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Which snowboard instructor training course should I go with?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Either this winter or next, I (22M, Irish) am planning to take one of those expensive gap year courses where you drop €10,000 (roughly the same in US dollars btw) on a 10 week instructor training course. I’m alright with that, as I’d quite like a bit of a holiday after coronavirus, I’m from Ireland so it’s not like a local ski field will pay for my certs, and I have enough money saved from work. However, it will be the most expensive thing I’ve ever paid for, so I’d love to make sure I’m getting the best value for my money, and I’m hearing a lot of conflicting and confusing info from different providers making sales pitches.

So, the cheapest option I’ve seen is SIA Austria, which seems to run courses in the €5,000-7,000 mark. They say this is because their courses are mostly at a less fashionable resort, which wouldn’t especially bother me, but it seems as if they’re over-selling the Anwärter qualification provided, calling it level 2 even though from what I can see most other countries only see it as a level 1, which would mean lower pay and a harder time getting jobs outside Austria. The website, to its credit, is also brutally pragmatic about the prospects of a sole qualified snowboard instructor, so I’d really prefer to have a better qualification, although the course does look quite professional otherwise.

Most of the other providers (EA Ski, Basecamp, Interski, ICE, Snowskool, Nonstop etc) all seems to come in a fair bit higher, around €8,000-10,000, but some have other things going for them. The ones in Canada and Japan, for example, all seem to have job guarantees after, which doesn’t seem to be the case in Europe; is this accurate, and if so, is that valuable?
ICE seem to have a BASI course which takes you to level 3 in one season if I’m reading it right, which looks absolutely fantastic, but some other companies are insistent that I’ll need a few seasons to get that level; who’s right, and who’s lying to sell a course?
And Interski seems to have a course with far more inclusions (meals everyday rather than 4 days a week, etc) which looks like it’d take a lot of the hassle out, but it is in Italy’s Aosta valley. I might just be ignorant, but I’ve never heard the snowboard community talk much about anywhere in Italy being quality compared to Canada or a French spot like Avoriaz, so my question is would the boarding actually be any good?

I know this is a lot and I don’t expect anyone to be able to answer it all, or to have interacted with many of these companies either, but any feedback at all on any part of it would be warmly appreciated, even if it’s just personal experience of one company being sleazy or its instructors being below-par of something.

For some more on my background, I have 20+ weeks snowboarding experience, 8 weeks skiing (but will never love it like boarding), can speak French and Spanish and would like to give instructing a go as a career, at least while I’m young enough not to worry about mortgages.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I dont know where you are seeing ICE doing a course to get you to Level 3 in 1 season. Their 14 week Level 3 ski course is for people that all ready have Level 2. Dont think they do an equivalent for snowboarding. You have to do 200 hours teaching between L2 and L3 so getting from zero to L3 in 1 season is not practical even if you had the skills.
I deliver some of the training for the Snowskool course in Meribel so happy to answer any questions you have about our program.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Oops, you’re right, I didn’t realise level 3 was intense enough to require 5 months by itself. I think I was also conflating it with an 18 week CASI course by winter sports company which does seem to be 1,2+3 in one season if I’m reading it right (https://www.wintersportscompany.com/course/casi-levels-1-2-3-snowboard-instructor-18-weeks-sun-peaks-resort-canada/).
While you’re offering though, I am curious to know at what point moguls and park ability become important to advance through BASI, especially moguls since they’re about the only normal slopes I still struggle with; if you’re familiar with the rest of the 3 Valleys, I still occasionally have nightmares about trying Combe de Rosael last time I was in VT
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Have a good read of the BASI website so you understand the system and pathway:
https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/Snowboard_Qualifcations.aspx?hkey=2b590d81-0e33-4eca-b756-b5e0ff206539


For instance here are the L1 criteria:
https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/Snowboard_level_1/Snowboard_Level_1.aspx?WebsiteKey=211cffca-c436-4a06-844e-527af5a19586&hkey=5b1906ff-be0d-4e69-920a-64954b35c9f7&New_ContentCollectionOrganizerCommon=3#New_ContentCollectionOrganizerCommon

