I thought I’d write this post for anyone who is trawling through the internet (like I did once!) desperately trying to find out how to become a Snowboard Instructor without spending upwards of £7k.
I found the below image on secretsofaseasonaire.com and thought it pictured perfectly the hierarchy of season workers. Having spent my first season as a Chalet Host in Meribel ( loving every minute but undoubtedly at the bottom of the seasonaire pile) I was determined this would not happen again!
First off – do you have £7k lying around? If the answer’s yes just go book yourself on to one of those ski season/qualification jobbies. There’s loads out there but we’ve heard Flying Fish is an alright choice.
If the answer’s no – stick with me..
CASI, BASI, CSIA – what’s the difference?!
In reality there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference from an entry level point of view. CASI and BASI allow you to teach in most countries around the world once you have a level 2 and no qualification it seems, will ever be good enough to teach in France until you are an absolute pro!
The BASI program
We opted to learn with BASI – Alex to become a Ski Instructor and me to become a Snowboard Instructor. It seemed like the obvious choice as we were living in the UK and could do Level 1 at Tamworth SnowDome whilst staying at my parents house.
Even though this is a far cheaper option than the gap year programs we were surprised by the hidden costs and how long it took to complete – we were working full time at the same time though. So here’s a list of everything you need to do to get your Level 1, the companies we went with and the costs (correct as of 2014)
- Associate BASI membership, you need this before you can do anything else – £45
- 5 day intense training course – £375 direct to SnowDome and £135 to BASI
- 2 day First Aid course – £120 with Inspirational Training
- 35 hours work experience – free at Tamworth SnowDome (some companies will charge you though which is bonkers!)
- CRB Check – £25 from Scotland Disclosure
- Safe guarding children module – £25 via BASI
- Upgrade to full BASI membership – £25
- Yearly BASI membership – £70 (and £35 re-joining fee if you don’t renew in time)
The highlight for me by quite a considerable way was the 5 day training course. It was run by Ash from Snowboard Coach and I couldn’t have asked for a more passionate or down to earth teacher, not to mention a pretty wicked snowboarder! The first half of the week looked at riding stance, style and technique, the second half focused on teaching approaches – I loved it and learnt so much in such a short space of time.
The rest of the requirements seemed to drag on a bit, the costs kept stacking up and it was quite tricky fitting in so many work experience hours when working full time. However hopefully with the qualification under our belt and by being part of a well respected organisation we’ll be prepared for the next season!
Are you a qualified Ski or Snowboard Instructor? We’d love to hear how other people have got on!