The Western Division of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA-W) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI-W), is one of nine divisions that make up the American Snowsports Education Association (ASEA, the national umbrella organizations of PSIA and AASI).
PSIA was founded in 1961 to develop a standardized system for teaching people and to unify instructors throughout the country. Since then the ASEA has grown to include 29,000 members nationwide. We are a non-profit corporation with a 501 (c) (6) tax exempt status. The charitable arm of our organization is Professional Ski Instructors Western Education Foundation, a 501 ( c) (3) non-profit corporation. Our main purpose is to support our members and advance snowsport instruction and education in the disciplines of Alpine, Cross Country, Telemark, Snowboard, Children, Seniors, Adaptive, and Freestyle.
PSIA-AASI members range from full and part time instructors to alumni members, who are retired from teaching. Many of our members come from professional backgrounds such as contractors, small business owners, pilots, doctors, lawyers, and teachers. They all bring a passion for snowsports to share with others.
We provide training, education, and certification for our members. Our certification programs are available in five different disciplines: alpine, adaptive, cross country, telemark, and snowboarding. Our specialist programs cover freestyle, children, and seniors.
We also provide a variety of educational events that range from teaching methodology, skiing/riding mechanics, personal and professional development, to women specific events, racing, and children’s programs; no matter how skilled you are, you can always improve. Becoming a member allows you endless opportunities to clinic with some of our country’s top trainers whether your preference is alpine, snowboard, cross country, telemark, or if you have special interests in working with people who have physical or developmental disabilities.
The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) are recognized nationally and internationally as the leaders in snow sports education. We provide exceptional training, education, and certification opportunities all while developing camaraderie with colleagues, the fun of learning, and the reward of teaching and sharing your passion for snowsports with others…
Our organization is committed to developing innovative and effective skiing and riding techniques and teaching strategies, as well as promoting professionalism and the profession of snowsports instruction. Our programs are fun, fulfilling, and led by some of the finest clinicians in the country.
PSIA-AASI is a member of the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA) that unites skiing, snowboarding, telemark, and nordic. The ISIA promotes collaboration in skiing/riding technique, methodology, and safety ensuring the highest standards of professional practice. Every four years the ISIA coordinates Interski (the International Congress of Ski Instructors). This event provides instructors from around the world an opportunity to share and exchange teaching and skiing techniques.
Becoming a member of PSIA-AASI entitles you to a comprehensive benefits package including:
You decide how much of your Information you disclose to us.
For visitors, we gather information needed to process your transactions and fulfill your requests, including contact information that you provide and demographic information that you volunteer via applications or surveys.
For Members, we gather information necessary to maintain our membership records, communicate with you, and provide you with benefits. This may include your name, email address, phone number, address, and email address, your Member number, your password, your affiliations, your professional development, your participation in the Association, and demographic information that you volunteer via applications or surveys.
You are responsible for the accuracy of the Information that you provide and for maintaining the secrecy of your password and your account information. You may correct and update your information at any time on the Website. We periodically audit the Information and will remove information that is incomplete or which you or a Division has informed us is inaccurate.
We gather and archive basic Website logging statistics showing the daily number of visitors to our Website and its subdirectories, daily requests for particular files, originating server locations and server or browser domain names. We use these aggregated statistics internally to provide better service to the public, but we may also provide these statistics to others.
What Information We Do Not Gather
Non-public personal information such as your Social Security number or any other information that could be used to determine credit- or employment-worthiness.
Non-public personal information that you may post on our social media site. You control the content and the degree that this information is public using the tools on that site. If you post non-public personal information online that is accessible to the public, you do so at your own risk.
Where We Gather Information
We gather information from you in plainly-marked areas of our Website. For example, we request information from you when you:
Activate your online member account or register as a customer or guest.
Place an order.
Send, phone or fax to us a written application for membership.
Provide feedback in an online survey.
Participate in a promotional offer.
Request email notification of your order status.
Change your Information.
Participate in other interactive services.
How We Use Information
We use this information to:
Help us to know our Members and visitors and to assist us with our programs and activities.
Enable us to enhance your Website visit, and to improve and customize the content and layout of our Website and other communications tools.
Track usage of the Website.
Assist you with Member support issues.
Follow up with you after your visit.
Send to you messages that we approve and to which you have subscribed (“Messages”).
Send to you mail and emails about our various products and services, upcoming events and programs, or other products and services we feel may be of interest to you (“Mailings”).
Compile member directories.
How We Share Information
We share this information with:
Our Divisions to assist with Member tracking.
Our Member Schools within the Member School portal to assist with Member tracking.
Printers and distributors of our publications.
Our sponsors and suppliers in the form of non-personalized, demographic information about our Members.
Our partners, suppliers, and sub-contractors, for the performance of obligations arising from your membership, or any other contract we enter into with them or you or to provide you with the information, products and membership services that you request from us
With our vendors and other partners that help us with our activities and programs.
With resort educational programs.
We may also share information with our own affiliates around the world.
We send to you Messages or Mailings on behalf of a sponsor or official supplier pursuant to our agreement with them.
We also share your information as required by law. We may also provide information as necessary to protect the personal safety of our Members or the public.
How We Store and Send Information
We maintain security procedures and standards for storing and sending Information which we believe are as safe as today’s technology permits. We test these procedures and modify them regularly as new technologies become feasible.
If you do not want to receive certain Messages or Mailings, you can opt-out in several ways:
Adjust the settings in the My Member Portal section of your account.
Click on the opt-out link if one is provided in Communications Preferences.
Email us at requesting that your name be removed from future Messages or Mailings.
Write us at PSIA-AAS W, P.O.Box 969, Truckee, CA 96160, requesting that your name be removed from future Messages or Mailings.
