Welcome to the Member Spotlight, which gives well-deserved shine to some of the incredibly skillful and devoted ski and snowboard instructors who make up PSIA-AASI. Whether instruction is a full-time career or a part-time pursuit balanced with other endeavors, PSIA-AASI members have valuable insights to share, gleaned from their experiences on snow.
Enjoy getting to know your colleagues from far and wide who share your passion for teaching skiing and riding! (And fill out this questionnaire for the chance to share YOUR story and insights in Member Spotlight.)
Name: Eric Zerowin
Primary discipline: Snowboard
PSIA-AASI Division: Rocky Mountain
You, Your Gear, and Your Favorites
When did you start skiing or riding? At age 13
What is your best skiing or snowboarding memory? Getting chest-deep lines at 3 p.m. on a random Tuesday in February, with my wife who got out of the office early.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? My mom's first ski lesson was at the age of 71. Anyone can do it.
What are your favorite off-snow hobbies? Being a dad
PSIA-AASI and Your Snowsports Education Career
Certifications & specialties achieved: Snowboard Level III, Alpine Level I, Children’s Specialist 2, Freestyle Specialist 1
Resort you work at: Breckenridge, Colorado
What inspired you to become an instructor? I visited Colorado in high school and upon returning to my home in New Jersey told my folks I wanted to work at a ski area so I could get a free jacket.
Do you teach part-time or fulltime? Fulltime
What other profession(s) or endeavor(s) are you involved in? Created mountain bike school at Breckenridge and work summer operations each year.
What about your teaching style stands out? I’m very articulate with verbal descriptions; precisely worded and not overly complex.
What is you biggest accomplishment as an instructor? Getting my full cert! Or winning one of our instructor races for snowboard men, and also beating my GM and ex-national team member on his skis.
What’s your favorite PSIA-AASI member benefit? Getting to attend Rider Rally 2017
Who is your favorite PSIA-AASI Official Supplier – and why? Burton. They sponsored me to race GS in ‘96. I'm loyal and love their gear.
What are your current skiing or riding goals? Alpine Level II and giving snowboard trainer for Rocky Mountain Division another go.
What are your current teaching goals? Continue to make new instructors welcome at work and helping them achieve their teaching and certification goals.
Your Advice to Instructors
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor? The struggle pays of if you truly put in the effort. Working summer operations is a great way to build a stronger foundation at your resort.
What are some of your tips for teaching the following students…
Beginners: Focus on fun and be sure to involve everyone. Never let those who may be struggling fall behind. This can be done while still allowing the quick achievers time to practice and put in miles.
Intermediates: Focus on drills. They often just want to go fast. They need motivation to practice the necessary skills required to get to the advanced terrain.
Advanced students: Focus on goal setting and constantly reevaluate those goals for new possibilities.
What advice do you have for instructors preparing for certification?
Level I: Take preparation clinics. Don't go into it unprepared.
Level II: Practice on friends. Ask for feedback from your trainers. Train, and don't even think about winging it.
Level III: You should know when ready. Don't jump in too soon. Failures can be major ego killers.
Connect with Eric on Instagram: @ericzerowin
Want to see yourself in our next "Member Spotlight?" Fill out this questionnaire for a chance to be featured across our social media platforms, the eNewsletter, and our website. You could even make it into 32 Degrees!