Johnny: The swings of a Tyrolean, the coolness of an Aussie

"I couldn't wait to get people hooked on skiing!"

What do you get when you combine the looseness of an Australian with the swagger of a Tyrolean? When the Australian open-mindedness meets the Tyrolean smirk; the casual "mate" mentality of the Aussies mixes with the reliability of the Austrians? The answer is: the result is a really good ski instructor. Fortunately, we also have one of this kind in our ski instructor range at element3: our half-Aussian half-Tyrolean Johnny (aka Shevy/ aka John). The 19-year-old is on fire for skiing: "I couldn't wait to get people hooked on skiing!" he tells us, talking about his very first guest. "I had the great fortune to grow up here in Kirchberg or Kitzbühel, as a result of which countless days after school, in the school holidays, after work or on holiday were dominated by skiing. I want to pass on my passion to as many people as possible." Convince yourself of the likeable local and find out in the interview what lies behind Johnny's skier's motto "Never skip leg day". 

You are half Australian, half Austrian - which characteristics in you are more typically Australian, which are typically Austrian?

The fact that I abbreviate almost every word, making it almost impossible for some to understand me, is quite Australian, as is the attitude that everyone is my "mate".

Typically Austrian: speaking in dialect, even though my counterpart doesn't understand any dialect. "A Jausn at 9e! That's the way it has to be!

What some people don't know is that Australia also has some good ski resorts. Have you ever skied there or would you like to work there for a season? 

Yes, it was brilliant! Back then I was in Perisher and Thredbo - two really nice ski resorts, but I liked Thredbo better. Yes I could imagine working there for 2/3 weeks, but not the whole season, because I would miss the good mountain food in Kitz too much!!!!

How long have you been working for element3?

I have been working at element3 since 2016, so this is now my fourth season and certainly not my last.

Can you remember the very first guest you taught? 

Yes, my first guest was a young girl (about 10 years old). The girl's parents had booked me for 3 days of private lessons. I wasn't really nervous, much more I couldn't wait to get someone addicted to skiing. In the following days, we both had so much fun together that she said she didn't want any other instructor but me. That was actually the main reason why I love teaching children and teenagers, because they bring so much passion.

If you could choose any famous person to go skiing with - who would it be?

Daron Rahlves - even when I was a little boy, Daron was my big role model. Back when he won the downhill in Kitzbühel, my father carried him to the legendary London. Daron gave my father a US Ski Team jacket, which my father gave to me shortly afterwards. Almost every year we meet at the Hahnenkamm race, but we have never skied! A person with a very big heart.

Your hobbies?

Obviously skiing, but also weightlifting and swimming

Your favourite mountain hut?

Sorry Lisi (Hahnenkammstüberl) - you may have the best Kaiserschmarren, but my heart beats for the GAUXER STADL.

Your favourite piste in Kitz?

"Raintal" - no question, my favourite slope since I can remember

What would your perfect ski day look like?

First Lifts. Blue Bird. 1m Powder. Just my Dad and me shredding!!! After a day like that you don't need Aprés Ski, all you need is a Schnitzel at Gauxer Stadl!

First Gondola or Aprés Ski? 

First gondola! Why do you even ask?

Your tip to people who want to improve their skiing:

Ski every day, in all snow and all weather! Skiers who can ski in any weather can ski really well!

Your coolest moment as a ski instructor in Kitzbühel so far

When a child I taught over the Christmas holidays came up to me, thanked me and said, "You showed me the love of skiing! Someday I want to ski as well as you!" 

Deep snow or piste? 

Powder pig through and through!

You are very sporty. How much does it help skiers to be physically fit and what sports can you recommend to people to get better at skiing?

Since I've been lifting weights, I'm much more stable on the skis! I can only recommend that everyone does some kind of strength training, as it is incredibly helpful when skiing to stand more stable on the skis and also to ski faster. Don't forget: Never skip Legday!

What do you love most about your job as a ski instructor? 

There is one big reason why I am a ski instructor: To pass on the passion for skiing. 

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