Korean Karving!

The Koreans love to carve and chose to focus their on snow session on sharing some of the movements they use to lay down those sweet arcs.

Interski truly is an international melting pot of cultures, languages, and snowboard techniques and this was very evident during this session. The Korean snowboard techniques and approaches are clearly a product of their environment. Dealing with mostly man made snow on slopes that are typically groomed to within an inch of their lives you can see why the Koreans love to carve, and why they are so good at it.

Despite the language challenges and some difficulty in understanding the nuances of their message at times the Korean session was very well attended and all of the attendees were keen to hear what they had to say and to try the movement patterns they are promoting.

The primary technical message was to create good loading of the snowboard through constant vertical movement in the lower joints. If you are static at any point throughout your turn then you lose the energy built up in the snowboard and your riding becomes less dynamic. They were promoting a very aggressive move into the next turn with the upper body across the board and down the slope using the energy that you had built in the previous turn. This aggressive move helped to set a strong platform on the new edge high in the arc and gave them the ability to begin to bend the board early in the turn.

One of their demo team riders has been riding a race board with plates and risers with hard boots all week showing their commitment to the carve. Beyond that though he has shown impressive versatility all over the mountain with short turns in formation on the demo slope and even a few laps over the jump.

Despite the language challenges the riding did the talking in this session! Very impressive. Kudos to the Korean team for stepping up in front of a huge group to share their ideas in a language that is not very easy for them!

Sweden – Customized Snowboard Technique

Similar to CASI, Snowsport Sweden aims to give their instructors a framework within which to build their lessons.

Starting with Conditions, instructors are encouraged to find out a bit about their students and to look at the conditions of the day in order to form the basis of the technique that will be appropriate given those factors. Instructors look at Physical and Psychological factors of the student along with Situational factors such as equipment, terrain, snow conditions etc.

The next step is to identify the desired Outcome or “result” that you will be aiming for. Outcomes can be a certain type of turn, a trick, or a specific maneuver.

Once the instructor has analysed the Conditions and decided (in conjunction with the student) on a desired Outcome it is now time to identify the Positioning required to achieve the Outcome. Their Positioning is similar to our Skills, or as they describe it “how we regulate the relationship between centre of mass, the snowboard, and the resulting forces from the snow”.

The over arching message was that we shouldn’t jump to techinal (Positioning) without first assessing the Conditions (student and environmental factors) and establishing the desired Outcome.

While the Swedish terminology and methodology might differ from ours this is a message that we could all do to remember when building our lessons.

Setting the Tone for the Rest of the World!

I might be slightly biased, but I have to say that the Canadian delegation were the stars of the show today!

At an Interski where the theme is “The Future of Snowsports” a fully integrated demonstration from CASI, CSIA, CANSI, and CADS truly showcased the best of what Canada has to offer the world of snowsports and reinforced the message that we are stronger together!

Coordinating all of the disciplines into a single demonstration run that allows each of us to profile our individual techniques and strengths while playing a supporting role to the others is no easy task but the outcome reflected the commitment to the goal of each of our organizations. On top of that, the message is clear; regardless of how we slide on snow we all contribute to the strength and health of the snowsports industry.

While many other nations featured all disciplines on the slope at the same time, few mixed them to same degree that we did, and none as successfully as the Canadians.

Clearly a successful demo run isn’t going to secure the future of snowsports but I like to think the intention behind our run sends a clear message. No matter how we slide, Canada is a leader in the snowsports industry and in an increasingly global market this will be critical to our continued success.

Thanks for reading!

Pamporovo – Day 1 – Prep Day

With an epic day of travelling behind us we were ready to hit the slopes today in Pamporovo!

Today was all about getting some time on the demo slope, getting our bodies used to moving again, and re-familiarizing ourselves with the formations we would be riding in during our demonstration runs and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The excitement of the event is also building as we catch up with old friends and colleagues from around the world, and watch the other teams finalizing their runs.

As I watch the other teams dialing in their runs, I find myself analyzing their technique and watching how they move on their boards. This to me is one of the biggest benefits of Interski and also why we put so much effort into our own demo runs. Our aim is not to be in perfect sync but rather to showcase the Canadian technique through the various turn shapes. The opportunity to watch and ride with some of the top instructors from across the globe helps us to analyze our own technique and approaches against what others are demonstrating. This helps us to see where we are excelling and where others are perhaps having greater success. Through this we can continue to strive to leaders in snowsports instruction. I’ve already seen some interesting things and am looking forward to following up on some of those observations and deepening my understanding throughout the event.

Interski Training Camp

Alpine Ski Club, Collingwood, ON – Feb 27 & 28, 2019

Your Interski 2019 Team!

Although the road to Interski starts long before the event with Technical Team applications, tryouts, and selections it is at this final two day team camp leading into the event that it all starts to feel real.

Although our primary focus while at Interski is to collect knowledge and information from the other attending nations about their teaching methodologies and technical models, the team also feels a certain amount of pressure to be the absolute best representatives of CASI on the world stage. It is this second component that was the focus of our final team camp before the event. 

With team members hailing from around the country, limited budgets, and conflicting schedules and commitments we don’t actually get to be together as a full team very often. This camp offers the team an opportunity to further develop the all important team dynamic while finalizing and polishing our technical demos, on snow, and indoor workshops.

Mornings were spent fine tuning our riding demonstrations and increasing our comfort riding as a team, at speed, in tight proximity.  Our goals here are to showcase the CASI technique in a way that is exciting to watch within the format of an Interski demo slope. Riding in close proximity without sacrificing performance is an interesting challenge and we have chosen to limit the complexity of the formations in favour of stronger technical riding. Both short and long turns will be showcased along with some switch riding to highlight the versatility of our technique.

In the afternoons we took time to fine tune and review our on snow workshops.  Each country is given 90 minutes to share with the other nations some information about their organization.  Topics can vary widely in content….and quality! The Canadian sessions are typically very well attended as we are regarded as leaders in snowsports and our hope is to highlight some of key teaching strategies that we feel make our instructors successful at all levels.  Watch this space for more details as the presentations are finalized and presented at Interski!

The final part of each day was spent working with our colleagues on the CSIA Demo Team to work out our runs for the opening and closing ceremonies. Incorporating snowboarders, skiers, and ultimately telemark skiers into one coordinated run that showcases the strengths of each discipline is not an easy task! The is made especially challenging by the lack of time available to slide together on one slope. Teamwork between all the members of each team is critical for success and the Canadian delegation was impressive in how well the teams worked together to quickly adapt to each other’s needs to create an exciting demonstration. Laughs were shared, crashes were kept to a minimum, only one of our team was buried in a wall of snow by a speeding skier.  Success on all fronts!

It was a very full two days which helped prepare us and set the tone for the Interski Congress. We are all honoured to be a part of the National Technical Team representing CASI on the world stage at Interski and we very much look forward to sharing this journey and the knowledge we gain from it with the CASI members.

Bookmark this site and join us on the journey to Interski 2019 in Pamporovo Bulgaria!