REI Teams with PSIA-AASI for Introductory Ski and Snowboard Classes

Humans Weren’t Meant to Hibernate

Jan 9, 2013

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

About PSIA-AASI
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.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 167 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.