Each winter, when I first throw my skis on the snow and click in, there is always a moment when I think to myself, “Gee, I hope I can still do this.” Not that I really believe that I’ve forgotten how to ski, but just for a moment the thought crosses my mind. (I have the same thoughts each spring when the mountain bike comes out for the first time…. “Can I really do this?”)
My kids never have this feeling of trepidation. Each winter, after the six-month summer hiatus, they immediately know that they can ski as well, or even better, than they could the previous spring. Partly, it is the confidence of youth. Partly, it is the gift of growing taller and stronger with each passing day instead of diminishing as we adults unfortunately must do (Oh, but we fight it! It’s just that we know the falls will hurt a bit more each season).
Visual Training…On The Couch
The other reason my kids progress in skiing confidence over the summer is because of ski movies. And of this, I am absolutely certain: Watching ski movies will make you a better skier.
I first noticed the benefit of visual training watching the Winter Olympics in 2002. One night, we watched the Womens’ Freestyle Mogul competition. The next day, we skied. Not only did we ski, we rocked the moguls. My husband and I were sold. At least one day every four years, we knew we’d be able to ski (almost) like Olympians.
The Gateway Films: Warren Miller
My kids have taken visual training to an entirely new dimension. They love ski movies and they watch them all summer. It started, of course, with Warren Miller. I am pretty sure we started with “Bloopers, Blunders and Bailouts” — the one Warren Miller film that doesn’t feature incredible skiing, but rather incredible stupidity, and is perfect for boys 8 years of age and under.
From here we got serious, moving on to Warren Miller’s “Ride,” or maybe “Cold Fusion,” or perhaps it was “Storm.” The boys were just starting elementary school and it all blurs together. But the upshot was that now they were hooked on ski p#*n….big mountain, big air, big fun (Yes, I’m a mom, and no, I don’t want search engines cueing on the word I just bleeped out). And by watching the best in the world school the snow, they were schooling themselves.
More “Refined” Taste?
When our oldest hit the tween years, he refined his taste, switching his DVD alliance from Warren Miller to Matchstick Productions, Poor Boyz, Level 1, and Teton Gravity Research. As a mom, I am not always thrilled by this switch. Warren Miller Productions knows that their audience is skiing families and “old timers” (like me?) who grew up inspired by Warren’s film antics. WMP keeps it clean. MSP, Poor Boyz. Level 1, and Teton Gravity sometimes have music I’d like to bleep out and stupid skits I’d like to delete. Their key demographic is probably young men, ages 17-27. But when it comes to sheer visual skiing nirvana, they can’t be beat. Even when I watch them, with my critical mom’s eye (and ear), I know that I’m becoming a better skier. I’m inspired, I’m challenged and I’m visually cued to improve my skiing.
There’s not much more to say: Ski Movies Make You Better A Better Skier.
What To Watch This Summer….
Interested in training from your couch this summer? Almost any Warren Miller, Matchstick Productions, Level 1, Poor Boyz or Teton Gravity Research. We often find them at our library or you can buy them directly (or download) online at each film company’s website. However, according to my sons the top three ski movies (at this time) are:
- The Way I See It, Matchstick Productions
- Eye Trip, Level One Productions
- Every Day is A Saturday, Poor Boyz Productions
They also enjoy watching the action on the following websites:
As for me, my current favorite is “The Way I See It”. I just can’t enough of deep pow in Japan. I’m going to be epic next winter. :0)
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