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