Broken tips from The Rusty

Does Rusty practice what he preaches? Of course not! Huh? Rusty follows his own tips most of the time, but there are exceptions. This page has what Rusty does for each of his own tips on the ski tips page.

Tip#72 Goggles - Rusty gets Bolle goggles specifically because he has a source where he can get lenses in specific colors. Periodically he restocks spare lenses. Rusty uses clear lenses for night skiing and pink (Bolle Vermillion) lenses during the daytime.

Tip#71 Edge Control - Rusty invents these kinds of the drills all the time when responding to question on Internet Forums like EpicSki.

Tip#70 Alignment - Rusty did the self test and he's fine. Rusty uses custom footbeds that have less than 1/2 degree of canting. Rusty does not often consciously look for alignment issues in his students until he notices "something weird" about their turns. Rusty can sometimes spot suspected alignment problems when watching videos of skiers. 

Tip#69 Falling Leaf - Rusty loves falling leaves, but they aren't safe to do when it's crowded!

Tip#68 Freestyle 180s and 360s Rusty does 180s and coaches 360s. Rusty cheats by using his Salomon Snowblades.

Tip#67 Balance - Yep - Rusty has done them all. Rusty is constantly fighting getting lazy and falling into the back seat. The lifting the big toe thing did not work for Rusty at all until recently. All of a sudden, bingo, he could feel his ankles flex and his knees grab the top front of his boot.

Tip#66 Socks - Rusty used to wear cotton socks for skiing. When he started to snowboard, his socks would get soaked. Rusty has been using a variety of different brands of ski and snowboard socks for the last 6 years. Ooh - they are so comfortable. Rusty has been getting most of his socks from Sierra Trading Post.

Tip#65 Turns - Rusty does this exercise a lot when teaching upper level lessons. It's very similar to a technique Rusty uses when he's skiing moguls.

Tip#64 Turns - Rusty is right handed and footed. As the eldest in the family, Rusty often played games wrong handed to even the odds against his younger siblings, but such practice helped develop a sense of "bi dexterity". Rusty does not have a problem with one turn being significantly weaker than the other. Rusty makes his turns equally messed up in both directions.

Tip#63 Moguls - Rusty calls this beginners tip the old man's way to ski the moguls. When he's tired, he'll use this method a lot. But Rusty loves to bash the moguls head on, using his legs as shock absorbers and the smashing impact against the bumps for brakes. As Rusty gets older, he's doing this less often.

Tip#62 Stance - Rusty learned to parallel ski with his feet locked together. Rusty loves powder and moguls. It's soooo hard to break the habit. Rusty would like to get his stance wider on groomed snow. He's getting there.

Tip#61 Carving - This is a new one to Rusty, but he likes it very much. It is hard to absorb this into your natural skiing movements so that you do it without thinking about it.

Tip#60 Carving - Rusty just learned this tip at the end of the 2002-2003 season. He found it to be most helpful when combined with other tips. Especially tip #61.

Tip#59 Carving - One of the benefits of skidding in a turn is that it helps to control speed. In a turn that is purely carved speed control happens in the upper part of the turn (through the change in direction) and then the very end of the turn (from coming out of the fall line or even going uphill). For fun, Rusty sometimes even starts his turns going up hill in order to "trip" his upper body to go to the inside of the new turn. Rusty gets lazy every now and then, fails to finish his turns and ends up skidding. He tends to do this more often on harder snow.

Tip#58 Steep skiing - Rusty has skied in knee deep slough before. It's pretty cool. There was no room to get out of the way, but the chute opened up into a powder field with plenty of room to run out. Otherwise, Rusty does keep an eye out for slough on steep runs and does a "lane change" if more than a couple of inches starts "skiing with him". The last time Rusty fell on a steep run and 8 inches of slough slid with him, he instinctively went into hyper alert mode until everything came to a stop.

