Hintertux 2013

Hintertux 2013 The 22nd year with World Class Summer Skiing!

What a great time to visit the glacier and to be there whilst the new Tuxerfernerhaus opens. The completely revamped base looks like it was flown in from outer space! The quality of the build and luxury of the restaurant area signifies Austria’s commitment to quality.The TFH now has a very comfortable bar area and a table service restaurant as well as the self service and pick nick areas. An escalator takes out the strain of walking up stairs,!
However, we were not there for the TFH, we were there for the skiing. The snow was in great condition and after a few falls of snow the glacier was topped up with fresh powder for us to ski.
mick-b on-slope
To add to the inspiration the worlds top ski racers were training in preparation for the forth coming Olympics. To see these power houses training and skiing the gates was awe inspiring. So powerful and agile in all conditions reminded us of just how good training and coaching can build top performance. So, by ensuring we practice the right movements we all improve. That was our aim over the two weeks in Hintertux.
Having Shona Tate from Parrallel Dreams and BASS Chamonix, added to the team this year gave the showcase a new dimension.   Shona with her inspiring teaching methods and dynamic skiing was truly an asset!  Thank you Shona and here’s to next year!
This year the main theme seemed to be the use of video feedback.  Shona and I took full advantage of the techie gizmos in the feedback. Easy filming and almost instant feedback with the cameras and ipads and tablets..where is the world going with all this technology? it’s amazing!
As the first week progressed, Mick…you know who you are! Got his latest camera prepared, the new gopro camera with wifi technology.. You can view what you are taking via your smart phone! mind you, it took us a day or so to work out how to operate it!
on-slope mick-ski
After skiing was as always, was ruled by the easy access and proximity of the Honenhaus…just too easy to slip in for an after ski beer…or 2,.. or 3 etc..Dancing away before dinner is the best way to go. It leaves the rest of the evening free to recover for the next day on the hill..! The quiz on the first week proved very educational, many thanks Tony B for illuminating us on the meaning of words otherwise lost in everyday language..
So, finally after returning to the UK and after a BASI meeting at the ski show last night I return to Devon, sitting here on the train looking out onto fields rather than mountains, it is sad to leave the amazing surroundings of the Tuxertal and the great snow. Never mind, I will be back on it again soon! The hotels are already booked for next year and the snow conditions have been reserved for you…. See you with us next year!

Crystal Ski-Fest 2013

Crystal Ski-Fest 2013!

the team

Another year older.. that seems to be the phrase of the week!  With so many Birthdays during our stay it makes sure you focus your mind ensuring you get the best out of your life..We certainly did with some fantastic skiing in amazing conditions.

The snow fall can only be described as phenomenal, some nights we had over 70 cm and waking up to this fresh powder makes you want to get in the stuff as soon as possible!

The ski-fest is a great opportunity for BASI to showcase British ski Instruction, introducing skiers to the fact that British ski schools are available around the Alps.  Look out for them, and ensure they are BASI qualified! BASI ensure that all qualified ski / snowboard teachers are excellent at customer service and will ensure you get the best from your skiing.

The guest list this year included Sir Steve Redgrave (Now BASI’s President!)  Ben Hunt Davis Olympian gold medallist and Alian Baxter, Britain’s most successful ski racer to date!

alain walking

Just looking back to the blog I published a year ago…take a look here…it shows just how much time flies!

This week was made possible by the hard work of Ian Davis, Tui product manager, and Gemma Brown who worked tirelessly on ensuring that the events went as smoothly as possible.


The Fest is aimed at skiers wishing to get more out of their skiing and the 5 day course included coaching from BASI trainers, Gareth Roberts, John Gardiner, Lynn Sharp and me. The racing was managed by Lynn who is a superb race trainer and coach. Lynn made all present feel that racing is in fact ‘for all’ as she ensured all levels of skier were catered for and were made welcome to participate. Lynn worked each day to set courses, arrange group race seeding, and coaching. Alain was an Inspiration to all who gave racing a go. He also was working tirelessly on course setting, course management and race coaching skills.

gareth star

DSUK Disability Snowsport UK were there and proved that skiing can truly be for all. Rachel Easton and Fiona Young represented the charity, giving it a high profile exposure to the ski fest participants.


Not forgetting Kevin….from Salomon! The event was supported by Salomon UK with a pool of test skis for everyone to try. Kev ensured that the Salomon tent was available as a meeting point and test centre. Carrying 30 plus skis every morning/evening for our benefit! Many thanks Kev!


So, here’s to another ski fest next year where we can all put those new skills into practice! Keep an eye out for the World Class Skiing news for more info on the 2014 ski fest news!

Now looking forward to the 22nd WORLD CLASS SKIING  2013 OCTOBER showcase in HINTERTUX, Austria…see you t   Regards,  Alex

One last thing…my ‘elite’ group….of ladies..made sure they coped with any terrain with a song…..’ONE TURN AT A TIME SWEET JESUS’ seemed to hit the spot! well done Fiona, Oonagh, Heather, Carmen and one who didnt need a song and just skied the lot..Jasmine!




Exciting news for the winter..!


World Class Skiing personal ski development weeks in Austria and Italy. Courses in Austria and Italy.  Also, coming soon, specialist weeks in France!

WORLD CLASS SKIING affiliate programme.

For winter season 2012/13 we have teamed up with two very well established ski operators. RED POINT and SKI2



12-19th January 2013
9-16th March 2013

Working with Red Point to provide your ‘in resort’ arrangements along with transfers etc. Training by I.S.T.D. BASI trainers. Perfect for ‘pre BASI ‘ courses to brush up on all important skills. Aimed at the person looking towards the LEVEL 2. You will ski the Ziller valley and many of the outstanding resorts which have some superb varied terrain. Of course, not forgetting the Hintertux glacier, only 30 minutes away. Working on skills such as ‘rotary’ drills and improving ‘flow’ by understanding pressure control! Not forgetting ‘carving’ and how to leave those 2 tracks in the snow! Red Point will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel where you all meet your trainer for the week and discuss your goals for the week. Accommodation is, as always, superb in Austria! For more details on the development courses see here..



24th January for 3 nights
28th February for 3 nights

World Class Skiing has teamed up with SKI2, a well established operator in the area. The affiliation gives us the opportunity to create a bespoke trip to include transfers, inclusive hotel accommodation and in resort travel and support. All you do is book your flight! SKI2 will pick you up from the airport and whizz you to your hotel where you will be met by Duncan Adamson, International Snowsport School director. Our associate ski course training provider.

The World Class Skiing course will be presented by Duncan, BASI Trainer and very experienced teacher. He will be looking at your skill base and develop your skiing around your goals. Check out the itinery here..
All bookings for the weekend breaks will be administered by SKI2.

So, if you would like a short break this winter then what better place to be for a few days than Champoluc!

All in all some very exciting news for the winter!
However, you can be skiing with World Class Skiing before then, why not join us in Hintertux on our 21st year with the ‘Classic’ showcase, as always it is a fantastic way to start off your ski season! Choose from either 20th October or 27th.

Hintertux is waiting for you……

Summer Skiing Workshops

World Class Skiing summer workshops


This summer has started off with a great workshop at Hemel Hempstead Snow centre. A full compliment ensured we got the best of the day and some good input from all who attended.

Focusing on understanding the importance of being centred and that from here good ski performance can flourish. After our foundation session on this aspect we quickly moved onto the three areas of how skis turn. Rotary, Pressure and edging skills were identified. After the day, WCS compiles a short action plan for each skier to log so that they are practicing the right things!

For many people, skiing has become a real focus; it not only embraces the physical fitness needs of us all but also the needs of our emotions. Skiing will give you that space inside. So, this is where attending day workshops and other ski teaching/coaching sessions gives your brain a release from everyday pressures. To try out new skills, or simply ensure you are practicing the right movements a ski workshop will ensure you are on the right track.

For our first of the summer workshops, Anna, Sam, Tony, Cathy, Sharon, Louise & Julie, we hope to see you again soon so that we can ensure the coaching sessions and the action plans are working!

Here’s looking forward to the next one in June!

Last private ski lesson and an old coffee grinder…….

Last Private lesson  and an old coffee grinder?
Easter ski teaching with New Generation Ski School in Vallandry.
Well, seen here is my last private lesson of the season, Diane, Hanna, James, Megan, me and David. Not forgetting Ali behind the camera!

What a glorious afternoon, this is why I enjoy ski teaching and being with happy people. We had a fantastic time on the Grand Col in Les Arcs. Ali certainly went for it, we discovered a few off piste areas to challenge everyone and put each other through their paces.  A simple strategy of making sure that everyone understood the basics of good ski performance and we were off! The snow was fun to ski in, deep and, almost light and fluffy.  Everyone in the group were very sound skiers with the ability to tackle most gradients and terrain. Ali enjoyed throwing himself down the slope with vigour and a real go for it attitude! James, 19, listened to all the information and adapted his skiing accordingly to start improving his technique. David, who was the instigator in getting the rest to join in on the session, was in the mood to be challenged! Well done David for your commitment and open mindedness to try the lot! Diane just did what it says on the tin! Exceptional performance and looked just great on the mountain, terrific Diane, a ski star in the making! And the girls, well, no slope or conditions were ever going to be a problem,   two very enthusiastic and capable skiers, both have the ability to become great performers!

What an end to the season, good snow, lovely people and ho yes, I almost forgot, a fantastic cup of coffee in Bourg St Maurice.

Carolyn Thomas, my host family with John, Lotti and Matilda, whilst I work in the area, took me to a remarkable coffee shop. I hesitate to call it a ‘coffee shop’ more of a coffee roasting factory! In the rear of the café was a very impressive looking machine, more akin to something you might find in Willy Wonkers chocolate factory!  It was a roasting machine, dating back to 1935! This is one of only 3 working machines in France. Listening intently to the machine operator and owner, (my French is pretty bad, even though I have worked in France skiing since 1978!) I gleaned, with lots of help from Lotti, that the heat needed to roast the coffee beans must be within 140 degf – 180 deg f in order to get the best results. I watched him for a while, he was constantly removing a few beans at a time to smell them, ensuring the coffee was at its best. He certainly knew his stuff. Did you know it takes 5 years from seedling to the first beans? Another interesting non-ski fact!

We ended up having a few cups in there, undoubtedly the best coffee I have ever tasted. Powder skiing, happy people and a great cup of coffee, what else do you need to end a season teaching?

Off to Hintertux tomorrow, it’s a long drive…..wonder if we will find another coffee shop like that one?








Thank you Carolyn, John and the girls for your hospitality this winter!  Alex

Crystal ski fest, Kev’s tool, and some ski racing with Sir Steve Redgrave!


Crystal ski fest, Kev’s tool, and some ski racing with Sir Steve Redgrave!

What a fantastic time in Sestriere last week with Crystal,  Sir Steve Redgrave, Ben Hunt Davies and a great bunch of skiers!

The ski fest week has been going for several years now and it is getting better each year! BASI became involved after Sir Steve Redgrave attended a level one BASI courses with me in Andorra a few years ago.  We thought that the Ski Fest would be an ideal opportunity for a showcase of British ski teachers and so BASI became involved.

Sir Steve is, as you can imagine, a very competitive racer! Committed to getting the best from his skiing, he is definitely not slow!

The week is aimed at all level of skier and encourages skiers to give ski racing a go. From a simple dual slalom course, a speed piste to a timed GS there was plenty for the group to ‘have a go at’. 5 representatives from BASI were present, Gareth Roberts, John Gardiner, Any Jeram, Steve Ricketts, (Recently published his fantastic novel, Exodus, Lords of destiny!) and myself, Alex Leaf!  To ensure the racing episodes were of the highest standard Lynn Sharp, I.S.T.D. and Jo Ryding both superb race coaches were there to set the courses and provide expert advice for getting the best performance through the gates.  The whole set up in Sestriere for providing race pistes and ensuring safety was paramount by the Sestriere piste patrol. They were exceptional. Sir Steve and Ben seen here just about to start their dual slalom, boating attire on a mountain? (wrong sport boys!)

