You’re itching to do a ski season and thinking about joining a ski or snowboard instructor course. The hitch: are you good enough?
This can depend on several factors, like: length of the course, plus the qualifications on offer. For most courses though, you need a basic level of ability and readiness to learn.
Ability can be a little subjective and hard to categorise. To help you judge where you are, we use the following five levels.
Our ski and snowboard instructor courses are designed for a range of abilities from intermediate through to expert. The better you are, the easier the whole process is likely to be, but you don’t need to be all that technically brilliant from the outset to get involved.
Courses feature a blend of coaching geared towards boosting your all-mountain skills and preparing you for instructor certifications such as CSIA/CASI, and our groups are organised based on experience to ensure you’re pushed to the right level. You’ll work on both your technical ability as well as your teaching ability.
As a minimum, to join our courses, you should consider yourself an intermediate. Skiers should be able to do parallel turns consistently on blue runs and easy blacks, and snowboarders should be able to link turns on the same terrain. You should be confident but not necessarily technically sound. Generally, this means at least four to five weeks experience.
You’ll train for your Level 1 and then Level 2 certifications, with each level a step up from the previous. This is what coaching prepares you for, and both are achievable with the right application.
I'm a beginner or improver
If you're fairly new to skiing or snowboarding but totally hooked - and consider yourself a beginner or improver - it's probably worth getting a touch more experience before joining an instructor course.
I'm an intermediate
If you rate yourself as intermediate, you'll be well positioned for most courses. Expect to be challenged and pushed along the way, but huge leaps in your confidence and technique. With focused coaching and the right application, most people who arrive as intermediates can expect to achieve their Level 1 and Level 2 certifications.
I'm advanced or expert
If you're an advanced or expert skier or snowboarder, awesome. As skiers and snowboarders, there is always room to progress and push yourself. More experience from the get-go will probably make the initial learning curve easier, but be prepared for your technique to be broken down and built back up again. Each season our coaches help very experienced riders fine-tune their skills across the mountain.
We run a range of courses in Canada, France and New Zealand which train you for different national qualifications. They are designed for intermediate to expert riders, but some courses may need more experience from the get-go.
When it comes to qualifications, there are a few options out there, and you want to choose a system that best matches your goals for progression. CSIA, BASI and NZSIA are all open, progressive systems and the training you receive will gear you up for success.
Our 11 week courses in Canada feature a great deal of coaching time and this means you can arrive as an early intermediate. For our 3 week courses, you'll need more on-snow experience and should consider yourself a strong intermediate - six to eight weeks is a good guide.
Our course in Serre Chevalier gears you up to enter the French system through the Test Technique - a timed slalom speed test. Extremely challenging, to join this course you need to be an accomplished skier and rate your level as expert.
If you are at all unsure whether you are good enough, then get in touch with our team to talk it through. It’s not always black and white. While you may have less experience, you may have a background in other sports that means your progression is likely to be faster.
Find your course
Get the dream going and check out our ski instructor courses / snowboard instructor courses.
We look forward to speaking with you.