January 24, 2012 – Lakewood, Colo. – PSIA-AASI (the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors), a non-profit association representing 31,500 ski and snowboard instructors, has announced a pilot program in partnership with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national retailer providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, to offer joint introductory ski and snowboard classes in February.
The program entails a two-hour “Learn to Ski and Snowboard” class from REI Outdoor School instructors at REI stores in Washington’s Puget Sound area and Reading, Massachusetts, followed by a half-day introductory lesson from PSIA-AASI, conducted at Stevens Pass in Washington and Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts. The in-depth program includes instruction, rental equipment, lift ticket, and transportation.
“REI and PSIA-AASI have a unique opportunity to combine our outdoor expertise to help customers and members gain better confidence when venturing to the mountain,” said Ben Johns, REI snowsports merchandising management director. “These pilot programs will help us design a more comprehensive and positive learning experience for first-time skiers or snowboarders.”
“The organizations share common values and interest in the sustained growth of snowsports participation,” added Mark Dorsey, PSIA-AASI Executive Director and CEO. “We anticipate sharing the lessons learned with other retailers, manufacturers, and resorts to support the various learn-to-ski-andride initiatives happening throughout the industry.”
As REI and PSIA-AASI learn more about consumer preferences, this beginner-focused program is expected to expand to other markets in 2012-13. “We’re just beginning to learn what each of our organizations can bring to the table,” said Dorsey. “This is a first step in an emerging long-term relationship and there’s a lot of excitement about what REI and PSIA-AASI can achieve over the coming years.”
Participants, 18 years of age and older, can learn more or register for the “Learn to Ski or Snowboard” class online at www.rei.com/outdoorschool.
About PSIA and AASI
PSIA-AASI is an educational organization of the nonprofit American Snowsports Education Association (ASEA), with a combined membership of more than 31,500 men and women who are dedicated to promoting snowsports through instruction. The organization establishes certification standards for ski and snowboard instructors and develops education materials to be used as the core components of most ski and snowboard school training. PSIAAASI supports its membership through research and development of instructional programs in alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, adaptive skiing and riding, and children’s skiing and riding. Visit TheSnowPros.org for more information