Crystal holiday’s product director, Ian Davis ensured that the whole week went without a glitch along with Sarah Mcghee Gemma Brown and Giuseppe, Thanks guys.  They did, of course, ensure that the socialising during the day carried on each evening…well into the early hours! 😉 .should I thank you for that?!

To add an extra ‘buzz’ and a great service, Salomon GB was there with next year’s skis to test. Kev, the representative from Salomon ensured everyone tried them out.  Kevin was very proud of his new tool……;-) an amazing portable ski edge sharpening device! Quite some tool Kev! …………………………………….£2500 worth! Many thanks Kev for your support.

Gareth Roberts, Chairman, BASI seen here enjoying the sun, and giving results!

DSUK were also present they are supported by Crystal Ski.  DSUK provide all you need for adaptive skiing, from specialist equipment to highly qualified adaptive ski teachers. Rachel Easton and Fiona Young provided the expertise along with all their instructors for many people attending with disabilities. One evening was dedicated to DSUK for fund raising and to kick start the fund raising, each BASI trainer donated £200 to the fund, totalling £1000! Gareth in his ‘auctioneers mode’ set the scene and requested that if the trainers were prepared to dig deep, then can the collected crowd match the amount…they did,  almost 3 times over! The evening was a great success with almost £4000 being donated for DSUK!

Lastly, a big thank you to my two great groups, you are the ones which make these holidays memorable…see you next year!

What a great week, flash tools, high profile Olympians, great skis, great people and some fantastic skiing….can we top it next year? I’m sure we can!

Bodyworx Osteopathy. Skiing from your desk?

The following article is from Angus Wood I.S.T.D.  Ski Instructor and Osteopath.

Whilst working with Angus in Vallandry Les Arcs I realised that there are many people who could benefit from Angus and his expertise.
During the summer months World Class Skiing will be at several indoor snow centres and Angus can give you some specific recommendations for you at Chilfactore in Manchester odyworx in relation to the article below!



By Bodyworx Osteopathy, Angus Wood.

Posture is a major contributor to back problems and this is can be related to what you do for a living.  Sitting at a desk all day can create poor or weakened postural behaviour which becomes repetitive and then can progress to discomfort and pain.  Regular exercise can help especially palates or other posture awareness and strength building activities.

Skiing requires a lot of the musculoskeletal system. The joints are expected to move efficiently with the muscles working like a pulley system however if there is a weakness or restriction within the structure then movement becomes less efficient and discomfort can be felt.


In other words if you improve your flexibility of the postural  muscles and increase the range of movement available in the joints ( through basic mobilisation exercises) you will be more able to adapt your posture and stance  to terrain changes therefore expending less energy.

What about technique?  A good skier needs to be dynamic and balanced over their skis to perform the required movements effectively.  They need to be able to move, not be static and there needs to be a degree of symmetry to allow a successful outcome.   If you are balanced, perform the movements dynamically but find that one turn can occasionally be more of a problem than the other it can sometimes be that there is a lack of symmetry due to shortened muscles around the joint or that there is a restriction in the range of motion.  Common sites for this are the pelvis with pelvic torsion, the low back and the head of the hip.

A scenario of this is where the experienced skier is aware that one turn lacks the control of the other, it may be whilst on steeper terrain but it is evident to him or her that he has to try harder on that side.  It may be more aggressive, lack finesse or feel clumsy where the body may have to compensate for poor movement patterns.

The outcome is that the ski may break away and be unable to hold the turn shape as set.  The postural muscles become fatigued as they are compensating for poor movement patterns and the skier becomes tired earlier in the day.

The answer?

Start thinking about your body!  If you have had the boots fitted with orthotics and wedges then maybe you should consider further up the chain towards the pelvis and spine.   The problem with aligning the boots is it does not consider the rest of the body!

Preparation is everything:  consider what your job is asking you to do, 9 hours a day, 40 hrs plus per week?  Muscle has memory if you sit in one position for any length of time then the postural muscles adapt to this position and you need to do more than just squats and lunges for a ski holiday.

How effective is your posture?  Do you compensate when on skis due to tight and inefficient musculature?  Start a stretching programme to address these   imbalances.

If you have low back pain, acute or chronic get some professional advice.  Appropriate preseason treatment can help enhance your skiing enjoyment as well as your overall performance on the hill.

Angus Wood

‘Bodyworx Osteopathy’

BSc (Hons) Osteopathy


BASI Level 4/ ISTD

Angus wil be at the Chillfactore  snow centre on the World Class Skiing summer programme. Look out for the updates soon!

Ski teaching and recharging your senses.

Ski Teaching and recharging your senses!
My last episode of working with my colleagues in the  New Generation Ski School in Vallandry on the ski Paradiski area has been very enjoyable. Working with John Thomas, John Arnold, Ali Brown and Angus Wood. The skiing here is outstanding.
Perfect conditions and great people to share the magnificent mountains.
Seen here a group of people who had a smile on their faces from the start of the week to the end! It doesn’t have to be amazing action shots, snow flying, big air or high speed action to make a great ski experience, this is where skiing for all is at, enjoying great runs and simple turns, thank you folks for a fun week. You, are what this profession of ski teaching is all about.

Skiing not only has the function of making you feel good but it also seems to re engage your senses and recharge your batteries ready for dealing with what life may throw at you. The feeling of movement and the pleasure of creating arcs in the snow along with balancing all of nature’s forces seems to give people a real sense of achievement.

Perhaps it is the ability to slide and have the occasional ‘gravity defying’ sensation which makes us feel so good with this sport.

Amy, seen in the top picture second from left, is going through the BASI ski teaching system and as such she has been shadowing lessons this week to gain important hours ready for the next step. she was a great asset to me this week and helped develop some individuals in the group. The BASI ski teaching system in action…it works! Thanks Amy…

It is truly a pleasure teaching skiing, I think it must be that we enjoy the fact that we ‘give’ ourselves and the knowledge to people who are keen to learn. If you cannot give, then you will not make a ski teacher, that’s my philosophy! True, we are paid to do the job but the art of giving of oneself to assit others is vital to teaching and I’m sure I say that for the rest of the team here.

So my friends, I hope  to see you skiing again sometime soon. Just make sure you get out on the mountains and re charge those senses!

Salomon ENDURO XT800 skis review

Salomon ENDURO XT800 skis review


After a great day on these skis which I enjoyed tremendously my conclusion is that the Salomon Enduro XT800 skis are a real all mountain ski.
Good fun on the piste with superb grip, this may be less positive the faster you go and the more you demand from the ski. However, these are for use off piste also so as the old saying goes, horses for courses! But if you want a tool which ticks the boxes for all conditions then the Enduro XT800 are the skis for you.

The wood core coupled with the TI laminate give the skis a very lively feel. The new rocker technology coming into skis now gives the user a positive, adaptable performance which does not have any ‘glitches’ you might find from more conventional side cut, cambered skis.

The separate graphics on each ski make the Salomon Enduro  quite ‘quirky’!

I have been enjoying these skis in some superb conditions. Worth a try if you are in the market for an all mountain ski.

The Salomon Enduro XT comes in either the 800 or 850. There are several other models in the Enduro range so take a look and discover for yourself the skis best suited to you.


Go on try a pair! You will not be disappointed!


Salomon 24Hr skis


The Salomon 24hr TI 2 skis.

A superb pair of skis for piste work and they have tremendous grip. Not a race ski but on its way there! They have a well balanced feel and as they are wood core are very lively and responsive.

The TI 2 model here I have found to be great on short radius turns, however, are equally at home if you feel the need for some extra speed on long radius. The 162 cm skis I have give a turn radius of 13 metres which is ideal for general use.

If you are a more advanced skier and are out from dawn to dusk on the piste then these fit the bill exactly due to the powerline active dampening system.  They are forgiving yet when you need the performance they are there ready to respond.

  • Wood core construction
  • 162 cm length=13m radius
  • Powerline active dampening system

They are called ‘24hour’  and I recon you could ski them for 24hrs nonstop and still feel good!





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