Note: Alyn Nash was an active CASI Instructor and Evaluator based in British Columbia. Sadly, Alyn passed away on September 2, 2017. The following text was presented by CASI National Technical Coordinator, Jeff Chandler, at Alyn’s celebration of life held on September 14th at Big White Resort in British Columbia. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the British Columbia Evaluator of the Year award will be re-named the “Alyn Nash Memorial Award”. Alyn was the first individual to win this award when it was created in 2014.

My first memory of Alyn is from a Level 3 snowboard instructor exam that I was running at the time – somewhere around 2006. I didn’t know Alyn well yet, but had met him a time or two so I was at least familiar with some of his jokes. He always had a few of those…some good, some not so much. 

During this exam, the riders all had to ride down a groomed run fairly fast, carving, and it was up to me to assign the marks. It was a level 3 instructor exam so a high level test that required some performance. 

I was positioned at the bottom of the run and Alyn’s turn came to drop in. In usual Alyn-fashion, he went from zero to one hundred in no time, and was quickly moving very fast, and just hanging on…kind of how he loved to snowboard all the time!

As he got closer to me I could sense that he may have misjudged his speed and might be getting a bit out of control. At that moment he lost control and rocketed off the side of the run, straight into the trees!

It took me a second to realize what had happened, but eventually I think I probably put my little marking note pad away and started to think about whether to hike up the run and see if he was OK, or just call ski patrol, or try to do both at the same time. And then, just as I was starting to get concerned, a little head popped up from the trees, along with a cheeky grin, a laugh and a thumb’s up. He hauled himself out of the trees back onto the run and finished. 

I think we all know that Alyn loved to snowboard. He also really loved to teach others to snowboard. But Alyn was that special kind of instructor that didn’t just teach newbies how to snowboard – the technical points, etc. He taught them how to be a snowboarder. By that I mean his love and passion for the sport was so infectious that he turned new students into life-long riders. He did this for countless students, and eventually started to train and certify new snowboard instructors, bringing the same dedication that he brought to teaching beginners on the Magic Carpet. 

Alyn was also an extremely analytical guy, and the amount of thought, detail, and planning that went into his training programs is still unmatched. He truly had pride in this work. When CASI created an Evaluator of the Year Award, Alyn was the first winner in BC, and I like to think that he was very proud to see his name on that certificate. 

CASI as an organization would like to sincerely thank Alyn for his efforts as an instructor, Evaluator, and ambassador. The best way we can all honour his memory is to try to bring the same amount of enthusiasm and passion to our teaching that he brought to his. 

And outside of snowboarding, we would all do well to love our lives with the same generosity, positivity, and humility that Alyn did. He was a great friend to me, but also my kids, and the best dog-dad to our furry-kid, Lucy. We will all miss him greatly. 

RIP Alyn. “Let’s go snowboarding!”

Jeff Chandler
National Technical Coordinator