• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

Harb Systems?

SuZieCoyote

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Has anyone had any experience with Harb systems workshops? I am consider taking one in November to get the season started right.
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
SuZieCoyote-

There are many thoughts on teaching skiing but the main 2 (in this day and age) are PMTS (Primary Movement Teaching System - AKA - Harold Harb) and PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Both have good and bad IMO.

In short - PSIA incorporates rotary movements while PMTS does NOT. PMTS uses primarily tipping the ski on edge and utilizing the ski to make the turn, while PSIA uses a bit more rotary to tip and then turn the ski using the feet and legs with rotation. (still utilizing the ski)

As I stated above both have good and bad and it really depends on the person getting the coaching. As a level 3 PSIA instructor, my thought is to keep an open mind, learn as many teaching styles as I can and use what works best for the person I'm skiing with!

Whatever you decide KEEP an OPEN MIND!! Good luck!
 

tamlyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have not had a ski lesson in 45 years so I don't have much direct experience with teaching methods.

Having said that I have been around skiing all my life and have watched teaching methods come and go like diets. The worst example was the GLM system. A windfall for the industry but a lousy way to learn to ski well.

The bass player in my band (and friend) is a beginner and I had her take a private lesson the first day. She did really well but was still on the bunny slope. He used the PSIA method.

Karen and I spent the next day and I taught her the way I learned and brought her up the mountain after I had her doing stem christies and just learning to ski "parallel".

When we got to the point where I was explaining angulation and unweighting I could see her getting confused.

In any case she dound a DVD of Harold Harb's and we watched it. I think his approach is a bit old fashioned perhaps, no tricks just plain solid fundamentals. What impressed me though was Karen was able to understand the concepts of angulation, unweighting and even pre-jumping, after seeing the Harb DVD. I think his use of the word tipping for angulating and hopping instead of unweighting for instance, made it easier for her to understand what I wanted her to do the next time we were out. In short her skiing improved dramatically after the Harb DVD. Of course she needs time on the snow now, she is much more confident skiing on her 175 K2 First Loves ( I got them for her beginners ski). We also have a new pair of Head Cool Thang,s in 160's but a wider stiffer ski with a more radical sidecut.

I think I am going to get her the next Harold Harb DVD and then try her on the Heads and get her carving.

I am also getting the US Ski Team Fundamentals DVD (this is a refresher course for team members but would benefit any skiier, eginner or World Cup Racer) as well as a couple others. For advanced skiiers I have found the US Ski Team DVD's to be far and away the best.

The verdict on the PSIA vs Harb I think I would favor Harold Harbs method by a pretty big margin.
 

SuZieCoyote

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks for the perspectives...

I've only had direct experience with PSIA and not a whole lot of that. I was in what Harb called "intermediate hell" for years until I skied with an expert about half a dozen times - no real "lessons" but I learned enough that within a season I had moved from groomed blues to pretty much the whole mountain. Of course, sometimes I come down the slope, but don't necessarily "ski" it well (heh, heh).

Both systems seem to work, depending on the skill of the teacher and the willingness of the student. I am intrigued by Harb's emphasis on balance, rather than stability. So, I am leaning towards taking the workshop.

Thanks!
SuZett
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Suzie, you are lucky you live in an area where you have access to many ski professionals. If you really want to start the season off right, I suggest a private lesson with Katey Perrey (see her reply). She can evaluate your skills, see where you are and send you off in the right direction. If you have the Colorado Pass, Breckenridge and Keystone have unlimited lesson packages as well. Lots of choices.
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have not had a ski lesson in 45 years so I don't have much direct experience with teaching methods.
Do yourself a favor and take a lesson. With the advancement in ski gear technology and the amazing opportunities for good coaching, I can't imagine someone who is passionate about skiing not treating him/herself to a ski lesson.

It is one of the best things I've done to pamper myself!

Suzie, you are lucky you live in an area where you have access to many ski professionals. If you really want to start the season off right, I suggest a private lesson with Katey Perrey (see her reply). She can evaluate your skills, see where you are and send you off in the right direction. If you have the Colorado Pass, Breckenridge and Keystone have unlimited lesson packages as well. Lots of choices.
^^^^ best advice of the thread IMHO!^^^^
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I fourth it. Seriously, Katy is a fantastic instructor! She is worth her weight in gold for sure.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
+1 for Katy. Especially if you are lucky enough to have a lesson with her on a powder day! :yahoo:
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
. I am intrigued by Harb's emphasis on balance, rather than stability. So, I am leaning towards taking the workshop.

Thanks!
SuZett
Any good coach, no matter the teaching system or certification, will have some emphasis on balance.

Katey is balanced on the slopes but I can't speak for her off the slopes. :eyebrows:
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
Any good coach, no matter the teaching system or certification, will have some emphasis on balance.


Katey is balanced on the slopes but I can't speak for her off the slopes. :eyebrows:


Completely agree with this first statement!!!

:noidea: Not sure about the second statement!
 

tamlyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I should qualify my remark about not having had a lesson in 45 years. I do attend a summer racing camp every year.
Tamlyn
 

ski now work later

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've also been lucky enough to be Katy's student, and highly recommend her, wish I could ski with her in one of her weekly groups!
 
