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Old 03-15-2014, 03:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aspiring Instructor: Ski school?

I could use some advice on whether or not you full time instructors see any value in going to a dedicated ski school to get certifications. I have a few options for getting certifications and they range from 1 to 3 months for level 1 to level 2 certs respectively with some extra certs added in such as freestyle training and backcountry safety. Programs will cost $5000 to $15000, depending on the number of certifications I sign up for. That covers the training, living space and slope access.

My other option would just be to continue progression on my own, taking lessons off and on to get coaching and taking exams for certifications on my own. I can ride confidently on most terrain in most conditions. Chutes are still pretty scary and my freestyle trick bag is a little lackluster. Avalanche and backcountry stuff would still need to be acquired from a professional instructor. Getting mentoring from other instructors on movement analysis and drills would not be much an issue.

The kicker is, if you went to ski school at all... What certs did you go for? Was it worth the money education wise? Would you recommend any programs?

If you didn't go to ski school... What certs did you get on your own and how long did it take you to get them? Did you do it part time with another job or postgraduate program? Would you have opted to go to a ski school instead?

Thank you very much in advance for any advice you have.

Last edited by Eat Sleep Shred; 03-15-2014 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you talking skiing or snowboarding?
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm... Hmm... That is embarrassing, I meant snowboarding for sure. I reckon I forgot to clarify that. Old habits die hard, my folks prefix most downhill snow sport related things with "Ski" no matter the number of planks. Its a little old fashioned. But I will be going to a school to become a snowboard instructor.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just move out to a real hill, get hired as an instuctor, do a season of instructing, ride abunch and do some clinics then sit for your level 1 exam. No reason to spend big $ and get ass reamed by a school. Besides you can then really see if you want to work for a hill as an instructor.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Paying $15,000 is insane! If you can get hired as an instructor without your level 1 (hard to do out west but some east coast resorts will do it if you pass their own private training) do that. If you get a job, many good resorts will offer to cover your level 1, 2 and 3 certifications as long as you pass. Saved me hundreds. Do keep in mind though that level 1 is pretty easy for any semi experienced rider, level 2 pretty hard and level 3 is damn near impossible if you haven't been riding for years (which is probably a good thing because the kind of stuff you're teaching at that level is intense and should only be done by absolute experts) I failed my level 3 three times before I finally got it.

It's super fun, I did it to pay my way through college. Keep in mind though, the pay will never be great, you do it for the free pass and getting to snowboard every day, not to make money.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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+1 for on the job training, especially if you are not yet totally sure it is your cuppa tea. i taught, it was ok but you make no money, at first anyway. if you get to the point where you get repeat customers requesting you for privates, then you can make a bit, but that might take several seasons if at all.... just about the time you realize people generally suck and all you want to do is ride...oh wait, that last bit was just me
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eat Sleep Shred View Post
I could use some advice on whether or not you full time instructors see any value in going to a dedicated ski school to get certifications. I have a few options for getting certifications and they range from 1 to 3 months for level 1 to level 2 certs respectively with some extra certs added in such as freestyle training and backcountry safety. Programs will cost $5000 to $15000, depending on the number of certifications I sign up for. That covers the training, living space and slope access.

My other option would just be to continue progression on my own, taking lessons off and on to get coaching and taking exams for certifications on my own. I can ride confidently on most terrain in most conditions. Chutes are still pretty scary and my freestyle trick bag is a little lackluster. Avalanche and backcountry stuff would still need to be acquired from a professional instructor. Getting mentoring from other instructors on movement analysis and drills would not be much an issue.

The kicker is, if you went to ski school at all... What certs did you go for? Was it worth the money education wise? Would you recommend any programs?

If you didn't go to ski school... What certs did you get on your own and how long did it take you to get them? Did you do it part time with another job or postgraduate program? Would you have opted to go to a ski school instead?

Thank you very much in advance for any advice you have.
I may have been living under a rock for awhile, but there's actual SCHOOLS for this?! I always that the main governing body to get your snowboard cert to teach in the US was the AASI??
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I may have been living under a rock for awhile, but there's actual SCHOOLS for this?! I always that the main governing body to get your snowboard cert to teach in the US was the AASI??
Hes talking about instructor training programs run by private companies - they will eventually take their exam through AASI or other body.

Unless you have money to burn or a visa problem then an instructor course for an American is a waste of time. No matter what you do at the end of the course you are still an inexperienced instructor - don't be the idiot that waltzes into ski school with a Level 2 but has never taught and thinks he is better than the L1's that have taught for years. Those guys get chopped down pretty fast.

I think you will be surprised who will hire you with no cert/experience. Most of the Vail resorts will, as they pay absolute dogshit and charge through the roof for your lessons, hence most decent instructors get the fuck out and they have a high turnover.

Work for a ski school, train for free lots, get reimbursed for some exams, move to more desirable resort when you are qualified.

If you are from Ohio I wouldn't worry about the back-country course just yet.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hes talking about instructor training programs run by private companies - they will eventually take their exam through AASI or other body.

Unless you have money to burn or a visa problem then an instructor course for an American is a waste of time. No matter what you do at the end of the course you are still an inexperienced instructor - don't be the idiot that waltzes into ski school with a Level 2 but has never taught and thinks he is better than the L1's that have taught for years. Those guys get chopped down pretty fast.

I think you will be surprised who will hire you with no cert/experience. Most of the Vail resorts will, as they pay absolute dogshit and charge through the roof for your lessons, hence most decent instructors get the fuck out and they have a high turnover.

Work for a ski school, train for free lots, get reimbursed for some exams, move to more desirable resort when you are qualified.

If you are from Ohio I wouldn't worry about the back-country course just yet.
AAhhh gotcha. If that's the case, why not just skip the whole school process, start off with a resort, get your riding and teaching up to snuff, then do the AASI that way? Seems like the cheaper option, with the same end result.
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