History of PSIA-AASI


  • PSIA has evolved into an influential entity since its fledgling beginnings in 1961.  

  • In the early days, ski instruction in the United States included many different programs and techniques, that came to this country by European ski instructors.

  • That meant teaching principles and instructor certification were all very different across the country. There wasn’t one consistent way to teach people how to ski. Instructors could choose to teach Austrian, French, or Swiss methods.

  • That, plus the fact that certification standards across the country were so different, is what drove the creation of one national organization for ski instruction.

  • A group of seven committed instructors—Bill Lash, Jimmy Johnston, Paul Valar, Doug Pfeiffer, Don Rhinehart, Max Dercum, and Curt Chase - incorporated PSIA in the fall of 1961.

  • By 1964, a truly American ski technique had taken shape, The Official American Ski Technique. There now existed a standard for what and how American ski instructors taught.

  • As time went on, the American Ski Technique (AST) evolved into the American Teaching Method (ATM) and finally to what is currently called the American Teaching System (ATS).

  • When snowboarding hit the scene and gained popularity, PSIA did for snowboard instruction what it had done for ski instruction.

  • The first training and education snowboard programs were developed—by PSIA—in 1987.

  • In 1989 PSIA published its first snowboard-oriented education resource, the Snowboard Ski Instruction Manual.

  • In 1997 PSIA formed the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) as an affiliate association.