Important Notices to Non-U.S. Residents
Your European Rights
FOR EUROPEAN RESIDENTS ONLY. You have the right to ask us not to process your Personal Data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your Personal Data) if we intend to use your Personal Data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your Personal Data. You can also exercise the right by contacting us using the contact information below.
Our Website is not directed to children under the age of 13, if you are not 13 years or older, do not use our Website. We do not knowingly collect Personal Data from children under the age of 13. If we learn that Personal Data of persons less than 13 years-of-age has been collected through our Website, we will take the appropriate steps to delete this information. If you are a parent or guardian and discover that your child or a minor under the age of 13 has posted, submitted or otherwise communicated Personal Data to our Site without your consent, then you may alert us at so that we may take appropriate action to remove the minor’s Personal Data from our systems.
Your California Rights
FOR RESIDENTS OF CALIFORNIA ONLY. Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code requires select businesses to disclose policies relating to the sharing of certain categories of your Personal Data with third parties. If you reside in California and have provided your Personal Data to us, you may request information about our disclosures of certain categories of Personal Data to third parties for direct marketing purposes. Such requests must be submitted to us at the contact information below.
The Website may contain hyperlinks to other websites, content or resources (collectively, “Other Sites”). Other Sites may gather information about you when you view them. We cannot control their collection of information and suggest that you review Other Sites’ privacy policies before providing them with your personal information.
Have no control over and are not responsible for the content or availability of Other Sites;
Do not represent or warrant anything about goods or services that you may get from Other Sites; and
Will not be liable for losses or damages incurred as a result of your contact with Other Sites.
Direct your concerns regarding Other Sites to that website’s administrator or webmaster.
Members Only Area
When you first use the Members Only Area, you will select a password. You may change your password at any time by following the directions in the Members Only Area.
You acknowledge that if we disable access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Members Only Area, your Information or other content in your account.
Acceptance of Terms
Thank you for visiting our website. If you have questions about our policies, please contact us.
Skiers in California wanted an opportunity to secure a sanctioned event and invite the world to experience what California had to offer. To do this, California needed a statewide organization affiliated with the National Ski Association (NSA).
The California Ski Association (CSA) was admitted into the NSA at the annual convention held on December 14, 1930. The CSA grew out of a loose alliance of ski clubs organizing and regulating jumping, cross country, and primitive downhill (speed skiing) events in California and Nevada. CSA’s focus turned to sanctioning skiing events, including the 1932 Winter Olympic Games, which they lost to Lake Placid, NY. Yosemite and Big Pines bid for the Olympics, but the world saw California as the “Land of Sunshine and Flowers” and couldn’t believe there was any snow in the state. In addition, many in California didn’t want the world to know they had snow because they thought it would hurt tourism.
In the early 30s, the CSA, in coordination with the Forest Service, had established a committee to work out a “Plan for Certification of Ski Instructors” and to standardize teaching. The first “official” examination of the Instructor Committee of the California Ski Association was held at Sugar Bowl in 1931. The examiners were Otto Steiner, Charles Proctor, Joel Hildebrandt, and Cortland Hill.
World War II interrupted skiing as it did everything else in the early 1940s.
The California Ski Instructors Association was not legally incorporated until 1947, the first professional ski instructor organization in the United States. The CSIA held their first exams at Sky Tavern / Mount Rose later that year. Otto Steiner was elected President of the new organization and a founding father of our organization. Other significant names early in our division’s history include Luggi Foeggi, Amiele Alias, Ray Patten, Bill Winthers, Peter Piccard, Georges Dessaux, Bill McMains, and Nic Fiore. At the CSA convention on October 29, 1948, the association officially changed its name to Far West Ski Association (FWSA) to conform to the designations of the other divisions of the National Ski Association, which later became the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), and to have a name more representative of the geographical area it encompassed – California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The annual convention was also changed from fall to spring. With the name change of the CSA to FWSA, the California Ski Instructors Association went to the Far West Ski Instructors Association (FWSIA). This was done further to differentiate the competitive organization of the instructors’ association.
The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) was established in 1961. This was the first step in organizing several ski associations throughout the United States. See the link at the bottom of the page.
In September of 1979, the Western Division’s Board of Directors passed a resolution to change the association’s name from FWSIA to Western Professional Ski Instructors Association (WPSIA). A vote of the membership would take place via a stamped postcard ballot in the October 1979 edition of the Gliding Wedge newsletter. The resolution passed.
The Board felt the name change would benefit the membership in several ways as it would add the word “Professional” to our name. It would also more closely align us with the PSIA in the eyes of the public as well as give us an advantage in national advertising. It also separated us from the confusion with FWSA, which focused on racing. By this time, Eastern EPSIA), Central (CPSIA), and Northern Intermountain (NIPSIA) had all adopted their name changes.
In 1981/82, the division’s name changed, once again, continuing to be more and more aligned with the national organization; hence PSIA Western was adopted.
Several regions in the PSIA were teaching snowboarding in the late 1970s and early 80s, including resorts in the Western Division. The first snowboard training and education programs were started by PSIA in 1987. Though many regional exam manuals were written across the country, the first official PSIA snowboard instructor manual was published in 1989. Snowboard Skiing, as it was referred to then, certification exams in the Western Division did not take place until the season of 1989/90. The first exams were Associate Certified (Level 2 today). The winter of 1991/92 saw the first Snowboard Skiing Full Certified exams.
In the winter of 1993, the PSIA, as well as the other divisions, changed the names of the Certification Levels from Associate Certified to Level 2 and Full Certified to Level 3.
The PSIA formed an affiliated association with the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) in 1997 and became PSIA-AASI. The Western division followed suit, and the PSIA W became PSIA-AASI W.