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.