New Zealand Park & Pipe

New Zealand has some very talented park riders.

New Zealand has a Park and Pipe course to educate instructors on how to teach in the park.

This course is somewhere in between Canada’s park 1 & park 2. In order to pass this course one must be able to spin clean 360’s both directions on a med jump, as well as over a side hit outside of the park. A rider must be able to show a Boardslide on a box with the board reaching 90 degrees in orientation with the box.

Their were many parts of the teaching style that I enjoyed. One in particular is how they incorporate the Environment into their teaching. For example we were hitting a medium jump and practicing our Shifty’s. We were asked to point the nose of our snowboards at the trees on the side of the run. This is a very simple idea but the visual cue did help me to get the most counter rotates that I could.

The Kiwi’s refer to a straight air as a primary movement. The next step was to add a shifty, which was referred to as a secondary movement. In order to pass their level 2, one must ride over a medium jump and incorporate some sort of secondary movement like a Shifty or a grab.

When teaching park, they believe an instructor must keep their student in the “sweet spot”. In order for a student to be in the sweet spot the instructor must balance safety with fun and achievement. Their teaching methodologies state that in order for a student to be successful they must be; comfortable, confident and committed.

In order to be successful with the park and pipe certification the candidate must be efficient at analysis and improvement. On the hill the evaluator shows the candidates a video of a student trying an unsuccessful trick with a cell phone. Students partner up, imagine that the rider on the video is the their partner and are tasked with going about giving their partner the feedback that they think they need.

Overall it was a great session that I really enjoyed and will start to incorporate some of their ideas into my own lessons.

Breen Trott

Team America ‘F’ Ya!

Today I had the opportunity to hang out with an amazing group of instructors from the United States of America (I may be pronouncing it wrong).

Team America got to Bulgaria a few days earlier than everybody else. They unpacked their bags and headed into the small towns around the resort. Their purpose was to meet up with the children of the towns to get them started on their journey of snowboarding.

Burton’s Riglet program starts children off snowboarding in their school gym. The children then head out into the snow to the Riglet park.

Team America, along with the Bulgarian park crew set up an amazing Riglet park at the top of the mountain.

At 12:30 every day the local kids would come up to the top of the mountain and snowboard for two hours.

I had the pleasure of working with these children in the park, teaching them how to snowboard alongside the Americans.

I have heard of Riglet parks before. My home resort, Mt. Pakenham has small ‘Riglet boxes’. Pakenham has Riglet boards complete with reels and we teach the wee ones how to snowboard. We do it wrong!

This Riglet park was next level! It was about 10 meters by 20 meters. Their was a mini pipe, a snake bowl, four rollers and four boxes.

The Riglet boards had a handle bar attachment that mounted to the binding inserts. This allowed the children to play with minimal guidance from the instructors. When the children were ready, they transitioned into a board with bindings.

For two hours these children played in this park, progressing at an extremely fast rate. No English was spoken, only high fives were given. It was much more like a skate park than a ski hill.

I am very excited to bring this back to my home resort!

I have to hand it to the Americans. Not only are they participating at Intershred but they are giving back to the host community.

Breen Trott

Slovenia: Vary teaching strategies to help students and instructors

The Slovenia team based their work shop around a survey.

The team asked close to 100 snowboard instructors why they teach snowboarding. The most common answers were;







Next they asked 100 snowboard students the same questions. What do you like most about snowboarding? Top answers were;






They then asked snowboard instructors what they did not like about teaching. Common answers were;

Students don’t listen

Students don’t want to learn

The student was spoiled

The student was disrespectful

The Slovenians concluded that;

The common idea of snowboarding is to be outside having fun getting exercise.

Why then were instructors having a hard time teaching? If the instructor is not having fun then the student may not be having fun.

The Slovenia decided that their must be a problem in the way the material is being delivered to the student.

After observing their instructors they realized their was a problem in delivery.

Instructors were teaching lessons which had a strong focus on developing skills. For instance, young children were being taught how to control their speed on a slope. The instructors were choosing outcomes that they themselves thought were appropriate without consulting the student. The students were getting frustrated and would disengage in the lesson.

Often a young student is not interested in controlling their speed, they are interested in going fast.

Instructors need to understand how to cater their lesson to the student. They need a wide range of ideas and progressions to put together a great lesson for any student.

If a young student does not want to side slip, do not make them. Figure out what the student would like to do and move forward on that outcome.

Many children like to make small jumps and practice jumping. If this is the case the instructor must figure out a way to make this happen in a safe and suitable area.

If the student is happy then the instructor will be happy.

This is an idea that seems to be well none. I think it is a very important message however. Too often we get stuck in our basic progressions. Sometimes we need to step outside our go-tool box and get creative to keep children engaged.

First day of Intershred

Woke up and walked out pro the balcony to see a bluebird day, sun shining on the demo slope.

Late start as half the team was waiting on gear.

We arrived at the mountain for lunch time. Pamporovo was in full swing; euro pop pumping, beers were flowing and the sun was shining.

We wasted no time and it straight into our Syncro. It was a rough start but after four runs we were back in the swing of things.

We met our skier counter parts and started pumping out syncro turns to Euro pop.

We were on fire for the whole day until we got back and watched the video. Still need a little more work!

I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.