PSIA Lexicon

Alpine Description Words

The following descriptions are copied from the PSIA-RM demos found on www.vimeo.com. These are just the words imprinted on the skiing demos. They can also be found in a PDF document called Skiing Standards IDP (instructor development pathway), and they’re broken down into ski/body performance. The PDF contains the standards for all levels one through Trainer’s Acred.

I typed up this document while studying for my Level III exam. The main purpose was to reinforce my personal vocabulary used by PSIA-RM examiners to make it easier for me to communicate movement analysis. It’s not mandatory to use these words. It’s more important to know the concepts and be able to communicate them to your peers. I think this helps us to become better instructors/coaches.

After reading a few descriptions, you should start noticing that the language revolves around the Skills Concept (rotation, edging, pressure) and D.I.R.T (duration, intensity, rate, timing). Remembering this helps to discipline yourself and remain objective about describing what you see in a skier performance and movements. You’ll also notice that about half of each description refers to ski performance and the rest to body performance.

Pivot Slip Leapers

Linked side slips in a corridor of three meters or less. From perpendicular to the fall-line the skier leaps and rotates skis 90 degrees, lands in the fall-line and continues rotation an additional 90 degrees to complete 180 degree rotation.

  • Skis slip at a constant rate through take off and after landing
  • Skis are twisted 90 degrees in the air
  • Skis land in the fall-line
  • Skis are twisted 90 degrees on the ground to complete 180 degree rotation
  • Both skis leave the ground at the same time
  • Turning movements come from the legs under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Extension movements come from the legs and facilitate takeoff
  • Flexion movements facilitate a controlled landing
  • Upper body remains stable during takeoff and landing

Backside Pivot Slips

Linked side slips in a corridor of three meters or less connected by 180 degree “backside” pivots of the whole body.

  • Skis are twisted at a constant rate from center
  • Tails turn downhill at initiation
  • Skis are tipped/released at the same time
  • Slip is perpendicular to the fall-line
  • Turning comes from legs and upper body to create appearance of whole body turning
  • Tipping movements originate in feet and legs
  • Flexion/extension movements keep CoM over base of support
  • Corridor is less than three meters

Short Radius Leapers

High performance short to medium radius turns. Active extension of the legs causes the skies to leave the ground during transition. Edge change happens in the air.

  • Skis are edged at initiation
  • Edge change occurs in the air, edge angles build through shaping and finish
  • Skis turn from center in the air and on the ground
  • Skis bend from center
  • Skis bend from center when on the snow
  • Tipping movements are simultaneous and originate in the feet and legs
  • Legs rotate under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Active explosive extension originates in the legs at initiation
  • Flexion movements are progressive

Hockey Stop

Skier starts in a straight run in the fall-line on flat, parallel skis. Skier glides for several meters then pivots 90 degrees and comes to an abrupt stop on corresponding edges.

  • Skis run straight in the fall-line
  • Skis twist at the same rate and time to perpendicular to the fall-line
  • Skis are tipped at the same time and rate
  • Skis bend from the center
  • Turning comes from the legs under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Tipping movements come from feet and legs
  • Flexion/extension movements are progressive and keep CoM over base of support

Guided Uphill Arc

From a diagonal traverse, skier uses active rotary movements to steer skis in a smooth are, up hill, to a stop. Task is repeated in other direction.

  • Skis turn the same amount
  • Skis turn constantly and progressively
  • Skis tip the same amount
  • Skis tip progressively
  • Skis bend from center
  • Turning comes from legs under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Tipping movements come from feet and legs and are continuous
  • Joints flex proportionately to keep CoM over base of support
  • Foot to foot pressure control movements promote consistent stance width

Carved Uphill Arc

Starting approximately 45 degrees to the fall-line, both skis are progressively tipped up the hill the same amount and leave two clean lines in the snow.

  • Skis leave two clean lines in the snow
  • Skis tip at the same time and rate for the same duration
  • Skis tip progressively
  • Skis bend from center
  • Joints flex proportionately to keep CoM over base of support
  • Tipping comes from feet and legs
  • Tipping movements are continuous through the arc

Linked Hockey Slips

Skier demonstrates a series of alternating sideslips and straight runs directly down the fall-line. Skier should demonstrate a strong ability to turn the legs under a stable pelvis and upper body as the skis pivot 90 degrees from straight run to side slip then 90 degrees to straight run.

  • Skis are twisted 90 degrees into the fall-line at the same time and rate
  • Skis straight run in parallel relationship in the fall-line for several meters
  • Skis are twisted 90 degrees to become perpendicular to the fall-line at the same time and rate
  • Skis slip in fall line for several meters
  • Skis bend from center
  • Skis are tipped / released at the same time and rate
  • Turns come from legs under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Tipping comes from feet and legs
  • Flexion and extension movements are progressive and keep the CoM over base of support

Wedge Turns

Blended basic turn in which the skis are displaced laterally and rotated so that the tips are closer together than the tails to create a wedge. Skis are turned consistently and at the same rate throughout the turn. Size of wedge is consistent throughout the turn.

  • Skis bend from center
  • Joints flex appropriately to maintain center of mass over base of support
  • Tips move downhill at initiation
  • Ski tips are turned toward each other
  • Skis are displaced slightly to create a wedge
  • Both edges release at initiation
  • Legs turn under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Tipping comes from ankles and legs plus slight displacement of skis
  • Speed is controlled through turn shape

Wedge Christie

Blended basic turn where both edges are released and skis are turned downhill. A wedge is formed due to the outside ski turning faster than the inside ski at initiation. During the shaping phase the inside ski turns faster until skis are parallel.

  • Skis bend from center
  • joints flexed proportionately to maintain CoM over base of support
  • Both edges are released at initiation
  • Ski tips move downhill at initiation
  • Both skis skid and turn throughout
  • Inside ski turns faster from fall-line to create parallel relationship
  • Outside ski turns faster to fall-line to create wedge
  • Tipping come from ankles and legs plus slight displacement of skis
  • Subtle fore/aft adjustments keep CoM centered over base of support
  • Speed control through turn shape

Switch Basic Parallel

Linked parallel turns skied backwards. Basic ski and body performance is similar to forward basic parallel turns.

  • Constantly skidded parallel turns
  • Skis turn at the same rate after initiation
  • Skis tip simultaneously and at the same rate
  • Skis tip progressively throughout the turn
  • Minimal ski/tip lead
  • Joints proportionately flex/extend to keep CoM over base of support
  • Turning movements come primarily from legs
  • Tipping movement originate in legs
  • Over shoulder viewing follows edge change

Veriable Terrain

High performance free skiing demonstrating adaptability, technical skills, tactical awareness in challenging, ungroomed terrain.

  • Skis maintain contact with the snow when appropriate
  • Skis bend from center in a majority of the turns
  • Skis twist from the center at the same rate
  • Skis tip and release simultaneously
  • Rotary movements come from legs under a stable upper body
  • Tipping movements originate in legs under stable upper body
  • Flexion movements facilitate release at initiation when appropriate
  • Extension movement allow shaping when appropriate
  • Duration, intensity, and rate of rotation are varied to accommodate terrain changes
  • Duration, intensity, and rate of tipping movements are varied to accommodate terrain changes

Side Slip in the Fall Line

Starting from a stop with skis across the fall-line, release the edges, slip directly down the fall-line several meters, and come to a stop. Skier will demonstrate in both directions and should show separation between the upper and lower body below the pelvis.

  • Skis slip in the fall-line
  • skis bend from center
  • Both skis slip evenly
  • Up hill ski is ahead of down-hill ski
  • Skis maintain parallel relationship
  • Joints flexed proportionately to maintain CoM over base of support
  • Legs rotated under a stable pelvis and upper body (separation)

Pivot Slips

Linked side slips in a corridor of two meters or less connected by 180 degree pivots of both legs under a stable pelvis and upper body.

  • Skis bend from center
  • Skis are twisted simultaneously at a constant rate
  • Pivot point is under center of skis
  • Skis are tipped/release at the same time and rate
  • Skis are perpendicular to the fall line when slipping
  • Corridor is one cat track or less
  • Turning comes from legs under a stable pelvis and upper body promoting separation
  • Tipping movements come from feet and legs
  • Flexion/extension movements are progressive and keep CoM over base of support

Performance Short Turns

High performance linked rounded short radius turns. Skier demonstrates strong ski performance with high edge angles in the fall line and optimal skill blend to shape turn. Skier is carried at least one meter across the hill while skiing in a corridor of approximately one groomer width.

  • Constant tempo approximately one turn per second
  • Skis send CoM across the hill at least one meter
  • Parallel skis with similar edge angles
  • Consistent speed and ski performance throughout turn and from turn to turn
  • Both skis engage and bend in the shaping phase
  • Active flexion/extension movements manage pressure
  • Center of mass remains centered through proportional flexion/extension
  • Both legs rotate in the hip socket at the same rate and time
  • Tipping movements come primarily from the legs
  • Some inclination to the fall-line is present

Medium Radius Carved Turns

High performance, linked, medium-radius turns. Skier demonstrates strong ski performance (carving), progressive tipping movements with high edge angles in the fall-line and little to no skidding.

  • Turn shape is consistent and controls speed
  • Skis turn primarily from being tipped and bent
  • Skis bend most during the shaping phase
  • Skis remain the same distance apart throughout the turn
  • Skis leave two lines in the snow during the shaping phase
  • Skis are on the same edge angles throughout the turn
  • Subtle fore/aft movements keep the CoM centered over the base of support
  • Tipping comes from legs under stable body AND inclination
  • Inclination begins at initiation phase
  • Inclination increased during shaping phase
  • Inclination decreases during finish phase

Bumps

Fall-line orientated skiing in mogals. Skier should demonstrate athleticism, adaptability to terrain variations, ability to absorb and control speed.

  • Skis maintain contact with the snow when appropriate
  • Flexion movements facilitate absorbtion and release at initiation
  • Extension movements allow shaping
  • Skis twist from center at the same time and rate to match terrain variations
  • Turning movements are progressive and come from the legs
  • Turning movements promote upper/lower body separation
  • Tipping movements come from legs
  • D.I.R.T. Of tipping movements are varied to accommodate terrain variations
  • Center of mass is roughly centered over base of support
  • Speed control comes from line and turn shape

Basic Parallel

Linked, rounded turns at intermediate speed on mild blue terrain. Skis maintain constant parallel relationship throughout and are actively steered to control speed.

  • Turn shape controls speed and is constant from turn to turn
  • Skis turn from center
  • Skis turn the same amount through turn
  • Skis tip the same amount through turn
  • Skis remain the same distance apart through turn and from turn to turn
  • Subtle fore/aft movements keep CoM over base of support
  • Both legs rotate at the same rate under a stable pelvis and upper body
  • Tipping movements originate in the legs and are at the same rate and time

Leave a Comment