Originally Posted by volantaddict
Since this sort of thread comes up time and again, I'll make the time tested observation, that the numerical rating scale refered to on epic was created for sorting students into lesson groups of similar skill levels.
The numbers when bandied about as they are here inevitably lead some members to compare themselves to others, thereby making themselves insecure. Then they post a thread like this hoping to find that they will be informed that they are actually a higher level than they are afraid is the case.
Outside epicski, I've never heard any skiers using this system of describing skill level.
I think these are very wise words from VA. I was skiing along feeling very 9ish one day when Jeremy Nobis flew past me looking definitely 16ish. When you have people throwing flips off 60 ft. cliffs as just part of their run the conventional rating system doesn't really seem to mean much, except as an instructing classification.
No matter how good you are (or think you are) there are people who are unbelievably better than you, but so what? If you feel the need to quantify your skiing then worry about where you compare to others on the joy scale. Sure it's good to work on improving, but if there is one thing I've learned in a lifetime of skiing it's that if you focus too hard on your technique and ability you will miss the best part of skiing. A good crash under the lift brings a smile to everyone who sees it, and it should do the same for the crasher, regardless of their ability rating.