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PSIA Skier Levels

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Can someone give a detailed definition of each level? The search function didn't do much for me. Try to concentrate on hardpack/carving skillsets as opposed to offpiste aspects of each level. Thanks!
post #2 of 25
http://www.psia.org/psia_2002/alpine_t.asp

Look under education national standards
post #3 of 25
are you looking for certification levels? If so, there is some good info on that link, if you are looking for what levels a student is, then that's different.
post #4 of 25
Novice, intermediate, advanced, expert are the universal levels of skiing and most sports; the words are unambiguous and can even apply to instructors. Level I is a novice instructor who is able to teach novices; Level II is an intermediate instructor who is able to teach intermediates; Level III is an advanced instructor who is able to teach advanced skiers; Level IV is a division clinician or examiner who is able to teach expert skiers.

That's how I view it, anyway.
post #5 of 25
if looking for general levels in skiing (as opposed to skillsets in certification) this link Is a good detailed listing of skiing skills for one of the systems used http://www.eldora.com/lessons/levels.cfm
post #6 of 25
The old Alpine Manual (1996) pgs. 81-85 gives you a detailed written description of each skier levels along with other related information. The newer AT Manual has a chapter (6) that does the same thing. Most Ski school brochures also have the same general classifications but from what I read you want a carving focus.
A book with that focus might be a better option. Ellen Post Foster's "Skiing and the Art of Carving " is the first one that comes to mind, although she has written so many others that would also be helpful. Lisa Densmore's "Ski Faster" is another good book. Additionally, USSA also has some CD's that you might want to consider. Especially the Alpine Ski Fundamentals and the Introduction to Alpine Tactics CDs.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Lenny and justanotherskipro are the only ones who understood the question. I mean SKIER levels (1-9) not instructor levels (1-3).

According to my understanding, anyone who can reliably carve is a level 9. I would think that there needs to be a split in level 9, just because it seems so broad.
post #8 of 25
where I work we offer levels 1-8, and I've seen 9 and 10 as well.

1 - never ever (never skied before)
2 - can stop and learning to turn
3 - wedge turners
4 - wedge christy 1 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis after the fall line)
5 - wedge christy 2 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis roughly at the fall line)
6 - wedge christy 3 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis before the fall line, just to initiate the turn)
7 - open parallel, skiided turns
8 - carved turns, dynamic skiing
9 - double black skiing, bowls, powder, off-piste (seen offered in Jackson Hole I believe)
10 - extreme skiing (seen offered in Jackson Hole I believe)

just my $.02
post #9 of 25
Crested Butte has 1-9. From their website:
Lesson Levels
Skier
Level 1 First Time Skier, learn to stop
Level 2 Learn to turn in both directions using a wedge
Level 3 Explore the mountain using wedge turns
Level 4 Learn to match skis and skid turns
Level 5 Comfortably match skis and skid turns on advanced green terrain
Level 6 Ski open parallel turns on blue terrain
Level 7 Links turns on black terrain, working on technique in various snow conditions and carving blue terrain.
Level 8 Make parallel turns on black terrain and moguls with ease. Exploring extremes.
Level 9 Make dynamic parallel turns and ski double black diamonds
post #10 of 25
If you read the new PSIA instructors manual, you will see we don't tag students with numbers anymore but more a combination of how and what they ski as beginner, termediate, advamce etc. I don't know about you but as an instructor that is one of my questions with any new student. It really seems more relevant. You might see if the education site allows you to look into the training manual and if not you can purchase them for a nominal cost. Otherwise, Central has the old level I,II,III study guides on their site which explain the various level and you can print them at no cost.
post #11 of 25
As John said, they aren't numbered. However, they are "zoned" based on the terrain that they have mastered (beginner, intermediate, advanced).
post #12 of 25
DD223,
From your original post I saw something that I would like to comment on. A "skills set for hardpack/carving" to be specific. A blend of skills is what I think you were asking about. Since there are only four fundamental skills, it becomes a matter of how much of each do you use to create the desired outcome. Carving and hardpack techniques feature a bias towards pressure control movements and edging movements but also includes balancing movements and rotary movements. The books I suggested will help you with the theory but until you tie that information to specific maneuvers on the snow, it is just theory. Unfortunately, during the summer going out and experimenting on the snow is not going to happen.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
This thread is just basically based on my curiosity. I have no idea what level I am, as I am a 9 on hardpack, and am sure on that given my race training. What's funny and embarassing is that I can barely get down a tight mogul field. Anything else is easy, I just never learned to do moguls. What does that make me?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
This thread is just basically based on my curiosity. I have no idea what level I am, as I am a 9 on hardpack, and am sure on that given my race training. What's funny and embarassing is that I can barely get down a tight mogul field. Anything else is easy, I just never learned to do moguls. What does that make me?
It makes you a typical skier with focused skills. If you want to ski moguls, simply change your focus. I ski moguls but have never concentrated on waiting in line to race. You may be an expert racer and a beginner at skiing moguls. So, you simply are better at one discipline than another as most of us are!
post #15 of 25
DD223,
As a racer the skills bias you use is not unique. Moving to different terrain mean you need to re-think how you tactically want to attack a mogul field. Change the bias and things should become easier. Less edgy, more rotary, a lot more pressure control movements and due to the uneven surface of the snow, a lot more balancing movements.
Think about slipping a race course instead of racing. Do some Pivot slips with a goal of working into linked skidded turns. After that try shaping the turn using more edge but be careful not to overedge the skis.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
This thread is just basically based on my curiosity. I have no idea what level I am, as I am a 9 on hardpack, and am sure on that given my race training. What's funny and embarassing is that I can barely get down a tight mogul field. Anything else is easy, I just never learned to do moguls. What does that make me?
It makes you ripe to become a mogul buster? I believe Glenn Plake said something to the effect that if you want to find the best skiers, look in the mogul fields. Well, I don't know if that's true, but everything has become easier for me since I developed some moderate proficiency in the bumps.

I used to be terrible at them, but I struggled and sweated until the skills I had on-piste branched out into various techniques for handling moguls. Now I seek out the bumps. If you are a good skier on everything else, all it takes is the determination to add moguls to your skills (and the willingness to suffer through the awkwardness of learning something new and difficult).

I may be wrong, but it seems to me if you were using racing skis (stiff with deep sidecut) in moguls, that could present some difficulty. Of course I'm no expert, but I remember reading somewhere that a shallower sidecut is desireable for mogul skiing, not to mention soft tips.

Good luck!

The Steel Junkie
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cole
If you read the new PSIA instructors manual, you will see we don't tag students with numbers anymore but more a combination of how and what they ski as beginner, termediate, advamce etc.
Where I teach, we use the numbers only a guide, a preski-off place to stand, and then figure out afterwards how and where to group students. As I tell my students, those numbers don't mean a thing; except as a starting point to the day's lesson. What is important is what you (the student) can do, and what WE'VE learned during our lesson together.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
DD223,
As a racer the skills bias you use is not unique. Moving to different terrain mean you need to re-think how you tactically want to attack a mogul field. Change the bias and things should become easier. Less edgy, more rotary, a lot more pressure control movements and due to the uneven surface of the snow, a lot more balancing movements.
Think about slipping a race course instead of racing. Do some Pivot slips with a goal of working into linked skidded turns. After that try shaping the turn using more edge but be careful not to overedge the skis.
You make a good point about the rotary aspect. I can do linked skidded turns, I use them frequently on diamonds and double diamonds when I don't feel like doing 50 mph (as do many others). I can get through loose moguls, as I can plant my poles effectively and skid well enough. It's just in situations where there is no space between them that I have problems. I believe you have hit the nail on the head in that I use basically no rotary at all. I can get through the loose moguls because I basically edge-initiate the turn then skid the tails. I watch some of my race friends go through moguls and they do use a rotary movement, where their legs and skis are steered to get through. It will just take practice I suppose.
post #19 of 25
I'm sure I can't ask this question often enough: What the hell is an "open parallel turn", and why is it the next level up from skidding? Aren't we ALL supposed to be shooting for wide stance, parallel skis, no skidding?

