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Strider's Exam/An old-School insight..


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Guest Pre School Rider

I lifted this from an old Post on Freecarve.Strider,understand that 'fashion' reigns supreme in the world of snowboarding,and changes to what's PC are made every season.Trust me,I've been through some pretty upsetting moments working up through the 'pins' within PSIA/AASI,where the validity of what I said/did wasn't "NORMAL" enough to be comprehended by those with closed minds and a Position to defend.I kept my "rating card" from my 1st L-2 exam,wherein an Examiner wrote that I "wasn't SKIING on my SNOWBOARD Correctly":Yeah,Right,sure... What must be considered is that OPINION is just that,and justification of an opinion means it may have flaws.The TRUTH is in Performance Gains,and in bringing out that improvement in a SAFE manner.So,read what's here,and keep this in mind::In my 16 years of teaching,and only 15 students have needed to visit First-Aid during my classtime. I hate to make mistakes that lead to other's getting hurt.I consider that Examiner's opinion of a 'good' heelside turn to an accident waiting to happen. Below,you might see why.... I teach this 'looking through' the turn (in deference to the frippin' PSIA Examiners,I started calling it "progressive rotation")for my students with more aggressive binding angles.One of the advantages of doing this is obvious;you can see around the corner,which at higher carving speeds can easily save your bacon.Another advantage is that it tends to keep your shoulders more square to the hill,so recovery from an encounter with a patch of ice is much more comfortable.I have seen 'the new breed' of AASI instructors who try Not to rotate the shoulders take REALLY nasty falls due to an overly aggresive weight shift onto the heel edge combined with NOT SEEING that icy patch.I don't need headaches like that!However,with binding angles of less than 15*,I'd say that turning the shoulders and then the hips isn't an effective move in heelside turns,as the twist in the body ends up being a skidded rotational turn at the board.I like to put a rider's rear hand in the general vicinity of the front knee about midway through a heelside turn,just to give the right amount of rotation at the shoulders,and promote a good,but not construed,angulation of the hips and shoulders in relation to the hill.Bringing Both hands across the board over to the inside of the arc is for high-angles/hardboots,and is quite effective at placing one with level shoulders Very Close to the snow,definitely NOT a good move for someone in softies on a Burton 7!

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I've wondered just what would happen if I were to show up to a beginners lesson with my alpine setup? Would they tell me they can't teach me, or I have the wrong gear? I have a feeling here in the Midwest I'd just get blank stares...

Does AASI teach the instructors to deal with a situation like that?

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Guest Pre School Rider

No,more like 5% might know how to help out.It's not that the ideas behind riding are all that different,really.It's the awareness to cope with differences the student (in this case in hardshells) would be bringing to the table.I can think of at least 10 "normal" pieces of advice (riding tips) you'd likely get that would cause a loss of board control.This isn't a slam on instructor training or individual awareness,it's simply a note that the experience of riding differently isn't within the scope of most of this generation's instructors.Consider teaching from Hardboots to be an art at the edge of extinction.Actually,I can think of only 4-5 instrutors at Stratton(this season) who have ever used hardshells,and maybe two that have taught using them. As for actual riding improvement of upper-level hardboot riders,you'd be lucky to get an instructor,anywhere in New England.

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PSR

As a CASI 1 examiner, I will usually ride my hard boots on evaluation day. I do this to familiarize these future instructors with the different equipment, and I show them how our (Canadian) approach works for both hard and soft boots.

Have you ever been to Interski?

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There are a number of hardboot instructors at Squaw Valley out here in Lake Tahoe, CA. On any given day you can see 1-3 instructors on hardboots teaching beginner snowboarders how to turn. I've never tried, but it seems like it's probably way easier to control a board with only one foot in if you're in hardboots than softboots, too. You can also see them absolutely killing it on the groom, crud, chop, or whatever, when they're off-duty.

