Tom Cunneff
December 12, 1988 12:00 PM

Beautifully photographed (on film) in Aspen, Colo., from dozens of different camera angles, this set of two 60-minute tapes reflects a sophisticated technical proficiency, explaining not only the how-tos but the why-fors. Skiing with Style has a lot going for it. Everything, that is, except fun. Host P.J. Jones, a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Demonstration Team, is way too subdued. He lacks the exuberance associated with ski instructors—he lacks the exuberance associated with bus drivers, for that matter—and the resultant flatness doesn’t make for engaging video instruction. On the first, novice-oriented tape, The Parallel Turn, he and co-host Sue Kern, also a PSIA instructor, show how to make the transition from the basic snowplow maneuver to parallel skiing. “Putting pressure on the outside ski and bringing the inside, lighter ski in line is the first parallel move,” says Jones. Every stage of the turn is thoroughly covered, but all in that kind of dry style. The title of the second tape—Mastering the Mountain—is a little misleading. While it’s geared to the advanced skier, what it offers are the same in-depth instructional techniques applied to moves such as carving (skiing on the edge of the skis) instead of finding out how to handle actual terrain. Those looking to find out how to negotiate, say, a steep narrow chute, a deep mogul field (one full of bumps) or powder will have to look elsewhere. One expects a lot more pizzazz from a product of one of the leading ski magazines. (3M, $39.95 each; 800-248-1989)

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