Today’s Follow Friday comes live and direct from our buddies at NothinButSnow – an independent UK-based company that offers incredible opportunities for snowboard instructor courses out in the super powderland of Canada.
What we love most about NothinButSnow is the fact it’s run by two snow-loving guys from the UK, who are in it solely to share their passion for the snow. No mass-produced courses, run by corporate bosses hundreds of miles away, but two fully-qualified, super-friendly guys who will be with you every step of the way – from the moment you pick up the phone to them, and 24 hours a day on your season, through to the post-season catchups when you need someone to reminisce about your season to.
NothinButSnow offers fully serviced, affordable snowboard instructor courses running everything from 2-12 weeks in the epic powder fields of Big White Canada, and we thought there’s no better way to spread the love but by sharing the latest diary from one of NBS’s future instructors. Meet Nick, whose Monday morning was far better than yours…
For most people, Monday morning is the start of a dreaded week at work that comes around all too soon. For us, Monday morning was the start of our first full week on Ski & Snowboard Instructor Training and it couldn’t have come soon enough. Breakfasts mostly consisted of a sugar-based cereal, filled with more holes than nutrients and more colours than a Louis Armstrong ballad, it was energy nonetheless and much needed before a days boarding. Our ‘commute’ was a 10-minute ski down to the VCM and our ‘office’ was 2,765 acres of mountain waiting to be torn up.
We met our Trainers and for this week I was to be with Laura, a fully accomplished rider with a gnarly reputation in the park. We spent most of the first day working on some early feedback from our new trainer, with the focus on being Centered and Mobile. That evening we relaxed at our pad and started to delve into our CASI manuals to start to get to grips with the teaching material.
Tuesday began with more clear-blue skies and a 9:30 meeting with our instructors outside the VCM. After a morning up the mountain, the afternoon was to be our first insight to conducting a lesson for a first-time snowboarder. Laura went through the five stages of QuickRide Material and we all felt like beginners again as she expertly took us through the lessons. Each one of us agreed that they were extremely helpful and reminded us of the fundamentality’s of becoming a snowboarder. That evening was 80’s night at Sam’s and the majority of us headed down to get stuck in to Big White’s Nightlife. Despite some horrible jumpers on display that evening, an injection of shots from NBS Leigh helped relax some muscles as we headed to the dance floor. Tim in particular dusted off his dancing shoes and taught us all a move or two. Only closing time would eventually force us out as we headed home.
Wednesday morning gave us another insight into becoming a Snowboard Instructor that we hadn’t fully experienced before; waking up early, being enthusiastic all day, playing children’s games, and teaching energetic kids how to snowboard, all after a heavy session the night before. On the whole we all did well for our first time at the front of the class and enjoyed teaching our first snowboarding lessons. This didn’t stop some of us feeling pretty tired that evening, especially Tim, heading straight for the pillow and not being seen again until the following morning.Thursday was to be yet another sunny day out on the slopes, and despite the progressively thinner amounts of snow on the ground and relatively warm temperatures we all got a good days riding and could all feel ourselves improving. That afternoon Laura took individual videos of our riding and headed to Snow Pines to get feedback. We all found the videos incredibly useful, its one thing to be told we’re doing something, but to watch ourselves ride and see how to improve was another. That evening NBS organized a trip down to Kelowna’s One Boardshop for a Tuning session. For most, it was an introduction on how to fully wax our boards/skis, repair boards with PTEX and tune our edges, not forgetting an opportunity to buy any new bits of gear. A quick stop at Triple-0’s for some food followed before we trekked back up to Big White.
We all couldn’t believe how quickly our first full week of training had gone, and before we knew it, Friday came around. The day was spent boarding with the focus on trying to work on the feedback we had picked up from our video analysis. It was noticeable for all, that being able to watch ourselves ride helped enormously. That afternoon Laura came back to our Crib to do our weeks review, individual feedback sessions and sink a Kokanee or two. More beers in the Hot tub proceeded as the Sun set over B.C. We had our evening meal at Sante’s Bar and Grill. The majority feasted on Chipotle Chicken, washed down with a Canadian. After dinner, the elderly among us marched on up to Sam’s and we started to invest in our Saturday morning hangover. A well deserved night out after a successful first week.The weekend arrived, and in contrast to the masses, turned up far too soon that morning. There wasn’t a lot of movement in the house as the drinks from the night before took their toll. A small number however, did manage to go down to the VCM and shadow one of the instructors on a beginner lesson that day. The rest caught up with friends on Skype, put a wash on, or prepared for week 3. A slight change in our timetable meant that our second full weeks teaching would run Sunday-Thursday instead of the usual Mon-Fri. This also meant that our Saturday evening did not consist of the usual alcohol induced antics, but a Cup of tea, pop tart and an early night the preferred choice.
Despite deeply missing the usual Sunday morning lay-in, the group was up and out the house for 9:00 ready to meet our new trainers, and be placed in our new Groups for the start of Week 3. My trainer this week was Fraser, a 23-year-old Glaswegian who is regarded as one of the best riders at the school, despite his young age. We headed out for a morning out on the slopes before more practice at lessons down in Happy Valley. The week for me ended the way any week should; watching the sun set over the mountains, listening to some music with a beer in hand, appreciating the week gone whilst looking forward to the next week of my snowboard instructor course.