HOW TO BECOME A SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR

Snowminds March 15, 2024

Everything you should know in order to become a snowboard instructor!

Who can become a snowboard instructor?

The most important feature a snowboard instructor needs is the motivation to snowboard and teach others. And since you are reading this right now, you are probably motivated!

The next question is usually, “how much snowboarding experience is actually required, to become a snowboard instructor?” In our opinion – Everyone can become a snowboard instructor! If you can snowboard safely on medium terrain and have approximately 3-4 weeks of snowboarding experience, you are definitely eligible. There are different courses that suits different levels of snowboarding. If you are less experienced, you can opt for a longer course, which will improve your snowboarding a lot. And if you are really in doubt, you can always join one of our ski camps – e.g. our Skill development camp, which helps you prepare for our instructor courses.

Depending on where you want to become a snowboard instructor, languages can also be an important factor to consider. Some ski and snowboard schools in the French speaking part of Switzerland or Canada require you to be able to speak French (at least at a somewhat conversational level). Most ski and snowboard schools in Austria require that you know some German. Have a read at Miriam’s experience with learning German from scratch in Austria!

Wherever you go, the more languages you know, the better! But thankfully, you can always learn a language, which can be a gift for the rest of your life. We offer German, French, Spanish and Mandarin language courses, that will prepare you for the local snowboarding terms in the respective language. And of course you will improve rapidly during your season. So – if you are motivated, anyone can become a snowboard instructor!

Why become a snowboard instructor?

What are the benefits of being a snowboard instructor? Well, besides getting to experience a season in the mountains, teaching, snowboarding all day, and making lifelong friends? There are also a lot of other benefits that are maybe not so obvious.

You will gain several months of work experience in a teaching role and be responsible for groups of students. Especially working abroad and possibly even learning another language is quite impressive, which also looks great on your resume. It will show future employers that you are able to take responsibility and be in a leading position. If you become a snowboard instructor during your gap year, this can even help you to get into your dream education.

You will also learn a lot about responsibility yourself and grow a lot during your season. Furthermore, you will make friends from all over the world that you can go on many snowboarding trips with for the rest of your life, as well as having friends to visit all over the world! Furthermore, you spend a significant amount of time in a different country. You get to know the local people, food, and traditions, that you won’t just discover on a short vacation. There is so much to get out of a season!

What are your personal goals?

There are a lot of options, how to get your instructor diploma and how to become a snowboard instructor! One of the first things we ask you is, what your personal goals are for the season, so you have the best options of choosing the right experience for you. Below we have listed some of the things to consider when picking your dream destination and course.

Where do you want to go as a snowboard instructor?

There are many different countries to choose from when going for a season as a snowboard instructor! The experiences between Japan, Canada, Spain, Austria, Switzerland or any other country will have some differences. However, they all have one thing in common: You will have great experiences, no matter where you go! As long as there are mountains, you will have an amazing season.

What suits you best, depends on what you are looking for. Do you want to snowboard where you used to snowboard as a kid? Dive into several meters of powder snow? Experience a new culture? Or would you rather eat Tapas on Top of the mountain? Each destination has its own special qualities. If you are unsure, you can take our Destination Test to figure out which destination best suits you and your dreams. You are also always welcome to give us a call, and we’ll guide you in the right direction 📞

Do you want to be a snowboard instructor during your gap year or for a longer period?

You will also want to consider what your end goal is in becoming a snowboard instructor. Do you plan on doing this just during your gap year or as a career break? Or are you considering switching your career and being a snowboard instructor long term? Of course this can change during your season – trust us, most only dream of one season, but end up with juuust a few more – just like Julie, who ended up on all sides of the globe in her adventures as a ski instructor!

If you plan on working long-term as a snowboard instructor, it could make sense for you to choose a course with both a level 1 and 2, so you can elevate your snowboarding through certifications too.

Which snowboard instructor course should you choose?

To make it a bit of a easier choice, we have made an easier overview here, to help you decide 👇

Austria: 

→ get your Austrian certification

Course start in November; 

 5 week courses in Austria 

4 week courses in Sölden or Obergurgl

Course start in November, December, January, March

3 week ski instructor course

2 week ski instructor course

Summer course

10 day summer course

Not quite sure?

→ Check out our camps

Canada:

→ get your Canadian certification!

Departure in November, December or January

3 week level 1 course in Canada

12 week level 1+2 courses departing in January: 

Level 2 course during the season: 

Level 2 course in Canada

Japan: 

→ get your certification in Austria or Japan!

Departure in November

3 week level 1 course  in Japan

Top off your level 1 with a level 2 course

2 week level 2 course in Japan

 

Spain:

→ take your Spanish certification!

Course start in November

Level 1 course in Sierra Nevada

 

Switzerland: 

→ get your education in Switzerland!

Course start in November

Full season level 1+2 course in Verbier

→ 10 week level 1+2 course in Nendaz, Saas-Fee or Verbier.

→ Full season level 1+2 course in Nendaz or Verbier

Course start in February:

10 week level 1 & 2 course in Nendaz 

Do I have to pass the certifications to become a snowboard instructor, and what happens if I don’t?

Just like most educational programs, you’ll need to successfully complete an examination at the end of the snowboard instructor course. As long as you possess motivation, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to embrace feedback during your course, you’ll stand a good chance of passing the exam. We, as snowboard schools and trainers, expect you to take the certification seriously to provide you with the best opportunity to secure a job.

Of course, everyone can have an off day. In the event that you do not pass, we’re here to support you! There are options available, even if you don’t obtain certification. You can retake the exam and enroll in a retake course to address and improve upon your mistakes. In some instances, you may still be able to work as a snowboard instructor without formal certification, either starting alongside another instructor or assisting with kids’ groups. Regardless of the outcome, we’re committed to helping you have a fantastic season in the snow!

Am I going to work as a snowboard instructor?

Undoubtedly, that’s the aspiration of everyone participating in a snowboard instructor course. However, securing a job as a snowboard instructor can be challenging, especially in highly sought-after resorts or during your first season. Nonetheless, we take pride in our track record, having successfully placed 100% of our instructors in snowboard instructor positions right after they passed their exams since 2012! So, in short, yes, you will be working as a snowboard instructor. Prepare to embark on a season of teaching aspiring snow enthusiasts how to snowboard! Additionally, we provide assistance in arranging accommodation, transportation, and, of course, a lift pass, so you can eagerly anticipate your season without worrying about practicalities!

ski or snowboard instructor in canada

What is it like to be a snowboard instructor?

You can read about many different experiences from previous snowboard and ski instructors in our blogs. For instance, you can learn about what a day entails at an Austrian snowboard school. Alternatively, you can have a read through our 4.9/5 star reviews on Trustpilot. Since 2012, we have provided over 6,000 Snowminders with incredible experiences in the snow! And soon, you could be sharing your own amazing experiences with others!

So, what are the next steps?

If you’re ready to take the plunge, you can sign up for this season and even head out this winter! If you need guidance on choosing the right destination for you, you can take our destinations test or reach out to us, and we’ll gladly advise you on finding an experience that aligns with your desires. Once you’ve settled on your destination, you can easily apply for your spot here and prepare for your departure. We’ll assist you in organising all other practicalities to ensure you have an exciting season as a snowboard instructor! LET’S GO!

 

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