Influential Austrian ski instructor and author

Passing Date: 
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hans Zehetmayer, an influential Austrian ski instructor and author, died on April 28, 2016 at age 89. Skiing, ski teaching, and music were his life’s joys until his death; in December 2015, he gave a talk at the International Ski Congress in St. Christof and played Broadway tunes on the piano that evening.

Born in 1927 in Vienna, as a child he saw Arnold Fanck’s ski film Sonne über dem Arlberg, starring Hannes Schneider. Inspired, he took to skiing and made a career of researching and teaching how to turn on skis. His last work, Kurvenfahren mit Ski (Turning on Skis) was published a month before his death. 

A frequent presenter at ski congresses and workshops, he was considered the father of Natürlichen Skilaufs (Natural Skiing), which emphasizes the use of natural body positions to provide fluid movement according to snow conditions and slope. Honorary president of the Wiener Skischulverband  (Vienna Ski School Association), and known in Austria and abroad for his work, Hans Zehetmayer, one of the grand old men of ski teaching, will be much missed. —E. John B. Allen 

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