This snowboard instructor course combines Nonstop's legendary coaching program with the stunning Banff National Park... collectively, Banff's three ski areas are truly massive! With epic snow, three terrain parks, and amazing nightlife, Banff offers the ultimate winter season.
Our snowboard instructor course is the only one that trains at all three of Banff's local ski areas: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay.
With these resorts combined, you'll have exclusive access to the largest ski area in North America and never tire of having to do the same runs. This variety means you get to ride, and be coached on, all the best terrain, snow, and park features which means your riding will always keep progressing.
The drinking age in Banff is 18, being in Alberta, so this is a great option for gap year students.
This course combines improvement coaching, instructor training and freeride clinics to furnish you with all the skills you need to become an instructor and pass the CASI assessments. You’ll develop your technical and freeride skills, learn about mountain safety and be taught how to teach others.
Each week features four days of coaching from our team of expert pros, handpicked for their skills and know-how. We’ll be riding all three Banff resorts and clocking up mileage in all kinds of terrain, from pistes to powder bowls. We’ll be using video analysis throughout and delivering workshops in snowboard biomechanics, injury prevention, how to get a job as an instructor and more.
We arrange groups by ability and general attitude with no more than 8 riders per coach. You’ll be introduced to your first week’s pro who will quickly start analysing your technique and helping you achieve your goals on snow. Each week you’ll rotate between instructors, so you benefit from all their different styles, insights and approaches to riding the mountain.
The first phase of the course prepares you for your Level 1, before moving onto your Level 2 in the second phase. Prior to both, we lay on a private one-on-one session with a pro to prime your skills and gear you up for success. After passing the skiing and teaching elements of each exam, you’ll be fully equipped to teach, with a Level 2 opening the door to a world of teaching opportunities.
For those of you who have no designs on teaching and do not want to follow the Level 2 pathway, during exam sessions you will receive additional pro coaching to focus on your personal riding.
Our program is designed to fully prepare you for CASI Level 1 and 2 instructor qualifications. As well as perfecting your own technique, we'll show you the very best ways to teach others, giving you the very best chance to succeed in your final exams.
Nonstop is about more than snowboard coaching... we'll ensure you squeeze the most from your winter in Canada. Our "More" Program is packed full of additional courses, weekend trips and activities that you wouldn't normally get the opportunity to do.
From experiencing cat boarding, taking an avalanche course, visiting resorts like Kicking Horse and Revelstoke, to snowmobiling and dog sledding you'll experience the ultimate winter in Canada.
Here are some examples of activities you can get involved with. Please note these are subject to change, weather, seasonality and minimum numbers - and may not always be available
Banff has a bustling town centre, filled with lively bars, clubs, restaurants and shops. Our accommodation at Irwin's Mountain Inn is perfectly located within just a few minutes walk of the centre. You'll feel right at home at Irwin's with your own queen sized bed, cable TV, en-suite bathroom, gym, hot tub and pool access. The Nonstop group take over most of the hotel and we have our own common room for hanging out with friends, watching a film, playing table tennis or making a snack.
You'll receive 20 hours coaching per week over four days. Your days off are for free skiing, consolidating what you've learnt and other activities. The maximum group size is 8 people per pro but typically they are even smaller.
Unique to Nonstop, you'll be given a Ski Big 3 season lift pass, so you can ski as much as you please, as all 3 of Banff's incredible resorts; Lake Louise, Sunshine Village & Mount Norquay.
Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you.
The package includes the cost of the CASI Level 1 and Level 2 assessment. Please note, if you decide to go for the All Mountain Pro route then the CASI level 2 will no longer be included, and you will get four additional days of coaching instead.
Unlike most other courses offered, the Level 2 exam fee is included in the cost of your course, so there's no need to find $600 part way through your Banff experience.
If you have any desire to instruct in the future, especially outside Canada, then you will need that Level 2 qualification.
If you do not want to sit your Level 2, during the exam sessions you will receive additional coaching. If there are an insufficient number of people to run the extra coaching, you will receive a refund of the Level 2 fee.
You have the option of staying in a triple, twin or private room at Irwin's Mountain Inn, with facilities including:
You'll be treated to a hearty breakfast at El Toro five days per week. Options include coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.
Enjoy a tasty meal at El Toro four evenings a week.
If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop transfer to the resort. All your transport within the resort is taken care of, just don't forget your gear.
Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.
You'll get two 90 minute private coaching sessions during the course, one before your Level 1 and another before your Level 2.
