Career Path: How To Become a Snowboard Instructor


If you love snowboarding and have a passion for teaching others, this might be the perfect job for you! Becoming a snowboard instructor is an excellent way to work in your favorite sport while earning money. So how can you become a snowboarding instructor, and what would you need to do?

Here’s how you can become a snowboard instructor:

  1. Have a passion for snowboarding.
  2. Decide where to teach.
  3. Learn about snowboard techniques and safety procedures.
  4. Get experience teaching others how to snowboard.
  5. Get certified as a snowboard instructor.
  6. Find an employer and apply to be a snowboard instructor. 
  7. Start your own business (optional).

Becoming a snowboard instructor can be a fantastic experience, so make sure you know what steps you need to get moving towards your dream job. We will discuss these steps in more detail below.

How Do You Become a Snowboard Instructor?

Becoming a snowboarding instructor is not a job that you can learn in a higher institution like college. However, if you know what you’re doing on a snowboard and you have a patient personality, you can learn how to become a snowboard instructor. 

Let’s take a closer look at the steps you need to take.

1. Have a Passion for Snowboarding

Teaching snowboarding isn’t just a job, as you have to love snowboarding. It’s an undeniable passion.

Some reasons that you might want to become a snowboard instructor include:

  • It is a unique way to work in your favorite sport.
  • You can stay active on the job.
  • You can travel and see snow-capped mountains around the world.
  • You will be able to earn a living as you snowboard all day long.

Being a snowboard instructor isn’t just about snowboarding. It’s also teaching others how to snowboard, which means that you get the chance to teach people skills and knowledge that they might not know otherwise.

2. Decide Where You Want To Teach

Where you want to snowboard and where you can snowboard are two different things. 

You definitely have many options when it comes to snowboarding, but that doesn’t mean they are all good for teaching snowboarding.

But before deciding on a location, make sure that it has at least one professional organization that can certify your skills as an instructor so that your certification will be recognized in different snowboarding communities.

Ideal Locations for Snowboarding Instructor 

One of the perks of snowboard instructing is that you can find locations all over the world to choose from:

North America

  • Canada snowboard instructors are in high demand because there is a higher concentration of snow than anywhere else on earth. It has slopes that range from beginner to expert, and it offers the largest amount of snowfall every year, with at least 60 inches or 157 centimeters. 
  • Colorado snowboarding instructor jobs have been popular as snowboarders flock to the Rockies to take advantage of its snow-covered mountains. 
  • New York has some great snowboarding opportunities and is home to many resorts with excellent snow quality. It also offers a wide range of slopes for every level, beginner or expert.

Europe

  • Switzerland snowboarding instructors are in high demand as snowboarders flock to the Alps for its long snow season and wide-ranging slopes. 
  • You’ll find great snowboarding opportunities in Italy because it has a high snowfall rate that lasts through March.
  • France is another location with good snow conditions in snow quality and quantity due to its cold climate. Snowboard instructors are in high demand because it is a growing sport.

Australia  

Australian snowboard instructors have some of the best conditions for snowboarding on earth. The snowfall rate is not as high as North America, but it still offers excellent snow quality and quantity. It also has one of the longest seasons, with its snowboarding season lasting from September to May.

South Africa

Snowboard instructors have excellent snow conditions because they are home to the Drakensberg Mountains, which have snow storms that last all year. It is also one of the highest snow-producing mountains on earth. There are also many resorts with various slopes for beginners or snowboarders looking to advance their snowboarding skills.

Japan   

Japan’s snowboard instructors have excellent snow conditions as well because of their cold climate and high snowfall rate. There are many resorts, beginner slopes, and advanced slopes for snowboarders who want to learn new tricks. 

The only downside is that the season usually lasts from November to March.

3. Learn About Snowboard Techniques and Safety Procedures

A snowboard instructor should know a lot about snowboarding for them to teach others.

It’s not just teaching people how to snowboard. It is also making sure they are doing snowboarding safely while learning snowboarding techniques that will help them improve their snowboarding skills or even learn new tricks.  

They need to be snowboarding professionals, so they need to know the safety precautions that are needed. 

Snowboard instructors need to learn the proper snowboarding technique, so they can teach it correctly. The key is understanding that there’s more than just “go fast” when it comes to snowboarding.  

For example, an essential snowboarding technique is snowboard carving. When snowboarders carve, they turn to one side and use the edge of their snowboard to cut in a long sweeping motion down through the snow on that side. 

This helps them maintain speed without losing any momentum when riding up hills or coming off jumps because it allows them to change direction quickly by turning around and snowboarding back the way they came.

Snowboard instructors also need to learn safety procedures for snowboarding if a student has an accident in the snow or gets hurt while snowboarding.  

Some of these snowboarding safety precautions include: 

  • Always wear helmets. 
  • Never ride alone.
  • Use your gear, such as a backpack and board, correctly. 
  • Don’t snowboard in an area under a snow watch or warning. 
  • Know how to fall safely.

4. Get Experience Teaching Others How to Snowboard

Gaining experience teaching others to snowboard is vital to starting your career as an instructor. This is because snowboard instructors need to be snowboarding professionals so that they can teach snow snowboarding correctly.

There are a lot of different ways people can get experiences teaching others how to snowboard:

Volunteering at Nonprofit Organizations

Volunteering at nonprofit organizations is a great way to get experience teaching snowboarding because you will be able to snowboard for free and help others learn how as well. 

You can also work your way up in the organization to look for volunteers who have specific snowboarding skills. 

