If you’re looking to kick-off a snowboarding career, the first thing to consider is that much fabled snowboard instructor certification. Whether you’re relatively new to this snowboarding malarky or you’re a veteran who practically lives on the slopes, you will need to get your mitts on at least Level 1 snowboard instructor qualifications to work in a snowsports centre in the UK (more on this later!). It’s time to dive into the nitty gritty of how to get snowboard instructor certified.
How does it all work?
On the whole, snowboard instructor qualifications are issued by national bodies around the globe. The particulars of the exam and training involved with achieving your certification may differ slightly from body to body, but these organisations are all governed by the ISIA (International Ski Instructor Association).
Score! This means that there are so many beautiful locations to train as a snowboarding instructor and get ISIA-recognised. So whether your heart is set on the picturesque climes of French resorts or you fancy training at a stunning Canada resort, there’s plenty of choice.
Where can I train?
At SnowSkool we work with three different snowboard instructor associations in three different continents, proving that three really is the charm.
We’ve been running our snowboard instructor courses in Canada since 2003 and it shows. Our snowboarding courses in Banff and Big White are partnered with the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI) who oversee the training and qualifying of instructors. Examinations take a few days and boast super high pass rates.
This course will take you up the gorgeous slopes of the Three Valleys in France. The snowboard instructor certification offered by SnowSkool is governed by the British Association of Snowboard Instructors (BASI), a highly respected member of the ISIA. Examinations take slightly longer under BASI’s guidance – up to 8 days – and you’ll need to have completed 35 hours of snowsport school experience.
Finally, our New Zealand snowboard instructor courses are in partnership with the Snowboard Instructors of New Zealand (SBINZ). Exams are between 5 and 6 days, involving technical manoeuvres as well as leading a 15-30 minute lesson on a chosen skill.
Snowboard instructor certification levels explained
When it comes down to it, snowboard instructor certification levels aren’t too complicated. As long as you train under a body recognised by the ISIA and reach a particular level, your qualifications will be acknowledged around the world. Including first aid and avalanche training, these snowboarding qualifications will gift you the know-how enabling you to set up a career.
Instructor Level 1
Level 1 Instructor qualifications are designed for those aiming to enter the snowboarding instruction industry. Exams will cover a whole number of practices from professionalism and teaching methods to how to navigate intermediate terrains. At level 1, you will be able to work within controlled environments in the UK or in mountainous terrain within a snowsports school whilst under the supervision of a BASI Level 2 (or equivalent) qualified instructor.
Instructor Level 2
Level 2 is where you start to notice a much sharper learning curve. Things will get more technical as you progress your skills-based teaching approach and confidence on the board. When you reach Level 2 instructor status, you’ll be able to safely teach on marked pistes up to and including basic turns.
Instructor Level 3
As a level 3 instructor, far more work opportunities will open up to you in resorts across the world. Intended for international instructors aiming to work full time within a snowsports school, this level is perfect for those who want to dedicate their energy to sharing their love of the snowboarding art.
Instructor Level 4
Finally, level 4 instructor qualifications are for the most ambitious of snowboarders. Advanced training and a huge investment of time and passion is required to pass this examination. At this level you will be able to work as an instructor anywhere, having proven that you have what it takes – the highest standard of riding proficiency, leadership and teaching ability.
Do I need high level experience to get snowboard instructor certification?
Not at all! While it may seem daunting, the beginning skill requirement is probably not as advanced as you may envision. Our snowboard instructor courses are designed to cultivate your skills over time and support you on your learning journey. We want you to do well!
Generally speaking, to achieve your snowboard instructor qualifications you will need to demonstrate a number of beginner and intermediate manoeuvres and, of course, clear communication skills.
What can I do with snowboard instructor qualifications?
Going out on your board every day to master your tricks and skills whilst fast tracking your snowboarding career at the same time – what could be better? But did you know that getting ISIA certified means that you could find yourself a whole range of jobs working at a skiing resort besides becoming an instructor. With your snowboard instructor certification, so many doors are opened for you.
Just think: by building up your snowboarding experience slowly at smaller resorts and nurturing your CV you could end up with a job at your dream mountain resort. Rookie instructors may find it more difficult to clinch more hours of work at more popular resorts, but once you have a season or two under your belt, this will increase exponentially.
Where do I sign up?
Now you know how to get snowboard instructor certified, you’ll probably be wondering how to get started. But there’s no need to stress, SnowSkool is here with a helping hand!
If you’d like a bit more information to help you make that all important decision you can reach us via the contact form below, or start a live chat if we’re about. We’re a friendly bunch, so we’re more than happy to talk through your options.
But… if you’re a real maverick, you can sign up to one of our snowboarding instructor courses right here. Go on – we dare you!