Title: FreeSki Coach
I began snowboarding back in 1979-80 just as snowboarding was starting to evolve, with lots of backcountry hiking back then. I started working for Burton Snowboards
in 1988. Since that time I have been involved with the start up of snowboarding programs for younger children in several schools. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to introduce countless numbers of the young and old to the sport of snowboarding with beginner lessons. This year marks season number five working with the RideMeister
group at SNSC.
Possibly it was a jump, maybe a Royal Christie. It could have been a left turn or right turn. Regardless, it was February of 1974 when I entered this world and gave my skiing Mom a few days off from her full time ski instructor’s job at Bromley Mountain. The passion and love of skiing has lived within my soul before day one even arrived. At 38 years old today, a husband and father of two wonderful children, this passion, enjoyment and desire to be on the mountain skiing is stronger than ever. While the freestyle era of the 70’s waxed and waned under my watchful eye, I grew up within the Seasonal Program at Bromley; talented skiers grouped by age and ability that used the whole mountain as our palate, not just the race course.
With guidance, instruction, and freedom to explore with the same peers each weekend of my youth, I gained a profound connection to the mountain and friends. During the mid and late eighties, it was impossible to deny the excitement and energy of this becoming sport called, snowboarding. With Burton in Manchester and their testing grounds at Bromley, the allure of Snowboarding was inevitable. Riding and playing the mountain with the likes of Ross Powers, fueled this energy even more. A deep love of skiing never left me, even during my high schools years at Vermont Academy, where I ski jumped and successfully lobbied for Snowboard Racing to be recognized as a Varsity sport. This recognition, and then winning the New England Prep School Ski Jumping Championships, was an exciting finale to my senior year of High School. Going to UVM was a natural choice, combining an education with great skiing. It was typical of family friends skiing at Stowe to casually mention to my folks that Teo was seen yet again on the hill, yet again another weekday.
Careful selection of Tuesday and Thursday classes allowed 100 plus days on the snow for four years, especially with Stowe’s new and empty night skiing paradise. Starting the day on 223 DH boards, stacked to the gods with derbyflex and riser plates for leverage, was the norm. Whether it was skiing the turns on Nosedive like it was the Hannenkham or endless 360’s going too fast for words still gives me goose bumps from those days. As an aspiring English and Art major, my now wife and I made the most responsible choice. We packed our cars and drove to Tahoe for two winters of big snow, big air, and big lines. It was paradise found, but the Vermont in my veins took us back “home” where I spent four years on Smugglers Notch Patrol, savoring early morning, late morning, midday, afternoon, late day, and closing runs. During this time it was exciting bringing the width of skis, unseen to Smugglers Notch, to the front and center of attention. Soon after it was a repeat with rockered and reverse cambered skis. Surfing in the wave of connections and knowledge from the emerging freeskiing scene of Tahoe and the West during the late nineties, it was liberating to push the limits of an Eastern mountain in a new way, on skis that allowed so much more than ever before.
A stint on the Freeskiing World Tour in 2000 was inevitable before building our house and “settling down” to raise our family. That winter of 2000, during my first IFSA competition I placed 6 th at Kirkwood’s Freeskiing National Championships, prequalifying immediately for the Crested Butte and Alaska Extremes. Knowing wonderful skiing and people exist at Smuggler’s Notch it was an easy decision to forgo the Tour and create a family here in Cambridge. With two skiing children under the age of six, it has been the best reward of life to watch them learn, grow and love this sport of skiing. It is going to be another new and great winter, especially being a coach with the SNSSC; I look forward to sharing all that I have learned to keep our kids passionate about exploring the mountain and discovering new levels of confidence in themselves and their skiing.