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Movement Analysis CSIA Course

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 Hi All..

Just wanted some opinions from round the world on some ski off runs performed this March at a pre course in Silver Star British Columbia. I am 22 years old and I am a current CSIA level 3, CSIA Level 1 Evaluator and CSCF Entry level coach...

I'm really just looking for some ideas as to where to go from here and anything that i should work on

Expert Parallel

Linked and efficient parallel turns execute at high speed on groomed advanced (black) terrain

• Demonstrates the technical principles as defined in Intermediate Parallel at expert speed;

• Executes fluid and linked movements carrying momentum from phase 3 to phase 1;

• Balances on edges in phase 2 to create early steering and direction change;

• Controls and directs the energy of ski reaction to maximize gliding on the edges.


NB: This is more of a medium turn and not at high speed, but it's the only video I have close to this kind of skiing.
Link:  http://www.vimeo.com/10783416




Bumps – Free Run

Ski in control and with good technique in expert varied terrain (black terrain).

• Adjusts the stance to terrain and snow conditions;
• Shows the ability to adapt lines and turn shapes to a variety of terrain;
• Adjusts movements in anticipation of terrain features;
• Uses terrain contours to increase ski performance;
• Shows expert pressure control, maintaining contact and/or using terrain to create re-bound, as desire

Link:  http://www.vimeo.com/10783210

Corridor run

Demonstrate expert ski performance and steering skills in a 6-7 meter corridor run in brushes (blue / black terrain).

  • Maintain speed in the corridor;
  • Demonstrate symmetry from side to side;
  • Demonstrate use of the full width of the corridor;
  • Maintain roundness through expert steering skills

NB: 1st run has a fall midway through
       2nd Run is NOT with brushes rather a 'felt' 6 metres in variable snow.

link:     http://www.vimeo.com/10783273

Link:   http://www.vimeo.com/10783329

Round Turns in Bumps

Longer radius turns executed at advanced speeds in advanced bumps (blue/black) terrain

  • Maintains round turn shape through bumpy terrain
  • Shows good balance and upper/lower body separation to allow simultaneous adjustment on lateral and vertical planes
  • Reacts with ease to abrupt terrain changes
  • Adapts to less than optimal lines.

Link: http://www.vimeo.com/10783375

Thanks a lot in advance everyone

post #2 of 12
There - fixed the video links for you. The filmstrip icon does the trick.
post #3 of 12
Originally Posted by rollo87 View Post


 Hi All..

Just wanted some opinions from round the world ...

I'm really just looking for some ideas as to where to go from here and anything that i should work on

Well from 'round about Ontario way, and from an uncertified hack,  I see a little hop before every turn.  That little hop momentarily disconnects you from the snow, and may have had something to do with your corridor skiing disconnect.

Cudo's for putting that up there; most people would be too embarrassed.
post #4 of 12
Welcome to Epic Roland!

This is great skiing that many Bears would pay good money to be able to do. In my view you've accomplished the goals for each run (excluding corridor 1). At this level some of the comments may be based on differences between CSIA and other organizations version of style. The following suggestions are not meant to imply bad skiing. They are just suggestions for where to go from here.

The one big thing that is visible is not balancing against the outside ski. You can see it in the fall in corridor one clip where you finish the previous turn with the outside ski tip lifted high and again at the fall when you step from the outside ski to the inside ski and crash. You can see it in the first clip where your outside ski diverges in the fall line. And you can see it in the first clip with the lack of visible space between the legs from the knees to the hips - the outside knee is tucked in (which reduces the stacking of weight on that leg). I'm tempted to call this an alignment issue, but you are doing it equally on both sides.

Another contributing factor is a lack of counter at the end of the turns. When you finish a turn your upper body is mostly aligned with the direction the skis are pointing.  This contributes to an upward pop for turn initiation. When you come down from that pop, you're coming down with weight on the inside ski (hope you can see this). If you'd development of more counter to these turns, you'd be able to extend more through instead of up and that would pressure the new outside ski much more through the top half of the turn. But Canadians do like to ski more square to their skis.

