I used to be a professional ski jumper on the Slovenian national team for over 10 years and took part in the World Cup series for 8 years. I practically grew up on snow and skis or snowboards, and started with ski jumps at age 6. Natural interest then translated into an early sports career and later on my professional life. Even living in New York, I still manage to get at least a 100 days per season on the slopes to maintain my standard of the past 40+ years.
As I retired from professional ski jumping, I focused primarily on backcountry skiing and snowboarding; for both of those, I hold trainer level 3+ ISIA certificates since 2004 and AIARE - Avalanche Certifications.
As a “Big Mountain Guide” I’ve done countless trips on peaks like Valdez the Chugach Mountains Alaska Heliskiing, 6 years of guiding Mont Blanc (The Aiguille du Midi), Chopicalqui summit (20,846 ft), K2, the highest peaks in Austria, Italian Dolomites, Kamchatka, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Hakuba Japan, BC Canada, Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley, Colorado & Utah, and the Slovenian Alps, of course. After teaching children how to snowboard and ski worldwide, I started ProSkiSchool, my own professional ski academy in Slovenia in 2007.
Together with one of the most experienced coaches in Slovenia at the time, Mr. Vanja Matijevec, we developed a learning program whose methods are now being implemented all around Europe, Japan, and resorts in Colorado, Utah, and Lake Tahoe. The methodology revolves around 5 simple steps to master skis or snowboards. Vanja Matijevec was the Head Alpine Ski Coach for national teams of Austria, Slovenia, and Japan for about four decades and has completed six Himalaya expeditions, the first one back in 1980. We completed a Himalayan Tibet/Nepal border expedition together back in 2006; it was 12 days long, where he was skiing, and I was snowboarding down from Shishapangma central summit (26,289 ft).
ProSkiSchool ignited the idea of approaching teaching skiing and snowboarding more holistically and focusing on the wider benefits and joys that skiing and snowboarding have to offer. Not just basic steps of how to ride down a groomed ski slope, but also how to enjoy the lifestyle that we have been living ourselves and become a good skier, with the “Respect-the-mountain-first” philosophy. These are all the things that are incorporated into the daily routines of NBW activities.
Skiing and snowboarding have always been important in my life, and you might ask yourself, how did I get to mountain biking? I always needed a reason to hike to the top of the mountain; I can hike and climb for days to ski or snowboard down. So it came quite naturally to opt for biking downhill in the summer months.
As I started to switch ski or snowboard for a mountain bike during the summers, I completed the level 3 certificate for guide/trainer instructor in Europe and added the globally most recognized certificate in Whistler, Canada called PMBI (professional mountain bike instructor) in 2016. I will be the primary coach on the slopes, but to guarantee the safety and a perfect setup on snow days, I will have local experts to help me. Most of them became my friends sitting talking in the lineup when we were waiting for the waves:) on the cold water surfing days.
Here you can find more about my career experiences.