Xavier Pregonas: “Catalonia has a very good team of ski demonstrators”
Every ski resort has instructors who provide help to skiers to improve their level of expertise by the hour or through part-time courses. The question is: Who teaches the instructors? Someone like Xavier Pregonas, called a ski demonstrator.
What does a ski demonstrator do?
We train and teach those who want to become ski instructors. We provide the technical foundation.
What should you do to become a ski demonstrator?
You have to be an experienced skier and be familiar with the technical aspects of skiing. The point is that as a ski demonstrator, as the term implies, you will have to demonstrate in a very visual manner all aspects of skiing to the wannabe instructor. But before, you have to go through all the steps set in the world of ski: trainer of first, second and third level. After that, you only need a bit of practice and vocation to teach.
Every four years there is a convention that reunites ski demonstrators. It is called Interski. What is it exactly?
It’s organized by the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association), which is the international body of instructors and coaches. Every four years, as you say, sends out a call to teams of ski demonstrators of each country to put on a show during a week. The gathering takes place in different ski resorts throughout Europe, and even in other continents, places like Japan, Russia and America, with the idea to exchange ideas and provide new techniques and solutions within the world of teaching.
Xavier Pregonas skiing.
Have you participated in any?
Yes, I participated in one when I was part of the Spanish team of ski demonstrators. Currently the team of ski demonstrators is part of the Escuela Española de Esquí (Spanish Ski School). But there isn’t an official team put together by the National Sports Council, which is who should do so, despite the fact that the job of a ski demonstrator has been regularized and approved.
The level at those Interski gatherings must be very high…
Yes, but it’s not about showmanship but about technical expertise instead. The technical aspects of your performance must be perfect.
Can a skier hire a one-hour session with a ski demonstrator?
You can, because this ski demonstrator might be working as an instructor for a particular school and not as a ski demonstrator. I mean you are ski demonstrator when you teach future ski instructors. But otherwise, in your everyday working life, you can work as a ski instructor. The occasional skier does not need a ski demonstrator, to learn. With a ski instructor is enough.
Is the level of ski demonstrators in Catalonia very high?
We do indeed have a good team selected by the Catalan Federation of winter sports. Most of us have come out of the Escuela Epañola de Esquí. Make no mistake, we’ve been part of the ski world many years, and we are a result of the old ways. Nowadays through the regularization of the qualification process done through the Ministry of Education, the Catalan Federation is now empowered to train ski demonstrators. Here in Catalonia we do have our own team currently working at preparing ski instructors.