PSIA-AASI Community Forum: Talking Certification, Tactics + What Makes a School Great

There are plenty of in-depth, insightful conversations taking place on the PSIA-AASI Community forum right now, discussing everything from the comparative perks of heli-skiing vs. catskiing, to ways to keep ourselves -- and our students -- safe on crowded slopes.

As with any snow pro hangout, there are also plenty of posts concerning certification, teaching tactics, and what it is that sets certain snowsports school apart. Here are a few current threads you should check out.

Freestyle in PSIA Cert. Exams
Zane Decker asks, “What does everyone think about the lack of freestyle in PSIA cert exams? AASI cert exams have freestyle elements included in levels 1, 2, and 3. PSIA cert exams have very minimal freestyle, if any freestyle included. If I purchased a private lesson from a certified instructor I would expect that they can teach and demo simple freestyle maneuvers, but this is generally not the case. 

Teach Getting Up?
In response to an existing thread about teaching students how to get up after a fall, Marcel Gisquet replied:

  • Little kids, (3-4), I pick up from an advantageous position.
  • Kids  (5-7), first wait and see what they come up with. If that doesn’t work, get their skis below them pointing the same way across the fall line. On a steeper slope, they can push themselves up. On a shallow slope, have them wrap their arms around their knees and pull themselves up. If none of that works, I put my pole in front of their boots and have them grab it to pull themselves up.
  • Kids over 7 and teens are quick to figure it out on their own and any advice is situational.
  • Adults can benefit from specifics—skis across the hill pointed towards the center of the slope. On steeper slopes use poles, on shallow slopes take off the uphill ski, if a ski has come off, have the remaining one be the downhill one, and check to see if the heelpiece is open.

Always be willing to help, be sure you are in an advantaged position. I don’t have them fall, it’s likely to happen soon enough.”

What Makes a Great Snowsports School?
Christopher Jafay posted, “As I read through these posts I can't help but ask: what makes a great Snowsports School? I have worked for Sun Valley for 17 plus seasons and I feel I work for one of the best Snowports Schools in the country, if not the world. How do you feel about your school? What makes it great? Is it the area (town, infrastructure, mountain)? Is it the management? Is it the training (PSIA-AASI, in-house)? Is it the pride and tradition? What is it that keeps you coming back season after season?

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