You are entitled to your opinion. However, that opinion displays a fundamental misunderstanding of "task skiing" as used by PSIA and USSA. Most of us know where the phrase "dead end movements" is popular. At Epic we don't go there and the moderation team will not allow this thread to get sidetracked into that area. If you want to push that agenda, there is another forum that is better suited for this. If you'd like to avoid having most of the community here put you on their ignore lists, you might want to rethink posting comments about the church lady.
Why does nearly every task require the skier to eschew seeking dynamic balance in favor of inappropriately wide stances and static, stable positions? Why do the examiners need to see candidates for certification skiing like golf carts (does the Epic community find Mr. Witherell's figure of speech less offensive?), demonstrating the movements that we shouldn't use on our path to become better skiers? One may refer to the learning-of-movements-detrimental-to-ones-skiing with another phrase if the one I used in a previous post is somehow offensive. Whatever words one chooses to use to refer to these movements doesn't change the detrimental effects of practicing and intentionally demonstrating the movements. In my profession, I am able to emulate poor performances, ie. the musicality of a 5th grader, when called upon to do so, but I would never teach something like this when giving a master class(unless, for some strange reason, the purpose of the master class was to learn how to intentionally perform poorly), and I certainly don't spend time practicing poor performance. Professional instructors are able to emulate the problems that their students exhibit, but perfecting the execution and demonstration of the problems shouldn't be part of the curriculum.
You say that I am pushing an agenda. You are absolutely correct. My agenda is to constantly improve my skiing, demand improvement in the quality of skier education thereby drawing more skiers to be interested in taking more lessons, and hopefully draw more participants to the sport. This sport brings me great joy. I would love for anyone who desires to get into it to have access to the best ski instruction available. Currently, the state of professional ski instruction in the United States is sorely lacking.
Now if you want to get down to specifics to back up your claim, then please explain to me how the "lane change" task goes hand in hand with skiing poorly. Then go ahead and explain how this Go with a Pro video clip shows that skiing like a church lady is the goal:
You're entitled to your opinion. It is hard to argue with the facts.
The embedded video, Skiing on Ice, is a great example of skiing without balance. True, the demonstrator doesn't fall(not a metric of good balance by any stretch), but he also doesn't show us what it is to be balanced on skis. 0:25-0:30 seems to be a demonstration of the problem that we are trying to fix. Where in the video is demonstration of how to correct this out-of-balance skiing? Perhaps 0:33-0:42, 0:47-0:49, 1:11-1:42? No, just more demonstration of what not to do: Extending(sometimes popping-up), twisting, leaning in, excessive weight on inside ski(keeps him from falling over while being out of balance) , and rotating the body uphill are all some of the issues that show up in many students' skiing. The demonstrator shows us how to undermine ski performance and cause balance to elude us, and he gives us nothing with which we can use to work toward a higher level in firm/icy conditions. Is this the point of the video: "Don't do as I demonstrate, and firm/icy conditions will be more manageable"
From the Eastern Division study guide:
A series of short or medium turns interspersed with a lateral shaped sweeping turn across a predetermined portion of the width of the trail. Skiers should strive to enter and leave these lateral sweeps without losing momentum and ski performance.
I would agree that the lane change task itself does not go hand in hand with skiing poorly, and it has merit; however, if ones turns are missing the fundamentals that are also missing in the Go with a Pro:Skiing on Ice video, then much focused drilling is needed before practicing lane changes. If I don't know the letters of the alphabet, how can I write sentences? Would you agree that knowing how to turn would be a prerequisite to attempt successful lane changes? Based on his skiing in the "Skiing on Ice" video, if asked to perform the lane change task, the demonstrator would not be able to successfully perform the first part of the task, as described in the PSIA Eastern Division study guide:
As a member of the skiing public interested in developing my skiing, I am appalled by what passes as a professional ski instruction association in the United States. I have been disheartened by what I see being taught by professional instructors each day I ski and by the instruction I see being given by instructors in the epicski forums. Posts in this thread, the linked videos, and reading about PSIA certification is just adding insult to injury.
Thank you for sharing your opinions. One of the reasons I became an instructor was that I too was appalled by the state of instruction in the US. Instead of complaining, I chose to do something about it or you could say I became part of the problem. We've got a long way to go before I'll consider this problem fixed. But it's nowhere near as bad as you claim. I'll answer your question about " inappropriately wide stances and static, stable positions? " as soon as I stop kicking my dog. Oh wait, I don't have a dog. This is a logical fallacy commonly called begging the question. If you're really serious about your opinions I strongly encourage you to become an instructor. If quality lessons are in short supply, then get out there and personally increase the supply. Prove your case on snow. Then come back and argue here. In the meantime your lack of knowledge of ski instruction is plainly evident.
Nowhere have you shown that lane changes require skiing poorly, inappropriately wide stances and static, stable positions. We can play this game all day with various tasks used in exams, but it will get a little tedious if you're going to resort to logical fallacies to prove your case. It's nice that you looked up what lane changes are. Maybe in 3 or 4 years you might actually understand this drill at a deep enough level of detail to discuss its validity. It took me 15. This is called having actual experience. You're going to need to up your game if you want to seriously argue with people who actually know what they're talking about.
Yes I did see one turn in the Go with a Pro video where the skis diverged because of too much weight on the inside ski. Funny, balance against the outside ski was elevated to a skiing fundamental in the latest PSIA manual update. You do have a copy of the manual, right? Every self professed expert on US ski instruction has a copy. Well, almost every one, I guess it's hard to have a goal of 'intentionally skiing like a "church lady at the keys"' if you're skiing in balance. You did have the sound turned on when you played the clip right? How many times was the word balance mentioned? I suppose he could have been talking through his "heel piece". You have seen the PSIA visual cues document? You'd probably have a longer list of things to support your case that balance isn't being displayed if you had. Except that the visual cues list directly conflicts with your case. Oops (e.g. hips centered over the feet, hands in front, inside hand, shoulder and hip lead, etc.). Anyone can play the nitpick game. Let's get real. I would hardly call the side slipping drill and the advice to not use high edge angles "nothing we can use". You think Jeb Boyd can't do lane changes? Well I agree that a certain someone shares that opinion with you. That just proves that (cough) anyone can be an expert kibitzer. I've actually skied with Jeb on several occasions. The Boy(d) can ski and his brother is no slouch either. If you think the demo team members ski like the church lady, then you are right about PSIA's goals with the Go with a Pro videos. But let's not get bogged down with the facts.
Feel free to have the last word. I'm not going to argue with you. I have faith that the Epic community will make up their own minds as to whose opinions are more valid. We've all grown tired of the tactic of proving one's case through logical fallacies. You know where you can go to get the high quality instruction that you seek. They promised a revolution in ski teaching. It's been almost 20 years and we're still waiting. The rest of us can see that >99% of ski instruction in the US is still based on PSIA driven concepts. Hmm - wonder why that is? Like it or not, PSIA certification is one of the main engines for development of ski instructor skills in the US. Questions as to the fairness of the process are worth asking. Questions as to the suitability of tasks to the exam process are worth asking. Assertions that tasks require poor skiing are not worthy of serious discussion. Every ski instruction system on the planet has exercises/drills/tasks as a key component of the system. I know that the PSIA certification process works because I can see the results on the faces of my students not to mention the quality of their turns. That doesn't mean other systems can't work equally as well. We should all be suspicious of those kinds of claims.