Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
👁 durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Ski instructor course - am I good enough?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@rob@rar, I think @AL9000, has form on the topic of snowplough. I disagree with him completely. Not sure what the basis is for his opinions, or whether he teaches, but I have found the same as you. And my daughter who races can spend whole days working on snowplough drills. To me a well taught and utilised snowplough is a very useful tool regardless of skier standard. And the BASI system has a well thought out progression to parallel. I think I mentioned that I was originally self-taught then had a lot of coaching in recent years to correct bad habits. Interesting that the one aspect of the L1 course I found the most challenging was the snowplough! And now I have that nailed I use it a lot in my own training.
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Snowplough is useful as hell as a tool. Let’s say you are skiing through a forest and there’s a narrow gap not wide enough to turn your skis sideways? You can straight line the gap or plough it. Straight lining the gap is fine if you can see where your next move is going to be but ploughing it is safe and effective.
Very useful and it’s nice to use in crowded areas at the bottom of a ski run, you see very high level skiers/racers doing it in certain circumstances so I see it as a tool in the toolbox to use when need be
ski holidays
 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?
@rob@rar, would you agree that beginners shouldn't be going out on the whole mountain (or more likely friends and relatives dragging them there) if snowplough is the only tool in their box of tricks?

To me that's starting a cycle of negativity - oops a bit steeper, use wider snowplough, ooh a bit rough snow plough not as effective, ooh people are speeding past me too fast, ooh I'm getting tired.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:

I think @AL9000, has form on the topic of snowplough…


Quite true.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:
..
oops a bit steeper, use wider snowplough,


I’ve seen that time and again. Just look at their body posture. Now compare it to a parallel edge slip down that steeper pitch.

Will check out rob’s roasting on the previous page later Madeye-Smiley
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
A snowplough with the ability to turn will be way more effective to come to a stop than a snowplough straight down the slope. If you teach someone that by turning you can control your speed, then it doesn't have to be particularly more tiring than parallel.
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I find it physically impossible to snowplough, so those narrow paths through the trees following the kids are by far the most difficult thing I encounter whilst skiing.
latest report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
swskier wrote:
A snowplough with the ability to turn will be way more effective to come to a stop than a snowplough straight down the slope. If you teach someone that by turning you can control your speed, then it doesn't have to be particularly more tiring than parallel.


But even then you are teaching someone to be a danger to themselves is they choose to deploy that turning snowplough on a commuter cattrack which the majority of traffic straight runs.....
latest report
 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.
@swskier, Up until a couple of years ago I was instructing on our dry slope - even the littlest kids had to learn that you control speed by turning, the plough shape is provide stability and make learning to turn easier. The so-called braking snowplough encourages straight legs and leaning back, both of which are terrible for progression. This is why being able to demonstrate a gliding plough, in good posture, using turns is so important as an instructor of beginners. This is something many skiers have little concept of as once you ski parallel you don't routinely do this.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
... Let’s say you are skiing through a forest and there’s a narrow gap not wide enough to turn your skis sideways? You can straight line the gap or plough it. ...
In BC at least most trees people ride in have been "gladed" so they're more fun.

I've ridden a few forests before that's been done, and even the world's best don't particularly enjoy what is a slow and repetitive descent through dark trees.
Even so, I've never caught anyone slipping in a quick snowplough, even lowly L4 types seem to be able to ski well enough.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
AL9000 wrote:
Quote:

I think @AL9000, has form on the topic of snowplough…


Quite true.


I am interested in where this perspective comes from. I am not alone in disagreeing with you but am nevertheless keen to fully understand your insight.

Have you successfully taught significant numbers of complete beginners and progressed them up to basic parallel turns with no demonstration or use of the snowplough? I have no doubt that it would be possible to do so, but in my experience it would be both more difficult and miss opportunities to embed good posture and movements due to the stability at low speeds that a good snowplough gives. There was a bit of a craze for starting beginners on very short skis and teaching parallel from the beginning but did not seem to last long and pretty much all national systems now have snowplough as an important tool. And I have seen it deployed by very high level race coaches, as well as being utilised (including by me) more widely for upper-intermediate/advanced recreational skiers. What is the basis from discounting all the knowledge and experience that has gone into those systems?

Aside from that I do not at all see how a well taught and utilised snowplough (which would include gliding and turning) could possibly have anything other than a positive effect on a skiers development. Please can you explain a bit more exactly why you think it does?

I am genuinely curious.
ski holidays
 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.
zikomo wrote:


Aside from that I do not at all see how a well taught and utilised snowplough (which would include gliding and turning) could possibly have anything other than a positive effect on a skiers development. Please can you explain a bit more exactly why you think it does?

I am genuinely curious.


The problem lies in your caveat - how many instructors around the world do not know why they are teaching the plough and/or fail to communicate the reason it is being taught? And how many beginners utilise it well, rather than it being a "great I can ski let's go" thing?

I get it. Really. It is a positive thing but then so are opioid pain relievers in the right controlled circumstances and in other circumstances not so much.
snow report
 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
@Dave of the Marmottes, Sorry I do not at all get your premise. It seems to rely on the logic that some skiers may not continue lessons beyond learning the snowplough and therefore the snowplough is bad. That logic is fundamentally flawed as the two issues are not linked. Because there are some reckless skiers who take on slopes that they do not yet have the skills for is not the fault of the snowplough. Any skier who ends up in steeper terrain that they have the skills for will be inherently a danger to themselves and others, regardless of whether they know how to do a snowplough.

Any L1 instructor will have been taught how to demonstrate and teach the snowplough effectively, as well as the purpose behind teaching it. Because there are some less than good ski instructors is also not the fault of the snowplough.
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@zikomo, of course it's not the fault of the plough. Anymore than the opioid crisis is the fault of the basic chemistry of the opioid and its valuable primary purpose. But both are misused copiously. Now I'm somewhat exagerating for effect in the analogy but really you wash your hands as an instructor of what students choose to do with the tool you have given them? I'd say it is a false crutch that will collapse the harder the user leans on it. It is absolutely fine as a drill or part of a process but needs to be followed through rather than being an endpoint.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Dave of the Marmottes, Could not agree more. Being able to snowplough is not an endpoint, and no instructor I know would think so. And in a typical one week beginner course the ability to, and importance of, turning to control speed will also have been embedded.
latest report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I didn't really get snowploughs until in a race training session the coach (who was an ex Canada team skier so likely met the speed requirements! wink ) was using it as drill.
He noted that the requirements for a snowplough were exactly the same as a parallel turn with regard to correctly weighting skis and edges. If you are doing it right, very easy to go from one to the other.
One of those "ah-ha" (not the band!) moments! I found thinking about it like this both helped my snowplough whicj is invaluable for skiing with the kids in tight spots, and parallel skiing.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stuarth wrote:
I didn't really get snowploughs until in a race training session the coach (who was an ex Canada team skier so likely met the speed requirements! wink ) was using it as drill.
He noted that the requirements for a snowplough were exactly the same as a parallel turn with regard to correctly weighting skis and edges. If you are doing it right, very easy to go from one to the other.
One of those "ah-ha" (not the band!) moments! I found thinking about it like this both helped my snowplough whicj is invaluable for skiing with the kids in tight spots, and parallel skiing.


You had a good race coach... When coaching people who want to be instructors that are skeptical I show them that the body position you end up in when performing a dynamic, balanced, strong snowplough is the exact position they want in a high performance carved turn once you take away balancing on the inside leg and place the inner leg parallel to the outside ski...
ski holidays
 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?
skimottaret wrote:
stuarth wrote:
I didn't really get snowploughs until in a race training session the coach (who was an ex Canada team skier so likely met the speed requirements! wink ) was using it as drill.
He noted that the requirements for a snowplough were exactly the same as a parallel turn with regard to correctly weighting skis and edges. If you are doing it right, very easy to go from one to the other.
One of those "ah-ha" (not the band!) moments! I found thinking about it like this both helped my snowplough whicj is invaluable for skiing with the kids in tight spots, and parallel skiing.


You had a good race coach... When coaching people who want to be instructors that are skeptical I show them that the body position you end up in when performing a dynamic, balanced, strong snowplough is the exact position they want in a high performance carved turn once you take away balancing on the inside leg and place the inner leg parallel to the outside ski...


Even at the most basic it gives you the feel of edging a ski without the risk/fear of falling over. That has always seemed valuable to me
latest report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
joffy69 wrote:
stuarth wrote:
@skifluff,
The point is that it is seriously difficult to ski that fast, even for very good skiers.
I am lucky enough to ski a lot, and I have skied with people who are or have been at that level and they are clearly a very different level. I don't see what the relevance of comparing to this level is for the ability to teach skiing - like driving instructors having to compare themselves to Lewis Hamilton!

The other point is that though skiers who are outstanding freeride or freestyle skiers also probably did racing at some point, why is the requirement a single aspect of skiing (and one that arguably people care a lot less about), why does the skiing ability test not also include the ability to ski other disciplines such as freestyle and freeride, and also mountain craft - maybe there is a separate part for that?


I tried to do the LS1 3 years ago. 75% of us failed (including me). LS2, failure rate 95%. I'm 52, so was not surprised. The LS2 group were all earlier 20s. It's a bit like saying that to teach tennis you have to beat Andy Murray.


It's not really that at all is it?
Tennis and golf coaches won't generally have been on the pro Tours but they will have been high quality amateurs - county level, serious club first team.
The reason is that they need to be able to demonstrate high level skills consistently, accurately and easily. I do accept that for complete beginners you don't need to demonstrate high level skills so the required standard is different.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Is the aim of the 12 week course to pass CSIA L1 only or L1 and L2?
I thought it was L1 when I posted earlier on.


Usually the courses that length are level 1 and 2 with the level 1 test coming in about week 5.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
philwig wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
... Let’s say you are skiing through a forest and there’s a narrow gap not wide enough to turn your skis sideways? You can straight line the gap or plough it. ...
In BC at least most trees people ride in have been "gladed" so they're more fun.

I've ridden a few forests before that's been done, and even the world's best don't particularly enjoy what is a slow and repetitive descent through dark trees.
Even so, I've never caught anyone slipping in a quick snowplough, even lowly L4 types seem to be able to ski well enough.


You definitely wouldn't in untracked snow. The time I might is when you are on a well travelled exit track from a wood and it's become a polished rut between trees. Flaring the tails a bit can be a handy way of shedding a little speed. It's similar when carrying speed into a roped lift queue
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Dave of the Marmottes, do you think that if a skier is not capable of making a good snowplough turn they are going to be capable of making a good parallel turn? In my experience skiers who struggle to do a good snowplough have the same problems with their performance skiing, when making parallel turns. This shouldn't be a surprise as its the same movements. There really isn't a big difference between a well executed snowplough turn and a well executed basic parallel turn.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
stuarth wrote:
I didn't really get snowploughs until in a race training session the coach (who was an ex Canada team skier so likely met the speed requirements! wink ) was using it as drill.
He noted that the requirements for a snowplough were exactly the same as a parallel turn with regard to correctly weighting skis and edges. If you are doing it right, very easy to go from one to the other.
One of those "ah-ha" (not the band!) moments! I found thinking about it like this both helped my snowplough whicj is invaluable for skiing with the kids in tight spots, and parallel skiing.
Exactly right, nice to see it be used with high end skiers. Smart coach.

