We asked Eon Van Zyl what life is really like as a ski instructor. An interesting insight for those unsure of daily life as a ski instructor.
So what is it that attracts so many people to become ski or snowboard instructors each year?
The answer is simple, it's the freedom you have, it's the fact you haven’t got to put on a suit and its something you love to do.
What does being a ski instructor entail?
Being an instructor is being an ambassador for the sport. Our job is to enhance the snow sport experience of the skiing and snowboarding public by helping them to realise their individual goals. We also motivate them in order to achieve what they never thought was possible, whether it's throwing a 360 off a kicker or making it down a mogul run in one piece. The mountain can be a dangerous environment and keeping our clients safe is always our first priority. At the end of the day it's meant to be fun so ensuring that our clients end the day with big smiles on their faces is the main objective. Every day is a new challenge! - Another reason the profession is so attractive. You never know what obstacles you might encounter on a given day. You might have to help a nervous first time skier or snowboarder feel comfortable on beginner terrain or help someone conquer their fear of a really steep slope.
Why do you love being an instructor?
Being an instructor is probably the best job in the world if you love the outdoors and meeting people from all over the globe. Just imagine skiing around the mountain with clients all day surrounded by the most amazing scenery and you'll be able to see why it beats almost any other job. It's not simply a job but a lifestyle.
What is the typical daily routine as an instructor?
After breakfast we head out for a training session to work on our own skiing technique and teaching skills. After that we teach groups or private clients. The work day ends at around 15:30 and you have the option of doing some apres-ski with friends at one of the local bars, enjoy the hot tub or even go for a snowshoe.
Why do you love skiing?
There is something magical about the mountains, snow and skiing. It's also great to be able to improve my own skiing technique while helping others to do the same and showing them a fun time.
How would you sum up life as an instructor in 3 words?
Surreal, exhilarating and rewarding.
What would be your advice to those who want to become an instructor?
Joining an extended training program is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. You will receive intensive training and be prepared well for the qualifying exams. Furthermore you will get to know the instructors and the management team of the ski school, increasing your chances of being hired the following season.
For information on how to become a ski instructor contact a member of the NothinButSnow team today.