Before people book a Peak Leaders course we often get asked about levels. After all, before you start training as an instructor it’s hard to know what kind of skiing you’ll be doing, and how “good” you need to be before you can start training.
It’s a really tough question to answer as there are a lot of factors – experience, fitness, confidence, injuries and more.
But there are certainly a couple of vital questions you need to ask.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU SKIED FOR?
Generally we think you need to have had at least 5 weeks skiing experience.
That’s enough to suggest that you are at least comfortable on the pistes we will be skiing on at the start of training.
But as we said above, it’s not as simple as answering yes or no to this, but it would be exceptional for a trainee to join a course with less than five weeks of skiing experience.
WHAT KIND OF RUNS ARE COMFORTABLE WITH?
Essentially we all develop at different speeds – so if you have skied for ten weeks or twenty weeks it doesn’t always help us know what your technical level is like (but it does give a great idea of broadly where you are at with your skiing).
So the crucial we question ask is “what do you ski for fun?”.
If you spend your days on skis hitting black runs and off-piste, we can imagine that whilst your technical skiing might (or might not) need developing, you’re probably in a pretty good place.
If you tend to stick to blues then the exam criteria are going to be a big step up.
So as a rule we require you to be able to ski a minimum of red runs confidently.
If you don’t ski reds comfortably then it’s not impossible, but we know you will need to really get out of your comfort zone to start achieving the exam criteria. Someimes we recommend some extra training before the course begins.
And of course we can talk to you about all this when you are booking the course.
IS THAT IT?
Well, not quite.
The BASI exams are very clear about what tasks need to be accomplished and the technical movements that trainees need to display.
So skiing for years and skiing reds easily isn’t the end of the story.
In fact, generally speaking, the longer you have been skiing the greater the risk that you’ve picked up “bad” habits. They can already be engrained and hard to shift.
The opposite is also true – someone who hasn’t skied for long can make faster technical changes because any habits and movement patterns are less entrenched.
Basically skiing for longer isn’t always a benefit and skiing less isn’t always a problem…
Then we have to consider your confidence and other variables.
The easiest way for us to give you an idea of if you’re ready is if we can see a video. If you think you’re not quite at the level a video can be vital.
So if you’re heading skiing before the course we often suggest getting a video then. And if you already have some video we’d love to see it.
We’re always happy to have have a look and discuss how we think you’d get on during a course, and perhaps make some suggestions about how much training you’d need before going on your course.
Skiing is a sport so the fitter you can be before any course, the better chance you give yourself of improving and passing – and the more fun you’ll have on your skis. Which is why the regular fitness training is a big part of our off-snow training on Peak Leaders courses.
We also have a fitness plan in the Members’ Area to make sure you are well prepared for the physical demands of the course.
But if you have any questions just get in touch…
Answers to loads of your Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different course options?
Who will I be training with on a ski instructor course?
Why book your place on a Peak Leaders course?