James

Skiing the powder
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End of the day modern test on modern snow conditions needs modern equipment (for those particular snow conditions) if you want to do well without a lot of extra effort.
Except "snow conditions" had almost no effect on the development of shaped skis.
Also, everyone here would have a straight ski in their quiver if there were conditions they were better in. There aren't.
Maybe a straight tuck, but we tired of that years ago, plus you have to get to the spot.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
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The Bull City
Except "snow conditions" had almost no effect on the development of shaped skis.
Also, everyone here would have a straight ski in their quiver if there were conditions they were better in. There aren't.
Maybe a straight tuck, but we tired of that years ago, plus you have to get to the spot.
Dedicated bump skis are pretty straight..

But, no I was not suggesting there is a place for pre Y2K gear in certification exams or anywhere besides Retro Day.
 

Bendzeekneez

At the base lodge
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Oct 24, 2019
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This.

@Skitechniek, there are some fundamental differences between between how ski schools in America and Austria work that may be impacting our conversation in this thread. Someone has already mentioned that most American skiers do not watch ski racing, either on TV or at the mountain. That matters. But the ski school differences matter as well.

Student-Centered Teaching (no national progressions, no agreed-upon levels of student skiing skills)
--In the US, the professional organization that certifies instructors is PSIA. Instructors can earn three levels of certification through PSIA, Level I, II, and III. Those levels represent increasing levels of skiing and teaching ability.
--However, PSIA's certification exams do NOT require that instructors teach a specific way, or follow particular progressions when they teach. PSIA encourages instructors to teach students in whatever way they think will give the client what they want. This is student-centered teaching. Someone upthread has mentioned this.
--For this reason there is no general progression of skills all students go through, moving from one level to another, that all ski schools understand and affirm. Students do not graduate from one nationally recognized skiing level before going on to the next.
--An adult student can get taught to do very different things from one instructor to the next. An adult taking lessons at different times and at different mountains can experience inconsistency from instructor to instructor and from ski school to ski school.
--So yes, the line-up boss at a ski school will try to match a student to an instructor. They try to know the interests and strengths of each instructor. This matters since there is no required progression to be taught.
--Many American recreational skiers don't take lessons after they learn enough to ski blue trails. "Why would I take a lesson? I already know how to ski!" is something one might hear. They perceive that skill level is correlated with the terrain they ski. So if they ski "advanced" or "expert" terrain, then they assume they are advanced or expert skiers. Many also assume that if they ski fast on groomers, then they are experts. They do not know there are nuances in ski performance. Most don't see it and they don't feel it.

Ski Area Monopoly on ski instruction; no competition among ski schools; low pay for ski instructors

--A ski resort has exclusive right to teach on its terrain. That means all ski instructors at a mountain work for the one ski school that belongs to the business running the ski operation there. There is little to no competition between ski schools. Each mountain has a monopoly on instruction. This has an enormous impact on who chooses to teach, and how much they get paid.
--Making a living as a full-time ski instructor is very difficult here in America. The pay is notoriously low. The ski school takes a huge amount of the price of the lesson. The instructors get little of that price. Sometimes instructors get tips to supplement their low rate of pay.
--Ski instructors can work part-time or full-time. In the east, many are part-time, working only on weekends. One might call them "hobby" instructors.
--An instructor working for a resort's ski school does not have to be certified at any level. Some are, some aren't. Adult students don't know much about PSIA or its certification structure. They don't usually know if their instructor is uncertified, or Level I, II, or III. They don't ask, and they are not told.
--Some ski instructors take the job because they are simply interested in getting a season pass and a locker in the locker room and free training. They may be retirees, or high school students just graduated looking for a fun way to bridge the gap to college, or they may be gainfully employed elsewhere but passionate about skiing. Many in the east take the part-time job because of the perks, which may include season passes for their family.
 

karlo

Out on the slopes
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I took my Volkl Superspeed out of retirement and skied them today. They did not disappoint. I had forgotten how well they ski. And, I haven't been on such a narrow ski (70) since acquiring my first RTM 84's. It is so clear to me that, if I go for Level 3, I should use a narrower ski. Quick edge to edge, making pain in s's easy. Very easy to ski on one ski. I can see why average score is higher with narrower skis.
 

Lady_Salina

Getting off the lift
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285
using a narrow ski guarantee that you will get a foot of fresh on your exam day.
I had my slalom skis on for my exam, did it in Mont Tremblant, Quebec as west had very sketchy snow in 2015 and we had a foot of fresh snow. I ski snow so much better than ice! No worries, you adapt quick to the narrow ski in snow if you are used to skiing in snow. You will still be on a groomed run. I often wonder if that snow gave me my passing marks as the bumps were nice, the shorts were easy and the expert parallel had grip through the turn.
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Lol, I used slaloms also for the L3 at Sunday River. 1st day, foot deep spring snow. Second day, frozen solid, the bump runs we did the 1st day were closed.

One should use what you feel comfortable on.
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
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Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
Lol, I used slaloms also for the L3 at Sunday River. 1st day, foot deep spring snow. Second day, frozen solid, the bump runs we did the 1st day were closed.

One should use what you feel comfortable on.
Familiarity and comfort are surely important, but if you haven't learned how to obtain ski performance from your tool, you are unlikely to pass. Wide skis encourage pushing the skis around, and that's not the ski performance than evaluators are looking for. So, you might think about using a ski that is easier to obtain ski performance from. In Aspen, our trainers are encouraging those of us going for Level 3 to ski on something less than 85 underfoot. Many candidates are training on something in the mid 70s.

Mike
 

karlo

Out on the slopes
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using a narrow ski guarantee that you will get a foot of fresh on your exam day.
Which brings me to why I took out the Superspeed's. I've been reading the reviews of the Blizzard Firebird HRC. One review is this one,


which includes this statement:
"The smooth longitudinal flex really helps, giving the ski a touch of forgiveness in softer snow, and the 76 mm width doesn't get bogged down as easily as sub-70 mm skis. We skied it on a snowy day with the Blizzard crew down at Cannon and had a whole lot of fun."

From all that I've read of the HRC, it's target market and application is exactly what the Superspeed's was, except that 70 mm was as far as they dared go for a high performance carver back in 2005. Now that I've skied the Superspeed again, I am even more intrigued by the HRC. I'll have to demo them. And, if they are all that they are described to be, I would ski those to a Level 3 exam, to get two feet of fresh, not just one.

In Aspen, our trainers are encouraging those of us going for Level 3 to ski on something less than 85 underfoot. Many candidates are training on something in the mid 70s.
At 76, perhaps Aspen instructors are the HRC's target market. :)

 

James

Skiing the powder
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True, but what type of performance are examiners looking for? I have a definite impression as to what it is.
In wedge, wedge christie, hop turns, pivot slips, 1000 steps, out side ski to outside ski? All those can be in the exam.
People are always saying “ski performance”. Why not say what you’re talking about instead?
 

Erik Timmerman

Skiing the powder
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Nov 12, 2015
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3,774
I took my Volkl Superspeed out of retirement and skied them today. They did not disappoint. I had forgotten how well they ski. And, I haven't been on such a narrow ski (70) since acquiring my first RTM 84's. It is so clear to me that, if I go for Level 3, I should use a narrower ski. Quick edge to edge, making pain in s's easy. Very easy to ski on one ski. I can see why average score is higher with narrower skis.
You'd better like skiing bumps on those.
 

karlo

Out on the slopes
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Depends on weight, gender, etc.
Can't wait to demo. I'm pulling the trigger. I'm 5'10", 160 lb, male. Since the HRC's aren't rockered, a I'm thinking the 174. I have both 175 and 182 Superspeeds. But, I got the 182's only because, years ago, I signed up for a Master's program one season and wanted them for GS courses. I'm thinking the 174 HRC would be better for general recreation and for L3 exams??
 
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