I was teaching a strong skier this morning, working on performance short radius turns. One of the things we did was a version of a plough drill. It was one of the things that helped transform his shorts from well executed skiddy parallel turns to something looking more like a slalom race turn.
snow conditions
 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.
AL9000 wrote:
Quote:
..
oops a bit steeper, use wider snowplough,


I’ve seen that time and again. Just look at their body posture. Now compare it to a parallel edge slip down that steeper pitch.
That's because the advice that you should use a wider snowplough when the slope gets steeper is absolutely wrong.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@zikomo, I’ve never taught anyone and my ideas are from personal experience and years of observation.

What triggered me to me think about it more deeply was watching a skier try to get down a black run using snowplough turns. It didn’t end well, but she survived. She wasn’t a beginner. Yes, I know, it was an exceptional circumstance, but it points to something I feel is important.

All red flags for you thus far ( hats off to you for making a genuine inquiry about an alternative view to your ski system) but I’ll continue.

Just look around at the vast majority of skiers and you’ll see what I mean; I don’t have to tell you, that there are serious fundamental flaws in their skiing. Why so many?

Part of it is due to a lack of ski time and not enough instruction, for sure. But every skier has had some lessons to set them on their path. What’s interesting is that they almost all have very similar issues, which are seriously impeding their progress and enjoyment. (What do you think they are?)

Backseat posture, skidding far too much and terrible 2-stage transitions - all a hangover from snowplough turns which they never UNlearned or progressed from. Worse, they gain confidence, start picking up speed and think a snowplough is going to allow them to stay in control and dodge people ‘coming out of nowhere’.

They keys IMO are posture, balance, edge & pressure control. Snowplough isn’t fundamental, edge and pressure control are and with skis PARALLEL! This should be the foundation upon which to build, not snowplough turns.

Watch that Deb video above and you know (deep down) I’m right…OK, just might have a tiny point. That is how every beginner lesson should begin.

Instructors should NOT take this personally (I’ve had great instructors and swear by them); they’ve followed systems well enough to pass and are good skiers. But look around at the results; it’s nowhere near good enough.

Btw, we have similar problems in golf.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Fri 12-11-21 17:45; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@boarder2020, thanks
latest report
 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 wrote:
@rob@rar, would you agree that beginners shouldn't be going out on the whole mountain (or more likely friends and relatives dragging them there) if snowplough is the only tool in their box of tricks?
I would agree. But I also have reservations about people going out on the whole mountain, particularly skiing behind me, when they can't do a well executed parallel turn because their default move is to throw their skis sideways and hope they can find some grip when the jam their edges in.
snow conditions
 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
rob@rar wrote:
AL9000 wrote:
Quote:
..
oops a bit steeper, use wider snowplough,


I’ve seen that time and again. Just look at their body posture. Now compare it to a parallel edge slip down that steeper pitch.
That's because the advice that you should use a wider snowplough when the slope gets steeper is absolutely wrong.


That’s the thing, nobody advises them to do that. It’s what they think is right and that’s all they have.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
AL9000 wrote:
[They keys IMO are posture, balance, edge & pressure control. Snowplough isn’t fundamental, edge and pressure control are and with skis PARALLEL! This should be the foundation upon which to build, not snowplough turns.
Can you explain to me in what ways the outside ski in a good snowplough turn behaves differently to the outside ski in a good parallel turn?
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AL9000 wrote:
That’s the thing, nobody advises them to do that. It’s what they think is right and that’s all they have.
Which has nothing to do with whether the snowplough turn is a useful foundation for further progress. It's to do with bad teaching and/or bad learning.

If your argument is that excessive reliance on bad snowplough technique holds skiers back I agree with you 100%. If your argument that there is something intrinsically wrong about a (well executed) snowplough, I think you are 100% wrong.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@AL9000,

See above points from @rob@rar and really think about what a snowplough turn is. You don't need to "unlearn it" it's all part of the same thing - once I realized that (also see above) it all made much more sense.

