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Old 08-16-2011, 05:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advise on becoming an instructor

I've spent most my life pocketing degrees and to land a decent job, until the beginning of this year when I got my first step on a snowboard and immediately hooked. I went up to a ski resort and loved it to bits, from the lifestyle to the people so much so that I am seriously looking at a career change and get my instructor training done in the next year or so. Only concern is that I'm now 30 (or is it a concern?)...am I too late to get my foot in the industry? I see that many ski/SB instructors at resorts are in their 20's, will I be disadvantaged in any way landing an instructor job etc? Any advise welcome! Thanks in advance!!
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you ever ski before this.

I started 2years ago at 42yr, and am having a blast. I did ski prior but it was nearly 15+ years since I've seen a slope before I donned a board.
Don't want to be an instructor, but still loving it tons.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judestudio View Post
I've spent most my life pocketing degrees and to land a decent job, until the beginning of this year when I got my first step on a snowboard and immediately hooked. I went up to a ski resort and loved it to bits, from the lifestyle to the people so much so that I am seriously looking at a career change and get my instructor training done in the next year or so. Only concern is that I'm now 30 (or is it a concern?)...am I too late to get my foot in the industry? I see that many ski/SB instructors at resorts are in their 20's, will I be disadvantaged in any way landing an instructor job etc? Any advise welcome! Thanks in advance!!
most resorts wont really care how old you are or good you are at riding, as long as you are good with people they will train you how to teach other people. i started coaching when i was 18 but i know many people i work with who didnt start till they were about the same age as you and didnt seem to have any problem getting into it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Im sure snowolf will chime in. He is an old fart and started instructing a few years ago. Lol.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Like Cr0_Reps_smit said, it's more about how good your are with people and not so much about how good your are at snowboarding. They need instructors of all ability levels and all ages to match up with the customers well.
That being said, most instructors aren't very good riders.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm 62, started riding at 45, became an instructor at 51. I'm just an okay rider, BUT I can take anyone in theirr 30s,40s, or 50s, who is totally freaked-out with fear, make them feel comfortable and get them comfortable on the 'bunny slope' by end of day. Every ski school supervisor I have had has recognized my short commings as a rider, but also my strong points. So I've never had a problem at work. In fact I get a lot of privates and private requests fromm "older' clients. so go for it. there is a niche for everyone as an instructor. So says MadRider
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insightful info, everyone. This is real eye opener! Good to know I can still have a chance in this!

Snowolf, your experience and passion in snowboarding is just unsurpassed and it was great to have you chimed in. I can see that this is a big challenge not only because Iím making a start at this rather late (later than those luckier ones who are exposed to the sport in their teens!), as a rather petite girl (5í1) this could be something I need to step up to. Iíd say Iím alright athletic especially when it comes to things Iím passionate about and completely agree that I would never want to lose this passion so yes, I would need to plan this out properly to not ruin it! I actually live in New Zealand, so we get our seasons between July and October/November. While I still need to do a bit of asking around how trainings are carried out here, I believe there are courses out there (not the cheapest) to train 3-4 times a week for 5 to 10 weeks which will gear students up to Level 2 Instructor (or Level 1 for the shorter courses) upon passing the exams. If this pans out perfectly, I may still be able to keep my day job to sustain (Iím a pharmacist so itís possible to work through weekends if need be). I guess the point is Iíve never had the same feeling of finding something I would actually want to get out of bed early enough in the morning, even in the cold!
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am a part time instructor in Sweden and it's actually a lot of fun. I mostly teach kids which can be both rewarding and frustrating.

I think that you must have a will to teach and not really a will to snowboard, i have actually many times thought while i'm teaching that i'm not actually riding. The level of riding is so low and you are more focused on your students than your own riding.

That being said i dont think you should become an instructor in order to snowboard more, in that is what you want it is much better to have a better paid job and work in the evening so you can ride while the resort is open.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, the New Zealand and Australian system is more like CASI (Canadian Association Of Snowboard Instructors) Than AASI (American Association Of Snowboard Instructors). I did a little digging and found some basic info from the New Zealand government on the subject:

LINK

In addition, I found a link to your AASI equivalent known as NZSI or "New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance"

NZSIA

Looks like you might want to go get your Certificate in Snowsports Instruction (CSI) and your Stage One Skiing or Snowboarding Instruction Certificate prior to job hunting. Once employed , it looks like you would have some advantage in attaining your Stage Two Skiing or Snowboarding Instruction Certificate.

Hope that helps some and hope you do pursue it at least as a part time teacher...
Big thanks, Snowolf. I've been sitting on it and gave it a bit more thinking, it seems very much that instructing (a job in snowboarding albeit minimal riding on the job) is really what I'd like to go on with. Thanks for everyone for reassuring this can still be done at 30!

I guess the next question is how good do I need to be riding to go through the instructor course? Most courses advise on ability to ride a "variety of terrains"...does that mean blacks, off-pistes etc?

Any advise if I should look into picking up a half/full-season length improver course (like this) prior to attempting an instructor course maybe?
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judestudio View Post
I've spent most my life pocketing degrees and to land a decent job, until the beginning of this year when I got my first step on a snowboard and immediately hooked. I went up to a ski resort and loved it to bits, from the lifestyle to the people so much so that I am seriously looking at a career change and get my instructor training done in the next year or so. Only concern is that I'm now 30 (or is it a concern?)...am I too late to get my foot in the industry? I see that many ski/SB instructors at resorts are in their 20's, will I be disadvantaged in any way landing an instructor job etc? Any advise welcome! Thanks in advance!!
Do you want to ride or teach? You'll get more riding in by adjusting your life, using the degrees, getting a pass and scheming to ride at every opportunity. Or being stuck on the bunny slope...teaching while its puking...yes you do get to wear a cool jacket with your name on it and you'll have to ride in an approved manner fitting the corporate image. But on the positive side of instructing...you'll meet and ride with some excellent riders and have to ride your ass off trying to keep up and get to know the secret stashes.
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