Pro File: Chris Caruso
Welcome to the Vail Ski & Snowboard School Pro File! This is a new web feature where Vail instructors step into the spotlight to tell you a little bit about themselves, share some of their experience, and provide tricks, tips, and advice on advancing your career and teaching better lessons.
Enjoy getting to know your colleagues, and fill out this questionnaire to share YOUR story in a future Pro File.
Your Skiing & Snowboarding Background
How long have you been sliding on snow? Sliding for 23 years
How long have you been instructing? 10 seasons
Where did you learn to ski/snowboard? Ski Ward, MA. I took 6 after-school lessons
Describe your first ski or snowboard setup: Dynstar straight skis with some rear entry boots
What equipment are your skiing/riding on now? I Rep for Rossignol! Setup is Rossignol Hero Master GS Ski and Hero World Cup Si 130 Boots
What’s the one ski or snowboard accessory you can’t live without? Leatherman and a diamond stone
What is your best skiing/snowboarding memory? My first ski trip out to the Rockies. Let’s just say my Dad and I spent our fair share of digging and searching for lost skis. Totally worth it!
Favorite Run at Vail: The Slot
Favorite place to ski/ride other than Vail? Crested Butte, CO
What’s your favorite ski or snowboard movie? Aspen Extreme
What do you do in the off-season? Road and Mountain Biking
Your Advice to Others
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? Take a lesson and be prepared to be hooked for life. It’s the best way to spend the winter months in great outdoors.
Why do you love working at Vail? I get to live and work in my backyard and the people I work with are the best!
What inspired you to become an instructor? I love teaching and sharing my passion for sliding on snow. Whether it was my time as a Kindergarten Teacher or as a College TA, I’ve always enjoyed teaching.
What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as an instructor? Invest in yourself and your equipment…It makes all the difference. And don’t be afraid to seek out knowledge from those who have been instructing for a while…We love helping and love to share what we’ve learned along the way.
What advice do you have for someone going for a new certification? Prepare, prepare, and prepare. Make sure you feel confident with all your skills as you never know how the weather, a potentially different mountain, or your nerves will affect you.
Describe a favorite learning moment: I’d have to say my favorite moment was with the Vail Veterans Ski Program. I was paired with a soldier in a sit ski and taking him down his first mogul run was outrageously rewarding. He was so stoked!
What is it about your teaching style that stands out? My enthusiasm! When I’m teaching I get excited, talk with my hands, and smile… a Lot. Smiling is infectious.
What tricks do you use for teaching beginners that you wished other instructors knew and used? I use anything and everything at my disposal, including props. Whether it’s a glove, pole, or even liquid drink mix. By using props you can help your students visualize
What are your skiing/riding, teaching, or training goals for the season? To continue to progress as an Examiner within PSIA and to step up my freestyle skiing game.
If you could leave behind a legacy in the snowsports industry, what would it be? Inspiring instructors to not only to inspire the everyday guest to continue with skiing, but to inspire the next generation of ski instructors. It’s the duty of all ski instructors to seek out and mentor the next generation of instructors. I’d want to make sure I set the wheel in motion to keep the “Pay It Forward” mentality going within the industry.
“Don’t think about the last turn…think about the turn that’s coming next.”