Originally posted by Pre School Rider

Consider teaching from Hardboots to be an art at the edge of extinction.Actually,I can think of only 4-5 instrutors at Stratton(this season) who have ever used hardshells,and maybe two that have taught using them. As for actual riding improvement of upper-level hardboot riders,you'd be lucky to get an instructor,anywhere in New England.

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There is always a danger in sports instruction, that what starts out as a teaching tool, will take on a life of it's own and become official content. Very often instructors trained to model the teaching tool become caught in it's brain washing grip and close thier minds to other possibilities. It is interesting how, in this and other young sports, there are regular sea changes, where conventional wisdom is thrown aside. I'm sure things will swing back the other way in this case, however, those slowest to respond to the real world, are always the instructor corp.

As I see it, the problem with rotation is not the movement, but the timing of that movement, and how difficult that is to teach, (especially with junior instructors, who may not fully understand).

It is also a problem for the sport in general, that most new boarders are not able to see good peer modeling on the hill, yet alone take more than one lesson, so counter rotation abounds.Perhaps it is the horror of this mass counter rotation that inspired some to erradicate all rotation.

BobD

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Hey,

AASI is not the be all to end all of snowboard instruction, I think if you ask alot of the examiners they will agree. It's a group for the promotion of teaching and a collection of instructors sharing opinions and thoughts on teaching. I have had harboot discussions come up at events I've gone to (even rode plates with the head of AASI east last winter and yes he rides bombers and ripped on them. Also some of the best alpine advice I got came from an examiner who had never ridden plates). However, more often they don't come up. It's not because AASI doesn't want to discuss it. Why should AASI focus on something that's going to come up maybe once a season for the average instructor(I taught full time at Okemo last season, and only once did the school get a student showing up in plates). Why should trainers at mountains take the time to train new instructors how to teach to people on plates when they hardly ever show up for lessons? If more plate riders show up for lessons there would be a demand, but right now that doesn't exist. How many people here have gone to a school desk and asked about an alpine specific lesson? Or did you just assume they don't give 'em? Freestyle is being adressed because ALOT of people show up asking to learn how to jib or ride pipe.

Lastly, who cares if a person riding used counter rotation and kicks out the back foot? It's working for them. It may or may not be holding their riding back, but if they don't care, why should you? At the end of the day, it's about being on the snow and having fun. Teaching is about helping people have more fun on the snow however those people want be it in freestyle, freeriding, and freecarving.

James

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Thanks for the input Pre-school rider. I agree wholeheartedly on your thoughts about rotation/counterrotation and stance angles. During the exam I was riding with my shoulders square to my stance which is very much square to the fall line, but I didn't actually try to make the duck stance riders ride with their shoulders that far forward for the reasons you stated. I was trying to show them techniques to get the same aggreessive edgeing without the forward stance, but that is probably why the examiner didn't buy it.

I like the fact that AASI gives a model, but too many people don't realize that it is only a starting place. Good instructors evolve with their students every lesson and what works for one most certainly doesn't work for everyone. The best part of that exam was one of the comments from my level II exam thew year before was "Very strong level 3 skills. Consider taking the exam next year." I am mostly frustrated becuase there are politics involved where there should be none. Anyway, I still love to teach and still have a great following of students who come back year after year and their input is what really counts. :D

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Sorry if I missed the American politics point here, but it doesn't bother me at all that you can't take lessons in hardboot techniques.

Way back I used to be an "expert" mono-skier, and although in Europe we had people who'd instruct in that, they weren't, well, "experts". I guess they just had other things to do.

So here we are in another minority activity. As it happens it's pretty easy to move from what I'd call beginner stuff - sideslipping, kicking out back feet, all that stuff - to alpine. Whilst you could make the transition more quickly with an instructor, if you're at all competent you'll get there anyway.

Most skiers take lots of lessons and never get beyond the snow-plough, or at least they never fully master turning with their boards parallel. They still have fun, just like the jibbing boarders.

