Action County: Sean MacCarron
Most people would be ecstatic if they got to ski 100 days in one winter. Two hundred days? That would really be something. What about 300? Practically unbelievable … right?Not to Sean MacCarron, a veteran year-round ski instructor and coach who lives in Summit County six months out of each year. He spends the other six months in New Zealand working at various ski areas in the Canterbury region. MacCarron, who hails from Stockport, England, joined the Copper Mountain ski school in 1992 and now runs the Copper Alpine Snowboard Program. He has been teaching skiing and boarding in New Zealand since the early ’90’s.On average, MacCarron skis or snowboards between 250 and 300 days a year. His career high occurred in 1993, when he spent 326 days working on the hill.”I’m not trying to go for a number or accomplish anything,” he said. “When you’re on snow, you’re earning money so it’s just your job. But the second you don’t have any work you want to go enjoy the reason you’re on snow in the first place.”
The U.K. native first learned how to ski as a 17-year-old while serving for the British Royal Marines in Norway. “The first day we slid on skis I had 210 (cm) wooden hickory skis with no metal edges and leather straps to hold the heels down,” MacCarron said. “I thought it was the best thing ever.”MacCarron is talented beyond skiing and snowboarding. In 1991, he won two luge medals at the British Columbia Winter Games – a silver in doubles and a bronze in singles. Amazingly, he picked up the sport the same winter he entered the competition. This winter he is learning how to ice skate on a pair of skates that were given to him by San Jose Sharks right winger Scott Parker. MacCarron became friends with the NHL player while coaching at Copper.On the rare days that MacCarron is not skiing or boarding, he is doing his part to revolutionize the snowboard industry. He is in the process of designing two snowboards for Donek, a Denver-based snowboard company, and he has recently secured a patent for the world’s first-ever snowboard stance finder. The device helps riders find their correct stance, practice their balance and determine which foot to place in the forward position. MacCarron’s invention, which he hopes to market to every snowboard shop in the world, can be viewed on the web at http://www.cre8iv-uk.com.The world traveler says he never stops admiring the natural beauty that Summit has to offer. He is also a big fan of the Summit Stage and the county-wide recycling efforts that he has seen.
How does skiing in New Zealand compare to skiing in Colorado?”A-Basin and Loveland are very similar to New Zealand areas. People drive there, ski for the day and then go home. Only a few areas in the country have on-hill accommodations. Here, everything is just convenience; they groom everything. You’ve got ski areas in New Zealand that don’t own grooming machines. Some don’t even have chairlifts … they use surface lifts.”What are the differences between coaching and teaching skiing?”In coaching, you get to work with an athlete for a whole season so you can bring them along at their own pace. By the end of the season, you will have gotten the best out of them. With teaching, you often have to be inspirational to people that don’t necessarily think they can achieve the sport. They are hopeful but hesitant. As a coach, I deal with people who are confident but need to further their skills.”
Sean MacCarronDecade Born: 1960sFavorite Team: Manchester UnitedFavorite Band: “Any local talent.”Fastball or Curveball: “I don’t really know what they are.”
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