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Old 07-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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4)Take lessons (yes i'm a coach and bias but)Its worth it. I was a self taught rider and it took me 6 years to pick up what I can teach someone in a day or two. So it is worth it! Here is a few tips on getting your moneys worth. Ask about the instructors when you sign up. Find out who has been teaching there the longest or who has the most experience with your level riders. When you understand how something is done and how it feels when you are doing it right or wrong. Ask the instructor to move on and you will practice on your own time. They are trained to get you back for more lessons not give you as much info as possible and you practice for free. Last thing if anyone teaches you something called "the falling leaf" get your money back.
Good luck waltzing into a booking office and asking for the background on all of the instructors scheduled for classes that day. You want to choose? that's called a private.

Most people on here are probably loving your spiel, as they dont konw any better, but i'm not buying it, because:

a)Falling leaf tells me a student can stop, traverse, twist and weight up their front foot - pretty important if you want successful toe turns. Granted I never spend more than one run on it, but it is a useful tool. Writing it off because everyone does it and you want to be different is ignorant.

b)Instructors aren't robots, ski schools may want you to sell lessons, but I ALWAYS move at the pace of learning, even in class lessons when it becomes more work assigning different tasks. The reality is people are smart, and if they get bored they probably aren't returning anyway. As an instructor, my job satisfaction comes from seeing how far I can take people from where they started at at the beginning of the day. If you are a point/incentive watcher/salesman, then your probably in the wrong business, or you are a ski instructor (jokes).

c)Most importantly, you don't work for a ski school, so any way you can bash them and self promote your business on here is good for your rep. Most likely, you are an instructor who has been burned by a shitty ski school in the past and decided to start up your own business, which is fair enough, but bashing the majority of us that work in the AASI system and do pretty well with it really isn't going to get you anywhere. In fact, if I were in your position, flirting on the edge of a legal battle with ski schools at the mountains you teach at, I would be doing everything I could to make friends.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Going to chine in here on this point as an 8 year AASI instructor. AASI has in fact dropped the falling leaf from their teaching progression too for the same reasons that Snow Motion speaks about. I totally agree with your point about how and why in a lesson progression the falling leaf can do the things you speak of but what AASI has discovered is those same things can be accomplished with Garlands.

When two years ago the ski school I worked at told us to stop teaching the falling leaf I was pretty skeptical myself but in the last two years, I have found that I have had a better success rate of getting more people in group lessons linking turns in their first never ever lesson using garlands instead of leafing.

As for the personal comments about Snowmotion, you do not know their history or personal relationships they have with area mountains so you are merely working off of speculation here not fact....
A garland is a more aggressive falling leaf. To say 1 is obsolete and the other is a great teaching tool makes no sense to me. Its all about the way you teach it. I teach something probably in the middle of the two, not much flat-basing on our sideslip hill as its purposefully steep and our clients tend to be more fragile than most resorts. But the twist/fore/edge control movements are still there.

And your right, I don't know the details. I do however know that if you try and teach in CO you will get arrested, and I do know that there aren't many GM's of ski resorts that are going to be happy with you taking away their most profitable source of income.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A garland is a more aggressive falling leaf. To say 1 is obsolete and the other is a great teaching tool makes no sense to me. Its all about the way you teach it. I teach something probably in the middle of the two, not much flat-basing on our sideslip hill as its purposefully steep and our clients tend to be more fragile than most resorts. But the twist/fore/edge control movements are still there.

And your right, I don't know the details. I do however know that if you try and teach in CO you will get arrested, and I do know that there aren't many GM's of ski resorts that are going to be happy with you taking away their most profitable source of income.
First off I did not bash instructors so chill out. I myself have been teaching for 15 years many of which were for mountains. I know and am friends with a lot of great instructors. Also I am telling people to take lessons in general. Did I say only take them from us, NO! As far as the mountains themselves we have worked with resorts to make sure we offer a product that they do not. We are coaches we go beyond the services of a mountain school for a different client. The people looking to get some pointers or learn in a more relaxed environment we recommend mountain schools. Our clients are part of a coaching program that is on and off snow, Summer and winter. We have indoor programs and even set up in peoples back yard to train. We have mountains that offer our students discounted prices. They can see the advantage to us bringing people to there Mt and teaching them in one day.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A Garland is not really just an "aggressive falling leaf". It teaches the rider to ride in one direction where the falling leaf is 50% switch which can further confuse students on the whole regular/goofy thing and creates horrible habits if the student takes no further lessons. The Garland also gets the rider used to pointing the nose down the hill and steering it back up the hill instead of keeping the board across the fall line the entire time. Not bashing you here at all so don`t take it that way.
Can you describe this garland concept in more detail please?

I have taught 6 or 7 friends the basics and always used falling leaf because thats how my buddy taught me.

People who have good balance get past it in half a day or less and its all good while some people tend to get stuck in it.

In those cases I can see how its a crutch and stops progress.

If there is a better way it would be good to know.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Can you describe this garland concept in more detail please?

I have taught 6 or 7 friends the basics and always used falling leaf because thats how my buddy taught me.

People who have good balance get past it in half a day or less and its all good while some people tend to get stuck in it.

In those cases I can see how its a crutch and stops progress.

If there is a better way it would be good to know.
a garland is basically doing half a turn on one of your edges but before that point of no return you hook back up and continue traversing the same way you started. so youll go across, down, then back across in the same direction and you can do this as many times as you can fit while going across the hill. it's good for those people who seem to have decent balance on their edges but just cant seem to commit to those turns. do a couple garlands on both heel and toe edges then come back to full c turns to see if it helped at all.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Cro nailed it...

To add to his answer, The Garland turn is generally started from the sideslip position with the board across the fall line. The rider should shift their weight to their front foot and relax the front foot so as to release any uphill edge pressure. This allows the nose of the board to begin to slip downhill and allow the board to begin to move. The rider allows the nose to almost point straight down the fall line then they will use the front foot to pressure their edge and twist the board to steer it back across the fall line. They can either come to a complete stop and repeat or they can learn to slow down and release again.

This teaches them to torsionally steer the board with the front foot as well as allow them to gain experience at turn initiation without fully committing to making a complete turn. Garlands should be done heelside and toeside. Once the rider is comfortable allowing the board to point straight down the fall line for a couple of seconds before steering back across it, they are ready to make completed linked turns.

The main reason these are so much better than falling leafing is because this exposes the new rider to being on the board with it pointed down the fall line and steering it back out of this position to slow down and stop. With the falling leaf, most new riders fear letting it point too far down the fall line and this creates a mental block that can be a bitch to overcome especially if the rider is timid or fearful.

As Snow Motion said, basic snowboarding is ridiculously simple. The biggest obstacle to learning to link turns is simple fear and hesitation. The Garland turn gets the new rider to face their fears and overcome them quickly whereas the falling leaf actually enhances their fear of pointing the board down the hill. The Garland also teaches the rider to ride their board directionally instead of the constant switching between regular and goofy. This switching back and forth at this stage of learning to ride is a major inhibitor of progression and the new rider may go for a very long time with no clue as to whether they are regular or goofy.
ha i knew i could count on you to come in with the technical details, i was cutting it close for getting to work and had to keep it short and simple.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think a year ago someone asked for tips on how to teach a beginner. I didn't chime in (since I'm no guru) but added my 2 cents about the falling leaf and told them, don't teach beginners the falling leaf. I think that's the worst thing to teach beginners.

Some agreed, a lot of people disagreed, but I've seen it too many times. Teach them the falling leaf and that's all they do. I know one guy who is fearless but since that's all he knows how to do he does it aggressively. Bombing blacks falling leaf style. Yes he does point is nose down so maybe it's not a pure FL but he'll point it then when he gets to fast slows down heel side goofy and regular. He's fast but it's pretty stupid looking.

I try and teach them how to ride toe side (I didn't teach them the leaf) but they refuse. Because they were going fast comfortably. Now they have to slow down and learn this thing that will cause them to fall and be nervous? So they went almost two seasons without learning to ride properly. At the tail end of season 2 they finally got it.

My wife (GF at the time) took me to Sierra at Tahoe and Keystone for my first two trips. She taught me to put on a snowboard, and to get off the lift. That's it. NO leaf nothing. So I never knew to rely on it. A lesson would have sped things up I know I know. But I'm stubborn like that. And my form probably still isn't great but I'm learning. Point being, I'm 100% happy I did not learn falling leaf. Plus that shit is tiring on your legs.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Falling leaf only teaches you to fear going fast. I learned to snowboard that way my first lesson but quickly was like wtf am I doing so I set goals to go faster and faster " mainly to beat my friends at races" but eventually carving just came naturally. The best way to teach someone for real is just throw them straight into carving and not giving them the option to only ride heel side.

My brother rides like that and it pisses me off so much... And it also make him not want to snowboard because he is petrified of going on his toe side and is slower than everyone else. He is 11 and has boarded since he was 7 but does the same stupid heel side rotation between regular and goofy. And you guys are right he can't deside if he is regular or goofy Iv seen him skate board regular one day and goofy the next " he's not very good" anyone have any tips on teaching him to carve he is a really stobern kid... I feel at times there's no hope for him....

And we tryed putting him in private lessons but now he feels exculed from the fam and refuses to have lessons. And when we try teaching him he just gets really frustrated.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My advice to all beginners.

Learn switch early.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Falling leaf has a place, not in a lesson, but its not always a bad thing. I started doing falling leaf toeside and heelside.

By lunch on day 1 I was linking turns on green runs without hardly falling. Day 2 I was negotiating blues and some ungroomed blue pistes with 2 feet of powder.

Certainly doing falling leaf for too long is counter productive, but I think it helped me to grasp the feel and balance of being on either edge before linking turns.
I would agree on this, falling leaf does a great deal to help your motivation, but not if you are unwilling to commit to the turn.

Part of what I found out about in teaching myself to snowboard, is that falling leaf will get you started, but in essence it teaches you to use your back foot more than you should.


Through reading much on this site over the last couple years lurking and eventually posting is that turns are truly done stably and correctly with proper balance from the front foot.

I still have stubborn friends that I started with that doubt it and when stuck in bad situations or steeper terrain than they are used to, they still go back to falling leaf, all in all it's really about the subtle movement of the front foot, and even balance upon the board.

Listen to Snowmotion, seems like he will guide you the right way.

Edit, holy crap, thought this thread was new, but now I see several pages of responses. Snowwolf and Snowmotion don't seem like they would steer you wrong in either case though.

Part of it is about confidence ( picturing yourself doing the act you desire to,) and part of it is your own mechanics and realizing which one is holding you back.

Last edited by Efilnikufesin; 08-28-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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