Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Erich Windisch 1918 - 2007
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1994
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Erich started skiing in his native Germany at the age of three and won his first race at age seven. For five years, he was a member of the German National Team in ski jumping and Nordic Combined, winning nine divisional and national championships. In 1949 Erich was instrumental in the evolution of ski jumping, changing the forward arm movement for balance, to a quiet aerodynamic position of arms alongside the body. This technique is still in use today. His best jump was 337 feet at Oberstdorf in 1950. Also, in 1950, he held the world record in water ski jumping.
Following the war, he taught the Mountain troops of the 3rd US Army, and later was Director of the Ski School at Schneefernerhaus on Zugspitze near Garmisch.
In 1957, he moved to Colorado and became co-director of the Willy Schaeffler, Arapahoe Basin Ski School. While there he made an immediate impact by introducing the short-swing (wedel) technique that was soon adopted by the Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA). He became a fully certified ski instructor in Europe in 1948, and since 1957, in the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association. In 1965, he was selected to represent PSIA as one of five demonstrators for the Interskie Congress in Badgestein, Austria, and continued on the PSIA demonstration team for several seasons. He also has run numerous clinics for different divisions of PSIA.
Erich has been teaching for over 50 years, and was on the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association examining board for 20 years, also serving as Certification Vice President. Erich still participates in Alpine Masters competition where he has won 9 National and 11 Rocky Mountain Championship titles.
He has been working with Vail Associates for 25 years and is currently supervisor of the Vail/Beaver Creek Ski School. He was recently honored by Colorado Ski Country USA, as the Ski Instructor of the Year.