Our EMS Schools Lifestyle

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Our EMS Schools Lifestyle

Living the EMS School’s lifestyle is a common theme shared by our schools guides.  Not only are we highly accredited and hard working, but we play hard too.  Many of our school guides take their playtime to help benefit your EMS experience.  Whether it’s on the mountain, in the ocean or on the trail you will find school guides testing new products and mapping new adventures to show others how they too, can escape and explore the outdoors.  It’s fitting to say that our playtime is our work time.   Playing outside is where you will find us on our days off and it all circles back to living the EMS lifestyle.

Eastern Mountain Sports Schools SUP Instructor Jim Bernard in his office

Winter or summer, chasing waves on an SUP (Stand Up Paddle) is exactly where you will find Jim Bernard. Jim is one of our ACA (American Canoe Association) Level 4 Open Water kayak instructor. He is also a Level 2 SUP instructor.  A year ago Jim discovered his passion for SUP surfing and now he is hooked. He spends much of his free time demoing boards and paddles seeking the perfect combination for a variety of wave conditions.  He regularly consults with our Product Training expert Luke Foley who gets the skinny on new gear and equipment.  All this time spent in the surf and product testing has got Jim thinking…could there be a SUP surf class in EMS school’s future?  I think so! Stay tuned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHeAFNlfVOM&list=UU0VcRJa9qM5zQNy3zIaZlbg&index=1

Early Wednesday mornings, while most folks are sipping their coffee, Casi Rynkowski, SUP Fit Trainer, AFAA (Aerobics Fitness Association of America) Certified Personal Trainer and SUP ACA level 2 insturctor, can be found with Luke Foley and myself cross-training at Wachusett Mountain.  Hiking up Mt. Wachusett and skiing or riding down has become an addicting weekly workout. This is also a perfect opportunity for us to try out EMS packs, clothing and other gear.  To get an idea of what works best, we often swap gear mid-hike or for round two.  We love our “Hike and Ski/Ride” days so much we’ve decided to make it an EMS program this winter available to anyone who wants to test their fitness against Wachusett mountain.

This winter I took seven SUP and Kayak school guides out of their element and gave them a winter challenge like no other –climb Mt. Washington.  George Karaffa, Jim Bernard and Steve Banks are seasoned winter hikers, but for our other kayak school greenhorns Joe Sherlock, Casi Rynkowski and Zack Simpson, this was a new ball game.   Mt. Washington gave us a good battle with wind chill at 30 below and wind gusts up to 85 miles per hour. Those winds brought us to a stop at Lion’s Head and although we did not summit, we shared knowledge and lots of laughs. Most of all, a new passion was born for three new mountaineers who are eager to come back for more.

This is truly the EMS lifestyle. CLICK HERE to watch a video slide show of this unforgettable day on Mount Washington!

Peter Casson


Peter has being working in the outdoors now for some 20 + years and spent most of his child hood Kayaking and Hill Walking in the Lake District, being from the UK he has his fair share of European adventures hanging in the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, Chamonix in France and the German Alps. He spent 14 years with the British Military mastering his crafts before heading to the USA to take on his next adventure. Peter is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 5 Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator and an ACA Level 2 Stand up Paddle Instructor Trainer. He is often found playing and teaching white water or surf kayaking during the summer months, and as someone who is always looking for the next challenge he has taken up SUP Board surfing. During the winter months he loves nothing more that getting out on the ski slopes and introducing students to Telemark Skiing or taking them on an overnight trip in the White Mountains. Since becoming our School General manager he has even dusted off his old rock and ice gear and gone vertical something he enjoys in his spare time now. He lives in RI with hisyoung family (his latest students) and one day hopes they will follow his footsteps, well at least some of them.