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.
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.
In 1998 I took a roadtrip with two good friends that launched a career in the snowsports industry. Because of that trip I started teaching snowboarding and joined the American Association of Snowboard Instructors 11 years ago. At the time I thought I’d teach for a year or two, but then something happened, and stumbled into my dream career.