Outstanding presentation of ideas for improving ski technique
Richard K. Gast (US)
April 25, 2015
This excellent work is one of the two best books on the subject that I have read (along with a later volume by the same author). It provides a focused agenda of critical concepts for improving ski technique, based on the author's extensive experience as a ski instructor. Some of these ideas (at least in the context of my prior reading and lessons) are relatively novel, and have significantly improved my confidence in making turns. The first-person narrative style is accessible and easy to follow. The author is especially effective in explaining how physical forces and body movements work together when good skiing technique is performed. This helped me understand not only what I should do, but also why I should do it that way. The book includes numerous effective illustrations that assist in visualizing the ideas presented in the text. The author's writing style is simultaneously precise and relaxed, making for an enjoyable reading experience. He provides just enough emphasis on his main themes throughout the book to reinforce them in the reader's mind without unnecessary repetition. The book is compact and can be read comfortably in a week or less, yet is surprisingly comprehensive. Because this book presents a somewhat broader spectrum of ideas than the author's subsequent volume ("Ski Well Simply"), it might be a better starting point, especially for intermediate skiers. All things considered, my relatively modest investment in this book improved my skiing very substantially.
A different way of teaching
September 17, 2013
I am an average skier who has been struggling to achieve a status of safe and effortless skiing for many years. This book has helped me to move on to a higher level of skiing by giving answers to most of my questions (that ski instructors had failed to answer in a way I could understand and implement). I like the way the material of the book is organized and presented using examples that one would not expect to find in book about skiing. This fresh way of explaining the secrets of skiing helped me to understand how to get the right body alignments in order to ski having fun without getting tired or being afraid. Little adjustments made all the difference. I have read the book twice and each time I found new ideas and material to use.
So glad I got this book!!
the_idler "the_idler" (UK)
April 3, 2012
This book is extremely well written. The pictures and diagrams superbly complement the text, it must have taken much time and thought to ensure that the explanations come through to the reader and, certainly for me, they did so in the most effective way. The text of the book flows so well and is to the point and did not overly discuss unless good reason dictated it so.
I took it for my Ski vacation and found it very rewarding as I progressed through the book and put into practice the knowledge gained by reading, skiing, reviewing and progressing further each day. I feel like I have 'shortcutted' through very many weeks of progress and usually skiing only one/two weeks a year; that's very many years for me. I was heartened by an uninvited complement near the end of my ski vacation. It was from an expert skier who said that I was on course and had very good form.
I'm certainly going to re-read this book next year and very much look forward to applying further the 'ski-intel' contained in the book.
If you are anything like me and need to gain the proper theory, the insight and are perhaps a little confused by the sometimes seemingly conflicting ski advice/instruction you have received I would highly recommend this publication. In short - buy it - buy it now. I am so glad I did.
Great book for those with eagerness, dedication and a reasonably objective sense of self
January 27, 2011
I found this book based on the title, read as much as I could from the previews and than ordered it express for the rest of it. Of course it cannot replace a good teacher, but there aren't too many of those around, so this book, a sense of your own capabilities and a dose of dedication will definitely boost your alpine skiing career.
The book is fun to read, repeats over and over again without ever feeling repetitive and thereby succeeds in delivering its message: how skiing works if done well. The style, explaining how something should work and feel while skiing works perfectly for me.
The physics behind the dance
Review by G. D. Maxwell of the book How I Ski: Expert Alpine Skiing Demystified! (condensed)
December 23, 2010
Skiing is a sport/pastime/obsession best savoured at an increasingly sophisticated level of skill and there's a predictable feedback loop: the better you ski, the more you ski; the more you ski, the better you get.
I came to skiing late in life, a full-grown adult with absolutely no ski experience.
Being a late skier, I took full advantage of free ski lessons offered to Whistler Blackcomb employees, taking well over 100. Not all of them were great. The ones I didn't care for weren't bad lessons, they just didn't speak to me in the language I need to learn.
I don't learn through mimicry. I need to understand. I want to know the physics behind making skis do what I want them to do in the same way I want to know more about what makes a car go and stop than just right pedal, left pedal.
Ken explains that.
Coming from an engineering background, Ken explains the physics of dynamic balance, edge control, momentum, the graceful dance of rhythm and flow and the interrelationship of body position, centre of gravity and fore-aft pressuring through the arc of interconnected turns.
While his barbell and magic carpet metaphors may not speak to me, his science does and that alone made it worth the time to read his book and take some of his tips up the hill. If you're still struggling to dance the dance and you think the reason may be too shallow an understanding of the, admittedly, bizarre forces at work while skiing, Ken may just make it all a little clearer for you as well.