Last year at the American Winter Sports Clinic I had a class with an unusual student. He rode a monoski without tethers and could turn and stop independently perfectly well on green slopes. But he ran into problems when we moved to a steeper blue slope. With each turn he picked up speed rather than lost it. He could bleed off speed by traversing the whole width of the hill before turning again, but not quite enough. As a result, his progress down the hill looked like demented pendulum, crossing back and forth across the run at every increasing speed until the inevitable bail out. Continue reading “Slip Sliding Away”
First let me define “Thumbing”. Thumbing is controlling a sit ski by standing behind it and holding on to the back of the seat (also known as the “Bucket”). It’s called Thumbing because a common grip is to place the hands palm forward, with the fingers outside the bucket and the thumbs inside. These days a growing number of sit skis have a handle attached, so the natural grip is more like pushing a shopping trolley, but I still call it thumbing.
Nobody objects to thumbing to push the sit ski across flat ground, such as from the chalet to the chair lift. It becomes more controversial when you mean Thumbing a sit ski to control it while descending hill. In my home program it’s frowned on, A sit skier who is being thumbed isn’t controlling, or even contributing to, their direction or balance. So they aren’t learning anything, they should be on tethers instead. Continue reading “Thumbing, just how evil is it?”
Many of you may never have heard of the Stem Christie, but back in the days of long, straight skis it was taught as a transition turn between the full snow plow, and the full parallel turn. It went like this: Continue reading “Bringing Back the Stem Christie”
I’m old enough to remember when the term “Monoski” meant something like the above.
But these days it usually means a sitski mounted on a single ski, the alternative term is “Bi-ski” for a sitski mounted on 2 skis. At the Edelweiss program we tend to think of a monoski like a sports car, and the bi-ski like the family station wagon (I guess that’s a minivan these days). Continue reading “Sit Skiing: One Discipline or Two?”
This week have a guest blogger. Bruce Hopper of the Adaptive Sports Program of New Mexico has graciously volunteered to share their training plan for new SitSki Instructors / Tetherers.
It’s certainly the best structured and most thought out document I’ve seen on the subject. Thanks Bruce!
It’s been said that the two riskiest days in a human life are the day you are born and the day you die. A tethering run is bit like that, the first few seconds and the last few seconds are the hardest. At the beginning of a run you have to transition from holding the “bucket” to having the sitski at the end of the tethers, with some tension, allowing you to control (or at least influence) the skier. Both those states are stable, but between them is an unstable phase of loose tethers and no control. Continue reading “Catch and Release”
The names in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent, but mostly the guilty. “Alan” is a sit skier I ski with from time to time. He is a good sit skier, he skis blue and black runs independently and confidently, I have difficulty keeping up with him. But he complains that some days everything is just a bit off. Continue reading “Alan’s Nuts (NSFW)”
Are you heading to the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass next spring? Is it your first time? Check our completely unofficial Insiders Guide….
When we teach beginner sit skiing we ask the skiers to lean into the turn. Often they have difficulty with that because of all the straps, so we fall back to “start by leaning your head the way we want to go”. It makes sense, the head weighs enough that leaning the head alone moves the centre of gravity, and where the head goes the body and attention tends to follow.
But I’ve reached the conclusion that for those skiers who ultimately want to go off tethers and ski independently we are teaching them a bad habit that is hard to break later. Continue reading “Get your head in the game, or perhaps out of it”
The new CADS Instructors Manual describes the recommended progression for sit skiers as very similar to the CSIA progression for able bodied skiers
- Get used to moving in the equipment on flat ground
- Straight run on very shallow hill
- Single left run
- Single right run
- Linking two turns
- Linking multiple turns
- Stopping (Hockey stop)
- Start to increase the terrain
Which suggests that tethers are mostly unnecessary. But if I look at how we teach sit skiing at my home program we really don’t do that. Continue reading “To Tether or not to Tether? That is the question”