Tip#57 Turns - progressive movement - Sometimes Rusty gets close to this goal, but this something that even top skiers are continuously working on. Sometimes Rusty gets lazy and "banks" through a turn. When the skis are in the fall line, the shoulders are tipped to the inside of the turn. The result is a lower edge angle and a sloppier turn that skids instead of carves.

Tip#56 - Travel - Rusty's skis and boots weight 15 pounds apiece. Rusty has often had the "overweight" tag put on his bags and only had to pay extra once (while traveling within Europe when he was grossly overloaded). Rusty's main piece of luggage carries his ski and snowboard boots and clothes. It's probably never been less than 50 pounds on a ski trip. Rusty has been carrying his skis and snowboards in separate bags. He's ordered a new travel bag than can carry both skis and snowboards in order to get his checked bag count down to 2.

Tip#55 - Turns - Short turns - Rusty can make short turns. He uses the funnel exercise for his students. Rusty loves skiing straight down the fall line on the steeps.

Tip#54 - Turns - Initiating a turn. If Rusty could perform this tip perfectly, he could afford to ski full time. This tip alone will not make one a perfect skier. There are other movements that must also occur in concert with this one. Rusty is still working on putting them all together. But the "move the hip to the inside tip" tip gives you something concrete to think about when you are trying to improve your level of expertise. 

Tip#53 - Health  - Rusty does not use moisturizers much, although he religiously uses lip balm to keep his lips moist. Rusty loves hot showers. Rusty carries a 70 ounce Camelbak to the hill, but uses it only about 50% of the time. On vacations, Rusty will hit hot tubs and fireplaces when they are convenient and "the bottle" regardless of convenience. When teaching, Rusty skips the tubs, fireplaces and alcohol to survive the long drive home.

Tip#52 - Powder - Rusty rented fat skis on his first helicopter ski trip. He had a blast, but kinda wished he used his regular skis to increase the challenge and get deeper into the snow. Rusty rented "mid fats" on his second helicopter trip. He picked the longest, heaviest snow day to leave the fatties at the hotel and boy o boy was he pooped after 26,000 vertical feet. Rusty loves to crank up the speed in the powder and let the skis do all the work. Rusty has had good results teaching powder newbies using the tips on this site.

Tip#51 Frostbite prevention - Rusty does not use boot heaters because his feet are usually sweating and boots are very well insulated. Rusty has poor circulation in his extremities and his fingers get cold easily. He will often ball his fist to get his fingers warm. Rusty does use charcoal heat packs when it's really cold. He always has extras so if you're real nice he might hand you some if you need them. Rusty favorite finger warm up exercise is to bend his gloved fingers all the way backwards (opposite of making a fist) with a big grimace of pain. Of course his fingers are really in a fist inside his glove, but it looks painful. Rusty never drinks alcohol until after he's off the slopes. Rusty has been known to teach hop turns when it's really cold. Rusty leaves a bag full of spare stuff (shirts, socks, gloves, etc.) in the car for just in case emergencies.

Tip#50 Conditions du jour - breakable crust - Rusty does pretty well in breakable crust with his Elans. There's nothing like the feeling of your tips cutting through that layer of ice. Sometimes breakable crust is enjoyable while everyone else is miserable. Sometimes it's just plain hard work.

Tip#49 - Steep Terrain - Rusty likes steep terrain. But he still gets brain lock and he's starting to get it more often now that he's an old fart. Rusty tries to avoid the "you fall, you die" spots. He prefers to find steeps where there is an open run out so he won't hit anything if he falls. Rusty will go steeper when there's fresh powder to cushion the inevitable oops. He will ski steep runs straight down the fall line unless conditions are dangerous or he's looking for a line.

- Rusty has two pairs of powder cords (so he can lend one to his desperate friends). Since he's gotten pretty good at powder skiing, he only uses them when the snow is really deep. Rusty loves the cat skiing guide's alternative to powder cords (set your bindings on 14), but does not recommend this approach!

