Originally Posted by Rich666
Rick, that is a very good point about an advanced beginner's access to carving. I have seen a few athletic advanced beginners mimic the move pretty well. This could be a game changer in teaching carving before a skier has mastered their "skid" skills. Why wait when you can get em on board much earlier than the 9 levels of PSIA would? Perhaps this is something that would integrate well with the spiral learning concept and would be quite an attractive consideration to the beginner shopping programs.
Rich, I'll provide a bit more detail on why I feel as I do about it being prudent to hold off.
Steered turns are a ticket to the entire mountain. With good steering skills a skier can ski any turn shape they want, at any speed they want, at any time they want, on any terrain they want. They can change direction and/or shed speed radically, in an instant, at the drop of a hat. And all this can be done in very strong, upright, relaxed body positions that are attainable by skiers of all ages and levels of strength and flexibility.
Once these skills are learned it's empowering and confidence inspiring. Skiers lose much of their fear of speed, because they know they can dump some any time they want with ease. They feel safer, because they know if need be they have the skills to quickly change direction to avoid other skiers or obstacles.
Good balance skills give skiers the ability to do all of the above in the comfort of knowing if something happens and they end up in the back seat, or on their inside ski, it's no big deal, because they have the ability to effortlessly continue on doing what they're doing, making the type and shape turn they want without skipping a beat, and can return to their desired state of balance at their leisure. They can also intensionally move their balance point about their feet and skis with great precision and skill, exploiting all the performance potential their skis possess.
When they start carving it necessitates sacrifices. They no longer can make the range of turn shapes they could when steering. They don't have the ability to vary their speed during a particular shaped turn as they could when they were steering. Suddenly to make a sharp turn they must abandon their upright relaxed stance, and assume very contorted body positions not attainable by all skiers. They're subjected to speeds that are faster than similar turn shapes when steered, and higher forces that must be dealt with. Those higher speeds make having the ability to make the speed and direction changes that good steering skills provide even more important to possess. It they skier has not yet developed them, they are nothing more than run away trains going down the mountain, a danger to themselves and everyone around them. And if they don't have the aforementioned prerequisite balance skills, not only will they find they can get into even more trouble faster when carving, they'll also discover that that skill deficiency becomes a roadblock to attaining the edge angles that allow them to access the full extent of the more limited range of turn shapes that carving affords.
So bottom line, while carving is fun, it requires well developed foundation edging and balance skills to do safely and well. Of course, this is just my personal take on it, I'm not trying to preach, please take it for what it's worth.