Skill Levels


Birdmon’s Note: Lessons and doing a little bit of drills each time you are out will make your ability grow to the point of freedom. I am proof of that. Learn what is expected at each level so you have a focal point. Start with the basics and grow from there.

1997. I started skiing last year. I started training for skiing by playing tennis (lateral movements) and rollerblading (balance). I also took three ONE-ON-ONE hour long lessons. The first day I went from a level 0 to level 3. I stayed on the green slopes for the next 2 skiing days. I progressed to Medium (Blue) slopes by the fifth time skiing. In all I skied 110 hours last year all local. By the end of the season I was doing the double diamonds. (all without any broken bones)

So be smart get lessons. Don’t ski steeps when you are tired and don’t let your EGO decide your ability.

One other tip besides Lessons. Check out the video store and rent ski instruction tapes. See my links section for skiing instruction and my special interests section for ski tuning/waxing. Once you catch the bug you won’t stop.

UPDATE 2013- I finally reached GOLD medal division (top 20% NASTAR Ski racing)


1=first time ever ..Can balance, move, walk, glide, slide and stop

2=beginning wedge turns ..Balance exercises, basic wedge turns, speed control and stopping…Mileage

3=advanced wedge turns to early skidding….Linked wedge turns with rhythm, develop pressure control movements, Wedge Christies

4=beginning wedge Christy Refine wedge Christies, more pressure on outside ski, active steering of the inside ski

5=advanced wedge Christy and beginning parallel…refinement of crossover, intro to pole usage, Ski varied terrain,   intro to short radius turns

6=parallel …refine weight transfer, pole touch, short radius turns

7=more dynamic parallel  more varied terrain,   racing

8=all terrain parallel

9=dynamic all-terrain parallel and whatever it takes.

10 Perfect

TRAILS TO USE as you progress

LEVELS 1-3 Stay on Beginner Trails (learn how to get off lifts) Practice

LEVELS 4-5 Beginner/Intermediate Trails. Practice good Parallel, Pole usage

LEVELS 6-8 Intermediate/Single Black Practice Parallel, pole usage (important for steeps)

LEVELS 8-10 Double Black/Single Pole usage, moguls


L E V E L 1 First time boarding experience.

L E V E L 2 You can perform a skidded traverse on both heel-side and toe-side edges and can stop.

L E V E L 3 You can perform skidded traverses in both directions with confidence and can make basic turns in both directions.

L E V E L 4 You can turn in both directions with speed control and are working on linking turns.

L E V E L 5 You are linking skidded turns with good speed control and shape, and are seeking more challenging terrain. A variety of turn radii is apparent.

L E V E L 6 You are confident on most intermediate terrain under good conditions and are beginning to carve turns.

L E V E L 7 You are comfortable on all intermediate terrain under good conditions. You are fine-tuning carved turns and seeking more challenging terrain including bumps and varying snow.

L E V E L 8 You are confident performing carved turns and are refining technique in all snow conditions and terrain.

L E V E L 9 You can negotiate the entire mountain with confidence and ease, working on the fine points of efficiency and exploring the extremes of riding.

FOR SAFETY ALWAYS STOP WHEN YOU GET TIRED. Live to ski / board another day.