Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Becoming a snowboarding instructor

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just after some advice on living off of being a snowboard instructor (and if it's even possible) so where is best to train? Europe or usa/Canada? (I'm in the uk right now) How much experience I need to have? I don't have much experience but I'm planning on changing that over this year as I've recently fallen in love with the sport Smile what companies anyone would recommend? I've been looking at nonstop, EA and basecamp so far. Do I need to be qualified as a ski instructor too to be able to actually find any work? From what I've read so far it's difficult to find work as just a snowboarding instructor, is it any easier in specific countries? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In Europe you'll find it much easier to get work if you can teach both skiing and boarding as there is more demand for ski instructors. Not saying it's not possible tho, I know at least two people who are just snowboard qualified working for ski schools here in Austria (they both did their qualification through the Austrian system). Not sure how much work they get though.

I'm a ski and snowboard instructor, and so far this season have mostly been teaching skiing, but that does depend on the ski school. Somebody I did my course with is dual qualified and has so far just been teaching boarding, but then he's working for a bigger ski school and to get a job there they did require the skiing also.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thank you for the reply, do you happen to know if the 2 snowboard instructors earn enough to live on? I'm not fussed about the money just need to be able to support myself. Just sounds more secure doing both, thank you!
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
A couple of years ago, my son booked a week's group snowboarding course and was the only person to turn up, so the instructor still ran it as a 1:1. The instructor then effecively ran it as the first week of the offical Ecole du Ski Suisse training course, so that my son could go on to complete the full course if he was interested. This was in La Tzoumaz, Switzerland (in the 4 Valleys). To have completed the course would have needed another five or six weeks of solid 1:1 instruction and cost about £5,000. Not including accomodation etc. We offered him our apartment if he wanted to but he decided that he couldn't take that much time out, as allowing for bad weather and rest/minor injuries you're really taling about 8-12 weeks (in effect, a season).
So, if you're interedted in qualifying then I'd suggest you contact some ski schools and get some idea from them of the tuition costs. Then you'll need to add accomodation and subsistence etc. I suspect that in reality, you're talking about a season at a resort if you want to get qualified in the minimum time.
I talked to some resort guys while I was skiing in the US and most of them were doing a hospitality management programme, of which the instructior qualification was an element.
Apocryphal feedback on forums indicates that the French ESF can be something of a closed shop. I know someone who qualified through ESF and they were given a pretty hard time. You might prefer to get qualified in another Alpine country.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not sure TBH, different ski schools work out pay/accom differently. Also depends on you to an extent with regards as to how much you get in tips. Resort/accom location dependent it is possible to pick up odd bits of extra work here and there doing things such as snow clearing.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@kehjw, have a look at " alltracks academy " in whistler , they will get u too level 2 and you'll have great time along the way !
As people have said havin both ski and snowboard qualification is good , but spend three months on a course in whistler and see if you like the whole gig , before worrying about money etc ,
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just had a look at alltracks and it looks pretty good, far simpler than other websites. thank you Smile
latest report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@kehjw, what you see is what you get, great accommodation , great instruction ( my son ended up with a group of four ) being instructed by the two of the highest qualified instructors in BC , two out of the four are instructing snow boarding only , my son is following his dream of living in the mountains and boarding every day !!
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
That all sounds great, hopefully I'll be doing the same soon!
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
if its a lifetime career choice then Basi is the way to go.

purely because the aim would be to teach in france.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
My Daughter has BASI 2 Snowboard only. She qualified through Peak Leaders in Morzine. Currently, she is only qualified to teach in Switzerland and Austria (Austria would require passing Anwarter). She has worked in Verbier for the last two seasons for Les Elfes, it's a winter camp for very rich kids. The accommodation is provided and the money is good, although the hours are long. She considers herself lucky to be working, most on her Peak Leaders course, failed to find teaching jobs after passing.
snow report
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
From my experience, Japan is pretty good for work. Living costs were cheap where I was working and the working holiday visa is a breeze to get compared to the US or Canada. EA does a ski internship and they'll guarantee you a job, as long as you pass L1 with them. I was in Minakami for the training and moved to work in Yuzawa after passing.

Experience wise, if you get on a training course and not just booking yourself onto an exam, you should be fine as an advanced intermediate. There were people on the adjacent snowboarding course with 5 weeks under their belts and they still passed. The instruction we had was great. And if you don't pass, there is always the option to re-take (not preferable, obviously!).

However, where I was, the snowboard instructors did tend to get fewer hours work than the ski instructors. If you're dual certified, the schools love it. I'm sure the same goes for Europe and North America too! That said, they didn't exactly struggle as the living costs were so low.

I can tell you a more so, fire away if you're interested.
snow report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
To whom this may concern,

I am a previous intern for EA from the 15/16 season in Nozawa, and I have some issues I would like to raise with management about my experience with EA in Nozawa.

After we had completed payments we were then told to pay an extra $450 US each to stay in Tokyo for 2 nights which was non-negotiable. This is a trap and not outlined when signing up for the Internship, nor did we get $450 worth of value at all. We were then told to pay $20 a day for food at Minikami lodge which included cereal for breakfast until I complained, we then managed to get a few eggs on the menu. Dinner was often chicken, rice and salad and always ran out of anything good/ had to ration (one small plate). This is not $20 US equivalent and often people went hungry which is a shame when we could not get to the grocery store from camp when we needed to. There was only one shower for all of us, so when everyone arrived back from training this was a disaster, and often ran out of hot water and people went without showering.

