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Benchmarks for students

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Does anybody remember the STAR test?

When I first was introduced to this at Greek Peak a long time ago I became an ardent participant. Any ski area with a ski school that promoted the STAR test was enough to get me to buy a lesson. I liked going to a lesson knowing that those aspects of skiing we worked on in the morning were going to be graded in the afternoon. It was always a real eye opener to see how well I could perform on demand. It made me want to get better.

Do you think a similar program would entice more serious students to buy upper level lessons? Do you think that incorporating safe skiing practices into a program like that is a good idea? Do you think that ski areas should recognize certification of recreational skiers buy a unified instructing body? When I say "recognize certification of recreational skiers", I don't mean anything in particular. I could mean discounts on tickets. Or, it could mean you simply get a hand shake.

I would like to know if you think this type of program would hold enough skier and ski industry benefit to merit its development.
post #2 of 5
Why did STAR Test go away?

The market didn't support it for some reason(s).

Do you think there's a public trend toward merit badges and proficiency tests?
post #3 of 5
There is a description of the Star Test in the book "Skiing Right", by Horst Abraham. I don't know why it did not succeed, but I recall that some of tests for linked turns said "...you will be judged on how equal your turn radii are". This appears to be trying to make skiing a Form Sport. It is not a form sport; it is a branch of mountaineering. Neither moguls or trees are equally spaced (unless you are skiing a tree farm). Perhaps this is why most people were not interested.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Do you think there's a public trend toward merit badges and proficiency tests? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think there's a small segment of skiers who would be a target market. I think they would be called die-hard skiers. They're not all the same skill level, but they're all very dedicated. Hmmm, sounds like a I might be surrounded be a posse of them right now. :

Maybe with the right exposure, spin and value, such a certification process would give the die-hard wanna-be-better skier the incentive to seek more regular instruction. Maybe the addition of a safety segment within the testing portion would incent ski areas to promote such a process. Kinda like a license to ski.

Then... if the process took off by gaining recognition within the skier population, status amoungst professionals and rewards by manufacterers and ski areas... well who knows.

I do see skiers who like to wear the proof of their sport kinda like a merit badge. I see pins on lapels and hats, special brand clothing, and gear that hints at their proficiency level.

What other sport-like activities have certification? There's SCUBA certification. There's Boating certification. There's ski instructing certification. What else?
post #5 of 5
The ESF (French ski school) run tests every Friday for anybody who pays the fee. I'm not sure exactly what they measure. They only benefit they advertise is that it'll make it quicker to get into the right group next time you have a lesson.

I don't see what's wrong with asking for equal-radius turns. It's a way of proving you can control your turns. In music exams you have to play scales and/or exercises. These are a way of proving you have the technical ability to play harder pieces of music.
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