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Ski recommendations for CSIA L3

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I'm looking to start training for my CSIA Level 3 this winter and am interested to hear what skis you would recommend? I passed my L1 and L2 on a pair of Blizzard G-Force Ultrasonic (2012).

From what I've read, it seems like most are suggesting either SL or GS type of skis. Taking a look myself I was thinking the Head Supershape iSpeed's might be a decent choice.

If anyone can offer any advice or suggestions that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Height: 167cm
Weight: 62kg
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No real experience but I'd guess a punter GS would work in the main for tech. Does CSIA not place more emphasis on variable. Certainly seen lots of instructor clinics off the groomers. Would something a bit more versatile not be better for that stuff?
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I wouldn't have particularly said so myself, they like the idea of "Terrain Assisted Development" for teaching which could be the reason you see groups slightly more off the track but I would have said the only variable element to the exam is the bumps. The four tech areas are intermediate parallel, advanced parallel, advanced short radius and then advanced bumps. Couple of videos below of areas covered / standards..


http://youtube.com/v/1ArIEdHOT9M

http://youtube.com/v/LSEupmBBoVw
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Makes sense. Also if you ask on Pugski you'll find quite a few CSIA certs there with a view.
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I would say skis from the Head Supershape range are a good choice for L3 and I passed my L3 on Titans. A lot of our trainers/examiners also use Supershape skis.

I chose the Titans since I wanted a good all-round ski for both L3 training and teaching, with a wide enough waist for Whistler powder. Even on deep powder days I tried to bring out my Titans rather than my powder skis because it is good to practice as much as you can in all conditions on whatever ski you are training with, since you could easily end up with a powder day on your exam.

The Titans have a similar radius to the Speeds but the Speeds have a much narrower waist so perhaps not so good if you are planning to ski on the west coast of Canada.

I've seen a lot of people pass L3 on Rallys and Magnums which have a waist inbetween the Speeds and Titans, but the radius is slightly tighter. I also used to have a pair of Magnums and they would also be OK for L3.

Whatever ski radius you go for, in order to pass the exam you have to be able to demonstrate steering turns tighter than whatever the radius of the ski is.
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All helpful, thanks. I did originally take a look at the Rallys, slightly more versatile, but thought the performance of the Speeds might work better.

I'll be sure to ask on Pugski too.
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Personally, I don't like the Rally - too soft. Titan is a great all-round ski and a classic/cliche for mid-level instructor exams in the BASI system, certainly.
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Well I'm currently on my 3rd pair of Titans so perhaps I'm a bit of a Titan fanboy now, haha Happy. I also own a pair of Blizzard Latigos which are also good for L3 type skiing however I thought they weren't so good in the heavy crud as the Titans. I found the Latigos a little too soft in heavy conditions, being thrown around more than the Titans.
I've also seen people doing their L3 on Rossi Pursuit 800s and I've tried those myself (stiffer than the Titans). They are awesome for everything on-piste but I don't really like them in the bumps.
Maybe also check out something in the Nordica Dobermann range since a lot of people get on well with those, although I've not skied those so can't comment too much on those skis.
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Thanks for the info. I'll take another look at the Titans, seems people really like those.

Rossignol Pursuits were something I also checked out, again they look great skis, wondered if the 800's might be too stiff so thought 700's might be slightly better / forgiving. Is there much difference to the 700 and 800 does anyone know? Are the 800's worth it over the 700's?
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@ashore, Titans maybe ok for you given your weight, but they are fairly soft. I was told I was out skiing them on my L2 @ 78kg
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@kitenski, I'm curious - what ski did you move on to when you found you were out-skiing the Titans? And how do you know when you've reached that point? I've been on Titans for the last couple of seasons and given current rate of improvement I could be on them forever, but it'd be good to try a step up at a ski-test day just to see.
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@Valkyrie, I got the Volkl Speedwall code L in 178cm which is noticeably stiffer in high speed carving. To be honest my L2 instructor pointed it out to me, and only when I'd got onto the Volkls could I see what he meant. If I wasn't doing performance exams I'd have kept on the Titans I reckon.
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I also used to ski Titans, and enjoyed them, but have now moved on to the Dynastar Speed Zone 14 Pro and they constantly whisper to me that they could really do more if only I'd ask them to. I.e. I'm still finding how much further I can push them compared to the Titans.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@ashore, Take a look at the published CSIA level 4's mock ski offs on youtube. Here's examples. '

http://youtube.com/v/5Ni6rBUmDtk&t=70s&list=FL1ebJRFjMN8_A1qAWo4KR-A&index=10 '

This guy below i'd say was a top instructor from another ski association taking the CSIA exams. Austrians ski on Blizzard / Tecnica equipment.
Great balance and very nice flow over bumpy terrain in short turns.
'
http://youtube.com/v/QFx3ER322D0&t=9s&index=3&list=FL1ebJRFjMN8_A1qAWo4KR-A '
'
http://youtube.com/v/7MC3Kk5Ap7w&t=173s '
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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hmmm... Good skiing but I would say maybe three of the girls and two guys at the level on the short turn video. Did they say how many would be over the bar?

Lot of skiers on Dynastar Wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@skimottaret, No idea about pass / resits etc. These vids on youtube are just showing the candidates standards / efforts for reference - never are there official comments - just me adding an opinion if i like something...

Yes, i agree. Quite a few on Dynastar although Atomic, Volkl , Head and Blizzard can all be seen. All good performance skis. As ever though, it's the driver making 'em dance and doing their magic... wink
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Quote:

hmmm... Good skiing but I would say maybe three of the girls and two guys at the level on the short turn video. Did they say how many would be over the bar?


I just googled CSIA level 4 to see if I had the wrong end of the stick. I didn't.

Most of those skiers (in the last ST video) are miles off the level I would pay to follow. I'm a decent skier but I know how big the gulf is between my skiing and a senior instructor. How can those folks even think they are close to the standard. I just don't get it. Is it a money making scheme by the CSIA?
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I'm not sure what the provenance of the video is, but I ride with a number of Canadian L4 instructors and they can all ski reasonably well (for instructors).
That's not what you're looking at there.

Teaching beginners probably doesn't do a great deal for your style, but the damage isn't that bad!
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@philwig,
Phil - I don't doubt that CSIA level 4 instructors can ski well! I do doubt whether those "candidates" have any chance of making the grade and wonder why no one had told them that before...
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I thought you meant that wink
I wonder if the video is for other purposes.
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Thanks for the suggestions. Helpful to see what others are using on the videos, there does seem to be a fair few using the Dynastar Speed Zones, but it's a big mixture of others too.

It's good to know that pretty much any top performance piste ski will work fine, which kind of answer my original question I guess! It shouldn't really matter which one I choose so long as I can demonstrate the correct techniques at the appropriate level.

I think the three I've narrowed it down for after a good look round are the Head Supershape I Speed, the Dynastar Speed Zone 14 and the new Atomic Redster S9. Planning to try these three out if possible at some point but have to say I'm leaning towards the new Redsters, seem like a great ski.
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iSpeeds are great but very narrow underfoot so tough in variables.
The S9's sound nice, lots of guys I know loved the double decks but again narrow underfoot
Kastel RX12 and the wider ones (cant remember number) Stockli Laser SX Volkl CODE SPEEDWALL S UVO are worth considering.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 4-09-17 18:08; edited 1 time in total
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note the speed zone 12's may work for you given your weight. exactly the same ski as the 14 but a rail binding system, the 14s have a plate and flat mounted binders
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Quote:

I wonder if the video is for other purposes.

Yeah that particular video is not from the CSIA, it was recorded by someone in Whistler Snow School during a morning training session where they were doing a mock ski-off. The purpose was so that people could see how they were skiing and get trainer feedback on how they compare to the L4 standard in a ski-off scenario. Some of those skiers won't even be planning to do the CSIA L4 course/exam and just wanted feedback to plan their training.

Actually two of the skiers in the video, even though they might not have been skiing to the standard in the video, went on 3 months later to pass the L4 (with a lot of hard training) Happy.
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@born2ski, and everyone, OK i retract that those video's are from 'published CSIA'. The video's publisher is ' Yas Kawasaki '. Sorry guys... Confused

I'm uncertain of the necessary criteria to partake in ' L4 mock ski-off scenario '. I'm guessing you have to pass a L3 exam of some sort...err, I'm not 'dissing' anybodies skiing.
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Yep, all of those people would have passed a L3 exam at some point.
The video doesn't even necessarily always show the standard for the L3 since to pass the L3 exam they have to demonstrate the L3 standard skiing on their exam days, but every single run they do after the exams won't necessarily be always above that bar. So there will be people in there having a bad day etc. It's better to watch the CSIA videos to see the standard.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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Tim Heeney wrote:

Great balance and very nice flow over bumpy terrain in short turns.
'
http://youtube.com/v/QFx3ER322D0&t=9s&index=3&list=FL1ebJRFjMN8_A1qAWo4KR-A '


Lovin the rabbit doing a "backside 180" @4:35

I think he must be on the wrong skis Toofy Grin
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Quote:

So there will be people in there having a bad day etc.

Yeah but some people just look uncoordinated and are thrashing around - once you've got to a certain level you don't ever look like that.
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@jedster, I tend to agree with you in that I would be disappointed if I hired an instructor and they skiied at this standard. But a couple of points to consider are that video tends to be very unforgiving and the task they have been set, skiing a very narrow corridor with ski performance makes body management more challenging. Most of them look like they are forcing it too much causing too much skidding and timing / postural issues. The girl in the pink helmet has eased the corridor a bit, is getting earlier grip, rounder turns and looks smoother as a result.
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b]@sledger[/b],

I think that's fair. I was being a bit harsh.
Quote:

Most of them look like they are forcing it too much causing too much skidding and timing / postural issues.

Agree with this and may be I've never seen the really good skiers I've skied with pushed so far in this direction. Still... good skiers flow in tougher conditions than that.
I skied with a Polish guide this year who came from a rock and ice climbing background and only learned to ski in his twenties as part of his guide training. There are plenty of guides whose skiing is pragmatic and not very pretty but he skied with much more poise and fluency than most in that video. And he isn't aiming to offer high level technical instruction in skiing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm CSIA level 3 and did a training level 4 some years ago. Went to Canada with the same skis I usually use for teaching in the Three Vallées. A good pair of slalom skis (1,65) or giant slalom skis (1,7Cool but not too long for short turns and moguls. Good luck
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Skipros wrote:
I'm CSIA level 3 and did a training level 4 some years ago. Went to Canada with the same skis I usually use for teaching in the Three Vallées. A good pair of slalom skis (1,65) or giant slalom skis (1,7Cool but not too long for short turns and moguls. Good luck


Thanks you. Sort of learning towards the new Atomic Redster S9 (165cm) or possibly the Atomic Redster TR (165cm), slightly wider underfoot with radius of 14m, which kind of seems like they may be a better choice over the S9's. Currently waiting to see some more reviews of both pairs and hopefully try them out at some point as well as the others mentioned here (iSpeeds / Speedzones).
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When I did my level 3 training my skis arrived 2 days later in Mt Tremblant, the airplane company lost my skis bag!!! So when I passed my CSIA level 3 the following year I went to a ski hire and rented a pair all terrain Salomon skis, skis for good skiers but not for experts! I usually ski with Nordica skis. So don't worry it's not that important, just take a pair of skis you like.
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Skipros wrote:
When I did my level 3 training my skis arrived 2 days later in Mt Tremblant, the airplane company lost my skis bag!!! So when I passed my CSIA level 3 the following year I went to a ski hire and rented a pair all terrain Salomon skis, skis for good skiers but not for experts! I usually ski with Nordica skis. So don't worry it's not that important, just take a pair of skis you like.


This.

I attended my Level 3 at Panorama, BC on Rossignol Bandit XX with Dynafit touring bindings and Scarpa Laser touring boots.

The examiner's looked down their noses at me but I failed because I wasn't good enough.

A third year instructor passed top of the group on Salomon Pocket Rocket twin tips.

Because he was good enough.
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