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The difference between BASI levels......

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm interested in how folk could describe the jump in tech performance level from l1 to l2, from l2 to l3 and from l3 to l4?

I've been struggling to describe the jump in ski performance required from L1 to L2 to a few folk apart from saying "it's a huge difference...." and "much bigger than I expected"

Cheers,

Greg
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L1 : entry level qual for dry slopes & domes
L2 : teaching snowplough > basic parallel on groomed piste (i.e the central theme progression)
L3 / L4 : teaching moguls, bumps, variable conditions, steeper terrain (i.e beyond central theme)

The skills tested are basically those you would need to teach at each level.
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Haggis_Trap, that;s not what I mean.

I was asking about the difference in your own technical skiing.

So someone who can ski L1 shorts and longs, how much do they need to "up" their game for L2 shorts and longs and again how much from L2 shorts, longs, variables, bumps to L3 shorts, longs, variables, bumps

Hopefully I'm a bit clearer now Smile
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Maybe it's better expressed in terms of skiing population

L1 might be top 30%
L2 is probably top 5% of piste skiers
L3 top 3% of all skiers
L4 top 1% anywhere

Thinking more of skiers observable in a given timespan rather than overall participants
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^ there are 3 ways to turn a ski (Edge, Pressure and Rotation)

basically at the higher levels (L3/L4) you need to be able to demo + teach how to use the 3 elements of Edge, Pressure and Rotation.
when blended properly these allow you to ski the whole mountain. (bumps, steeps, clean carved turns of any radius).

at the lower levels (L1/L2) then you are teaching beginners -> basic parallel turns.
in this case the turns can be primarily rotational.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 18-09-13 15:25; edited 3 times in total
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Haggis_Trap, I think kitenski probably means that at L2 a candidates personal performance will already need to be demonstrating the skills taught at a high L3 lesson etc
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I suppose all things are relative. I didn't think the jump from L1 to L2 was that big, although I did my L1 in Val d'Isere and I think the Trainer pushed us well beyond the L1 requirements I see on indoor slopes. Perhaps I was better prepared for my L2 as a result? The jump from L2 to L3 is huge by comparison. The main differences I see are:

Significant increase in the level of precision required. Precision of movements, precision of timings. You can't get away with sloppy skiing or inefficient movements. This is the key difference between recreational skiing and passing instructor exams, IMO.

Significant increase in performance level. L1 and to a certain extent L2 are achievable for experienced recreational skiers, if (and it's a big if) they are able to change their skiing to cope with the level of precision required. The step up in performance at L3 was (to me at least) very significant. Piste performance is required at very high speeds, with a high level of precision. That kind of skiing doesn't come naturally to many people I suspect, and is not necessary to get around the pistes when you are on holiday. As a result good technical coaching is a necessity to reach that level of performance. The off piste isn't "extreme terrain" by any standard, but again is performed at high speed with a high level of precision. No shopping for turns as you wait for a nice patch of snow! Ditto bumps; you ski the fall line at a steady pace, with no allowance for changing your line for some easier turns. Strength and conditioning become more important at L3. At L1 and L2 not so much, but at L3 and beyond you need to make sure you are fit enough. Tech, teach, coach and especially mountain safety are all tough assessments in terms of physical demands.

Breadth of coverage. L1 is designed for instructors limited to indoor or artificial slopes, L2 for on-piste teaching in resort, L3 on and off-piste in resort. Obviously this brings a wider set of skills and demands in terms of technical performance, group management, safety, etc.

