Book Reviews

Ultimate Skiing Revisited – by Ron LeMaster – Book Review

Ultimate_Skiing_2Ultimate Skiing – by Ron LeMaster, © 2010.

Video/Book Reviews by Ed Kane

This is Ron LeMaster’s rewrite of his earlier book “The Skier’s Edge” and is published by Human Kinetics in 2010. It is available from the office, now on sale for $20 (plus tax and shipping). It’s a soft bound 209 page well illustrated book. This version was written to incorporate considerations brought to the sport by the innovations in shaped skis and advances in equipment technology. It has a great deal of information that is useful to the instructor community due to the superb illustrations and excellent discussion of efficient skiing movements used by skilled skiers and the top racers. This book would be recommended for instructors that are working toward Level II or III certification or are looking for material to help them enhance their understanding of teaching at the higher student skill levels.

The book is easy to read and understand due to the use of simple straightforward English throughout the book. It has 3 major sections: Fundamentals-Skiing From the Snow Up; Techniques-Controlling Your Interaction with the Snow; Matching Tactics and Techniques to Real-World Skiing.

In the first section, he discusses the forces that act on both the skis and the skier all of which impact our ability to control where we want to go while riding on the skis. This is followed by a clear discussion of the interactions between the skis and the snow as these are affected by the ski design, body movements, changes in direction and speed. It is concluded with an interesting discussion of turning and the demands put on the equipment and the skier in various turning situations. The included diagrams and descriptions are very useful in clarifying the concepts that are being discussed.

The second section contains a majority of the content of the book. It starts with a review of the effects of alignment and stance in the various situations we encounter as we ski in various terrain and conditions. He covers use of all of the joints and how they affect the turns and continuity between them. He then moves to an interesting discussion of fore and aft movements and follows this with the impact of up and down movements. Next he covers turning the skis, edging them and finally the effects of lateral balance on turn efficiency. This sections is concluded with a fairly in depth discussion on boots, appropriate stiffness, proper fitting and alignment both fore and aft as well as laterally. On the whole, I felt that the discussion of boot selection/fitting was very valuable in that it was quite complete, well thought out and clearly presented.

The book is concluded with brief discussions of the tactics to be considered for skiing in Ice, Moguls, Off-Piste and Steeps. Each of these subsections is quite brief and very concise but has some excellent thoughts that would be valuable in planning for classes that wish to ski these conditions more comfortably.

Buy it on the PSIA-NW on-line Store for $20: