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!)

Ski Instructor Course vs DIY w/ Working Holiday Visa

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi everyone, I know this sort of topic has been covered before but I'd appreciate some advice on my current situation.

So I've just turned 30 (today) and had a Canadian Working Holiday Visa approved a few days ago with the intention to go do a ski season in Canada (currently looking at Fernie). I'm intending to also get a NZ WHV before I turn 31 since I'm keen to go and do a season there too. I didn't originally plan it with so much bouncing around but COVID and age have conspired against me.

I really enjoy my skiing (and recently boarding for the first time) and will be leaving my current field of work regardless in the next month or so. I figure that doing a few ski seasons as an instructor sounds like the perfect change up I need in my life, at least for the short term or maybe longer. I'm not against trying it for a few years and deciding it doesn't suit me anymore. Either way I'd really like to improve my skiing/boarding and have some time on the mountain. I have done somewhere in the region of 12 weeks of skiing over the past 15 years and 1 week of snowboarding.

However, I'm undecided on the route I should take with getting an instructor cert since a lot of the courses appear to extortionately priced and aimed at 18-21 year olds having just left school/uni.

Option 1 - I've found a course that I like the look of in NZ (https://www.cardrona.com/winter/learn/instructor-training/ski-courses/nzsia-level-1-2/) and if I went for this I'd have to book soon and would be unable to get a WHV in time for the working aspect of the earlier starting course, then would head to Canada afterwards. Looks like if you knock off the cost of the certs it's ~£3.5k for the 6hrs of training @ 4days/week, I make this a shade over £20/hour for the training time if you knock off the certification days. I'm also not including food/accommodation since I'll otherwise be exploring Canada and doubt I'll spend less there. Additionally, I like the way the NZSIA structure their site and courses, they seem to be transparent with cert/membership prices etc which doesn't seem to be the case everywhere and have all their documentation online to download. Though, I wouldn't be earning in this time and the flights to Canada via NZ would be roughly an extra £1k, so £4.5k extra not accounting for various potential lost earnings.

Option 2 - I head to Canada without certs and attempt to get enough skiing in to do a CSIA Level 1 certificate whilst I'm there and working, hopefully taking advantage of a free lift pass, free/discounted lessons, etc. This would likely rule out instructors jobs and would only get me to a L1 standard and I'd head to NZ potentially wanting to get my L2. Not sure what the general concensus is about DIYing an L2 cert but I'm assuming that I'd want to take a course to really nail my technique down before doing it.

Help me Snowheads, what would you do in my position?
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
L2 is not a very high level and should be achievable without doing an extended course. At the same time, you don't have a whole lot of skiing experience, so, depending on how self-taught / orthodox your technique is, you may need some extra help. 12 weeks in 15 years is pretty minimal - BASI courses suggest at least 16 weeks experience for level 1.

A good option might be to either do a pre-instructor course assessment or even do a BASI 1 at a UK snowdome before you make up your mind. You could discuss your plans with the trainer and get their assessment on how much coaching you might need to reach level 2 standard. I believe CASI will accept a BASI level 1 and allow you to go straight to level 2, but obviously check that thoroughly! No idea on NZ, but the same might apply.
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?
@4p7, are you in the UK? Option to do a BASI L1 at a UK snowdome

https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Alpine/Alpine_level_1/Alpine_level_1.aspx?WebsiteKey=211cffca-c436-4a06-844e-527af5a19586&hkey=dcb19b78-8522-4364-ac16-33ebf39360a6&Alpine_Level_1_Course=4#Alpine_Level_1_Course
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
As said above L2 is not a particularly high level. A season of skiing with some instruction along the way should get you in the ball park. As you say the season courses tend to be extortionate in comparison to DIY.

Quote:

since I'll otherwise be exploring Canada and doubt I'll spend less there.


I think you might find Canada is way cheaper than NZ!

