was being suggested upthread. I like that idea, but the instructor needs to not confuse these people by loading them down with too many things in a short period of time. This is a group lesson too, remember, so one has to teach for safety, and there's usually at least one very wobbly skier in the group.

My current mountain does something really good I haven't encountered before. When the 1.5 hour beginner lesson in the beginner area is over, the instructor invites each member of the group to come back in the afternoon for another 1.5 hour follow-up lesson, which will be free. People sometimes do come back, but not always. The follow-up lesson is when there's time to adjust, refine, and add alternatives to what they learned in the morning. Hopefully they made a few runs in between the two lessons and can report back on what worked. It's also the time to take them up the mountain for the first time.
 
Last edited:

James

Skiing the powder
Instructor
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
9,207
And for general public? i know a lot of "action hobby" who want to compete and be the best as they can. They are fully preparing in summer with special S&C training
and for those is necessary to study and apply race principles, not "grass" for show...
What is "S&C" and "grass"?
BTW, 50 points is in the top 690 for the men in GS, and the top 505 for the women. In the world. That's pretty elite company. (based on the 2020 preview points list).

Mike
You're talking wcup points? Big difference.
I've known a lot of 40-50 point FIS skiers who raced Ncaa. Not one of them would even earn a start spot on the wcup. Nor Europa Cup. Nowhere close to that ranking in world. They'd laugh if you told them that.
Olympics, sure they could ski for Mexico or something and do a lot better than that guy who's 55 yrs old skiing for Mexico.
Someone who really knows the system would have to explain it.

Regardless, it's a much higher standard than a bs Nastar course. It's a little senseless to argue the point of racing vs demo skiers. I think the interesting thing is the difference in freeskiing technique.
 

JESinstr

Lvl 3 1973
Skier
Joined
May 4, 2017
Posts
534
I introduce the concept of edging at the entry level. The concept of flattening the skis to allow the student to turn or tip their skis in the new direction; by introducing side slipping, by experimenting with uphill arcs that allow students to feel the stability of their edges while going across and up the hill.

Let’s face it. Many beginner lessons leave much to be desired. Not enough emphasis on stance and edge release and a huge rush to get to more “exciting terrain”. Many intermediates can’t control their speed because they are stuck in the cycle of backseat, upper body rotation, too much weight on the uphill ski habits which severely limit their options.
Hear, Hear! And your point about utilizing uphill arcs is so important. I believe garlands is one of the only exercises that totally takes place in the post fall line environment.
Re flattening, I prefer softening then shortening the inside leg because I think it is a better methodology to maintain consistent, proper balance with the inside edge of the outside ski. But that is a "down in the weeds" discussion for sure.
 

Nancy Hummel

Ski more, talk less.
Instructor
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Posts
576
Location
Snowmass/Denver
Of course you can. I do all that. Thank you.

What I don't do is teach several alternative ways to turn in that short 1.5 hour lesson, which was being suggested upthread. I like that idea, but the instructor needs to not confuse these people by loading them down with too many things in a short period of time. This is a group lesson too, remember, so one has to teach for safety, and there's usually at least one very wobbly skier in the group.

My current mountain does something really good I haven't encountered before. When the 1.5 hour beginner lesson in the beginner area is over, the instructor invites each member of the group to come back in the afternoon for another 1.5 hour follow-up lesson, which will be free. People sometimes do come back, but not always. The follow-up lesson is when there's time to adjust, refine, and add alternatives to what they learned in the morning. Hopefully they made a few runs in between the two lessons and can report back on what worked. It's also the time to take them up the mountain for the first time.
I think that is a great thing your mountain does. I hope people take advantage of it. I don't think it is necessary to teach several ways to turn in the first day. People need mileage and they also need to feel successful at the early stages.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Suzski

Suzski

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Posts
101
Location
Metro DC
Thanks for contributing that video. Nice to see the subject of what carving is, addressed.

Lorenz talks about ski performances and I can relate to that concept. The turns he has them doing beginning a 4:00 are short radius turns and (unlike the medium radius turns he has them doing in the beginning) the intended radius for these turns is below the radius design parameters of the ski. So rotary assistance to accomplish the intended task is not only appropriate but required. In most instances it is good mechanics to develop a turn with rotary as the "on ramp" to the performance state. So I would not call them skidded turns because skidding is not the intent, it is just what rotary results in on the way to the performance carving state.
Ding, ding, ding, ding. I just learned something.
 

James

Skiing the powder
Instructor
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
9,207
Ding, ding, ding, ding. I just learned something.
Except that's not entirely correct really. The turn radius of a ski can easily be exceeded without rotary. (Meaning make a smaller radius.) The turn radius is roughly equivalent to the cosine of edge angle x the turn radius of the ski. (That's actually wrong I guess but the concept of more edge angle = tighter turn isn't)

So, a 30m gs ski at 45 deg edge angle:
Cos45 x 30m = 21m
Cos60 deg x 30m = 15 m
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
2,001
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
Except that's not entirely correct really. The turn radius of a ski can easily be exceeded without rotary. (Meaning make a smaller radius.) The turn radius is roughly equivalent to the cosine of edge angle x the turn radius of the ski. (That's actually wrong I guess but the concept of more edge angle = tighter turn isn't)

So, a 30m gs ski at 45 deg edge angle:
Cos45 x 30m = 21m
Cos60 deg x 30m = 15 m
The rest of the story is that you can obtain the "10 cm track" of drift that demonstrators were asking for by simply modifying the rotary and edge angle mix. More rotary and less edge angle = more drift/skid.
 

