|Subject||Utah, ISIA, Skiing|
|Date||1956; 1957; 1958; 1959; 1960; 1961; 1962; 1963; 1964; 1965; 1966; 1967; 1968; 1969; 1970; 1971; 1972; 1973; 1974; 1975; 1976; 1977; 1978; 1979; 1980; 1981; 1982|
|Is Part of||Ski Archive|
|Metadata Cataloger||Friese, Yvonne|
• SATURDAY, MAY 16. Report of Paul V;'&1ar • Director of the Franconia, Mittersill, and Sunapee Ski School Franconia, N. H •• who represented the United States and the NSA Certified Ski Instructors Committee at the 5th International Ski School Congress at Zakapone, Poland, April 6-12. 1959. This is the first time th;"'Unhcd u sii'i-;shas had an ~f£icial representative. Previously there were observers. Hannes Schneider at Davo,s, Switzerland and Otto Steiner at Storlein, Sweden. Poland received the 5th Congress because of a strange Internatioml situation. The Germans had applied, but certain countries would not vote for Germany, causing the Germans to pull out and Poland got it. When a Congress is held, it should be organized so that accredited delegates would have no difficulties in getting there. 15 nations were represented. 3 Scandinavian countries, 6 Iron Curtain countries, 5 Alpine countries, and the United State s. Austria 15 Fe rdinand Kottek Stefan Kruckenhauser Bulgaria 3 Peter Kowaczew Czechoslovakia 5 Jiri Goetz FinlaFld 3 Tauno Juurtala France 5 Pie r re Guillot Jugoslavia 3 Milko Mejovsek Eastern Germany 7 Fritz Reichert West Germany 21 Artur Kraus Norway 3 Odd Gulbrandsen Rumania 2 Petre Focsencanu Switze r land 4 Cristian R\lbi Sweden 5 Gosta Frohm Italy 4 Fabio Conci USA 1 Paul Valar Poland 1 Stanislaw Ziobrazynski The congress operates as a working committee. There are no dues involved. Every group or person representing a national association immediately sits in and has a vote like any other country. Every country has a Chief of the Delegates who sits in the working committee. The official languages is Ge rman and French, and unless you knew both fairly well it was hard to follow the procedures. Translations were not made into English, but into German, French, and of course Polish. It was quito a complicated operation and we had to give the Poles credit for organizing it so wetl. They were ready to put us up as well as they could. We were dependant upon an aerial tramway. In the beginning there was a tremendous storm and in all we had only 2 1/2 days of demonstrations on snow. High Tatra in a mountain range Rimilar to Mt. Washington. It is a tremendous range and when storms hit it the change of termperature is like high Alpine mountaineering. On top of the mountain is a huge bowl with a chair lift whe re the demonstrations took place. The Ski School Congress is run in the times when we do not have an FIS Congress. So far the Congress has been every two years, but from now on they will be every three years. Some countries could not afford it, and didn't have enough time to put new programs into definite form, which caused a lot of controversy. So on the Report of Paul Val~~ 2 off time we have a presidum with a president, vice president, secretary and two special assignment people. A rather human thing is that the Austrians were upset wh<fn .,.y saw a man wit~ a Swiss Mountain Guide pin representing the United States, until they saw me ski. Two of the dGle gation we rE? former toach(~ ra and two we rC fo rme r racing pals of mine. Representation of different countries was of different strength; Swiss 4, Italy 4 French, 4, West ermans - 25, Austrians - 16, Scandiaavians 2 - 3, Checks very strong. It was very interesting the interest they took in different countries and their problems. In general the picture looks like this: The; Austrians ilre ~trong in tho load with their approach to ski teaching. Th~ Swiss missed the boat but they do take the thinking habit. Very'1ice balance. The one that took the thing hands down in the . I . Alpine demonstrations was an Italian, because he just skied. The point is do not ski • so stylized that you look like a frozen pancake. FUrther did quite a bit better than any body in parallel and wedeln where he won it hands down. First I will shaw you a few difference s the J!'rnnch have gone into They do it their own way and I give them credit for it. 1f we do not have these factions in these countries keeping experimenting and trying new ways and approache s, we will get stale. It is a young sport and changes will come. I am against unnatural positions but for progress, but which does not necessarily mean improvement. A good solid stem cristie is fine for the average recreatidnal skier) and he can get much enjoyment from the sport from it. . , The French theory is to drop very quickly and as the body r~bounds of the snow they can turn the ski. They do not come completely up, does not look to well because they don It seem to rel.a.¥:. They do nat c:ome out of the knee. Use the pole at the same time, rotation at th~ begim'1.ing, reverse C!-t the end. Approach turn in highly rei aXed position, sink down very rapidly, plant pole :1.ml turn. R(;tation cndR there and they come out in a reverse. One big argument about rotation is that in a travert:lc you are looking the wrong way. , Now I want to quickly transmit the attitude in the Alpine countries as . .far as rotation and reverse shoulder is concerned. Advantages~ Reverse shoulder using hips to propel the first motion, the force is closer to the ski, skis react quickly. But we displace them more and in teaching we will see offen rough performance. Rotation: We can ski into a turn more s~oothly and evenly on the teaching level. There are not terrific arguments about it bacause they realize that in free skiing we use both, with one or the other yr a combinatio'n. So a definition is hard to achieve and would leave the arguments without conclusions. One thing was apparent, when they want to settle a technical argument they try to settle it using the physical laws, something which is established and cannot chango. I think it is the only way without getting too complicated. We should keep in mind the major forces and factors that apply to skiing. This will pr'event us from going overboard in anyone execution. When you go against physical laws you have to replace physical laws with muscle power. This is something t11at WL~ Hhullld U~~ in leuchlllg people to ski. Progressive thinking that came out of the Congress is the followi;ng: The Austrians added to their teaching the word II Fersendrehschub l1 They do not use a heel thrust for a christy down hill. In a traverse the weight is in the center of the skis in comma position, but in a traverse you ql.U\lot start a turn with heel thrust bacause you cannot push your heels up in the mountain. So what happ~ns, is this; I can get exactly the same thing, or unweight the ski, with hn up motinn and ninl,. HC"pl thrust dn(,R not start the turn. Thi~ helps this kind of teaching a lot if we 'tan pass this OU to the public. Report of Paul Vala.r~ - 3 " How can you get from the trave rse to the fall line when you can't push the heels? II instructors are aked. It is a technical impossibility. This is very important because there has been a confusion and it was only don( by translating. If I read a French, Austrian, Italian or German book they are terrific if you can read the language. But translation cheats because they do not translate the meaning but only the literal sense. That is why I want to teach it at my school. Th Fersendrehschub has a practical application. If I change the direction of the skis by going low out over the skis into the fall line I can again push it. It can be done as a heel thrust exercise or as a fhythmical exercise which is a christy up hill to start the wedelYl. You have got to get the fall line before· you can start the heel thrust. Another thing which is a personal impression, but which I think I saw coming, may be that the turn approach is less up and down motion and more horizontal rotation created by the shoulder or hop. Less and less up and down, and stem christies with practically no. lift at all. Very little knee action to get over the fall line. Horizontal motion ( Maybe in the finished product) with less unweighting. Qj Under what sno,w conditions: A: That is the problem. The more you mOve up and down the more the weight is goinr to come back. When you land with pressure you get into balance trouble. Your definition of wedeln is only" turn" As long as the body is in a turn motion it is wedely turn ( not wiggling. ) You can start wedely at a very slow motion. As long as I keep my body in motion it is wedelo. the minute I ski a traverse with body in traverse position, it is paralle 1. Even short turns can be made a lots of different spee( and IT. otions. Q: Is there a difference between short swing and wedelf\: A: As long as the body is in motion you wedelN. There is much disagreement and discussion about this. Wedeln cannot be squeezed into one box. It is simply a series (I short parallel turns. Q: Is the body in motion or the skis in motion? A: The body itself. There are schools that do riot teach straight parallel turns any more. Not one nation skied parallel turns without a christi.e up hill. They approach the turn, check up hill, and then turn down, no matter what speed they have. When we did four lengthened parallel turns on a steep s lope, not one turned without a pole or without a check. This was the biggest surpize in the whole show. They swing up hill, they turn down. Q: I do notJ believe it. A: I was surprized too. Q: Is this a counterpart of the French Rouade ? Aj No. The reason, I think is to achieve the proper lenght on the end of the wedeln turn. Q: Is it called wedeln without this? A: You can, of course, make parallel turns without it. Q: Couldn't this be achieved by edge shifting before the turn. Qj Could it be an exercise to get into wedeln? A: I think that is why