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What ski should I use for CSIA Level 3 exam?

Poll Results: What ski should I use for CSIA Level?

 
  • 0% (0)
    13m sidecut
  • 30% (3)
    15m sidecut
  • 40% (4)
    17m sidecut
  • 30% (3)
    doesn't really matter
10 Total Votes  
post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

NOTE TYPO IN POLL: it should read "What ski should I use for CSIA Level 3 exam?"

 

Those of you that are familiar with the CSIA Level 3 standards, what do you think the ideal ski is to train on and use in the exam?

 

Reason I ask is that I was using a 13.5m radius ski last year (Head iSupershape Magnum), and I wonder if the shorter radius makes it harder to "demonstrate ski performance"?  I.e. I have frequently heard CSIA examiners say that what they're looking for is the type of skiing that will "bend the ski".  So in order to "bend the ski" significantly, I think I would have to carve a <10m radius turn on a 13.5m radius ski, or carve a <14m radius turn on a 17m radius ski, all done at relatively high speeds for the Short Radius and Advanced Parallel portions of the exam.

 

Let's assume for argument's sake that I have nailed all the necessary skills to carve turns precisely and efficiently (obviously I haven't, but I'm working on them).  Fitness and leg strength then become important considerations, especially because I only ski on weekends and my day job is entirely sedentary.  I imagine that the shorter the turn radius, the stronger I must be, but given the other priorities in my life I simply can't put in the time to train to be as physically strong as your typical Level 3 candidate.  

 

Would you agree then that a ski with a more moderate sidecut, say ~17m radius, would be less demanding to use in the exam scenario?

post #2 of 16

I'd go the 17m.  I wouldn't necessarily say it is less demanding...but I think it would be the most versatile, and capable of showing what you can do.

 

It would be worth getting the views of guys like Skinerd, Rollo and Met also.

post #3 of 16

17m.

It's the most versatile, I would also look at width and sidecut too and maybe the construction. 

 

Strength wise, I think if you're of average weight and can balance properly over the outside ski, you should be fine at bending it, unless it's a world cup ski. Thats were the construction comes along. Having not met you, seen you ski or knowing your weight I can't really say...

 

Speaking as a Personal Trainer: I'd say rather than worrying about leg strength and fitness, I'd be more worried that you've got mobile hips, so you can use your legs the way you're meant to. Sitting in an office sedentary all day, will tighten your hip flexors and rotators, making them weak and immobile. That in my opinion will help you be able to 'show more of what they want'. It's not possible to absorb using the hip and knee if the hips are tight, nor is rotating the leg inside the hip socket. You won't be able to ski bumps as well as you could with tight hips, strength on the other hand you don't necessarily need, I know plenty of great skiers, who's style is more finesse, (Olly Nagy, Janice Morgan, Russ Wood), they probably don't squat or deadlift the most, but can get the job done just as well if not better than the more powerful skiers like Foster or JF....

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Someone replied to me by a private message, and this is the key bit that they wrote:

 

...my opinion is that they don't want to see perfectly carved turns.  They want to see "steered" turns.  That means round, but smeared a bit.  Personally I would go for something right around 14m radius, give or take a bit.

 

This advice is a bit different from that given by Skidude and Rollo.  Moreover, when we were about to start our AP run at the last Level 3 exams in April at Blackcomb, I distinctly remember hearing Dr. Ken (Paynter) explicitly saying that he wanted to see us "bend the ski".  Those were his exact words.

 

What do y'all think?

post #5 of 16
Well, Rollo is an L4, so I'd listen pretty closely to his advice. No reason one can't bend a 17m ski into a tighter arc assuming you're on the right 17m ski and length for your height and weight. IMHO of course.
post #6 of 16

Bending or working the ski, is quite correct, and I would agree that it's what is looked for.

With a 17m ski, you have more time essentially to do so; the ski is not moving in on it's side cut in such a tight arc. Therefore in short radius turns, you will need to 'work' the ski harder, or change your blending of the steering skills (pivot, edge & PC) to allow you to work it's 17m into the short radius required. Then again at a longer radius the ski will react differently, and you will again need to adjust your steering skills accordingly, to create the length of turn needed. 

With a 14m ski the radius is naturally tighter good for short turns? Perhaps? However usually with this kind of ski, the radius being at 14m requires the side cut to be fairly aggressive, often what we will see in instructors is that the ski will 'hook up' and rail hard, the only way you can then manage the radius is through edging and pressure control. This is effective if you're on the world cup, as traditional pivoting can be seen as scrubbing speed, however we're not looking for world cup kinda turns here. Do you posses the athleticism and strength to pull off edge to edge pure carve short turns, down a black pitch and as your turns might not be as round as needed you'll be accelerating. 

I remember on a level 4 exam a few years back a lot of guys from the coast turned up to the 6m corridor on their SL skis, 13-14m skis, they skied  inside the corridor, but due to their lack of steering skills, the aggressive sidecut and the width of the turn that they needed to perform they were unable to create arc to arc turns, instead it turned into looping turns where they threw the skis sideways and hoped and prayed, increasing speed as they went. Needless to say, when the requirement of the task was to show arc to arc, steered high performance turns, and the examiners were making 8 to 12 turns down the corridor and the coastal candidates only made 5, you can probably guess their results.(I used a 16m ski in a 174 showed more pivoting and grabbed a 7/10) 

 

In long radius you'll need to be careful to actually 'work' or 'bend' the 14m ski, the temptation will be to park and ride, and not actually close the radius up.

 

There is no defined radius for AP, but they would like to see you work within around half the radius of your ski, with a 17m ski that means around an 8-9m turn, with a 13-14 we're looking 6-7m, that's tight. 


In summary, I would stick with the 17m, it will be easier to show what they want, it will more than likely be a less aggressive sidecut that won't hook up quick, it's gonna be more manageable, you'll have more time to bend the ski and it will allow you to show proper CSIA mechanics for steering that are required for the Level 3. If you feel like the 14m ski is still your thing, go for it, but ensure you're fit and really on it. 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo87 View Post

Bending or working the ski, is quite correct, and I would agree that it's what is looked for.
 

...[etc]...

 

In summary, I would stick with the 17m, it will be easier to show what they want...

 

Thanks, Rollo, for the very thorough answer.  I am looking for whatever will make it easier to show the examiners what they want to see, given that I possess less "athleticism and strength" than your typical Level 3 candidates.  17m it is.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo87 View Post

17m.

It's the most versatile, I would also look at width and sidecut too and maybe the construction. 

 

Strength wise, I think if you're of average weight and can balance properly over the outside ski, you should be fine at bending it, unless it's a world cup ski. Thats were the construction comes along. Having not met you, seen you ski or knowing your weight I can't really say...

 

Speaking as a Personal Trainer: I'd say rather than worrying about leg strength and fitness, I'd be more worried that you've got mobile hips, so you can use your legs the way you're meant to. Sitting in an office sedentary all day, will tighten your hip flexors and rotators, making them weak and immobile. That in my opinion will help you be able to 'show more of what they want'. It's not possible to absorb using the hip and knee if the hips are tight, nor is rotating the leg inside the hip socket. You won't be able to ski bumps as well as you could with tight hips, strength on the other hand you don't necessarily need, I know plenty of great skiers, who's style is more finesse, (Olly Nagy, Janice Morgan, Russ Wood), they probably don't squat or deadlift the most, but can get the job done just as well if not better than the more powerful skiers like Foster or JF....

 

Rollo's hitting an important point here: it's more the skier than the ski. You could pass (or fail) with a ski of any of the turn radii in your poll. Give yourself your best possible chance with some good conditioning over the next few months. It's especially important for us desk jockeys. 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo87 View Post

Speaking as a Personal Trainer: I'd say rather than worrying about leg strength and fitness, I'd be more worried that you've got mobile hips, so you can use your legs the way you're meant to. Sitting in an office sedentary all day, will tighten your hip flexors and rotators, making them weak and immobile.

 

Here's the thread where I posted videos of my skiing, asking for feedback:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/120424/my-turn-assess-me-for-csia-l3

 

Do you see any signs of "immobile hips"?  If so, then I'll have to include that in my off-season conditioning.

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomstriker View Post

 

Here's the thread where I posted videos of my skiing, asking for feedback:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/120424/my-turn-assess-me-for-csia-l3

 

Do you see any signs of "immobile hips"?  If so, then I'll have to include that in my off-season conditioning.

 

Thanks!


It's hard to tell from the skiing as the video is not zoomed well, video yourself doing a bodyweight squat, and then let me see. Conditioning wise, this is what i would be concerned with mostly, with weak hips, no chance that you can angulate, the knee is under pressure and likelihood on injury will increase. How's your cardio?

Do you have a ski in mind to buy? I can put you in contact with my guy with Nordica if you're interested in their goods. It's good gear after all (sales pitch over!)

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo87 View Post


It's hard to tell from the skiing as the video is not zoomed well, video yourself doing a bodyweight squat, and then let me see. Conditioning wise, this is what i would be concerned with mostly, with weak hips, no chance that you can angulate, the knee is under pressure and likelihood on injury will increase. How's your cardio?

Do you have a ski in mind to buy? I can put you in contact with my guy with Nordica if you're interested in their goods. It's good gear after all (sales pitch over!)

 

I'll get footage of me doing some bodyweight squats after I leave the office...my colleagues might think I'm weird (which admittedly I am) if I video myself right now! biggrin.gif

 

My quiver currently consists of two pairs of skis:

  • 2011 Head Magnum - radius 13.5m
  • 2008 Volkl AC40 - radius 16.1m

Both pairs have fairly low mileage on them (2 winters, weekends only) and are in excellent condition.

 

Given the advice received, I was just gonna stick with my current Volkls.  Plus there's all the CSIA pro-deals available anyway...but I do appreciate the offer of a connect!

post #12 of 16
Hey Rollo, just for fun, what are your top choices for a 17m'ish ski? What were people on during your exam last year? Thanks in advance!
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Hey Rollo, just for fun, what are your top choices for a 17m'ish ski? What were people on during your exam last year? Thanks in advance!

Nordica Fire Arrow 84 - Radius is 17 in a 168, and 18 in a 176.

Nordica GS R - 172 has a 17.5 radius

Blizzard G power  174 17m radius

Blizzard R Power 174 has a 18m radius

Rossignol Pursuit 18ti or elite ti have radius around 17.4m!!

Most people were on a variety of different skis, some slalom, some were cheater gs and some just all mountain carvers. I still think and believe the front side carver ski is the way to go! It just performs well everywhere!!

 

post #14 of 16
Thanks! Many of those are in line with what I would have guessed. And keep posting vids of your skiing this season!
post #15 of 16

I like the idea of a longer radius ski (17m works). As Skidude and Rollo mention it is more versatile but it also requires more versatility in your steering skills. The course conductors want to see upper and lower body separation and on a 13m ski you can get away without much of it. 

post #16 of 16

Sure, 16, 17 or even 18 meter radius could help to score the marks your looking for in a CSIA L3 exam. Flex pattern and stiffness is another consideration. As are conditions for the day or at that time when you need to show your stuff. Remember to terrain you were training on may not be the same on exam day. I suggest you avoid the full on professional race ski and stick to an expert level recreational ski, some of which have been mention previously. I personally found the Rossi Pursuit HP to work well for me during the CSIA High Performance Camp and L4 Course last season in Silver Star.  The key is to ski the ski you train on....

Not too Fat, Not to Skinny. Just the way I like my women...drool.gif

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