Depth of teaching skills. Often over-looked, but L3 and L4 teaching assessments are very demanding. You need to be adaptable, have a good understanding of how people learn, especially the range of ways in which they might prefer to learn, you have to have a clear command of what is important about skiing and what is simply stylistic or contrived. Being able to be imaginative with your approach to teaching, going beyond the teaching manuals, is essential.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 18-09-13 15:22; edited 1 time in total
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rob@rar wrote:
The step up in performance at L3 was (to me at least) very significant. Piste performance is required at very high speeds, with a high level of precision. That kind of skiing doesn't come naturally to many people I suspect, and is not necessary to get around the pistes when you are on holiday. As a result good technical coaching is a necessity to reach that level of performance. The off piste isn't "extreme terrain" by any standard, but again is performed at high speed with a high level of precision. No shopping for turns as you wait for a nice patch of snow! Ditto bumps; you ski the fall line at a steady pace, with no allowance for changing your line for some easier turns.

I've heard a BASI trainer describe this as having a bit of 'magic' about your skiing. Something that other skiers will aspire to emulate.

rob@rar wrote:
Depth of teaching skills. Often over-looked, but L3 and L4 teaching assessments are very demanding. You need to be adaptable, have a good understanding of how people learn, especially the range of ways in which they might prefer to learn, you have to have a clear command of what is important about skiing and what is simply stylistic or contrived. Being able to be imaginative with your approach to teaching, going beyond the teaching manuals, is essential.

Nice to hear and hopefully so for L2 too. The introduction in L1 was good and developing 'on the job' has been great but I look foward to going deeper on this in a structured setting.
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Haggis_Trap, L2 longs need to have a clean transition, edge to edge, albeit on moderate terrain. [Edit: I'm sure I was replying to a post I now can't see]

flowa, L2 teaching, at least when I did it, was "by the book". L3 teaching needs a far deeper understanding. Simply throwing out a few drills with little thought as to what you are trying to achieve, and little observation as to what you are actually achieving won't cut the mustard.
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I think L1/L2 == someone who skis (quite) well.

L3/L4 == skier.

But doinf a (tele) L1 next week so I'll find out for sure..........
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rob@rar wrote:
flowa, L2 teaching, at least when I did it, was "by the book". L3 teaching needs a far deeper understanding. Simply throwing out a few drills with little thought as to what you are trying to achieve, and little observation as to what you are actually achieving won't cut the mustard.
Not sure you meant me personally but I don't think I teach that way Puzzled

I shadowed a lot with awesome L4 instructors as well as, but not as much with, a range of L1-3s (good and bad) and have worked hard to develop my eye and drill/development skills matching for clients.
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flowa, not, of course I didn't mean it was your teaching style! That's just how I see the difference between L2 and L3.
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flowa wrote:
I shadowed a lot with awesome L4 instructors as well as, but not as much with, a range of L1-3s (good and bad) and have worked hard to develop my eye and drill/development skills matching for clients.
Me too. Shadowing is a brilliant thing to do. I still do it now, as often as I can, even though I have no need to log hours any more. For me the difference between a good instructor and great instructor is the quality of what they "see". Cutting through the stylistic and the contrived to what is really important about skiing. Having a big repertoire of drills and exercises is important, but if you can't see what the client is doing your selection of drills or exercises is often going to be wide of the mark.
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Q : how can you tell who is a ski instructor at a party ?
A : they will tell you

Q : What is the difference between god and a ski instructor
A : God doesn't think he is a ski instructor

Wink
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Haggis_Trap, the old ones are the best wink
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
^ there are 3 ways to turn a ski (Edge, Pressure and Rotation)

basically at the higher levels (L3/L4) you need to be able to demo + teach how to use the 3 elements of Edge, Pressure and Rotation.
when blended properly these allow you to ski the whole mountain. (bumps, steeps, clean carved turns of any radius).

at the lower levels (L1/L2) then you are teaching beginners -> basic parallel turns.
in this case the turns can be primarily rotational.


I think your missing the point, this question isn't about teach, it's about tech.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
^ think about the difference between a basic parallel turn (probably upright and using rotation to skid the skis)
now think about a racer or expert carving a turn (generating big angles and skiing on their edges)
in simple terms that is the difference between L1/L2 tech and L3/L4 tech.

your question asked what you need to do 'technically' at the higher levels.
the answer is that you need to be able to demonstrate higher performance turns using edging, rotation and pressure where required.

the requirements for each level are explained clearly here.
http://www.basi.org.uk/content/alpine-ski.aspx

surprised no one has posted the link yet....

