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Advice needed Private lesson a waste of money.

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by maurice101, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    I learnt to ski in my teens with long skis a long time ago. I had a 40 year break and got interested in skiing again with the new shorter skis. I thought I better update my ski knowledge so I purchased Breakthrough on the new skis by Lito. It sparked my interest in learning to carve a turn, something I had never done with the old skis.

    I purchased head supershape 170s and went to Selwin resort to practice. After a hour of learning to edge more I could ride the edge turning up the hill and be balanced on the downhill ski.

    Next I started to link turns together. I found if I transferred my weight very early and then got on the new edge and waited for the ski to turn I could start carving before the fall line. It was like I had to anticipate facing uphill a bit at the start of the turn well before the fall line to balance and edge the new ski. This was totally new to me compared to my old way of turning.

    Loto talked about the phantom move and I found this essential to tighten the turn and edge more from the very start of the turn.

    I was now doing pure very rounded carved turns with a edge line in the snow from start to finish. I also found flexing at transition was much better than extending like I had been taught many years ago. It was like I could get early edging by flexing and the turn felt much smother. It was like the skis remained in contact with the snow by flexing rather than extending and then coming down to jam on the edges.

    It was addictive and I spent the day on the intermediate slope doing long radius carved turns. A first aid guy said I was skiing well.

    I was just starting to get my inner ski to ark up higher than my stance ski to increase the edging angle. So I thought I would book a private lesson as I wanted to drop my hip lower in the turn.

    I asked around and got the best level 3 instructor on the hill. I told him I wanted to increase edge angle to tighten my carved turn.

    The first thing he told me is to use a wide stance. Lito recommends a narrow stance. I tried the wide stance and it was horrible. It was hard to fully transfer the weight to the new ski without a huge body move. It was difficult to do the phantom move with a wide stance. Why do a wide stance when the ski powder and bumps with a narrow stance and some of the best skiers use a narrow stance.

    I see the following skier uses a narrow stance in transition and lets the skis go wider in the turn but the legs are close together. I see he flexes in transition and does not extend.



    The ski instructor then skied in front of me with a narrow stance. I now felt the instructor was teaching me dogma. He started to talk about leg rotation and knee drive but I could not work out how that helped a ski on a carving edge.

    Next he told me to be more square body wise on my skis. Only use inclination etc on the later part of the turn. I found this advice hindered me to get on a new edge before the fall line and be balanced on the new edge before the fall line and to fully pressure the downhill ski to bend it more to carve tighter.

    I could not work out how a book written in 2001 seemed much more up to date than current ski level 3 instruction. I feel I wasted $160 on a private lesson and I got a huge amount of value from a book $30.

    This is the second private lesson that I feel is not worth it. I had another lesson and told the instructor I wanted to learn a racing turn with flexing in transition. He taught me to push off in transition.

    I have given up on ski instruction in Australia as I feel it is a waste of money. It seems to use too much dogma that does not make intellectual sense and I really hate a wide stance.
     
    #1 maurice101, Sep 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  2. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Right.
     
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  3. Call_me_Ishmael

    Call_me_Ishmael One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    There will be the usual stacks on the mill with this guy.First time poster with an eerie resemblance in posting style to @bawbawbel
    But I think we also have to recognise that just as with any service provider in life not all ski instructors are created equal
    Not sure what the value of the post is though despite all that
    Buy a 30 year old book and save on lessons?
    I don't think so
     
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  4. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Cool 1st post
     
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  5. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I see these guys in blue jackets with four letters on them around, and they don't look like they can ski for shit.
     
  6. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like OP wanted a rollerblading lesson but got a ski lesson instead.
     
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  7. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well... for me personally...private lessons was the best money I’ve ever spent.
     
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  8. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You spent your best money?
     
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  9. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    whenever I think about getting a lesson I check with the first aid guys first
    usually after a crash
     
  10. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Yes it is my first post and I am not @bawbawbel. Maybe I just had bad luck with the instructors in 2 private lessons costing $320 total. However the instructor that the post talked about was highly recommended on the hill by others. I did get a lot more out of Litos book than the 2 private lessons. If someone knows a good Australian instructor that does not want me to ski wide stance, teaches me to get high edge angles and be balanced on the stance ski and teaches flexing in a turn in transition I am interested.
     
  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Always spend the best monies!
     
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  12. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Just ski and figure it out as you go. Look at great skiers whose style you like and try to emulate them.

    Ski instructors are great, if they are great or they're not. Just like all service providers.

    I should point out though with the video you provided that as Reilly's speed increases and his angulation increases his stance naturally gets wider. The first turns you see are short turns not really what most would associate with carving, even though he's so bloody good they are carves.

    FWIW instructor was the one looking at you and seeing the flaws in your technique. It's a difficult thing to self analyse, so perhaps what they were telling you was what you needed to do, regardless of how it felt.

    Or not.
     
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  13. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    I should point out though with the video you provided that as Reilly's speed increases and his angulation increases his stance naturally gets wider.

    Yes I get this that the skis distance between them get wider during the turns in the video. However check out the distance from the inner ski to stance leg when the skis are not close to each other during the turn. It is very close that seems to me to indicate a narrow stance of legs close together but inner leg bending and stance leg extending giving a look of a wide stance.

    This was what I wanted to learn with the private lesson. How to increase edging by shortening my inner leg and extending my stance leg after transition. I think I needed to flex a lot more so my hip was closer to the snow allowing the stance leg to extend.

    I also see the use of the phantom move in the video at the start of the turn.

    The private lesson did tell me that my weight was too far back and I needed to pull the non stance ski back. This was good advice and the only thing of value I got from the lesson.
     
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  14. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us

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    I find a good rule of thumb is "seek first to understand".
    Without knowing the exact nature of your interaction it may that he was laying the foundation to get to where you want to get in the long run rather than skiing like Reilly in one easy lesson. Walk before you can run and all of that.
    Plenty of people pick up bad habits early in their skiing and its harder to undo these later.
    It may have been that he simply did not communicate this.
    I do know they don't hand out level 3 tickets in corn flake boxes and i woudn't throw out the lessons idea completely, you just may have to find someone who communicates in a way that you can understand.
     
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  15. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Roymond I agree there was a communication issue as his English was not fluid. We got lost when he talked about leg drive and knee rotation. I asked him why are these good in a pure carved turn and he said the skis go faster. This did not make any sense to me.

    Maybe someone can explain to me why skiing wide stance like the instructor told me is the best is better than narrow stance even though the instructor was not following his own advice and had narrow stance.

    I tried to ski wide stance and it felt that I could not transfer my weight ski to ski.
     
  16. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Hard Yards

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    he he... my observation (lay person) is that yes everyone is moving to shorter skis. What annoyed me at hire the other day is when I got given, yes shorter skis, but they looked suspiciously like 'turn of the century' carvers.

    Are the current crop of short skis merely super-shaped? They seem quite square at the tips. So I think I got conned.
    I was needing much longer skis.

    Cheers
     
  17. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Maybe someone can explain to me why skiing wide stance like the instructor told me is the best is better than narrow stance even though the instructor was not following his own advice and had narrow stance.
    Because he can already ski like you want to ski.

    Perhaps as Roymond said you've got to lay the foundation which was the point I was vaguely making.

    The last thing you want to do is ask for ski instruction tips on this forum, you'll end up in a mental institution and turn to snow blading.

    Most people go to an instructor to learn how to do something, either ski or further develop a technique. The instructor is coming from a position of building the foundation at your current level to allow you to do what you need to do, to then progress to the next level. ie his job.

    If you feel you can carve with a narrower stance then do it. Or communicate with the instructor your concerns and at least let them explain to you their thinking. Rather than get on a forum and look for answers.

    You're questioning the wrong people, question yourself as to your skiing goals and how best you feel you can achieve them and how best to get to the next level. If it doesn't involve professional instruction then so be it.
     
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  18. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I had a very esteemed boss at a ski school a number of years ago: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joel-munn-6854b418/

    The whole notion of carving did his head in, this was a few years in to the advent of shaped skis, probably around 2002/2003

    The gist of his message is that we should be teaching skiers to ski slower (ie: in more control) rather than teaching them to carve and go faster as it's such a one-dimensional way to ski and doesn't work on the broad range of skills that you need to conquer the entire mountain, which IMO is the point of skiing.
     
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  19. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Define what "wide stance" means to you.
     
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  20. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Wide stance to me is the knees are separated more than narrow stance and the skis are further apart at transition. I was learning to let my skis separate from narrow stance during the turn when I went for a lesson. Carve man, I agree, yes carving is high speed even on a medium slope and i need a slope with not many people on it!!! Selwin was actually good for this. I even enjoyed carving a beginner slope with wetish snow. Its real fun though. Trying to carve at perisher would be interesting except when the lifts open. Bit like powder. Maybe I should try racing. I figured that if I could carve medium radius with high edge angles I could just take off the high edge angle before the fall line and slide the turn a bit more on steeper terrain. Learning to regulate my edge angle would be of value and lead to all mountain sking. At present I am hopeless on steeps and bad snow. Pull those boots back after flexing transition and get my hips more forward I feel is the key. Next trip.

    Looking at Reilly skiing, my questions is does Australian instruction teach what he is actually doing or actually teach habits that real expert skiers do not use? To my mind and inexpert eye, I see him flexing to transition, high edge angles before the fall line, a narrow stance at transition, not a squared body position and he seems to be using the phantom move.

    Just about everything he is doing is not what my 2 private lessons taught at all. Maybe they teach wide stance so beginners can get down the mountain and it is easy to teach rather than one ski balance?
     
  21. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wide stance. Taking a dump posture and lifting the inside ski while pushing tail.
     
  22. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    If I get one nuanced idea or movement that stays with me in three hours of lessons and can be a building block to later improvement I figure I’ve done well.

    If you want to ski like Reilly... get in fkn line LOL
    Alternatively:
    • work three jobs for the next 15 months
    • spend nothing
    • relieve yourself of friends and family
    • free yourself of social and skiing preconceptions
    • travel to Europe to one of Reilly’s ‘camps’ for a month
    • ski the rest of the NH season
    • have three weeks in Hawaii to recover
    • fly direct to NZ
    • do a season in one of Reily’s camps
    • rinse
    • repeat
    You still won’t ski like Reilly, but you’ll know why, and be a better skier.
     
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  23. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    @maurice101 because many ski instructors in Australia are from the northern hemisphere and working here during the NH summer, you will encounter a range of different teaching and skiing styles. There appears to be a significant difference in favoured techniques between the Yanks (PSIA) and Europeans, especially Austrians.

    In lessons I've had in Australia, I've mostly had European instructors, and been consistently taught to extend to release and have a stance with my feet between hip width and shoulder width apart. In Canada, with CSIA instructors, I was taught to extend to release, but keep my feet closer together than hip width, basically aiming to feel my thighs touching just under my groin. (A useful stance in powder, but also practised on groomers so it becomes second nature for when it's needed).

    From the couple of US forums I'm on, it appears that the current PSIA dogma is flex to release.

    If you are really focused on wanting to ski like Lito, the instructor you seek will most likely be a Yank and PSIA accredited, in addition to any APSI (Australian) accreditation they may have.

    But there is also much to be said for learning a range of different techniques, and the appropriate conditions in which to apply each of them.
     
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  24. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Climberman, if I was 30 years younger and had a very big bank balance..... However, I still think it is of value to see how the experts ski and copy as much as you can from your present level. I am now carving turns for the first time in my life at 65. I have found my edges!!!! Skiing with more edge is much less tiring rather than sliding around and I need to protect my knees.

    I am into table tennis and the best coaches try to copy the technique of the pros as much as possible. To me it seems what they teach in skiing in Australia is not what the pros use. It looks a lot smother than extending on transition that many teach.

    Marty, my lesson was from a european coach and one from a NZ coach. I think I want to ski a LITTLE bit like Oreilly with a narrow stance at transition and flex at transition.
     
  25. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    What’s taken me 15 years to achieve without lessons could have been achieved in 15 months with lessons!
     
  26. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    You need to get yourself to a level which enables you to use techniques that pros use.

    Perhaps you simply aren’t there yet. I’m not.

    ‘The more I learn, the less I know’ applies in all things technical (skiing, flycasting, climbing, MTB) that I like.
     
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  27. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    12 months of that probably undoing bad habits!
     
  28. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Just try to learn table tennis with all the bad habits from the past. The pros are totally relaxed and use the body to propel the arm forward.
     
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  29. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    You have a lot of terminology going on here.

    There is ski width apart on the horizontal plane and ski width apart on the vertical plane.

    Stance width is usually applied to the horizontal plane and controlled naturally by hip width or forced by foot manipulation where as leg separation is usually applied to the vertical plane and happens naturally by turn inclination or forced by deliberate retraction of the inside leg

    or similar holistic explanations

    I am privy to Reillys ski style and technique and on observation one would not call it either a wide or narrow stance but rather quite natural to his body type and physical strengths.
     
  30. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    No lesson with Reilly. :( I put his video up as I see his skis are pretty close together at transition. I am not sure how to freeze a frame in youtube. This seemed to be opposite of what my instructor wanted me to do.
     
  31. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    So slightly relevant reply.

    A bloke I’ve worked with in another life, never took him as a skier. He might have skied a week here or there over his life. I would have put him in beginners category. Ended up getting a ski instructor gig for a season in NZ.

    I was quite surprised.
     
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  32. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which mountain?
     
  33. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    you don't have to be a particularly good skier to be a level 1 (previously children's certificate) instructor. jobs at that level are more likely to be based on your teaching/customer skills than your skiing ability. from the apsi website re level 1 "The minimum recommended skiing ability to attend this course is intermediate (i.e. you can make parallel turns on blue runs)."

    but to be a level 4 you have to be bloody good
     
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  34. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    I have been looking at utube ski videos. What do you guys think of harold harb as he seems to ski like Reilly and talks about a narrow stance? Very smooth skiing in videos too.
     
  35. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    APSI, yeah, those were the letters. Almost all still in training heels, and one so lazy he sits down!
     
  36. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Especially those with busted bindings.
     
  37. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    In what way was it opposite?

    There are those skiers with very narrow "stance" and a slightly heal heavy position that always struggle to find an edge because of these traits who would require some deconstructing into a "wider stance" so as to discover the joys of a carved edge.

    Once a carved edge becomes part of the skiers skiing then what appeared at first to be a wide stance becomes a wider stance to that which was previously integrated but is in fact a natural stance based on the skiers hip width and natural leg separation.

    Terminology is the biggest confuser of technique intent.

    Look at Reillys videos and concentrate on the style, flow and substance of the whole turn and run and don't fixate on minute technicalities.
     
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  38. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    It bothers me these days that adults are being taught 'pizzas' and 'frech fries'. WTF!!! :headbang:
    When baby language becomes the norm for adults :(
     
  39. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Harb, Lito, Reilly, .... not a great deal of difference in "stance".
     
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  40. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    *popcorn gif*
     
  41. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Funny I was just eating popcorn when Mister posted !!!!
     
  42. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which resort did you have this lesson at?
     
  43. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Those words are banned on some ski forum sites.

    HH has some highly individual and strongly held beliefs around technique and teaching, that have led to some highly entertaining rabbit holes and flame wars on forums over the years. Hence the popcorn comment.

    Good luck with that!
     
  44. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    Mt Selwyn. Level 3 european instructor. I know it is more a beginner area but it was an ideal place for a focus on learning new technique without a lot of crowds. There was a good run near the chair that was great to do carve turns. $55 seniors discount was good too.
     
  45. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    He mentioned it in his post.
     
  46. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    nearly as strongly held as his devotees! lol
     
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  47. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mt Selwyn?
    oh
    I did a heliski in NZ once with a guy who spent the entire pre flight/bus trip loudly expounding on his life at Selwyn growing up and how he was now an instructor there
    I can only presume from watching him ski that day it wasn't a great foundation for skiing powder out the back of Wanaka
     
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  48. maurice101

    maurice101 Early Days

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    I had the other lesson in NZ at Treble Cone. He taught me to extend to transition even though I told him to teach me to flex to transition.
     
  49. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Harb, Lito and the Austrian and Australia teaching manuals are all excellent references, non of which are "controversial" and differ primarily on terminology.

    I never got the hang up with stance width of who said what when.
     
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  50. MisterMxyzptlk

    MisterMxyzptlk Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was that better
    I've had good lessons there