Once every four years the top instructors from around the world get together to learn and exchange best practices. This event is called Interski and is one of the largest gatherings of snowsports professionals. Every nation that has skiing and snowboarding has a National Demo team that is comprised of the best instructors from that country’s association. One of our owners, Tony Macri, is on both the US Team AND the New Zealand Team, and Rhys Jones who is one of our snowboard trainers
is also on the New Zealand team. Tony and Rhys recently returned from Interski 2015 which was held at an amazing place the locals call “the edge of the world” – Ushuaia, Argentina.
After more than 30 hours of flights, Jonesy and Tony landed in Ushuaia and had a day to get over the jet lag before it all began. The views of the ocean right up against the Andies got the boys excited to get on the snow. After driving up to the mountains to a resort called Cerro Castro, Interski began with an opening ceremony. Part of that opening ceremony was each nation being announced and then skiing/riding down showing high-performance turns and their nation’s technique.
(Opening ceremony demonstration – Jonesy and Tony on the far right getting excited to show off to the world!)
Every day there were different nations presenting and sharing ideas. This happened through on-snow clinics and then indoor lectures in the evening. Prior to the start of the Interski Congress there was a main theme announced which every nation would build their content around. This theme was “How are we creating more student retention?” Tony and Jonesy delivered an on-snow clinic called Safety/Fun/Achievement which highlighted how the SBINZ has increased retention of their students. This is done by creating a safe environment that is super fun, where the students leave with a sense of achievement and are eager to come back for more.
(Tony presenting the SBINZ clinic)
Tony was also tasked with delivering an indoor lecture for the NZSIA and SBINZ with a focus on how they develop their own instructors to increase instructor retention at ski resorts. By doing this the resorts will be able to provide better lessons for customers which will lead to more repeat business. This indoor lecture caught the eye of the other nations in the audience with a stunning video to start and then followed with a strong message of how we attract guests through the amazing landscapes and country (clearly shown in the video), and how we retain them with our relaxed yet super fun and outgoing instructors who will help them achieve their highest goals.
(Tony presenting the indoor clinic for the NZSIA/SBINZ)
Overall it was a great experience and highly educational. Learning from the world’s best instructors and sharing some of our own ideas to inspire more creative thinking, allowing us all to evolve with what we love. It was also such an honour to represent Snow Trainers on a global stage and to know we are continuing to stay connected to the current trends in the industry.