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!


Canada Day!

Today was our turn to share with the world, we hosted workshops this morning and afternoon with a focus on sharing a little piece of our teaching methodology; the SAFE concept. We also hosted an indoor workshop where we gave an overview of our system, more on that later.

The SAFE concept is nothing new to us, it has been part of our course content for many years but sort of fell out of view slightly, overshadowed by many of our excellent teaching concept we’ve brought to the members in recent years, most notably the Competencies and the Practical Teaching Skills. The SAFE model provides a tangible lesson structuring tool for instructors to introduce, develop and refine new skills. Initially used as a beginner teaching technique, the SAFE model can be adapted to more advanced manoeuvres and concepts.

S: Explanation / Demonstration of the tactic. A: Practice in a controlled environment, lots of feedback. F: Mileage and Practice. E: Add variation to the movement (edge / slope / movement change).

5 of us presented this session today, offering different presentation style and giving almost all of us a chance to teach snowboarders from all over the planet, not an opportunity you get very often, if ever, for most of us. I headed out with 2 Americans, 2 Polish, 1 Australian, 2 Swiss and 2 Slovenian riders; incredible amount of knowledge in one group… slightly intimidating! The pressure to perform was definitely felt.

First step was to ensure understanding of the SAFE model by using a very basic piece of our Quickride, more specifically skating, every country has skating as part of their beginner “progression”, naturally, as it is how we all get around the flats and load any type of lifts, finding common ground on a manoeuvre was the objective to ensure a focus on the teaching methodology and not get caught up into a “we do it this way in our country” type of scenario. Once clear on the model, it was time to up the difficulty to keep everyone engaged, we settled on Short Turns, another consistent tasks amounts the various systems present in the group.

Static: The good old twist the disc analogy to use the feet to turn the board (turning with the lower body), while this tactic as almost as old as CASI itself, much to my surprise, not many had heard this analogy before. A black groomed run (albeit very slushy) was the venue. Time for a demo.

Active: Time for everyone to give it a try. Very interesting to observe the various movement patterns from different systems. Feedback is next… which had to be prefaced by “my goal is not to make you ride like me or the Canadian way” as this is not a CASI certification course, which brings an interesting dynamic within the group as you can tell they are comparing this to their own way of performing this task. Everyone was a good sport and gave it a try… lots of questions ensued.

Free: Time for mileage while guiding them safely. Very cool to watch that many high end riders tearing apart a slope and having a good time.

Experiment: Let’s add a variation. I started by giving them a variation to try. Building on twist the disc I had them attempt to twist one disc at a time, separating the turning effort between front and back foot relating them to phases of the turn. I then followed it up with having them come up with a variation of their own, lots of good stuff came out there and we all gave them a try accompanied by some great discussions.

With a bit of time left I took them to the park to discuss how this model can be applied to any riding environment and together we came up with a manoeuvre that we can apply to this model to; in this case ollies and nollies. For sake of time we skipped A and F and went right to E, having them do ollies and nollies on various features of their choice while cruising through the park, super fun way to wrap it up!

Well received, great times and discussions were had with everyone. I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity to present at Interski for the 3rd time, career highlights for sure, a huge thank you to you, the members, and the Interski comittee for giving us this opportunity.

Thank you CASI!

Luc Belanger

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