A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Weston Ski Instructors Clinic

December 12, 2015
Emilie Phillips

I signed up to instruct cross country skiing at the Weston Ski track this year. I’ll be there Wednesday evenings if you want to take a lesson. The first perk was to take instructor training this Saturday.

We ran through all the basic classical ski drills out on the grass without skis. I was struck by how simple they keep it. Most students are complete novices and the goal of the 2 hour lesson is to provide the students with just enough foundation skills so they can explore the entire Weston track area by themselves. I have previously taught people with some cross country skills how to transition to the backcountry, which requires higher skill level. Some particular differences were, in the intro class they teach just enough of the pole technique to break bad habits, but not the full pole push. Some of the instructors don’t teach the wedge at all, concentrating more on core balance and athletic stance since Weston doesn’t have any terrain that needs a wedge.

Roller ski practice. Photo by Ted Stever
Roller ski practice. Photo by Ted Stever

In the afternoon we switched to skate skiing. One of the instructors brought roller skis for all of us. The instructors had an entirely new progression for V2 technique. Based on their progression, I now understood better what I had learned at the first Jackson PSIA class. With V1, you pole plant and push down when placing the ski. For V2, you bring your hands forward and up when placing the ski. In the PSIA class, they had emphasized returning your hands forwards quickly, and I think that’s why. I survived on roller skis for maybe a half hour in the parking lot. Then my ankles gave out and I took the skis off before potentially twisting an ankle.