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My country's ski technique is the best... (Or is it?)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Now that I have your attention with that controversial title... wink.gif


I had an interesting conversation with a friend on the lift today. 


My friend recently took a post-Interski session from one of the Austrian participants. My friend was raving about her technique and how it was better than our Canadian technique. He went so far as to say that if he'd had the chance to learn to ski over again, he'd go the Austrian route instead. I was shocked. The specifically odd part, aside from him somehow not wanting to have gone the CSIA route, was in his assertion that you should really pressure the shovel during phase 1. In my view, getting forward on your skis leads to rotation. And it led to my new internal conflict below.


My personal perspective has always been that CSIA skiing looks and feels the most balanced, adaptable, and high performance at higher levels. Obviously I'm looking at this from a national perspective rather than individual skiers. But I acknowledge my bias. First, I'm Canadian, so my country's ski system must automatically be the best. biggrin.gif Second, I've taken well over 100 lessons and clinics by CSIA instructors, versus one and a half from "foreign" instructors (one full PMTS lesson years ago, and one half PSIA pseudo-lesson recently; more like feedback from a PSIA perspective). Third, I'm a CSIA instructor, coach, and snowboard instructor--which are also tied to CSIA's model. You could say my exposure to good skiing is all based on CSIA technique. (By extension, high-end PSIA technique looks pretty good to me as the American system values a similar skill-based model. I would be happy to ski like many of the level 3s.)


So here's the issue: There are skiers all around the world who could (and do every day) smoke me. However, I can see their issues from a Canadian perspective, whether that's rotation, a lazy inside leg, crazy pressure control from extreme flexion/extension... these issues are evident to me even in the interski videos of some nations.


Is it possible that some of these "issues" aren't actually bad, despite our understanding of physics and biomechanics through CSIA training? Or if you develop through a different system, are there effective workarounds to these issues?



If we as instructors fix those issues in someone's skiing, are we working against their nation's technique? If so, how should we really proceed with skilled skiers from other nations?

I recognize there's no "right" or "wrong" in skiing, just consequences. But we want to teach to provide opportunities to experience maximum sensations, fun, terrain and snow conditions while minimizing risk and effort/exertion (or providing the option to minimize exertion). Can diametrically opposed techniques enable these opportunities?

post #2 of 4



In- no- sense        is bliss!


Ski and enjoy


"wish I could add something to the post,but  I only know what I feel.


edit    'sorta wish I could tell the national difference,  really happy I can't



Edited by Cgrandy - 4/26/11 at 9:12pm
post #3 of 4

Metaphor, look closely at World Cup skiing.  Take away the individual style, and the base technique is all pretty much the same.  Good skiing is good skiing.  The national differences you see in various teaching organizations are simply narrow technical themes that tend to define the philosophy of that organization.  It's all good.  The best skier in the end would be the one who learned from each, and thus had the ability to show the look that each group wanted to see.  What I'm saying is, if you want to stick to the book of what CSIA believes and teaches, your students won't be hurt by it.  It will just serve to expand their skill base and versatility, which is a good thing.  On the other hand, such skill versatility development is just as good for teachers as it is for students.  Know what I mean?   

post #4 of 4

Well to answer you question.  Of Course we are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



But to clarify some points.  Dont confuse Progresson with Final Form.  Final Form is not all that different from nation to nation.  Often more variablility is seen in skiers from the same country then from nation to nation.


Where the greatest differences lye is in the progression...or the path we take to get skiers from that first day on snow to true expert skiing.


Most confusion comes from human nature.  Human nature being what it is, we all assume we are "experts" so when Joe Average from the CSIA compares himself to Bob Mediocre from the PSIA and they are worlds apart people chalk it up to different beliefs, technqiues etc.  The truth is they are just on different progressions and often at different stages of that progression as well. 

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