Stand corrected! or balanced

PMTS Forum

Stand corrected! or balanced

Postby Harald Harb » Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:28 pm

I am glad to see that my efforts to educate skiers are having influence on instructors and that my demonstrations of how skiing really works are taking hold even by PSIA and PSIA followers.

In the most recent Ski Racing Magazine, Ron LeMaster does a section on balance, with photos. He talks about vertical separation of the feet rather than horizontal separation. This understanding and interpretation is from PMTS material, it is PMTS understanding and theory of narrow stance skiing that we have been promoting for ever. In fact, it does more than support what I have written and presented it is what I wrote in my Book 2.

He demonstrated Hermann and others skiing with a narrow stance with vertical separation rather tahn hrizontal separation in the turn, for better balance. . He does not advocate, as he did previously a wide stance. Now according to Ron at least, the top skiers on the world cup are holding their boots close to there legs when they are in the turn. I did not get a chance to read the article in depth, but I will and will report back as to the accuracy of the article.

We have demonstrated through PMTS teaching that you can not achieve high edge angles by focusing on horizontal separation, a la Al Hobart Gorilla turns.

I first introduced this very concept of how world cup skiers ski, in a presentation at the last International Congress of Skiing and Science in 2000, in St Christoph, Tirol. Then I followed up on this idea in my ?Anyone can be an Expert Skier 2? book. In the book and Congress presentations we wanted to educate skiers about what a functional stance width means, because so many ski instructors and coaches were promoting the wide stance incorrectly at that time and still are.

I hope Ron?s article has additional influence and starts to bring the issue of wide stance under control.
I knew it would take some time for most PSIA instructors and many coaches to realize that the wide stance approach wasn't functional and that the wide stance would disappear after they had enough time to figure out it didn?t get results. Now Ron presents my concepts and ideas in ski racing magazine, hopefully instructors can now can get back to teaching functional stance.

Fortunately for PMTS skiers they never had to go through these awful aberrations in skiing understanding. Don't relax too much, there are still plenty of bad skiing concepts being taught. We will eventually turn them around as well and when that happens ski teaching will be PMTS.
Harald Harb

Postby hh » Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:35 pm

I can already tell you the PSIA response to this post. "we have always said that a functional stance wasn't too wide. (thousands of posts on the Epic site say different) We encompass and embrasse all teaching ideas and theories, and envoke them when (whenever we please as we don't have a leg to stand on, we stand on both). it best suits our needs to defend the way we teach.

They never address the poor floundering souls out their fighting their skiing because of bad information and bad teaching.

Postby Mr. T » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:23 pm

In truth Harald, as you probably recall from a previous post of mine, during the PSIA certification held at my modest Welch Village for PSIA central, the guys from my school who went for level III were heavily criticized because of their stance not being adaptable enough to ski bumps and steeps, for example. And the cause was their relatively wide
stance. I was not there, but the message seems to be that something is starting to change even with some PSIA instructors at least.

I was criticized in my free skiing for having too narrow a stance and the proof according to the examiner was that I did not have a solid base and he pushed me causing me to fall while I was in the stance I skied
with to make the point.

I complained that when I ski I am not playing football.. to which he
did not reply, although he later told me while riding the lift that if my stance is functional for me then I should keep it but he also warned me that some other instructors would not be so easy on me.

The best skiers in my school all ski in a narrow stance even if they preach a wider stance.

But, what disappointed me the most was the comment of the other students in my group implying that a wider stance is better even if I watched them skiing and they looked bad. Some of them were just dummies and when you are not willing to even try you are possibly a bad skier and surely a bad teacher and, in my personal dictionary, a dummy.

Even before I read about PMTS I knew that something was
wrong in my skiing since I could not do but face plants in powder or get
all bruised-up coming down a minor mogul field. These guys ski like sh*t and don't even realize it? They must be dummies.

I would not even blame all on PSIA. If one person is a dummy it is not PSIA's fault.

But, one thing that disappoints me about skiing is that, as some of you know, I was in track and field for many years and besides being an athlete I was also a coach for long and triple jumpers. Every movements
by a long or triple jumper has benn analyzed, dissected, criticized, you name it... I knew every bit of physics there is to know about these events. We knew what was efficient and what was not in relation to the
athletes we were training. Video analysis is 20 years or 30 years old in
track and field. Nothing like that exists in skiing. Everybody comes up with some hints or pseudo ideas and does not prove them using physics
or experiments that can be replicated. Video analysis is relatively recent
except at the highest technical levels. You are the only one with a scientific approach I know. That is good for you, but also says a lot of bad
things about the sport of skiing that has not been able to produce a serious effort to identify what is efficiency in skiing ...

I talk too much, but right now I am more disappointed with a group of Italian skiers on a forum over there who attack me for advising to try closing the stance a little bit at least and try. They are racers, they would not ski off groomed runs not even if I stayed behind them with a bazooka.
I care little about what they say, I could always rough them up given my size, but they are even more blind than some of the PSIA people over here that everybody criticises.

Oh well, it is a tough and long battle ahead. But it can be won.
Mr. T
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wide stance - good in racquetball and football

Postby John Mason » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:32 pm

good in racquetball - bad in skiing

That little push over challenge is done in racquetball training to help encourage a wide stance. This has nothing to do with skiing.

What a terrible experience. What ignorance.
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Postby NoCleverName » Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:12 pm

If that "push over while standing still" test meant anything then Lance Armstrong better ride a tricycle in the next Tour.
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Postby hh » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:59 pm

Thanks MrT, to me it isn't about changing the PSIA, if we do great but they have shown a reluctance to operate in a scientific manner. It is about creating more enjoyment for my clients and customers. If I could wave a wond and make everyone an expert I would do it. PMTS and book 1@2 are changing many concepts, but they are being changed by the skiers who have had instant and immediate success from the PMTS sytem and my books. Just tonight I had a call from a skiers who picked up my book at a store and he tried the system from reading a book. He said he had great improvement. Improvement beyond what he acheived from ski lessons. This is the sad state of ski instruction. We will change ski instruction, but it will be done by consumer demand not through PSIA or its instructors. They will be last.

Postby Guest » Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:23 pm

Mr Harb your ego is amazing.

You are correct. There is not a single PSIAmember that knows what he is doing. You are the sole teacher that can educate the masses.

So Guest - considering the topic

Postby John Mason » Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:07 pm

Do you think it's a good idea to push a skier over to illustrate how they should widen their stance? And by an examiner no less?

Doesn't take ego to figure out this is a goofed up organization, with many members that don't agree on how to ski or how to teach it.
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Postby hh » Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:43 pm

Dear Mr. Guest,

Why do you have to hide behind your fake ?guest? name? We are all friends here. We have no animosity toward you or anyone who wants to discuss the state of skiing. We are telling it as skiers see it. If you have something to say to the contrary and you have valid in put, we would be glad to hear from you.

But, it has nothing to do with ego. Yes, I admit I have an ego; I just have one that supports my desire to be honest and forthright. Just because my ego allows me to disagree with the brain washing that has been going on in skiing for decades doesn?t mean an ego is a negative thing.

I don?t make things up. I report them as they are. Come on, join in and discuss it like a man, without silly attempts at insults. I?m not intimidated; I?m ready to be proven wrong if you or your supporters have the inkling to try. I won?t do it by hiding behind words, technical jargon and confusion, which you are so ready to pursue. I?ll go out and ski with any of the pretenders who are trying to protect your failing system and show them the truth. You may be able to intimidate your cowering followers, who feel they have to tow the line or lose their valuable standing in your revered organization. Those who are free and educated don?t need it.

I never said that everyone in PSIA was on the wrong track. We have many PMTS educated instructors in PSIA who are doing a great job and teaching very good lessons, but they have to hide from the oppressive regimen, that won?t allow them to teach anything different than the gospel. So much for the PSIA endorsing all systems, you have a long way to go before you can live you to the words you would like to espouse.

Harold - Le Master article

Postby Hunter » Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:18 pm

Hi Harold,

Could you please post a link to the Ron LeMaster article you have mentioned.

I can not find it here


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Postby tommy » Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:43 am

Mr Harb your ego is amazing.

You are correct. There is not a single PSIAmember that knows what he is doing. You are the sole teacher that can educate the masses.

I have a humble request: As a serious student of skiing & ski instruction, I'd hate this forum going the same way as almost every other internet discussion forum goes over time, regardless of subject matter: they tend to evolve in a direction where the signal/noise ratio detoriates rapidly towards uselessness.

I've found this forum so far being an almost unique exception to the rule: almost all posts carry valuable information regarding the subject matter (skiing technique & instruction), making it very much worthwhile to spend time here. I've learned tons of good stuff during my visits here, and I'd hate to see this forum losing focus, becoming yet an other typical one.

Posts like the above, don't carry any value wrt. the subject matter of this forum, and IMHO, don't belong here.

Let me end this post with some food for thought:

" It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doers of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who was actually in the arena. Who's face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who ers and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best, knows in the end, the triumph of high achievment and who at the worst if he fails, atleast fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory. . . nor defeat. "
Theodore Rosevelt

Over & out,
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Postby Bluey » Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:36 am

Yeah...I agree with you Tommy....IMHO, my ideal Forum, is one where experiences and knowledge are shared openly and honestly.
I also appreciate sincereity and people feeling free about expressing their opinions.

But there have been occassions even in this forum, albeit rare compared to other forums I have visited, where the opinions have not been about things or organisations or facts or methods but rather about people's personalities and/or character.
I'm not into the second guessing the motives of others nor there personality traits.
My experience in life is that I am wrong more times than I am right.
If in doubt about someone's motive "ask them" is my motto.

Anyway.....maybe I'm being idealist, but like all "buyers/customers", if I'm not satisfied with the product I won't buy it.... and frankly I don't feel compelled to explain why to the seller......I express my opinions with me feet....I just wont come back.....I'm not a saviour and I'm not a crusader (.... I don't have the skills for either )'s too short and I've got too many other things I can do with my time.

So Tommy, I agree with you.
This forum has been an oasis in a desert of misinformation.

Like Tommy, I'd also like to say thanks to all who have I'm just an enthuisatic skier, I found the response and patience from this group of people in this forum enlightening.


Footnote: The countdown has begun for the aussie ski season...its exactly 12 more weeks before I hit the slopes far yet sooooo near.
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Postby Hunter » Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:18 am

Nice and sugary there Tommy, but people and their posts also need to be accountable and as such will and should be challenged when the need arises, otherwise it is just propaganda.
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Postby Bluey » Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:38 am

Hi Hunter,

Welcome....I've enjoyed your posts over at so your input on technique etc will add a bit more zest to our bantering.... but unfortunatly a lot of us are just skiers not instructors so we seem to take a different view of issues etc.

Anyway, its nice to have another aussie in the forum.

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Hi Hunter

Postby John Mason » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:42 am

Holding people accountable, though, if someone disagrees with HH, if that's what you mean, would not be to put some ad-hom attack about ego, but to explain, (in this thread's case the thread was about balance), why a narrow stance is bad or when and why is a wider stance is good.

That way, people, in reacting and reasoning about people's statements everyone can better understand where people are coming from.

Many people try to dismiss what Harold, Lito, Eric and Rob, Craig are teaching by just focusing on Harold's ongoing observations about what is wrong about the PSIA in this country. In the attacks I see on forums coming the other way, if the idea is from Harold it is rejected because it must have a marketing motivation. Yet what Harold teaches works for his students and most of these students came to Harold's methods after years of sking and PSIA lessons but find themselves stuck at a plateau.

Most people who are students of ski technique are interested which of the philosophies of turning the skis and getting down the mountain with the new skis works most efficiently. I know I would rather see discussions of those philosophies and not ignorant sounding dismissals containing no ski technique content.

Yet at the same time I know HH will throw a bomb out over towards the PSIA which also does not contain ski technique content or, more often, mix these comments within a statement about ski technique. I suppose some at the PSIA then like to annonomously throw a bomb back. I would suppose most people learning to ski and coming from a traditional PSIA background either as an instructor or a student (we are all students in life) don't need to have the PSIA picked on. They are normally totally aware of the shortcomings of the PSIA as they have experienced them personally. If they are not aware of this, then they become aware of them as they learn a functionally different and better way to ski from PMTS or teachers using that philosophy of ski turning even if they call it something else.

Maybe we should split the forum up into two categories. (why does it only have one category?) One labeled "PMTS ski technique" and one labeled "PMTS - why it's better than the PSIA normally taught methods". Then all the verbal bomb throwing can be in it's own place.

If people want to take part in that type of discussion, even though it wouldn't be very productive, then at least it's in it's own forum, not degrading this one.

I'll be in Winter Park skiing Friday and Sunday, anyone wanna give me the tour? I've never been there before.
John Mason
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