Snowboard Instructors Launch New Initiative

The sticker read: “Snowboarding...It’s a mathematical certainty.” It was printed by the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) Team and was a loose quote from recent Blueprint For Growth speech that National Ski Areas Association President Michael Berry gave. In that speech, he pointed out as skiers age and die off, the youth will continue to embrace snowboarding. He concluded it’s a mathematical certainty that at sometime in the near future snowboarders will outnumber skiers on the slopes.

Given out at the annual Ski Instructors Association/AASI Team Training at Copper Mountain, Colorado, the sticker was as a way for the snowboarders to poke a little fun at the skiers.

The PSIA/AASI Team Training is an annual get-together of the top snowboard and ski instructors in the nation who have been chosen to serve four-year terms on the teams. It’s held at Copper Mountain traditionally the week before it opens, so the instructors get a slope all to themselves to work on different training techniques and riding styles.

As AASI Snowboard Team members, the six riders are responsible for coming up with guides, manuals, and initiatives on the subject of teaching snowboarding. They then take these different resources and pass the information off to the approximately 4,000 other snowboard instructors in the United States.

The snowboarders’ major accomplishments during the week of meetings on and off the slopes included killing two kegs, throwing an enlightening Halloween party for the entire PSIA/AASI group, and coming up with a new initiative called Tiny Bubbles. Tiny Bubbles is the working name of a resource guide focusing on reactive teaching methods. In other words, it shows how snowboard instructors should evaluate each of their student’s needs and teach according to that, as opposed to just teaching the same lessons with the same techniques each class.

During the team’s presentation of the week’s accomplishments, Mikey Franco, an instructor from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, stressed that fun is number one in snowboarding. The message was obvious throughout the week with the snowboarders constantly reminding themselves how lucky they are to be able to get to do what they do.

The fact that it snowed during the week and there were numerous powder runs for only the instructors to enjoy was certainly a good omen to what most believe is going to be a great season on the slopes. And although the snowboarders stressed to the rest of the group that they ultimately try to teach people how to smile, nobody needed any help in that category during this week.