How to do "non-pure" carving with PMTS ?

PMTS Forum

Postby BigE » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:59 pm

Anonymous wrote:What is the truth Mr. Harb?

Not Harald.

IMO, there is benefit to using PMTS techniques to develop your skiing. I have used the drills myself, and they did improve my skiing. Would my skiing have improved without them? I don't know.

Even if the ideas are "the way", their wholesale implementation remains a huge problem.

Also, to suggest that all resorts should adopt PMTS as the sole methodology because their instructors don't ski well is a tad too eager.

eg. What do you do with a 50 year old non-athletic person that has not exercised for years, never been on skis before and has trouble just standing? That person wants to try skiing for whatever reason, and finds that they are having a blast just trying!

Do you tip little toe edge? Side slip? No, you wedge them down after the stumble off the magic carpet while their friends and family take the photo op to catch "mom/dad" with the mountain in the backdrop. Everyone is laughing/smiling. They have the feeling of sliding and proudly say: "I'm a skier!". There is a chance they will return if they enjoy it enough, maybe even bring a friend to take a lesson too. The resort makes more money.

Yet, if all they do is spend their lesson sideslipping, they can get discouraged, say they're not good enough to ski and give up, never to return. This is simply skier retention from the resorts perspective. How does PMTS help here?

IMO, far more athleticism is required in the student to be a candidate for PMTS than is required by the wedge progression. I fear these non-athletic types will be left behind. While they will never be WC athletes, their kids might be, so don't say them being left out is ok. That's elitist.

I have no intent to slam PMTS, but retention looks like a real good reason why a ski resort would not limit itself to PMTS. I'd think the resorts are not wise in limitting themselves by teaching PSIA either -- that's just business.

Some people say they've been teaching PMTS stuff "on the sly". From a business perspective, if a skier has a fall during a lesson and sues the resort and the instructor, what chance does the poor instructor have if he's been teaching PMTS on the sly during resort sponsored lessons, and the fall happened while performing a purely PMTS drill? ( eg. Glove between boot springs to mind. ) What legal council will come to their aid?

The PMTS is not covered or licenced by any umbrella organization like the PSIA. The poor instructor is on his own. Given the number of lawsuits launched in the states, specious or otherwise, I'm a bit surprised that Harald has the cohones to print anything on the matter at all!

So, there are issues in implementation, retention and liability even before saying whether it's really good or not! I think things from PMTS can and should be incorporated, but I doubt that PMTS will displace the current approach.

My 2 cents.

I'm putting on my flamesuit now.... ok! I'm ready!... :lol:
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Postby Guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:11 pm

if a skier has a fall during a lesson and sues the resort and the instructor,


pls forgive me for my ignorance, but you must be joking! If I take a fall on the slopes, regardless of participating in a lesson or not, surely that must be my own fault & problem and nobody elses, i.e. a lawsuit for this just seems unbelievable to me...?!


Postby milesb » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:35 pm

Ok, Big E, you made some pretty bold statements, and I'm going to call you on them. So step up to the plate!
Do you tip little toe edge? Side slip?
Do have experience either teaching, receiving, or observing a beginner PMTS lesson? If not, how can you say what one involves? Harald has stated that his system has had tremendous success with all kinds of beginners, and so has SCSA (in a classic epicski post!).

IMO, far more athleticism is required in the student to be a candidate for PMTS than is required by the wedge progression
Although you make it known that this is just your opinion, where did you get this idea?

Yet, if all they do is spend their lesson sideslipping, they can get discouraged, say they're not good enough to ski and give up, never to return. This is simply skier retention from the resorts perspective
The retention rate at most places is dismally low even with "wedge based instruction". It's hard to see how PMTS could make it any worse! And again, where do you get the idea that that is all that would happen in the lesson?
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Postby BigE » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:38 pm

An unfortunate incident in Canada: ... at=Resorts

And in the US: ... cat=Events

There are the standard signs, warnings everywhere. There is the standard disclaimer on the ticket, "skiing is dangerous blah blah...".

I'd guess that the parents are required to sign release of liability forms too....
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Postby BigE » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:55 pm

milesb wrote:Ok, Big E, you made some pretty bold statements, and I'm going to call you on them. So step up to the plate!

OK. I will answer them all:

1) I've never taken a PMTS course, nor did I realize that such a thing exists for absolute non-athletic beginners.

I simply cannot imagine what other than wedging is feasible for the type of person I've described. Please tell me what you would do with them!

2) re: Athleticism. Online web lessons start assuming the student is gliding.

3) Retention rate is at best debatable. IMO, non-athletic skiers need to be coaxed to move at all -- fear reflex. I can't imagine anything psychologically easier to do than wedging.

