Why Are Korean Skiers So Serious About Their Skiing?

Serious Skiers

The presentation started with a review of some of the stats and data that Korea had about the number of skiers and skier days in Korea.
Historically numbers were increasing, until about 10 years ago, then numbers dipped. But even though the overall numbers of skiers dipped the number of people who took skiing seriously was still climbing. Serious skier numbers are still increasing!

What makes a Skier Serious?
In Korea equipment is expensive. Serious skiers buy the best equipment, and invest time and money.

If you compare to other sports e.g. golf and tennis have scores – no scores in skiing.
In golf if you are asked “Are you a good golfer?” you can use your golf handicap to show how good you are. In skiing your level (score) is from your ski instructor.
So people go for Level 1 not to be instructors, they want the Level (score) as a recognition of their skiing level to tell/show others.

50 ski clubs in Korea who promote skiing though social media etc. they all take it seriously.

Serious skiers invest time and money and effort of have a good skiing “score” and then promote taking part in skiing.

Ski Environment in Korea

15 ski areas all very easy to get to resorts.
2 or 3 Free Ski shuttles a day go to all the major resorts (from Seoul).
Lots of season long ski programs for adults and kids.
Lots of ski in the morning, school in the afternoon programs around Seoul.

Korean Culture

Very high education fever (fever was the presenters words) – there is a desire to educate your kids.
Lots of skiing in primary schools etc, but not so much high school and then it starts again in Uni.
There is a growing culture of work life balance. High paid executives from Samsung are looking to see if there is more to like than just the corporate life. They are “Finding more the life!”

KSIA’s contribution

KSIA (Korea Ski Instructors Association) run many, many competitive events see below.
This includes multiple different Technical Championships.

list of the many KASI events

KSIA Level 1 standard has been lowered in order to have more participants.
Level 1 is only skiing (1 day). There is no test of Teaching it is just a test of your own personal skiing.
Level 2 (3 days) there is no teaching involved.
Level 3 there is a teaching assessment
Level 4 is brand new – so is still being developed.

number of KSIA perticipants

When you look at the numbers there are 5000 people taking Level 1, which is a huge number compared to NZ. But when you realise that it is a one day test with no teaching involved, it makes more sense.

Things do get taken very seriously.
Korea has a Junior Demo Team 6-13 years.
There is a junior national tech champs! It was broadcast live on a internet tv channel!!!!
450 junior participants

KSIA it was stressed is actively spreading education.

The presentation was a really good insight into the culture and the ski snowboard market in Korea.

Colin Tanner