Official Suppliers Support Education at National Academy

National Academy 2023 attendees enjoyed a wealth of interactive on- and off-snow experiences at Big Sky, Montana thanks to the association’s Official Suppliers.

Education electives included a Carv Ski IQ Competition, Sidas footbed lesson, Rollerblade session, Cardo demo, and Revo Altitude Eye Health presentation.

There was also an Official Supplier retail and product showcase as well as on-snow demo options from 22 Designs, Atomic, Dynastar, Head, Rossignol, Stöckli, and Völkl.

Social gatherings included Phunkshun Wear’s “Design Your Winter” art gallery, a bar sponsored by CEP Compression, and an Official Supplier Après Party – which many attendees said featured the best chicken wings ever – hosted by Rossignol.

The Official Supplier offerings provided attendees daily opportunities to interact with PSIA-AASI’s amazing suppliers.

“We’re here because we want to have personal interaction with ski and snowboard instructors,” said Rossignol Group North America Brand Marketing Director Nick Castagnoli. “We’re all involved in the mission to grow the sport, and in that mission PSIA-AASI instructors are the tip of the spear.”

It was a sentiment shared by Head Vice President Alpine USA Andrew Couperthwait who said their partnership with PSIA-AASI is crucial to helping the brand create products that help every level of skier progress more quickly.

“Whether it’s the skis we’re selling to members, or the rental products the students are wearing while taking lessons, this partnership is important to helping us continue to design those products better,” said Andrew.

For Cardo Systems Director Bobby Ali, whose hands-free PACKTALK Outdoor products allow instructors to provide instant feedback to students as they ski or ride down the slope, National Academy is an opportunity to open a new market via professional instructors.

“We’re introducing something new to the industry,” said Bobby. “Twenty years ago, we introduced the first Bluetooth accessories to the motorcycle industry, and now we are introducing that technology to skiing and snowboarding, where we think the ability to have real-time conversation as you ski and ride will make this even more of a group activity.”

Indoors, Certified Pedorthist Corey Champagne of Sidas World said he is working on creating more awareness around the brand’s custom footbeds and heat insoles.

“Our focus is to standardize and professionalize bootfitting,” said Corey. “And we’re here to provide outreach to instructors about the solutions our products provide for them and for their students.”

As much as the event provides a pathway for suppliers to build relationships and realize new opportunities, it’s also a great venue to celebrate the successes of the previous winter. This was the case for Phunkshun Wear CEO Jason Badgley whose “Design Your Winter” art gallery showcased PSIA-AASI member created designs submitted in the brand’s wearable art collab from last winter.

“Having the showcase and enjoying the great attendance and engagement of all the people here was really cool,” said Jason.

For PSIA-AASI Official Outerwear Supplier The North Face’s Kevin McNeil it was great to see the team rocking their uniforms as they led workshops and clinics all over Big Sky’s snow-covered slopes.

“I always want to be here,” said Kevin. “There’s no other place I can go where there are this many great instructors who spend every day outdoors in every condition wearing our products. We’re an athlete-driven company who work directly with the people who do their jobs wearing what we make, whether that’s climbing Everest, or teaching lessons in New England, the Rockies, or the Pacific Northwest.”