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Best way/courses to improve technique/skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,
I'm taking 3 months (Feb-April) off and want to spend it improving my skiing. I'm 26 atm, I've been skiing since I was a kid but had on and off breaks. I can ski all on piste runs confidently, I enjoy off piste and like to try myself on moguls and steeps. I'm interested in learning more technical details to improve my carving and general technique on piste, do some slaloms as well as train hard on moguls, off piste and steeps. I would also enjoy trying freestyle or telemark.
I'm looking for some structured learning such as mogul/steep/slalom/racing/powder/steeps clinics. I don't care much about qualifications (although wouldn't mind getting them) - I rather learn for myself and improve my skiing than spend time learning how to teach others.
Europe only.

What would you recommend to do in my case?
A BASI-like course? or do you know any couple weeks long clinics?
or if you think I might as well have just multiple weeks in UPCA?
I'm looking for some intensive training where you don't only shadow an instructor but you are actively told your mistakes, have some video analysis and drills on easy runs.
Basically, I would like to improve my skiing as much as possible and I'm ready to train hard (not just "have fun" - this is why I'm not so keen on just doing multiple UCPA weeks).
I thought to look for something 3-8 weeks long as I hopped to do mostly ski touring later in the season.

Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you can start your time off in January, I can recommend 4 weeks with Mark Jones et al at ICESI in Val d'sere. We did it last year, improved hugely and had a great time to boot. Take a look at their website. If you do the 4 week performance course, you will be training with BASI L1 and 2 boys and girls a lot of the time, but without the boring bits. Loads of video analysis. Great tuition too.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ah cool, I was looking at this website today. Even tried to call them up but they are closed for the weekend.
Which course do you mean (as there are couple 4 weeks long ones)?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Check out the Snoworks courses
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dropcliffs, Firstly, are you actually 'dropping off cliffs' ? just curious...

You mention many many different aspects of alpine skiing and many different disciplines including...
Quote:

I'm interested in learning more technical details to improve my carving and general technique on piste

so, i'd say do firstly a Piste Performance course, dial it all back to solid and essential fundamentals and take it forward from there. If you took a BASI or almost any other association level course, they'd be interested in making you ski like how they say their association wants you to ski like.

Hard training in my view is about you putting the hours in practicing AFTER training.

Hope it goes well...
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Tim Heeney wrote:

so, i'd say do firstly a Piste Performance course, dial it all back to solid and essential fundamentals and take it forward from there. If you took a BASI or almost any other association level course, they'd be interested in making you ski like how they say their association wants you to ski like..


That's really good advice in my book. As one ISTD put it to me, BASI short turns* are designed to slow you down Toofy Grin. Exactly the opposite of a proper racing carve, and he reckoned this was one factor which hindered British skiers training late in life for timed events. Jan is a bit late in the season for gate training however, although others may be able to advise.

My general advice would be that learning in French and at smaller resorts will be much cheaper... Sounds like you know that already though.

*Presumably with reference to lower levels.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dropcliffs, Get on a set of Telemark skis, and stay on them until you can ski everywhere you can on Alpine ....
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ski wrote:
@dropcliffs, Get on a set of Telemark skis, and stay on them until you can ski everywhere you can on Alpine ....


that's actually a really good advice that I was considering as an alternative for sometime! It's amazing how telemark can improve your technique on so many different levels! I will do some for sure Wink
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I'd agree with the general advice here. I was in a similar position a few years back, 4 months off just wanting to get much better. At the start I was a confident skier and could ski all over the mountain, but I knew I could get better. I was probably equivalent to an experienced BASI 1. I took race coaching for a day a week and also learned to Telemark. (also did avalanche training)

I did mainly slalom and GS coaching - I've always believe that if you want to be a great technical skier then race coaching is the way to go - you can take what you learn in to the back country. For me this was the right approach.

My skiing rocketed - The guys I skied with at the beginning of my trip and then again at the end said there was a massive jump up in my ability - they said everything was dialled in and I was "looking serioulsy good" - which was a nice ego boost!

By the end of the 4 months I was skiing all over the mountain on teles, not a quickly and still taking falls, but it was a great way to spend time with friends who wanted to ski but were intermediates - it meant I was not waiting for them, and they did not feel like I was "baby sitting them".

4 years on and I have fallen totally for Telemark - I'm now a tele instructor and only ski alpine if I'm with high level skiers that just want to rip i nthe back country - ! just can't keep up on telemarks. Tele teaches you balance and feel that you just don't get with your heels locked down - and nothing beats the feel of carving on telemarks - so addictive!

If you can start on 75mm bindings, they will make you a better tele skier as they will punish/highlight mistakes more that NTN - upgrade to NTN once you can ski blacks with some confidence.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
If it was me, I'd think of taking private instruction on some sort of staged basis rather than a full on course. Personally, I think that would work better for me. Ymmv.

Maybe twice a week to begin with, tapering off as you go. That means time in between to absorb and practice.

And make sure you go out skiing every day, pretty much any conditions.

Unconvinced alternative discsiplines that directly helpful. But in the meantime, learn to rollerblade.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Telemarking definitely helps. Personally with your goals I'd probably split courses into single weeks through the season. Downside to that is that on the later courses no matter the level of the participants you will be way more ski fit and therefore inclined to feel held back possibly.

One upfront month avoids that and you may be able to form a crew for the season from it but the intensity I'd find off putting.

As UANN says if you really want to make the best of it get out for full days even on the crappy days. Remember skiing is your job not a holiday.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Dave of the Marmottes, won't tele confuse, at least at first? Although I will say that it has always seemed very natural when I've tried it.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
No Tele sharpens up your transitions and your dynamic balance and forces you to really think about big toe/ little toe.

Plus alpine feels so much easier when you get back on them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Dave of the Marmottes, i don't think of my toes at all, unless they are turning black...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
under a new name wrote:

Unconvinced alternative discsiplines that directly helpful. But in the meantime, learn to rollerblade.

I'm a big believer of alternative disciplines. I got out of my "intermediate plateau" by learning to snowboard! (I got bored with skiing the same) Now I'm dabbling on telemark and found it heighten my sense of balance on the "sweet spot" of my skis.

And I think rollerblading in the summer is an excellent idea. Or ice skate (indoor ring).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@abc, my concern is only that something very similar but slightly different could confuse rather than amplify.

Rollerblading is sufficiently different, IMV, in the crucial turn elements and context that I don't think it's an issue.

Ice skating likewise. But boring going round in circle. Ice hockey however...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@under a new name, My experience was the opposite.

When I first tried alpine skiing, I really didn't get it. The wide plank was difficult for my short legs to tip on edge. So I turned to cross country skiing instead. (living in flat land also made xc skiing more practical)

A few years later, I tried alpine again. This time, I was much more comfortable to balance on one ski, even on the razer edge of the downhill ski. I spend the next decade doing a lot more alpine than cross country (moving to live in mountains rather than flat land also important).

Each time I tried a different discipline (xc skiing & snowboarding) in the past, I thought I was "done" with alpine skiing. I came back each time more ready to ski better! Smile

Now I tele a little bit. But this time, it's not because I'm bored with alpine skiing. I just want to change things up a little.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
dropcliffs wrote:
I'm looking for some intensive training where you don't only shadow an instructor but you are actively told your mistakes, have some video analysis and drills on easy runs.
Basically, I would like to improve my skiing as much as possible and I'm ready to train hard (not just "have fun" - this is why I'm not so keen on just doing multiple UCPA weeks).


We run full day technical skills development camps in the pre season on Glaciers and in the early season in main resorts that might one of interest. Lots of drills for skill and heavy use of video review and feedback http://www.insideoutskiing.com/holidays.html

Personally I would do a week training block then practice and consolidate, repeat... month long training is demanding and if you haven't had much ski coaching may be counter productive.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
under a new name wrote:
If it was me, I'd think of taking private instruction on some sort of staged basis rather than a full on course. Personally, I think that would work better for me. Ymmv.

Maybe twice a week to begin with, tapering off as you go. That means time in between to absorb and practice.


Yep, find a Coach to work with over the long term.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When i did my break i was in Sameons/Flaine and had a half day coaching every Wednesday with the guys form ZigZag, they ran this season ling course for "locals" - I expect other places will do this - it was great value, I can't remember how much. in addition to the cheap price they just asked asked us to promote them if we felt they had done a good job - which they did! (hence this post!)

Where are you thinking of going, you might find a similar deal if you start asking about.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I seem to recall Evo2 doing a similar thing in Chamonix.
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