Warren Smith, Ski Instructor (Bonus Episode #28)

Iain was joined by Warren Smith, eponymous founder of the Warren Smith Ski Academy, for this bonus episode of The Ski Podcast.


  • Warren learned to ski at the Hemel Hempstead dry ski slope, before it was recreated as The Snow Centre – an indoor snow slope
  • His first snow experience was on a school trip to Saalbach in Austria, when the coach broke down
  • Phil Gordon presents the ‘Legends of the Brand’ podcast (3:30)
  • Warren’s first qualification was as a UK dry slope instuctor (4:45)
  • He first taught on snow in Seefeld in Austria, before moving to Verbier in 1994 (5:00)
  • Joyce Read from Ski Verbier was an early mentor (6:00)
  • You can watch Blizzard of Aaaahs – the famous ‘extreme’ ski movie – on YouTube
  • Jamie Strachan designed top sheets for Volkl and brought Warren on the their team in winter 1998/99 (8:45)
  • Strachan also designed many of the legendary ChamJam posters (9:30)
  • Listen to Iain’s interview with GB Snowsports coach Pat Sharples in this bonus episode of The Ski Podcast (10:15)
  • Stu Brass and Spencer Claridge were behind the AIM Series of events and built the freestyle features for events like the London Ski Show and The Jump (11:00)
  • Iain launched Natives.co.uk in April 1999 (12:00)
  • Other early freestyle projects that Warren set up were the British Freestyle Camps and the Ride Series 
  • Pat talks about the impact of the Salomon 1080 on the freestyle scene in this interview, as does Jim Adlington (founder of Planks) in our bonus episode with him (14:00)
  • Paddy Graham came out of the Sheffield dry slope scene and is still producing award-winning movies with the ‘Legs of Steel’ crew (17:30)
  • Warren also produced movies such as the ‘Snow’s In The House’ series and ‘Snow Odyssey’ featuring a 16-year-old Candide Thovex (19:00)
  • Warren’s ‘Go Ski’ technique book and DVD is available online (25:00)
  • Rob Sawyer from the Farinet Bar in Verbier recommended Warren to England rugby player Laurence Dallaglio (28:00)
  • Other celebrities that Warren has skied with or instructed in Verbier include James Blunt, Princess Eugenie and Prince Harry (33:00)
  • Listen to Peter Hardy’s anecdotes about James Blunt in our special episode
  • Louis Smith, Spencer Matthews and Jason Robinson were among the quickest learners that Warren coached for the wintersports reality show ‘The Jump’ (35:00)
  • The Warren Smith Ski Academy now has a team of 15 instructors with key focus on biomechanics (39:00)
  • Find out about the Carv device here (45:00)
  • The Academy also offers ‘Gap Year’ Instructor Qualification courses, having changed from BASI to the Irish IASI qualification in 2013 (45:30)
  • The Warren Smith Ski Academy will be at the National Snow Show at the Birmingham NEC on 15/16 October 2022 (48:00)
  • Courses start in Cervinia from 06 November for five weeks, then on to Verbier. Warren will be leading a trip to Japan in February (50:00)

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