From Snowboarder to a Qualified Ski Instructor

19th December 2016

Matt Creighton is a keen snowboarder who has travel from Australia to join an Instructor internship with EA Ski and Snowboard in Canada.  Matt is one of our brand Ambassadors that choose to complete a Dual Certification at Big White Ski resort in Alberta, Canada. Matt is a snowboarder and had NEVER skied before but has just successfully completed and passed his level 1 Ski Instructors exam and has started teaching at Big White.

We caught up with Matt to ask him a few questions about how his internship is going!

Instagram shows us you're a pretty good rider! Where did you learn to snowboard and how long have you been snowboarding for?

"I learnt to snowboard in the Australian mountains of Thredbo and Perisher. My time on a snowboard began when I was 13 on a ski and snowboard camp, something which I did consecutively for 3 years. Over this period, I received snowboarding lessons which assisted me in gaining the fundamental skills needed to cruise the mountain independently. After 3 years on the board, I entered Australian Interschool's championships where I received valuable race training which dramatically improved my level of riding. In 2014 during the final year of my racing, I placed 4th at the National Championships for slalom and 6th for boarder cross".

We see you have swapped to two planks for your training with us, why did you choose a dual certification with EA Ski and Snowboard Training?

 "I've always wanted the opportunity to learn to ski, however as the snow conditions in Australia are so unpredictable I didn't want to waste good snow time learning to ski. I saw the dual certification program with EA to be a perfect opportunity for me to learn how to ski as I have the whole season to enjoy some time on the board. Plus, the task of learning to ski in 2 weeks before the level one exam was a challenge I was very eager to take on, and something I'm now very glad I chose to attempt".

Have you ever skied before? Now that you are qualified and an experienced skier do you prefer one more than the other?

"Before arriving in Big White I had only been on a set of skis once, this was on the beginner slope at Thredbo during night skiing. I will admit, first coming to ski training with a bunch of amazing skier's that have been skiing for years was an extremely daunting experience. However, with the outstanding guidance and instruction from the ski school here at Big White I had absolutely no problems picking up skiing. After 2 days of one on one lessons, I was riding with everyone in the group with no problems at all. 

A question I get a lot from other members of the EA crew is "what do you prefer, Skiing or snowboarding?" and every time someone asks me I always give a different answer. For me it depends on the snow conditions and what I feel like riding that day, Skiing is great for fast laps, exploring the mountain and off-piste. Snowboarding, however, is great for the park, pow days and being in the air".

How did you find your level one training?

 "I loved my level one training, without it I would still be caught in the pizza French fry loop. It has taken me from beginner skier to pro in under 2 weeks and has been such a rewarding and beneficial experience. For me, the best part was being on ski's for 2 weeks and not once thinking about being on a snowboard. The training totally blew my mind as to what was possible and how fast I could learn new skills just through applying myself and having the tenacity to succeed".

If you snowboard and are looking to make a career as an instructor think about getting cross-certified as a ski instructor.  Globally, there are a greater number of ski instructor roles available versus snowboarding.  Getting certified to teach skiing not increases the jobs you will qualify for and increase your daily number of lessons but it also will make you more valuable to the ski school.  Resorts are always looking for highly qualified individuals who can fill a number of roles.  This flexibility will help ensure not only a fantastic season on the snow but a fulfilling career as well.

 Interested in becoming a qualified instructor in Canada, Japan, Europe, USA or New Zealand? Get started today by downloading your guide to becoming an instructor! 

Matt Creighton Training to become and instructor with EA Ski and Snowboard Training