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Lessons on artificial snow: Yes or no?

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Had another class today and I see something is definitely moving. Not in the sense of experiencing a sudden illumination after which I am doing everything right. But I am way more relaxed and enjoying myself. As a result I am able to reflect more on what I am doing while actually moving on the skis. This is new. Until now I may have planned a movement or two I was going to make, but being able to decide what to do on the spot and following through is definitely new. Likewise purposeful moving (or trying to) in a snake line with more complete turns . Although some of the A-frame is still there, it is becoming smaller and I do feel that exhilirating glide almost in every turn. It all feels very exciting, and I have now broken out of the stalemate I was feeling back in March when I first reached out to this wonderful group. Progress means a lot more to me than attaining perfection (what would it be anyway?) . Thank you, wonderful Divas!
 
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EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You made the investment and reaped the rewards!!! way to go!

And yes, I am a marketer and for the last few years I've taught digital marketing as well. Most of my students are absolutely horrified to learn how a marketer can leverage insights about you to position things in front of you. That being said, skiPT was what you could use, so that was "good" marketing. ;)
Quite an investment, you are right! Even if I it was a very special offer (actually thanks Covid!)., still almost five months of private lessons is likely the biggest gift I have ever made to myself. But also the most appreciated :smile: . And besides, what fun to be at it in July when temperature is in 100s :smile:.
 

brooksnow

Certified Ski Diva
But I am way more relaxed and enjoying myself. As a result I am able to reflect more on what I am doing while actually moving on the skis.
I am so excited for you!
I do feel that exhilirating glide almost in every turn.
It's only going to get better and more fun from here. You are starting to flow down the slope instead of fighting it. Now that you've felt it you can repeat it. Spectacular!
 

seastraight

Angel Diva
WOW! I just read these posts because I was confused by 'artificial snow'! Now I know! And the number of tips in this thread is incredible! Thanks so much to Ski Divas for all your comments and diagrams; you are helping others as well as EdithP!
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@EdithP, it's so good to read your reflections about your skills progression. Your realizations and enthusiasms are so enjoyable to share in.

Do you keep a ski journal? I do. It has helped me crystallize my thoughts, my unanswered questions, my failures, my breakthroughs, and my insights. I also set goals in my journal, and later check in to see if I'm still focusing on the same goals as the season progresses, or if I've realized them and have moved on. Remember, I started to ski at age 53. For late bloomers like us, learning needs to be conscious and deliberate if we are to make progress at a rate we can feel. For 5 year olds, not so much.

My journal also helps me see how long it has taken me to attain goals. It has over time confirmed that this progress tends to be slower than snailspeed, and circular. Big realizations and breakthroughs that feel earthshaking at the time tend to be re-learned later with even more impact and depth, after being lost in the meantime.

It's also fun to look back several years and realize, "I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing? Why didn't they explain it better so I wouldn't have wasted so much time on a misconception?"

Please keep posting. Your words keep the passion real for those of us dealing exclusively with summertime activities.
 
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EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@EdithP, it's so good to read your reflections about your skills progression. Your realizations and enthusiasms are so enjoyable to share in.

Do you keep a ski journal? I do. It has helped me crystallize my thoughts, my unanswered questions, my failures, my breakthroughs, and my insights. I also set goals in my journal, and later check in to see if I'm still focusing on the same goals as the season progresses, or if I've realized them and have moved on. Remember, I started to ski at age 53. For late bloomers like us, learning needs to be conscious and deliberate if we are to make progress at a rate we can feel. For 5 year olds, not so much.

My journal also helps me see how long it has taken me to attain goals. It has over time confirmed that this progress tends to be slower than snailspeed, and circular. Big realizations and breakthroughs that feel earthshaking at the time tend to be re-learned later with even more impact and depth, after being lost in the meantime.

It's also fun to look back several years and realize, "I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing? Why didn't they explain it better so I wouldn't have wasted so much time on a misconception?"

Please keep posting. Your words keep the passion real for those of us dealing exclusively with summertime activities.
It is a great idea, perhaps I will start one :smile:. Could be sweet to return to it in the future when (hopefully) things feel just natural.
Among many gems you have shared here I particularly value this one: Skilful skiers tend to forget how long it has taken them . It used to really stress me out to keep reading about most likely progress trajectory, often authored by ski instructors, who breezily present five days as reasonable time from never-ever to red trails. Not that I was feeling in competition with anybody, but seeing how slow my progress was, I wondered if it even made sense to continue.
And thank you for finding my input here enjoyable! At least I hope I am not making other learners feel useless!
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
WOW! I just read these posts because I was confused by 'artificial snow'! Now I know! And the number of tips in this thread is incredible! Thanks so much to Ski Divas for all your comments and diagrams; you are helping others as well as EdithP!
Yes, isn't it just a treasure trove?
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My journal also helps me see how long it has taken me to attain goals. It has over time confirmed that this progress tends to be slower than snailspeed, and circular. Big realizations and breakthroughs that feel earthshaking at the time tend to be re-learned later with even more impact and depth, after being lost in the meantime.

Some part of me can't believe I still have the same fundamental skiing problems that I had two years ago, but progress really is a journey! I agree with you completely.

Even my instructor a couple of weeks ago commented that the examiners for his NZSIA Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 exams all made similar comments about what he needed to improve in his skiing.

@EdithP I am really enjoying reading your progress posts and so happy to hear that you're making some breakthroughs!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Even my instructor a couple of weeks ago commented that the examiners for his NZSIA Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 exams all made similar comments about what he needed to improve in his skiing.
Every PSIA Level 3 instructor that I've come to know always seems to be practicing some fundamental skill when they are free skiing. That's been true when I've been able to free ski with someone who is a very experience instructor (over 20 years). A few were Divas, a few are friends from other connections.

Instructors are required to take clinics every season. The journey never really ends, it just shifts focus. I get bored easily and skiing is never boring. :smile:
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Right. Instructors keep up their training. Getting better at skiing never stops. There's always more to learn, which often involves replacing an old bad habit, which in turn takes time and effort. Replacing old movement patterns with better new ones, and embedding those new ones into muscle memory so you don't have to consciously pay attention to doing them, is like going on a diet and sticking to it until eating the new way becomes intuitive.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Right. Instructors keep up their training. Getting better at skiing never stops. There's always more to learn. Which often involves replacing an old bad habit, which in turn takes time and effort. Replacing old movement patterns with better new ones, and embedding those new ones into muscle memory so you don't have to consciously pay attention to doing them is like going on a diet and sticking to it until eating the new way becomes intuitive.
But at the same time, it's just as important to not be practicing all the time. At least when actually on snow. I'm not a perfectionist about anything, which drove my perfectionist older brother slightly nuts but comes in handy for skiing. I had plenty of fun skiing groomers 20-30 years ago. While now I tend to include a quick drill while skiing down a trail, there are plenty of times I'm just skiing for fun regardless of the terrain. As my technique improved, I practiced more on groomers and just went with the flow more often off-piste. It's only in the last couple seasons that I can sometimes sense a flaw starting and fix it BEFORE the actual turn. That was after I got to the point of being able to tell AFTER a turn what wasn't optimal. And that was long after I could link more than 4 turns on challenging (steeper) ungrommed terrain before needing a stop to re-set.

So far, my journey with the help of lessons working with very experienced instructors has been about 10 years. Looking forward to the next 10-15 years before I'll be satisfied with whatever level of technique I've achieved by then.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Building on what marzNC says....

Learning in skiing is circular. @fgor, it's normal of high level skiers to continue to work on "fundamentals" even after they supposedly have "learned" them. No matter what the level of skiing is, a skier can still deepen their management of the "fundamentals."

--Managing fore-aft balance over the skis in different conditions, on different terrain, and at different parts of the turn is #1. So much to learn!
--Managing how you move from ski to ski, the timing, the intensity and speed of how you do it, in different conditions and on different types of terrain is another.
--Managing how you start your turns, how you get your skis onto and off their new edges, how much edge and when, is a big one with so many variables involved. There's not just one way.

The list of fundamentals is long.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Not sure what the situation is with the PSIA, but all CSIA members must take a re-certification course every 2-3 years. They usually are just a day and quite often the L4's will come to the hill/club or resort.

I like to take the 3 days convention they offered at the start of every season. It counted for the recall. This past season with Covid that didn't happen and I have a feeling that it's not going to return. There was a 2 day Pro-day at the usual time last season. Have to wait till September to hear more.

So if instructors are not keeping up with teaching changes and always trying to better themselves, they should consider what they are doing for the students.

I'm not actively teaching, but I'm always up to learning more.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Not sure what the situation is with the PSIA, but all CSIA members must take a re-certification course every 2-3 years. They usually are just a day and quite often the L4's will come to the hill/club or resort.

I like to take the 3 days convention they offered at the start of every season. It counted for the recall. This past season with Covid that didn't happen and I have a feeling that it's not going to return. There was a 2 day Pro-day at the usual time last season. Have to wait till September to hear more.



I'm not actively teaching, but I'm always up to learning more.
PSIA requires all members to take a two-day course of some sort from them once every two years. The list of options is pretty long each year, but these courses involve travel. We pay for that out of pocket, as well as pay for the courses.

There is no re-certification course required to maintain one's certification. Once you pass the exams and get Certified at Level I, II, or III, you stay certified. Well, as long as you pay to keep up your membership every year. For many of us it costs money to be an instructor, and the pay we get doesn't cover those costs.

Several years back I decided to skip the required two-day courses and instead take a week-long PSIA course at the start of the season. That course officially fulfills the requirement. I loved it so much I decided to take that course every year, and now I also take another PSIA week-long course at the end of the season.

@Jilly, I'm wondering what you meant when you wrote this. "So if instructors are not keeping up with teaching changes and always trying to better themselves, they should consider what they are doing for the students."
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
@liquidfeet - I've seen too many L1 instructors not do anything to keep themselves up to date or advance their skiing or teaching. This is disservice to their students. At one point when I was teaching there were only 2 of us in the whole instructors group that even had an idea of how to teach "fast track to parallel". At that time it was the new approach to teaching beginners. I was working with a private student one night using it and the school director was not happy with me. I just said to him that maybe he needed to get updated on this new approach.

I also get that some instructors get set in their ways. That's human nature.

As for this discussion about skiing on real snow or carpet, I've got to say that I've never had the opportunity to ski on it and I'm sure teaching on it would be really different.
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
've never had the opportunity to ski on it and I'm sure teaching on it would be really different.
I think you would really like it - all the instructors I am meeting at the ski centre say the same thing: that they have never been able before to monitor so closely and in detail what the student is doing. The instructor is in very close distance from the student , like 1 metre or less sometimes and can see exactly what every knee, shoulder, thigh is doing. So his feedback is extremely on point every time.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I also have never been on a carpet. So anyone reading here should take my advice with that in mind.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Jilly I know what you mean by instructors who don't put in the time and $$ to improve their skiing or their teaching.

I think this follows directly from the ski industry's perspective on what a ski school is all about (profit). Instructors are not paid very much, clients pay a LOT, the ski school takes the bulk of the fees paid, and instructors hope for tips which many clients don't offer since they already paid so much for the lesson. They don't know about the extremely low pay the instructors get, and it's difficult for an instructor to tell them.

Add to that the fact that around here in New England instructors have to pay to get what passes as "good" training. That's because many New England ski schools don't have examiner-level instructors on staff to do on-mountain training. Also, achieving a higher level of certification does not always lead (around here) to notable increase in pay.

Those facts lead directly to instructors becoming complacent about their own professional development.
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh dear, I had no idea. I have always heard about skiing being soo expensive in the USA but did not know that it started with the ski schools. What you are saying basically is that the schools are just a part of the holiday industry attracting people into resorts, but never mind if anybody really learns anything?
 

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