Words of Wisdom from 3 Northern Michigan Ski Instructors

Lynn Dinning

Nub’s Nob ski instructor for 33 years, once voted a Top 100 Instructor in America by SKI magazine, glass artist in summer.

Mission: I want students to be safe, have fun and then learn. If I can get people to giggle and laugh, they are relaxed, and it really enhances the learning process.
Skill Tip: Traverse across a modest slope balanced on the edge of the ski in a way that etches a pencil-thin line into the snow. Practice until the line is very crisp, not mushy at all. Knowing how to balance on the ski edge is critical to shaping the arc of a turn.
Advice: Remember that practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. Learn the right techniques early, practice them and you will quickly advance.

Morgan LaFonte

Boyne Mountain snowboard instructor, former X-Games star and 22-year veteran of the snowboard.

Mission: This person will walk away knowing how to snowboard and will fall in love with the sport just as I fell in love with it.
Fitness Tip: New boarders should do push-ups for a month or two before the lesson because they’ll be picking themselves up a lot, and their arms will get really tired.
Attitude: For people who want to ski only, remember that diversity is cool, having more than one trick in your bag (e.g., snowboarding!) is empowering.
Gear: Be confident and comfortable in your gear. You don’t want to be pigeon toed or bowlegged; if you are, get an adjustment.

Sean Dye

Crystal Mountain downhill and telemark instructor, 26 years old, but already a 20-year veteran of the slopes.

Mission: Really connect with that student and get them to feel comfortable. If they’ve had a bad fall that’s really scared the heck out of them, help them get beyond that.
Telemark Exercise: Definitely lunges to strengthen your calves because they’ll be supporting your weight. Also the invisible chair, where you put your back against a wall and pretend to be on a chair.
Body Awareness: People tend to mentally complicate telemarking. But really you are just doing an athletic walk down the hill. You need to feel it, develop your sense of body awareness, feel the movement in your feet and ankles.

Bookmark the Northern Michigan Ski Guide for up-to-date conditions, temps, stats at Northern Michigan resorts.

More on Hitting the Slopes

Article Comments