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Skiing Levels: How to Evaluate Your Ski Ability

October 10th, 2009

skiing-levels-ability.jpgMany people who are planning ski holidays or vacations and hope to get in lots of practice may be wondering about how to assess their progress compared to other skiiers and figure out how far they have to go before they can be considered true experts. There are two different charts that can be used as a way to evaluate your ability against a definition of skill levels.

Here’s one widely used:

Level 1 - Total beginner. May or may not have ever put on skis before.

Level 2 - Has skied a few times. Can make wedge or snowplow turns and stop fairly easily.

Level 3 - Can get on and off a chairlift with no problems. Can link wedge turns on gentle green slopes and stop when desired.

Level 4 - Has begun to experience the speed and excitement of skiing. Can make linked stem turns on green slopes and occasionally ventures out to easier blues.

Level 5 - Skis all green runs comfortably. Has some difficulty controlling speed and making turns on steeper blues. Has difficulty keeping the upper body facing downhill; often overrotates in turns. Uses poles for balance rather than timing.

Level 6 - Skis blue and green terrain exclusively. Can control speed effectively on moderately difficult blues but cannot always link turns. Has difficulty in powder snow deeper than 3 inches. Falls often in difficult snow.

Level 7 - Occasionally skis black terrain, big bumps, or difficult snow but is most comfortable skiing groomed blues and easier blacks at moderate speed with linked parallel turns. Skis small bumps, but cautiously, with occasional lapses in balance. Has frequent balance problems in difficult snow and harder terrain.

Level 8 - Skis blue terrain with total confidence and stability. Skis moderately sized, widely spaced bumps and basic expert runs with control at moderate speeds. Skis big, difficult bumps at controlled speeds and can link four to six turns before suffering a lapse in balance. Has trouble making linked turns in difficult snow.

Level 9 - Looks and skis like a Level 10 skier on all groomed terrain but has occasional lapses in balance in big bumps and difficult snow conditions, such as crud or deep, wet snow.

Level 10 - Skis all terrain with absolute confidence, rock-solid stability, and balance. Can ski a variety of lines through difficult bumps, over the tops, through the troughs, and cruise open steeps at high speed. Can ski all snow conditions equally well.

Here’s another popular evaluation system, often used by ski instructors:

Never-Ever - A total beginner who may or may not have ever put on skis before. Recommended skiing - The flat surface in front of the base lodge where the ski school meets.

Beginner - Can make a snowplow or wedge turn and usually stops when desired. Recommended skiing - the greens, easy blues, and more lessons.

Low Intermediate - Is beginning to link parallel turns and can actually ski and stop with only minor problems. Recommended skiing - Green and blue trails. Should remember to take an occasional lesson, either private or with a peer group, to keep improving.

Intermediate - Can ski parallel on blue runs; has some ability to handle moguls, crud, or heavy snow; on a steep pitch, though, does more side-slipping than skiing. Stays basically with the blues, but challenges the blacks if they’re wide and groomed. Will often stay at this level for years in the foolish belief that lessons are only for beginners.

Advanced Intermediate or Low Expert - Now you’re getting pretty good. Can ski carved turns on almost any smooth surface, even a black. Run into problems, however, on steep runs pockmarked with moguls or covered with heavy snow or crud, or on double black diamonds. Recommended skiing - Use your own judgment. Lessons? Use your own judgment.

Expert - Hey, move over. Here she comes. Any run. Any time. Any condition. With proper training, gives lessons.


This article was obtained as part of a compilation of private label rights articles, possibly originating from skiing or snowboarding enthusiasts.


One Response to “Skiing Levels: How to Evaluate Your Ski Ability”

  1. comment number 1 by: Extra Long Ties

    I’m surely level 1 :) Never skied, but I’d like to learn because the winter is coming!

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