There was no snow for training at Kagura, I understand you can not control the weather but clearly this is not good enough and we did not get the service that was paid for. The dry mats were dangerous and saw one participant break his wrist on the first day. The rooms were freezing cold and the kerosene heaters smelt awful and often gave me headaches.

We were then moved to Nozawa after training. We arrived to our accommodation and told 4 people to a tiny bunk room with one cupboard, so we all lived from our suitcase for the entire season, it was a mess constantly. We had no pillows, paper thin mattress and a thin blanket, single pane windows and a kerosene heater that did not work. Often this became unbearable. Particularly when you have heavy snorers in your room on top of this, but there is no option to move as the rooms are packed already. There was one shower for 30 instructors, this is disgusting. Also, two toilets for 30 of us, also disgusting. The one kitchen for 30 of us all needing to cook and eat at the same time, a constant mess. 30 of us paying 30,000 yen a month to stay here. Roughly $300 Aus at the time x 30, I expected much more clean and orderly accommodation and facilities.

Then we had our orientation to our new jobs. It was outlined that we must be at the line-up ready to teach 20 mins before we even start to get paid or money would be taken from our pay slips, even for one minute late 1000 yen would be taken. Furthermore we were not allowed to take our uniform home as we were not allowed to be seen in it. So we would have to get dressed for the mountain including pants and boots so we could get the chairlift and board to ski school then once at work take everything off and get changed in to uniform in the morning.

We were told we get a 2 hour unpaid lunch break, but we are not allowed to be seen snowboarding in uniform on our break, even though the Japanese riders were allowed. With not enough time to get changed out of riding gear twice and be ready for afternoon shift, everyone was forced to sit and watch for 2 hrs until it was back to work. This is clearly racist... The Japanese instructors had meals prepared for them every day while working too while it was up to us to find our own food.

Here is the best part. I was not allowed a day off for 2 whole months, over 60 days. This was never part of the contract and we were threatened multiple times if we had the day off our pass would be revoked. So for 60 days we worked every day. No before or after riding was allowed. We were to stay back after we finished being paid in the afternoon to do our debrief which saw us staying back sometimes up to 45 minutes of our own time, when you work 60 days straight this is not fair. I asked for a day off multiple times and was denied. While working every day, we were also given a jobs roster to complete which meant maintaining the whole lodge before and after work. This included snow removal before work, often while still dark. None of this is outlined when signing up for the EA Internship. We had one van for 30 of us to use, so getting to the grocery store that was 20 minutes drive away, there was always people who had to miss out.

My ski pass was left in the change-room after a shift one day by accident as it was a mess in there with all of us getting changed at once. The ski school boss found my pass and took it, and was telling my boss Steve that I had lost my pass and that I should be fired. This went on for days as I constantly looked for my pass, Steve finally reached an agreement with the ski school boss and gave me back my pass but I was to not be allowed to work or snowboard for a whole week as punishment for accidentally leaving my pass in the changeroom after work, all the while I was not getting paid obviously...

As we reach the start of March, we finally start to receive a couple of days off, by this stage the powder days are basically behind us, some runs had already started to close, and the base was about 40cm down low and 80cm up top. This is a long way off what is promised to you when you sign up of endless powder days. We had grass and rocks on the main runs in March.

To top all of this off, I applied to teach in Mt.Hutt NZ once the season was over in Japan. I had a glowing reference from my ski school boss and also I had the most private lesson requests out of EVERYBODY in the ski school for the season. I never heard anything back from Mt. Hutt after the skype interview. All the promises of resort partners and future job opportunities were not what they seemed. It become obvious that EA want new interns every year to collect the $8-10,000 USD from to keep making their profits. I had just spent my whole savings and EA could not offer me a season with their partners anywhere in New Zealand. I was back at square one, with over $10,000 dollars drained from my savings. This is incredibly stressful and soul crushing, you pack your life up to follow your dream to get treated this way.

I understand this is 5 years ago but I am still trying to get back on track as I devoted alot of money, time and effort into what I thought was my new career. I have not recovered from this poor experience and never got another instructing job after applying many times to many places even with my good reference from Steve. Bottom line is, these details are i believe purposely left out of the information given to potential Internees which is wrong, everyone would second guess signing up with EA in Nozawa if they knew these details.

I feel used and ripped off, and I want people to be held accountable for taking advantage of people looking to enter a dream career only to arrive to the slave like conditions in unsatisfactory living arrangements. I would very much like to hear from someone in management about my situation to see what they think about it and where we should go from this point.

Kind regards,

Jacob McQueen
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Oz boarder, Welcome to SH.
You're experience sounds educational, eye opening, character building and full of life lessons about trust.
A lot of people would pay good money for that kinda thing .... oh hang on a minute.
Not all that glistens is fresh pow on a bluebird day, but I hope you are able to draw positives from that experience.
I would always be wary of schemes where you pay for training but are "guaranteed" a job at the end of it.
In such scenarios, it's worth asking them - will you train me for free as I will work for you afterwards, and see what they say.
The situation though is the same as university education, where you go through 3 or 4 years of intense hardship, rack up massive debts, and emerge into the real world to find there's no job served up to you on a plate.
Unless you are super lucky, you can't rely on the promises of strangers, and you have to forge your own path.
Thanks for sharing your experience, but getting angry doesn't really solve anything in the long term.
You could still teach ( if you wanted to ) but you might find another job in the mountains where you do get to ride all those pow days.
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy