Choosing a Snow Boarding Instructor

 By: Jasmine Stone
Choosing a snow boarding instructor can be a very difficult choice, and one that comes down to your judgement more than anything else, however by following a few basic rules and asking the correct questions you can be sure that your choice will make a more informed one. When I first started learning how to snow board I was only 20 and in fact the sport was just getting started. Snow boarding began when a man decided to attach his son's skis together in order to ensure that his son's technique was correct. This has lead to snow boarding being one of the most popular winter sports even making an appearance in the Olympics. Despite this, the rules and regulations that surround other sports are different with snow boarding and for that reason alone it can be difficult to find an instructor that you are able to trust.

Does your instructor have any customers that you can speak with?
Ask your instructor if he has any past pupils that you are able to speak with. If he does then you will be able to ensure that he at least has some experience, and you can ask those pupils how they found the training that they were given. This is something that I consider with all my pupils. I ask them if they would like to speak with any ex pupils and give them their telephone numbers. Although most don't bother calling them up, it gives them a certain level of confidence in my ability.

What rates or charges will you incur for instruction?
This is an important question and one that should be considered as a major factor in who you choose. If an instructor is charging more then it probably reflects on one major issue and that is his ability. If you are being charged more then this may be reflected in his service and experience and therefore it may be worth it. On the other hand, if you are mainly looking for the ability to master basic skills, then perhaps it is not worth paying extra. It is also imperative that you ask if the rates that you are paying reflect every cost element that you will incur. What do I mean by this? Some instructors may charge you an hourly rate, but then the course may ask for more in order to use the facilities or rent equipment. Be sure that you know about everything that you are paying. Another point for consideration is that if you intend to train on a better slope then the costs of tuition will surely be higher. I would say it is probably worth paying that little extra to learn on snow, and on a diverse and challenging range of slopes.

How well do you think you will get on with your instructor?
This is something that we must all consider before choosing an instructor, and although we cannot always tell, meeting them in person is a great way to get a feel for their personality. Many instructors choose to make friends with their pupils however this is something that I refrain from doing. In my opinion students attain the best results, when they have a relationship of mutual respect and understanding with their instructor. When the pupil and instructor become too chatty problems arise. However, this is just my opinion. If you feel more comfortable with a chatty instructor then this should be your choice. Think about what is best for you, and allow this to influence your choice of instructor.

The times the instructor is available.
If your instructor will only be available between the hours of 9-5 and this is when you will be working then the chances are that this instructor is not very well suited to you. Stop and discuss with an instructor when both of you are available and you be sure to have a better working relationship.
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