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Ski Instructor Course Kicks Off…….

It’s been a great 1st day for our Hotham Academy Jump Start Participants with a light dusting of new snow and some fine improvements already.  Our June course participants took to the Summit chair to work on the 4 skiing skills and their own freeskiing throughout the day.  Stance, Rotary, Edging and Pressure Control was our guide to the day.  Understanding these concepts and how our body’s move to create them is the backbone to the Australian Ski Instructor system.  Our 4 ski instructor course candidates grasped the skills concept quickly and were making changes to their own skiing and analyzing others from the chairlift with ease.   6 more training days to the APSI Level 1 exam.  Good luck to all!

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Heavenly Season 2017

Hotham Academy Trainers Heidi Ettlinger and Richard Jameson live and reside in Lake Tahoe during the USA winter, which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Northern California. Being a ski instructor is a dream job most of the time, but ski instructing this year was a little different in Lake Tahoe. This season broke all records with a snowfall of 660 inches recorded so far at Heavenly Ski resort where Heidi and Richard live and play. That’s over 16 metres of snow in 1 winter! Check out some of these incredible photos taken from the slopes at Heavenly this season……

Heavenly Tower Pad
Heavenly Tables
Heavenly Chairlift
Heavenly Boyahs

The Heavenly staff had tons of powder skiing but also plenty of practice at snow shovelling this season!! Most day lodges that you normally walk upstairs to get in, had snow tunnels leading you down into them instead…..

There certainly was a lot of snow…… This graph was created in mid-March. And it’s still snowing outside at the end of April!! I guess mountain biking will not be happening this spring…..

Where there’s an epic season being recorded, it wasn’t surprising to see some of the Hotham Academy Crew drop in for some fresh tracks. It was great to put into practice all the technical training over the years and adapt them to some classic powder turns.

MP Pow
NP Pow


It’s all about the float!

Hopefully, we will see some deep snow in Hotham this winter. Here’s 5 quick tips to help you in the fluffy powder if we do.

  • Get out those Fat Skis
  • A closer stance
  • An even weighted platform
  • Going up and down
  • Skiing arc to arc


1. Get out those fat skis. 

A ski that’s at least 100mm in waist width is a good start to making the powder easier. A wider ski will help you float more on top of the powder, making the skis easier to turn. The Nordica enforcer was a ski of choice this season in the states and was voted one of ski magazines “ski of the year”.

2. A closer stance 

Especially if you find yourself on a narrower ski in the powder, try to keep your skis together as close as possible. One platform is better than 2 separate ones for floating in the deep snow. Try to make the 2 skis act as one and you will be able to turn them where ever you want to go. A good thought is to imagine there’s a tennis ball between your boots and you need to squeeze it so that you don’t drop the ball as you go down the run. This constant muscle tension or squeezing sensation will hold the platform together and stop the powder snow pulling your feet apart.


3. An even weighted platform 

Usually we teach people to stand 100% on their outside ski to maintain balance and get the edges to bite into the snow. However, in the powder this will make your outside ski sink and diverge away from your other ski (this is when bad things happen!). Try to weight your skis more 50/50 or even on both feet. Once again this more even weight distribution will help the skis act as one platform and keep you floating better on top of the soft snow.

4. Going up and down 

Aggressively extending through the transition of your turns by popping up will help your skis seek the surface (or even get out of the snow), making them easier to turn. You will look like your bouncing through the snow rather than bogging down in it! Once your speed increases and your skill level grows you can calm this motion down to a smoother transition from turn to turn


5. Skiing arc to arc

Making sure you are not on a run too steep, try to finish your turns less and ski more down the fall- line. The added speed and consistent pull down the mountain will again keep you more on top making the skis easier to direct where you want them to go.

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APSI App Filming – April 2017

APSI National Team Members Chris Allen and Richard Jameson got together this past weekend to film for the APSI app. The focus of the 3 days was to gain more video footage of exercises in the intermediate section as well as capture some still images to use for APSI Marketing projects.  Even some of the locals dropped in to say hi!

Chris Bump Line red 4
Bear Steering
Chris Allen Carving
RJ camera

The APSI App was originally started by the 2012-2016 National Team heading to Interski in Ushuia, Argentina.  The reigns have now been taken over by the current National Team with contributions from all of the alpine APSI trainers and Examiners.  Due to it’s web based platform it will continue to grow and update live as information and clips stream in from these various resources.  The main aim is to build better instructors by helping them connect information together and understand how and why different exercises, analogies and tactics will help there students.

Here’s a sneak peak at 2 of the exercises filmed over the weekend for basic parallel skiers:

You can find the App both on the Apple App Store and Google Play.


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Welcome to our New Website

It’s finally here!

We are excited to introduce you to our new website.  The content will continue to grow over the coming weeks leading up to the Aussie winter of 2017.  We now have the capability of changing, updating, adding and subtracting all of the content without having to contact a web developer every time. Phew….  Thank you to those who were patiently awaiting the dates of this years programs to switch over.  If there is anything you would like to see on the new site or particular articles on all things skiing and ski instructor related that you would like covered, feel free to drop us a line with suggestions.

We look forward to seeing everyone up in Hotham this season for another wonderful Australian Winter!


The Academy Team