We Want You To Run for the Board

Do you have qualities and experience that would make you a valuable member of the PSIA-AASI Western Division Board of Directors?  Do you have ideas on how PSIA-AASI can better serve its members? Do you have the skills needed to implement those ideas?  If you think the answer to these questions is “yes,” we’d love to talk to you about running for the Board.

Complete and submit the application below before January 15th to run for the Board.

The Board meets twice a year.  Our annual Spring Board meeting is the Thursday before the Spring Convention.  Our two-day Summer Board meeting is in Truckee the first weekend of August.  In addition to the two meetings, we have monthly one-hour phone calls.

Four seats are up for election each year for a three-year term.  There are twelve elected seats on the Board.   

Further information on the director position and its responsibilities can be found here.

The information you provide in the application will be published on our Website, Spring Edge Newsletter and the Election Platform

PSIA/AASI Western Division Board Position Application

  • Please provide a photo
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, pdf.

    The Snowboard Level 1 E-learning Course

    Snowboarders now have a level 1 E-learning course. It is free to members and will be a pre-requisite to signing up for the Snowboard level 1 exam.

    Welcome to PSIA-AASI Snowboard Level I Certification online course. The following course is designed to be completed prior to attending the on-snow portion of the Level I Exam.

    FREE TO MEMBERS. This is the PSIA-AASI Snowboard Level I Certification Prerequisite E-Learning course. The following course is designed to be completed prior to attending the on-snow portion of the Level I Exam. You must be a PSIA-AASI member to add this course to your cart and check out.

    Beginner’s Guide to Snowboarding – Three Part Video Series

    Halley O’Brien and Chris Rogers of Snow Operating and the AASI teamed up to create a three-part video series to show new snowboarders what to expect on their first day riding. Share these videos with your new-hire instructors, your beginner riders, or that friend or family member you’ve been begging to try snowboarding this season.

    The first video covers everything a new rider needs to know about gear, from how their boots should fit to their riding stance.


    The second video covers the basic movements of snowboarding, including skating, gliding, and standing up.


    The last video in the series introduces how to move up and down the mountain. You’ll find in tips on how to stop, slip, perform garlands, and how to use the chairlift.



    Snow will be flying soon, use this video series to set up our new riders for success!

    Big Bear Mountain Resorts is Hiring Snowsport Instructors


    Are you an enthusiastic, outgoing, people person who loves the mountains?  If so, Big Bear Mountain Resorts is looking for you to join our team of ski and snowboard instructors for the 2017-2018 winter season.  Enjoy the crisp, clean, sunny mountain air of Big Bear Lake.  Above 6,700’ in elevation, Big Bear is the place to ski and ride in Southern California.  Work alongside other outdoor enthusiasts.  Experience the joy and love of teaching others how to ski and snowboard.  Make some friends.  Have a lot of fun.  Earn some money and get multiple employee benefits, including free skiing and riding this season along with other discounts.

    We teach all levels and all ages of skiers and riders, from beginners to experts.  You need to have a love for people, for the mountains, and working outside.  If you can ski and ride on blue, groomed runs, we will take care of the rest.  There are multiple levels of involvement, starting with Holiday only employees, to Part-time, all the way up to Full-time.  Our busy times are weekends and holidays, which works great around school and other work schedules.  

    All applications are through our link below.  As of now, positions are open, and we are actively hiring.  Our typical season is from Thanksgiving through the first two weeks of April.  Expect as a first-year instructor to work from the beginning of December through the second weekend of April. 

    Apply online at https://www.mammothresorts.com/jobs/bear-mountain-and-snow-summit-jobs

    Joshua L Spoelstra
    Ski and Snowboard School
    Big Bear Mountain Resorts
    Tel. 909 866-5766, Ext. 193

    Be a kid again – go to camp!

    Lets face it – kids these days have so many options when it comes to snowboarding camps. From Woodward camps to High Cascade to developmental
    groms teams, there is definitely no shortage of opportunities for kids to go to a camp and get quality coaching on the hill and fun times at camp. Don’t you wish you had the opportunity as a kid – or even better, now as an adult who can appreciate the experience?


    Cue Snowboard camp 2017.

    AASI West and Mammoth Mountain are hosting one of the premier snowboarding events of the 2016/2017 season. Connect with like-minded, driven riders from around the country on Mammoth’s legendary freeride and freesytle terrain for a three day, camp style experience. Up your game in the park, push your freeriding to new levels, and shred with your fellow riders!


    Coach Lea Logal flies over a jump

    We are keeping it simple and have a package that includes; off hill events, parties, expert coaching, personal feedback, swag and awards for doing what we love. With on hill and off hill events lead by members of the AASI Team, our featured coaches include SethJohns, Chris Hargrave and Lea Logal. You will get top level coaching and training from some of the best snowboarding has to offer. Space is limited for this one of a kind experience! For additional information please contact Lea Logal by phone or email (530)318-8733leakathleen2017@gmail.com.
    Lodging-Book early to guarantee a spot at one of the Mammoth lodging options. Call 1(800) Mammoth (800) 626-6684. Use Booking ID # 22280, PSIA-AASI Spring Convention. Great deals on rooms at the Mammoth Mountain Inn and Lodge.
    Meet the coaches:

    Seth Johns

    My name is Seth Johns and I have been on the Western Tech Team, AASI National Demo Team and competed on various Freeride tours. I am working as the Overall Snowboard Lead Trainer in Aspen/Snowmass and examining in the Western Division.  My active sponsors are Burton Snowboards, Anon Optics, Hestra Gloves, Wend Wax, Species Nutrition, Snow Just Because.  Follow me on Instagram @sethsnowboards or Seth Johns on Facebook




    Lea Logal

    Lea Logal

    AASI-W Education Staff,
    Snowboard Coach Northstar Teams Program
    Snowboard Level 3 Certified, Alpine Level 1 Certified
    USASA 200 Coach
    Children’s Specialist
    Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice


    Chris Hargrave

    President, Windell’s Academy, Mt. Bachelor, OR

    AASI National Team member


    Ramp Up Your Park Game


    Alex Baker at the Northstar Freestyle session in March 2017

    Did you Know PSIA-AASI West holds Freestyle Session Events?  This is a 3 day focused freestyle training, you will have the opportunity to ride one of the best parks in North America with some of our best PSIA-AASI freestyle staff.

    One of Mammoth’s parks. Photo by Mammoth Mounatin

    Chris Ball Winds up for a 360

    What is a Freestyle session?

    A Freestyle Session is an education event and an exam all at once. While less structured than regular exams, attendees still have the opportunity to prove they meet the standards for PSIA-AASI Freestyle level 1, 2, or 3. It’s like an exam, but more “freestyle”, so to speak. When you sign up, you do not sign up for one specific level, but you attend and are given the level you deserve at the end. This way, if you do not have a level 1 but are  riding and teaching in the park at an advanced level, you may receive your level 2 or even 3. Likewise, if you are going with a level 2 as your end goal but do not meet all the standards, you can still walk away with a level 1.

    Who can attend?

    The group at Northstar Freestyle Sessison, March 2017

    If you have at least your Alpine or Snowboard level 1 and are a current member, you can attend. These events are for skiers and snowboarders of all park abilities. You are split into groups based on ability after the first day, so you will be able to ride with people who will push you within limits. So if you are working on your 720s and hit 50 footers with ease, no need to worry about being stuck in the first-timers park. If it is your first time in the park, don’t worry about having to hit the biggest features or being left behind. There’s something for everyone.

    Brian Norman, showing that the halfpipe is for skiers too

    What can I expect each day going into a freestyle session?

    Ronnie hitting a jump with style at Northstar

    All three days are technically part of the exam, but each day builds up to the final day when you will receive the results of what level you achieved. Not only will you work on teaching in the park, but you will have the opportunity to work on your own ability and pushing your own limits. The first day is more freeform, and you can expect to receive coaching on your own riding. Expect to explore all the parks and see what the resort has to offer and become comfortable with the parks there. Day 2 focuses a little more on coaching, and you can expect to receive and give a few pointers with your fellow attendees. Although you will still have some coaching from the PSIA-AASI tech team, day 3 is almost all coaching from your peers. You will be observed not only on your riding, but your ability to teach the group a certain skill in the park. What you teach depends on the level you are going for.

    Doug Fagel, one of the trainers, boosting out of the pipe








    Photos and writing by Hanalei Edbrooke



    Winter Sport Injury Prevention

    At our October “Professional Development Day” sponsored by  the PSIA-W Education Foundation, attendees received some great information on Injury Prevention for skiers provided by Barton Health. Michelle and Barton have generously provided this handout for those who could not make it . Enjoy and
    ski free! (Injury Freescreen-shot-2016-12-03-at-2-13-50-pm

    Courtney Carmichael, PT, DPT

    Michelle Appelle, PT, OCS

    the most common ski injury

    • ACL tear is the 2nd most common ski injury

    • ACL & MCL tears = 30% of skiing injuries

    • Age: 15-24 y.o. = most likely to injure knee

    • Decreased fitness >> more likely to be injure

    • Stretching = important for prevention

    • Adequate rest breaks & hydration

    • Hx of knee injuries = more likely to re-injure

    • Previous ACL injury = increased risk for Osteoarthritis later

    • Head injuries are increasing in incidence

    Injury Prevention: Equipment

    • Boots- Proper fit, wear and tear

    • Skis/Snowboards- Size, tuned properly for conditions

    • Bindings- DIN settings

    Injury Prevention: Mechanism of Injury

    • Most common mechanism of injury: non-contact:

    • Landing a jump in poor form: Weight back >> boot pushing on calf >> force through tibia tears ACL

    • “Phantom foot phenomenon”- Uphill arm back, skier off balance to the rear, hips below the knees, uphill ski unweighted, weight on inside edge of DH ski, upper body generally facing DH ski (If all 6 components are present at same time, injury to DH leg is imminent)

    • Ski catches awkwardly in the snow or carving of the ski twists the leg.

    • We can’t prevent contact related injury, we can only reduce the incidence of non-contact injuries.

    Correcting poor technique

    • Maintaining balance and control • Keep hips above knees • Keep arms forward

    Avoiding high risk behavior

    • Don’t fully straighten legs when you fall

    • Don’t get up until you’ve stopped sliding

    • Don’t land on your hand: break fall with uphill arm

    Head Injuries- A New Phenomena

    • 70% of skiers and snowboarders wearing helmetstripled (3x) since 2003

    • There has been no reduction in the # of snowsports-related fatalities or brain injuries in the country (NSAA)

    • Number of snow-sports-related head injuries among youths and adolescents increased 250 percent from 1996 to 2010.

    Concussion Signs- Observed

    • Can’t recall events prior to/after a hit or fall • Appears dazed or stunned • Forgets an instruction or unsure of the location, time, or other factors • Moves clumsily • Answers questions slowly • Loses consciousness (even briefly) • Mood, behavior, or personality changes

    Concussion Symptoms- Reported

    • Headache or “pressure” in head

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Balance problems, dizziness, double/blurry vision

    • Bothered by light or noise

    • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

    • Confusion, concentration or memory problems

    • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”

    Head Injuries- Action

    • Keep person with possible concussion out of activity the same day of the injury

    • Require clearance by a healthcare provider.

    • Don’t try to judge severity of the injury

    • Decision regarding return to work/school/sport- made by a healthcare provider only

    Helmet Safety

    • ASTM1 certified helmet- tested for safety

    • Clean with warm water and mild detergent

    • Don’t store helmet in a car or direct sunlight

    • Do not decorate your helmet- paint/stickers

    • Ski helmets are designed to withstand more than one very minor hit

    • A ski helmet MUST be replaced if it has been involved in a serious crash or is damaged

    ACL Tears in Females

    Non-contact ACL tears are up to 8x more common in female athletes. ACL tears are 3x greater in alpine female skiers. Risk factors for increased rate of ACL tears in females are:

    • Anatomical: wider hips, increased hip internal rotation, “knock-knees”, small ACL, small notch size

    • Hormonal: changes in laxity during menstrual cycle

    • Biomechanical: inefficient muscular control, improper mechanics during sport Understanding & preventing noncontact ACL injuries 2007

    ACL Injury Prevention Programs

    Decreased occurrence of ACL injuries by 60- 89%. The emphasis of programs has been on reducing high risk positions and training for proper technique. Common components are stretching, strengthening, balance, plyometrics and core stabilization. Access exercises from 2 popular programs online: http://smsmf.org/smsf-programs/pep-program http://sportsmetrics.org/


    Low blood sugar and dehydration lead to impaired reaction time, cognition and decision making increasing injury rates A 30 minutes training video with printed materials on nutrition and a balance program provided to ski-area staff was effective at reducing injuries in participating resorts by 65%. Injury rates at non-participating resorts increased by 34%. BioMed Res Int 2013 Nutrition: consume small, frequent meals.

    Biomechanics of Injury

    Ligament Dominance: knee collapses inward during sport because the athlete is relying on the ligament and joint structure to absorb forces instead of muscle control. To correct: train for proper technique Quadriceps Dominance: knee remains more extended (straight) because the athlete is over-active in their quadriceps and underutilizing their hamstrings. To correct: incorporate hamstring strengthening Leg Dominance: most of the weight is on one leg during ACL injuries. 20% decrease in strength in one limb leads to injury. To correct: train for asymmetries, incorporate single leg exercises Trunk Dominance: trunk tends to be tilted to the side during an ACL injury. Poor trunk control will lead to fall during skiing/snowboarding. To correct: train with core stabilization North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 2010

    Training Principles

    Training is most effective when resistance exercises are similar to the sport in which improvement to sought. Train by strengthening the same muscle groups used in skiing/snowboarding. Incorporate anaerobic exercise by utilizing interval training. These are short duration, high intensity exercises to mimic activity on hill. In order for training adaptions to occur, we have to exercise beyond a level that our bodies are normally accustomed to. This is why it is necessary to progress an exercise by increasing the sets, repetitions and/or resistance.

    Time of Day

    Most skiing and snowboarding injuries occur close to noon or at the end of the day. Injury rates increase when skiing/riding greater than 3 hours with a break. Rest and replenish your body during your break to reduce injury risk.

    Vermont Safety Research

    Serious knee sprains in the on-slope staff of 20 ski areas was reduced by 62% by with a video-based training video that utilized education on proper fall technique and avoiding high risk behavior Am J Sports Med 1995

    • Avoid high risk behavior: Don’t fully straighten your legs when you fall, don’t try to get up until you’ve stopped sliding, don’t land on your hand, don’t jump unless you know where/how to land

    • Routinely Correct Skiing Technique: Maintain balance and control, keep hips above knees, keep arms forward

    • Recognize Potentially Dangerous Situations: Uphill arm back, off-balance to the rear, hips below the knees, uphill ski unweighted, weight on inside edge of downhill ski tail, upper body generally facing downhill ski

    • Respond correctly to loss of control: Arms forward, feet together, hands over skis

    • Conditions: Be aware of changing snow conditions that can contribute to injury risk, wear proper goggles in low visibility

    • Equipment: Properly tune equipment at the beginning of the season

    • Responsibility Code: Share with others to improve safety on hill Lots of valuable information at: http://www.vermontskisafety.com/

    Summer Events

    Inline image 1
    Happy September 1st!  We hope summer has been amazing for you, but, like us, you are starting to have snow dreams.  PSIA-AASI West education staff is offering some events this month and October. Find out more about each event by clicking on the links!
    Skate well and ski better! This camp emphasizes the benefits of inline skating to enhance your fitness IQ, safety awareness, and specific skill development for Alpine skiing. This is the new Skate To Ski for all levels of skaters, including beginners and those who haven’t rolled in awhile. Demo gear and skates are provided by Rollerblade, or bring your own. Don’t forget your helmet!!

    September 23 – Mountain Biking, Northstar

    You will explore teaching concepts and content that you can directly apply to the trail and the slopes.  Participants will also learn valuable tips on summer cross-training programs to facilitate agility and flexibility. This event is open to all levels.  If new to mountain biking,  put yourself in the shoes of a beginner and learn something new; your riding and teaching will only improve!

    October 1 – Surfing, San Onofre Beach

    Join Artie Castro and Doug Fagel for the 2nd Annual Surf to Snow event at one of California’s best beaches! This one day education event helps to develop crossover skills that translate to improved skiing/snowboarding performance. Participants will learn valuable tips on using surfing as a crosstraining tool to strengthen agility and versatility on the slopes. This event is open to all disciplines and all ability levels; from first timers to advanced level surfers. The group will be camping Friday and Saturday night at nearby San Mateo Beach Campground.

    Plus, plan ahead for more Fall events
    Oct. 3 –Tenth annual Ed Foundation Golf Tournament, Dayton Valley
    Oct. 15-Professional Development Day, Lake Tahoe Community College,
    with keynote speaker Juris Vagners and more….

    Freestyle Sessions

    Are you a skier or rider that loves to lap the park? Or maybe someone that just has interest to catch their first air? Any member, no matter your level or discipline can attend the three-day Freestyle Sessions to improve your freestyle coaching skills. Attendees receive a Freestyle Safety Certificate. Additionally, attendees who meet the National Standards for Freestyle will be awarded their Freestyle Specialist based on their level of competencies during the event. Come out and “up your game” as a Freestyle Coach in the Western Division.

    Doug Fagel, interim Freestyle Chair