How do I Become a Snowboard Instructor?

D. Jeffress

Snowboard instructors teach beginning and advanced snowboardering techniques to improve their riding ability and maintain safety at all times. Through providing individual lessons and group training courses, qualified instructors ensure that students gain confidence, experience new things, and have fun. To become a snowboard instructor, a person must typically complete an accredited training program and pass a written exam administered by a professional organization.

Man with a backpack
Man with a backpack

In the United States, a person who wants to become a snowboard instructor should enroll in a training course recognized by the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). New instructors receive formal classroom education and participate in practice sessions to learn teaching strategies and hone their own snowboarding skills. Training can last anywhere from four weeks to several years, depending on which of three levels a new instructor wishes to teach.

Level one training usually takes four to twelve weeks to complete, and provides new instructors with information on how to teach beginning snowboarders. To gain level one certification and become a snowboard instructor for beginners, a person must demonstrate a strong understanding of riding fundamentals and be able to communicate information to others verbally and by example. Training typically culminates in a written examination which covers safety and basic teaching skills.

Formal training for level two snowboard instructors consists of thorough courses on how to coach intermediate riders. Prospective instructors might learn a variety of teaching drills which can be implemented to help a student gain balance, speed, and control. They must usually pass written and practical tests to demonstrate their expertise in riding and teaching. Level two certification programs commonly take three to six months to complete.

To become a snowboard instructor for advanced and professional riders, a person must usually obtain level three certification. The length of training may vary based on a person's ability level, previous certifications, and proficiency for teaching. Often, programs can take up to three years to complete. Many level three snowboard instructors specialize with certain types of advanced riding, such as freestyle or downhill racing. Instructors provide their services to competitive snowboarders who wish to fine-tune their style and technique.

Training and certification requirements vary between locations, though most countries feature organizations similar to the AASI which prepare instructors for their roles. A person interested in finding out how to become a snowboard instructor in another country can contact a local snowboarding resort or school or research accredited programs by visiting their websites. Some organizations offer international certification, allowing instructors to work in more than one country.

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