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PSIA Standards? - Page 2

post #31 of 42

This seems like real sound advice and a bullet proof way to practice, challenge oneself, and have fun all at the same time. I'll definitely work on following your "20:60:20 Rule" next time out. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] You know, I'm often struck by some of the advice given by you and some others here that after it's given, seems simple and makes perfect sense. You'd think I'd be smart enough to figure out some of this on my own. Thanks again for another great post!!
post #32 of 42
On the subject of being asked to ski too far forward by Central PSIA examiners, I am still very bitter from the feedback I received at a level 3 exam last year. My written evaluation was:

"Your weight is back. You use your knee rather than your hip to create edge angle. Work on more pressure on your foot pad and keep the hip in front of the feet."

This is a technically incorrect evaluation and contradicts current PSIA and USSA technical manuals.

I tested my understanding of the examiner's on the hill feedback by hanging off the front of my boots. I received positive comments of "that's better". I was thinking to myself as he was saying this, "there is no way I can actually ski like this except with skidded turns on a smooth flat trail at slow speeds, if my tips ever hook up in this position, I'm going to hit a tree."

Friends and I have tested hips ahead of the feet with a plumb bob, when we do this, the tails of our skis are levered about 3-4 inches off the snow. Try it yourself. Modern gear doesn't need this much forward pressure except for a very abrupt turn initiation.

From current PSIA Alpine Technical Manual (2002), Appendix E, page 65, Visual Cues to Effective Skiing, Balance and Stance Cues, "The hips are centered over the feet (from a side view)."

From the current USSA Slalom Coaches Education Manual:

"Stance, center of mass is generally over the feet."

"Modern Slalom: ankles and knees have increased flexion."

"Use of Ankles and Knees: quickness to create appropriate edge angle, building edge angle is better from ankle to hip than moving hip inside to initiate the turn"

The month before my PSIA Level 3, I completed a US Coaches Education State Level Slalom clinic, taught by a coach from the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. My stance and balance was assessed as excellent.
post #33 of 42
Was it you that I talked to at the Spirit Mtn Mid-Am?
If it was, I came here to post what you had told me then. Looks like you covered it.
I think we all owe midwest skier an apology for saying she "misunderstood" her examiner's intent. It appears that it is the examiner who misunderstands.(not the first time I've seen that)
post #34 of 42
"Your weight is back. You use your knee rather than your hip to create edge angle. Work on more pressure on your foot pad and keep the hip in front of the feet."
When I first read this it made perfect sense as I knew exactly what the examiner was trying to convey.

If I really read it from the perspective of not really understanding, as in, I am looking for feedback, I get an entirely different picture. The examiner chose his wording very poorly.
post #35 of 42
"Your weight is back. You use your knee rather than your hip to create edge angle. Work on more pressure on your foot pad and keep the hip in front of the feet."
Ok, creating angles...

Basic rules:

Too much counter = lots of hip angulation, little knee angulation.

Not enough counter = lots of knee angulation, little hip angulation.

So, based on the examiner's comments, I'd say you have too little counter. Maybe he was talking about your uphill hip? Having it forward would give you more counter.

post #36 of 42
[quote]Originally posted by Pierre:
"Your weight is back. You use your knee rather than your hip to create edge angle. Work on more pressure on your foot pad and keep the hip in front of the feet."
You are back on your skis. In order to use your skis effectively your stance must be an effective one and this is not. Pull your feet back under you and practice skiing and moving from this stance. This does not mean hanging on the tongue of your boots, by the way. Practice developing edge angle by moving your center of mass to the side of the skis rather than just your knees. Think of this movement as originating from the feet rather than a movement of your knees to the inside of the turn. Develop a feel for the pressure you generate in this way as it comes through the feet. This will enable you to generate edge angles and a position from which you can balance against your edges (ie carve) without skidding through the turn. Get a copy of Ron LeMasters book for a technical explanation of this. He explains the subject beautifully.

PS I think this referenced explanation was a very good description by the examiner of the most common fault I see in many instructors' skiing. Correcting this may also involve some fooling with the equipment factors that influence fore and aft stance. Ramp angle, so-called, developed by the boot/binding configuration, as well as lower leg angle created by the boot shell are also apt to be partly responsible.

Remember, you are moving down an incline. What your senses tell you is a centered stance may very well not be. Our skis are always apt to be accelerating out from under us (the banana peel syndrome). People will tell you you have to huck your body down the hill or move diagonally into the turn and so on but these are really just all about standing and moving in such a way that you can maintain an effective stance with respect to your skis and the slope.

Lastly, what you learn in the process of correcting what the examiner identified in your skiing can give you tremendous insight into the fundamental issue that afflicts almost all skiers to some degree. Your teaching can be affected considerably.

[ March 02, 2004, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: arcadie ]
post #37 of 42
If macjacob is the fellow I talked to at Spirit Mtn the stance he showed me that they asked him to do was rediculous. Since someone else (MidwestSkier) described the same thing, could it be that there is an examiner out there that is confused?
post #38 of 42
Naaahhhhh, Slatz. Never happen. Aren't those the folks described as almost able to walk on water?

I'd bet that if there were other witnesses, what we'd find is that the examiners were exaggerating somewhat for emphasis and the interpretations are both missing some point and a bit "inspired" by disappointment and/or anger.
post #39 of 42
I've known more than one examiner in the last 20 years who was "missing some point" too.
The Centerline was a good concept but a lot of them "missed the point" there. It got pretty diluted and bastardized before they put it out of it's misery.
I've never known an examiner that could "walk on water" but I've known a few who thought they could.
On the other hand I have the utmost respect for Arcmeister, Bob Alliva and a few others I've had the pleasure of skiing with.
post #40 of 42
Slatz, I am the one you talked to at the Mid Am.

I tested whether I understood the examiner’s comments by skiing the way he wanted me to. When I skied in a way that got favorable comments, it was not a proper way to ski on modern equipment. I was literally hanging off the front of my boots, with extreme pressure on the tips, and skidding my tails -- he said it looked better. When I ski naturally I can easily ski a two footed/two ski carved track of almost any radius on the hill that we were using that day. This was not a drill exercise, we were being asked to demonstrate our best dynamic parallel.

I know this may sound arrogant, and I know I have room for improvement, but the question I’m asking is how good is good enough to meet level 3 standards, and what are they? Two out of three PSIA examiners that weekend assessed my skiing skills as 3's and 4's in everything other than wedge turns. A USSA coach from the Olympic Training Center assessed my skiing as excellent a month before. Several parents of the kids I coach say I’m the best skier they know. 4 to 7 kids on the team that I coach make it to the USSA Junior Olympics every year. The examiner’s feedback was technically inaccurate, and I have no desire to change my skiing in the way he communicated and reinforced. I stand by my comments that what he was asking me to do was unsafe on current equipment, inefficient, and incorrect.

Let me try it from the customer’s viewpoint in the customer service model, or a racer’s viewpoint of efficiency. Tell me what it would do for me to ski the way he was asking me to? I was one of the few people at the exam able to ski the icy mogul field fast and well. Two other examiners rated me well. I forerun about 15 to 20 USSA race courses every year. I’m 48 years old, but I can still run times comparable to the upper level 100 point USSA male juniors, and I haven’t blown out of a forerun in two years. If I didn’t initiate or carve turns well, I’d be slow. If my weight was really back, I would blow out of courses all the time at the pace I ski them. Two weeks after the exam I was skiing the Cirque, Scotts, and other wild stuff at Snowbird, in hip deep powder, keeping up all day with the very best pack of the local skiers (without a fall or prerelease). I’m rock solid in all conditions on all lift serviced slopes; I don’t fall often, and have never hurt myself seriously in 45 years of skiing. Once again, I’m not saying I don’t have room for improvement, but my stance and balance don’t need a major overhaul and are effective and efficient for my body build. I do not want to change my skiing in the way I was asked to by this examiner.
post #41 of 42
Good to hear from you again. That was quite a weekend wasn't it.
Unfortunatly when you go to a PSIA event it's "their football". If you want to pass you have to "suck it up" and do what they ask however silly it might be. They use the agument of "versitility". Which I guess has some merit. This examiner however, doesn't appear to be looking for that. He appearantly thinks that's how your supposed to do it. Hence the comments I made earlier.
I had an experience like that in a workshop a few years ago. The examiner said my two footed RR track turns were too wide(he was an early HH desciple) I narrowed it up and he said it looks a lot better. I thought to myself, "then why does it feel so crappy?" The tracks weren't as good either, the inside ski had to skid to stay that narrow. Remember, the difference between God and an examiner, God doesn't think he's an examiner.
post #42 of 42

Sorry to jump into agreement with the examiner in my earlier post. His comments just have a familiar ring of validity even if he is exagerrating. Anyway I had a similar experience in my level III exam. One of the examiners saw something or thought he saw something in the way I skied and characterized my skiing in a way that shocked the other examiners and the people who ski with me. His comments were so far off base that it was laughable. Someone or other brings them up from time to time andwe have a good laugh over it. Even though we seem to think these examiners can walk on water, these folks are only human and sometimes they really blow it.
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