1) Let's talk alignment. What's your history? Maybe our alignment gurus can spot something.
2) White Pass turns. This may seem counter intuitive because you are already strong on your inside ski, but I suspect the timing differences between your skiing and White Pass turns will really light the light bulb about balancing against the outside ski at the point in your turns where you are heavy on your inside ski.
3) Cowboy tuns. These should really suck.for you. You're not going to like the wide stance and you're really going to hate the movement you need to do to get the inside skis on edge. You will also find out that the pop up move doesn't do squat for helping cowboy turns.

If you can master these two drills, you will take your skiing to the next level.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
 Hi again guys, thanks for looking and being so proficient

My feedback from the course (CSIA Level 4) was that the skiing was close to the standard required, and that examine prospects were good, with a possible attempt next season or the following. 

So onto improvements:

Alignment, I have been aligned as best as possible in the boots so it looks like technique rather than a boot issue. :(

Counter - In the CSIA we where asked to not to allow counter to happen very much. We are looking for a good separation through most of the turn, with he emphasis being that the separation occurs due to the turning of the feet underneath the body. I was asked to be slightly more patient with my turn initiation so that the legs could fully come under the body and then move away again thus removing the sudden 'pop'. A better blending of Pivoting and Extension was a major focus for me. Saying that, I do see how ever how an amount of counter will help me. However this is not 'the CSIA picture' and I worry about that quite a lot. :(

Whitepass-- I do like the idea  behind these. I have used them in training before especially for my dynamic parallel to ensure that I have a longer leg, but I do worry about being on the inside ski. - The feedback from the course was that I was not on the inside ski often, but I was unable always to create a good platform on the outside ski early enough in the arc. I would then rotate with the upper body and pull to the inside. Their fix was to try and stand on the ski early in phase 1 and create and early impulse onto the ski. 

Cowboys - You picked me well...I have a hard time performing these well especially in a tighter corridor as I am rather narrow with my stance. Any turn shape suggestions?

These are webpages with the Level 4 standards:



If you scroll along you should be able to see most of the videos.

I also wondered if anyone could tell me how this skiing would stack up in other systems? I have only really gone through the CSIA and wondered how well I would do if I were to sit the PSIA Exams? 

Thank's again for you're help 



post #6 of 12


What alignment work have you had done?

In the US, we've vacillated about counter. One of the theories that made some sense to me was that lack of counter is related to pop. Without counter, the body moves like an inverted pendulum - the head has to rise up to cross over the skis. On the other hand, you'd think that all one has to do is match the flex in the new inside leg with extension of the new outside leg in order to keep the hips (and head) level through the transition (or, on retraction turns match the movement of both feet underneath the body with retraction of both legs). Personally, I've found that if the hips are facing the direction that you're trying to move the center of mass then it's easy to eliminate pop. Notice how that concept works for both normal and retraction turns. But the secret that worked for me at this level was adding extension of the new outside ankle during turn initiation.

There are two aspects of separation: counter and angulation. I'd argue that there is an important semantical difference between "turning the feet underneath the body"  and "letting the skis turn underneath the body". The ultimate goal here is to get the skis on edge above the fall line and early in the turn. Turning the feet or pivoting the feet does not do this. Tipping the feet does. Angulation happens as a result of keeping the upper body upright as the path of the body differs from the path of the skis. In the US we're taught that counter should happen as a result of letting the skis turn more than the upper body. This could mean the same thing as "separation occurs due to the turning of the feet underneath the body".


But I'm going to argue that the difference is about tipping. This is why Cowboy turns are critical to you breaking in to the next level. You just can't do Cowboy turns worth a damn until you move your weight over the new inside ski and then tip the hell out of your new inside ski. Unless you're ready (i.e. skiing is already at a certain level), part 1 just is not going to happen and Cowboy turns are just frustrating. You are ready. If you still have trouble, drills like hop to shape, javelin turns, phantom turns (what I call flamingo turns) can help to introduce the movement. The turn size/shape is not critical. The movements are critical. If you're not ready for Cowboy turns, you'll feel forced to pivot your skis and make really sucky turns.

If I did some more work looking at the CSIA standard videos, I might be able to figure out what the CSIA examiners are doing that you aren't instead of trying to tell you to use more counter. At your level, you should be able to do this on your own. There might be a happy medium where you can do more than what you're doing now, but not so much that it violates CSIA standards. The effort to try adding more counter, then dialing it back down may be a useful skill building exercise on its own. It's also possible that tipping and new outside ankle extension are also missing parts of the equation.

