Fast one on the wrong foot flops |

Fast one on the wrong foot flops

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

In the early 1950s, Austrian certification criteria weren’t nearly as stringent as it is today. As long as a candidate could perform the basics, they were in.During one particular exam, a candidate was having trouble demonstrating a snowplow to the satisfaction of his examiners. This was back in the days of double-laced leather ski boots, which were much easier to pop off without removing them from the bindings than today’s plastic models.One attempt after another, the candidate could not seem to spread the tails of his skis wide enough to perform an effective snowplow. The examiner offered him one last chance. If he couldn’t demonstrate a good snowplow, he would fail his examination. Fearing he was going to lose face with his peers, he told the examiner that he needed to make a “minor adjustment” to his boots. While the examiner’s head was turned, the candidate skied over to a bench, slipped off his boots and put them on the opposite feet. He stood up and somehow managed to limp back to the examination area, where he performed a perfect snowplow.When the demonstration was over the candidate asked the examiner if he might have a moment to “visit the restroom,” thinking he’d have time to switch his boots back again.The examiner said, “In a couple of minutes. First, we need to see your mogul run.”- Herb Schneider, Conway, New HampshireGunfight on Lost BoyBy the end of the ski season, it was fairly typical for the instructors in our ski school to get a little rambunctious. Practical jokes were often the order of the day – playedon each other as well as clients.It all started when one of my fellow instructors, Richard, pulled out a toy cap gun at the morning split and informed me that he was going to have some fun.Two of us were assigned level 5 classes. Late in the afternoon, we found ourselves close to each other on Lost Boy.Cap-gun toting Richard happened to ski by the other instructor and pointed the gun at him. He pulled the hammer back and squeezed the trigger. Boom!Playing along with the act, the instructor hit the ground, and lay motionless in the snow. At that, Richard announced, “Good afternoon, everyone. Your previous instructor will be unable to ski with you for the rest of the day, so I’ll be your instructor. Please follow me and do exactly what I say.”Bewildered and not really sure what to do, the class shrugged their shoulders and followed Richard without question, leaving the other instructor behind on the snow.A good instructor always knows how to control their class.- Tom Henderson, VailVail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism