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OK, let's get happy!

Seek and dispense advice regarding snowsports technique at The Ski School.

OK, let's get happy!

Postby JimG. » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:32 am

Yeah, the 7" of fluffy snow at my house today is getting sleeted/rained into, but it will make for a good start to a base in the woods. Everyone is a little bummed about the lack of snow so far. What to do? I'm gonna tell you a few of the strangest/funniest ski class stories I've been a part of:

1) Late January, freezing cold, blower wind puts the top of the hill on wind hold. Down to the beginner area I go. I'm given a class of 8 teenage Amish girls who really want to learn how to ski. Great class, but I had a little trouble concentrating on the lesson plan because these girls were all wearing long, ankle length skirts. No, I'm not a dirty old man, but it was hard to keep a straight face when the wind kicked up and blew all of these skirts up over the girls heads. I mean up over their heads, couldn't see a thing, especially not their bare legs and white bloomies!

2) Late November, kind of a dreary day, I'm given a class of Chinese men who are wearing suits and ties in addition to their ski boots and skis. These guys didn't speak a word of English either. So, the class consisted of me pointing to my eye (meaning watch what I do and do it), then demoing a maneuver. It was funny because it worked so well and these guys were bombing the beginner area in 2 hours making good linked turns. I go back to line up and the wise guy who assigned me the class asks sarcastically "How did that go?". As I'm about to say "Great", these Chinese guys ski up and excitedly hand me a $100 tip in front of everyone. Guess who winds up teaching non-English speaking classes the rest of the season?

3) Finally, a teaching clinic with one of those political animals one finds in every ski school. Has all the certifications and connections, but I don't think he skis all that well. Talks alot, and loves to stop on the edge of trails and have the class remove one ski to demo something, who knows what. I'm getting cold and bored and had the audacity to ask when we would ski a little bit. As this "clinician" is getting up in my face to make another non-point, the ski he took off got bored and decided to ski down by itself. He then demonstrated how NOT to ski on one ski.

Hope nobody was offended by any of this, it's all meant in good fun. Keep smiling and think snow!
Gravity-it's not just a good idea, it's the law!
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re: OK, let's get happy!

Postby Ryan » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:53 am

Jim,

These are some of the greatest class stories I have heard in a long time. If you have any more please keep them coming. I think every instructor who has taught for a while has to have a number of tales like this so if anyone else has any either I have to hear them. I had a lady once last year in a 2 hour private that I thought I would never get through. I'm not trying to say anything out of line but if you are 55 and weigh 350lbs. Skiing may not be for you. Especially if you have no balance and the muscle control of a wet paper towel. We have a nearly flat beginner area we call the corale with a small magic carpet on it. (conveyor belt in the snow so no lift needed) In 2 hours I never got her out of there or making a turn. the major problem was the fact taht I was incapable of picking her up when she fell... I'm no little guy. 6'1" and 205 but I tell you what. Getting 350 pounds of dead weight off the snow with no pitch to help and no assistance from the student is not a cool thing. This area is right next to our main lodge so there were 8-10 instructors in the window watching me struggle. When it was finally over and i got back inside, drenched in sweat, i told my supervisor that I was never taking a lesson like that out again until they install a mobile cherry picker or a gantry crane on the corale.
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Re: re: OK, let's get happy!

Postby JimG. » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:28 am

Ryan wrote:I had a lady once last year in a 2 hour private that I thought I would never get through. I'm not trying to say anything out of line but if you are 55 and weigh 350lbs. Skiing may not be for you.


On the other end of the spectrum, I once had a private beginner lesson with a man who was at least 6'8" tall and weighed no more than 150lbs. The man literally looked like a stick figure. What was worse, he had zero coordination and skied like what I would imagine to be like a stork (you know, the bird who delivers babies :roll: ) would ski. Since he had no muscle control, he would simply start off in one direction and trip over whatever got in his way.

When this guy fell, he would literally get tied up in knots like a pretzel. Scared the hell out of me! One of the few times I considered taking out my wallet, refunding the man his ticket/rental/lesson cost, and recommending he never try skiing again.
Gravity-it's not just a good idea, it's the law!
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Re: re: OK, let's get happy!

Postby Ryan » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:48 am

JimG. wrote:When this guy fell, he would literally get tied up in knots like a pretzel. Scared the hell out of me! One of the few times I considered taking out my wallet, refunding the man his ticket/rental/lesson cost, and recommending he never try skiing again.


i have a mental image on this one that is PRICELESS! I love that nearly anyone can ski but there are those few people on this planet that should never click in.
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Re: re: OK, let's get happy!

Postby JimG. » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:29 am

Ryan wrote:i have a mental image on this one that is PRICELESS! I love that nearly anyone can ski but there are those few people on this planet that should never click in.


I don't know how, but whenever I post instructor stories I always seem to find some amazing visual that I had no idea existed. When I saw this one, I fell out of my chair:

http://www.dailymedication.com/modules. ... le&sid=581

Needless to say, my stork-like student did not ski that well!
Gravity-it's not just a good idea, it's the law!
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re: OK, let's get happy!

Postby Ryan » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:32 am

That is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I had to call one of my coworkers over to see that. Since he is not a skier it did little for him but I am cracking up.
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