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PSIA-AASI Newsletter: The simplicity of skiing

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The Simplicity of Skiing – Jeb Boyd’s New Focus for Ski Instruction

PSIA-AASI’s development of the Skills Concept changed the world of ski instruction, giving snow pros the opportunity to hone in on specific aspects of a student’s skiing and snowboarding, rather than having them practice a lengthy progression.

Now, according to PSIA-AASI Alpine Team member Jeb Boyd, a new concept is emerging that could have just as big an impact on instruction.

“As a team, ever since we went to Interski in Austria in 2011, we’ve been focusing on the essential elements of good skiing – whether you’re in the terrain park, skiing powder, or racing,” said Boyd. “And we’ve been building on the Skills Concept in ways that can apply to any kind of lesson you’re teaching.”

Boyd said the team has been focusing on four “guaranteed truths” that they have been presenting in clinics around the country this season. They are:

  1. A skier needs to be standing over the center of their feet.

  2. They need to be able to distribute their weight over the outside ski, and then over the new outside ski as they make a turn.

  3. They need to turn their feet and legs more than they turn their upper body.

  4. And they need to have the ability to regulate pressure along the length of the ski.

“Even if you’re spinning through the air, you still need to be able to do those four things,” Boyd said. “When I look at everything from a wedge turn to the World Cup, those four factors form the basis of everything we’re teaching and coaching.”

Boyd said the elements align especially well with the Skills Concept, because in essence, “Having a centered stance is really about balance, edging is about distributing weight from foot to foot, pressure control speaks to being able to pressure the length of the ski, and rotation is turning your feet and legs.”

If there’s any aspect of the Skills Concept that is really changing, Boyd said it’s the idea that balance is now more about equilibrium. “Whether it’s turning, edging or pressuring, we’re looking at equilibrium at every level of progress,” Boyd said.

Boyd is especially excited to be talking to snow pros about the innovation, and thinks awareness of it will build through the spring, then really take hold next season. “I’m using it in my own lessons every day,” he said. “It’s very concrete, and very straightforward. I think it’s the kind of thing that will elevate the profession, and really elevate consumers’ skiing.”

- Peter Kray


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