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PSIA vs PMTS - what's the difference? - Page 2

post #31 of 53
TomB,

Gotta show some kind of release from the old turn. Either weighted or unweighted, or a combination.

Rusty Guy,

The terminal Level II will end up with Yellow accreditation. About an average of forty people per year get accredited. While the numbers are small, so is PMTS.

While we ski differently than you, our skiing works for us. Who is correct? I submit that we both are. Just different approaches to the same problem; getting down the hill and have fun.

Is there any good reason for all of the arguing about PMTS v PSIA? I think not. You support PSIA and I applaud you for that. I support PMTS as a way to ski and teach skiing. I hope that you understand that. SCSA is gone. There is no reason to bash PMTS. No one has bashed PSIA, except HH in his note to AC and that was pretty mild for HH. HH will not post on this board. So the letter to AC will probably be the only post from him that we will see for some time.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by TomB:
Sources? Isn't Arcmeister a good enough source? Does he not have the credentials to make such an assessment?

[img]smile.gif[/img]
My interest is in the the FULL statements not partial quotes-not a question of Arc's veracity but rather seeing the context in which these statements were made.

Fair enough?
post #33 of 53
Thread Starter 
Fair enough Ski&Golf, but I thought that Arc gave his perspective, which is based on observation and involvement with both PSIA and PMTS. He may not have specific sources per say. I guess Arc will respond.
post #34 of 53
Thread Starter 
Rick H said: The terminal Level II will end up with Yellow accreditation

I had a hard time with that statement so I went and read almost everything on the PMTS.org site. I was curious to understand what skiing criteria is represented by the Yellow/Green/Blue/Black accreditation levels.

Apparently the Yellow level instructor can show efficient Direct Parallel movements and they can ski "uninterrupted parallel turns using the proper order of release, transfer, and engagement on groomed green terrain". They can also show such parallel skiing on groomed blue terrain, but not with enough consistency to meet the Green-level standards. Does this sound like a Level II PSIA?

Green level instructors must understand "Student Directed" Ski Instruction. They can ski "uninterrupted parallel turns using the proper order of release, transfer, and engagement on groomed, blue terrain". No slipping is acceptable. In other words a parallel turn cannot be a pushed, well-disguised, wedge christie. It is interesting to note that a Green level instructor is not required to be able to ski bumps.

Blue Level instructors can do parallel skiing with excellent release, transfer, and engagement on blue bumps, on groomed black slopes and on blue off-piste terrain.

Black seems to be like an examiner in PSIA. They can do it all, everywhere.

I should add that there is more to it than that. You have to read the PMTS.org site to get a complete understanding and get the actual descriptions of these levels. Remember that there is a teaching component which, according to HH, is much more strict in PMTS than in PSIA.

The only conclusion that I can draw is that PMTS expects a more limited, but perfect execution of skills. The terrain is also very mild for the expected skill of the instructor. PSIA on the other hand, seems to accept less than perfect execution of skills, but the terrain and the range of skills goes considerably further. :
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Rick H:
The terminal Level II will end up with Yellow accreditation. About an average of forty people per year get accredited. While the numbers are small, so is PMTS.
40 per year?

There are 60 some instructors listed on the website as being certified.

I again ask the question as to how many were certified last year?

I think the numbers speak volumes.

No one has bashed PSIA except HH and that was mild for HH?

Well..Okay!!!

[ October 31, 2003, 04:03 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #36 of 53
this past sunday afternoon, i was at copper mt. making some of my first turns of the season. the group i was skiing with took a quick side of the run break when we noticed two skiers in red/gray jackets making their way towards us. we watched them ski ... round controlled line, supple pressure management, equal edge changes, and a pole touch that seemed to compliment their whole package of movements. i thought, these two seemed have all the common characteristics of making good turns. the two skiers stopped several yards below our group, turns out it was the PMTS duo, diana and harold. anyhoo, the group agreed - some good skiing.
post #37 of 53
I don't think it matters for an advanced skier - PMTS, PSIA, ABCDEFG...

For a beginner - it depends on how the student's knees are set. Our knees don't like moving laterally, especially at an older age, especially in a person who has never skied before. Our hips don't like the wedge either.

The PMTS direct to parallel approach does come in handy in the beginning for such students.

When my Dad made his comeback to skiing at 62 after a 35-year intermission, he couldn't stay in the beginner class because of his knees and the wedge that the 25-y.o. instructor was making them ski in.