I find that some of the terminology of PSIA is confusing, and I also find a near religious zeal in the "teach wedge" versus "direct to parallel" controversy within PSIA (and you don't even have to involve Harald Harb to find this line in the sand).
post #20 of 25
Do some Pivot slips with a goal of working into linked skidded turns. After that try shaping the turn using more edge but be careful not to overedge the skis. Start on a smooth slope doing these moves, then move into progressively deeper moguls as you gain confidence. As you read the terrain look for a path that will allow you to sideslip, (yes totally sideways). To do this you will need a rounder line, like using the outside face of a race rut. Think about using every part of the moguls (except the trough). Following the trough is sort of like a luge, it can be fun but save that for later. Going sideways will give you the same opportunity to study the terrain that you get when you slip a course. After a while this will become old hat and the line will be easier to see on the fly. Again once you feel comfortable seeing the line, try some really skiddy turns using a lot of flexion/extension of the legs. The next step is to do higher performance turns but they still include the skills bias used in this progression. Eventually, you will modify this bias but by then you probably will have enough experience to make that change on your own.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Do some Pivot slips with a goal of working into linked skidded turns. After that try shaping the turn using more edge but be careful not to overedge the skis. Start on a smooth slope doing these moves, then move into progressively deeper moguls as you gain confidence. As you read the terrain look for a path that will allow you to sideslip, (yes totally sideways). To do this you will need a rounder line, like using the outside face of a race rut. Think about using every part of the moguls (except the trough). Following the trough is sort of like a luge, it can be fun but save that for later. Going sideways will give you the same opportunity to study the terrain that you get when you slip a course. After a while this will become old hat and the line will be easier to see on the fly. Again once you feel comfortable seeing the line, try some really skiddy turns using a lot of flexion/extension of the legs. The next step is to do higher performance turns but they still include the skills bias used in this progression. Eventually, you will modify this bias but by then you probably will have enough experience to make that change on your own.
Useful. One more BIG thing: Do absolutely whatever you must to KEEP THE SHOVELS (tips) ON THE SNOW.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Do some Pivot slips with a goal of working into linked skidded turns. After that try shaping the turn using more edge but be careful not to overedge the skis. Start on a smooth slope doing these moves, then move into progressively deeper moguls as you gain confidence. As you read the terrain look for a path that will allow you to sideslip, (yes totally sideways). To do this you will need a rounder line, like using the outside face of a race rut. Think about using every part of the moguls (except the trough). Following the trough is sort of like a luge, it can be fun but save that for later. Going sideways will give you the same opportunity to study the terrain that you get when you slip a course. After a while this will become old hat and the line will be easier to see on the fly. Again once you feel comfortable seeing the line, try some really skiddy turns using a lot of flexion/extension of the legs. The next step is to do higher performance turns but they still include the skills bias used in this progression. Eventually, you will modify this bias but by then you probably will have enough experience to make that change on your own.
Thanks for the advice, sounds good. Where can I get a lesson from you? Basalt is a type of rock, afaik.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
Basalt is a type of rock, afaik.
It's also where the Frying Pan meets the Roaring Fork (sounds like the Battle of the Diners, I know, but trust me, it's God's country).
post #24 of 25
gone
post #25 of 25
DD23,
My base is Aspen/Snowmass. I'll send you a P.M. with my contact info.

Gnarlito is right about Basalt, we are about twenty miles down valley from Aspen. I feel lucky to live here because the scenery and the weather are so wonderful.
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