“My names Ash Gulliver, I am a typical board sports enthusiast from the Isle of Wight on the south coast of England. When I wanted to become a Snowboarding Instructor after a season in New Zealand (if you haven’t gone there yet then go!) I thought it would be far too expensive and complicated to undertake the courses. But that’s when a friend of mine mentioned the Instructor Academy in Andorra. I checked their websites and there were courses all through the season so I picked my dates and signed up for a CASI level 1 and CASI Park 1 and I was set. Sandie who books the courses was so friendly and helpful. I must have bugged her day and night with questions but she sorted the transfer to Andorra and back, and my accommodation she is so helpful.
Anyway the day came and I arrived in Andorra day before my Course to meet other like minded snowaholics on the Course and I am still good friends with these people to this day. I met with Gordon who showed me to my accommodation which was a really sweet place to be staying. Anyway after completing my Level 1, I asked the evaluator if it was worth a shot giving the level 2 and he told me to go for it. So I booked that too.
The CASI Park 1 was by far the most fun I have had in a learning environment on snow. It was a good laugh and a certification at the end.
The Level 2 was also great fun. If not a little nervy at times due to me not having great deals of experience snowboarding in the past.
Turns out within a couple of weeks I had achieved my CASI Level 2 and a Park 1. I was a Snowboarding Instructor now. If there was snow on a mountain I could work there. I sent some emails and within two weeks I was working the remainder of that season between Italy and Austria teaching school groups.
These courses had sent me from zero to hero. I went from working a landscaping job in the rain to be one of the most respectable figures on a mountain. I still pinch myself to this day really.
Anyway the following season I landed myself a job in any powder freaks holy grail ……Japan. I worked at a ski school called Happo one (oh-ney) in Hakuba Japan. The mountain was host to the 98 Olympic Games and has some real history. The ski school was just starting to do English speaking lessons due to the amount of Australians and Europeans now travelling there.
So after my first season, they wanted me back! So I went back for a second season. This time I had a little bit more responsibility though as I was a kind of go between between the Japanese instructors and the English speaking instructor team which was much larger this year due to good business the year before.
I’m now waiting to go back to Japan as the man in charge of the foreign instructors. I would of never thought a few years ago that I would spend 5 months of my year every year popping down to Tokyo for a night out after a week of working in the Japanese Alps. Which on average gets 18 metres a season (19 last season!)
Not to mention between the northern hemisphere seasons I was offered work at Hotham in Australia in their 2014 season and work in New Zealand in 2015 season which I had to sadly decline.
So if you are thinking of taking a course. Don’t think, just do. It’s only money and you can always make more money. But better to make money knee deep in the White stuff. Get you Certs and start emailing Ski Schools. Who knows where you’ll end up. Even send me an email. Come work with me in the land of the rising sun.
And a quick thank you to all of those at Instructor Academy and the Evaluators from CASI.
And just to let those reading know. My time at Instructor Academy isn’t over. I’ll be back to finish off my Level 3 soon so maybe I’ll be in Andorra with you.”
CASI Level 1 and 2, CASI Level 1 Park, achieved in only 3 weeks with Instructor Academy! Now running a Snowboard School in Japan.