SnowSkool [SS]: Who are you and which SnowSkool course did you attend?
Alex Heighington-Patti [AHP]: Alexander Heighington-Patti... New Zealand, Treble Cone - Level 1 and Level 2 Course
[SS]: What was your main attraction to SnowSkool?
[AHP]: At Mammoth Mountain where I know work in the Snowboard School, the motto is safety, fun, and learning. I did not know it at the time, but those three aspects of the snowboard training I received are what the Snowskool instructors ALWAYS emphasized as well. Now that I am better and safer snowboarder thanks to the training, having fun and learning come way more easily and naturally. Safety was always the primary concern.
[SS]: Safety first, we like that! What have you been up to since SnowSkool?
[AHP]: I spent the 2011/2012 northern season in Mammoth Lakes, CA working for their snow school as a full time employee. Moving to california was as life changing an experience as doing the SnowSkool program. Without having done SnowSkool, the desire to pursue a career in the snow sports industry and travel the world in doing so, would not exist. I am now on a mission to constantly progress as an instructor and as a rider as much as I can.
[SS]: Sounds great buddy! So, what's a typical SnowSkool day like in New Zealand?
[AHP]: Constant practice and constant feedback. A very well structured and enjoyable learning environment because the instructors put to use different teaching styles, learning styles, and modalities to have the learning take place far more quickly. Warm-up laps, an hour lunch break, and some freeride time before the mountain closes are also a part of a typical day so that we can refine what was learnt earlier in the day.
[SS]: And does the day end when the lifts stop running?
[AHP]: The day certainly does not end. There is training once or twice a week at night in preparation for the movement analysis and teaching an appropriate lesson aspects of the examination. Videos of skiers and snowboarders are shown and discussed so that identifying where in your own riding and in other people's as well improvements can be made. SnowSkool also provides communal dinners that strengthen friendships and allow bonding to take place. Then there is certainly the nightlife aspect of being in a true ski town. Where partying with a group of people who are there for the same reason you are, having fun and some excitement, becomes second nature.
[SS]: Could you sum up your snowskool experience in one word?
[SS]: Haha, nice. Any last words?
[AHP]: SnowSkool was my first experience away from home. I never felt more comfortable and in control of what I was doing or where I was going in life thanks to the amazing training and customer service they provide. Thank you very much!
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