Winter will be back before you know it, but in the meantime check out the various ways the CASI National Technical Team spends the summer months…we asked the team how they get through until the next winter season.

Simon Holden


“The summer months are in important time to stay/get prepped for snowboarding in the winter and there are many great ways to do that but what do you do to keep your teaching sharp? This summer has seen me travelling around North America running Level 1 courses for the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association (PMBIA) and working on my own riding and teaching in that realm. Teaching another sport in a different environment has been an amazing challenge that has me drawing on my many years of experience on the snow side of things and learning new approaches that I will be able to take back to the snow this season. Challenging my teaching with a different sport and different environment has been an excellent way to keep my teaching brain engaged through the summer months. I’ve also found it very beneficial to put myself back in the role of student as I aim to up my certification with PMBIA. As we reach higher levels with snowboarding we are sometimes removed from our experiences as beginners so trying a new sport or a new challenge within your sport is a great reminder of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of instruction. There are many great instructors out there in all sports so you’ll likely learn something from the way they teach and be a little humbled again as a learner which will help you better empathize with your students this winter. Summer is a great time to keep your body AND mind sharp for the season ahead.”

Jamie Forbes

jamie“As the snow got slushy and the temps were rising towards the end of April, my thoughts were moving towards dreaming of snow in the Southern Hemisphere. In June, I started work in Mount Hotham in Australia for the winter season. It’s a different kind of season from what I do in Canada and they do say a change is as good as a rest. There are lots of hours teaching pretty much back-to-back and the work is seven days a week. It’s a far different season for me as it’s almost all teaching the public and some coaching, rather than training staff at Big White Resort and conducting CASI courses, so it’s great to see how CASI methodology works in different terrain and conditions to what we get at home. I have been fortunate enough to shadow an APSI course and see their differences in technique and approach when in these conditions. And now I’m starting to think of home and the snow, people, lines, (and my dog) that I’m going to see this season in Canada.”

Yukiko Kawada

yukiRecharge is my keyword for summer. Just like everyone living in a ski resort, winter is always fast paced, busy, intense… Summer is chilled! Living in Whistler, we always stay active, as there are so many things we can do here in summer more than winter. Many people don’t know, but summer in Whistler is awesome! Besides my regular fitness routines, hiking and biking are my main two activities for summer. I take advantage of what the Whistler area can offer. Many scenic hiking trails we can access are close at hand. I use my bike to commute, and go cross-country mountain biking quite often, there are many bike trails right at my back yard! Staying close to this beautiful nature gives me an energy refill. And I read a lot in summer, this is another way to re-charge, refill, and stimulate my brain. “


Adam Gardner

adam“I used to try my hardest in my summers to create a link between snowboarding / teaching. Coaching other sports or travelling to the southern hemisphere was fun, but it’s an easy way to burn out. Nowadays, my main goal is to have hobbies that are totally different from winter life – a break is healthy! This allows me to start fresh and gets me extra stoked to ride and teach as soon as winter hits. I spend a lot of my free time rebuilding old vehicles. Its a huge mental challenge (and can actually be great for core strength).”


 Breen Trott

breen“The summer is a busy time for me. I work as a raft guide on the Ottawa River. Five days of the week I am ‘pushing rubber’. On my weekends I spend time with the family and try to go kayaking and mountain biking as much as I can. All of these activities are great workouts; kayaking is great for the core muscles, biking is a great leg workout and raft guiding keeps one fit in general. Being fit throughout the summer is an important part of progressing as a snowboarder. I don’t find it hard to stay active in the summer time, as I am sure many of you do not. For me the tricky part is to be involved in all of my favorite activities without damaging my body. Working as a raft guide is very hard on the body, and this summer I had a shoulder injury caused by repetitive strain. It was hard to take time of work, due to our short season but I managed to get days off. This time off made me once again realize how important our bodies are to be able to do the work we do. It is important to remember, as I have been reminded numerous times, that when we do injure ourselves we need to give our body time to heal. If not, we may wake up one day and realize we might not be able to do the job that we so love.”

Mellen Gorman


 “Along with my snowboard I’ve always travelled with a pair of running shoes for fitness. Most days when I’m on snow I’ve already been out for at least a few KM in the morning. I find it helps me to loosen up and activate for a day on the slopes. For that extra motivation to run dark winter mornings no matter where I am, I sign up for a spring running race, and have a personal best marathon under 3½ hours. A few years ago, the same cousin who introduced me to snowboarding in the 1990’s also got me into triathlon: since I was already running and road biking. Improving my swim has increased my empathy for more skilled students as we teach technique refinement and break bad habits — particularly the importance of ongoing positive feedback to reinforce new movement patterns, that while more efficient, definitely feel different… but not better (yet!). This summer I’ve been enjoying racing at the half-Ironman distance, winning my division at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, 2nd in my division at Ironman 70.3 Whistler and qualifying for World Championships. I’ve chosen races this summer at ski resorts that I’ve only ever been to in winter, and it is giving me a new respect for how steep, challenging — and also breathtakingly beautiful our mountain homes and workplaces can be to newcomers to our sport.”

John Smits


 “In the off season away from the slopes I try to stay busy and enjoy all the opportunities that summer offers. Mountain biking fills up most of my schedule as I coach full time with a local bike club through the spring and summer months. On top of coaching I try to get out on three rides a week to enjoy the trails with friends and let loose a bit without 8 kids following me. Mountain biking helps me build fitness while also working on line selection, reaction time which will have a direct cross-over to helping me snowboard. This past spring I also started training 3 times a week at the local crossfit gym. Training at the gym provides a constant challenge with a variety of exercises and new skills to keep me learning.”


Luc Belanger


“How do I keep my skills sharp in the off season? My main activity is mountain biking; a very similar open skill sport as snowboarding. I’m fortunate enough to work in this industry in the summer months as I manage the summer programs at my home resort of Blue Mountain, in Ontario. That gives me the opportunity to ride my bike almost everyday…perks of the job! I find many similarities between bikes and boards: position and balance, angulation, rotation, pressure control, etc. The principles are really the same in gravity fed sports – resisting the forces building from speed, turns, and terrain. The main difference is that biking is actually symmetrical as opposed to snowboarding where we stand sideways. Navigating a tight single-track trail going 30km/hour is really a great way to stay sharp and keep the “reactionary” skills on point as we approach the winter months. The fitness aspect is also excellent compliment to the muscles we use in snowboarding; the lower body really gets a good workout, especially when climbing albeit not as “fun” as ripping back down. As if I did not get enough teaching time in the winter I also facilitate MTB certification courses for PMBIA; which really helps keep the teaching skills on point as well!”

Jeff Chandler

jeff“My summer season is spent improving overall general fitness and strength levels in the gym, as well as enjoying alternate summer sports. Snowboarding is an asymmetrical sport, and inevitably, each spring I come out of the winter season with some noticeable aches and pains that come with standing sideways for six months of the year. Re-setting the symmetry in the body is a big focus. I also spend a lot of hours on the water here in the Okanagan Valley, training for SUP and outrigger canoe paddle races. These races vary in duration from 30 minutes up to 3 hours, and in flatwater to some really fun windy / wavy conditions. I find SUP is particularly helpful on the balance side of things, as it’s a board sport that keeps my balance in check.”