How did you get into ski instruction and how long have you been doing it?
I have been skiing for about 50-55 years. I started when I was 2 years old. My parents were skiers, and my dad taught me when I was 11. I would ski in the backyard and then I graduated to local hills. I joined Snow Ridge Ski Resort and that was when I realized what real skiing was. After about three years of skiing there, they asked me to teach skiing, so I got certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Eventually, I went to Toggenburg Mountain Ski Center where I helped organize their ski school and also teach ski instruction.
What is your favorite level to instruct?
I enjoy teaching beginners. Number one, they really want to learn, so they show more appreciation. Number two, you’re setting them up for success by teaching them, from the beginning, the right way to ski. When you teach someone how to correctly stand up on skis, they learn better balance. Once you have good balance, you can ski.
What does it take to make you feel like you’ve done your job?
When the student gets it and understands what you’re telling them to do and why. When they improve right in front of your eyes, and you see them becoming a better skier.
What advice would you give someone who wants to give skiing a shot, but is scared?
Go to a ski school and get a lesson. I can’t say that enough. We see people who have never skied come out with their friends and try to go on the lift. That’s dangerous. Lessons will teach you safety and things like stopping and turning.