Five Reasons to Become a Snowboard Instructor

Snowboard instructing is an amazing job! It is one of the most fulfilling careers a snowboarder can have and is a crucial part of the health of our sport.

Snowboarding is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Being a snowboard instructor allows you to live that lifestyle every day.

Keep reading as we explore five great reasons to become a snowboard instructor.

1| Get Paid to Snowboard

This is truly one of the most amazing things about the job. We make money with our snowboards strapped to our feet!

How many people can truly say, “I love my job!” Well, you can be one of them and never “work” a day in your life because you’re doing what you love. 

Some of the skills that are important for finding success as a snowboard instructor are explored in more detail in our article “What makes a good snowboard instructor?”

Next, let’s talk money.

How much does a snowboard instructor make?

The answer to this is not easy, as It all depends on your employment status and which country you’re working in.

In many countries, you must work for a snow school to legally work as a snowboard instructor. In Canada this is the case, and it’s still possible to earn a good living.

In other countries it’s possible to set up as an independent contractor as long as you have the right certifications.

SnowboardTeacher supports doing things legally and ethically so that the profession of snowboard instructing can be held in high regard. Check the legal requirements of where you’re planning to work!

Some resorts in Canada offer up to $50 an hour, depending on your certifications and seniority, and some resorts offer minimum wage.

Regardless of your hourly rate, if you have the right mindset and approach your snowboarding career as a business, you can actually do pretty well financially. Keep notes and keep in contact with your clients.

Most resorts will offer some sort of bonus if you have returning clients. So work hard and schedule your season the way you want by bringing your clients back. Especially if they tip well!

How much should I tip a snowboard instructor?

The general rule is to tip between 10% and 15% of the lesson price. At resorts like Whistler Blackcomb, where at the time of writing a private lesson costs over $1,100, ten per cent is a pretty nice tip!

Not all cultures have the custom of tipping.  It’s up to you as the service provider to educate your guests on local customs. It can sometimes feel a bit awkward, but knowing how to bring it up can pay off in the end.

When your customer says, “Hey, you have a nice board,” you can respond by saying, “Thanks! I bought it with my tips from last year.” Or something like that. You’ll find your style.

2| Improve your Snowboarding Skills

Snowboard instructors are snowboarding geeks by nature. It’s what we do! We love dissecting turns and maneuvers to figure out the best way to do them.

Most snow schools have training programs that help their instructors prepare for their next level of certification. Before getting your first job, check to see how the snow school can support you in your professional development. If there’s no training program available, you can always find online resources to help you prepare for your next course!

3| Join a Like-Minded Community

As stated above, we are snowboarding geeks and proud of it! When you become a snowboarding instructor you will meet a whole community of people that can talk for hours about the details of a toe side turn.

Being surrounded by like-minded people is relaxing and good for the soul. It’s also inspiring as creative ideas get shared on long rides up the chairlift.

4| Pro Deals

We have direct contact with the very customers that snowboard brands are trying to reach. Snowboard brands know this and offer snowboard instructors good deals on equipment.

Just check out the CASI website to see a few of the brands that know it’s in their best interest to hook up the professionals with “their boots on the ground.”

As snowboard instructors we do so much snowboarding that we go through equipment at a quicker pace than most. So any deals we can get are welcomed!

If you approach your career with a business mindset and take good notes on how many customers you reach per year, how many boards you “sell” in the local shops, etc. You can take these notes to your favorite brands and set up a deal. Why not?! This is snowboarding, so carve your own path!

5| Grow Snowboarding

This is an honour. We get the opportunity to help create new snowboarders. A world with more snowboarders is a better place, right?

Helping to grow our sport is the main reason we are snowboard instructors. Snowboarding brings so much to our lives. Pure joy, freedom, fulfillment, accomplishment, and work ethic just to name a few.

Watching people achieve something they thought was impossible is an amazing feeling. As snowboard instructors we get to tap into this feeling on a daily basis.

There are many more reasons to become a snowboard instructor than have been explored in this article. If you have been inspired and want to learn more about entering this fulfilling career, check out our article on How to Become a Snowboard Instructor.