Look, I'm all ears! I'm not married to these opinions, I just happen to hold them right now.... If these opinions are in fact wrong, here's a good chance to change them. This athleticism requirement may be a true myth.
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Postby Harald » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:55 pm

Should it not stop at some point or should it continue to amaze me that people who have never trained in PMTS, taken a lesson in PMTS, or earned an accreditation in PMTS, make such outrageous statements? Those who have taken PMTS lessons wouldn?t do it as they have experienced both sides. We have hundreds of thousands of lessons on record with the PMTS system. PMTS not only addresses un-athletic skiers, it specializes in them. Does anyone still believe that the wedge is a better way to teach an un-athletic skier? We have hundreds of skiers come through the PMTS system for the specific reason that they could not make progress with the wedge based progressions. The real proof is in what these skiers do after they take a PMTS lesson. We have that documented as well; I can tell you that they don?t return to the traditional approach.

I will be accused again of attaching PSIA, for making these statements. I am reporting what we found from the research gathered over the past two seasons, from over two hundred skiers. We collected this data from skiers who were able to compare PMTS and traditional systems. The responses are lopsided and not favorable for the wedge progression techniques. We are trying to give the skiing public a forum, let the skiers do the comparing and talking. Ski instructors and organizations have to protect their interests. PMTS for the first time and finally, is giving skiers the opportunity to compare systems and make a choice. I am not concerned about the future of PMTS, but I know who should be concerned based on what skiers said in their responses. Dr. Robert Hintermeister will present the findings next week at the International Congress of Skiing and Science. We will be publishing the results on our web site and the Congress will publish a book that includes all the presenters? materials. It will be available from the ICSS web site.

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:52 pm

Where can I take a PMTS clinic or accredidation course in Colorado?

Postby HH » Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:01 pm has all schedules, and registration info for spring accreditations

Postby » Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:08 pm

Copy of info letter.

Hello Accreditation participant,

We are looking forward to skiing with you very soon. Here are some final details and information about the upcoming accreditation. If you have any questions, or if you do not need lift tickets, please call us. If you have not sent in an enrollment form, please call us to confirm that you will be attending. If you are no longer planning to attend the accreditation, please call us. Our phone number is 303-567-4663; leave a message if we are not there.

See you on Thursday!

Diana Rogers
VP, Administration

Arapahoe Basin, CO

Thursday Saturday, April 1-3, 2004

Meeting time and place:
8:30 AM each day
A-Basin ?A-frame? lodge, main level (same as cafeteria), end of building closer to ski slopes (near the Espresso cart).

Lift tickets:
Group rate lift tickets are available, at $25 per day. Please contact us before the event if you will NOT need lift tickets; otherwise we will assume that you will be getting the group rate tickets through us.

Most of you have paid for the event already. If not, the fees are as follows:
Accreditation: $180
Yearly membership: $60 (if not current on dues)
Lift tickets: $25 per day

You can pay by cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard

Weather, snow, etc.:
At the time of writing, we appear to be headed into summer. However, spring weather at A-Basin is unpredictable. Please bring clothes and equipment for anything from really warm to really cold weather. Sharpen your skis, as the snow will likely be very firm in the morning.

Event format:
The first two days of the accreditation are training days. We will spend time covering sample progressions that you might use with students; your skiing; your demonstrations; and you will have a practice teaching scenario of the same format as for the test day. You will get feedback on your skiing and teaching. Weather permitting, we will video your skiing and review it at the end of the day. There is a handout that you will receive the first morning; we will cover some of it indoors, while we expect you to read it completely on your own. There is a homework assignment that will be given out the first evening and reviewed the following morning.

The third day of the accreditation is the test day. Each candidate will teach two sessions on the exam day. Both sessions must meet the teaching standards at a given level for the candidate to pass the teaching portion of the accreditation.

The teaching topic will be assigned to the candidate by the trainer, one session ahead of time. Each teaching situation should last no more than 20 minutes. In each teaching situation, the candidate will teach the other candidates. The candidates should ski at their own level, even when they are ?the students?. If the trainer asks for ?the students? to make some common errors that students make, it is so that the candidate can give accurate feedback. In this case, the skiing of ?the students? is not scored.

We strive to watch your skiing performance on an ongoing basis during the teaching sessions rather than on designated ?skiing test runs?. However, if we do not see certain skiing performance as part of the teaching scenarios, we will designate runs where we specifically watch your skiing.

We will give feedback to the entire group after each teaching session, on content, delivery, and skiing. We expect that subsequent teaching sessions will reflect the feedback given.

