Ski techniques are generally considered something you learn by doing. However, in some cases a well-written book will provide the instruction you need to propel your technique from good to great. Such is the case with The Skier's Edge by Ron LeMaster.
About Ron LeMaster
Most hard-core ski enthusiasts recognize the name Ron LeMaster instantly. His 30 plus years as a race coach and ski instructor have generated a reputation for being a master of ski techniques.
Ron is not only an accomplished skier and instructor; he is also an in-demand public speaker who lectures all over the world on the biomechanics of skiing. He has had his instructional articles published in various magazines and has created technical material for the Professional Ski Instructors of America, the same organization where he is certified and accredited.
One if his most notable works is The Skier's Edge, an in-depth guide for experienced skiers who want to improve their ski techniques. His newest book, Ultimate Skiing, will be released in September of 2009.Ultimate Skiing offers the next step in perfecting technique by explaining the most complicated concepts in easy to understand language. You will learn by reading but also by seeing the incredible photomontages that show each individual movement-another of Ron LeMaster's specialties. Together, The Skier's Edge and Ultimate Skiing can teach you how to be the skier you've always wanted to be by not only telling you what to do, but why you should do it.
Ski Technique Expert Interview with Ron LeMaster
Recently, LoveToKnow had the pleasure of talking with Ron LeMaster about his book, The Skier's Edge, and how it can help you to become a better skier. Here is what he had to say.
What prompted you to write The Skier's Edge?
Ron LeMaster: There have been a lot of good books written about how to ski, but not many that explained why you should ski that way. The best, in my opinion, were written back in the 60s and 70s. I felt there was a need for a book that explained how skiing works, and the "why" of ski technique. I guess you could say that I've been compiling the information since I started teaching and coaching, in the early 70s.
Is it based primarily on your own experience skiing, scientific research or both?
RL: I'd say it's the result of applying my background in science and engineering to what I've learned from the other coaches, instructors and skiers that I have the good fortune to know, as well as my own experience skiing. I've also read a lot of books and articles, not only about skiing but other sports as well. I've actually learned a lot about skiing by reading about other technique-intensive sports, such as swimming. What was your goal in writing this book?
RL: To write the book I had always wished someone had written for me.
Is this a book for beginners, intermediate or advanced skiers?
RL: More than anything, it's a book for people who want to be able to coach themselves. For the most part, those are advanced and intermediate skiers. It's also been very popular among experts, instructors, coaches and competitors.
Did you find it difficult to explain technical topics so everyone could understand them?
RL: I started writing about this stuff in the 70s, and for the last 20 years I've given clinics and lectures for ski instructors and coaches on ski technique and biomechanics. I've figured out that the physics of skiing is really the physics of everyday life, and if you explain it in terms of people's everyday experience, it makes sense to them. It's about what you feel when you ski, not a bunch of math and abstract theory.
Can someone really improve their ski techniques by reading a book?
RL: That's what people who've read it tell me. And I certainly learned a lot from the books I've read, especially the landmark books like Georges Joubert's How to Ski the New French Way and Warren Witherell's How the Racers Ski.
What do you feel are the most important concepts in your book?
- Your interaction with the snow is what makes skiing work. You exert a force against the snow and the snow pushes back. When you learn to feel those forces and balance against them, your skiing immediately start moving in the direction of becoming a very good skier.
- You should ski with your feet and legs and balance with your upper body.
- There are many ways to ski well. The best way for a particular person has a lot to do with that person's physique. People with different body types tend to ski differently.
What concepts did you have the most difficulty explaining?
RL: What it feels like to ski well and perform specific technical movements. If you can describe those feelings well, it gives the reader something he or she can take out on the hill and learn to do. There's no guarantee, however, that the way a certain movement feels to me is how it will feel to you. When you think about it, isn't that what makes great writers? Their ability to convey subject experience?
Learn from the Best
If you want the opportunity to learn from the best, Ron LeMaster is the instructor for you. With his books you can absorb his expertise and experience and become the skier you always knew you could be. What better project for the off-season?
LoveToKnow would like to thank Ron LeMaster for taking the time to do this interview and share his thoughts. You can view some of his amazing photography on his website, RonLeMaster.com. You can also check out his current book, The Skier's Edge at Amazon.com or Human Kinetics where you can also read about and pre-order his latest book, Ultimate Skiing.