And L2:
https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/Snowboard_level_2/Snowboard_level_2.aspx?WebsiteKey=211cffca-c436-4a06-844e-527af5a19586&hkey=7933b910-7234-47ba-b7a1-d68aa5bcc4fc&Snowobard_Level_2_Course=3#Snowobard_Level_2_Course

As you can see freestyle at L1 is just flatland. Some bumps and basic park in L2.
Bumps is less than 25 degrees so typically on the side of a blue or red run. Not expected to do full on evil black mogul slopes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@snowrider, Which if these will allow you to teach in France?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
To teach in France you need to get BASI L4.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@cailian, I'd try and find somewhere that offers you the shadowing hours and also the chance to earn some money if you passed the course to the right level (L2 I think for BASI). If say you started Dec/Jan could you earn money over Feb half term as an example??

Second point is instructors with dual qualifications would seem to be more employable to me, so perhaps if you are out for a season, could you do L1/L2 (in BASI speak) snowboard and L1 ski?

I've done a 2 week ski L2 BASI course with ICE in Val D'Isere which was good, well organised team on site.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@cailian, In normal times another option would be to get a job repping for Interski in Aosta and train and shadow with their instructors during the day. In the past they have ran L1 and L2 courses bracketing the season. Needless to say how this year Winter will work out is an unknown.
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@kitenski that had been my first thought as well (as in L2 snowboarding, L1 skiing) but from what I can see online, it looks like BASI L1 isn’t enough to do any teaching in any other country outside britain. The Austrian system seems better on that front but I don’t have any German, so I’d need to wait till the end of season at the earliest.

It is starting to look like it’ll be a better idea to get a regular season job and just take the tests in my own time, my main worry is that good season jobs are hard to come by at the best of times, much less during a pandemic / economic crisis. I did a season 4 years ago, and started off with 1.5 days a week to ski, and even that got lower after some staff were hit by norovirus. Wound up bumming the second half of the season, but don’t think I could afford to do it again
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cailian wrote:
@kitenski that had been my first thought as well (as in L2 snowboarding, L1 skiing) but from what I can see online, it looks like BASI L1 isn’t enough to do any teaching in any other country outside britain.


Yes but you need L1 ski to do L2 ski, so step at a time, unless you do Dec-Feb to get L2 snowboard and the rest of the season L1 ski and work towards L2??
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cailian wrote:
@kitenski that had been my first thought as well (as in L2 snowboarding, L1 skiing) but from what I can see online, it looks like BASI L1 isn’t enough to do any teaching in any other country outside britain. The Austrian system seems better on that front but I don’t have any German, so I’d need to wait till the end of season at the earliest.

It is starting to look like it’ll be a better idea to get a regular season job and just take the tests in my own time, my main worry is that good season jobs are hard to come by at the best of times, much less during a pandemic / economic crisis. I did a season 4 years ago, and started off with 1.5 days a week to ski, and even that got lower after some staff were hit by norovirus. Wound up bumming the second half of the season, but don’t think I could afford to do it again



If you go with SIA Austria, the German shouldn't be a problem as they include lessons and pretty much babysit you through the German parts of the exams.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
IMO instructor courses are not worth it unless you plan to make a career out of instructing. They probably won't improve you as much as a course focused on actually improving your riding (even just doing a season with no instruction will get you a lot better). They are not as much fun as just doing your own thing and riding what you want all day rather than being stuck on a nursery slope learning how to teach falling leaf.

I go out to Canada for a couple of months each winter. I can get 3 months all in for around £3000 (flights, accomodation, lift pass, food etc.). So you have plenty of money to go out there and not work if you wanted.

If I was in your position I'd head to n America over Europe. Flights and lift pass will be more expensive but the way resorts are set up with everything in bounds avalanche controlled mean you can safely ski off piste (trees, bowls, cliffs, chutes etc.) giving you loads more variety than pistes in Europe. Then do an avalanche awareness course that will give you knowledge to start getting into the backcountry safely. You will come back to Europe as a solid rider with the skills and knowledge to start exploring euro off-piste in future. (Or maybe you will just become a full time ski bum going back to Canada every year like some of us Toofy Grin )
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@boarder2020, that's pretty much my opinion too, and had been my trajectory until the Jnrs appeared on the scene.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Also if you are considering making a career out of it, I would suggest trying to shadow an instructor for a day first. The reality is different to what a lot of people imagine. As a new instructor you will probably get given kids groups, which can be more babysitting than snowboarding. The pay is bad and you always have to work during ski hours (as opposed to something like bar work which is predominantly evenings meaning you can ride all day).
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Have only done 3 weeks with them but Nonstop offer a truly phenomenal experience out in Fernie (and they also do Banff I believe).