He got out of the class after some 30 minutes, and after he took a rest and nursed his knees, we skied together, with me undoing what the instructor had done. Today, he is 66 and skis happily and comfortably on hard blue runs - even low moguls.
post #38 of 53
AlexG,

Good post! You have captured one of the great elements of PMTS. At 68, I don't want to teach wedge to any one over 30. It just plain hurts. The younger instructors do not understand this until they get arthritis or an injury to a knee. But even the simple stepping turns that are the backbone of PMTS can be difficult if done in too steep of a slope. A lateral step to the little toe edge can be difficult if arthritis has caused medial deformity of the knee (knock knee). I discovered this last season during accreditation update, when I had to demo on a slope that was steeper than our teaching slope. What a surprise to find these steps difficult.

To conclude, PMTS is a good system for teaching beginners who are older, who have joints the don't work as good as they used to, and who want to enjoy moving about on skis without pain. The provision here is to do this on terrain that will allow lateral control of the skis when across the slope, ie, engaging the uphill edge of the uphill ski in a stepping turn. Moreover, ALL instructors need to understand, and deal with, the physical limitations of their students. We are not all built alike.
post #39 of 53
To be fair, it is worth noting that the wedge should not bother anyone's knees any more than any other stance, IF used and taught properly. The inward rotation of the legs in a gliding wedge puts the outside leg of the turn in EXACTLY the same internally rotated position as a parallel turn. If someone is truly incapable of internally rotating the legs without pain, then skiing may not be a sport they want to pick up, unfortunately.

If anything in skiing causes unnatural or painful twisting of the knees, it is usually a mistake. Beginners usually do a lot more inappropriate twisting than more advanced skiers, because they lack the fine-tuned skills of subtle direction control (steering), and because they often have a serious aversion to letting the skis glide, so they twist them harshly into a skid. Furthermore, they often make other movements that conflict with the natural movements of the legs. Specifically, the instinct to twist the shoulders and try to force the skis into a skid not only puts stress on the knees, it also tends to lock up the edge of the inside ski, making it even harder to turn. It feels "stuck," so they twist even harder....

Anyway, to reiterate my point, harsh twisting may hurt the knees, whether it involves a wedge or a parallel stance. Harsh braking is always more stressful on the body than gliding. A habitual, wide braking wedge is indeed likely to be uncomfortable. But it is not the fault of the wedge--it is the fault of the chronic braking!

But proper, offensive turning movements should NOT hurt--anything--and the movements of a good wedge turn are EXACTLY the same as the movements of a good parallel turn. Anyone who continues to try to perpetuate the myth to the contrary is either misinformed, or intentionally misleading you!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #40 of 53
Rick,

Quote:
Originally posted by Rick H:

But even the simple stepping turns that are the backbone of PMTS can be difficult if done in too steep of a slope. A lateral step to the little toe edge can be difficult if arthritis has caused medial deformity of the knee (knock knee).
Agreed.

What seems to be most painless for the elderly beginners is longer skis + steering with the tail of the inside ski - not by leaning back, but by bending (or collapsing) the inside knee while moving the inside toes slightly forward and up.

If the skis are long enough (soft, 180-185, with a slight - not radical - sidecut), and if executed correctly, such technique is perfectly safe.

Yes, I know it is anathema for both methods, but are we trying to establish which system is superior or are we trying to get the people to ski?
post #41 of 53
Bob,

The problem is that most beginners - especially older beginners - tend to think they are moving too fast, and if taught wedge, then the only way to slow down for them is the gliding wedge - which is exactly when it hurts.

If their skis are kept parallel, then they can slow down by skidding on parallel skis - which is a lot more natural for the knees and hips, and they do not hurt as much.
post #42 of 53
I don't know that from a technical standpoint I'm qualified to post on the wedge subject, but from an experience standpoint I am. I just started skiing last year at age 42, which from my standpoint is late in life, at least for this sport. Maybe too late to ever be really good, but that's another subject. I'm an ex football player who has my left knee reconstructed twice and scoped/cleaned out 5 other times. I was very concerned that my knee would hold up to the demands of skiing, but so far, so good. I was, like most other people, taught initially to ski in a gliding wedge and was able to do so without a problem. I think some people confuse skiing in a gliding wedge with snowplowing down the slope. Snowplowing to a stop definitely puts a strain on my knees, but the gliding wedge doesn't affect my knees anymore than skiing parallel. When I slowdown using a gliding wedge I do so by shaping my turns, so it has no real affect on my knees at all. When I stop, I use a hockey stop, which helps me avoid the knee strain of snowplowing.
post #43 of 53
: Is there a difference between a gliding wedge and a snowplow? I am confused - honestly.