The accreditation includes a written test. It will be distributed on day 2, and scored as a group on the morning of day 3. The test is open book, open note, and closed neighbor please do it by yourself. The written test results count towards your overall score, so do not forget to do it.

The score sheets for teaching and skiing are online at (note: underscore in each file name)

If you are receiving this letter in the mail, the score sheets are included.

Please read over the score sheets before the accreditation so that you have a clear picture of the performance that is required to meet a certain accreditation level.

Hopefully, you have been using PMTS Direct Parallel and Student Directed Ski Instruction in your teaching and skiing this year, you have had training from a PMTS Direct Parallel Accredited trainer, and you have had feedback on your skiing and teaching. That will make the accreditation much easier for you. You should be familiar with certain materials, including?

All levels:
PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual Appendix AS
PMTS Direct Parallel Video: Green/Blue

Yellow & Green levels:
PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual through Chapter GB (page 98).
Anyone can be An Expert Skier 1 book through Chapter 5

Blue level:
PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual through Chapter BBk (page 134).
Anyone can be An Expert Skier 1 book through Chapter 9

Black level:
PMTS Direct Parallel Instructor Manual through Chapter Bk (page 154).
Anyone can be An Expert Skier 2 book

Daily Schedule

Day 1
8:30 AM Meet in lodge near espresso cart

8:30 - 10:15 Indoor training & general procedures for accreditation

10:30 - 4:00 On-snow training specific to your level
Candidates? skiing

4:00 4:30 Homework assignment; hand out and go over

Day 2
8:30 AM Meet in lodge near espresso cart

8:30 9:30 Homework review, additional indoor training

9:45 - 1:00 On-snow training specific to your level
Candidates? skiing

1:00 3:30 Practice teaching

4:00 4:30 Hand out and go over written test

Day 3
8:30 AM Meet in lodge near espresso cart

8:30 - 9:00 Score and discuss written test

9:15 - 3:15 Candidate teaching situations
(Lunch ~ 30 minutes)

5:00 2nd floor of lodge, above cafeteria
Announcement of results

An older post revivied

Postby John Mason » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:22 pm

My wife and eldest son had a traditional wedge lesson and felt so unsafe and tired with knees hurting that they have no intention of ever skiing again. As I progressed this year and told them that there is another way to start out that does not feel unsafe and is easy to make the skis turn and stop they are considering trying it again.

The problem with the wedge, and maybe people that started with it did it so long ago they don't remember, is that it is hard work to make the skis turn. If the hill gets any steeper than bunny to green, many wedgers find it hard to keep the speed under control. Most of these people just stop skiing like my son and wife.

I watched HH take a heavy wedger and saw him do the beginner progressions with him. He was doing non-wedge parallel turns somewhat in the first 1/2 hour. He would have done even better if he wasn't fighting his "mash the grape with your big toe" wedge habits. I skied with him and his wife the next day. His wife has skied since she was little. She was amazed that he was skiing parallel all the time now. I would not discount this method for beginners at all. I think it would help the industry immensely.

I was also interested in the approach HH would take, since this individual had weak balance skills and pretty bad alignment. I had been under the impression that PMTS required competent one ski balance to be successful. Since one ski balance requires a good alignment and most people do not have this to start out, I wondered how my friend would progress. This is true once you get to carved turns. But the 2 footed release and brushing the inside foot while tipping still generates a parallel turn that is easy to do, especially as first taught as garlands even with bad alignment and balance skills. That was an eye-opener to me.

He was also taught side-slipping to control speed on cat walks which are much less work and safer than knee wrenching wedges. The next day when I talked to him as he continued to improve througout the day he just marveled at why he wasn't taught this stuff from the beginning as he found it much easier than what he had been taught before.

The wedge is a harder approach for beginners. This is true for even non-atheletic beginners. It just has a lot of momentum in the teaching community and can be shown objectively to be more effective and better for the bottom lines of ski schools.

Now, reasons the ski schools might want the TTS approach rather than PMTS, if I were to be devils advocate:

1. Students need instruction for much longer with the TTS approach which generates more revenue.

Of course, any objective analysis would show, that whatever gain in revenue comes from extending the numbers of lessons required is more than offset by the skier that gets turned off by the wedge progression and doesn't come back.

My friend now realizes skiing is not as hard as he thought to do and is planning on skiing much more than he has in the past. Thats a big revenue plus and the resorts have PMTS to thank for that.

Also, BigE's comment about the person having one lesson then gets their picture taken, I bet people like to get their picture getting taken skiing parallel than in an akward wedge any day of the week.
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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:42 am


No well qualified PSIA member is teaching a wedge as a speed control device and/or advocating levering the front of the boot (mash the grape).