Plus if you don't want to focus on the L2 teaching aspect of things in the second half of the 13 week course, you can focus more on just doing the "all mountain training" which basically just skips the bits about teaching/plans and instead you just hone your technique even further.

I was so jealous when I was leaving this last year and the other guys on the 13 week course were having such a great time. Good mix of ages too.

I will aim to go back most years with them I think if I can.

Plus Europe is possibly going to be difficult to get to for us in the first few months of 2021 given both Brexit and possibly ongoing/recurrent coronavirus restrictions so there is some unpredictability with that regard, which you wouldn't expect there to be for places like going to the Rockies which are otherwise much less densely populated and where they have had things/infection rates under control for a while (I believe).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@boarder2020, where do you go for £3,000 for 3 months over there? Lift pass, flights, accommodation and food must be more than that? Asking for a friend Smile
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Quote:

I will aim to go back most years with them I think if I can.


I've only heard good things about nonstop. If money was no object they would be my choice, but the prices are just way to high and imo there are better resorts than fernie.

Quote:

where do you go for £3,000


This year I was in golden. Accomodation was £335 per month (sharing a room), kicking horse early bird season pass around £600, flights £461. I don't know exactly what I spent on food, but was way less than £10 per day. Few extra little costs like a night in Calgary (about £20-25 I think in hi hostel), and transport between Calgary and golden (around £25 each way using rideshares).

It depends what level of comfort/luxury you want. I'm happy to live pretty basic to maximise snowboard time. If you want to drink alcohol, eat out, buy gear etc. it can be way more expensive.
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 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?
If you really want to make a career in teaching snowboarding, you need to be aiming for a BASI 4 and being able to teach in France. It's really the only way to be able to make good money as a sole-qualified snowboard instructor, although people with high level qualifications do alright in Austria, Switzerland, Japan, etc too.

Most schools in other places (e.g. Austria, Switzerland) will let you teach skiing if you have Snowboard level 2 and ski level 1. It's having a level 2 that's important. Obviously you'll only get beginner ski lessons though, but it does top up the hours/pay packet.

I didn't really do things that way. I had some dry slope (Level 1) teaching experience in the UK, then I moved to France and worked on my qualis alongside other stuff. Couldn't do any paid teaching in France, so I got my hours along the way by going over to Italian and doing some teaching with Interski as well as doing some shadowing here. I trained on my own, did the BASI modules one at a time and got coaching when I needed it rather than doing any kind of course.

I'd disagree with most of what @boarder2020 (that's not a snarky comment, I see where he's coming from, I just disagree). Working as an instructor is @#%§ing rad. All that "you'll hate it because you'll be stuck on the nursery slopes with kids while your mates are riding powder" stuff is baws. Sure, there'll be days like that, but there'll also be plenty of days when you're getting paid to ride powder. I don't even notice those "teaching on a powder day" moments. I'm genuinely so focussed on my clients and my lesson that I'm not really paying attention to what's going on elsewhere. Plus, there'll always be a chance for a cheeky shred lap or two between lessons, on your way home, whatever. Also, in my opinion, an instructor course will improve your riding at least as much as a general riding course if not more. All of the teaching stuff is really about learning and paying attention to proper fundamentals, as well as being able to analyse your riding and other people's riding. It will make you a much better rider than just focussing on riding alone. There will be very little time spent on the "nursery slope" side of things. In BASI world, the vast majority of that is over and done with in the the level 1 course (a 5 day course), with a little revision and expansion during level 2. I think post level 1, I have maybe spent 2 days max (and not even all of those) of trainer contact time on nursery slope type stuff. Most of the teaching at the higher levels if focussed on teaching your peers and actually helping them to improve, so it's real teaching, not pretend beginner stuff.

