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PMTS Forum

Postby tommy » Thu May 27, 2004 10:02 am

Ott,

great post! Quite interesting to get some historical perspective on skiing and ski instruction!

Just a tidbit of info on your question on how PMTS handles the not-so-fits: I'm by no means an instructor, but I had the opportunity the past season to teach skiing to one of my son's friends, a quite overweight, non-athletic boy aged 10. He's not skied much before, maybe some 3-4 times, only wedging down the slopes. And with his overweight, and generally non-athletic situation, he ended up exhausted quite quickly using the wedge approach. Anyways, last season, I spent maybe 2x2h with him, teaching him PMTS (as far as I know it), and after those two days, he is able to ski, even black runs, a full day without getting exhausted, and he's enjoying it.

For sure, I got him onto modern skis & boots, before we started skiing, but I didn't do any alignment.

Cheers,
Tommy
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Postby Ott Gangl » Thu May 27, 2004 10:20 am

tommy, there is no daubt that doing away with the wedge, if possible, is a great plus, and that is what every instructor worth his salt is doing. The wedge now is mostly a fall back maneuver with student who are petrified with the sliding platform on skis, sitting back and too panicked to think, much less to turn, though they were instructed to do so. Their natural move is to wedge to slow down though no one has mentioned or showed them how.

Don't you think had that ten hear old kid had another instructor, seeing that he could handle the slopes in the wedge, would have advanced him to parallel? That's how it's done around here.

He already was comfortable with the skis sliding and the feel of the slope, it's getting rank beginners to that point that is difficult.

.Ott
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Postby tommy » Thu May 27, 2004 11:51 am

Ott,

the problem, as I see it, is that, at least here in my turf, kids as well as adult beginners, are *always* taught the wedge, and nothing else, at their first lessons. I had my kids taking numerous lessons (before they gave up skiing and took up snowboarding years ago, at 9 and 7) and the only thing they ever were taught was the wedge. They were pretty competent on the slopes, even doing jumps, bumps, and fun parks, but in the lessons there was never ever even a hint of a progression beyond the wedge.

The point I want to make is that I do believe it's possible to teach a total beginner, kid or adult, to go parallel, from day one. My son's friend is an example: he could wedge his way down easy greens, but at anything steeper, he was in trouble. After a few hours of "PMTS", he was able to negociate black runs.

I'm not saying that a similar improvement could not have been achieved with some other method of teaching, but what I can say, is that most of the "recreational" kid skiers (non-racers) in my turf never progress far beyond the wedge, despite the number of "traditional" lessons taken. It seems that there is a huge "gap" going from wedge to parallel with the standard teaching methods.

The ski schools in my turf *always* start with the wedge, and it seems to me that once the "wedge pattern" has been ingrained, it's really hard to break that habit.

Cervus,
Tommy
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Postby Visitor » Thu May 27, 2004 1:40 pm

Otto, the differnce there is, no one else is signing in as Visitor. As yet there is no comfusion. If others start signing in as Guest, I'll change the sign in.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Thu May 27, 2004 2:07 pm

tommy, this is amazing to me. Even around our small Midwestern hills hardly anybody wedges anymore, even the skiers who have never taken a lesson. In an hour lesson where wedge is taught it goes as follows: sidestep up a little incline with an outrun, step around into a gate and make a straight gliding run to a stop. After showing the gliding wedge the student on his second trip down the gentle incline gets the feel of the edges.

After demonstrating how turn are done in the narrow gliding wedge by tipping both skis toward the turn with the resulting flatenning of the inside ski and the higher edging of the outside ski commencing the turn, the student on his third trip down an incline was introduced to the skis moving longways, not sideways, while still having the security of a broader base a narrow wedge stance affords. They also learn the differing ways to control turn radius, from park and ride a certain edge angle to tightening the turn by higher edge angle or using steering, and vice versa to open up a turn by lesser edge angle or by drifting the tips or tails.

Rarely does a student wedge anymore after the second lesson. But there are the folks who after learning the control the wedge gives are happy with it and never take a follow-up lesson which I suspect your 10 year old friend did.

If in Sweden everybody who already wedges and goes to a lesson to learn parallel is never-the-less kept in the wedge by an instructor, that is not guest centered teaching and that person should complain to managment and demand his money back, which here would be gladly granted.

....Ott
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Postby tommy » Fri May 28, 2004 1:09 am

When I asked my kid's instructors about when they thought the kids would be ready for a parallel lesson, the answer was always "when they start using poles". I had, and still have, hard time to understand why pole use would be a prerequisite for parallel turns.

Most kids here start skiing without poles, which I think is a good idea in general, and particularly since most slopes have quite a lot of T-bars, and grabbing one of those is tricky enough initially for a kid even without poles.

--T
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Postby Ott Gangl » Fri May 28, 2004 5:52 am

Simply amazing, first I ever heard of such a thing, you ski with your feet, not your hands.

....Ott
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Direct Parallel Methods

Postby John Mason » Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:30 am

I taught my brother in law skiing and we skipped the wedge with no problems. He was skiing blues comfortably and in control by the end of the morning. We followed the recommended PMTS progression and it worked just fine.

Part of this progression was side slip drills. We did get to a slope that was ended up being too narrow of a blue for him and pure ice. So we just side slipped down while practicing edging. Wedging is not a safe or comfortable way to ski for many people. My wife was taught wedging in her first lesson and her knees hurt so much from it that was it for her. She has never skied again.

I don't know in this day and age why the wedge step is needed. Many that start with wedge and progress to parallel still find stem entries to their turns because of these habits.

Interesting post Ott. I think that brings up what I like about PMTS in that it is the quickest progression to high level skiing that takes advantage of the newest equipment.
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