There are many ways to become a ski or snowboard instructor. The route you take often depends on your skiing or snowboarding ability and the country in which you are living. Skiers and snowboarders from the UK often choose to embark on a ski instructor gap course. This is a 10 week training course which prepares you for the BASI Level 1 and 2 exams. The exams assess your skiing on piste, bumps and your ability to demonstrate the central theme (technical progression from beginner to advanced) as well as your ability to teach! In addition you can also expect to have a lot of fun, ski/board off-piste, learn new skills, make friends from around the world and of course enjoy some partying!
What can I expect to do on a BASI instructor Gap course?
Lots of skiing or boarding! The main element of the course is to improve your personal level! This is usually achieved by having training from top qualified coaches from around the world, who will push you to learn and develop your skiing/boarding and understanding of the sport. Most providers also use video analysis so that you can see for yourself the improvements to be made and also develop your own knowledge of what makes a good skier/boarder. The top coaches will help you understand exactly what you need to be able to do and how to reach this goal. Lectures often take place to help you understand the terminology and various other elements involved in the BASI system. You can also expect to “shadow” real lessons so that you can see for yourself how to deliver a lesson in a safe and fun manner. Everything on the course is geared towards passing the BASI exams except perhaps the après-ski!
Can I expect to actually work as an instructor after the course?
This will depend on the resort you choose, for example in France it is not realistic to work there as a BASI Level 2, you would need to do further exams which are not included in a gap course. Therefore if you attend a course in France you won’t be able to teach afterwards with out moving to a new country once the course has finished. Switzerland and Austria are probably the easiest places in Europe to work. Some gap providers are in house and often recruit students after the course to work for their school during the busy periods of the season. In such cases priority for work is always given to students attending their own in house gap courses! If you are looking to work after the course then this is something to be aware of.
What is included in the course fee?
The Altitude gap course includes the accommodation, more than 200 hours of training, your food 5 days a week, a season lift pass and transfers from the airport. You can also expect discounts on equipment and drinks in the local bars, some happy memories and of course new friends for life. When deciding on a gap course, the main things to check are: who is delivering the course and the number of training hours, check the coaches are top qualified coaches with lot’s of experience! Also, I would recommend asking for pass rates and/or accommodation costs (if not included) and to talk to previous students.
Altitude ski and snowboard school run their own in house BASI Gap Course in Verbier, Switzerland. We offer 10 guaranteed jobs during the season and there is a chance to win CHF 1.000,- spending money.