Tip#47 - Rusty has thrown out too many old goggle frames because he could not get a replacement lens. Rusty buys Bolle goggles because he can also buy a spare lens whenever he buys a new goggle.

Tip#46 - Rusty carries a plastic scraper with him when he's out on the slopes. He has used the scraper to dress up friends skis and amazed onlookers. It also helps to clear packed snow out of snowboard bindings. Rusty carries both a file and a ski sharp tool in his gear bag. He likes to run the ski sharp on his skis and boards every couple of ski days. Rusty started buying hardware store files, but they wore out too quick.

Tip#45 - Rusty has only experienced frostnip. When Rusty's fingers start to tingle, he balls his hands into fists inside his gloves. If his hands get really cold, he just gets inside to warm up and recover. Rusty hands tend to colder easier after having experienced frostnip a couple of times.

Tip#44 - Although Rusty is a techie and learns more ski technology every year, he has drawn the line at the book "The Physics of Skiing". He's opened it, he's skimmed through it, but it's over his head mostly. Don't these people have a life? Rusty does fool around tuning his own equipment. Rusty does talk shop with ski shop folks during the slow summer season.

Tip#43 - Rusty's favorite tactic is to ski western facing slopes in the morning and eastern facing slopes in the afternoon. At big resorts, Rusty also likes to catch the first chair and work his way into the lift system to stay ahead of the crowd. When lines get longer, Rusty hits runs farther from the lift, traverses more or hikes out of bounds or just kick back more. When lines are shorter Rusty likes to "burn laps".

Tip#42 - This year Rusty has been playing racquetball to get in aerobic shape. Rusty's favorite balance exercise is a "T" where you stand one leg with your other leg and torso extended parallel to the floor with both hands palms together in front of your head.

Tip#41 - Psychology - Rusty has conquered his fear of heights (pretty much) by getting scared silly enough times and working through it. Rusty still gets chicken at the tops of very steep runs. He often will spend 10 minutes overplanning his way down, then screw up on the first turn and miss the whole plan. But the visualization of making all the turns is what gets him down in one piece.

Tip#40 - Rusty tries to take advantage of his professional status to get access to equipment reps and let them talk about what's new and why their equipment is better.

Tip#39 - Rusty skis in every kind of weather from rain to sun to snow to bitter cold. In extreme cold, Rusty will do a lot short turns at slow speed to minimize wind chill and maximize exercise. When the light is flat, Rusty will ski in trees or least on the forested edge of slopes to improve visibility.

Tip#38 - Rusty is still learning how to do his own repairs worth a damn. He mainly practices on his older equipment. When Rusty goes for the small flame, the candle usually goes out. To get rid of black carbon build up, Rusty used to just burn the candle until the buildup burned off. Rusty generally uses plastic scrapers for scraping, but is going to dig out that metal scraper. Rusty's home repairs are usually just temporary until it's time to for a routine shop visit.

Tip#37 - Rusty has more of a rounder shaped head (no jokes please!) and his Boeri (cool sound and ads on their web site, plus they have a sizing guide) helmet fits great. Rusty just bought the helmet via the mail through one of his instructor buddies and got very lucky with his comfortable fit. Rusty was most interested in venting and technology. He is very happy with the "Outlast" foam that distributes heat and the venting in the Boeri Axis helmet. At temps over 40 degree, it's too hot for his helmet.

Tip#36 - Being a single guy, Rusty thinks wiping skis dry is too much like vacuuming. Rusty gets lazy and in a hurry just like everyone. He tried carrying a rag with his gear, but it just got his gear nasty. Sometimes he uses a paper napkin from the lodge, sometimes he just powers a rag from the ski school locker room. This year, he's just going to leave his own rag in his ski "slot".

