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Your Thoughts: Expert vs advanced vs intermediate parallel

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey all, 


I'm curious what people can identify as the similarities and differences between CSIA's intermediate, advanced, and expert parallel skiing. Here's a level 4 demoing intermediate parallel at 1:02-1:33 and expert parallel at 1:31-2:00: 



...and here's a level 3 (or a simulated level 3, I think it's also a level 4) demoing an advanced parallel at 0:33-1:00:



My answer's in white below--protected to give other people a chance to assess without any bias. (You can highlight it with your mouse to see!) Anyway, let me know what you think!


Similarities in all: 


Turning from the lower body

Rounded symmetric turns

Centered mobile stance


Differences in expert: 

Much faster skiing

Higher edge angles through more knee angulation (is that the right term? tipping not just in the ankle but in the hip socket through tipping the knee as well)

Larger range of motion (probably because the speed is increased, motions happen more visibly)

Edge engagement above the fall line rather than at or after the fall line

Skier using rebound in the ski (not doing so in the intermediate parallel; more a consequence of not skidding turns, I think?)


Differences in advanced: 

Edge engagement isn't quite above the fall line all the time? Sometimes it happens in the fall line

Slower than the expert parallel, faster than the intermediate parallel


There you go! Thanks guys. 

post #2 of 8

I think your answers are good ones:


Generally, I would say the difference is really just a function of the level of refinement shown in the 5 skills.


In practice this means we would expect to see decreasing refinement in balance/pivoting/edging/timing/pressure control as we went from expert to advanced to intermediate.


 However this is a L4 demoing...so it is abit convoluted. 


A L4 is not going to deliberatley ski out of balance, use bad pivoting or ski with bad timing...so the demo is toned down via reducing the amount of edging shown and altering the timing to engage the edges later in the turn....


Thus as the amount of edging is reduced, and the timing of the engagment slowed.  Consequently the speed is reduced, thus so is the amount of pressure generated, thus the need for pressure control is also reduced (ie flexion/extension). 



A few things to chew on thou: 


Rebound does not exist.  Despite the fact that it is fun to banter about it here online in "Epic World" if you go for CSIA certs and start talking rebound and springy snow you are on your way to a Fail.  The Epic community will not be examining you, L4s will be, so best to go with their language and ethos. 


If you can prove snow is springy etc...go for it.  But I assure you that if you do...you will win a Noble Przie for it.  Water is one of the most widley understood and studied substances on Earth.  It is also very simple H2O.  So if there is this amazing property no one knows about but a bunch of ski instructors you are really onto somthing.  You might even cure cancer with it!  We are mostly water after all!


We dont use the term "knee angluation"...just "angulation"...we do this because to be effective we need all the joints working together.  Knees dont angulate...they only bend in one direction....the sideways bend that appears in skiing is really the knee bending as per normal (front to back) but with the leg turned in at the hip socket...gives the illusion of the knee bending sideways.  I assure you, your knees wont bend sideways without a trip to the hospital.

post #3 of 8

Without reading the facit and looking at SD posting I would say that there is nothing fundamentally different and the similarities are obvious. Both are turning round turns using the very dynamic approach of letting the CoM go up at transition and then down during the turn. The advanced level skier skis faster with a much boosted performance factor resulting in higher edge angles showing great athletisism while the intermediate level skier takes his time to turn arround and keeps a much closer stance. Much like the advanced level skier would do if he backed off a notch or two. At some point in the CSIA parallel turn progression there is a distinct difference between non-carved and carved turns. If I dont remember totally wrong the carved turns were refered to as "dynamic parallel turns". Thats what the advanced level skier is dooing in the video in the OP. But the intermediate level skier carves in my opinion very nicely too except skiing bigger radius turns with less speed.

post #4 of 8

These kinds of video clips tend not be dumbed down to the actual level of skiing that would pass a cert exam. I agree with the comments above. My simple answer would be the difference is in intensity, excitement and accuracy. I suspect that in firmer snow conditions there would be more skidding in the intermediate parallel turns. The higher up the scale you go, the higher the edge angles, the more difficult the runs (e.g. steeper pitch) and the faster and more accurate the movements are expected to be.

post #5 of 8

I agree with therusty. On one hand advanced skiers can ski with more intensity, excitement and accuracy, on the other they can ski more demanding/difficult terrain and faster. The best comparisson I have seen between different level skiers are race courses.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments!


skidude: good insights. Regarding rebound, I believe it refers to the flexion of the ski into an arc through the centrifugal force of the skier's weight against the ski. I think rebound is about gradually allowing that pressure to build and release, rather than jerky movements such as abruptly releasing a fully railed ski. 


tdk6: definitely different performance levels, and the clips are more involved than just different skiers skiing at different levels. Level 4 instructors need to be able to demo all three: intermediate, advanced and expert parallel. I have heard the term "dynamic parallel" thrown around before in CSIA-land. It may have fallen out of use as when doing any turn you want to encourage dynamic stance rather than a stiff static stance. Just speculating that's why. I also heard some of our veteran instructors refer to the intermediate parallel as a "sloppy parallel"! because of the minimal edging. 


Therusty: Too true--in the CSIA handbook, instructors are advised to never demo a skill incorrectly. It did look like soft snow! That's the conditions I had for all my exams so far. Fortunately.

post #7 of 8

Speed... & everything that goes with it.


post #8 of 8

Not having read other replies:


The styles, obviously, are similar overall.  Things I see with the "intermediate" skiing:


  • Much less counter/anticipation (staying largely square with the skis)
  • Less effective pole touch (related to not moving the inside half into the turn)
  • Weight is somewhat back, especially near the end of the turns (you can see snow spraying up more off the back of the skis, not so much the front half)
  • Turns are not linked as smoothly (because they're getting back as they come into the transition, and then have to spend time/energy moving forwards before starting the next turn)
  • Not much (or not as much) angulation, more inclination (causes larger up/down torso movements, and slower transitions, maybe contributing to the weight being back)
  • 'Park and ride' look, especially in the L3 video (related to not using angulation, and probably also not using the legs independently)
  • Bit of an A-frame due to uneven edge angles (in the L3 video; again, not using the inside leg independently)


The "advanced" demo reduces most of these, and the "expert" one pretty much eliminates them all.  I'd like to see a little more counter even in the "expert" one, but that's probably more of a CSIA versus PSIA thing (and depends on the turn radius; e.g. the short radius expert turns look great to me.)

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