It inspires us to see the commitment to lifelong skiing that we see here at Vista Bahn Ski Rentals in Vail, Colorado. Grandparents are out on Vail’s slopes skiing with knee-high young ones. Brothers, sisters, friends, and families share the adventure of skiing together. At VBSR, we know that lifelong skiing is a joy as much as it is a commitment to the healthy lifestyle that makes it possible.
We recently turned to VBSR Ski Ambassador Erik Brofos to find out more about his path and commitment to lifelong skiing. From his first day on skis at age 2 to now being a Vail ski instructor with more than 40 years of experience, Erik Brofos inspires us with his passion for the sport. Read on to find out more about his skiing beginnings, career highlights, and Vail favorites.
Lifelong Skiing: Interview with Erik Brofos
Vista Bahn Ski Rentals [VBSR]: What is your job today in the ski industry?
Erik Brofos [EB]: I am a Vail ski instructor based in Vail Village, and I have taught skiing at Vail every winter since I was 17. I teach about 70 days a season. Speaking of lifelong skiing: I have been skiing with one of my clients for 38 years now.
VBSR: What is your earliest memory of skiing?
EB: Learning to ski at Mt. Cranmore, New Hampshire, and being able to see the grass through the snow-ice.
VBSR: When did you know you wanted to make a career of teaching skiing?
EB: I went to high school in Eagle County, and as long as I was a student, I could ski for free. But when I graduated, I had to find a way to ski free during college. Teaching skiing on weekends was that path. Several years later, I was making more money teaching skiing than using my graphic communications skills, so I opted in! I had my first paid job in the ski industry at age 17, and I have been teaching skiing ever since.
VBSR: What are some highlights on your lifelong skiing path?
EB: I’m happy that, after 40 years of teaching amazing people, I have been able to be one of the top 20 instructors in Vail (based on metrics) for the past 2 years. Not bad for an old fart! Being able to ski with my daughter is a number one on-snow highlight. I also went to heli-ski guide school with Mike Wiegele. Staying current and continuing to share my passion for lifelong skiing and the outdoors, in general, are also highlights.
Lifelong Skiing & the VBSR Family
VBSR: What year did you first meet the Gros family?
EB: Oh, boy. I might have been an infant! The Gros family and my family are friends, and being a small town, we all bump into each other.
VBSR: How did you get introduced to VBSR and the Gros family?
EB: Outside of the social connection of our families, I sought out VBSR for the quality services—including ski and snowboard rental, ski storage, and ski tuning and repair—that my clients need when they are on vacation. I’ve always been a fan of knowledgeable, locally owned and operated businesses. So why not go to the best? One example: When a guest that rented skis had a problem with the binding while skiing, Sacha brought another pair of skis up the gondola. Commitment like that does not happen anywhere else.
VBSR: What’s your favorite VBSR memory?
EB: You’ve got to love this family. It’s just such a great lost art of making everyone feel a part of something special. Hard to imagine VBSR any other way.
VBSR: What services do you use most at VBSR?
EB: My clients love the access and proximity to the gondola for their ski lockers and storage while keeping it uncrowded at the same time. I go to the VBSR tune and shop repair because I know that the guy working on my equipment knows more about it than I do.
The Details: Lifelong Skiing Gear
Top gear helps make Erik Brofos’ commitment to lifelong skiing possible. Here are a few highlights from his current gear pile, including his favorite Black Crows skis:
- Powder Ski: Black Crows Corvus
- Carving Ski: Black Crows Ova
- All Mountain Ski: Black Crows Orb
- Race Ski: None. “I wear my Vuarnet sunglasses and watch the real racers!”
- Boot: Krispi/Alpina
VBSR: What are some of your favorite Vail ski runs?
EB: I gotta admit that I like most of the seldom groomed runs: Forever, Cows Face, Bolshoi, and employee ski day on Prima and Pronto. For powder skiing, I follow ski patrol’s rope drop from west to east…faceshot city!
VBSR: Where do you see your lifelong skiing path taking you in 10 years? 20 years?
EB: As long as my body holds up, I’ve got a date with a client for skiing when we are 80. Stay tuned!
VBSR: Anything else you want to add about Vail skiing or lifelong skiing?
The input we get from our ski ambassadors helps make Vista Bahn Ski Rentals Vail’s top ski rental location that’s just steps away from Gondola One. Ambassadors like Erik Brofos keep the goal of lifelong skiing alive for us all year. And we also love meeting new people and seeing loyal customers back in our shop each winter. Until the snow falls, check out our website for details about our Vail ski rentals, ski tuning, and ski storage. We rent snowboards, too, and we also make it easy for you to reserve snowboard and ski rentals online.