As far as technique level goes, as above, there's not a lot of bumps/freestyle before level 3 (with BASI). That said, and this may be a little harsh, if you are struggling with bump runs it probably means that you need to work on your technique. It's not about "getting down" the runs, it's about riding in a certain way, with a high level of performance and grip in the turns that most self-taught / recreational riders have never really thought about. The courses will develop this though, I'm just saying don't think of the carving, steeps, etc. as a given. Probably more people fail BASI snowboard exams on steeps than anything else. Variables (off piste) would be second. A lot of people also fail L3 tech on freestyle but it's a bit less subjective. If you can do consistent 360's on a red kicker, you'll pass. If you can't, you'll fail. Simple as. Whereas we can all get down a black run, but "doing it right" is a little harder to define.
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Agent Orange wrote:
@boarder2020, where do you go for £3,000 for 3 months over there? Lift pass, flights, accommodation and food must be more than that? Asking for a friend Smile


Was wondering for a friend too, which sites did you use for accomodation?

The 3 I looked at was non-stop, snow-skool and snow trainers. All seemed pretty great tbh. You can chat to some of them online and they'll give you a good idea. I was looking at canada myself as wanted more of an adventure but decided against a course as I didn't want to go 'back to skool' so to speak. I booked a season in Cham for this coming winter and still don't know if I'm going...
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Was wondering for a friend too, which sites did you use for accomodation?


Depends what kind of accommodation you want. If you are happy staying in a hostel they can be a lot of fun, always plenty of people to ride with and socialise with. Just google search name of town and hostel. Some have private rooms if you don't want to share but you still get the social side. Facebook groups can also be useful for finding a room in a house share. Kijiji is like Canada Craigslist so worth checking too.

A lot of people book a hostel for the first couple of weeks while they sort out something long term once there. It can be a good option, but wouldn't work somewhere like Whistler where there is a huge demand and lack of housing meaning you would want it booked way in advance.

If you let me know where specifically you are looking I can probably give some more detail. There is also a bit of a ski bum network so to speak so even if it's a place I don't know the details I probably can find a friend of a friend that knows it.
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@stevomcd there are some people that love teaching and make an enjoyable career out of it. There are other people that sign up for a dream and realise the reality is much different. That's why I suggest op shadowing a few lessons before making such a big commitment.

Quote:

All that "you'll hate it because you'll be stuck on the nursery slopes with kids while your mates are riding powder" stuff is baws. Sure, there'll be days like that...


Outside japan how many powder days does a resort get? I mean proper bottomless powder. Not that many, so I want to make the absolute most of them. If you have the bottom qualification you are going to be babysitting kids not riding. OP has the money to not work, so why not just do what you want? If you really want to work do something that doesn't impact on ski time. It's not like teaching is even well paid anyway, so unless you actually enjoy the teaching element it doesn't make sense as a way to maximise snowboarding time.

Quote:

It will make you a much better rider than just focussing on riding alone.


If that's the case why do most pro skiers have no quals? If your a good skier you go pro. If your not quite that good you just become a guide or patrol rather than teach. Most ski bums ski better than instructors in my experience. Go watch any of the kids freeride competitions,they already all ski better than 99% instructors. Classic case of those that can do and those that can't teach.
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I just looked at basi level 2 out of curiosity.

https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/Snowboard_level_2/Snowboard_level_2.aspx?WebsiteKey=211cffca-c436-4a06-844e-527af5a19586&hkey=7933b910-7234-47ba-b7a1-d68aa5bcc4fc&Snowobard_Level_2_Course=3

Assessment is on blue pistes and "steeps" less than 25degrees (oxymoron). You are not going to get good at snowboarding spending all your time practicing on blue pistes and 25 degree "steeps". If you want to lecture all the ski bums about torsional flex and foot weighting, and make pretty turns on mellow groomers go for it. They probably won't wait for you to catch up NehNeh
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
boarder2020 wrote:
Most ski bums ski better than instructors in my experience.


This thread is about snowboarding I think.

I see quite a lot of "pro" skiers and ski bums who are not that great, technically, fearless maybe and a different skill set but then the graveyards of ski resorts are littered with the bodies of pro skiers.

Quote:
Go watch any of the kids freeride competitions,they already all ski better than 99% instructors.