I think the issue you may be describing is not finishing the turn - ie either not bothering with finishing them, or thinking that more incomplete turns are better resulting in less turns! Madeye-Smiley
When teaching my kids to ski, we worked a lot on completing turns for speed control - doing exercises like just one turn until you stop teaches them gravity is their friend snowHead


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 12-11-21 18:04; edited 2 times in total
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jedster, Nobody is saying snowplough is useless and has no place in a toolbox.

I think a beginner would definitely learn quicker, be a better skier and enjoy more of the mountain after a day of parallel skiing than a week (I’m tempted to put infinity, but I question its existence) of snowplough progressing on to parallel.
snow conditions
 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?
jedster wrote:
philwig wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
... Let’s say you are skiing through a forest and there’s a narrow gap not wide enough to turn your skis sideways? You can straight line the gap or plough it. ...
In BC at least most trees people ride in have been "gladed" so they're more fun.

I've ridden a few forests before that's been done, and even the world's best don't particularly enjoy what is a slow and repetitive descent through dark trees.
Even so, I've never caught anyone slipping in a quick snowplough, even lowly L4 types seem to be able to ski well enough.


You definitely wouldn't in untracked snow. The time I might is when you are on a well travelled exit track from a wood and it's become a polished rut between trees. Flaring the tails a bit can be a handy way of shedding a little speed. It's similar when carrying speed into a roped lift queue


Yes that’s what I was thinking of, not untracked snow through trees but a polished track or rut which is too narrow to rotate the skis underneath you much. Like you said it sheds some of the speed even if it’s only a narrow plough. It’s something I’d see more often than not in exactly those circumstances you said.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
stuarth wrote:
@AL9000,

See above points from @rob@rar and really think about what a snowplough turn is. You don't need to "unlearn it" it's all part of the same thing - once I realized that (also see above) it all made much more sense.
This is the key point, and where these discussions come apart at the seams. Many people have the wrong idea about what a snowplough turn is, typified by the 'advice' that if the slope gets steeper or the speed gets too much the correct response is a wide snowplough.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@stuarth, Haven’t read Rob’s second roast yet. Was busy typing and trying to explain myself above. Will take a look later.

This is the downside to online. Can’t have long-ish in-depth chats. Too much typing.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 12-11-21 17:58; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Of course you will be good enough, wait a minute "skiing" you say? No no no that won't work, sorry my bad I thought you meant snow boarding. Toofy Grin wink


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 12-11-21 18:08; edited 1 time in total
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
AL9000 wrote:
@jedster, Nobody is saying snowplough is useless and has no place in a toolbox.

I think a beginner would definitely learn quicker, be a better skier and enjoy more of the mountain after a day of parallel skiing than a week (I’m tempted to put infinity, but I question its existence) of snowplough progressing on to parallel.
Why would you want to hold a skier back from progressing to parallel? I don't teach people to stop snowploughing, I teach them to be well balanced on their outside ski at the start of the turn, making the correct movement patterns and blending edging, rotation and pressure as necessary to control their speed and line. When they are able to do that the snowplough disappears, pretty much all by itself. I rarely teach an active plough-parallel phase, just observe as my clients move through it to a parallel turn.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@rob@rar, yes I was just thinking that the inside ski comes around really easily so I can’t understand how someone could be in a snowplough for a week. Something is going wrong there.
snow report
 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.
Very interesting discussion by the way
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
@rob@rar, yes I was just thinking that the inside ski comes around really easily so I can’t understand how someone could be in a snowplough for a week. Something is going wrong there.
Idf they are taught or learn to push their outside ski sideways in to a wide snowplough that can easily become an engrained movement which will stick with them forever. This might become apparent in a too frequent reliance on a bad snowplough, or it might become apparent in a poorly executed parallel turn. I see both of those movements all the time. But that's because of bad teaching/bad learning not because there is an intrinsic problem with the snowplough itself.

I think what @AL9000 has a problem with is bad teaching, not the existence of a snowplough. On that point I am in broad agreement.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Fri 12-11-21 18:20; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy