Originally Posted by KevinF
The edge-to-edge "quickness" of a ski is meaningless unless you're able to achieve that momentary "upside down" position where your body is essentially downhill of your skis.
I realize that "intermediate" is an "open to interpretation" type of term, but in my book, if you're on your new edges well before the fall line, you're no longer an intermediate.
I think (from watching...), intermediate skiers make the same turns regardless of what they're on -- they get on their edges late and hard. That will keep your speed under control on anything groom-able.
At last! We can skip the helmet thread and move immediately into the "Who's a good skier" thread. What a relief. Now it's incumbent upon me to call fail on three premises.
P1) Quickness is only relevant to projecting the COM down the fall line.
Nope. Quickness is a matter of physics; the ski's inertia doesn't much care where your body is or isn't. Body position, though, will impact how much effort it takes to overcome the inertia. Eg, getting your COM right means less effort (and more control; see 3). But a wide ski will have more inertia regardless of whether it's on edge or being smeared. The numbers for rotating the ski around its axis, or skidding it, against lateral snow resistance will be different from those for tipping it from one edge to the other, but more inertia = more effort to make a ski change whatever orientation it's in or however you try to move it. Go argue with Newton.
P2) If you're on your edges well before the fall line, you're no longer an intermediate.
True. You're a late beginner. I could, for instance, rotate into a wedge, get on my outside edges before the fall line, slide around, let my old inside edge drift up, check hard on old outside edge, repeat the other direction. What will become a Stem Christie when it's regularized. (Apologies to instructors here for my archaic terminology and no doubt weird description.) Intermediates, by contrast, IME typically rotate or skid to initiate a turn, stay roughly parallel, although their COM is backseat, pressure their outside edges early, often in real fear, by leaning uphill with that backseat COM between their skis, come around across the fall line, skid or hockey check, repeat. Which is what you're championing as the mark of an advanced skier.
P3) Getting on our edges late and hard with a typical intermediate COM will keep our speed under control on anything groom-able.
Well, anything that doesn't involve much pitch. Where getting on our edges late and hard with our COM toward the uphill ski will produce a nice slide into second base a half mile below at the lodge. If we miss that pylon. Which is why one of the first things you learn in mountain climbing is to keep your body away from the face, eg, don't cling, so the forces against your boots are pushing them into the face, not out into space. Or put in skiing terms, keep your COM projecting down the fall line so your edges want to dig in. Oh, sorry, that's only relevant for quickness. Forgot.
Executive summary: If you folks who can't carve all the way through a turn in moderately demanding conditions want to call yourselves advanced, or expert for that matter, than more power to you. If you can, but live in terrain where you can stay in control and have fun without carving, then ditto.