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Looking for best instructional DVD


Rivvy
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There are a number of DVD's out there for instructional course skiing. Please post your favorite DVD and why. I am a beginner course skier (pb 4 @ 34' off, 34mph) looking to improve my technique. Plus a good video to throw in during the off season will hopefully help me get through the winter. I'm already missing it and the lakes haven't froze up yet! I think I'm in for a long winter...
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I believe I have every instructional VHS Tape and DVD ever produced since the 80's...The problem is that Zero Off changed a lot of that information....The only one that is somewhat current to todays skiing would be West Coast Slalom, with Marcus and Terry.

 

You Tube would be the next logical choice with good info from Marcus, Seth, and Terry Winter.

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@Rivvy, other than this site, I love going to Seth Stisher's videos on YouTube. Man, he has some great advice and several tips to incorporate in your practice runs. Also, I like fluidmotionsports.com and also the Terry Winters training videos. But this site has been more instrumental for me. The experience, wisdom and advice given here, along with all the videos and encouragement has been invaluable to me.

 

I am thinking, the longer I grow my hair, the better I will ski.

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Marcus was one of our guest coaches at Ski Paradise a few years ago. I had just watched West Coast Slalom video and was discussing it with him. He did tell me that there were a couple of theory’s & practices in the video that he didn't follow or recommend because he felt a skier could end up hurting hurt them selves if they used them. I wish I could tell you what they were but I was not anywhere near the level to try them or relate to them. It also could have been that they were for more advanced skiers & I was just a course beginner and he didn't want me to kill myself trying things!!!! I believe based on Marcus's commnets @ShaneH is correct about that video being one that could be easily misunderstood.
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What theory's and practices are misunderstood or should not be followed from West Coast Slalom? Could Terry or Marcus comment on that? I thought the video was great and felt I could see some of the top skier using that form. Am I wrong? Did I not read a post not too long ago that Terry was one of the best skiers for his size?
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Here is what Marcus posted a few years ago about WCS on another site. I redacted it to remove references to that now defunct site and to condense to fit here.

 

Misconceptions about West Coast Slalom

by Marcus Brown

 

What's the deal?

West Coast Slalom. Simple. Basic fundamental principles govern West Coast Slalom, and they also govern how you water ski. So if you want to get better, you better start paying attention to West Coast Slalom. Now before we get started, here's a little disclaimer: The West Coast Slalom DVD with Terry Winter and Marcus Brown is not how we ski. There is a lot of information on there; a lot of information that is irrelevant or overly complex. News flash hua? Skiing should be fun and simple, alright folks? And luckily, it is. Don't listen to people who don't know what they're talking about.

 

My Top 5 West Coast Slalom Misconceptions.

Misconception # 5:

West Coast Slalom Is Complicated-

That's a big no-no. No, it's not complicated. Yes, there is bad juju out there. The West Coast Slalom DVD with Terry Winter & Marcus Brown is full of too much info, not the right info. Whatever. Don't worry about it. Listen from here on. Go ski with Terry Winter or me. West Coast Slalom Is the simplest approach to movement in the universe. It's because it's based on physics. We all understand how to move. We all know how to walk, for the most part. You fall in the direction you want to go, and your feet catch you. Some dude was saying that doesn't work because water skiing isn't a gravity driven sport. OK, if it's not gravity driven, then what is? Yes, there's a rope and the boat pulls you. But, are you meaning to tell me there is no gravity effecting you when you're on a slalom ski? Yes, there is. Fall in the direction you want to go, and you'll go there. It's that simple.

 

Misconception # 4:

West Coast Slalom is about compression and body angulation-

This is not true either. There's no other way to say it. Compression does nothing but put your weight back. Why does compressing put your weight back? You can only bend your ankles so much. Then what happens next? You bend your knees. When you bend your knees too much, your center of gravity ends up going back. When people compress and bend their knees, their weight drops back, because your knees can't go forward any more. Try doing a squat. When you do it properly, and your knees don't go ahead of your toes, your but drops back.

There's no other way to do it. If you compress, you're going to be on the back of the ski. We don't talk about the back of the ski, ever. The back of the ski is nowhere to be. You might see me on the back of my ski some times after miscalculated turn, so there's a time and a place for it. But for the most part, No, get off the back. Angulation? OK great. Ya, get all contorted. Has anyone ever bent over and twisted at the same time, and kept their legs straight and picked up a box? What happens? Yeah, blow a disc, great, out for 6 months. Let's get this guy a couple cortisone injections, get him off the stretcher and back out on the water. No, you don't want to twist and bend, ever. Angulation with your body? Dropping your hips away from your arms? Bad, bad combo.

Misconception # 3:

West Coast Slalom is based on generating excessive angle and speed-

Why would anyone want excessive angle or speed? Angle is a byproduct of speed, for starters, and I know people on the internet and I know people out there in the real world putting in the hard time on the water. Everyone is trying to figure it out, but they're shackled by their misconceptions of what's going on. What these folks don't understand is that you have to get speed to get angle. They go hand in hand, they are symbiotic, speed helps you get angle which helps you get speed; but you have to start moving first. You have to start accelerating your body first which is speed and then you can get angle. West Coast Slalom is not about angle or speed. It's an approach to skiing that is based on having the appropriate amount of speed and therefore the appropriate amount of angle, to allow the skier to ski the most efficient way possible: to keep it fun. It's all about having fun folks, don't forget that.

Misconception # 2:

Chris Parrish does not ski West Coast Slalom-

What?! False! Parrish is one of the best in the world! What are you folks talking about? He is efficient, he is stacked, and ultimately he moves his body at the right time and in the right direction. Period. It's about physics folks, it's not about style. It's Physics. Why do I say Parrish is a West Coast Slalom skier? Because he's efficient. He moves at the right times. He is stacked. He's dynamic. He doesn't bite off more than he can chew. He skis efficiently. You think he looks like he's got his hips up and stuff? Hips up is fine. Who says it's not? That's great. If you don't want to break your back then get your hips up. But don't lock and load and pull as hard as you can -- That's not efficient either.

The reason Parrish is the most efficient in the world is because he's tallest skier in the world that runs short line. If his center of mass doesn't have to get out as wide away from the wake as mine then he's more efficient than I am.

Let's say you want a banana, and they're on the top of the tree, and you have a ladder. I'm going to have need a bigger ladder to get those bananas than Parrish. I'm going to have to stand on a higher rung. Therefore, I'm going to have to move further away from the earth to get to reach the same bananas that Parrish can. We all know climbing stairs takes energy. This means I'm going to have to use more energy to reach the same point as Parrish.

So, just like that, it's the same as skiing. Just like the bananas and the ladder, I have to ski to a wider point to get around the same buoys. I have to use more energy and therefore I am less efficient. Parrish, just by default is more efficient. Luckily, he uses technique too, and so can you. Being shorter has its own advantages, but at the end of the day, we all need to get our feet out around the same spot. If my rope is the same as Parrish's, he doesn't have to swing out as high or as wide on the boat to get around the same buoy. So #1, he's going to be further back on the boat which means he can turn wider, he has a bigger turning arc because of that, which means he won't get slack as much, and he'll have smoother turns, which is what we're all trying to do with the Physics of Skiing. Because Parrish doesn't have to swing up as wide on the boat, he doesn't have to use as much energy to swing up to the same width. He swings through less degrees and has more time to do it and can use less energy to get to the same point.

Misconception # 1:

West Coast Slalom is a Style-

False False False False, and False. I'm mad about it. West Coast Slalom is not a style!

Styles are like snow flakes: they are unique to each individual. Physics is like communism: we're all in it together. Whether you like it or not. Unlike communism, Physics is fun. So you better start learning about it, OK? Start understanding skiing. See what's going on under all those wet jackets, board shorts, or bikinis and whatever else.

 

What is West Coast Slalom

Get to the root of it -- I've said it before: the best skiers in the world are the best for one reason: They all have a majority of the fundamentals of movement right. No one can deny that. Someone might be good at accelerating, some may be better at carving. But styles come and go like fashion. Physics never change. West Coast Slalom is not a style folks, it's not a style. West Coast Slalom should be rephrased; I'll admit it, it's tainted by the DVD and people out there spouting off about crap they don't know about. West Coast Slalom should be rephrased as The Physics of Skiing. That's what West Coast Slalom is, it's a simple approach to the fundamental question: What is the most efficient way to move on a slalom ski?

