“How’s your morning going?” I asked the man next to me. We were waiting to board the Xcelerator high speed quad at Copper Mountain. With a wicked grin, he laughed, replying, “Better than the alternative.” I had to agree.
It was October 24, and yes, we were skiing. Not only that, but we were skiing some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world: the PSIA-AASI Teams.
The Best of the Best
As you probably know, PSIA-AASI stands for the Professional Ski Instructors of American/American Association of Snowboard Instructors. Each year in October, about 30 of the best Alpine, Nordic, Adaptive and Snowboard instructors in the country come to Copper Mountain for their fall workshop.
These instructors are members of the PSIA-AASI teams and while at Copper they work with coaches refining their skills both on snow and off, and as one instructor explained, “developing the playbook for the coming season.” Responsible for promoting snow sports education and instruction at all levels, these élite instructors teach at their home mountains and travel extensively, working with other professionals across the country (and the world).
Making the PSIA-AASI Team is a huge deal. The teams are chosen every four years, the competition is ferocious, and the selection process is rigorous. To a person, team members I spoke with are thrilled to be on the current team, whether starting their first term or returning for a second or third term.
Go With A Pro
“Our job is to get you fired up about skiing and snowboarding,” a man’s voice intones. I’m watching a preview DVD of this year’s Go With A Pro television segments, produced by PSIA-AASI. In the course of the next 50 minutes, I’ll be nearly moved to tears listening to a Vietnam vet explain how much skiing is changing his life — and he’s only been doing it for three weeks. I’ll be motivated to get on snow and purposefully practice carving and skidding my turns (and being aware of the difference). And, I’ll totally bond (at least in theory) with Dave and Tami Lyon, the parents of two ski racing sons who also run the Lyon Ski School at Stevens Pass, Washington (we have so much in common!). By the time I’m done watching, I am totally fired up about skiing and snowboarding.
PSIA-AASI began producing Go With A Pro TV for two reasons: 1) to promote skiing and riding and 2) to share the stories of people within the PSIA-AASI community.
“Go With A Pro TV is a great way for us to introduce some of our instructors to the general public and to let them tell their stories. It’s a way for people who share this passion to connect and pick up some tips,” explains Earl Saline, the Professional Development Manager at PSIA-AASI.
Go With A Pro TV airs from October through April. You can find it on the Outside Network (check your cable listings). Outside Network reaches 41 million households across the United States, so your chances of finding it are actually pretty good!
Additionally, you can Go With A Pro and see more video at the PSIA-AASI YouTube channel. Check out short 1-3 minute videos addressing topics ranging from how to ski in flat light to properly using your poles. There are videos for alpine, nordic and adaptive skiers, and snowboarders, too.
Take a look, and get fired up!
Early Season Honors
So yes, I’ll admit it. I love skiing at Copper Mountain in October. I like the fact that, thanks to PSIA-AASI, my season kicks off so early. I love the fact that the mountain is closed and the snow is perfect. Best of all, I can’t think of a better way to start a ski season than by watching and trying to emulate the textbook perfect skills of the PSIA-AASI teams. Inspired by these athletes, I can’t help but ski better.
For more information on PSIA-AASI, please visit their website. You can also follow them on Twitter (@thesnowpros). Better yet, take a lesson this winter. No matter how good you are, you can always improve. And, I guarantee, you’ll have fun, too.
- Get Your Kids Ready for Ski and Ride School
- What to Do With a Scared Skier
- Is Anyone Too Good for Ski or Ride Lessons?
- Take Your Tele Skills to the Next Level
- Do Kids Have to Ski Before They Ride?
- The Benefits of Adaptive Skiing
- The Family Ski Lesson: Humbling, And Worth It
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