Improve your skiing & pass on your knowledge
If you're looking to improve your technique on the slopes or wanting to take it one step further by passing your knowledge onto others then have you considered a ski or snowboard instructor course?
As the British Ski and Board Show makes tracks from 29th to 31st October, exhibitors Nonstop Ski & Snowboard and EA Ski and Snowboard can provide you with the information and incentive you need to change that part-time hobby into a full-time career.
Spike Lupton (36) from Essex is one such individual who worked as a graphic designer and looked forward to his favourite time of the year, a week away on the slopes every winter. Working long hours and the non-active lifestyle that came with it, Spike decided that a change was due. He decided to turn that week away on the slopes into a career change. "I felt like I was in a bit of a rut and starting researching on how to become a snowboard instructor," explains Spike. "Nonstop Snowboard advertised 'Learn to Ride like a Pro' and to cut a long story short I experienced a life-changing three months having enrolled for a snowboard instructor course in Fernie.
"I had only 6-7 weeks of snowboarding experience behind me so I was a bit nervous, but after the first week the confidence was flowing. Passing my Level One meant I got to learn about teaching styles, riding off-piste and improving technique. The Level Two assessment was more difficult as it involved more in-depth teaching to intermediate level and the riding standard was a lot higher, but I'm pleased to say that I passed."
Since completing the course Spike has spent the last two seasons teaching in Cypress Mountain, Canada and is likely to return to the resort again this season. He said: "I am so grateful to all the staff and instructors at Nonstop for a life changing three months."
Nonstop Ski & Snowboard (nonstopski.com) operates ski and snowboarding courses in Canada and New Zealand. "Our 11-week course in Fernie, Canada has proved particularly popular," said Pete Rees, marketing director at Nonstop Ski & Snowboard. "Fernie is where it all started for us and we have total exclusivity in terms of what we are able to offer. Around 100 people per season complete our Fernie course taking instruction from what I consider to be the best in Canada.
"With colossal annual snowfall, Fernie has become the powder capital of Canada. We're able to offer plenty of off-piste skiing as well as boosting all of your skills. The town itself has a great social vibe but manages to retain a really nice charm." Prices start at £6850 (excluding flights) for the 11-week ski instructor course at Fernie departing January 2011.
Now in its eighth year of operation EA Ski and Snowboard (easkiandsnowboard.com) offer full and part-season training courses and internships in USA, Canada, Australia and new for this coming winter, Japan. The courses on offer range from three weeks to an entire season with its first short course of the new season commencing on November 21st, 2010 at Whistler, Canada. At a cost of US$5750 (excluding flights), this four-week course leads to a CSIA Ski or CASI Snowboard level one qualification.
An Instructor Internship Course costs from US$5450 (excluding flights) and provides you with a full instructor course and a teaching job on the slopes following successful completion of the course. Its the popularity of this course that has led EA to expand into Japan.
Whilst Japan may not be the first destination that springs to mind in terms of snow sports, Educating Adventures has introduced this unique country to ski and snowboard instructor wannabees for the first time this season. "Japan provides a fantastic mix of adventure, travel, great snow and rich culture," says Eryn Cutler, Educating Adventures. "Because of this we're finding more and more English speaking clients are heading to Japan for the winter season and so we've seen the demand for instructors. The Instructor Internship Program we run meets the need of both the ski schools and clients."
Explaining the process, Eryn continues; "Candidates go through an informal interview with our UK-based team before being allocated to a ski school in Japan. They arrive in Tokyo for an orientation and complete a training and Level One certification course in resort. Upon successful completion of the course they can then start working in a Japanese ski school. The EA crew make sure they are looked after at every step."
The Japan Instructor Internship Course, which takes place in Minakami and Hakuba is priced at US$6850, excluding flights, and departs 16th December. The course leads to Level One Certification with a Level Two option.
The British Ski and Board Show, sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, is open from 12noon until 8pm on Friday 29th October and 10am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are now on sale and prices start from as little as £6.50 when purchased in advance. For more information, the latest updates or to book tickets, visit: britishskiandboardshow.co.uk