You may well have experienced that at Perfect North with an Instructor from Indiana.

Don't be mislead by any of this.

A good instructor can have a student making open parallel turns and or carved turns in the same amount of time regardless of which way their toes point on day one.

HH has not re-invented anything.

I'm sure you have invested a lot of time, money, and effort with the "system" and would like to think it and you are thus special.

Postby milesb » Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:05 am

C'mon, guest, we both know that the chances of a beginner getting a good or well qualified PSIA instructor is close to zero at most resorts, unless they want to spring for a $$ private lesson. I've heard from good, well certified PSIA instructors that the level 1 certification is a big joke. And I've read what the test involves on the PSIA site. Also, many ski areas which proudly display the PSIA shield at the ski school window have a big percentage of completely non-certified instructors working there. If the public thinks that everyone at such a school is PSIA certified, whose fault is that? From what I've seen and heard, the lowest PMTS certification is much stricter than the PSIA one, so if nothing else, you know that you are probably getting a "better" instructor for a beginner lesson with PMTS.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:09 am

Miles, unless you are a PSIA instructor or have aspired to be level-1 certfied you shouldn't make a statement like that. The requirements are that you must have 50 hours of teaching behind you before you are allowed to take the test. Cadidates are tested by the ski school in the fall before hiring, they go through dry land clinics as the leaves turn yellow on the trees and in our area they ski on a dry mat.

During the snow season they take clinics once or twice a week with clinic leaders and often examiners. They are monitored as they teach. The ones that are hired spend their first year gaining experience, often in clown suits with three-year-olds, and later with low level classes.

The ideal thing would be that beginners got level-3 certified teachers, they surely would advance quicker, but then you can't assign a new instrucor to teach high level mogul skiing, not until he's proven himself.

New instructors are well qualified to teach beginners. I f they weren't allowed to teach, how would they ever get experience? That's why they are cliniced and monitored, no one can come in as an experienced teacher without gaining it first.

So I wonder why you would think that an inexperienced PMTS teacher would be better than one in a PSIA school. Or does PMTS not require 50 hours of teaching before accredidation.

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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:25 pm


I'll begin to post video of PMTS green certs and let all take a look at their skiing.

Many turned to PMTS as an alternative when they realized they had hit a wall in PSIA

Postby -- SCSA » Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:20 pm

All I know is this.

1) I've never bought skis anywhere else since being a HSS customer. Yep, I pay a little more. But the few bucks I pay extra is far worth it, when considering the service I get in return.
a) I can stop by the shop anytime and someone there will help me. I can get help tuning my skis, ask HH or someone about something I'm working on. I live in Eagle, just minutes away from "world class ski shops." This is not to say they're not. For sure, Kenny's and Carl's are great. I'm just saying that I'd rate the service I receive from HH, outstanding.

2) I can't wait to get on my Harb Carvers! HH is planning on having camps and such. I can't wait. Matter of fact, a year or 2 from now, I might be a major investor in the product (that's if there's any opportunities left by then). HSS invented a product that let's me ski in the summer. How cool is that?!

3) I can call HSS anytime and get PMTS training questions answered.

4) I came to HSS with bloody shins and no skills. HH fit me with boots and my shins healed. I've often commented how happy I am, with my boots and the fit. My skills? I seem to be doing okay. :wink: :)

5) The last time I was in the shop, I got some new footbeds. I originally made the appt. to check out the Comformable liner, which I still may do.

However, I had never used the liners that came in my Dalbello's and finally gave them a try. Guess what? They're great! Really comfy and cushy, which is the feel I like. When I told this to Diana, her advice was "stick with what works". She passed up selling me $300.00 liners when she easily could have. This is typical of my experiences there. I get just what I need, only what I need, when I need it. GE couldn't map it out any better than that.

FYI. Remember that ski shop that sold me my new Zipfits a few weeks ago? I can't even get a hold of them, to schedule a return. This would never happen @ HSS. I made a mistake by shopping elsewhere and now I have $300 liners that I can't seem to return. I'll never happen again.

6) HSS is flat out the coolest/best company in the business. Guest and co. can go on all they want. But it aint about personal feelings, it's about taking care of customers and results.

No one, takes care of customers better.


Now is the time when a few years ago, I'd go off on Guest or anyone else that challenges PMTS. "C'mon, you so and so. Show up and ski! Show me what you got?"

:arrow: Not this time, not next time, ya....little wedge turn lovers! :) However as always, just drop me a line and I'll be happy as a hooker with new shoes to show up and make some turnz with ya. Always lookin to pick up a few good tips, ya know... :wink:

Hey Ott. Am I doin better? :D


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