Snowboarding Camps

Snowboard camps are also a great way to snowboard and give other people the opportunity to snowboard. 

Instructors at these camps teach children how to snow snowboards, but parents or organizations can also hire them to run their own private snow camp instruction sessions for any age group of people looking to learn how to snow snowboards. 

Snowboard Shops

Snowboard shops are another great place to snowboard and teach snowboarding. 

These snowboarding stores often hire snowboard instructors as part of their sales staff or partner with local snow camps to offer lessons on the weekends and after school hours.  

Working at a snow shop is just like working anywhere else. You snowboard and teach snowboarding during the day, but you also wear a shirt and tie or dress to make it look professional. 

5. Get Certified as a Snowboard Instructor

If you want to teach snowboarding as part of your career, you must be snowboard certified.

Snowboard instructors are often taught how to snow snowboard by professional organizations, and then they have to pass a certification test for them to get their official credentials. The primary certification in the United States comes from the AASI: American Association of Snowboard Instructors

AASI Certification 

The American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) is the leading professional snowboarding teaching organization. 

The instructors can use any methods they want. but AASI recommends that their instructors focus on life-long learning, coaching skills, and delivering customer service because those are three things that set them apart from the rest. 

AASI offers a snowboard instructor certification through Level I, II, and III. It teaches students everything they need to know about teaching others how to snowboards, including:

  • Snowboarding fundamentals/Basics of Snowboarding (Level I) 
  • Safety and Responsibility for Instructors and Students (Level II)
  • Effective Instructional Methods and Techniques for Coaching Snowboarders of All Levels, Abilities, Age Groups, and Gender Expressions (Level III)

International Organizations

There are also other snowboarding organizations all over the world. Here are just a few:

6. Find an Employer and Apply To Be a Snowboard Instructor

Once you have your certification, you can apply for jobs with a snowboard instructor certification. Job postings for snowboard instructors are often located on job search websites like Indeed and Monster.  

Additionally, you can find a list of employers in the industry by going to the Snow Season Central website or an organization’s public website. 

Snow Season Central has many lists of employers looking for qualified snowboard instructors who can teach different levels of courses according to age groupings. You can also find these listings on organizations’ public websites like AASI’s website, where they list their members and companies they work with. 

7. Start Your Own Business (Optional)

If working for someone isn’t in your plans, you can start your own business training people to snowboard. Let’s take a closer look at how you can get started.

Come Up With a Business Plan  

  • Make sure to include a business name. 
  • Start looking for businesses to model yours after. 
  • Look at their advertisements and the way they promote themselves. 
  • Think about a slogan for your business. If you want help, many people have gone through the same thing as you and will be more than willing to help you out and advise on what to do next. 
  • Remember that once your business is up and running, it’s not all over. You won’t just get rich overnight, as this is something that could take quite some time to build up, depending on how much passion and energy you’re willing to put into it.

Get Funding 

  • One way to find funding is to save up for it. This could take quite a while, but if you’re dedicated, you can do it. 
  • Consider asking family members or friends if they would be willing to invest in your business. Asking people you know and trust could help.
  • Think about trying to get an SBA loan from the government.
  • If none of these options work out for you, try speaking with someone at a local bank about getting financing for your business. You may be able to get a business loan, and this way, you have the chance to start making money sooner rather than later.

Get Insured

Get insurance before you train anyone snowboarding. Liability insurance is very important and might be required if you work for a resort to keep them safe as well.

Also, some clients may not want to train with you if you don’t have any liability insurance. Snowboarding could be a hazardous sport, so make sure you are covered with insurance if something wrong happens to you or any of your students. 

The last thing you want is to be sued.

Find Clients

To have a business, you need people who want to learn to snowboard. Use social media, place ads, and hang up flyers, which are great ways for you to get noticed. You can also partner with a local resort or website. By partnering, you can often get free advertising and create connections to find future clients.

Decide Where You Will Train

Look into local ski resorts in your area and see if they allow private lessons. If they do, they might even be able to direct new clients your way. It is also possible they will have some equipment that you can use to train your clients.

Invest in Equipment

Make sure you have all the tools needed to train your clients properly. 

You will need a few snowboards, helmets, and pads, as many clients you will train might not have all the equipment they need. You won’t need to buy a lot of each type but you should have a few in child and adult sizes to accommodate whoever may be training with you. 

Also, if you partner with a resort, they may have equipment for you to use while training onsite.

Define Your Rates

Think about how much it will cost you to run your business each week and adjust your rates accordingly. It is recommended that you charge at least $50 per hour for private snowboarding lessons as this is the going rate in most areas. 

You must also factor in what type of gear and snowboards you will use when calculating your hourly rate. You will need to ensure you are charging enough to recoup the costs of buying these supplies.

Make sure to keep the prices the same regardless of if there are only two students or twenty students, as this will demonstrate professionalism and consistency from you as the instructor/coach. 

Conclusion 

If you are looking to start a career as a snowboarding instructor, it is crucial to know where to start and what you need to get the job.

  • Certification is necessary to be a snowboard instructor. 
  • Choose an organization and get certified with them–AASI, WSI, or CWSIA.
  • Once you have your certification, choose the appropriate employer in the industry and apply for a job there.

Sources

Ryan Conner

Outdoor enthusiast with several years of snowboarding experience in the winters and watersports activities all summer. Living within 3 hours of 4 well-known ski resorts, I get plenty of board time from Nov-March every season.

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