POW day!! We didn’t expect to be riding fresh powder through the trees before coming here but that’s what happened this morning. The resort has a really fun mix of terrain ranging from Alps style at top, down to Colorado trees, with some Cardrona Captains Basin in the mix too. It was an awesome way to warm-up for a full day of events.

Yesterday was the chance for us to start connecting with the other snowboarders and get the interactions going. Not everyone had ridden the mountain yet, so we showed each other around and saw an impressive mix of riding styles. The always friendly Fins, who have a large group this year, led the crew through some fun gullies. There’s no shortage of lenses here, so expect some good visuals from both us and other nations. With everyone stoked to be here and eager to get going, the ideas started to flow.

interski 2015 snowboard nations riding together

This continued into the night session, where we ran a ‘Snowboard Forum’ for nearly all of the demo team riders here at Interski. Keith did a good job of leading this, which ended up being very productive. It was a chance for us to tweak the schedule and highlight the key topics that need to be discussed further during the week. The collective experience in the room was pretty impressive!

interski 2015 snowboard nations sowboard forum

Richie and Toby nailed their indoor lecture, with topics including a Maori greeting, Passionate New Zealanders who enjoy the ski industry at club and commercial level, Honoring Sir Edmond Hillary and the Challenges/Successes we have in NZ.

The night finished at the Chilean’s party, with the whole bar singing Happy Birthday to Tony Macri, haha!

After this morning’s freshies we got into the on-snow workshops. With 6 on the team it means we can attend all the clinics going out each day…

The Swiss presented the engaging and interactive topic of teaching children through ‘freestyle’ tasks, giving freedom to the students to use their own ideas or copy each other, while still helping them along with a theme/analogies. They have a system similar to our ‘Fundamentals’, so we were able to expand on the differences we have and the benefits we can take from it.

Ryan and Rhys attended one of Canada’s 3 workshops today. The tittle being Advanced Competencies.  The theme of the clinic was to show how CASI has created a simple structure for instructors  to follow, and understand how to help correct inefficiencies in students riding at a higher level.  This was broken down into 4 points.

  • Strength and Flow
  • Arc To Arc
  • Load and Deflect
  • Steering Versitility

The workshop was well presented and allowed for good discussion and sharing of ideas throughout.
The Canadians also put on a very informative clinic on “Women in Snowsports”. Mainly focused on three elements which were;
- How women are built.
- How we move .
- How we think, feel, and interact. 
There was some great ideas exchanged on short term and long term methods of handling, with women in your lessons and competitive teams.

With fresh pockets of pow on trail, the CASI crew wasted no time introducing their 3rd clinic. Richie had the pleasure of riding through a selection of their Level 4 riding tasks which included freeriding, corridor turns and a skidded turn demonstration. His favorite was the 8m corridor task which needed high performance and the ability to deflect momentum across the hill.

After a quick lunch we were back on snow to lead a session in the park. We focused their attention on Style, it’s importance, and ways we can allow style to come through. This finished with an epic ‘Method Train’ on the jump, and the stoke factor was cranking! Check the quick video out here.

After the team attended the nightly lectures around town (one hosted in an ex-prison!), we settled into some unique servings of pizza… with Rhys getting the laughs going as usual. The town is full of character with graffiti on most of the streets.

grafiti in Ushuaia

One of the more interesting lectures attending was “Insight for output – Feedback learning”, delivered by Austria. This followed on from our own indoor lecture “Student Retention through Achievement” (delivered by Keith and Scotty – video to come), Austria presented a fascinating talk focused on feedback. While most of the content within the Austria lecture was very familiar to NZSIA and SBINZ – things like utilising different types of feedback, perception of movements from instructor to student and drawing the attention of the student to specific parts of their body – the way they packaged it up was extremely well done. There are three of the slides that describe the “Insight for output” concept that we’ll be posting to Facebook later today. Watch this space!

Overall we’ve had a very successful start to the event. Lots of positive feedback and word on the street is we’re an always smiling, friendly crew 🙂

– Words by Sam Smith
– Images by Sam Smith, Keith Stubbs and Richie Johnston