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Snowboard Instructor AASI Certification

The following is a step by step guide for anyone interested in becoming a snowboard instructor and getting AASI certification.

Prep Work

First, decide on which mountain or resort you would like to work at. Find out about the mountain's ski school and any other independent ski schools that may operate there.

You can do your research on the web or contact them via e-mail or phone. Information you may like to know could include:

  • The training director or administrator running the snowboard program.
  • The number of level 3 snowboard instructors they have.
  • Their training schedule and what they require from their instructors during the season.
  • If they offer level 1 exams and, if so, when they are offered during the season.
  • How often you will have to work to qualify for a season or lift passes.

Preliminary Training

The ski school should provide a training course over a few days which you should attend to prepare you for training others in front of a class.

The training course will usually cost a fee and will cover various topics related to teaching methods that are closely aligned with the AASI curriculum. You can, and should, get a copy of the AASI manual so that you can do your own reading if necessary.

After attending the course, you should be ready to train on the mountain. For most instructors, this will be a part-time proposition where you will work on weekends.

At this stage, you should spend time riding with level 2 and level 3 instructors in your school. Doing so
will not only improve your skills and technique but also help to prepare you for certification.

Sign up for any clinics that your school may be organizing, particularly if they are certification clinics.

Getting Certified

When you are ready, sign up for a level 1 exam. This can be done through your ski school who can organize for an examiner to come down.

Alternatively, you can sign up through the AASI division you are under and head up to the mountain where the exam is being held.

Requirements for certification differ from region to region. Some regions may require that you take clinics before the exam or that you must have taught for a minimum number of hours.

The exam usually consists of a written test followed by a practical test which consists of riding on the snow.

Once you have passed the test, you are now officially a certified snowboard instructor. Expect to receive some items in the mail including your certificate, a shiny bronze pin and an identification card.

You can now enjoy your first season as an instructor and start to prepare and train for a higher level of certification if you so desire.

If you didn't quite make it, well, there's always next season. And, as always, remember that you're doing this for the carefree lifestyle and your love of snowboarding and not for the money.

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