BY EUGENE BUCHANAN
All Together Now
MAKING THE MOST OF THE FAMILY CLASS
There’s a movement underfoot—or under ski or snowboard—that’s seeing more and more families take lessons together so they can bond in their boots.
While that’s great for the sport and instruction programs’
bottom lines, it also raises new teaching issues that had
previously never surfaced.
Such as: How do you best accommodate the different
age brackets, and oftentimes disciplines, involved with such
In a typical family lesson, it’s not uncommon for dad to be
rocking alpine skis, mom to show up on telemark equipment, and
the tykes and teens to be on snowboards. Throw in the occasional
SledDogs and it’s enough to make instructors end the day in
exasperation. Yet the burden is squarely on them to appease
everyone and make sure everyone benefits from the experience.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
“More and more families want to stay together in their lessons,”
said Earl Saline, professional development manager for PSIA-
AASI. “In the past, schools had more rigid programs in place
and families weren’t given much of a choice. Now resorts are
becoming much more flexible in their offerings.”
Another reason for the growth, added Scott Anfang—a
member of the PSIA-AASI Snowboard Team, a 16-year
snowboard instructor for Colorado’s Steamboat Ski & Resort,
and an examiner/educator for PSIA-AASI’s Rocky Mountain
Division—is that families relish spending time together on the
slopes. “They’re bringing the on-snow experience into the fam-
ily aspect of their vacations. And I think that’s healthy,” he said.