Students ride free

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Ski pass: June 24 is a free ski day in the South Island for students

A Queenstown snowboarder has organised a free ski day for every tertiary student in New Zealand.

Diaries Downunder producer and presenter Nick Hyne wants Students Ride Free Day to become an annual event.

On June 24, six of the South Island’s ski resorts will allow students to ski or snowboard for free from 10am-4pm.

The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona, Treble Cone, Mt Hutt and Porters have all signed up.

A week later, on July 1, Mt Ruapehu, in the North Island, gets involved.

Bright idea: Nick Hyne

Hyne says the aim of the day is to ignite or reignite students’ passion for the mountains.

“Who knows, one epic day may just go on to create life-long skiers and snowboarders.”

He hit on the idea a few years ago while listening to a podcast about incentivising people through free stuff.

“We’re trying to increase participation in snowsports and wanted to do something positive domestically that would help.”

Hyne got in touch with Cardrona in January and things snowballed from there.

The day, falling during Queenstown Winter Festival, is now backed by the Ski Areas Association of New Zealand.

SAANZ and Snow Sports NZ boss Marty Toomey says: “This initiative has been received well by ski areas around the country because it targets an audience that loves a freebie, offers an opportunity to welcome winter and increases participation in a demographic that is important for the future of snowsports participation in NZ.”

Hyne says it also gives keen skiing and snowboarding students a chance to try different mountains for free.

The free lift pass offer’s open to NZ tertiary students with current student ID.

Pre-registration is essential. Numbers are limited at some skifields including Coronet Peak and The Remarkables (750). Cardrona and Treble Cone are unlimited.

Details of pre-registration are available on the Students Ride Free Facebook page.

Diaries Downunder is a long-running Queenstown-based snowsports video content creator.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz