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CSIA Level 1 Prerequisites / Requirements question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

I'm looking to take the CSIA level 1 exam at the end of this season and wanted to get some more details about the requirements. The CSIA website says that skiers should be confident skiing parallel in intermediate terrain. However, lots of folks I know (granted, they haven't taken the exam) talk up the level 1 as if it requires a high skill level. I know I can nail the teaching aspect - it's the skiing aspect that I'm apprehensive about.

Just wondering what people's experiences are with taking the CSIA level 1 exam. How good at skiing were the weakest people in your classes who passed the ski portion? (Can you rate them on the STEP system?) Do you know anyone who failed the ski portion of level 1 - if so, how was their skiing? What types of terrain do they take you on?

My background: I'm entering STEP 7, having taken over 50 CSIA-style lessons. 70% of my skiing is on groomers, with 30% in the bumps. We have no ungroomed or glades at our hills out here. I've skied three days in eastern powder, and am praying we don't get a dump out in BC while I'm taking the CSIA course! (Before or after would be great though!)

Any details folks have would be helpful! Many thanks in advance.

Regards,

--David
post #2 of 11
David,

Here are a few things that might help:

1) Look at http://www.snowproab.com/skipro/course_materials.htm, the Alberta region site. There is a standards video there. Much of it is level 4's doing demos of what you are supposed to ski like, but there are some level 1 candidates too. You should try to get video of yourself to compare as most people don't really know what they look like when skiing.

2) Your profile says that you ski at St. Louis, ask to ski/take a lesson with Jim Morris there, he is the ski school director there and will be able to give you feed back on your skiing level with regards to a level 1. If you can't get Jim, ask to ski with any other level 1 examiner.

3) You could try finding a level 1 examiner on hill and mention your interest in the level 1 and ask them to ski a run or 2 with you. I spend a lot of my on hill time "roaming" the hill as a supervisor and I will usually ski a run or 2 with level 1 prospects. (at the same time I'm usually seeking prospects )

4) I can't speak for St. Louis, but at many hills, including my home hill, we will let serious prospects for the level 1 join in an instructor session or 2. That should give you a really good idea of where you fit in.

Rick
post #3 of 11
From what you've said, you'll have no problem.

People that don't pass have serious flaws -- they're totally in the back seat, they cannot pivot their legs, short turns don't happen without throwing the shoulder, they don't flex/extend at all, they cannot edge the ski.... in general, MAJOR skiing flaws must be present to fail.

The success/fail ratio is pretty high.

Good luck!
post #4 of 11

CSIA Standard

Another site to check out is http://csiaontario.com/levelone/.
Level 1 course delivery has become pretty consistent in different regions over the past several years (common standards actively promoted from the National office), so the Alberta material is still relevant (and good information) if you are looking at a course in Ontario.

There are three main parts that are evaluated for the Level 1 standard:
1) Skiing
2) Teaching
3) Guest Service

To get your pin, you'll need to pass in all three areas. There is a retest option (2 days) if candidates fall a bit short at the end of the full course.

The skiing standard is fairly attainable for a decent parallel skier. If you have a good centred stance, ski with your skis parallel (working the downhill ski), and show upper/lower body separation (rotation is not acceptable), you should be showing the essential technical skills. As BigE notes, people who don't meet the standard usually have major things to work on. You'll have four days to develop your skills and meet the standard, so if you're not there day one, stay committed and keep working. One thing that I would recommend is to keep an open mind, and do your best to show what the course conductors ask for, even if it seems different from what you're used to. By all means, ask questions: the course conductors willl be happy to explain things to you.

Excellent suggestion from skirrr regarding a session with Jim Morris at MSL. Jim has additioal pros on staff as well who are current Level 1 Course Conductors who would also provide the right guidance and preparation for a Level 1 course. MSL is a good location for taking the Level 1 course.
post #5 of 11

Level 1 Course Guide Criteria for Ski Skills Demonstration

Make sure that you download the Level 1 Course Guide and see what is expected of you. In the course, the hardest point for me was to show the Course Conductor the components (phases) of each skill.

