NZ Session

New Zealand ran 3 different sessions so we split into different groups for the morning and afternoon session.I went with the level 3 based session.

The main overall focus for these sessions was for the kiwis to show how they bridge the gap between hard skills and soft skills in different instructor levels within their system.

We started by being asked to talk on the lift about what hard skills and soft skills mean in our different countries, our is aligned pretty closely with theirs in the fact that they consider hard skills based more on actions on the board and the soft ones based on other aspects of the lesson such as how you communicate, ask questions and engage your students within a lesson.

They illustrated a diagram similar to our skills concept one with 3 circles – safety,fun and achievement with the parts that intersect being the stoke zone.The circles can change in size according to what you are doing and the person you are teachings personality.

We started with something they are assessed on for the level 1 – Ollies.

We warmed up for a bit and worked on how high we could get our Ollies on some mellow terrain.It was highlighted how safe we were and it was fun but not too much achievement at our level as we can already do them.Next we paired up and tried to challenge the person following by using as many variations as we could ,nollie,tail taps,Ollie’s into presses etc.After a short while we regrouped and when the person following was asked if they tried anything new some in the group said yes so the achievement bubble had expanded somewhat or them and new movements within their riding had been developed.

Moving on to the level 2 we were at the top of the park and Keith the presenter explained on the level 2 they assess on Ariel awareness and they ask for a controlled secondary movement in the air i.e a grab,shifty or rotation, basically anything other than just riding and getting air over a jump. They also bring in experiential and environmental learning here. The NZ system uses experiential a little differently to us as the relate it to movement you have already done in your past, not necessarily on a snowboard.Environmental is how we change things up or use what is around us for example putting your glove or a snowball on the ground to jump over or giving a point to the side of the run to point your board towards un a shifty.Showing how we can use and change the environment to get different results from students.In the level 2 candidates are shown a video of someone riding and they have to use verbal analysis to correct them based on experiential and environmental factors. Once they have seen the video they have to fix a student based on what they saw on the screen.

For the level 3 NZ Introduces a high performance stance, the difference is show in the second photo.

This position is to allow more more dynamic movement on the board and to give the ability to manage forces better on the board.

A big performance carve is part of the level 3 assessment with no up or down unweighting specified but they are looking for something similar to CASI with a pressure build through the turn and then using energy to help you into the next turn. They use question based learning for the level 3 using a variety of types such as open,closed,leading,probing and scalable to name a few.

A student is given a scenario on specific terrain out of earshot of the Instructor who then has to ask questions to figure out the problem from the student and then come up with a tactic or movement to fix the rider and develop them with.

The NZ way seems to be pretty similar to what we do with a few differences in presentation on courses and terminology but overall our messages are similar.

Hello neighbours!

While most of the rest of the crew were killing it in the Casi indoor workshop, a couple of us ducked out to see whats new with our CADS counterparts. Ironically the indoor got moved to a room higher up in a different building that wasn’t super wheelchair accessible, but a determined badass sit ski athlethe still found his way up the the seminar.

About 18 years ago I got a little bit involved with some CADS programs at Silver Star mountain back home, but since then I haven’t

really had much interaction with this side of the industry mainly due to the lack of snowboarding emphasis. This is really starting to change thanks to Michelle Schaefer!

With a overall moto of fun, respect, inclusion.

Most discussions were based around a few mental health issues, the autism spectrum and well as anxiety disorders.

Very interesting to hear about problem solving pathways that they have created to help turn challenging situations back into fun.

Ski resorts are full of triggers for anxious and autistic people so they have put together a 6 step checklist to diffuse situations:



Assist self regulation



Plan (Give choices)

Followed up by some post care debriefing:




Involve parents/caregivers

The shocking part is most of us working instructors deal with these situations on a daily basis without even realizing it.

I know the first thing alot of instructors think about when they hear adaptive snowsports they think sit skiis and obvious disablities. Mental health is on the rise in most countries so, I encourage any instructors to look into what these guys are doing and get involved.


NZ on snow session : Hard skills vs Soft skills how to bridge the gap (children module)

For New Zealand system, before proceeding to Level 3, it is mandatory to have the children teaching module.

Every level of New Zealand system, there are hard skills (technical riding skills ) and soft skills ( personal skills = human connection). Typically the hard skill is a certain manoeuvre, for example one of the level 1 required hard skill is to perform clear Ollie’s. The soft skills are developed depending on the certification level 1,2,3 or modules (park or children) Understanding both hard and soft skills and incorporating both into lessons are very important.

Adam and I, both of us attended the children’s module.

As hard skills are just the riding skills, which is very simple to grasp the concept, let’s talk more about soft skills specifically applied to children’s module.

Starting with the interview process, we defined the preferred learning styles. ( in New Zealand system, the break down into 8 learning styles : See photo)

Then we determined how to communicate and structure lesson efficiently with children catered to their preferred learning styles (multiple intelligences)

Each of us got assigned role of instructor and student, student got a Q-card about what is their learning style and instructor had to find out student’s learning style through questions.

After identifying learning style of the assigned student, instructors come up with lessons that will work the best for the each type of learners and present them to the assigned students.

Generally speaking, a person’s learning style cannot be the only one, can be combinations of different styles, in that case instructors will adapt lessons plan to cater a few different learning styles. In Today’s session to make it simple we only dealt with one typical learning style.

Thank you for reading

Adam and Yuki

Canadian on snow workshops continued

It was Canada’s day to share some knowledge about our system and techniques. We primarily focused on teaching structures and tools to put information together in a simple way using our SAFE model.

Giving clear examples about how this helps streamline learning for beginners as well as advanced short turns and freestyle.

Encouraging instructors from around the world to pick ideas from their own countries technical models and use our structure to help simply the presentation of them. How diplomatic right?

The sessions were very well received and similarities were discussed. From what I heard people were very stoked on how simple, but precise we put ideas together and into action to get results!