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My opinion, there's some really, really good stuff on it and there's some questionable stuff on there. In trying to apply it as literally as I could. I did some really good skiing but also had some of the hardest crashes of my life. This was all when it first came out. I have since found that in working out the many various kinks in my skiing, I have migrated back towards a lot of the concepts of the DVD, I just tend to think of them a little different than they are presented.

 

I appreciate Marcus, Terry and Matthew sharing their knowledge on here.

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Interesting thoughts on west coast slalom. That was the DVD I was thinking about. Sound like its worth the view. I too like the fluidmotion vids but the guy is always changing or tweaking his gear. I got the impression I need to tweak myself quite a bit before I start tweaking my gear. Thanks for the response.
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There are a few videos out there, but it,s down to time on the water, I personally would suggest finding yourself a good coach and spend the money on that, the problem with most water skiers, is that they have a vision of what they look like or what they are doing when skiing, the reality can be very different, when viewed from the boat, video is a harsh thing and can devastate confidence, where as a good coach will, make adjustments to help you.
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@andjules...Drew's video was great back when he released it....It's main theme was "Load from Wide." ZO changed that...Drew is a brilliant coach and it would really help to go ski with him.

I've always been impressed with his style of skiing...Even his young Daughter is very impessive.

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Thanks @Ed_Johnson. Drew and I actually skied together when we were kids. I think I met him @ my first novice tournament and I'm pretty sure it was his first as well. And if I recall correctly, I think I beat him. Of course, things went downhill from there - for me, at least ;-)
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@andjules, I would say regardless of ZO advances there is a lot of merit to the Drew Ross video. It's old and he screws around a bit to be funny on some segments which makes it kind of hokey...but the actual ski instruction and video is pretty good. If I had to pick an under-rated slalom video it would be this one. At this point it's probably dirt cheap...why not give it a view and see what you think?
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Great thread. I was also hoping to find out which video would be worth the investment. I know that time on the water and posting videos of yourself are great ways to improve, but let's face it.... winter is coming and time on the water is 5 months away for me here in Indiana. It would be nice to purchase a DVD and watch some coaching in the meantime.

 

From what I've read, it sounds like a lot of these instructional DVD's are outdated or discredited, etc. I've watched Gordon Rathbun's videos on YouTube. Is there more to the actual videos than what's on YouTube? I've found those videos to be quite helpful. Also, would it not be worth it to watch the West Coast slalom DVD? AND, would it not be worth it to watch the Drew Ross video just because Zero-Off "changed the game"?

 

Thanks for everyone's replies. I too would like to watch a professional DVD/video in order to help my slalom abilities.

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@aswinter05, I am posting a link of one of Seth Stisher's training videos. When you go to that link, there are a lot of other videos that are totally relevant and modern. I subscribed to his channel on YouTube and the information I have learned from his videos is awesome! I would go there.

 

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@aswinter05 - I think some of the earlier videos can be pretty beneficial - I would say the majority of skiers who are looking for instructional DVD's probably can still use the old school videos to good effect. Atleast it seems like a good number of people learned the course by good gut wrenching pulls.

 

You just need to temper the gut wrenching so you don't have a hernia by getting your turns on.

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I'm pretty much on the same level as you @Rivvy. I bought the Gordon Rathburn video and it really helped with the basics. ZO, PP, or hand driven free skiing, the basic concepts are all the same. I've watched pretty much all of the videos from the pro's and they never helped me even in the slightest. Once I watched Gordon's video, I realized that I wasn't standing on the ski correctly and my mentality on how to turn the ski were wrong. I was running 28mph some of the time, maybe making 30mph, and on a good day I would run a few balls at 32mph. Immediately after watching the video (without any practice) I started running my 28-30mph passes all the time, running 32mph most of the time, and coming close to running 34mph in just 4 sets. After maybe 7-8 sets, I still haven't run 34mph but the water is getting cold and I'm early to every buoy until I make a stupid mistake.

 

My driver recommended shortening the rope at 32mph to try something new. I almost made 28off at 32mph and I can start to see some merit in the videos from the pro's. However, at long line, I just don't feel I can do what the pro's are talking about.

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@aswinter05. If you subscribe to his YouTube channel, there are more there. there are also lots of videos of students practicing what he has taught them and you can see the progression they have made as well. @scotchipman 's link is very good as well. Hope that helps a bit

 

 

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