I don't see you "on" the inside ski often. I do you see "off" the outside ski more than you should be. It's a subtle distinction, but I've shown you the moments where it impacts your performance. For White Pass turns, the focus is normally on the inside ski. I want you to try these turns setting the outside ski back down above the fall line and specifically focus on that outside ski because this is exactly the point where you are overweighting the inside ski. Do the edge change on the new inside ski, then set the outside ski back down and start lifting that inside up right away (but make it smooth - leg length movements need to remain continuous throughout the turn).

My perception is that this skiing could possibly pass level 3 in some PSIA divisions, but I have seen this level of skiing fail cert 3 in the Eastern division. There's a lot of good stuff going on. But because these kinds of issues tend to show up in all of your turns it's easy to think that you've nailed the task criteria and still fail because of what appears to be one minor issue (I've been there and done that).

post #7 of 12
I would highly recommend doing the CSCF DL course to add another performance dimension to your skiing, and get some additional insight on optimizing your equipment setup.

The DL course or previously the old L2 Coach course used to be strict prerequisites for CSIA Level 4 for good reason.  Based on some comments from a couple of recently certified Level 4s, the coach training is still a big help on the 4 ecourse, even though you can do CSIA 4 with other prerequisites.

Technical things you would be directed to work on in the DL course would be getting more forward and emphasizing the downhill ski more.  This is not to say that's what would be expected on the CSIA 4 course, but the DL training would extend your range and make it easier to show what is required for the CSIA 4 standards.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the in depth descriptions. I think I shall try the dialling down and adding of counter into my skiing. Certainly at a low end as this has been feedback for me in my intermediate parallel demo which was not videoed. I do like what you are saying, especially about the focus on the new outside ski earlier in the turn during my white pass turns. I have done these before in a ski school training with Janice Morgan (CSIA 4 Examiner) at SS and they seemed to work a treat for me. At the moment as I am off snow for 2 months it's frustrating as hell. 

I will certainly be adding these drills to my training regime for the summer ski season in Australia if that is I have time to use them.

In the US we're taught that counter should happen as a result of letting the skis turn more than the upper body. This could mean the same thing as "separation occurs due to the turning of the feet underneath the body".

I think that you are correct with this statement, I have heard it said that way over in Canada. But rather than being called counter I believe we simply term it 'separation'. Angulation is talked about in a slightly different plan of balance (lateral). We have currently 4 planes of balance - Lateral, Vertical, Fore and Aft and Rotational (should be called an Axis rather than plane). 

From the current CSIA manual:

The Rotational Plane

The rotational plane (more precisely axis) describes the control and adjustment of rotational movements between and within the upper and lower body segments.

Initiating a turn by twisting the hips or upper body is a common example of imbalance in the rotational plane (or axis). Similarly, a skier who faces too much to the outside of the turn is not balancing efficiently. 

Natural alignment in the rotational plane has the skier facing his line of momentum. 
Good balance on the rotational plane (axis)  is created largely by a relaxed stance and allowing the lower body to lead the turning effort. skills: pivoting, timing and edging)

It's the fine line as to where a skier is facing 'too much to the outside' I guess. I will have to 'play' around with things and see how they go. 

Alignment wise: I purchased new boots around 2 weeks before the videos were shot. They are Rossignol Zenith Composite in a 120 flex. I had them aligned by the local boot fitter who has been doing it for around 15 years. We adjusted the canting on the sides so the edge change could be more in line i.e. I could release the edges simultaneously better. I am naturally slightly knocked kneed (sp?!?) and therefore I feel like I have to push my knees out slightly to feel a flat ski on cat tracks on on t-bar rides. I assume that I need some more adjustments for this?   

I wonder if you could let me know improvements for the other aspects of my skiing, bumps especially as these are a large component of the Level 4 and one that I worry slightly about?



Thanks for your advice. I hope to attempt the DL coach course next winter. Having done the GS module this year and thoroughly enjoyed it I really hope for the same in the CSCF 2. From what I hear it's a good course, and should be beneficial, especially if you say it will help me get onto the downhill ski earlier in the turn. 


