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Differences between PSIA and CSIA approaches

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
In another thread, Big E said, "Say a basic parallel turn. As the CSIA defines the basic parallel turn, there is no early edge. The dominant skill at initiation will be rotary. Edging comes into play only after the fall-line is reached,then ressure control at completion (to release). In such turns, and initial steering angle is set through rotary, and once the edges engage, further shaping of the turn is really not all that important -- these are basic turns.
In a more advanced parallel turn, the early edge will be there. So in these turns edging skills come into play far earlier in the turn and the importance of the rotary skills now rises in the shaping phase....."


It is clear subtle differences exist between the routes the Canadians take in teaching vs the Americans, although the end point remains roughly the same (or is it?). This brings up my question. Take an beginner-intermediate skier, for example, who is somewhere between a wedge-spontaneous christic-open parallel. She goes to Canada, takes a lesson. Comes back to Stateside, takes a lesson or two. Then to Canada and another lesson. How compatible are the two systems, and would she chance getting screwed up flip flopping like that during this stage in her skiing? One country tells her to rotate to start her turns. Another country says no, no no, but to apply edge to start her turn.

I realize there is no definitive answer to this question. I am, however, eager to hear what everyone thinks.
post #2 of 15
Move to Pole Land!
post #3 of 15
josseph, I don't see the difference. What do you think PSIA says about these turns? In my experience, this pretty much describes basic and dynamic parallel turns in the PSIA lexicon.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
josseph, I don't see the difference. What do you think PSIA says about these turns? In my experience, this pretty much describes basic and dynamic parallel turns in the PSIA lexicon.
That's my question, ssh, except you phrased it better and use a lot fewer words! I am asking what are the differences, if any, between the PSIA and the CSIA teaching systems.
post #5 of 15
Canadian lessons invariably wind up focusing on hockey stops.
post #6 of 15
I tried to map the CSIA lexicon into the language that Epic skiers seem to favour. I'll stop doing that as it is causing much confusion,( and I can screw it up too....)

This is from the CSIA level 1 course guide (avail online) it is what is looked for on the demo assesment portion of the course, when the candidate demonstrates a basic parallel turn. Remember, phase 1 is completion to neutral, 2 is neutral to fall line, 3 is fall-line to completion....

Basic Parallel Turns - control in symmetrical/rhythmical parallel turns on
intermediate (blue) terrain.

Phase 1:
• Centered stance.
• COM and BOS released together from previous turn (timing/coordination).
• Both edges released simultaneously with edge change initiated with lower
body.

Phase 2:
• Balance on both skis, and pressure develops as a result of direction
change.
• Maintain centered stance as inclination develops.
• Direction change with lower body (pivoting).

Phase 3
• Progressive edge increase through angulations, and flexion regulates
pressure.
• Maintain upper/lower body separation.
• Maintain parallel skis.

Is completion first in PSIA? If not, we certainly look at it differently.
post #7 of 15
I think looking at a turn using the canadian sequence shows dynamic balance and momentum (movement) as part of the mechanics that can not be overlooked. Too, these are basic parallel turns which do not yet demonstrate the ability or desire to move more aggressively to an edged ski. This movement comes later in the progression. I believe PSIA talks about releasing edges to initiate and consiquently if there is any kind of counter to create tension in the legs it is released into rotary power at the edge release. The degree and intensity with which the edges are tipped up and cm. moved to the inside represent a refinement of the open parallel turning skills.

I think the Canadians do a great job of describing mechanics with a few concise words and they look intently for that content and sequence in their demos. Their pieces of a turn fit nicely together in ones mind and on the hill.
post #8 of 15
Josseph - I ski with instructors from a few different places....

the differences are not generally that confusing & sometimes they help - because you get to tackle a difficult learning situation using 2 different strategies.... then again I take more lessons than the average skier...

At higher levels especially it helps to have so many different inputs - because it lets you realise that there really is no "right" way to ski... only effective & efficient ways....
In trying out each instructors preferred version of "better skiing" i get to see what may be useful to me....
post #9 of 15
In a PSIA wedge christie, the initiation from a parallel stance is a flattening of the new inside ski as both skis are steered toward the turn. The flattening causes the tail of the new inside ski to separate from the new outside ski somewhat, forming a wedge that does not cause the new outside ski's tail to turn uphill. Instead the tip of the new outside ski gets steered toward the fall line.

