Picks and Pans Review: Alpine Skiing for Kids

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

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

This video is part of the Kids Coach series for children (there's also one available on soccer). Host Neal Meglathery, a teacher and actor, spends most of the 45 minutes talking about the finer points of carving turns while six students, aged 9 to 13, demonstrate. He also has them do drills to improve their "edge control" by positioning their skis at an angle to the plane of the hill and then releasing them as they sideslip down. Strangely, while the instruction is designed for intermediates or better, an equipment section at the end is for beginners. Generally, though, your junior Jean-Claude will benefit from the sound instruction, and he'll love the catchy original theme song by Fred Haas and Bob Merrill. (Kids Coach, $24.95; 603-448-5696)

FUNDAMENTALS OF DOWNHILL SKIING

BLACK DIAMOND SKIING

Here are two "neuromuscular training" videos. The tapes use few words—often none at all—relying on slow-motion shots of skiers practicing a maneuver while soft piano music fills the sound track. (The producers say people learn via an unconscious mechanism—impulses moving from the eye to the brain to the muscles, "etching a blueprint of perfect motion into your nervous system." Okay, guys, if you say so.) One 60-minute tape, aimed at novice to advanced intermediate levels, covers everything from the wedge to parallel turns; the second is self-explanatory (black diamond is the code for "most difficult" slopes). There's little instruction on the first tape, none on the second, except for an occasional key word such as "push." The lack of terrain variety can get boring, but the scenes are beautifully photographed, and the skiers in the second one look as if they're doing ballet. They're that graceful. (Syber-Vision, $49.95 each; 800-777-5885)

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