Snowboard Instructor Hall of Fame

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Snowboard Instructor Hall of Fame

Postby SteveH » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:35 pm

There seems to be a consensus that good instruction can make a huge difference in improving your skills. Many forum members have also commented that not even all good instructors are well suited for teaching grays on trays.

My idea in starting this thread is to provide a central location to list instructors that you have found competent or better in teaching older boarders so that the rest of us can locate good instruction.

Steve
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Postby SteveH » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:48 pm

I'll start by nominating my favorite instructor, Kathleen Clabby of Breckenridge Ski and Ride School. ((201) 401-6589).

I got Kathleen as my first instructor because my 11 year old daughter Kat, who was taking the lesson with me, requested a female instructor. In a serendipitous twist, Kathleen turned out to be an ideal teacher for an older rider as well.

Kathleen worked in the corporate world before deciding to follow her bliss to teach snowboarding for a while. She is comfortable communicating with adults and has a well thought out progression for bringing beginning riders along with a solid grounding in good technique.

Highly recommended for riders of all ages. In fact, if you are an intermediate rider and want to share the cost of a private lesson, let me know at nunjunk@hotmail.com

Steve
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Postby John » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:48 am

Excellent idea, Steve!

Anyone else?

I'd like to nominate one of my instructors, but it's been a while, and I ended up taking lessons from four different people when I was just starting out. So offhand, I'm not sure I spent enough time with any one person to make a judgment.
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Postby welshscarry » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:53 pm

At Beaver Creek, Colo.

Mellen Junkins-Ellis

She's from Ontario originally. She teaches full time, year round.
She goes to Mt. Buller, Australia every summer.

She's a Level III instructor (?).
All I know is a took lessons at 4 different Colo. resorts.
She was by far the most energetic, active. She gave pointed instruction to each individual in the group (as we progressed down the hill.)

NOT just telling the whole group the same thing over and over (to try to perform).

She doesn't know me from Adam (teaches hundreds if not thousands every year.) But I though she stood out from the pack.
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Postby alchook » Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:15 pm

My suggestions for Utah:

Park City: Martin Drayton

The Canyons: Hayden Lawn
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Rachel Sowers

Postby SteveH » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:06 am

I've come across another gem of an instructor at Breckenridge. Rachel Sowers is a top level certified snowboard instructor and a telemark instructor. She did a wonderful job with my kids and gave me some great pointers while I was riding with them. You'll also enjoy spending a day with her energy and enthusiasm.

Steve
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East coasters: Wachusett, Okemo insructors?

Postby DaveloMA » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:56 pm

Can anyone recommend an instructor at Wachusett Mountain in central MA, or Okemo in VT?

I'm tired of playing instructor roulette....

Thanks!
David
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Instructor at Wachusett

Postby debor_jim » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:58 pm

David, and anyone else interested, but I am an instructor at Wachusett. I am 48, and the oldest instructor on staff there (very proud of that). I started riding about five seasons ago, and it is a passion for me, I started instructing last season. I specialize in teaching older and young adults, beginners and intermediates. I can relate the special needs (and yes, fears) of adults, and I can usually spot and fix problems you might be having. If your riding is beyond my abilities, I will be happy to recommend a better, albeit younger rider/instructor on our staff.

Come in and let me help you. I am there most Saturdays and Sundays until 4, and Wednesday evenings, or IM me to set up an appointment. Ask for Jim, or the "Old Dude".
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Postby khirano » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:57 am

We had a great instructor at Brighton, Utah: Aldo Littig
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Postby SteveH » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:46 pm

I was at Breckenridge over Presidents Day weekend and took a couple of lessons, both because I have always gotten a lot out of the instruction and because cutting lines is essential on that crazy weekend.

My favorable experience with Breck instructors was borne out yet again. This is definitely the best riding school in Colorado, if not the country. The instructors immediately greet each new student at the meeting point, discuss his or her abilities and goals and direct them to the appropriate group.

One day presented a large group of high level riders with varied goals and skills. The school brought in an instructor from another location on the mountain to handle a group going to the big park (75 foot jumps), another for the midrange park and a third for freeriders on advanced terrain. When it turned out that two of the freeriders were in another zone (one guy started the first run with 6 feet of air into a mogul field with a very styly grab--he wasn't showing off, just sheer exuberance!) they brought in yet another instructor to take those guys to the insane steeps while the rest of us worked on more mortal terrain.

I rode mostly with Andrew Terhell from Australia. Although a twenty-something, Andrew is a very skilled and thoughtful teacher, finding a good mix of instruction and feedback with enough riding to put the new concepts into practice.

I also worked with John Standish, a very knowledgeable and interesting person. A true gray on tray, John is 70 years old, and has been on a board since they had ropes tied to the nose. His control is uncanny. He can do things on a board at walking speed that seem impossible. His theory is that if you have the balance right to do it at low speed, then it just gets easier with momentum. My riding improved significantly after a day with John.

If you are thinking about your next trip and good instruction is important to you, go to Breckenridge. The quality of instruction and sheer professionalism of the program is unmatched.

SteveH
Last edited by SteveH on Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Just discovered this site!!!

Postby Emdee406 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:26 am

alchook wrote:My suggestions for Utah:

Park City: Martin Drayton

The Canyons: Hayden Lawn


:oops: Thanks Alchook!

Martin.
22 seasons of teaching and still loving it!
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Postby John » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:54 pm

Martin,

Congratulations on the nomination, and thanks for dropping by.
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Postby John » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:38 pm

I came across the site SnowGurus.com. It's a clearinghouse, of sorts, of ski and snowboard instructors.

Instructors must apply to be listed, though I'm not sure what sort of credentials-checking the publishers of the site apply.

The site is based in the UK and is focused on Europe. There are, as of this date, three snowboard instructors from the U.S. in the database.

It looks like a new venture but one worth keeping an eye on.
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Postby shikshak » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:06 am

For women at Killington VT, here are two:

Christine Mattson, she may be available for private lessons, but mostly runs childrens programs at Pico. Specialty is parks.

JoJo Valente. She is excellent with Never-Evers and intermediate adults. Last season she was at Okemo. When I was starting out, she took me from harder greens to the steepest blues in one day-she knows K-ton so well that progressing on steepness was easy.
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Heather Wilson

Postby SteveH » Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:16 pm

I have the unlimited lesson package at Breckenridge so I've been taking lots of lessons. Heather Wilson often takes the upper level classes on Peak 8. Heather is extermely knowledgeable, is a wiz at movement analysis and a blast to ride with. Check her out if you are in Breck.
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