I've met quite a few people in your position looking to go out become an instructor and do multiple seasons. They have no prior experience of ski instructing or even teaching more generally. They spend a lot of money doing the qualifications and then realise they hate teaching. The inconsistent hours (low weeks you may have no work), the fact as a new instructor you will likely spend more time on the bunny slope trying to stop little kids crying than actually teaching skiing, the pay being pretty terrible etc. Most of them would have been much happier in a job that fitted around skiing rather than massively eat into it. Others become an instructor because they want to personally become a better skier. While an instructor course certainly can help in this way, it's almost certainly not the most cost or time effective way to improve your own skiing.

Personally I like option 3 - turn up with no qualifications, find a job that gives you loads of free time during the days to ski e.g. bar/restaurant (probably more consistent and higher pay too!). Contact the local ski school and enquire about shadowing a few lessons and chat to a few instructors about what it's really like. If you still want to become an instructor the door is still open and you know exactly what you are getting yourself into, if not you just saved a lot of time and money.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Agree on the same lines as @stevomcd and @kitenski. Other option in the UK is to look at IASI as well, the Irish Qualification. There's a L1 course running via Ali at Ski definition available here:

https://www.skidefinition.com/iasi-level-1-exams

Plenty of L1 dates running between now and June via BASI and IASI. That might get you the option of teaching beginners in NZ this summer, and then you could consider looking in to a L2 exam in NZ or Canada, and maybe converting over to NZ or CA qualifications.

I'd imagine you might be able to get some form of exemption from L1 based on a BASI/IASI qualification, but you'd have to investigate that.

You'll just need to decide whether you like teaching or not. I've taken a plunge and teach once a week at my local dry slope and love it, others won't enjoy it.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@stevomcd Good to know about L2 being reasonably achievable but, even if I feel I'm a confident skier, you'd be correct in thinking I haven't had a lesson in years.

TBH I haven't skied since the week before COVID kicked off so I could use at least a few days on the snow before taking any exam. And I imagine that it is possible that my form has deteriorated since then, (my fitness certainly has!)

Perhaps a more intensive course would be a better move in order to focus on improving my skiing and ironing out any bad habits before a season of cementing them in? Therefore leaning towards NZ? I'd be doing the exam with my own kit then too and get a few weeks on the snow under the eyes of a professional before taking it.

Not to say that I wouldn't take advantage of the free classes in Canada but I can forsee that they aren't always going to line up with working/plans. Plus, I can always use them for snowboarding if I do my ski cert before getting there.

@kitenski I'm based in York but I'm currently in the US working. When I get back I don't intend to be at home for too long before travelling since I won't be working but will certainly look up whether BASI L1 is worth doing. I've not got anything against the British system but I'm keen to get on the mountain.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Whilst L1 and lL2 are achievable you need to be able to adapt and change your skiing style. Plenty of people fail L1 (I think 60% of my course failed) from younger kids skiing with legs clamped together to older people with bad habits they couldn't change in a week.

@4p7, There are L1 courses running at Castleford from July onwards from a quick check. IMHO worst case you'd fail and know what you needed to work on as well as having had a great 4 days of focused tuition
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

A season of skiing with some instruction along the way should get you in the ball park

Quote:

Most of them would have been much happier in a job that fitted around skiing rather than massively eat into it


@boarder2020 I've always taken the view that anyone who has done a season is normally a very good skier/boarder. 6 months at Fernie sounds like a good way to get there but I keep flip flopping between the 2 plans, unsure which would be the better option.

Quote:

Others become an instructor because they want to personally become a better skier


I also feel I could well fall into this camp. It is at least part of the reason that I would like to do it.

Ultimately, I suppose the course in NZ will still be there next year and if I can pass a L1 myself in Canada then I can always do the L2 course in NZ if I want/need to and I've saved some money. Plus I should have more of an understanding of the job by then. All in all, sounds pretty sensible and actually nobody here has outright suggested NZ yet.

@swskier I'll have a look at the Irish course too, though as I said above is be happier getting a few days of skiing in before taking any exams. Glad to hear someone else is enjoying it, I hope I do too!
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.
@4p7, lots of sound advice here - I'll pick up on the point made by @boarder2020 about whether you like teaching. I have a fair bit of experience of the business of becoming a sailing instructor and some of the same considerations apply. My daughter is a Senior Instructor and she loves teaching. She became a teacher in her day job. She was a less skilled "techie" sailor than some of the lads she trained with, who obsessed about rigging tension and were keen, and highly competitive, racing helms. Our Club sends youngsters to national training squads. My daughter had NO interest in racing but nothing gave her a bigger kick than taking out a scared 9 year old and getting him out on a trapeze and coming back full of himself and keen for more. She has also spent hours in slow, safe (?boring) dinghies with hopeless, slow, cack-handed, beginner adults, some of whom have subsequently told me how great she was.

Doing BASI 1 here - even if you don't pass it - sounds like a quick and low-cost way of deciding what you really want to do.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@kitenski I've been to X-scape a couple of times so I'll have a look. Wasn't really planning on still being in the country in July though perhaps there's a course somewhere else. Manchester isn't too far and I've got friends there. I'm working nights, so I'll have a look online tomorrow. Thanks for the advice Smile
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
i agree with boarder2020
i have done the instructor course in Germany, but in the way i find that i have not the willing at all to work at beginners slopes with complete novice boarders
i dont know if in Canada, NZ or BASI is others...

If you like teaching go for it (or try to find if you like teaching)
If you want to do it, only to improve your skills or have a season in CAN, NZ etc maybe you could find another way
if you could not find another way, then...do it....

just go for it...
latest 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.
@pam_w Thanks I'll investigate and have a think about it. Even if I decided not to do it full time it might be something I enjoy as a second job or part time like @swskier. I guess there are other jobs on the mountain with lots of skiing like ski patrol.

Also having looked at the thread I'm not sure I'm tagging people correctly. Is it just the @ followed by the name or am I missing something?
latest 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
Number 1 thing to remember about commercial instructor courses is that they are a business and they are selling you on a dream while taking plenty of money from your pocket. I can't see anyway that you pay back the costs of doing a full season course with a couple of years of peripatetic instruction.


You could just do Canadian L1 direct book with CSIA at the beginning of the season and after that the ski school will give you a job. With the oil patch in Alberta probably kicking off high again due to worldwide energy prices trust me in places like Fernie they'll be wanting for low paid instructors, Then do the ordinary on the job ski school training or just freeskiing with mates and take L2 when you're more experienced.

Your main issue will be securing accomodation so have a plan for that.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@4p7, to tag someone simply click on their name in the box to the left of one of their posts.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@4p7, if you're keen to get some skiing done before then head over to NZ this summer, get some skiing under your belt, maybe get yourself a bar job/ restaurant job in the evenings, that way you're covering your costs and still skiing, and look at doing your level 1 at the back end of the season.

https://www.nzsia.org/ski/calendar/

2 courses running in September and 2 in October. That'll give you plenty of time to ski beforehand, possibly have some lessons, or get an assessment done on your skiing before taking up the level 1 course.

Then pop on over to Canada in the Northern Hemisphere Winter and again get an evening job, or teaching job. If you get a teaching job you'll get some training through the ski school and you can look towards doing your level 2 later in the winter.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
4p7 wrote:
@pam_w Thanks I'll investigate and have a think about it. Even if I decided not to do it full time it might be something I enjoy as a second job or part time like @swskier. I guess there are other jobs on the mountain with lots of skiing like ski patrol.

Also having looked at the thread I'm not sure I'm tagging people correctly. Is it just the @ followed by the name or am I missing something?


Forget ski patrol - you might get a job as volunteer trail crew (with a pass) or a volunteer yellow jacket but not a serious job. Think more practically - ski towns have supermarkets and shops and restaurants and bars that need washers up and waiters etc and if you're lucky those hours would largely be in afternoons and evenings.
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The ski patrol folk I've seen round French resorts all seem to be absolutely brilliant skiers - and of course they do rescues in all conditions, and often way off piste. A British holiday skier, even if they spoke fluent French, would have no chance of being employed.
snow conditions
 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?
I agree with the other comments about doing the L1 before heading out there (wherever), and trying to get some work with a ski school. A lot of the younger new/wannabe instructors here start out doing almost exclusively Kid's Club, more like a nanny than a ski instructor, but are then actively involved in ongoing training with the ski school and shadowing of other instructors. Some may advance quickly to be doing group lessons on their own in the first season, others not, depending on starting level and experience, so you'd want to talk in detail with any prospective ski school about how they would enable your development and what would be their expectations of you.

Also make sure you're fully aware of how much (little) you'll get paid, both during your training and once you're qualified to L2. Even higher-level instructors don't really make very much[1] until/unless they set up their own operation, which means you'll have to have got the top qualification in whatever system you go with and then the relevant local professional certificate, e.g. the French Carte Pro or the Swiss Patent. This will take at least 5, probably more like 10 years even for the most talented.

I'm guessing that this is not your current objective, but would definitely agree that doing instructor training is probably the best route you could find to improve your own skiing. Whether you'll get the same enjoyment out of it is another matter wink


[1] Compared with a professional position in industry, and bearing in mind that even the most dedicated (and lucky) will only be able to work in the region of 600 hours per season, perhaps up to a thousand if you migrate to NZ in the Northern summer.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
4p7 wrote:

I'd really like to improve my skiing/boarding and have some time on the mountain.
...
However, I'm undecided on the route I should take with getting an instructor cert since a lot of the courses appear to extortionately priced and aimed at 18-21 year olds having just left school/uni.

You're mixing up your objectives.

To improve in your own skiing and learning to teach aren't the same thing. Though both involves skiing, you can do much better by focusing on improving skiing without bothering with how to teach it to others!

Many people say teaching help improving their own skiing. That's because they're forced into spending a lot of time doing drills (with their student), which people tend not to have the discipline do if they're just out free skiing on their own.

Also, when not involve in an instructor training program, you'll need to find an instructor/clinic/program that will focus on building good fundamentals. And you'll need to actually do the work (lessons, drills in between) to get the most benefits. It's not as hard as it sounds. But it needs initiative, rather than someone else putting it all together and charge you (and some profit) for their service.

"Just skiing" can do a lot in improving your skiing too. And it cost nothing (once you paid for the season pass). Once you've got a fair amount of snow time, you can do some minimal amount of specific training to get your cert if you do feel strongly about teaching skiing. How do you think the natives get to be instructors? Do you think they all take those expensive gap year courses?

It's almost guarantee to be a lot less costly. Whether it achieve the objective of getting a teaching cert at the end really depends on your own effort and initiative.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Doing some low-level instructor training will certainly greatly improve your snowplough. I heard of one (quite good and certainly very experienced) skier who failed BASI 1 because he just couldn't nail the snowplough and had been relying on a quick hockey stop. I didn't realise how very poor my snowplough technique was until my first week's lessons on classic cross country skis when we had to do slow snowplough turns down a gentle gradient on very narrow skis with no edges.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

instructor training is probably the best route you could find to improve your own skiing.


There is no way instructor training is better than specific tuition aimed at improving your own skiing. As @abc, says improving your own skiing and learning to teach are two different things. Instructor training can help, but there are a lot of other, and I'd argue better and more fun, ways to improve your skiing.

Quote:

Also make sure you're fully aware of how much (little) you'll get paid, both during your training and once you're qualified to L2


A lot of the resorts in Canada only have 1 ski school which is owned by the resort itself. So minimum competition means they can offer very low wages. Also there is usually a surplus of instructors so you can go a week at a time with no work - especially if your boss has other favourites that get the majority of the work. Don't like it and want to quit? Well say goodbye to the free lift pass, which will you have to replace at a full cost (up to $2000) rather than the much cheaper pre season prices

Quote:

Number 1 thing to remember about commercial instructor courses is that they are a business and they are selling you on a dream while taking plenty of money from your pocket. I can't see anyway that you pay back the costs of doing a full season course with a couple of years of peripatetic instruction


@Dave of the Marmottes, so true! I've seen so many young people come to Canada with a place on some season ski instructor course. They pay for just the course what me and the ski bums can do 2 whole seasons on (flights, food, accomodation, lift pass etc.) without even thinking about working. They then realise ski instructing is not for them and have extreme jealousy of the people working evening jobs making better money and with their days free to ski. However they can't quit their job because they can't afford to lose the free lift pass. second season they move from ski instructor to an evening job, but financially a completely unnecessary loss on the course they I'll never reclaim.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
boarder2020 wrote:

There is no way instructor training is better than specific tuition aimed at improving your own skiing. As @abc, says improving your own skiing and learning to teach are two different things. Instructor training can help, but there are a lot of other, and I'd argue better and more fun, ways to improve your skiing.



I can only speak for myself and my wife, but we had both done numerous high-level ski courses, clinics, etc. before we embarked on the BASI route, and had spent several years skiing at least every weekend, latterly 40+ days per season. She did it before me, did a gap-year course [1] in Argentina, came back completely transformed in her skiing. I followed her a year and a bit later, doing all of my training in week or two-week courses here in the Alps.

The different focus worked well for us both, enabling us to much better understand the _why_, rather than just the _how_, of making the skis work. Couple that with the need to explain it and demonstrate it, and to do so in different ways for different students, particularly adults who we find often unable to accept or implement something without first understanding why it should work, really ramped us up a notch.

Continuing courses over the years, and a lot of mutual analysis and diagnosis, has of course really helped a lot too, but I can confidently say that in my case, and that of my wife, going down the instruction route was instrumental in our (continuing) skiing improvement.

[1] Which was appallingly-run, BTW. Not all such courses would be, I'm sure, but I know of others that have been poorly implemented as well, such that the benefit gained is nothing near what it could be.
snow 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!
Quote:
instructor training is probably the best route you could find to improve your own skiing.
I think it's obviously wrong to say that "the best route" for a person with 12 weeks experience to improve is to become a teacher of beginners. Learn how to ski first, then learn how to teach it. They're not the same thing.

If your future customers agreed with the suggested approach, then you'd never teach anyone with more than 11 weeks experience, which is clearly absurd.
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.
philwig wrote:
Quote:
instructor training is probably the best route you could find to improve your own skiing.
I think it's obviously wrong to say that "the best route" for a person with 12 weeks experience to improve is to become a teacher of beginners. Learn how to ski first, then learn how to teach it. They're not the same thing.

If your future customers agreed with the suggested approach, then you'd never teach anyone with more than 11 weeks experience, which is clearly absurd.


I think the OP subsequently caveated his/her post by a reference to the experience of him/her and his/her wife. (yes i'm beginning to see how clarity on pronouns is not just PC gone mad!) I can see how instructor training is absolutely the best route to improvement for some individuals and might be a sub-optimal route for others (though access to free ad hoc professional development clinics throughout the season could be nothing but a benefit to all). Hell I've no intention of ever working as an instructor but I've skied near some of those clinics and thought yeah that'd be fun* given they are on exactly the terrain I've chosen to be on this morning.


* To be strictly fair I note that some of those clinics seem to be "let's go shred pow while we don't have classes and we're in uniform so we can have liftline priority" wink


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 12-05-22 12:20; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks to everyone who has commented here. I've found some really good advice here. New plan for me it's to head to Canada and wing it by attempting to get involved in as many free classes as I can. I'll try to improve my skiing first and foremost before looking at any instructor certs and try gain insight into them by chatting with the instructors there.

I'll bear in mind what @Chaletbeauroc, said about the gap year/instructor courses potentially being a force for good but that'll be further down the line for me.

I'm still keen to try out teaching at some point but it sounds like it would be massively beneficial (financially and otherwise) and potentially more enjoyable to focus on my own skiing first with maybe looking into the CSIA L1 when I get there. Thanks all for your help! Smile
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hope it goes well, @4p7 - don't forget to tell us how you get on. We'd enjoy an extended trip report as many people are interested (or their kids are interested) in doing the same thing. My son spent several seasons working as a very highly paid chef in the Espace Killy and the 3 Valleys, and got a lot of skiing/snowboarding in quiet times. After initially going out with an upmarket UK tour operator he found their approach too directive, giving him too little scope for interesting cooking, and no time off even in the "training weeks" before the punters arrived, so he told them to stuff their job and went freelance. Being flexible and responding to opportunities is important. He did have some hungry weeks before he could establish himself and start earning proper money! He and his British ski instructor flat mate used to rent out the bedroom in their tiny flat and sleep under the table to make a few extra bob. One night, when Val d'Isere was covered in snow they ended up housing half a dozen lost souls who had nowhere to go. Laughing I don't think I ever heard half the stuff they got up to. His flat mate was a top qualified BASI instructor and he went out with them on their days off. He was already a good skier but that did wonders for his technique. wink
ski holidays
 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.
4p7 wrote:
Thanks to everyone who has commented here. I've found some really good advice here. New plan for me it's to head to Canada and wing it by attempting to get involved in as many free classes as I can. I'll try to improve my skiing first and foremost before looking at any instructor certs and try gain insight into them by chatting with the instructors there.

I'll bear in mind what @Chaletbeauroc, said about the gap year/instructor courses potentially being a force for good but that'll be further down the line for me.

I'm still keen to try out teaching at some point but it sounds like it would be massively beneficial (financially and otherwise) and potentially more enjoyable to focus on my own skiing first with maybe looking into the CSIA L1 when I get there. Thanks all for your help! Smile


Good call IMO. Can’t think of anything worse than being stuck on a beginner slope perfecting your snow plough (plow) or someone else’s, when you could be farming some cold, blower Canadian pow!

And Fernie will have much better terrain and conditions than Cadrona!
ski holidays
 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
Fernie is an awesome place to become a kickass versatile skier. Small enough to learn every line over a season and enough variety to get good at steeps, chutes, trees and bumps. Plus if you're on the hill everyday you get to meet more or less everyone local. The local Kool Krew blew by me this year when I was ponying around in Lizzard Bowl and threw corked flips off a tiny feature on the side of a gully.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
philwig wrote:
Quote:
instructor training is probably the best route you could find to improve your own skiing.
I think it's obviously wrong to say that "the best route" for a person with 12 weeks experience to improve is to become a teacher of beginners. Learn how to ski first, then learn how to teach it. They're not the same thing.

If your future customers agreed with the suggested approach, then you'd never teach anyone with more than 11 weeks experience, which is clearly absurd.


Correct there is no logic behind it.

If instructor courses really were the *best* for improving someone's ability we could expect to see the majority of pros having instructor qualifications. I'd guess less than 1% of them do. Also we wouldn't see half as many casi level 2s with relatively average ski skills.

Go ask any pro/expert in any field what's the best way to improve and I doubt any say become a teacher/instructor. Suspect not too many at CERN have their pgces and not many physics teachers could do their job either. Two very different things.
snow conditions
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@boarder2020, Most people at CERN will have a good understanding of their subject though, they are not just trying stuff at random.

A goal of ski race coaching is to get the athlete to the point where they are mostly teaching themself, they then improve much faster than if every change has to be driven by someone else, to reach this point requires that the athlete follow a similar learning progression to a coach/instructor.

An instructor course isn't the only way to get this level of understanding but it is one possible route.
latest report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I think of it as not all instructors are created equal

A generic instructor will teach you on bumps by explaining how they are different from a groomer and bore you senseless with extension and retraction chat.

A good instructor will give you drills to work on helpful movement patterns for handling bumps.

A great instructor will watch you ski bumps then give you 1 or 2 instant takeaways on what you can do better and why, while on the chairlift spinning round for the next crack at them.

Bias declared - I'm a run and gun learner, I can ponder the physics on my own time.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@rjs, granted I wouldn't advise a beginner trying to teach themselves, lessons to teach the basics are definitely a better approach.

I'm not sure the goal of any coach is to get the athlete to the point they are coaching themselves. If that was the case none of the top pros would have coaches! I've seen plenty of elite athletes with no idea how/why they are doing the things their coach prescribes. Other athletes want to know the reasoning behind every specific detail. It can definitely help if an athlete engages with the process, but over engagement can be detrimental too - when athletes start deviating from prescribed plan because they know better.

I would suspect that good athletes tend to have better body awareness and proprioception than recreational. Of course this helps a lot as they can likely visualise and feel what they are doing and make the appropriate adjustments. On the other hand the 2 week a year skier probably has little idea what they are doing in comparison - show someone a video of them skiing and they are often surprised how much different reality looks to their perceptions!
snow report
 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?
boarder2020 wrote:

I would suspect that good athletes tend to have better body awareness and proprioception than recreational. Of course this helps a lot as they can likely visualise and feel what they are doing and make the appropriate adjustments. On the other hand the 2 week a year skier probably has little idea what they are doing in comparison - show someone a video of them skiing and they are often surprised how much different reality looks to their perceptions!


Having someone video you and providing a few tips is a great way of learning!
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
boarder2020 wrote:
I'm not sure the goal of any coach is to get the athlete to the point they are coaching themselves. If that was the case none of the top pros would have coaches! I've seen plenty of elite athletes with no idea how/why they are doing the things their coach prescribes. Other athletes want to know the reasoning behind every specific detail. It can definitely help if an athlete engages with the process, but over engagement can be detrimental too - when athletes start deviating from prescribed plan because they know better.

Feel free to contact the various national ski coaching education bodies and tell them what they are doing it wrong.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
BobinCH wrote:

Having someone video you and providing a few tips is a great way of learning!


Only if they, and you, understand what you're trying to achieve at any given point. It's important to first get that understanding, feel the sensation when it's working properly and know what's wrong when it's not, and then take a look at yourself on video to see it you're actually looking like you think you should.

I'll often ask my ski partner, usually my wife, to look at some specific point, like going down a mogul field and asking her to see if my back is staying straight upright, shoulders facing down the fall line, and how much side to side and up and down movement there is. I know what I'm trying to achieve but sometimes need an external view to be able to judge how well I'm actually doing it. An educated observer is much more immediate than video feedback.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
We're quickly veering into HOW to teach! If the OP still hadn't completely made up his mind of not to pursue an instructor's course, this would be a good sneak preview / reality check... rolling eyes
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Seems like OP has made up his mind, but I did a level 2 program in NZ and have really enjoyed my career as a ski instructor (30 seasons and counting).

If you only want to do a few seasons it might not be worth it, but it's a good kick start to a career, as your skills will improve beyond just scraping through your level 2.

Obviously the snow and mountains are much better in Canada though.
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!
rjs wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
I'm not sure the goal of any coach is to get the athlete to the point they are coaching themselves. If that was the case none of the top pros would have coaches! I've seen plenty of elite athletes with no idea how/why they are doing the things their coach prescribes. Other athletes want to know the reasoning behind every specific detail. It can definitely help if an athlete engages with the process, but over engagement can be detrimental too - when athletes start deviating from prescribed plan because they know better.

Feel free to contact the various national ski coaching education bodies and tell them what they are doing it wrong.


There is a huge difference between developing athletes to be able to work independently and to be self coached. I suspect the ski instructing bodies suggest the former rather than the latter - but feel free to quote some of the coaching manuals. Self coached athletes on the elite level are pretty much unheard of, in fact they often have whole teams of coaches! For example bode miller had 3 coaches at one point. If someone with his expertise can't coach themselves what chance do the rest of us have?! snowHead
latest 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.
@jimmer, An L2 in NZ is definitely still on the cards, just not this season. I'll be looking into it after Fernie when I've got some more time on the snow, better fitness, and my own gear that I'm comfortable with. So this time next year hopefully Smile

abc wrote:
We're quickly veering into HOW to teach! If the OP still hadn't completely made up his mind of not to pursue an instructor's course, this would be a good sneak preview / reality check... rolling eyes


I mean, I've been finding this thread super interesting so maybe I will enjoy it. Though maybe I just enjoy learning.

@Dave of the Marmottes, I was originally leaning more towards Big White with Fernie as an undecided second place but after speaking with some Canadian friends they all said how awesome Fernie is. It being smaller than Whistler/Banff seems like there should be more of a small town vibe where everyone knows each other and that feels way better imo. Nobody has a bad word to say about the place, I'm actually just disappointed that I have to wait a few months and can't go skiing there now!
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@4p7, if you get there make sure you post up a season diary here. Will be interesting for those of us that know Fernie and fans of Hot Tub Time Machine.
snow conditions



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy