Instructor skiing

Instructor skiing

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:56 am

Hi,

I would be very interestedto hear your views about Andy Bennett's skiing.
See https://vimeo.com/103602761

Andy teaches people to keep the skis together, raise the downhill ski boot to boot, with the ski tip downward.
And then tip to the side in Harald's fashion. Similar to the video produced by Diana.
Although he is part of the Warren Smith team, he does not take the thigh steering approach.

I like the way Andy skis a lot and there are strong similarities to the PMTS method.

Look forward to your comments.

Cheers

Brian Richardson
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby geoffda » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:52 pm

While there is plenty of athleticism in this skiing, I would consider it to be weak from a technical perspective. Except at the most superficial levels, I wouldn't say this skiing has much in common with PMTS. It is interesting that you mention that he teaches tipping because not only does he not seem to do it in this skiing (at least not in the PMTS sense), but his movements at transition don't support tipping. Watch how Harald or Diana or any accomplished PMTS skier moves from edge-to-edge and compare that to what is being demonstrated here. Also, watch how with strong PMTS skiers edge angles continue to increase throughout the turn until the turn is released. This does not happen with the skiing here--and it can't because the movements that would support it aren't being employed.

While I can see why some might consider this skiing to be visually pleasing, I wouldn't recommend it as a model. Only the strongest of athletes would be able to overcome the disadvantage created by these movements to produce successful skiing and even then, probably not on every surface. Trying to hold on ice with this technique would be extremely challenging and completely out of reach of all but the most elite of athletes (most of whom would never choose to ski this way because they would likely have difficulty on the race course).

On this forum, we think that the best skiers in the world are generally those who have proven themselves with success on the FIS Alpine World Cup. More specifically, we are most interested in those skiers who have not only proven themselves, but who use movements that can be understood and emulated by skiers at any level. We're very picky about technique on this forum because much of what is out there simply doesn't benefit the average skier. PMTS, on the other hand, scales to allow skiers at any level to achieve their full potential. We think strong technique will not only win World Championships for elite athletes, but it will enable someone with absolutely no athletic ability to ski with confidence, control, and even some grace.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby Skiasaurus Rex » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:18 am

Uh-Oh, He's been declared 'athletic', which is the kiss of death around here. :D

PMTS-ness of his skiing can be determined by those who know better than I, which, is most.

But, 1. That's the best skiing I've seen from any BASI-affiliated instructor or anything on Warren Smith's videos. 2. He's got that new school combination of playfulness with an appealing amount of real technique. You could do a lot worse than learning to ski like this guy….for an instructor-he rips, I mean, he ain't Sean Pettit, though he seems to apply the same sort of techniques to more familiar real world terrain. Good bump skier, solid park skills, clearly competent in powder. I Love the conditions he had for those videos, gets my ski juices flowing.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby geoffda » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:56 am

Skiasaurus Rex wrote:Uh-Oh, He's been declared 'athletic', which is the kiss of death around here. :D

PMTS-ness of his skiing can be determined by those who know better than I, which, is most.

But, 1. That's the best skiing I've seen from any BASI-affiliated instructor or anything on Warren Smith's videos. 2. He's got that new school combination of playfulness with an appealing amount of real technique. You could do a lot worse than learning to ski like this guy….for an instructor-he rips, I mean, he ain't Sean Pettit, though he seems to apply the same sort of techniques to more familiar real world terrain. Good bump skier, solid park skills, clearly competent in powder. I Love the conditions he had for those videos, gets my ski juices flowing.


Yet he doesn't really seem to understand how to make a ski work... Is that not important? Does it matter that even if someone wanted to ski like this, they would likely lack the requisite athletic ability to ever make it possible? Does it matter that by trying to ski like this, they might never advance enough to experience the level of fun that this skier seems to be having? Why all this faint praise about being the best in BASI , "for an instructor" or "competent"? Are we giving out a participation medal? Why not just label this skiing for what it is, which is mediocre? He is a good athlete; good enough to put his skiing out of reach for most, yet not elite enough to be able to adequately compensate for his movement deficiencies to produce something truly special. Personally, I don't find this skiing strong enough to be worth watching. Conditions were great and I appreciate that he was stoked, but he wasn't displaying a jaw dropping level of athleticism that would have forced me to ignore his flawed technique. YMMV.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby ToddW » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:01 pm

Skiasaur,

Athleticism per se isn't objectionable on this forum. What we're not fond of is when raw athleticism is used to achieve a goal despite dubious technique. Those athletes are hindering their own progress, no matter how far they have advanced. And they're not good role models for those with ordinary athletic endowments.

I know recreational PMTS skiers with many camps and PMTS private lessons under their belts who could do something remarkable with Mr. Bennett. They have learned enough about the Essentials factorization of ski technique, MA, and self-coaching that they could improve the skiing of a willing, cooperative, and curious Andy Bennett in 5 days of skiing together. His video a season later would look noticeably more impressive. That's the power of PMTS. And hold onto your hat if he skied 5 days with Diana or Jay! Oh and yes, I have read Andy Bennett's bio and know of his accomplishments and his professional network.

I've also seen the flip side, when an errant PMTS recreational skier took a Warren Smith camp and then returned to Hintertux for recovery :roll:

I know that if I tried to ski with Bennett's movements, it wouldn't be pretty ... he's a bad role model for a skier of my limited natural ability.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby Brian » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:41 am

Many thanks for your comments. I accept and understand the comment about the lack of tipping. On another video Andy gives a static demonstration to his class. He keeps the skis close together, lifts the downhill boot to touch the uphill boot with the ski tip of the downhill ski still on the ground. BUT he does not tip the free ski knee outward to initiate the turn. And I also accept that there are other points I have not understood at this stage.

I went on a Warren Smith course when I was in my 50s. I like Warren and the gang very much as people but they are definitely athletes. My overweight, out of condition body struggled badly. And I never understood "thigh steering".

I wrote to Harald saying that I had tried his technique in the indoor real snow centre at Glasgow Braehead.
What impressed me was the very strong feeling of 'stability" when the legs are flexed in the transition and close together.
It was relatively easy to lift the downhill ski and initiate the turn, which has always been a problem for me.
But I couldnt' garland to save my life.

Thanks again for your comments.

Cheers. Brian RIchardson Glasgow.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby geoffda » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:00 am

Brian wrote:I went on a Warren Smith course when I was in my 50s. I like Warren and the gang very much as people but they are definitely athletes. My overweight, out of condition body struggled badly".

Yep, that is the trouble with what so much of what looks like good skiing--it isn't accessible for mere mortals. It might be fun to watch, but if you can't ever hope to apply what those athletes are doing to reach your full potential, it is kind of a bummer.

Brian wrote:I wrote to Harald saying that I had tried his technique in the indoor real snow centre at Glasgow Braehead.
What impressed me was the very strong feeling of 'stability" when the legs are flexed in the transition and close together.
It was relatively easy to lift the downhill ski and initiate the turn, which has always been a problem for me.
But I couldnt' garland to save my life.


Have you worked on developing a release? In order to do a garland, you must first be able to release your skis to flat and then manage both fore-aft and lateral balance to let the tips fall down the hill. Garlands are a great exercise, but there are some pieces you need first before you can expect to do them. Perhaps surprisingly, garlands require some fairly advanced skills. If you haven't already, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Anybody Can Be an Expert Skier 1 and starting from the beginning. Do each drill and don't advance to the next one until you've mastered the current drill. You'll eventually get to garlands, but you will do a significant amount of work before you get there. You could also post up some video of your garland attempts and we'd be happy to help give you some direction.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby h.harb » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:47 pm

With proper PMTS movements skiers who are athletic, can even become more athletic, without being sloppy. Try to teach "athletic" and see how far you get.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby h.harb » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:42 pm

Hey Rex, do you want to put your foot in it any further or are you done?
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby Skiasaurus Rex » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:18 am

Whoa, Harald-my comments are actually still on your mind??

Well, since you asked let's see:

1. I said I wasn't qualified to comment on the PMTSness of this skier..and I didn't-so I'll stand by that.

2. I said he's the best skier I've seen video of associated with BASI-And he is, so I'll stand by that, too.

3. I've seen much worse skiing from many instructors, and so have you-so that seems right to me.

4. When someone is referred to as 'athletic' on this site, Rightly or wrongly, it is usually followed by a dismissal of their skiing. True or False? I was poking some fun at that reality. It was only a jest from a long time reader of the forum.

Honestly, I hadn't given this thread much thought at all since I posted on pretty generalized comment two weeks ago…I thought it was dead, or closed or something.

I am surprised you'd still respond to this buried comment from two weeks ago. Though, I'll admit, I was a little more surprised the thread discussing the growth in narrow/ technical skis reviewed at real skiers was axed.

On a completely unrelated musing, but it's on my mind this labor day morning as I suit up for a ride: Colorado Mountain Biking season must be hitting it's Zenith. You know, I talked about this the other day with a good bud, I've gone to Colorado for biking more than skiing (probably close to 4 times as many days on Dirt than snow). Right now when I think about about anything affiliated with Colorado, I think about days at Crested Butte (the best) and Durango (pretty damn great), and neither one for skiing.

Harald I know you are an avid, and I would guess talented, road biker…Do you ride the dirt as well?? My ski days in your state are limited to only two weeks over 10 years, but I've done a fair amount of mountain biking in the great state of Colorado, and, in my experience that's the best thing Colorado has to offer in terms of outdoor sports. Yep, even better than it's skiing. Which, is saying something. Just wondering if between hanging from precipitous rocks and spinning up steep asphalt grades you carved some single track in one of the great regions for dirt pedaling in the world?

It's only September 1st-I'd rather talk biking and dream about doing it in Colorado.
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby h.harb » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:21 am

Actually, I have no idea what you are talking about or who you are. I haven't followed the Forum in months, I was sent a link, to the video. I have not seen the posts, only in passing on the link that was sent to me, I saw this absurd comment!!! Which makes no sense at all. So I quickly posted a response, which if you are the one who posted it, you clearly don't understand, so you see, I am wasting my time here. So long!
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Re: Andy Bennett's skiing

Postby Max_501 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:05 am

Skiasaurus Rex wrote:1. I said I wasn't qualified to comment on the PMTSness of this skier..and I didn't-so I'll stand by that.


In that case you shouldn't be commenting on MA requests. This is not the forum to express general opinions.
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Re: Instructor skiing

Postby h.harb » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:35 am

Please do not use an instructor's or any other person's name in a "heading" that is for evaluation by members. Google and other searcher pick up on this and it's not ethical to have one's name bantered around the internet without their approval. Keeping it in the threads is less obvious but can still be picked up.
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Re: Instructor skiing

Postby Brian » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:55 pm

Apologies if I have broken any rules. I like Harald's skiing very much. He seems to be the Dick Fosbury of skiing.
However I also liked Andy's skiing very much and I tried to compare them in my amateur way.
Thanks for your comments. And best wishes to you all.
Cheers

Brian Richardson
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