One can argue that skidding in a wedge on edged skis puts less of a twisting strain on the knees and hips than sliding in a wedge on flat skis - unless you control speed by making turns - but that's not something most beginners usually do.
post #44 of 53
But proper, offensive turning movements should NOT hurt--anything--and the movements of a good wedge turn are EXACTLY the same as the movements of a good parallel turn. Anyone who continues to try to perpetuate the myth to the contrary is either misinformed, or intentionally misleading you!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes[/QB][/quote]

So if someone does not agree with YOUR concept of a wedge turn they are either misinformed or intentionally misleading? How could anyone debate that?

Which one is Arc? I teach at the same area and know he does not share that opinion. I also have 2 friends who are PSIA examiners who do not share that opinion. What's their problem?

Are wedge turns the exact same movements as a parallel turn? They may have overlapping movements and skill blends but that's the equivalent of saying hopping on one foot and speed skating are the exact same movements because they both involve pushing one foot. The wedge is simply a position, not a skill, and not a movement pattern in and of itself.

Does is take a movement just to maintain a wedge position? I'd like to see someone perform a simple gliding wedge without one.
What is that movement? Dual inversion and internal femur rotation. Is there internal rotation of the femur in a parallel turn? Absolutely! But it's not simultaneous with both legs.

I already know what some will say. A GOOD wedge turn contains external rotation of the inside leg just like a parallel turn. But most mistakingly interpret the flattening of that ski as femur rotation. You can actually flatten that ski and cause it to lead while internally rotating the femur. How? Just move the hip socket further inside the turn then the amount of femur rotation, and use a bunch of rotary. I would challenge someone to perform a wedge turn with the same inside leg femur rotation as a true parallel turn and maintain a wedge position. Unless you suffer from the most extreme case of pigeon toes you cannot rotate the femur past the 0 degree (fully centered) and maintain a heels out position as the wedge dictates. If you have a student who can externally rotate the inside leg far enough to flatten and engage the uphill edge, why do have them skiing in a wedge!?

How do you take someone from wedge to parallel without adding movements to compensate for the movement deficiencies you create
by putting them in the wedge. You I'm sure will say that a good wedge turn is exactly the same as parallel and it's only ignorance of those teaching the wedge that causes problems. If thats the case explain the last 2 chapters of the Level 1 study guide and the entire Level 2 study guide which teaches almost entirely compensatory movements to take someone from wedge to parallel. Is stepping from a wedge position into parallel part of expert skiing? It may contain rotary, pressure, edging, and balance, but it is only necessary to teach because of what you taught them to begin with.

Do I ever teach a wedge? I like the way Arc describes it. I teach proper movement patterns on proper terrain and let the movement patterns develop the students platform. If I have a student who does not develop a wedge while being taught effecient movement patterns, I sure don't try to force them into one.

Since this is an open to public site and I'm new I'll state I am PSIA Level 3, PMTS Accredited, and a High School Race Coach. I have taught for 11 years.

[ November 12, 2003, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: MC Extreme ]
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
[QB] : Is there a difference between a gliding wedge and a snowplow? I am confused - honestly.
QB]
Without a doubt there's a difference. I'm not the instructor type that will state the technical difference, but I'm sure someone will step in and give you the answer you're looking for.

In my ill informed world, I look at the gliding wedge as a skiing technique and the snowplow as a manner in which to stop. Looking around on the hill, there are plenty of lower level skiers that don't understand this difference. Come to think of it, maybe that's why there are so many low level skiers on the hill.
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Coach13:
Without a doubt there's a difference. I'm not the instructor type that will state the technical difference, but I'm sure someone will step in and give you the answer you're looking for.

In my ill informed world, I look at the gliding wedge as a skiing technique and the snowplow as a manner in which to stop. Looking around on the hill, there are plenty of lower level skiers that don't understand this difference. Come to think of it, maybe that's why there are so many low level skiers on the hill.
To me, the difference between gliding wedge and snowplowing amounts to nothing more than Woody's difference between flying and falling with a style from the first Toy Story. But hey, I am just a skier who was taught by his friend some 20 years ago, and who was taught from day one never to snowplow unless there is no room for a turn. Why? - "you'll find out when you are good", was the answer. I did. I started learning the wedge when I stopped thinking twice about skiing down blue runs - as an exercise for independent footwork .

[ November 12, 2003, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #47 of 53
Oh boy, here we go again!

Quote:
So if someone does not agree with YOUR concept of a wedge turn they are either misinformed or intentionally misleading?
That is not what I said, McExtreme. What I said--and you actually quoted me as saying--was that the movements of good wedge turns need not be fundamentally any different than the movements of a good parallel turn. And that I'll stand by. As an instructor of some experience, I would expect you to understand that fundamental truth!