Q. How many ski instructors does it take to put in a light bulb?
A. Eleven. One to put the bulb in and Ten to analyze the turning Wink


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 18-09-13 15:59; edited 1 time in total
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Haggis_Trap, you still don't get what I'm asking!

anyone can read that link, it's putting the difference between the levels into words.

You see some 'average' skiers in resorts who think they are gods gift to skiing, maybe they would pass L1, maybe not. How do you describe the skiing ability needed for a person to pass L1, L2, L3 etc.

I think Rob has had a good crack at the answer with a significant increase in precision and performance
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rob@rar wrote:
flowa, not, of course I didn't mean it was your teaching style! That's just how I see the difference between L2 and L3.
Phew Laughing
rob@rar wrote:
flowa wrote:
I shadowed a lot with awesome L4 instructors as well as, but not as much with, a range of L1-3s (good and bad) and have worked hard to develop my eye and drill/development skills matching for clients.
Me too. Shadowing is a brilliant thing to do. I still do it now, as often as I can, even though I have no need to log hours any more. For me the difference between a good instructor and great instructor is the quality of what they "see". Cutting through the stylistic and the contrived to what is really important about skiing. Having a big repertoire of drills and exercises is important, but if you can't see what the client is doing your selection of drills or exercises is often going to be wide of the mark.
Indeed, start from the feet up Madeye-Smiley

Have to admit I don't shadow as much anymore but feel inspired to take it on again from what you just wrote Cool
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Haggis_Trap wrote:


Q. How many ski instructors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. None - they screw in zee 'ot tub


FIFY
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kitenski wrote:
Haggis_Trap
How do you describe the skiing ability needed for a person to pass L1, L2, L3 etc.


All documented here in more detail that you could ever imagine...
Do you want me to cut and paste it for you Wink

http://www.basi.org.uk/content/pre-course-information.aspx
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kitenski, In simple terms, how's about: Faster, Steeper and less Skid as you progress through the levels.
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Haggis_Trap, you just don't get what I am after, I can read BASI links fine.
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kitenski,

Level 1 - most holiday skiers can achieve if they want to
Level 2 - upper end of good holiday skiers can achieve if they want to
Level 3 - upper end of genuinely strong advanced skiers with great technical skills, should be able to ski *pretty much* anything anywhere with anyone without embarassing themselves
Level 4 - real expert
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My view....

L1; Your posture is OK, but not perfect and may break down under pressure; you have a basic understanding of the teaching principals, Your demos are OK for Central theme, you can ski parallel on easy terrain, you can carve on similar. You have appropriate movements over your skis, but they may not be precise. You can teach beginners up to parallel and may teach other strands in a controlled environment.

L2, You can ski the mountain; easy slopes with some style and skill. You use and understand the various teaching styles and can think on your feet and be creative (to an extent) with your teaching.
You can ski easy bumps, variables and off piste with some input from your peers or trainers. You now understand how much you still have to learn and how much your skiing needs to change to reach the higher levels. Your demos of the Central theme are spot on. Precise and flowing. You may teach on piste the piste stands.

L3, You are an inspirational skier and are referred to as a reference by others. You are accurate and precise with your skiing; Some steeper/poor snow terrain may cause you to be less flowing, precise and accurate; but it is nearly all there. You are an inspirational teacher.

L4, L3's quote you as a reference and inspiration !
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I like that scooby_simon, esp the bit "You now understand how much you still have to learn and how much your skiing needs to change to reach the higher levels"
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kitenski wrote:
Haggis_Trap, you just don't get what I am after, I can read BASI links fine.


