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Questions on your assessment of skiing ability

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I break it down into this;

Beginner (Just starting, uncomfortable on anything but very shallow slopes)
Novice (Comfortable on all green runs, basic skill level)
Intermediate (Comfortable on all blue runs, with or without moguls)
Advanced (Ski most blacks, but still have troubles when conditions are less than ideal)
Expert (Comfortable on all runs in all conditions at all speeds)
Pro (Decent results in international competition, podium in national competition)

A woman can't be partially pregnant. She either is or isn't.

[ October 03, 2003, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: BetaRacer ]
post #2 of 22
Based on your ratings I am inbetween an Advanced and Expert but I consider myself upper intermediate to lower advanced on a normal beginner to expert scale.

I can ski some doubles without too many bumps and all blacks pretty clean except for extremely uneven icy bumps.

Most people rate themselves higher than they should like most lower intermediates but think they are advanced but couldn't ski a mixed condition blue bump run to save their lives.

The pro is a nice addition as some experts aren't the best in the world.

I remember the first day I learned how to ski in late January 1991. I took my first lesson at Sunapee in NH and loved it. I thought I was all bad because I could ski all the greens there so I tried Spinnaker which was steeper, narrower, and had lift supports in the middle. I ended up sliding off the side of the trail backwards into a snowbank. It took me like 5 minutes to get out. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Now I feel confortable carving down White Heat at Sunday River (not the bumps) or Hayburner and Narrow Gauge at Sugarloaf with no issues.

It's amazing how quickly comfort zones changes as you get better.

I still want to go back to Sunapee and ski down Spinnaker backwards or something just to show myself how much I have improved.
post #3 of 22
This is a good assessment, of course, but it shows mostly what you can ski not how you can ski. People rate themselves higher than they should because, generally, the runs they can ski do not reflect their skill level. You can use this assessment to group people that will ski together, but don't expect to match on skills. You will always find low intermediates who often fall into a wedge in a group of "advanced" skiers who are comfortable on black terrain.

I also find that instructors are far too generous with their rating of their students. I think that often instructors feel obligated to make the students feel good about themselves, even if the truth is stretched a little. Perhaps this is what it takes to be successful and in demand. The student centric approach certainly encourages this. Give them what they want, make sure they walk away happy. It takes a dedicated and intelligent instructor to avoid this trap. Fortunately, I think we have a few on this board! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #4 of 22
Beta,
I like the way you break it down; the prescence of more categories clearly allows for more lucid distinctions between levels. One note, perhaps you could find a way to include the freeskiers in your pro category - some words to fit in those athletes who grace the pages of publications like POWDER! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 22
Not sure why this is in gear... but oh well. I agree with TomB. He said it best, these ratings declare what you can ski and not howyou can ski. Too often skiers are categorized by terrain they can navigate without getting injured instead of skills that they actually posess.

There are a lot of skiers who claim to be advanced skiers... but until a skier can ski bumps on a black run, ski crud, powder, and trees, as well as safely carve down a steep run at a modereate speed i personally dont really consider them much past the intermediate level. Being able to demonstrate edge control and angulation in a carve while maintaining a constant speed is a good way to pick an advanced skier out a crowd... even on the difficult terrain at a ski mountain.

The experts are the skiers on the mountain that can ski any terrain with ease, or at least little difficulty. Their technique is usually fine tuned, and they are proficient on more than one terrain. They can carve any radius turn on groomed at any speed (and can stop on a dime if they have to), and still have excellent technique. The expert can also veture off into bumps, trees, or powder w/o breaking stride so to speak. Different turn shapes and methods of turning are key. Powerful short and long carves (Giant Slalom and Slalom - not necessarily a racer but are capable of the turns shapes and speeds)as well as hop turns, "hop carves" (not sure of the official term), and "sking the zipperline" on a bump run, are all things that an expert will know how to do, no matter how steep, narrow, deep, bumped, or icy the terrain is. No "on piste" trail should be even remotely difficult for an expert - ie. groomers, bump runs etc. The expert skier is also always adding things to their repitoire (sp?), in other words they dont stop learning once they have reached this point in their skiing ability.