they are doing it. They want to have a traverse and want each turn started as a parallel turn, not using the rhythm from one tUrn to get into the next. The ·definition of a parallel turn is that each turn is started individually. What we missed on the translation of the Fersendreischub is defined as hip rotation. The problem of turning skis across the fall line is simple. The minute we move skis out of the traverse the friction will t.ake OVOI' till' Bid IllId wIll 1111'1\ lI'Hllt'. :." the actual thing is to get the ski off the traverse. Change of edge alone won't do it. Report of Paul Valal". - 4 The motion has to cO,me out of a body action, make body weight leas 80 you can do it. In powder snow the one difficult thing is that first motion. 1£ you can get skis to turn you are o. k. 1£ you hang on you get off balance. But primarily we must get skis to turn, therefore we unweight. We must unweight. One Austrian boy I saw goe s into the turn without any i, it at all. This can be methodically built up in teaching and must be built up gradually. Q: There are ways to teach people to unweight with very little lift. A; The less I unweight the more friction I will have on the skis and the more muscle power I will need. You cannot rotate a leg. The only thing you can rotate are the joints built the right way. Knees can be used a little for slight change of edge so the ski will pull over just a' hair but this has no practical value. To approach turn you have to have a certain force not just a heel push. Today we also recognize a combination • of pull and push, pulling tips down, at the same time forcing ends up ( definitely hip rotation) The dead center position encourages this execution. Rotation and torsion are considered the same thing. In wedeln on the fall line, fast, very often the upper part of the body does not move much except for the pole action. The upper part i8 used as a stablizer so the body is wound up and you can come up and relieve the torsion. A; Like blocking. A. Primarily what brought the thing much closer together is that all motion originates in the center of the body. You cannot move a limb without its originating in the center. Q; This is not true. A: Primarily, it will. We should always use total motion. In free and isolated motions you can start at the extreme but it will affect the center and originate in the center. They agreed on this. You do not h;lVc to move the ccnte r. Q: In the approach to the student we do not have the student think about what turns the ski. If we think about a foot turning the skis there is an involuntary motion and he doesn't have to think about it. A: The whole theoretical approach has one possible use. The classification of mistakes. Also we have students with photographic minds, Most kinds, and with intellectual minds. Grown ups are less photographic minded and more intellectual. On top of coaching our instructors will sooner or later have to give them some theoretical know how. The days are over when the instructor could say. II follow me'. It is part of our profession to have a certain background. We will answer no more than the guy asking us. It might be a foolish question, but if we have a sci'cntific answer this is the only thing he wil understand. Theoretical knowledge is not detrimental to our profession. In Our approach to teaching we may simply know what does it. Another thing we worked on was the problem of stem christies. Because we teach two stem christies, slow and fast. These are hard to ski at the same rhythm. We first hold the stem to the fall line and then finish turn. Whereas to stem the ski out you ski faster and easily get onto the steming ski, using a condensed motion, and close the skis way before thefall line. Less unweighting, horizontal unweighting with little up and down. The body is more or less high. The positions are getting higher, m ore relaxed and one thing is definite that those extreme positions are still evident but are disappearing fast. They still use normal traverse position but I saw no extremes. When reverse should started three years ago I said it might not last because it will be overdone. It is good. but if exeggerated brings bad results, it is more difficult than a natural position. I learned in Zakapanc and saw demonstrations from some of the best instructors, keep t.he position natural •. Mthodically it might not be wrong to Ove" ··e xcggeratc if) let the student see it. but technically let's not do it. Separ atEthese t.! _ things, ted;.: J!.'