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I agree with the people who have said that you don't need to carve to have fun. However, the point of my post in the other thread was that as a certification organization AASI did a poor job of recognizing carving skills, and in fact made it seem as if teaching them at all was "wrong." I love the pipe and park on my freestyle board just as much as I love carving, in fact it is a great way to break the boredom here in the midwest, but I am shocked that I was told that an aggressive forward stance on a freestyle board is wrong. As an instructor you need to teach people and adapt to what is comfortable to them. I've taught many lessons ridng switch the whole way, and rode duck for a year so I could better understand the mechanics of the ankles and knees in this position. To have AASI tell me that my stance and carving techniques are too agressive for a freestyle board just doesn't seem to make sense, especially coming from an examiner that has never ridden a carving board. I would think that anyone who is examiner level should be able to ride all disciplines and styles. I was actually done thinking about this after a long summer of brooding, but I couldn't help but bring it up after seeing the previous topic. Anyway, everyone on the hill can have fun and everyone can learn, but then then the official organizations should maybe recognize that.

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I understand what you are saying. I failed my pro-knowledge one day during my Level II exam due to a misunderstanding with the examiner. He thought I was saying something I wasn't, on the chair the group agreed he misunderstood me. Luckily, we have a three day exam to take care of this kind of problem. Also, though he passed my teaching, the same examiner wrote that what I taught was a wasted movement and I should avoid teaching things like that. It was a move that was taught to me at my Level I and most people I have shown it said it helped alot. My point is that examiners aren't gods, they are people too. They make mistakes, and one unfortunate thing about exams is that there isn't much time to discuss those mistakes right when they happen or over a beer at the end of the day.

Also, AASI didn't tell your stance was incorrect or that your what you taught was wrong, that one examiner did.

james

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Guest Pre School Rider

What has occurred continuously in my 'career' as an Instructor has been a series of 'misunderstandings' between what I can readily see working,and what the status quo is within those who are Spokepeople for PSIA/AASI.If an examiner isn't a Spokesperson for the organization,who the hell is?!? So,when reproached for taking initiative in teaching,I do tend to blame Ideology and Politics within the Organization.How else do you explain some of the browbeating I have witnessed and often heard of from exam situations?How else would you explain my L-2 exam[2nd one] where I had as many YEARS riding as my Examiner had DAYS riding? What works in teaching/coaching Works,results are results,so how then does a similar teaching example get blown out of the water on Exam Day?Simple;you find that the Examiner has a closed mind,or has bought into a mindset that Curtails creative thought,or differences in riding technique,or choices/purpose of equipment.That would in turn tend one to believe that mediocrity and the status quo are all one could achieve if they follow the Examiner's sugestions on how to coach or ride.As JLM points out "who cares if the person uses counter-rotation or kicks out the back foot?"-Obviously not someone who worries more about "fun" than rider's Safety or Performance,which would be,um,an instructor with the current mindset that Rails are a natural part of the Mountain Environment,or an AASI Cheerleader,whichever.[note,I'm not anti-rail,but rainbowed trees are Natural,and snowmaking pipes are are part of the hill's environs.Rails are what Skaters brought to the hill to duplicate their urban habitat.I,btw,designed Okemo's first parks,including the first "S" rail.] It's sad to hear that Okemo had only one Hardboot Lesson,as that used to be one of the main draws for upper-level riders there.Okemo used to rule as a Carver's playground.But I'd guess that wouldn't bother those working there these days,as Mr. Bevier used to ride plates,now has only disdain for them.It's that exact attitude(at the Top of AASI)that'll kill any initiative towards exploring other means of riding.So,I believe that for all of AASI's good changes in how Instructor's are trained,it needs to seriously look at it's biases,and also needs to take a good look at the ETS program to see if those who are examiners carry those biased intentions into the exam situation.If they keep their collective minds closed,the focus of snowboard instruction will end up being as narrow as Skiing Instruction was in the early 90's(pre-sidecut,pre-twintip ski).The result of that would be a degradation in instruction quality,and that is when you find that better riders don't return for lessons(as obviously,hardboot riders already do). At that point,you might as well hang up your instructor's jacket.

