With Burton’s big reveal of the Step On, snowboarding’s worst kept secret of the last year is finally official – the step in binding is back.
For the last few decades, many of us have been deriding step-ins. They were heavy, clunky, unreliable, poor performing, pieces of junk that were just as likely to accidentally release as they were to ice up and refuse to attach. Similar to binding “advancements” that swivel the front binding, add levered brakes, or automatically close the ankle straps, step-ins were just another great intentioned, but overly complicated invention. As a result, they were unable to compete with the simplicity, weight, and reliability of traditional straps.
Despite the disdain mainstream snowboarding threw at them, step-ins found a niche of die-hard followers that put new liners in their beat up old boots, search for replacement binding parts online, seek out gear at garage sales, and post in forums about their love for step-ins.
PSIA-AASI is running an interview series called “Meet the Team.” Each segment features one team member, so you can learn a bit more about us.
Can you tell the members a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, where long winters make for a natural introduction to snowsports. My parents say I learned to ski before learning to walk. After graduating from high school, two buddies and I bought an RV and spent three months riding at more than 30 ski areas in Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Colorado. That trip launched me into a career in snowsports, first in journalism, then in snowboard education. I live in EagleVail, and manage ski and snowboard school training at Vail Mountain.
Summers in Colorado are amazing, and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to sit down and actually write about them. My most recent adventure was backpacking in the James Peak Wilderness.
A relatively quick drive up to the Moffat tunnel and then a 5 mile hike gets you to Crater Lake (one of many in the area – a good thing to know if coordinating a trip with others) and Mirror Lake. While this area can get crowded, there were only a few other overnight campers during this trip. Read more “Backpacking in the James Peak Wilderness”
In the few short years since GoPro took over the Mountain Games at Vail, it’s transformed into one of my favorite events hosted in the Vail valley.
While we host all kinds of winter events in Vail, and the Burton US Open is one of the highlights of the year, the GoPro games manage to pull together a large and diverse group of athletes and fans that wouldn’t congregate in one place except for an event this big and eclectic. Honestly, the best part of this event isn’t any specific discipline (although SUP Cross was amazing to watch and I plan on entering next year), but the energy and excitement of the crowd and the collection of people.
Super excited about this news from PSIA-AASI. For those that don’t know him, Nick is a phenomenal skier, inspiring leader, and all around great guy. Nick has been a huge part of Logan Academy, one of the big events we host at Vail, and for the last few years he’s taken the hard charging heavy hitter ski group (which usually ends up hucking off Lovers’ Leap). So rad to have a skier of this caliber taking the reins of the organization, and I think we should all be stoked for the direction he’ll lead.
Nicholas Herrin, a snowsports-industry leader with senior management experience in resort management and snowsports education, will join the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) as its new chief executive officer on July 18, 2016. Currently based in Gunnison, Colorado, Herrin most recently served as the assistant general manager for Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. He also served three terms (2004-16) as a member of the PSIA Alpine Team.
I am honored to be selected as a member of the 2016 PSIA-AASI Snowboard Team and to represent AASI for the next four years alongside an incredible team of inspirational educators and athletes.
In the fall of 2004 I moved to Steamboat Springs, planning to spend a winter there between college and “real life.” That all changed because of a conversation at Mahogany Ridge where Scott Anfang convinced me to teach snowboarding for “a season.”
I’m passionate about our organization and the power of the Teams to inspire, influence, and change lives because it happened to me. Standing at the front of the room last night with my new teammates, I couldn’t help but be excited about the incredible opportunity we all have to create that same life change for the next generation of educators.
While I credit Scott with starting me down this path, the saying “It takes a village” has never been more true. In that first season in Steamboat I had a few outstanding trainers who inspired me to make snowboard instruction a career instead of just a job. Through the years that list has expanded dramatically, and I owe so many thanks to the many, many people who’ve I’ve had the opportunity to train with and learn from.
So, to everyone who trained me and trained with me, to all of the amazing people who helped make this a career, to the guests who made teaching snowboarding so fun, to my peers who have been an endless source of encouragement, and to my friends and family who put up with me always talking about snowboarding: Thank You!
After a grueling four-day competition and selection process held April 17 – April 21 at Breckenridge, Colorado, the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) is pleased to announce the names of the PSIA-AASI members selected from 81 total candidates to serve on the 2016-20 PSIA-AASI team.
These 81 snowsports instructors, some of the best instructors in the United States, converged upon the slopes of Breckenridge for the selection process and contended throughout the event with variable and challenging conditions. The selection process began on Monday for alpine and snowboard disciplines and on Tuesday for the nordic and adaptive disciplines.