.e and method. If you '. ,~ :';., ..... I .' " '9o . , ·1 •. ,J .. r • ..l" mix these two up you can discuss it for years and never get to first base. If we want to get togeth on technique we have to have a theoretical back bone, ski mechanics. Also let's try to keep it natural Keep body in motion, try to i.civoid static positions and have continuity in our exercises, 3 -4 christies at a time • .Me.thodically lets leave it wide open. Ski teaching does not depend on how many exercises we drop or in what sequence we ski. The se depend on conditions. But ingenuity and imagination of the ins tructor is what good teaching depends on. You cannot make short cut. it will take so much time and so much practice. The only thing we can do bettor at is bette r teaching. Q: What is the word angulation? Aj Same as our comma position. Sf 1\\../:\12. Q; What is Fersendrcheschaub'? (FE"RSElJbR.E:HSC.rlU13)V A; Part of the body rotation and this can only be by hip. Q. How do they distdn<1uish between heel pushing into the hill and starting the turn? A; You cannot push a heel up. What they call a fersenschub actually only can be done if you take the ski comp letely off the ground. Always refers to turn off slope. Q; How about rePOsing the edges? A; That is different. There is only one thing about the comma position today. I have had to tell students let the ankles alone. Maybe I could do it but students can not. But by just straightening up the knee the angle straightened out and he will move. It is bette, to corne up and release side slip. We have to accept both and we use both methodically. Q; Heel thurst or rotation of heel thurst is the same as long as you know what you mean by it. Because heel thrust will inevitably turn my skis. A; Do it the other way ( up hill) You have got to mOve in your hips. I told you once before, a good skier does not have to wait till he hilA the fall line- to thrunt hl"'C':1l1ll"" ho has enough momentum. You start turn by corning up and supplying hip rotation which turns shoulders 'backward. Q; What started the turn? A; Once the skis change direction! do not have to do anything. You make a long turn but you turn. Q; What rna ke s the size of the turn? A; Heel push on the finish and angulation. Q; How do you teach your students to get to the fall line on a short turn. A; First teaching a christy into the hill. Then get to fall line, unweight slightly, hip rotation, then heel thrust. Q; How do you get to the next tUrn 11 Aj Same way. Heel thrust is not heel rotation. Heel rotation comes from the hips. What we are after is to free the body and then the lower parts go one way and the upper part turns the other way. I think a committee should be formed to work on the stand·· ardization of of ski terms. (Note: There already is such. ) Q; And do you pick up tips to get into traverse pl)sitiuns" ? A; We will turn skis around the skis. We used to turn around the tips with the weight forward. Now we can turn skis under the body ( AXL.E) and keep turning out directly under the bOdy. One Bavarian I saw over exagerated, I was glad no one listened. The one I liked best of the Austrians was Matt. Plain and practical; just what is needed, no one over emphasis or twisting yourself clean out of shape. Wedeln brings a lot of accident.s in heavy SIlOWI'! !WI';\IIAI' 1,"" W'Hilllllllrt 1t'l\\'llillfJ, Ill' Wedeht is very tough. Kids have got the idea that Wedel n is the only way to ski. They do not accept the idea of compensating for varying conditions. They buildup enough torsion in the body to break bones even before they fall down. Therefore, we should I l' Report of Paul Vala~. - 6 perhaps try to teach a smoother approach which might be safer. Linked parallel turns rather than rough approach; poles in exaggerated positions don It make a we~'Tl turn without lifting a ski ( looks like rabbits). Couldnlt we build this down from linked para11el turns? In bad snow this is very unsafe. Sometime s a nice stem christie is the best way to ski. Is Wedtln that important? Aren It we catering as a whole to the recreational skier? Let them have fun. Letls also be careful that we choose the right theory, the right snow and the right ___ reise. How did wed,ln corne into being? We used it for slalom mainly in the old days. Meanwhile the average recreational skier got better and created a new business possibility. These people could go to parallel and something higher. It took years and a lot of controversey and hard feelings to develope a method, but it is here because it created business. But it is not one technique, it is part of a technique. Q; Regarding use of the poles, is there any analysis of this? A; With the exception of the Germans, no one would stem ski and move poles around in a way to cramp the hips. When you move the upper ski some pole action is natural but no complete reversal where they would be frozen. Qj What about swing mCN ement of arms and poles. Is there any achnowledgement of this: A; No, The motion of reverse is the equal to the turn of the skis in the other direction. Q; I think there is a deeieded swing of the arms. A; I do not think so. A skier going full blast uses his arms more as stabilizers than for propelling. However, all skiing today is a combination of techniques. And the better the individual skier, the more likely he is to use some trick of his own.