SKskier

At the base lodge
Skier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
18
Location
Europe
LF is right, grass i mean ass to grass, i think many people has more hips lateral than needed and that is not good for transfer of forces. S&c is strenght and conditioning. James: yes, 50 fis points is nothing special, i will tell to my friend he can ski for Mexico
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
2,001
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
LF is right, grass i mean ass to grass, i think many people has more hips lateral than needed and that is not good for transfer of forces. S&c is strenght and conditioning. James: yes, 50 fis points is nothing special, i will tell to my friend he can ski for Mexico
Ok, then the proof will be in the pudding. As it is no big deal, we expect you to present your ISIA speed test pass in the next few months. @James as well.

Mike
 

James

Skiing the powder
Instructor
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
9,207
Ok, then the proof will be in the pudding. As it is no big deal, we expect you to present your ISIA speed test pass in the next few months. @James as well.

Mike
To quote Reagan, "There you go again..." ogsmile
I never said it wasn't a big deal. Let's just not pretend it's that meaningful in the race world. Again, they'd be smoked by legit 40- 50 point racers.

France used to make you do that test in slalom first. Way harder. 18% for men, 25% for women. Don't know if they still do it.
It's just statements like being x in the world are pretty meaningless without context. You brought this up.

If they're so intent on proving their racing chops, they'd do it if they haven't already. To those in the know, there's not a whole lot of pretend that can go on. So on that note, I agree with SKSkier. But, clearly Japanese Technical Comps are more important to them. That's understandable these days.

There's all sorts of tricks to getting lower fis points. I believe they involve New Zealand actually too.

Sarah Schleper skied for Mexico in 2018. After retirement from the US team and having a kid. Got 41st in super g, dnf in gs.

Prince Hubertus von Hohenloe started the Mexican ski federation,was born in 1959. He actually placesd26th in slalom at the 1984 Olympics.
He became somewhat infamous for his topless ski calendar which a racer for Lebanon was photographed for before the 2014 Olympics.

i will tell to my friend he can ski for Mexico
Well he needs connections there, plus he'll have to pay his own way. Like Schleper did.
Probably be better just to take the Euro Speed Test or Isia test, then work in New Zealand teaching ski instructirs how to race.
 
Last edited:

David Chan

getting after it!
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
115
Location
San Francisco, CA
While Not quite the same standard as ISIA, I believe PSIA RM has at least somewhat of a speed/race requirement. I think it’s a Silver nastar for l2, gold nastar for l3?
 

SKskier

At the base lodge
Skier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
18
Location
Europe
Ok, then the proof will be in the pudding. As it is no big deal, we expect you to present your ISIA speed test pass in the next few months. @James as well.

Mike
You didn´t comment my technique comments about this topic - are there clear differences or not(timing, etc.)?

James: I gave there(about Mexico and my friend who had 50 FIS points) "smile sign", but it didn´t show somehow. It was joke...
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
2,001
Location
Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
To quote Reagan, "There you go again..." ogsmile
I never said it wasn't a big deal. Let's just not pretend it's that meaningful in the race world. Again, they'd be smoked by legit 40- 50 point racers.

France used to make you do that test in slalom first. Way harder. 18% for men, 25% for women. Don't know if they still do it.
It's just statements like being x in the world are pretty meaningless without context. You brought this up.

If they're so intent on proving their racing chops, they'd do it if they haven't already. To those in the know, there's not a whole lot of pretend that can go on. So on that note, I agree with SKSkier. But, clearly Japanese Technical Comps are more important to them. That's understandable these days.

There's all sorts of tricks to getting lower fis points. I believe they involve New Zealand actually too.

Sarah Schleper skied for Mexico in 2018. After retirement from the US team and having a kid. Got 41st in super g, dnf in gs.

Prince Hubertus von Hohenloe started the Mexican ski federation,was born in 1959. He actually placesd26th in slalom at the 1984 Olympics.
He became somewhat infamous for his topless ski calendar which a racer for Lebanon was photographed for before the 2014 Olympics.


Well he needs connections there, plus he'll have to pay his own way. Like Schleper did.
Probably be better just to take the Euro Speed Test or Isia test, then work in New Zealand teaching ski instructirs how to race.
No doubt. BTW, I did not bring up that they'd place anywhere in the world, just that they had to pass a GS test that was based on being within 12.5% of two 50 point FIS racers. That was only in the context of @SKskier's claim that they couldn't ski a FIS GS ski on hard snow. Even though both McGlashin and Lorenz spend each spring in Europe skiing on the glaciers doing, in part, GS gate training.

Mike
 
Top