Summit Up 3-11-11: Featuring the Turn Commandments
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that would like to turn over today’s column to a guy named Gary Heins of Saint Johns, Arizona. Gary has what we believe to be a piece of satire about ski instruction, and it came with this sweet photo of a guy (Gary, we presume), bringing down said commandments to the mountains. So take it away, Gary!
The Turn Commandments
of the Ski School Gods
by Gary Heins
For all you skiers and teachers not reaching your full potential, here’s why:
I. Thou shalt not have any other Ski-School Gods before us, as We are jealous and greedy Gods; and Thou shalt not take PSIA’s name in vain, nor tell the truth about PSIA or our Pyramid-Scheme Ski Schools.
II. Thou shalt buy ski boots too tight even with thin socks, so that your feet may often be cold and numb; and, once your boots “pack-out” in 35 days or so, thou shalt buy a new more-expensive pair. (Hence SnowBoarding.)
III. Thou shalt be confused about ski technology, full of smoke-n-mirrors and planned obsolescence, often having skis too short for your stability and braking needs. When ski technology gets double-easy, PSIA shall legislate ski techniques quadruple-difficult (that is, less wedging or stemming, too much carving, less pole-work, and too much contrived technique assigned to the inside ski).
IV. Thou beginning skiers shalt not be allowed to snowplow or wedge for their initial speed control and gradual-turning needs, because most teachers don’t know how to let you let-go of this when the time comes.
V. Thou beginning skiers shalt not be allowed the benefit of ski poles in their first lesson, for ease of getting skis on-n-off and balancing, because most teachers don’t know how to introduce poles, and because many rental-shop employees don’t like dealing with poles. (Hence more SnowBoarding.)
VI. Thou shalt be taught to carve more turns than skid, even though carving does not slow you down (unless you dangerously ski uphill like a runaway truck ramp). Thou shalt be taught to carve “equally” on the inside ski, even though this is not possible since it has a tighter-radius turn, and even though learning independent-leg-action and favoring the outside ski more is safer and more efficient.
VII. Thou shalt not know about the benefits of intermediate-hardpack linked side-slips for understanding speed-control, nor skidded short-swing turns simulating the steep-n-narrow. (When was the last time you saw someone going too fast on totally-turned-skidded skis?)
VIII. Thou advanced skiers shalt not know the prized secret blocking pole-plant to help you link short turns in powder, crud and moguls, and to help you have speed-control down the steep-n-narrow.
IX. Thou shalt be led to believe that “parallel skiing” is the main goal, even though parallel is the most natural position for your feet to begin with; and Thou shalt not realize that it is OK to independently stem a ski and do One-Good-Turn even in an advanced class whenever going to a new steepness or snow condition.
X . Thou more cautious and sensitive ski students and low-ranking instructors shalt be deemed “head cases” without access to the banished wiser gentler teachers like GARY HEINS; and Thou shalt always be shown how difficult skiing is rather than how easy it can be.
Wow! Sounds like Gary’s a little bitter about something there, eh? Take it for whatever it’s worth. Mostly we just liked the photo – and we’re suckers for Roman numerals!
Random Ric, as we like to call him, sent the following:
“So there I was reading a book about the adventures of a safari guide (I love my library system) and came upon the following. Says here python poop has an impressive stench that can reach quite a distance. Mmm … who knew? Not only that but honey badger flatus (that’s a college word eh?) is breathtaking. Eyewatering. Would make a skunk proud. By the way, lions won’t attack elephants,hippos, rhinos and honey badgers. Those nasty little critters are kamikazes with long sharp claws and instinctively go for any exposed genitalia. Isn’t that interesting, especially since most predators hunt au naturel? Finally, water buffalo ain’t the bucolic and peaceful cows we think of; they tend to be crabby and will attack all y’all and the Land Rover you rode in on. Should you encounter any of the above I have two words for you- Beware. You showed good judgment coming to Summit County instead of going on safari. Good job!”
On that note, we out.
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