Quote:
Do I ever teach a wedge? I like the way Arc describes it. I teach proper movement patterns on proper terrain and let the movement patterns develop the students platform. If I have a student who does not develop a wedge while being taught effecient movement patterns, I sure don't try to force them into one.
Good movement patterns do not depend on the wedge or parallelness of the stance. You are brand new to EpicSki, Mc, so let me point you to one of many threads in which we've discussed some of the virtues and vices of good and bad movements, and parallel and wedge stances. If you want to discuss them further, let's start a new thread on the topic, since it has nothing to do with PSIA or PMTS. Skiing is skiing!

Here's the thread: To Wedge or Not to Wedge.... A quick search on "wedge" or "wedge turn" in the Technique section will yield links to many more.

Welcome to EpicSki, MC.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:


...the movements of good wedge turns need not be fundamentally any different than the movements of a good parallel turn.

Yes, but beginners tend to be afraid of turning, which results in their skidding in a wedge most of the way down the run, wherever the going gets tough.

[ November 12, 2003, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #49 of 53
"Beginners typically spread their skis wide apart to enlarge the polygon of sustenation. As balance improves with skill the polygon of sustination shrinks."
Bob Barnes, Encyclopedia of Skiing
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #50 of 53
The main problem as I see it is how the wedge is presented by many instructors in a beginners lesson. The result of this instruction are skiers in a braking wedge (snowplow)comming straight down the fall line trying to control their speed with friction.

To teach a lesson that does not have this outcome I give the students another way to control their speed. If you don't want to pick up speed then don't go down the hill, much. In other words, as has been brought up here many times, ski a line that will result in a speed you are comfortable with. I stress this many times right from the start.

At one time I did think it was the wedge that was the problem and I worked on a lesson plan that I thought was more a direct parallel approach. I now have a lesson plan that simply does not stress the wedge. I demonstrate in a small wedge, but unless a person is having trouble staying upright I let them find their own stance. I also teach rotary, steering moves. If the student finds edging to soon they will only go where the ski takes them. They must be able to guide the ski where the person wants to go not the ski.
post #51 of 53
The main problem is that the vast majority of ski instructors seasonally employed by Ski Areas and teaching beginners have no bloody idea what they are talking or teaching about.

Why. They are seasonally hired to churn clients. No bloody wonder braking snowplough is still in the inventory and people get hung up about stance and wether one ski is dominant or not. While ya all chin wagging about methodology the clients are hanging out for a system that delivers quality, precise, informed teaching. This system will ONLY come when SS is given the resources it requires to deliver quality teaching. PSIA, PMTS sheesh who bloody cares. Who is gonna point out the totally crap teaching going on at their SS this winter? Who is going to stand up and say THESE people are shite and should be nowhere near a beginner skier? Who is going to put the customer FIRST this winter?

Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhhh :
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
: Is there a difference between a gliding wedge and a snowplow? I am confused - honestly.
I hope I can help.

Before there was the concept of a "gliding wedge" there was the snowplow which provided enough braking such that, on appropriate terrain for that level skier, there is little or no acceleration in the falline.

When the concept of a gliding wedge came along, it was done with a taller stance, more supported by skelatal system and less so by musclular effort. It also had less tail displacement, hense flatter skis allowing an easier guiding of both skis to start a turn. Importantly, the skier would accelerate (gliding) some as they turned into the falline and slow down as they turned out of it.

In contrast the wide tail displacement snowplow became known as a "braking wedge" which would not show acceleration (braking)in the falline. It retained most all of the learning inefficiencies and painful side effects of the origional version.

Hope this mini history lesson clarifies somewhat.
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #53 of 53
Arcmeister, thank you for the clarification. [img]smile.gif[/img]

So, for the beginner student, the gliding wedge becomes The Tool, and when things get scary, he/she converts it into a braking wedge - because they don't know how to slow down by turning or hockey stops. As an unfortunate consequence, they also sit back - because that's the easiest way to convert from gliding to braking while the knees are together and the heels are apart - and forget to come out of this "on-the-potty" wedge. So when they want to let go and switch into a gliding wedge, they usually remain seated in the back - with the consequence of overstraining their knees and hips.

Wedge should be taught, but maybe to the kids - which I doubt, but kids tend to say goodbye to the wedge sooner or later - and certainly not to 35+ y.o. beginners. It is a powerful intermediate tool, but not something beginners can easily figure out how to use properly.

Oz, [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Exactly my point, but expressed a lot more passionately.
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