Open stance parallel is supposed to be a refinement from the wedge christie in that the skis flatten simultaneously and the steering turns them toward the fall line with parallel status being maintained. This is slightly more aggressive application of the movements of the wedge christie with a little more speed. Edge engagement in both these christies initially would be at or after the fall line.
post #10 of 15

Open Parallel

Kneale, is it then reasonable to say that one of the more kinesthetically perceptible differences between dynamic and "open" parallel is the brief moment of rotary as the skis flatten in transition (for open) vs. "zero" rotary in dynamic parallel?

This could be a very useful thought-morsel for moving my L5s up to a more dynamic turn.

Thx, JoeB
post #11 of 15
BigE, thanks for posting that! I really like using other starting points in the turn besides initiation (which is the "point" at which most PSIA conversations about turns begins). eSki likes to talk about turns from fall line to fall line, which I like a lot, too.

But, completion to neutral could be the point of "initiation" as seen by PSIA, which is the point of flattening the skis from old edge to neutral. I think that the concepts are close, at least, and certainly compatible.
post #12 of 15
Joe, that's my take on it: Some rotational reorienting of the skis at start of an open stance parallel turn, ZERO in dynamic mode. I'm told the ZERO is now part of LII exams (along with the now famous simultaneous edge change).
post #13 of 15
Just dumping this in here to be complete: From the CSIA level III skiing demonstration requirements:

Dynamic Parallel – linked and efficient parallel turns at faster speed on groomed
advanced (black) terrain.

• Application of technical principles as defined in Basic Parallel at advanced
speed.
• Fluid, linked movements carrying momentum from phase 3 to phase 1.
• Energy of ski reaction controlled and directed to maximize gliding on the
edges.
post #14 of 15

Csia Approach

As in all "technical models" emphasis do change from year to year, and this is not always clear from the written standards outlined in course descriptions. For example, in the CSIA there has been a shift away from "carving" a dynamic parallel turn to more steering at Level 3. This produces a turn about 2 groomer widths wide with good speed maintenance on a black diamond hill, but not necessarily 2 pencil line tracks in the snow. Edge angles are expected to increase throughout the turn, but carving, ie. tail following tip has been de-emphasized. This seems to be a reaction to excessive use of edging/bending the ski/over reliance on sidecut type of skiing that seems to have emerged. Probably a good thing, in my view.

It seems that there are many similarities between the technical models of PSIA and CSIA, with a few differences. You guys speak of "rotary". I think this is what we call "pivoting"-ie. turning the legs in the hip socket without involving the upper body in the turning motion. We acknowledge the importance of twisting the skis to a new steering angle in the early part of many turns-this does not seem so evident in the posts of PSIA instructors.
And the CSIA is fixated with "rotation" ie upper body rotation. More precisely, eliminating it. Even a slight move of your uphill shoulder when initiating a turn can result in a failure in an exam. At the last "Interski" (where all the national certification organizations gather for an orgy of technical comparison) one of the European teams noted that like the Canadians they wanted to reduce (upper body) rotation, but that unlike the Canadians, they were not obsessed with it!

cdnguy
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
BigE, thanks for posting that! I really like using other starting points in the turn besides initiation (which is the "point" at which most PSIA conversations about turns begins). eSki likes to talk about turns from fall line to fall line, which I like a lot, too.

But, completion to neutral could be the point of "initiation" as seen by PSIA, which is the point of flattening the skis from old edge to neutral. I think that the concepts are close, at least, and certainly compatible.
Compatible in a certain way yes, but that's not a low level notion.

Initiation can occur from a traverse as well, which is how it's commonly talked about.

IMO, there is emphasis on completion to neutral because many skiers just do not complete their turns -- they try to go from one set of edges to another as fast as possible: hard edge set, pole plant, jump and twist, land on new edges. No completion to neutral as we'd like to see happen - ie, flexing and flattening.

I suggest that the fundamental feature of high level skiing is the ability to complete a turn properly. And as you may already know, I think that it is best taught as the way to make pivotitng easier. In this way you teach pivotting, and the skier "discovers" completion.
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