Later

GREG
post #6 of 22
I've actually been trying to rate myself according to the PSAI 9 levels. I'd have to say level 7 at most here in the Mid Atlantic, possibly even 6 out West where MUCH steeper terrain comes into play.

According to this scale, advanced. On both scales the thing holding me back is bumps. I encounter super steep, icy, sh!tty bumps and I turn into Bode Miller in a mogul field, it ain't pretty. That is my goal this year, increase my performance in less than desirable bumps. I need more grace and less brute force in the bumps.

Level 8 or "expert" is likely my max potential if even attainable. 9's and Pro's are just sick.
post #7 of 22
Rate yourself whatever your ego will allow
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by BetaRacer:

Pro (Decent results in international competition, podium in national competition)
You were ahead of the pack going into this final lap, but here you lost the wheel and took a detour down goofy street.

A pro is someone who's good enough to get paid to do it. Competition and placing is increasingly irrelevant.

Are the fifth or sixth best Canadian and Austrian racers not pros?

Is a well-decorated, four-star PSIA General not a pro?

Are non competetive but highly accomplished ski mountaineering guides not pros?

Maybe someone with the handle BetaRacer needs to be reminded there's life outside the gates too.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Why I posted here? Because this is where I get asked regarding advice about skis, and when someone lists their ability, I want to honestly know, so I can give the best recommendation.

I avoided putting racing under pro category, but instead listed just competition to include free skiers, instructors, coaches, photogenic hucksters, etc. Sure limiting to only podium results on a national level is pretty narrow, but at least you understand. Could pro then be anyone who skis beyond the parameters of expert? On a 1 - 10 scale, an 11?
post #10 of 22
I'd say on the 1 - 10 scale that pros are the 10's. The rest of us level 9's are still way off the skill that many top athletes have. WC Athletes and free skiing cometitors are probably the most skilled of the bunch though. I would like to think that someday i might come close to skiing at the level of WC athletes and sponsored free skiers, but i still have a little way to go.
Later
GREG
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by BetaRacer:
On a 1 - 10 scale, an 11?
This one goes to 11 ...

That's a pretty good description. I think of it as people being on the next level, someone who makes the experts set back and say, "whoa." The aliens.
post #12 of 22
All these verbal descriptions are too vague. The only real way to relay one's level to an instructor, or someone else, is by the numbers.

For instance, I don't accept your def. of intermediate.

I think PSIA skier levels are the best way to describe your ability.

Oh, and people always bump themselves up a notch or 2, it's just human nature.
post #13 of 22
I dont think people bump themselves up a notch or two at all. Some may, especially those that are within the lower ranks of the 1 - 10 scale, but once you reach levels 7, 8, 9, and 10 i dont think there is any need to move yourself up. Once you reach those skill levels you are probably committed to learning, so exaggerating your skill level wont help you at all. On this 1 - 10 scale with 11 being the highest i know where i fall. I dont exaggerate it a bit. Despite where i fall on the scale, i would be the first person to tell you that i still have a lot to learn, and a lot of skills to develop and perfect.

As for instructors being the people we have to relay our skill level to... most level 3 instructors that i know (in WNY) are about at the top of the advanced category that i described above. There are also some very excellent instructors, but i dont see all instructors as being terribly compitent on skis. Most skiers dont even know what skills are required for these levels. I posted a skill level thread in the instruction section, looking for an instructor os examiner to post exactly what each level requires in order to get a better idea of where i fit into the scale. I know there must be a PSIA publication of some sort that lists each level and what type of skills you have at each level.

Later

GREG
post #14 of 22
Ok Heluvaskier,
I think I have found what you are looking for. If you are looking for standards for certification levels you can go to http://www.psia-e.org/flashmain.htm and look under the Alpine exam study guide. It gives you are very in depth list of terrain and tasks needed to be accomplished at each level. Is this what you are looking for?

Terry
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by HeluvaSkier:
I dont think people bump themselves up a notch or two at all. Some may, especially those that are within the lower ranks of the 1 - 10 scale, but once you reach levels 7, 8, 9, and 10 i dont think there is any need to move yourself up. Once you reach those skill levels you are probably committed to learning, so exaggerating your skill level wont help you at all.


Later

GREG
Yeah I'll buy that, but that's most people, like I said.

Unless you think most people who ski are level 7 or higher.
post #16 of 22
Why do you feel the need to "rate" someone at all? :
post #17 of 22
True. There are the skiers who exaggerate their ability. There are not that many skiers who are 7 and up though. I like to think that most of us here at epicski are pretty honest when talking about our ability. Since everything here is aimed at helping each other, it only makes sense to be honest when assessing your own ability.

Like for me, when im in a chute and there is a rock that i have to clear or jump off, i like to have a solid landing... if for some reason i have to clear a big distance in a tight space i dont like it at all, because that means heading straight down the chute for longer than im accustomed to. Normally its not so bad but flying through the air at the same time scares me a little.

A good example of this is the chutes off the head wall at Jay. There is one with a tree stump in the middle of it, and after the tree stump its all ice and small rocks - so you have to go straight or jump over the rocks and tree stump if there is no snow on it. This kind of situation is something i have been trying to handle more gracefully and more confidently... but it still shakes me up a little bit. Its no problem with an abundance of snow - you can just hop carve it up. But the lack of snow for 15 feet when its not percetly verticle weirds me out. Anyone who skis Jay a lot probably knows exactly where im talking about... its right under the tram. Any of you free skiing lunatics who are better versed than i can feel free to give me pointers... other than just point it...
Oh well - party time at UB

Later

GREG
post #18 of 22
HeluvaSkier,

Technically speaking, I don't think your evaluation reflects reality. Giving 1/3 of the scale to what is perhaps 1% of skiers is somewhat misleading. I don't mind being regarded as an intermediate compared to a true expert. In fact, if you say that an advanced skier should be able to ski the whole mountain comfortably, then, depending on the mountain, few can claim to be more than intermediates.

The problem is that no matter how you look at it, I still ski better than the large majority. Not because I am so amazing, but because the large majority are intermediate skiers. A good scale will reflect a bell curve, and that would push the advanced skiers you describe to the very top 1/10th of the scale (because there are so few of them).

It would make much more sense to treat level 10 as they treat black belts. There are several levels of black belts, right? However, that would be almost impossible, since it would mean evaluating skiers on sheer courage and sometimes stupidity. Let's face it, some of the lines taken by skiers today reflects courage, risk-aversion and stupidity much more than pure skill. Just look at the tricks done by park skiers who have far less skill than top level instructors.

Nightingale,

We get rated in every area of life. Why would skiing be different? How else can you have objectives and evaluate your improvement?
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightingale:
Why do you feel the need to "rate" someone at all? :
If you can't "rate" a student how do you determine their progress?

For myself, I want to know exactly where I fall in this scale so that I can improve.
post #20 of 22
BR, I like the simpler, more practical approach. But here's a quick thought --

Quote:
Advanced (Ski most blacks, but still have troubles when conditions are less than ideal)
"troubles"

"less than ideal"

both are VERY subjective terms, leaving the "Advanced" level open to many interpretations. witness how Scalce ranks himself higher on your scale! (that's odd... maybe because Scalce seems to show humility? )

I don't think myself an expert, but I ski lots of things that are well above typical "advanced" stuff, and usually ski them pretty well, in solid control.

Ranking ourselves and each other seems a necessity in a human society... I can't escape it. I just want a coach to see my abilities and flaws and help me fix the flaws... wait... I already have that coach! bwaaaaah hah hah hah hah

[img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Taylormatt:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Nightingale:
Why do you feel the need to "rate" someone at all? :
If you can't "rate" a student how do you determine their progress?

For myself, I want to know exactly where I fall in this scale so that I can improve.
</font>[/quote]Ok then - why do you feel the need to "determine their progress"? Are you talking for instructional purposes, or do you feel every skier must be assigned a "number"?
post #22 of 22
It helps them know and understand they have made improvements.

Have you ever seen a kid that's so happy because he made it from level X to level Y? They (and many adults) don't understand "Yes, yoday I mastered stem christies" or "I've mastered articulation throughout my turns", no they went from level X to level Y.

[ October 04, 2003, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: Taylormatt ]
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