C

CMCM

Guest
Speaking purely as a skier who is always trying to learn and progress, early on when I was in my very low level phase of learning, I bought a couple of Harb videos/books and also two from Lito Tejada Flores. Lito said he had been influenced by Harb, and Harb even appeared in one of Lito's videos, so I guess their approaches were similar. I absorbed a LOT of useful ideas from them both, and I believe my skiing progressed solidly as a result.

One thing I've noticed, especially earlier on, was that while ski lessons were always valuable and useful, I sure got a lot of different bits of information about how to turn correctly, which was my concern in the early days when I was trying to get rid of wedge turns. I mean a LOT of different ideas were thrown at me, every instructor told me different things. But my main point was that different things speak to people differently, and you will just finally hear something that really hits it for you.

For me, it ended up being a very young (maybe 18) instructor who was very analytical like me, and she struggled to find a way to explain what I needed to do in turning, and she came up with an explanation that was really really different than anything I'd heard up until that point, and that was it! It made sense to my particular brain and it put me on the right path finally. Also, different things make sense at different times in your learning process.

I personally think everything is of value...books, videos, private lessons, and seminars when you can afford such things! I love them all! And also, I would JUMP at the chace to attend a Harb clinic!
 

SuZieCoyote

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks for all the input...

I did coordinate with Katy and we will get together later in the year or early next year for a lesson.

I bought the Harb books - one of them came with a DVD, so I'll watch that. And, I did sign up for Breck's unlimited lesson deal. I'm going to try to discipline myself to at least a lesson a week.

I think I'll hold off on the workshop for now.

Thanks, Divas!:grouphug:

SuZ
 

Greeley

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have been following Harb for years, I have never had the chance (due to work) to join one of his ski camps, but would jump at the chance to do so. I feel that just by using his books, videos, & drills that I have become a much better skier. I had taken private lessons throughout the years prior to finding these and never really got much out of them. Harb makes much more sense to me.
 

Bowl

Certified Ski Diva
I had been a beginner for years until I decided to Improve last season. I had taken group lessons last season many times and that did improved my confidence, but my technique was not. This season, I discovered Harb’s system on YouTube out of many other videos. His system is Particularly useful because as an older adult the brain can only focus on One Thing. PMTS is focus only on one thing-tipping the free foot. I would say it helps me tremendously. PSIA is also helpful. I took several private lessons this season with a level III instructor, and he helped me conquered fear on black.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
Hi Bowl! Where do you usually ski? I'm in the Catskills (NY) now and learned as an adult. As a psychologist, I'd say most people (young and old) can't focus on many things at a time, and as an adult learner, I wholeheartedly agree that I can't focus on more than one ski tip at a time! Often, when I try, I end up losing my technique altogether!

Anyhow, we are glad to have you here!

:welcome:
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Well, there have been a lot of opinions expressed so far about the PMTS vs PSIA approach to teaching. No one has posted yet who has been to a PMTS camp. I have.

The elephant in the room is Harald Harb's toxic negativity towards PSIA and any other teaching system other than his own. Let's call it negative advertising. He trashes everything not his, demands total loyalty, and sticks to a very rigid progression for his students. His certified instructors do the same. PSIA instructors who have experienced his intense denigration of how they teach are as negative about his system as he is about theirs.

None of that impacts the value of the PMTS approach to skiing. PMTS is excellent as far as its technique goes. It is taught clearly and consistently by all its instructors. This is good, and I affirm it. I've learned much of my skiing from the three instructional books written by Harald Harb, the forum discussions which focus on technique, and the free videos he's put online. The consistency in PMTS teaching is very helpful, since you always hear the same thing in the same words.

PSIA, on the other hand, does not promote a particular way to make your first turns, nor your intermediate turns, nor advanced turns. PSIA does not promote a particular progression in its teaching strategy for beginner through intermediate and on to advanced skiing. For this reason, PSIA does not guarantee a consistent teaching approach. Instead, PSIA allows its instructors to creatively choose how to approach a particular client's needs. This means you need to find an instructor who you can work with, who reads you well and who you understand. The issue is the ski industry is understaffed. There are many ski instructors who could use a bit more training before being turned loose to teach intermediate skiers.

When I went to the week-long PMTS camp at A-Basin, I had high expectations. I was very enthusiastic. I expected to learn plenty during a full week, and I was well-prepared. I had been working from the books for years, and had absorbed a good measure of the technique into my personal skiing. But I did not learn anything, except how far I was from perfect. But I found the rigidity constricting. You'd think I would have gotten better at what the system teaches, with a whole week of on-snow instruction, but I didn't. I think if I'd been in another teacher's group (I was in Harald's group!), I might have gotten more from the camp. I also think if I'd known less about PMTS and had spent less time over the years working on embedding its technique in my skiing, I might have gotten more from the camp.

I do find the negativity of PMTS toxic. I don't like the way Harald talks about all instructors who are not certified by him. I will not go back to another PMTS camp for this reason.

I also find PSIA's looseness with respect to what we should be teaching and its resulting inconsistency from instructor to instructor a bit problematic. I'm not sure, however, that rigidity in the teaching progression is the answer. I like my own freedom to teach as I think best. The autonomy that PSIA gives me is good.

If you can find an instructor to work with in private lessons that you really like and trust, that will be a very good option. You can also book PMTS instructors for private lessons. I'd suggest working with Diana if you are interested in pursuing private PMTS lessons.
 
Last edited:

Members Online

Latest posts



Top