The free run was basically taking the group out on the steepest slope with the most moguls (just kidding)...almost all the others were at a higher level than me, skiing for weeks before the course.

Good luck with the course and the snow, the week before I did my Level 1, it dumped two feet of snow in WB!

Let me know who your Course Conductors are, there is a great group out there.

Cheers,

Criteria from the Level 1 Course Guide:

General performance criteria:
• Ski consistently parallel on intermediate terrain at moderate
speed;
• Show some ability to adjust their technique to a variety of turn
types and different snow conditions;
• Control their speed;
• Adjust their skill to provide technically sound demonstrations
which are easy to copy;
• Demonstrate at all levels, from entry level to intermediate.

Specific performance criteria:
Intermediate Parallel Turns
Control in symmetrical/rhythmical parallel turns on intermediate
terrain (blue):
Phase 1
• Both edges released together;
• Separation diminishes as skis are released from arc;
• BOS and COM leave turn simultaneously;
• Stance is centred and mobile.
Phase 2
• A new platform on both edges with the outside ski as primary
turning ski;
• Separation is created as skis are turned into arc;
• Skidded, steered or carved, the lower body leads the turning
effort;
• Activity in fore-aft plane maintains a centred stance.
Phase 3
• Maintain balance on both edges;
• Increase edge angles with blend of inclination and angulation;
• Separation is maintained or increased as lower body
continues to lead turning effort;
• Turning forces managed by flexion and lateral balance.
Wedge Turns
Rhythmical wedge turns executed on flat beginner terrain (green):
• Centred, mobile stance;
• Direction change initiated by lower body;
• Steering adjusted to terrain and speed;
• Maintain upper/lower body separation.
Free Run
Free skiing on intermediate terrain (blue):
• Stance adjusted to speed and snow conditions;
• Show the ability to vary edging with the terrain and turn
shape;
• Show good control and consistency, with the technical
elements described in basic parallel turns.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the great details and help, everyone! Forgot to mention that I'm normally at Mount St Louis / Moonstone but will take the course at Silver Star. Will ask for a lesson with Jim before the end of the season. My ski club's really supportive too - they really coach people who want to improve. (If you're interested, http://www.highparkskiclub.com is our club.) Looking forward to joining the instructor ranks!

Best wishes,

David
post #7 of 11
Why wreck a Holiday with a course? Take it before you go, and use the holiday to improve on what you learned!
post #8 of 11
If you're looking for a lesson out at Silver Star, request Steve Smart if you can get him - hands down one of the best skiers you'll ever ski with, and a phenomenal teacher as well.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Big thanks for your help and advice! I just completed the level 1 course at Silver Star; course conductor was Robyn. She's among the best instructors I've ever had. Although my skiing was shy of the passing requirements at the beginning of the course, by day 2.5 she'd drilled me so well that I had no issue passing the ski component!

For anyone who skis in a decent parallel stance using edging and pivoting, and feels stalled in their progress, I urge you to take the level 1 instructor course. Whether your pass or fail, you`ll get incredible feedback, develop immensely, and really have a blast. I'm already looking forward to the Level 2 development for next year!
post #10 of 11
I became *THIS* shy of going for the whole examinator thingy a few years back. When I passed the course (in 1999...), the standards were pretty low: good to know that they've gone up a little as I was sometimes frustrated that becoming an instructor wasn't more demanding than being a mediocre advanced skier. You really didn't see anyoen fail back then, unless they were still rocking stem christies or unable to teach a basic snowplow.

Congrats!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
Hi all,

Big thanks for your help and advice! I just completed the level 1 course at Silver Star; course conductor was Robyn. She's among the best instructors I've ever had. Although my skiing was shy of the passing requirements at the beginning of the course, by day 2.5 she'd drilled me so well that I had no issue passing the ski component!

For anyone who skis in a decent parallel stance using edging and pivoting, and feels stalled in their progress, I urge you to take the level 1 instructor course. Whether your pass or fail, you`ll get incredible feedback, develop immensely, and really have a blast. I'm already looking forward to the Level 2 development for next year!
Congratulations on passing the L1 course, and best of luck with L2 training next year!
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