Tip#35 - Buying new boots usually makes Rusty cry. Rusty has an extra bone in his right foot that sticks out in just the spot above the arch where boots try for a snug fit. This makes trying new boots a painful experience. Although Rusty has had boots stretched to provide room for the extra bone, Rusty has had better success with orthotics and trying on many pairs of boots until the least painful one can be chosen. After the boots are broken in (i.e. the liner starts to conform to Rusty's foot shape), Rusty has been able to be happy with his boots and ski without boot induced pain. Rusty bought new orthotics with his last new boots. Rusty had his old orthotics trimmed to fit his second to last boot purchase, but now uses the old orthotics in his rollerblades.

Tip#34 - One ski skiing - Rusty does this when he's bored on beginner slopes. Rusty loves to leave "impossible" one ski tracks in fresh snow.

Tip#33 - Skinny poles - Rusty uses skinny poles (Goode). He has never broken a skinny pole, but he has had a set stolen.

Tip#32 - Skinny poles - Rusty is 5' 10" tall and uses 47" tall poles.

Tip#31 - Boot heaters - Rusty does not use boot heaters. Rusty's feet do more sweating than getting cold.

Tip#30 -Rusty always layers clothing and carries extra gear to the slopes.

Tip#29 - When it comes to clothing and accessories, Rusty has got one (or more) of most everything (except fleece). Rusty especially likes his Swany gloves. They are ridiculously expensive (>$100 list), but worth every penny. Rusty used to insist on down jackets for skiing, but Rusty has since picked up a few extra pounds of natural insulation (i.e. FAT).

Tip#28 - Rusty uses all three methods to stop. Rusty also has been known to ski uphill, do face plants and used fixed objects (aka trees) to stop. Rusty occasionally has to assist other skiers to stop by grabbing them.

Tip#27 - As an instructor, Rusty works on his skiing a lot. Getting better is something we all can be doing all the time no matter what level skier we are. But, more often than just occasionally, we need to just focus on having fun no matter how good we're skiing or how challenging the conditions are or how obnoxious the people we are skiing with or into. Just about everything that can be considered "bad" skiing can be done on purpose for fun (e.g. skiing into a tree ON PURPOSE). Don't worry - ski happy!

Tip#26 - Winter driving. What ever you do, don't follow Rusty in the winter. He refuses to use 4 wheel drive if the snow is not deep enough. He always goes faster than he should, but he generally does slow down at the last moment. Although instructors are required to drive through bad weather to get to work, Rusty has been known to stay off the road in extremely hazardous conditions or stay at the mountain when the weather increases the travel time too much.

Tip#25 - Rusty is only a PSIA level 2 instructor. As a ski instructor, you get access to the best instructors and generally get some kind of "lessons" every day. At the start of every season, the ski school provides "clinics" to refresh our teaching and personal skiing skills. During the season, we often get one on one coaching to help each other out. Also, as part of PSIA, Rusty gets coaching from some of the best skiers in the country through the PSIA clinics.

Tip#24 - Rusty hardly ever takes notes in class, but wishes he did more often. Rusty gets the best value in lessons by getting most of them "free", but the cost in time (being an instructor) is pretty high. O well - it's fun. Rusty pays for some lessons called "clinics" that are offered by the national organizations for instructors (PSIA and AASI) as part of his professional continuing education.

Tip#23 - Rusty does very little vacation planning because he generally travels alone, but he has a method to his madness.  Months before the trip, Rusty picks a general area that he wants to travel to next. Some trips are for PSIA clinics and some for fun. Rusty tries to go to at least one new place each year. For fun trips, Rusty does his best guess on when the weather will be good. Rusty tries get more than one week at a resort in order to assure at least one powder day. When Rusty travels by air, he generally books a room in advance (used the internet for research last season). Sometimes Rusty has been known to travel without reservations and do very well by arriving in the resort area early in the day and booking a room first. It's hard to get the lowest rates with reservations because the cheapest places can't afford 800 numbers and travel agent commissions. Rusty's record resort lodging rate is 6$/night in St. Moritz, Switzerland (including breakfast) at the youth hostel. Rusty used to go as cheap as he could so he could spend more days skiing, but now he has more money than vacation time. Rusty loves travelling alone because he gets forced into meeting new people. At many ski resorts, the atmosphere is so friendly it is hard for a single traveler to not get adopted by a group. Rusty has no favorite resort, but has done of lot of skiing in the Summit County region of Colorado and the Salt Lake region in Utah. Rusty used to vacation in December in order to string together the most vacation time, but has switched to late March/early April vacations when his ski instructing slacks off and there is still enough snow on the expert runs.

