Working as a Snowboard Instructor after Basecamp
Tom Sweet graduated from Basecamp in Val d’Isere at the end of last season with his BASI Level 2 instructor’s qualification. We asked him a few questions of what he is up to and what his plan is now having completed a basecamp snowboard instructor course.
In short: Tom will be heading out to Silverstar (Canada) this coming season to pursue his career in the snowboard industry. When I we caught up with Tom this is what he had to say…
What made you choose to do a snowboard instructor course?
Ever since the age of 12, snowboarding has been a sport that I have been extremely passionate about. After University I was struggling to find a job which utilized my degree. So I decided to take a gamble and pursue a career as a snowboard instructor. Basecamp were the most helpful in terms of helping me with my research, and the snowboard instructor course in Val d’Isere was the best one for me.
What did you get most out of from being out in Val d’Isere?
Honestly my season in Val d’Isere with Basecamp was one of the best winters I’ve ever had, the snow last season was epic with plenty of fresh deep powder to be had throughout the season. I had plenty of fresh tracks and with the coaches knowing all the hidden spots we would even get fresh snow to ride in the afternoon too. The après and the nightlife in Val D’Isere is really good, you can start on the mountain at the Follie Douce and continue till 4am in Dicks, while still in your boots and gear.
How did you get your job in Silverstar?
I decided about half way through my season that I wanted to go to Canada to teach, and the first step for this was applying for my visa. If you’re thinking of doing this yourself my advice is start early get everything prepared well in advanced so when they open up the very limited visa’s you can get yours through without any problems. After I finished my season and had gained my BASI 2 snowboard instructor qualification, I began emailing as many resorts in Canada as I could, and applied to all of them. About half of them got back to me, either telling me they were full and to try again next year or that they weren’t hiring till later in the summer, there was a time when I worried I wouldn’t get an instructors job, but I kept at it. Eventually in early September Silverstar got back to me and offered me an interview over the phone. Having previously messed up one interview I did a load of research into the mountain through their website, I did practice interview questions, even found out a bit about the person interviewing me. I tried to get my passion across over the phone and demonstrate I’d done my research, and at the end of the interview he offered me a job as a snowboard instructor, now I can’t wait.
What board are you currently riding?
Currently I am rocking a 156 Nitro team series 12/13 with the gullwing rocker. I absolutely love this board as it is super flexi allowing me to get some nice presses out of it on the flatland. It also holds up when it comes to the more technical riding and due the gullwing rocker it floats nicely in powder and even though it’s a shorter board. It’s pretty good on rails and kickers in the park. I also have a Burton Jussi from years ago and an APO Selekta.
Best experience from your winter season in Val d’Isere with Basecamp?
So many it’s hard to choose one, getting my new board and realizing what edges could do for your riding, building kickers with the other basecampers, riding in waist deep fresh powder throughout the season. Watching the X Games, partying at the Folie Douce, partying in Dicks, Saloon, Morris, and all the many other places. However the stand out best experience last season had to be NYE over in Tignes the best party on the snow with fireworks, laser show and some good party tunes, honestly one of the best party’s I’ve ever been too.
Aim for the next season whilst working as a snowboard instructor in Silverstar?
To get my 200 hours teaching so I can continue in my snowboarding career and get my BASI 3. But at the same time I really want to enjoy myself and improve my riding even more. The snowboard instructor team out there sounds like they are pretty good so I’m hoping this will improve my riding and my park skills. I am also really looking forward to the incredible amounts of snow they get out there, we had 3m of snow in Val D and that gave us some amazing powder days, in Silverstar they get an average of 7-10m every year so I cannot wait to get stuck into that.
I’m off for another season snowboarding, and I have to say thank you to Basecamp for helping make this possible. I’m starting on a path towards my dream job and I don’t think I will look back. I met some amazing people through Basecamp and had an amazing time in Val D’Isere. If you are thinking of doing this course whether it is a snowboard instructor course or just improve your riding, stop thinking about it and do it! You won’t regret it.
Want to make a career in something you love?
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