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Skiing basics

This is my toastmaster speech on humorously speaking.  The objective of this speech is to open the speech with a humorous story.

People from Scotland are notorious for their meanness and I met one of them in ski school at Whistler.  I heard he said to the ski instructor, “I want to learn to ski, I want to ski with one leg only.”  The instructor asked him, “Yes sir, I can teach you how to ski on one leg, but may I ask why?”  The Scottish answered, “Because I will only need one ski.  It will be cheaper to buy one ski than two!”

Mr. Chair, dear fellow Toastmaster, summer has gone, the day is getting shorter and shorter.  Yes, winter is coming soon.  It is time for us to take out our ski gears from the closet and get ready for the skiing season.  May I ask how many of you ski?  Please raise your hand.  You may have been skiing for many years, you can race down the mountain like a bullet.  Maybe you are new to the sport, looking forward to graduate from the bunny hill.  Today, I am going to review some basic skiing techniques.  There are 3 core techniques in skiing, balancing, pivoting, and edging.  Let’s start with balancing.

If you cannot balance, you will fall.  Stance and balance is most fundamental skill in skiing.  What is a good balance?  The technical definition of having a good balance in skiing jargon is the center of mass over the bass of support.  Well, the jargon doesn’t make much sense even to a room full of engineers.  To make it easier, you just have to know my friend Bob.  Bob can really help you ski.  Who is bob?  Bob’s name is short for Butt over Boots.  When you start a turn, you must be like Bob.  When you are skiing, may Bob be with you.

What is the natural enemy to skiers?  It is the trees!  How to avoid hitting a tree, you have to learn how to turn when you see a tree ahead of you.  All turnings are initiate by pivoting your ski.  Many beginners make a common mistake when they try to initiate a turn.  Instead of pivoting their ski, they rotate their body to direction they want to go.  Don’t do it.  Rotating your body will not initiate a turn, it will only make your ski go faster.  Pivoting is pointing the tip of your ski to the direction you want to go, the key is to turn your legs independent of your body.

How many ski instructors need to change a light bulb?  Six.  One to screw in the light bulb and five to say “nice turn”.  Edging is a more advance turning technique that gives you a nice turn.  Instead of pivoting your ski, you have to angulate your ankle and lean on one edge of your ski.  Because of the curve shape of the ski, exerting pressure on one edge of the ski will turn the ski.  The shape of the turn is depending on your speed, the pressure you put the edge, and the degree you lean against the slope.  The only way to make a perfect turn is practice, practice and more practice on your edging.

Now let’s review the three core skills of skiing.  They are stance and balance, pivoting and edging.  If you can master this three basic skills, you will be skiing like a pro.  Wish you all have a great skiing season.

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