Alpine Skiing Info

Since I am a PSIA Alpine instructor, preparing for my level 2 exam, I thought to myself, what better way than to try and put together a lot of the PSIA material on my own website. Here we go:

The Three Steps to Success

OK, first let me humbly say that calling these "steps" is a bit misleading since you don't apply them in sequence one after the other. Better maybe we should call them the three skills for success, which is a lot more accurate, but maybe not as nice sounding. Anyway, the 3 "steps" are:

Now if you are a PSIA old timer, you are thinking in terms of balance, rotary, edging, and pressure. These 4 elements of skiing have now become 3 steps, how did this happen? Well balance (and stance) are now just kind of implicit, the remaining three are pretty straightforward. Rotary is now "turning the feet and legs", Edging is now "Tipping the Feet and Legs", and Pressure (and balance) is now "Flexing and Extending Movements". This all seems straightforward enough and easier perhaps to explain to a client than the abstractions of rotary, edging, and pressure. Just don't forget balance, which is the foundation for the other three.

The Gravity Zone

Another change in lingo is a kind of politically correct elimination of the term "fall line". The thinking is to use the word "fall" is negative and may get our clients thinking negatively or give them altogether wrong ideas. Now we talk about turning into and out of the gravity zone. If we want to be really precise, we talk about the "line of gravity" rather than the "fall line".

Planes of motion

Acronyms and Definitions

The Responsibility Code


If you are into telemarking, or backcountry skiing, you might want to take a look at my backcountry skiing page. However, you will find it pretty out of date, since I have been doing nothing but alpine lift-served downhill skiing for the last few years.

Collection of trail maps

Adjusting bindings


Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Skiing Info / tom@mmto.org