I see a lot of kids in the local ski clubs who are very good all round skiers as they are doing competitions, park, off piste from a young age. Better than most people below L4 in the BASI or similar systems, sure yes. But take the recently departed Hugo Hoff (rated 22nd in the world), he went onto the FWT precisely because he wasn't good enough to race alpine, it was an easier option for him. So I'm not convinced that pro freeriders are the creme of skiers. Very good yes, but it is just another option to follow your dreams.

I agree if you are some kind of trustafarian why bother with either being a pro skier, guide or instructor. If you have technical issues you can always pay for lessons or coaching.
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davidof wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
Most ski bums ski better than instructors in my experience.


This thread is about snowboarding I think.



Same holds for boarding especially when it comes to park and pipe riding.

Most ESF board instructors are ski instructors who have subsequently learnt to board.

Two seasons ago Mrs WoC (works for ESF) tagged along for a lesson where the head snowboard instructor was teaching some of the younger ski instructors to board, and she was waaaay better than them.
Last season these guys were teaching beginners to board.
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davidof wrote:
... I see quite a lot of "pro" skiers and ski bums who are not that great, technically, fearless maybe ....
I agree if you are some kind of trustafarian why bother with either being a pro skier, guide or instructor. If you have technical issues you can always pay for lessons or coaching.
I think you missed the word "wannabe" from that.

Terje was professional before he would have been old enough to enrol for BASI, much to the relief of his arms.

I think it's like the relationship between F1 drivers and driving instructors.

Isn't this type of course for gap year kids with rich parents? The funders think
they're investing in the kid's career, rather than giving them the cash for a long holiday.
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@boarder2020, let's just say your opinion is very US-centric and leave it at that.

The OP wants to do instructor training with a view to a career. He doesn't just want to maximise powder time. Sure, check it out and see if you actually enjoy teaching, why not, but instructor courses are what he asked about.

In Europe, top level instructors have all done competition level riding (whether on snowboards or skis) so we ride pretty damn well. We also get paid well enough to make it all worth our while. I'm not going to get into a puerile argument over whether "ski bums" are the best riders/skiers. Laughing
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Quote:
Classic case of those that can do and those that can't teach.


"Classic" ignorant insult directed at teachers, instructors, etc by those who generally cant do either and have no appreciation of the expertise required.

Quote:
Most ESF board instructors are ski instructors who have subsequently learnt to board.


Generally true I think. There are of course exceptions but unless you know who to ask for you could get anyone. On the other hand the European Ski School here have 3 dedicated snowboard instructors. 1 BASI and 2 Italian Maestros. They can only teach snowboarding in France even though the Italians are both good skiers too. The Brit on the other hand, who is a neighbour, can barely ski.

The kids in the race club here spend a lot of time practising racing of course. But you also see them being taken into the park, off piste, moguls, etc, on their race skis. Its a way of life to get into instructing through racing, as their parents probably did.

I haven't seen it mentioned here but aren't a certain number of FIS points required, as well as BASI4, to teach in France. Instead of the speed test for skiers.
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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
Oh and my daughter did pass BASI1 skiing at 16 but decided pretty quickly it wasn't something she wanted to pursue any further Cost me a few hundred but it was good for her personally and did improve her skiing which was already at a high level. Even in the UK many of the others on the course were racers, some had competed as juniors for England.
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You know it makes sense.
Claude B wrote:



I haven't seen it mentioned here but aren't a certain number of FIS points required, as well as BASI4, to teach in France. Instead of the speed test for skiers.


Not legally no but that is what the guys who give you your carte pro in Grenoble would have you believe but they've lost so many times at court now it isn't funny anymore.

There is a Eurotest for snowboards in France btw but the French cannot legally impost it under EU law.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 19-06-20 9:54; edited 1 time in total
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
stevomcd wrote:
@boarder2020, let's just say your opinion is very US-centric and leave it at that.



certainly the ski patrol in France and guides are not the best skiers in the world, indeed the patrol are not the best skiers in resort on a given day but they have a lot of other skills. Skiing wize the patrol need to be able to get to injured skiers off piste as fast as possible but that doesn't mean they ski very well, just effectively in mixed conditions.

as for guides (UIAGM variety) hmmmm.
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Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I see quite a lot of "pro" skiers and ski bums who are not that great, technically, fearless maybe


Firstly I doubt a lot of pro skiers/snowboarders are not that great. Even if true, you think they care? It's like the people that criticise Usain bolt's running technique. Technically they may be right his technique isn't orthodox, but the results speak for themselves.

Quote:

"Classic" ignorant insult directed at teachers, instructors, etc by those who generally cant do either and have no appreciation of the expertise required.


I'm not saying teaching is not a skill. I used to teach in a university and would be the first to say I don't have the skills and personality to be a good teacher. I appreciate good teachers/instructors. The skills to be great at teaching are not necessarily related to the same skills at being great at that profession though. Some of the smartest people I used to work with, producing world class research and considered experts in their area couldn't teach to save their life. The best teacher I knew barely scrapped through his PhD and his research was generally considered poor.

Quote:

In Europe, top level instructors have all done competition level riding (whether on snowboards or skis) so we ride pretty damn well. We also get paid well enough to make it all worth our while.


So what your saying is the guys in comps that don't make it as pros become instructors? NehNeh I don't deny most top level instructors ride well. The difference between a top level instructor and someone that did a become an instructor gap year course is probably night and day though. Also true for their experience teaching (getting given the kids to babysit) and pay!

The time and money to become a top level instructor is also not insignificant.

Quote:

he went onto the FWT precisely because he wasn't good enough to race alpine


Most of the FWT skiers start of a racers. I guess it gives a good understanding of fundamentals that can be transferred. Obviously there are also some differences in physical requirements of both. It would be interesting to compare the top freeride skiers with their racing counterparts and see what similarities and differences there were physiologically. Perhaps some just had more optimal physiology for one or the other. I certainly wouldn't say one or the other is better though, both equally impressive.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

So what your saying is the guys in comps that don't make it as pros become instructors?


Well, yeah, something in that. But how many people really make it in comps, earn enough to pay the bills? Maybe a couple of hundred people worldwide? I actually know quite a few instructors who were very successful in competition (podiums on the FWT, freestyle world cups, olympics) and then went on to become instructors afterwards. They'll all tell you they had to work quite hard on their riding to pass the exams. They all passed, of course, because they fundamentally had the skill level and athleticism, but they still had to make changes, maybe round out some areas of riding that had never been their focus.

Quote:

I don't deny most top level instructors ride well. The difference between a top level instructor and someone that did a become an instructor gap year course is probably night and day though. Also true for their experience teaching (getting given the kids to babysit) and pay!


For sure. BASI2 is an entry level course (first level where you're allowed to teach on a mountain). The jump from level 2 to level 3 is enormous. Anyone who passes the BASI3 technical exam can ride. Not saying everyone who passes is world class, but they can all ride. The road has to start from the beginning though, you can't jump straight in at the top level.


Quote:

The time and money to become a top level instructor is also not insignificant.


Yeah, I did hear that! wink
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 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?
stevomcd wrote:
...They all passed... but they still had to make changes, maybe round out some areas of riding that had never been their focus.. ...

Clearly teachers need to learn their organisation's orthodoxy.
Terje would learn it quicker than most, but he'd still have to learn it.
To me that's what instructor training should do: turn good riders into good teachers.

That doesn't imply that instructor training is a sensible way to learn to actually ride,
especially not for those with "world class" ambitions. Terje was professional before
he was old enough for BASI .
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If your aim is to be world-class then no, clearly not, an instructor training program is not going to do that for you. The only way it's likely to happen is to start the sport very young, get crazy obsessed with it to the point where you get good enough to get noticed, get identified for a world-class training program and then keep working very hard indeed from there. No-one's claiming instructors are world-class riders.

For an ordinary rider who has already missed that particular boat and is merely looking to become a very good rider, instructor training is pretty effective. I would rate it above just doing a "develop your riding" course because of the element of assessment. For sure, you'll learn loads going and doing a season-long shred program, but if you're struggling to stick that 360 or your switch carving isn't working out, are you going to find the motivation to keep going out and working on it, taking slam after slam in the park until you get it right? Are you going to get up early every morning, get on the hill and train or are you going to be out on the beers at night? The pressure of exams provides the motivation to bring out the best in a lot of riders. I know loads of riders who have done a few seasons and are still not really very good, just charge around doing the seasonnaire shuffle everywhere.

Nothing's perfect, but it's a pretty good option.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
For me, getting really good requires that you largely teach yourself. Doing some instructing or coaching training can provide part of the framework that you use to do this.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
rjs wrote:
For me, getting really good requires that you largely teach yourself. Doing some instructing or coaching training can provide part of the framework that you use to do this.


Who is going to spot/fix your bad habits that you don't even know about?? I'm not a boarder, but a skier. I thought I was good, even very good until I went into the BASI framework
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kitenski wrote:
Who is going to spot/fix your bad habits that you don't even know about?

I don't think that Athlete Directed Learning will work if you don't have an accurate mental model of what you are doing and what you should be doing. You probably need some interaction with a coach to get up to this level.

I'm not a boarder either but the last session that I attended on this area was run by the GB snowboard coach.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
FTR when I chatted with snow-trainers the average age was 40+ in big white and one other so not all gap year kids. After going through the schedule I just thought sod that for a laugh. Start 9.30 finish 4 30 Mon to Friday. The course was punishing and I thought it would most definitely improve my riding too but I want to chase pow and try and ride with the best riders (that would have me) to improve.

Boarder2020 thanks for the tips, I was looking at whistler until I shleved it in favour of cham but your post piqued my interest. I'm going with the wife so that adds a different dimension.
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Quote:

I would rate it above just doing a "develop your riding" course because of the element of assessment. For sure, you'll learn loads going and doing a season-long shred program, but if you're struggling to stick that 360 or your switch carving isn't working out


I would disagree. Purely because from what I've seen the instructional courses are not going to push you in terms of terrain. I know a girl who did her ski instructor training and technically a very good skier but can't ride steeps to save her life (yes some of that is psychological I'm sure). Her sister who never did a course but spent her time skiing with her boyfriend who snowboards very well is far better. Also for a lot of people 360s and switch are simply not goals. I personally couldn't care less about switch, I can be doing something more fun and it doesn't improve my regular riding. I am much more interested in off-piste/back country which I have happily paid to be instructed for and has been very useful.

Quote:

I actually know quite a few instructors who were very successful in competition (podiums on the FWT, freestyle world cups, olympics) and then went on to become instructors afterwards. They'll all tell you they had to work quite hard on their riding to pass the exams


I would have to ask then, how accurate is that teaching organisations standards? In sports science the old ideas of "optimum technique" have been losing ground. We see too many outliers that are successful using non-standard techniques. We also have more and more research showing that the best athletes have the most variability, even in closed sports. If those guys had originally been coached the BASI way to ski would they have been so successful? Of course we will never know. Control variables and much more flexibility are probably the way to teach of the future rather than rigid rules/guidelines which probably don't work for everyone.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
boarder2020 wrote:


I would have to ask then, how accurate is that teaching organisations standards? In sports science the old ideas of "optimum technique" have been losing ground. We see too many outliers that are successful using non-standard techniques. We also have more and more research showing that the best athletes have the most variability, even in closed sports. If those guys had originally been coached the BASI way to ski would they have been so successful? Of course we will never know. Control variables and much more flexibility are probably the way to teach of the future rather than rigid rules/guidelines which probably don't work for everyone.


It is an interestnig post. I recently read that the way we do sit ups has evolved through 6 techniques. In skiing/boarding as equipment has changed technique has evolved with it.

Regarding ski instruction (sorry I know nothing about boarding) it is interesting to compare the different training programmes (from what little I've seen Happy.

BASI take good recreational skiers and turn out ski instructors.
ENSA (French) take excellent skiers/competitors, weed out the bottom end before entry (generally people without a solid competition background or who don't ski to a high level) and try and turn them into ski instructors with a bit of boarding tacked on... but generally people are ski oriented. If you are a French snowboarder you might prefer to train in the Swiss system.
The Italians seem to take Alberta Tomba wannabees and issue them with MOU stamps Happy

I find the French instructors tend to be relaxed wrt to style. I spent a couple of days with an Olympic gold medalist and she said the worst thing was having a new coach messing with your technique unless something really wasn't working.
A top BASI instructor told me they have Italian Maestros coming to do the BASI 4 exams who were incredible good skiers at competition level. A Eurotest would be nothing for them but they often had to go back to BASI 3 to work on instruction and technique. Why did they want BASI 4? Because it made them more employable and they could get higher wages than with Maestro.
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