Picks and Pans Review: Distinctive Skiing

updated 12/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

If you want to look like a real nerd on the slopes and send all those snow bunnies or snow wolves scurrying in the other direction, this video is for you. After a cheesy aerobics demonstration, host Bill West, author of the 1985 book on which this video is based, gives 12 rules "to beautify your skiing." They include reminders about the importance of an erect posture, keeping the elbows up, holding feet and legs close together and making long traverses across the slope. Among other claims, he says his style leads to better balance and safer skiing, which runs counter to the almost universally held belief that the best balance is achieved when a skier's feet are about six inches apart, with a good flex in the knees. Not only is his instruction suspect, but while West is urging listeners to "zigzag" across a slope, he never reminds them that they need to keep a wary eye out for other skiers in the fall line. About the tape's only redeeming quality is the ski tune-up segment at the end. But that hardly compensates for the obnoxious theme song for his "12 Rules of Distinctive Skiing," sung to The Twelve Days of Christmas, let alone the inept instruction. More appropriate to this tape would be Bill Murray doing his ultracorny lounge routine après-ski. (Universal, $39.95; 305-360-9000)

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