There's method in the message;Books

5th February 1999 at 00:00
ALI ROSS SKIING CLINIC. Cross Publishing, Chale, Isle of Wight. pound;15.95 plus pound;2 pamp;p.

Nothing changes from the most basic to the most advanced levels of skiing," Ali Ross, the guru of British ski teaching, says in his latest book on improving your skiing.

He used the same sentence 12 years ago in an almost identical text. "Most of the problems come from misunderstandings and misinterpretations of basic technical concepts at the very beginning." The Ali Ross teaching method remains remarkably consistent. He does not work with beginners during his ski clinics in the Alps and sometimes in the United States. His message is primarily for the grades of intermediates who can travel around most of the mountain with varying skill.

Ross believes the average skier with basic faults can easily become more accomplished, able to tackle more difficult pistes with far less fear. Since his first book, the most significant development has been in ski design. Carving skis have replaced the conventional-shaped ski. Carving turns is at the centre of Ross strategy and skis are now working for his teaching method, he says.

Does his approach work? I think so. Travel round the Alps and you will see groups continuing to learn broadly the same technique familiar to a generation. Learning in different countries under different ski schools can cause problems of misunderstanding. Never one to shirk controversy, Ross challenges "misunderstood" phenomena, ranging from "up and down" movements, unweighting skis, shifting weight and skiing with feet together.

If you have ever been frustrated with ski teaching, give Ross a try.

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