About the Author – How this all started..
Skiing has been the passion of mine for over 25 years now, and I wrote most of this book after just five years of skiing, not along time in skiing terms. I’ve always wanted to ski and have a love of the mountains but never made it. I was invited to go on my first skiing trip with some work friends to France. I was so excited I couldn’t wait, I wanted so badly to be able to ski right from the first day. I started to imagine how to ski in my mind, what would the instructors show me how do skis work all flying around my head at 100 miles an hour. I bought some books on skiing and hung on every word examined every picture until I was overloaded with technique, I thought!
Then that first morning in my hired skis and boots I took my first steps on the Mountain. If you have ever skied in France you'll know what I mean when I say that the Mountains aren’t exactly suited to beginners. Steep sided mountains where in some cases the easy skiing is at the top, way at the top. Two lifts and gondola a drag lift before you even start. Everyone just fell over every where and this is all before our first lesson. Then came the lift up to my first ‘Green’ run, at the top I looked down and thought this can’t be it, it’s a cliff. I was wrong who knows what the rest of the group felt as I was the one most used to being up a mountain in the snow from my previous mountaineering experience. We followed our instructor and zig-zagged down the slope with our monster snow plough position learned five minuets before. Some of our group fell, some cried some got stuck and had to be helped down by the instructor skiing backwards, it was a mess. We all survived that first week without injury, well except one who was air lifted off the mountain with a dislocated knee. Well that’s skiing isn’t it? Err well no actually, or at least that’s not what I thought and I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, there has to be a better way.
This is when I quit ski school and on my next holiday decided that I would teach myself how to ski, not just get around but really ski, everywhere any slope and conditions any snow type.
If you don’t live in the mountains you maybe only get one or two weeks a year in which to learn how to ski, I did and I wanted maximise my time on the snow. so I read some more books and watched a lot of video’s, I also drove my friends and family crazy by practicing some of the less subtle techniques at home, jumping off the coffee table and pole planting down the stairs etc.
I don’t suggest that you do what I did because I now know there is a better way, but this is what I did. From watching ski teaching video’s I learnt very little as they were really just saying the same thing as the instructors, but what did work for me was watching extreme skiing movies and ski racing. These guys didn’t ski like the French instructors I’ve seen, not all neat and tidy but at one with the mountain reacting to the very shapes and contours that hit them at such speeds that It could only be a natural reaction that kept them upright. I wanted to ski like that, I have always tried to think a little different and have always lived by the rule that I don’t follow people that haven’t achieved the thing that they are trying to tell you. I’m not saying that ski lessons are all rubbish( I am an instructor!) but think private lessons are better. It took me five years to get to this point and I had the odd private lesson for an hour just to work on special things that I found difficult, for this one on one ski instruction really works well. Now skiing for me is a relaxed, effortless, flow down the mountain on or off piste but always with a huge smile. By the way my best ski buddy is a snowboarder and it was skiing with him that gave me the idea for this book.
Now I can look back and refine what I have learned and give it to ‘you’ in a simple structured form, skiing is easy, really easy and the worst part is that you already know how to do it..
English born Carl Owen and Austrian qualified ski instructor, now lives in the Lake District in the UK & Hinterthal Austria.
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