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Every time I’m at lineup, a PSIA-E event, or the morning clinics at my mountain I look around and rarely see anyone around my own age, 24, the majority are considerably older. There are a few college kids at our mountain but they work nights and they are too busy with school to work on their teaching and skiing, which I can totally understand.

So if I hang out with someone my own age it ends up being snowboard instructors, much to the damage of my reputation and my mother’s horror that I am crossing over to the dark side. I have to reassure her that I’m “just visiting” and I won’t bring anyone of them home.

I don’t teach full-time but I arrange my work schedule so that I get three days a week on the hill. I am incredibly grateful for the flexibility my work allows me.

Not that I’m complaining about our instructors, I really love the people who work at my mountain. We are all a bunch of big kids and have a good time. It’s adorable when they parent me, even though it’s not necessary.

My concern is how the age gap will affect the profession in the future, who will be there to help our sport grow or maintain standards?

PSIA did not help by adding first tracks upping the minimum cost for a level 1 to $240 (in the east) without travel costs or time off from work. They tell me there are student membership rates but, I must have missed the memo so I always paid the full dues. What also doesn’t help is always giving younger instructors the tough classes, or all children’s lessons, because “they’re young, they have energy.”

For me, it has been incredibly helpful to have mentors at the mountain to give me advice or encourage me to attend events and go for the next level of certification. They are also starting to realize that I can teach more than kids or beginners.

What do you all think? I am just imagining this or is it a real problem? And if it is, what steps can be taken?