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I wasn't going to say anything - would have just rather continued to read the post and ponder carving and the meaning of life, but when you mentioned Mr. Bevier, I had to respond. "Mr. Bevier" I love the pseudo respect that resonates from calling him that. Mr. Bevier gave me crap in my level II exam. I still passed, it was only one examiner - no one else had his issues with me. In my level III exam, I failed - not just him, through the process, I didn't pass enough parts to pass completely. Everyone else was cool though, they told me what to work on, and we had a great time - I learned a lot. In contrast, Mr. Bevier told me that the industry is just not going in the direction of hardboots - then told me that he can do anything in softboots that he can in hard (he is a solid rider, but after riding with him on two occasions, I really hope that he can do more on his hardboots than I saw him do on his soft) But his final line was the kicker. "I really think that you shouldn't come back on hardboots." That was all I needed to hear. I spent the whole next season riding nothing but hardboots on F2 raceboards. I would ride fakie down our hardest Dbl blacks all day. It was stupid, but I had resolved to prove a point. Of course I could have passed easily in softboots (and was told that by the examiners), but he pissed me off. Some examiners actually invited me to their mountains to work on stuff too. The examiners seemed to appreciate the fact that I was doing my own thing. I worked with them, and they, along with my intense practice, improved my riding dramatically. The exam was much, much harder than the previous year. I ended up having to teach riding rails fakie (please, don't try this at home). A lot of people think that is stupid, but we all know that you have to be able to teach any skill, any time, anywhere, and in any conditions. Simply by going to the exam, you are agreeing with that philosophy. We had a carving session that I have seen no rival to since. It was assigned to the best freestyler in the group - Jason Strumpf (sp?) Wintergreen, VA. I was on plates, he was on full freestyle noodle setup - he made me drool!!! To make a long story short (and I could go on about all of the other tasks and teaching that we labored through) I passed - with flying colors! Have a little of that Mr. Bevier. I have the utmost respect for the majority of examiners. Most of them have been nothing but helpful to my teaching and riding. If we get bent out of shape over one or two, than we would have to hate all organizations. No organization is perfect, but I believe that AASI is doing a decent job. The people that I see getting upset the most are the ones that are failing the exams. No one likes to fail. When one fails, it is easier to blame it on someone else than to take responsibility. Politics, politics. I was tempted to have the same attitude, but I saw that there was more positive in AASI than negative. I would like to hear someone who complains about failing level II or III who blames it on someone else do it differently. I would like to see them humble themselves and try to work with the examiners. Try to come to an understanding of what they can work on. (objection time - all they want is your money - I didn't pay a cent - I went to their mountains, and they worked with me for free - and with a great attitude toward my setup) After working on these things, I would like to see them take the test again. Hopefully they would pass. At that time, I will respect their opinion. If they don't feel that they have improved, then so be it. But, if like me, it was all just a misunderstanding, and my riding was improved by trying to see things their way, I would like to hear that too. I have yet to hear that. What I hear is: I get my identity through my ability to ride and teach, and someone attacked that identity by telling me that I don't measure up. Now I feel bad about myself. It's their fault.

Now let me go further to address Strider, because this is the second forum that we have had this conversation in. It is a bummer that your exam only had two days. Is that an old format? In any case, it sounds like there may be more to your misunderstanding than you, well, understand. Paul Hoda, an examiner in the east, never rode plates, never really experienced hardbooters in lessons or clinics, but wound up giving a clinic that I attended. His comments sounded very similar to what you experienced, right down to the lack of experience with hardbooters. In all of his critique of my riding, I just was pissed. I didn't value his opinion, because I didn't respect his lack of hardboot experience. Then he suggested that he could video me, and we could work on it together. He did so, and he was right. He also took the video to another examiner the next week for a second opinion. It turns out that I did have herpes - oh, sorry that was a different second opinion. It turns out that he was right, and I started working on the problems immediately. My riding has improved dramatically for it. One problem is just what you said - squaring your shoulders with your stance - which is NOT squaring with the fall line or toward the front of your board. Even if you ride 70 - 70, that is still 30 degrees off of the front of your board. That comes out to 30 degrees of twist in your body that limits your maximum effective range of motion. A common problem w/our type is also that we keep our body "open" to the mountain on our toeside turns. In slalom type turns, this is alright sometimes, but in other cases, this is not the most effective or efficient way. That is just one example, and I don't want to go down that road any further.

Let's go down this road - windshield wiper turns, poor technique, and fun. Does anyone dispute that we can ride how we want to? Of course not. This is America. But this is a post about instruction. Inherent in instruction is that you will have students. Students do not come to an instructor to find out just how to have fun. Watch Jackass - anyone can figure out how to have fun on their own. Students come to instructors to find out the most efficient way to make their tool work for them. That is what we offer. We give them the means to build a foundation for their riding. Once they have this foundation, they can build on it in a way that will allow them to effectively tackle the next step. If someone comes to a lesson making windshield wiper turns, my job is to make their riding more effective. Those turns will not get them down icy death trail safely and efficiently.

Since they came to me, I try to help them get rid of those turns. If they don't come to lessons, and are on the hill having fun, and they don't want my advice - great have fun fellas!

One last thing. I think that my mountain is very different. About 30 percent of our snowboard instructors either have ridden hardboots or still do. Our terrain is just conducive to it. We also have many customers that come in hardboots. I have seen quite a few even in the last two days. I know that is just our mountain though. A beginner lesson for a hardbooter does not need to be any different than a beginner lesson for softies. An instructor must know to line the rider's body up with their stance, but the rest of the beginner movements are the same. Let's leave rotation out of it because our movements should start in our ankles anyway. I will put my reputation on the line an say that 95% of our instructors wouldn't be phased by a hardbooter showing up for a beginner lesson. They would also effectively teach that person. Maybe that is just my pride as the mountain's trainer. None the less, I would challenge someone to prove me wrong. Again, this is just the mountain where I work. I can't speak for anyone else.

I hope that this has been constructive.

I really don't have herpes - that was a joke.

Just think, this could have all been avoided if you just hadn't mentioned "Mr. Bevier".

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Guest Pre School Rider

Yeah,Phil,Mr. B and I have locked horns,politely,a few times.When he heard(by my own admission) that I was taking my L-3 with two broken ribs,he immediately made sure he called me down 1st,On Bump Runs at Killington,just to wear me down on day 2.Nice. And this from a guy who came to Okemo from Magic (as it died the 1st time),and then bugged ME about carving in 'mushy' softboots(he rode plates then,ONLY).I ended up teaching him how to ride switch,do noserolls,180* airs,and Pipe riding.The thanks I got was a big Fail on my riding.Oh,and I was on Plates all three days,but on 3 different boards,often switching boards mid-day.He stepped into the void at AASI created by Brian and crew leaving their postitions to work in USASA.So,his disdain over hardshells is an awkward change from my POV,but maybe it was that shoulder-crunching fall he took on a LaCroix Eagle that changed his perspective? I know a few ex-hardbooters that have had similar crises while dealing with hardshells,and then blame the equipment.It then becomes a personal judgement call I guess. I instead consider every riding technique/idea/style I've dealt with in the last quarter century that Worked as a Building Block,and refer back as needed to obtain better performance...In my mind,it's a matter of vision,recognizing that trends come and go cyclically even as the sport progresses(oops,that's maybe too close to a "progression",which is a non-word in AASI)as it grows. I passed a 'dude' on the Junkyard yesterday(with all this Pow? Doh!)while laying over fat carves on my Tanker 200.I stopped,and said to him "hey,nice Skeeter man,did you get that in,like,1979,or is that a retro-reissue?",and then floated off to some Blue-Square glades that Only floaty boards can ride. [ "Kids,they've forgotten Vietnam,and that helps us recruit a lot these days" ;Army Recruit Officer,circa 1991 ] Yup,what comes around,comes back to haunt ya...

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I may not be an instructor, but I have to say that within my work community, a reactionary person is slow to learn and least likely to make advances. I am not stating that everyone else suffers from narrow mindedness but sometimes it is necessary to supress emotion to understand one another, no matter the circumstance.

Eddie

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PSR,

I am confused......

As JLM points out "who cares if the person uses counter-rotation or kicks out the back foot?"-Obviously not someone who worries more about "fun" than rider's Safety or Performance,which would be,um,an instructor with the current mindset that Rails are a natural part of the Mountain Environment

what does a rider kicking out the backfoot have to do with safety? Should I tell 'em that they can't learn rails until they've kicked that habit? Or maybe not until they've mastered carving? My point was that I work with my students on what they want to achieve. If a student is kicking out and want's to work on freeriding, then I'll introduce more effective movements. But, if they want to learn rails or grabs or pipe, that's what I'll teach them. I feel it's my role as a teacher to be at the students disposal. I'm not going to tell a kid he's not ready for rails simply because he or she can't turn "properly". Now obviously, if it's a never-ever, and they say they want to learn rails, I'm going to persuade them otherwise.

Also, rails are no more unnatural that halfpipes(I wonder if that came from skateboarding?) or quarterpipes, or 30ft table tops or gates on the mountain( I see gates all the time in the back country). They are very much now a part of the Mountain Enviroment and can't be ignored. I can't tell you how many times I heard from people showing up for upper level freestyle clinics that all they wanted to learn was rails. Also, I felt that they are going to be riding those rails with or without an instructor. At least they are doing it in a lesson where someone can talk to them about safety and manners in terms of the park.

James

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I am actually enjoying this thread and have found a lot of great feedback. I am not just whining for whining sakes, or upset about the critique of my riding. Phil is right that you can learn a ton from the examiners. My level 2 guy really ripped me for opening to the hill too much and I spent 6 nights the next season driving 3 hours to his hill to work with him in prep for my level 3. It really helped a ton as I was counter-rotating my heelsides waaayyyyy too much. I guess I was just upset about the inconsistencies. In level 1 I rode a freestyle board duck stance and had never tried raceplates. My examiner then told me I'd never get anywhere riding duck and I had better learn to carve a hard board. I did and after about 5 years decided that I should take my level 2. In that exam I learned the most I ever have in regards to riding and teaching. We had a great group and got a lot of constructive criticism from the examiners. The very next year after spending the season working with the examiner I mentioned above I went for level 3. The first day examiner was great and had a lot of constructive criticism and I again learned a lot. that day my riding was a bit sub-par, but still didn't get failed for any skills and was complimented on my carving skills with a freestyle board. The next day the examiner failed me on all riding skills, and everyone else in our group as well. I am not upset I failed, I didn't expect to make it the first try, but was disappointed in the way it happened. After the first day I felt I knew what I needed to work on and had some good ideas given to me. The second day I left demoralized and didn't know what I needed to work on because the examiner only offered comments like "you're doing it wrong." Sorry to keep revivng this, but I have been encouraged by the replies and I do agree that more work is probably the way to go. I

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Are there differences between what skiiers and snowboarders need to know to become certified instructors? In particular:

Do skiiers have to know how to ride rails/halfpipe/fakie to become certified instructors?

Do they have to know how to ride moguls? Do snowboard instructors have to know how to ride moguls?

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KJL,

Not sure about the US system, but in Canada you simply have to be a strong Intermediat rider. There are no moguls in level 1, but there is some basic freestyle (nothing more than a 180).

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Guest Pre School Rider

JLM 27,you have to consider your chrges skill set and level of versatility before you can give them a decently safe lesson in the environs of a park.If your student still counters badly(swishing the tail)by pivoting around the front foot,what'll happen mid-slide on a rail?Swish,BANG,lawsuit,that's what. Think it over. There's a skill that's missing,and the lack of it will trip your student up.Edge-sets are one aspect I'm referring to,unchecked body/leg rotation is another. Let's take this lack of skill to a big ol' Box.Does your student suddenly do the tail-swish to check speed 3 ft before take-off?Oh yeah,you betcha,and that twist,plus a drastic scrub of speed send that hapless person somewhat corkscrewed in slow-motion right onto the flatdeck at the top of the box,and the inverted sideways bounce into the Landing Zone makes for great Roadkill for the next hucker.NICE! Yup. In the pipe,if you noticed this,most fast,smooth pipe riders Carve the flats into the tranny,carrying huge deliberate speed up the wall.They Also Flatten their board in the tranny and on up the vert.Your student instead drops in,way too far back in the stance,gets too much speed for his/her comfort,does the Swish-tail in mid-tranny,catches an edge in the curvature of that tranny,and goes Splat into the wall;Or,swishes the tail as the vert approaches,and goes sort switch,but a bit too sideways,and does the Humpty-Dumpty at the pipe's flatbottom. By now,you have to remind your guest that they Know that it's all for the FUN of it...

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Guest Pre School Rider

I should point this out.I reread my two posts concerning a certain Examiner,and I want to clarify that I do not,and did not expect favoritism from that person During an Exam.That's not in the Job Description of an Examiner.I did note my broken ribs,which I stupidly told said Examiner about.What irked me was the dedicated attempt then by that person to exploit that injury by putting me in the 'hot seat' on every bump run.It wore me out pretty thouroughly,and hurt like heck.In that same exam,a rider in our group hit a snowmobile,and sprained an ankle.He passed with half the riding time I put in,and was allowed to take 1-1/2 days off.He deserved to pass,no doubt. I also did not make an issue on slope of my condition,so I got judged as if I was in perfect health. It's very much like being an actor on stage;the curtain goes up,and you'd better be "on". The cool thing was in my Riding Retake the next season.The Examiner said this fairly early on "Beat me thru the woods,and you'll get a medal",so you Know I wasn't behind him thru the trees! L-3 AASI,as of 1999,required bumps going Fast,Switch at all speeds,'Blue' bumps Switch,Pipe+Park(rails now too),Steep woods,Carving on Steeps,speed control on whatever was ugly snow,180* airs(now it's 360*),and application of the four Board Performance Concepts while riding. So it's not easy,but I feel there's more room to explore the interactions of rider and equipment,and there really shouldn't be only one 'style' of riding promoted.Besides,I think that Mark Frank Montoya's turns suck,and are definately not on a par with riders like Noah Salasnek,let alone Peter Bauer.

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PSR,

You are right. If a kid suddenly kicked his or her back foot out while doing a rail, he will fall and possibly injure himself. But, I have one question.....Why the heck would they? They want to stay on the rail, not turn or stop. It's not like it's a nervous tick they have no control over. Also a beginner rail is only a few inches off the snow, worst case is they slide off and fall maybe 6".

You are right. If someone drops into the pipe from the deck and they have little to no pipe experience, they will probably crash and that is unsafe. But again...a question.....

Why would you have a beginner pipe rider drop in from the top of the deck? I agree, having someone new to riding pipe drop in from the top of the deck, say 20ft up, is unsafe no matter how good they are. That's why I don't do that. Actually, you can use the pipe to help get rid of the back foot issues as well.

Why would you take a beginner tabletop rider to a table that is so big you can't see the other side? Last time I checked, you start off small and work your way up.

James

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