Saturday, February 14, 2015

A "Harb Ski Systems" Camper report, from boots to little toe edge.



Harb Ski Systems, Granby Ranch Ski Camp.


This is my 4th year skiing and first full year using PMTS movements in my skiing. I decided to give the Green/Blue camp a go as it fell perfectly with a vacation week. At the end of last season I purchased Harald's ACBAES I and II books and read them and watched the DVDs REPEATEDLY. I built my own slant board and practiced this fall with it.

Before this camp I went to my local mountain for a couple of days of practice with some of the book drills to get ready and it was a help. Flew into Denver on the Sunday before the camp and drove an hour to Dumont to the Ski Shop for an alignment and boot check. I was really looking forward to this and it paid off tremendously . When I arrived Harald and Diana greeted me warmly which was welcome after a long trip across country. 

Harald performed my foot analysis and measurements and alignment assessment himself. We discussed some of my challenges and goals while skiing and then he checked my current boots. Much to my wallet's dismay I discovered the ski boots I already owned had not been properly fitted and were a size too large. I had too much volume in my boots which allowed my feet to slip encouraging a lot of back seat skiing. As an aside I bought these boots from a certified US ski boot fitter but NOT a PMTS boot fitter. Don't make the same mistake I did, find a PMTS boot fitter, it will be worth your trouble.

So I bit the bullet and purchased the correct size Head Raptors at Harald's suggestion. This turned out to be a key to success at the camp. Harald spent 3 hours with me on the day I bought boots getting them to fit right and then modified them a bit more during the camp. The other boot fitter, maybe an hour and a half with NO foot evaluation or alignment evaluation.

Monday morning arrived and I believe there were 25 for so campers and we were divided into 4 groups with 4 instructors...Harald, Diana, Bob H and Rich. For those that haven't been to Granby Ranch Colorado it is mix of mostly green and blue slopes which are perfect for the kind of drills and practice PMTS uses. It is a pretty little place nestled in Granby Colorado.

I was fortunate enough to be placed with a great group of 5 other people, some were as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Nova Scotia. Ages in my group ranged from mid 30s to low 70s. The group was randomly put together based on general skill level evaluated on the first morning by the instructors. Our group turned out to be very cohesive and supportive of each other. Also have to put a big plug in here for the coaching. Our group had Bob H for the first 3 days and he was excellent. Bob has a no nonsense approach to teaching drills but also has a great sense of humor and likes to have some fun . The group and both of our coaches (Bob and Harald) joked back and forth.

The last two days we had Harald. I have to admit I was a little bit in awe of Harald and a bit nervous about what he might do to us. Turns out Harald is one of the most down to earth and fun loving people I've ever met. It was a special treat to be coached by the person who developed PMTS. 

Over the course of the 5 days many weakness were exposed and we were put through various drills to help us deal with them. We had a great time with each other and our coaches all week.

If you are reading this and haven't been to one of the PMTS camps I would highly recommend that you sign up. While the exercises in the books and DVDs are well explained there are definite nuances that tie it all together that were made clear at the camp. A certified coach with an eye like a hawk is watching you to help you progress and one last point......VIDEO DOES NOT LIE. Video may be the single biggest thing to clearly show you where you are not performing when analyzed by someone who is trained in PMTS.  

There were many important points made during camp by Bob and Harald but the biggest in my mind is Little Toe Edge....Learn to balance on it, learn to tip with it, and learn to love it. Think about it before you go to bed and think about it when you wake up. While walking through the airport in my boots I found myself walking more on my little toe edges. Did I mention that the Little Toe Edge was the most important? If I didn't Bob H will call my cell and remind me. Also for Bob's sake.... Flexion, Pull feet back, Tipping, Counter Balance and Counter Acting.

I believed in PMTS before I went to camp and after camp I know it will be the only method that I continue to use while skiing. Again if you are even remotely interested in PMTS, buy the books and DVDs, study them and get some time in a camp. The camp was unbelievably great and I would consider it indispensable in implementing PMTS.

Thank you again to Harald, Diana, Bob H, Rich.

Ben S

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