Do you know if there is a radius limit on the GS portion of the course? I heard minimum of 22m for men but I have not had that confirmed, and for SL I assume FIS legal is ok? 


post #9 of 12
FIS skis are fine, but not required for the DL course.  You'll see a range from coaches who have just recently finished racing & are on full FIS gear to others who are on recreational race skis (e.g. GS 21m).  Some of the guys in our area drop down to a women's GS ski (23m instead of 27m) for coaching & courses.  Similar ranges & adjustments for SL. 

You need to demonstrate certain performance characteristics, and this can mean that a recreational race ski that you can hold on a clean line is preferable to a FIS ski that you can't bend.

If you can fit it into your training schedule, go to the Coach/Instructor update in your area in the fall, and you'll get some good ski improvement feedback, and some recommendations for equipment and other preparation for the DL course.
post #10 of 12

I don't know if you need more alignment work. Was this your first try at alignment? If so, that knee tucking may just be a holdover adjustment from when you were not aligned  - something you need to unlearn.

I can't speak with authority on CSIA bump requirements. In PSIA, you generally get dinged for being a one trick pony in the bumps. At level 3, candidates are expected to display some "wow" vs just surviving or making good turns. So I'd either take the line you took and add more lateral speed through carvier turns or take a tighter line for faster downhill speed. Quicker feet would be more impressive. In my L3 exam I made a conscious effort to mix up turns in the rut with turns across the rut, etc. Your GS turns in the bumps looked ok. The last turn might have been a little parky and ridey, but it was cut off at the end of the clip. This would be along the same general comment as rushing the turn initiation too much. In general we want to see strong shock absorber action to maintain ski snow contact, consistent turn shape regardless of the bump layout, and continuous movements through the entire turn. So my goofball advice is (other than the generic advice already discussed) take what you did and turn the volume up 3 notches.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
 Cheers Mogulmuncher and Rusty.

I will implement your ideas and advice asap. Thanks again for taking the time to have a look.

Catch you all later 

post #12 of 12

It seems what you are really asking is how do I get from here to L4? 

Truth is there are no quick and easy routes, but there are right and wrong ways to go about your training.  Currently your skiing is solid, but SLOW...you will seriously need to take it up a few notches to pass. 

Here are my tips:

1:  Get fit.  This means cardio, leg and core strength.  The harder you hit it, the better.  I can't stress this enough.
2:  Your skis look short.  You cant make big moves on little skis.  At L4 they must see you "work" the skis.  Little skis wont allow you to do that.  A 5'10 male should be looking at somthing around 180cm with a 20m radius.  Dont take this a hard and fast rule, it isnt, but just to give you a feel for it, that is what I would expect.  Stronger guys will go for more, weaker less, but all in that range.  If you are on 14m radius for example I think you will rob yourself of a chance to show what you can do.
3: Ski faster.  Dont worry about getting bent out of shape, in fact you should get bent out of shape from time to time, showing the ability to recover is important.

Yes you got a "pop" but you know that.  You also get "park and ride" here and there, but that seems a function of your slow speed and short skis...you dont move more, because you dont need to.

Your base skills are good, get better skis, increase the speed, get comfortable with it, then refine after that.  Dont worry about counter, or any of the other stuff....at thsi stage that is the worst thing you can do.

Many skiers at your level (which of course is high) think about all the work they put in to get to where they are, and thus only make small incremental changes so as not to harm the good, while trying to improve the weak....while logical, this approach ensures slow progress.  Forget that, your skiing will need to drop, and drop ALOT before it will get better, be bold, make BIG, GROSS changes to your skiing, while scary,  improvement will be much greater, and come quicker.  Trust me you are too talented, and you have too many great trainers around you to really go down the wrong path...be bold.

Once the speed goes up, your focus will be on fore/aft balance.  Trust me.  To take your performance to the next level you will need to work the skis length...tip to tail.  Of course you need the speed and gear for that to become apparent.

Good luck, at SS you have lots of good trainers.  Get with Andrew C. if you can, he will give it to you straight, and has tons of experience training L4s.  The others are good too, but probably wont give you the same straight talk.
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