Thursday 14 December 2017

What is an Intermediate Skier?

One of the problems in skiing is there is no standard that defines an intermediate skier.  You know that you are not an expert as you will often hesitate to go down a Double Black diamond run.  You may struggle down a Black diamond and feel comfortable on Blue runs. Some kids don't seem to have a problem as you see them snowplowing down the steepest of hills.  
I had the opportunity of taking a course with one of the CSIA masters Don Korjevan who challenged us to examine our own skiing and to critique it.  I tried but found I was stuck.  It is difficult to bootstrap yourself to another level if you don't have a path to follow.  I once watched some CSIA and racers skiers training on a race course together. There was a major difference between the stiles of skiing.  The racers seem to sparkle on the course but I still couldn't see how it was done.  
Eventually, Jen and Ryan (Now Director and Deputy Director Mt. Washington Snow School, BC, Can) gave me the clues and opened a new dimension in skiing for me. My main question was why did it take so long for this to happen?  Why keep this a secret?  How did I get to this new level of having fun on skis again? At last, I was able to critique my own skiing and determine what was needed. In a nutshell, it was my skills needed quite a bit of work. So I developed my own definitions of some of the skiing terms and tried to get rid a lot of baggage. I also wanted to develop a progression that encouraged good skiing right from the start.  So my method is the result of my studies.  It is based on the basic skills that we use to talk about but never seemed to practice.  
The two skills that I was lacking were pivoting/counter rotation and what I call dynamic balance. 
So if you are an intermediate skier and want to move ahead you can test yourself on how well you can do the lessons in my manual and video. What is missing from your skiing?  Do you monitor the pressure on your feet when you shift your balance ( lesson 1)?  How slow can you perform (lesson 2 edge control)?  How are your pivoting skills, can you perform lesson 3 going in a straight line down a hill?  Do you start your turns with pressure on your big toe pad (lesson 4).  These are gauges that you can use to test your skiing. And finally, how well do you blend these skills (lesson 5)?
View my next post on the transition from beginner to intermediate turn.