Saturday 27 December 2014

Beginners Dilemma

In lesson 2 of my Manual the beginner starts to move down hill.   To an experienced skier, it is difficult to understand all that a beginner feels. You can guess. The beginner can imagine flying off down hill that would end in nothing but calamity.  No way to stop or avoid any obstacles, No way to envision a final result.  How to start and how to stop.  Will I live to tell family and friends?
When teaching, I have had people break out crying as soon and they stepped into their skis, scared stiff.
What to do? In lesson 2-4 there are three different ways to stop.  The first stop is a simple snow plow stop. It only works on beginner hills.  You move a few feet snowplowing, then stop by making the snowplow wider.  The second way to stop is with one foot.  This is a more effective way to stop. And the last way is simply to turn until stopped.  Each of these ways of stopping are training for developing the 5 beginner skiing skills.  The snowplow or wedge stop emphasizes pressure and edge control, one foot stop counter-rotation, and the last a simple blending of skills.  Each type of stop gives a new sense of control and an increase of confidence. The mystery of the unknown gradually disappears and fears dissipate.
I read an article on an interview with Robert Redford, many years ago. He was learning to ski.  He was skiing too quickly for his skill level and accidentally went over a bump and flew into the air.  He could crash and burn or keep on going.  He said it felt so good and exciting he kept on going. That's the feeling of skiing.

Ski manual for beginners.  This free download link is also at the bottom of my first post.

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