Throughout the program our coaches will make the most of technical video analysis to help with your development.
Throughout the course we run regular technical talks on subjects like biomechanics, looking after your gear, and injury prevention.
You'll be given an 'Instructor Starter Kit' booklet with a directory of ski school contacts, receive a seminar on 'Working as an Instructor', and be given constant advice from our coaches.
Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in.
You'll be able to get involved with many winter activities and experiences during your time with us, from cat skiing to ice hockey. We'll give you $250 worth of credits to use on the activities of your choice.
You'll have the opportunity to gain the following additional qualifications:
Stay on for a spring week after the course finishes. You'll have a season lift pass so it's just a case of booking extra accommodation.
1% of revenues support environmental non-profits, including Protect Our Winters
We make your trip carbon neutral by offsetting emissions we can't reduce, including flights
On behalf of all participants, we offset the measurable carbon emissions of your trip based on the duration, location and type of course, as well as the journey you’re taking to reach your course. Through our partnership with Climate Impact, we contribute to effective carbon reduction projects.
These things are not included in the package:
We appreciate there are a few operators available in Banff; here’s why you should only consider booking with Nonstop
3 resorts: Nonstop are the only company that will train you in all three resorts; Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village & Lake Louise. Each resort offers unique strengths and will have different snow conditions throughout the season; only by being able to explore all three are you guaranteed to enjoy the best that Banff (and the season) has to offer.
Accommodation: The hotel we use is on Banff Avenue – the main street in town. It’s less than a ten-minute walk to all the bars and clubs so nightlife access is easy, yet you can still get a good night’s sleep! All our guests in the hotel stay in queen sized beds in rooms with an en-suite – unlike other companies that only pack you into bunk beds in hostels.
Coaching: With 17 years of experience, and over 40 11-week courses under our belt, we’ve delivered more instructor training than anyone else. Our snowboard coaches are the best in the business and will completely transform your riding. We have a maximum group size of 8 snowboarders: 1 instructor. We have regularly spotted our competitors with as many as 10 in one group; not cool!
Social: When 50 passionate skiers and snowboarders from all over the globe come together to spend a winter in Banff, the friendships and shared experiences are nothing short of epic. We guarantee that some of your life’s best memories will be made with your course mates in Banff.
Care: we recognise that for many of our Banff clients, this will be their first extended trip away from home. We have experienced staff in resort that are on hand to ensure your stay with us is as smooth as possible. They are accessible 24/7, so you’ll be in good hands.
Extras: With Nonstop, it’s not all about the coaching: we put a huge emphasis on enjoying as many Canadian mountain experiences as possible and organise a massive program of activities, away-trips, courses and socials to make this the richest, most enjoyable, winter possibl. Find out more.
We provide inclusive airport transfers at set departure times from Calgary airport; these are available on the advertised start & end date of the course. Banff is extremely well serviced by a public transfer operator so if you want to arrive on an alternative day, no problem!
Our Banff course attracts a much lower average age compared to our course in Fernie. In a typical year, we expect 90% of clients to be aged 18 – 21. This might have something to do with the fact Banff boasts some of the best nightlife in Canada & the legal drinking age is only 18. Just a hunch!
We do not recommend this, and we don’t have any examples of past clients who have managed it. In other words, no! This experience should be treated as a once in a lifetime winter to purely focus on your skiing / riding & having as much fun as possible. You would need a working holiday visa in order to work – most people only ever get to have one of these (lasting for two years), so you should save yours for when you may be working as an instructor in the future.
During the course we host a seminar that will help prepare you for work in the industry; you’ll hear from former clients that are now living the dream as instructors. Beyond the course, we’re always on hand to offer support on applications and we’re regularly contacted by snow schools looking for new recruits each winter. It's not possible to work as an instructor in Banff immediately after your course.
Absolutely not! Most of our clients in Banff are simply looking to have the best time of their lives, both on and off the snow! Achieving the CASI level 2 certification serves as a bonus & justification for all this fun; whilst also keeping the doors open to work as an instructor in the future!
As a ballpark figure, we suggest having a budget of $250 - $300 per week to cover your spending money. By preparing packed lunches for the mountain and cooking your own meals at the weekends, you can certainly make your budget go further. Between coaching 4-days per week, free riding & the activities available on the MORE programme, we keep you busy. For many people, how much they spend will really come down to night time habits.
We look forward to speaking with you.