Nope : you just don't get the simple point that the technical skiing skills required for L1-L4 have already been documented in great detail.
BASi have published guidelines describing exactly what you are expected to do for each level.
There is very little subjectivity about the process (despite what some people like to think)

For some people L3 will be "easy". For other it will be a struggle.
Mainly depending on how much skiing / training they have done.
However the theory is that good skiers will be able to adapt to what is being asked.

AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
kitenski, In simple terms, how's about: Faster, Steeper and less Skid as you progress through the levels.


^ yip : nice simplification Very Happy
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This diagram painted a nice simple picture for me, and joined up a lot of dots in my head.

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Very interesting diagram. Thanks.

In the RPE turns, for example, does the R (Rotation), P (Pressure), and E (Edge) refer to :

1. The order in which they happen?

or

2. The relative ratio of each action in the turn?

or

3. Both of the above?


Thanks in advance
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Maybe look at it this way.

REP rather that RPE?

In a plough the legs rotate to create the wedge ( plough), as a natural consequence the feet are displaced wider than the hips ( they will tilt passively) = Edge.

This shape when moving forwards creates resistance against the ski ( pressure).

This is the first very crude use of all three steering elements.
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^ when the graph was explained to me it was the "order they happen".
however, as mike suggests, it could also be the "relative ratio"
you got me thinking!

I thought it was a great diagram - Captures the steering elements (i.e REP), and how they are used.
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Pretty sure that you can't turn a ski just using pressure. You turn through rotation, edge or a mixture of edge & rotation. You try to manage pressure but pressure, on its own, doesn't make the skis turn.
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^ in deep powder it would be possible to turn using pressure.
or in a snow plough you can also turn by simply pressing down into the ground through your left or right foot.

however skiers almost always blend the 3 elements (Rotation, Edge and Pressure) depending on the type of turn.
skiers very rarely use just 1 of them Wink


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 19-09-13 13:38; edited 2 times in total
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In the very early stages ( gliding plough) the skier just needs to further rotate the plough around a curve. Soon at the outer ski steers further beyond the fall line it naturally becomes pressured. At this stage there is no real need for active weight transfer as it happens naturally with improved rotational development.
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With a modern waisted ski applying pressure to the ski will cause it to bend this in turn will affect the curve of the ski which will cause you to turn, now it does this I will admit by using the edge but you are not applying the edge in the same way as you would on say an older parallel sided set of skis.

Personally I (if I lost a lot of weight) could probably get to lvl 2 without too much effort and with a lot of work lvl 3 I'd never make lvl4 though as I'm nowhere near that good, know a few people who are though, most are instructors but one is a doctor ! And that one is probably the best stylistic skier I've ever met, someone whom it is a joy to follow down the mountain.
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Haggis_Trap wrote:

or in a snow plough you can also turn by simply pressing down into the ground through your left or right foot.


I'm pretty sure my trainer proved this doesn't work. if you JUST applied pressure to your left foot and ZERO edge or ZERO rotation you wouldn't turn, would you??? Someone said something similar and he skied down just applying pressure and ploughed straight on....

A *tiny* bit of edge would be needed, and also some rotation to get the ski into the plough position..

Sorry, seem to be disagreeing with you a lot on this thread!!
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kitenski, Intuitively I think similar. In bottomless powder its nice to think you are just "bouncing" and turning as a result but the reality is you must be twisting or tipping your skis slightly in order for the ski base to do it's planing thing against the soft snow.
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kitenski, For me rotation is the key in the early stages. Pressure builds as a consequence.
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Kitenski : I think most skiers would struggle to turn a ski using just one of the E,P, or R elements on its own.
As you say at least a *tiny* element of the other 2 is always required.

The real skill is learning how to blend the 3 elements for the turn type (i.e moguls vs carving vs snow plough etc)
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Elston wrote:
Pretty sure that you can't turn a ski just using pressure. You turn through rotation, edge or a mixture of edge & rotation. You try to manage pressure but pressure, on its own, doesn't make the skis turn.


That is my understanding too.
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