Monday 23 February 2015

For Returners and Refreshers

Mount Washington, BC, Canada With Snow
Although this blog is oriented towards beginners, I have included people in my manual title that are returning to the sport and intermediates that have stalled out at some point.  
My lessons are all about how to steer your skis by pressing on the ski inner edge with your toe or heel. The lessons are arranged in a progression of moves that develop the skills to apply the pressure at the right place at the right time.  I use the snow plow to show the moves in slow motion.  I believe that the slower the speed in which you move, in each of the lessons 2-4, the higher your skill level will be.  
The reasoning is that new parabolic skis are very sensitive to speed and will overturn if you apply too much pressure at high speed. They are unstable in engineering terms.  If you practice lesson 1 in lessons 2, 3 and 4, you will be learning the basic moves on how to finesse a parallel ski turn. You will be using the skis unstable characteristics to your advantage.
For returners and refreshers, this is new and different from the way you initially learned to ski. The most common problem is not sufficient bending forward at the waist.  These lessons should fix this problem, and a few others, making skiing more enjoyable. 
I live on Vancouver Island and the west coast of Canada.  The snow in the picture above has been rained away.  We are waiting for another dump  on the mountain. Daffodils are almost in bloom in the valley.   

Monday 9 February 2015

Moon Over Canada
On Feb. 1, 2015, about 40 Canadian military veterans arrived in Comox, BC.  Their mission was to take part in a week of snow sports at Mount Washington, a local mountain. The local adaptive snow sports organization hosted the event along with support of the Mount Washington Alpine Resort  that supplied space and equipment. Several other organizations, including the Filberg Centre, the Legion and our local curling club made the week complete.  
My job was as group leader for the beginner skiers. This involved 5 vets, 8 instructors and me.  The instructor's job was to make the vets' visit enjoyable and to teach them how to ski.  
It is obvious that  these soldiers come from a difficult time. Their strength of character and ability to move forward is impressive and commands our  respect.  It was a privilege working at creating a week for them to enjoy. One comment on the last 2 days "Where else can you go skiing, golfing and curling in the middle of February!"
Because I am new to the VISAS, Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports, I was unaware that this annual event is the most popular of the season.  I totally agree. The vets were  fun loving, appreciative and a joy to work with and I look forward to their return next year.