January is much more than making New Year’s resolutions. It’s also Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM)—so the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) has teamed again with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to help teach the basics of skiing and snowboarding and offer lessons from certified instructors.
An enhanced “Learn to Ski or Snowboard Class” is available from now through March at participating REI locations and local ski resorts. REI Learn to Ski and Snowboard classes demystify the sports of skiing and snowboarding, with the goal of helping new and lapsed skiers have an easy and fun experience. The classes provide an opportunity to learn something new, spend time with friends or meet new ones, exercise outdoors, and have something fun to do in winter—which, according to the LSSM website (skiandsnowboardmonth.org), are the top reasons people cite for getting into snowsports.
“We’re excited to grow our partnership with REI and expand into more markets this year,” said Mark Dorsey, PSIA-AASI executive director and CEO. “These classes are unique in that REI is the first retailer to bring an indoor component of learn-to-ski and snowboard programs all the way to the outdoors, by including on-mountain instruction. We’re sharing lessons we’ve learned so PSIA-AASI can help other retailers, manufacturers and resorts support their learn-to-ski and ride industry programs.”
“We’re pleased to continue growing our partnership with PSIA-AASI,” said Rebecca Bear, REI outdoor programs and outreach manager. “Our goals are well aligned – to grow the snowsports industry through inspiring educational experiences. Due to the success of our 2012 pilot program, we’re excited to expand this program from three markets to 11 markets this year.”
The two-part class includes a two-hour presentation at participating REI stores about how to get started in snowsports. The following day, participants receive an on-mountain lesson hosted by PSIA-AASI certified instructors and local ski resorts. The class series is designed to help attendees:
- Learn the basics about appropriate equipment and clothing, including ways to stay warm and comfortable
- Gain an understanding of what to expect when learning to ski or snowboard
- Practice basic techniques for getting started skiing or snowboarding
- Meet like-minded people who also want to learn to ski and snowboard
Each class offers a complete package with rental equipment, in-store and on-mountain instruction, lift ticket, transportation, lunch and additional offers from the mountain. Participants, 18 years of age and older, can learn more or register at www.rei.com/outdoorschool.
Participating Markets – Ski Resorts / REI Locations
- Chicago – Grand Geneva Resort / Lincoln Park
- Denver – Winter Park / Denver
- District of Columbia – Liberty Mountain / Bailey's Crossroads, Columbia, Rockville
- Los Angeles – Mt. High / Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Tustin
- Minneapolis-St. Paul – Trollhaugen / Bloomington
- New York City – Camelback & Windham / Carle Place, East Hanover, Paramus, Soho, Yonkers
- Portland – Mt. Hood Meadows / Portland
- Sacramento – Sugar Bowl & Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski / Sacramento, Stockton
- Salt Lake City – Park City / Salt Lake City, Sandy
- San Francisco – Sugar Bowl / Berkeley, San Francisco, Saratoga
- Seattle – Stevens Pass / Redmond, Seattle
PSIA-AASI is an educational organization of the nonprofit American Snowsports Education Association (ASEA), with a combined membership of more than 31,700 men and women dedicated to promoting snowsports through instruction. The organization establishes certification standards for ski and snowboard instructors and develops education materials to be used as the core components of most ski and snowboard school training. PSIA-AASI supports its membership through research and development of instructional programs in alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, adaptive skiing and riding, and children’s skiing and riding. Learn more at TheSnowPros.org.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating, and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations, and financial contributions. Learn more at REI.com.