Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Let's not get into another of these discussions! A "system" is not going to teach you--an instructor is. Any good "system" is merely part of the educational background of an instructor, and the best instructors seek education from every source available.
For the mega-umpteenth time, PSIA, and most instructor organizations, DO NOT TEACH A WAY OF SKIING. They do not advocate "a technique"--"rotary-based" or otherwise. They do not speak of "right and wrong" or "good and bad." They do not--despite the repeated attempts of some to mischaracterize this, for whatever reason--advocate twisting or pivoting or any other rotational move as a foundation of skiing, and no "PSIA progression" teaches turns based on pivoting or twisting. Indeed, THERE IS NO PSIA PROGRESSION.
What all good instructors do, regardless of how or where they learned it, is develop a deep understanding of movements, biomechanics, and cause and effect. And they apply that understanding to helping you achieve your goals. Great instructors are NEVER beholden to "a system" or a technique or movement pattern in itself. Great instructors do not speak in terms of "good and bad" or "right and wrong"--they speak of cause and effect
. Every action has its effects. Every effect has its causes. Great instructors are very, very good at sorting these things out, helping their students identify the root causes of their problems, and developing the right teaching solutions for any
goal or need.
Great instructors understand that among the body's many possible movements are rotational movements, and they understand that learning to manage and apply these movements skillfully is critical to good skiing--in any condition, and for any intent including pure carving. Rotary movements are those that turn things as well as stop things from turning, that twist, and that stabilize, that turn your skis, and that keep them from turning. Great instructors "emphasize rotary" in the same way that driving instructors recognize the importance of learning to operate the steering wheel skillfully--even when driving a straight line.
They "emphasize rotary" only because they recognize that poor rotary skills--including habitual pivoting to initiate turns--are the root of many skiing problems. Indeed, the teaching of good rotary skills usually involves eliminating unnecessary rotary movements
much more than it involves "teaching people to twist their skis."
PSIA's educational foundation (and that's what it is--it is NOT a prescriptive or restrictive teaching progression) recognizes rotary movements, as well as pressure control movements (basically flexing and extending movements), and tipping movements as fundamental categories of skiing movements. When you think of it, that's all you can do with a ski on your foot, isn't it? Tip it, turn it, and push or pull on it. Effective instructors know that helping students become more skillful at these basic movements will make them better skiers. That includes, of course, rotary skill, and good instructors will make sure that their students develop the skill of applying rotary movements effectively, efficiently, with the right body parts, and with the intensity needed for any purpose. Yes, that includes learning NOT to twist the skis when learning to carve.
It is an extreme misrepresentation and distortion of the facts to suggest that a PSIA instructor is going to teach you to twist your skis any more than any other instructor, or to tip them any less, all else being equal. It is absurd to suggest that you will learn to carve more or less quickly from an instructor educated in one system or another. If an instructor teaches you poor movements, it is that individual instructor's fault.
(And, it should be noted, many beginner lessons in most resorts are taught by instructors with very little experience or education. Unfortunately. So this may be a moot argument anyway--regardless of "who" trained your instructor, it's quite possible that he or she hasn't learned very much at all, and will in fact deliver a very poor lesson. That's another discussion!)
So--how quickly you learn to "carve" depends on a number of things, but one of them is NOT your instructor's affiliation. It depends on YOU--your motivations, your aptitude, your athleticism, your will to learn, your willingness to be coached, the amount of time you have, your willingness to take risks (of all sorts), and your personal definition of "gettin' it." It depends on your instructor's talent, motivation, experience, skill, sensitivity to your needs, and understanding. It depends on the synergy between you and your instructor.
It depends on the terrain available, and the conditions. It depends on your equipment, how it fits, and how it's set up.
It does NOT depend on whether you take a "PSIA lesson" or a "PMTS lesson." And again, in case I have not been clear--it is not a question of a "rotary or non-rotary based approach"--at least not from any competent instructor.
Why should you take my word for this? For those who do not know me, I am a PSIA trainer and examiner. I wrote and produced many of the training materials
for PSIA, particularly in the Rocky Mountain division, contributed to and consulted on some of the national manuals, and developed the Technical Foundations and Movement Analysis indoor clinics required for all upper-level certification candidates in PSIA-Rocky Mountain. For a dozen years or so, I have been a member of the PSIA-RM Alpine Committee, responsible for developing the education and certification programs for PSIA-Rocky Mountain instructors.
When I tell you what "PSIA says," or what it does not, consider that I may have written the material in question. Go ahead--read the "official" word on PSIA. Start here: Who, What, Where, Why, How--a guide to understanding and performing the maneuvers of the PSIA-Rocky Mountain Alpine Certification Exams
. (It's free!) This document describes maneuvers that run the gamut from pure carving to pure slipping, from fast ("medium-radius carve") to slow ("hockey stops"). It specifically addresses, many times, the need to avoid
pivoting/twisting/stemming movements to initiate basic turns--from beginner to expert. These things, that many of PSIA's would-be detractors would have you believe are "what we teach"--will cause you to fail a PSIA exam. There are no
"stemming" movements in any of the exam maneuvers (although I think there probably should be--it's part of skiing as well). Those who accuse PSIA of basing basic turns on stemming movements, or insist that we "don't teach tipping," are either ignorant of the facts, or intentionally misleading you. Either way, they're wrong. And yes--that is official. You can look it up. If you really don't believe me, "go ahead--take my exam!"
Anyway, ChuckT, I apologize for the length of this post, and you did not ask for this rant. But you have been deceived into some false beliefs and misunderstandings. "I understand the debate between rotary vs. non-rotary is still not settled..." you said. No, you don't, because there is no such debate. The "debate" itself is a construction of those who would deceive you, and have created a classic "strawman argument" in which they attribute false statements to the "other side" in order to "create a debate." There is no debate, since the "other side" (mine) neither advocates nor opposes "rotary"--no matter what you may be told. We merely seek to understand it. Rotary movements are neither "good" nor "bad." They merely have effects....
Want to learn to carve--like Bolter, or anyone else? You need a GOOD instructor. That good instructor will help you find the movements, and the intent, that lead to great carving, in the best way possible for you. And he or she will also help you understand when to carve, and when not to, what other options there are, and how to become the great skier you envision. Don't look for "an approach." Indeed, rigid, dogmatic adherence to any technique or "approach" is a dead give-away that the instructor is NOT "good"!
There are good instructors, and there are (many) inept instructors, with many different educational backgrounds and affiliations. You need to find a good one. You aren't going to learn from "a system."
Finally, as you have noted, summer is indeed a great time to develop your own understanding, which will pay great dividends toward your goals. Learn more about what "carving" means, what movements are involved, what it looks like, what causes it (and what causes "not it"), and what it's good for. By becoming a better coach for yourself, you will form a better partnership with your instructor, and your skiing will thrive!
Rise above this false debate and seek good skiing and deeper understanding.