to Ski/Ski Better/Ski My Best"
Choosing an Area to
the Colorado Rockies
EpicMix of Vail
Why and How to Take a Ski Lesson from a Professional
How to Pick a Ski
Bill Jones, Ski
To Reserve a Private Ski Lesson with Bill Jones
Ski Slope Ratings
Skiing as a Career
Lnks to Skiing
Books and Videos
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Synopsis of SkiMyBest
by Bill Jones,
Reading all the information in this SkiMyBest website would give you the most complete understanding of the ski sport that is available from this site, but is not expected. You may use contents pages and links to drill into areas of greater immediate interest to you, personalizing the site. This synopsis gives a quick site overview.
Skis are slippery things. To manage them, that is, to "Learn to Ski/Ski Better/Ski My Best" we must learn to reposition the skis so they point various ways and tilt different amounts while developing pressure at different parts of them so they interact with the snow and take us where we want and at the speed (or lack thereof) we want. To accomplish this, we move our bodies' muscles and joints while we are in motion. In a way, skiing is communicating with our skis using body language. Our movements, however, differ from the ways we learned to move as toddlers and have been perfecting ever since, for from our walking start we have been working off a stationary platform--the floor or the ground--and it has usually not been slippery. Before skiing or skiing well, how often have we
And how often have we done all these things at the same time in varying degrees while sliding down a slippery slope with our ankle joints locked to side flexing and with two long boards attached to our feet, all while staying in balance? So why bother to ski? To answer this it is best to ask another question: Why do millions of people bother?
There are lots of ways to ski. You can even learn some of the ways more or less on your own. But this site promotes and teaches a way that is versatile and efficient--handles the most conditions of snow and terrain while utilizing our anatomy and equipment so we can ski longer: more hours in a day, more days in a week, more weeks in a season, and more seasons in a lifetime. A goal of most skiers is to minimize risk while maximizing fun. This website promotes a method of skiing that is within a risk level consistent with that of the Professional Ski Instructors of America association, and in a way that gives enough fun to answer the question just asked, "Why do millions of people bother to ski?"
Skiing is not rocket science. It is merely a matter of managing our speed while controlling our direction (as in a car, on a bicycle, on skates, or etc.) There are only two ways to slow down on skis (besides falling or running into someone or something): 1) skid the skis more or less to create more or less friction which will speed us or slow us depending on the slope steepness and slipperiness of the snow at the time, and 2) turn the skis so they and we are going less steeply downhill. To slow the first way, by skidding the skis, we turn them with our feet out of our line of descent and tilt them onto their uphill sides, but not too much or they will carve along their side edges and not skid. To slow the second way, by turning the skis and us, we either turn the skis with our feet or tilt them so much they won't skid but carve to turn themselves. The trick is blending these maneuvers while providing the right amount of pressure at the right places on the skis. Luckily it's fun learning how much blending.
Skiers will hear myriad amounts of advice and opinion from other skiers and even non-skiers. Some of this input will be solidly founded. A lot will be downright wrong. Much may not apply to an individual because of body factors or personal goals. And so it is up to the individual skier to sort out what works and to apply it, often by trying out suggestions to see how they "fit". This website attempts to give insights that will help in this process of growing in your personal skiing.
In the United States, major ski areas are in the Lake Tahoe area of California, near Salt Lake City in Utah, and in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. There are many other regions, too: New England, the Midwest, Southwest, Northwest, and even the Southeast. Snow patterns vary each winter at resorts in these regions, so it cannot be said which of the regions will usually be the best. Watch the conditions or try them all!
Ski schools exist to help people "Learn to Ski/Ski Better/Ski My Best" and most support a standardized way of teaching developed by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). In this system ability levels start at level 1 for persons who have never skied and range upward to level 9 for experts. See Skier Skill Levels 1-9. Skill level 6 is the level at which most of most ski mountains can be negotiated; it denotes parallel skiing with initial capability in easier powder and bumps. Level 6 is a goal attainable by most persons. Tips are given on how to get the most from ski lessons to attain your goals in Why Take a Ski Lesson from a Professional.
Likewise ski instructors are ranked by the PSIA. Ski instructors who have attained certification range upward from bronze (1) to silver (2) to gold (3, or full). Because appropriate skiing movements are basically non-intuitive, ski lessons are the only way for most to learn the most effective and efficient technique--and therefore have the most fun. Links to instructor sites are given in How to Pick a Ski Instructor.
Ski slopes are ranked, too, with the easiest denoted green/circle, more difficult denoted blue/square, most difficult denoted black (diamond, and there are double and even triple blacks and exclamation points!) in Ski Slope Ratings.
For insights on equipment, slope etiquette, gender factors, ski technique, managing snow conditions and more, see the ski web manual on this site, "Skiing is a Sliding Sport".
Good luck, and have fun!
What I really
feel is that, if on a pair of skis...I forget everything except the joy of
living...Well, why in God's name not stay on skis?
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