Phil Smith, director of Snoworks Ski Courses, is one of a new breed of ski schools and instructors forging ahead with a different approach to teaching skiing. He explains the difference.
Skiing has changed. Maybe snowboarding kicked the revolution off. Until then skiing was winter sports answer to ‘ice dancing’. Skiers would spend painstakingly long hours perfecting their technique. In my day I had to ski with, literally no daylight visible between my legs…. and if I twisted my shoulders whilst trying to steer my skis I was singled out as a complete failure.
The skis of today bare little resemblance to the skis of the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. Most skiers then would stick to well groomed runs, hence their style, technique or the way they skied was deemed very important. Skiers would invest large amounts of money into ski lessons designed to help change the way they ski to a manner acceptable to their instructor, other skiers watching them and their peers.
But as skis changed and became easier to use and more versatile the goals of skiing also changed. It was no longer about ‘how you ski’, it was about ‘where you want to ski’.
Teaching today with Snoworks and many of the other all-mountain instructors and ski schools is ‘goal oriented’. It’s about achieving a particular goal rather then skiing a particular way. You’re not changing your skiing to fit into a perceived way of doing things. You’re changing your skiing because you want to ski places. The difference is immense and has revolutionized ski teaching. One of the testimonials from last winter sums up the ‘where you want to ski’ philosophy.
“I was an intermediate skier stuck on the blues and reds for around 10 years and rather grateful to get down them safely. After taking an All-Terrain ski course I am now truly an all-mountain skier.
I have just returned from a long weekend skiing where I have tackled every marked run in the area with ease and in complete control, popped through the trees and into the powder bowls and skied off-piste looking for the best snow and the most fun.
I now have the tools to tackle hugely differing conditions from piste to powder. My skiing has been totally transformed. I am no longer balking at piste markers wondering what obstacles will be thrown at me. Skiing after an All-Terrain course is truly a different experience as you survey the mountain looking for fun and good snow, confident in your ability to rise to the challenges of the terrain.”
This is one testimonial from the thousands of skiers who have begun their journey in all-mountain skiing looking for ‘the best places to ski’ and above all ‘the most fun’.
Have you joined the all-mountain revolution yet?
Phil Smith is a former Trainer for the British Association of Snowsport Instructors and now runs Snoworks all-mountain ski courses with a range of courses including All-Terrain, Bumps, Off-Piste, Backcountry and Adventure for intermediate skiers and above.
Photo: Snoworks skiers in Fernie surveying the terrain looking for ‘where to ski’.