Tip#22 - Rusty is a good Samaritan. Giving tips to people in trouble (e.g. stuck in a mogul field) is what got Rusty started in ski instructing.

Tip#21 - Rusty's got rhyme (all the time) and rhythm.

Tip#20 - Rusty skis mostly on shaped skis. Most of his adapting of style happens when he switches between skis and a snowboard.

Tip#19 - Rusty does not bother to acclimatize on vacations. He does work hard to get in shape before the trip and take it easy on the first day at altitude. Rusty has experienced mild altitude sickness (headache) when hiking (in ski boots) at 13,000 feet for off piste skiing.

Tip#18 - Rusty reallllly prefers to keep his mouth shut when skiing with an "other". He has yet to get a date from a ski school lesson.

Tip#17 - Rusty is working on improving his skills for teaching children. He tends to be too lenient and let them do whatever they want to do. Instructors with more experience teaching children seem to magically have more control and more fun. Rusty has no children.

Tip#16 - Rusty loves powder skiing. Rusty has skied in neck deep powder. It was awesome.

Tip#15 - Rusty gets scared on the extreme runs, but skis them anyway. Rusty has even been truly terrified on a beginner run, but he was strapped into a monoski for handicapped skiers at the time. There is no better high than when you can beat your fears.

Tip#14 - Rusty works out. Rusty runs, rollerblades, plays racquetball and hits the weights. Rusty does extra training in the fall to get ready for ski season.

Tip#13 - Rusty has not bought any equipment online, but has researched equipment online before buying.

Tip#12 - Rusty does not buy equipment from local ski shops because he has industry connections. He does visit local shops to check them out and will buy accessories if a sale is good.

Tip#11 - Rusty never pays full price for equipment, except maybe for goggles in an emergency.

Tip#10 - Rusty has learned from these tips.

Tip#9 - Rusty does not drink enough water on the slopes because he tries to manage the restroom trips. Rusty has started using a Camelbak on occasional ski days. Rusty makes up for low water consumption by overloading before and after skiing. Rusty has started lunch breaks by chugging water down so that he can rehydrate early enough to "relieve" on the way back out to the slopes.

Tip#8 - Rusty bought a helmet for the 98-99 season, primarily for snowboarding because Rusty thinks he's such a good skier he does not need a stinking helmet. Rusty now wears his helmet on all but the hottest days. Rusty skied for over 30 years without hurting his head until one day he had a minor touch with another skier that caused him to fall backward get his bell rung. Being a guy, a minor concussion was no big deal (i.e. there - the worst has happened and I'm fine). During the 98 season, Rusty took a similar fall (without any help this time) and felt the helmet take the punch. Rusty is very happy with his helmet.

Tip#7 - Rusty is WHITE boy. After his first March ski trip out west, when he got burned on the underside of his nose, Rusty got better about using sun screen. Rusty slacks off on cloudy days.

Tip#6 - Rusty has ski books and videos. Want to borrow?

Tip#5 -Rusty buckles his boots from front to back because the boot fit is so tight that the back buckles will not close the other way.

Tip#4 - Rusty loves NotWax.

Tip#3 - Rusty takes his stuff to Ski Chalet in August - September when the prices are cheap. During the season, Rusty augments his own tuning with an occasional wax job at a shop.

Tip#2 - Rusty has sold equipment at a swap meet once.

Tip#1 - Rusty had a ball on his old Elan parabolic skis, but is getting ready to go less shaped to get more versatility back into his skiing.

Copyright 2000 Rusty Carr All Rights Reserved