21 things snowboard instructors really really don’t want you to do

snowboard instructor

The life of a snowboard instructor is a fun one, but it comes with its own challenges and most of those challenges are predictably, people.

Now, I admit we all start the season perky and positive, but three months of long days and variable conditions and little daylight gets to anyone. Yes, I was grumpy when I wrote this, but I wrote it none the less. At the end of the season. Ahem.

So, well. Here goes. 21 things we really wish you wouldn’t do.

  1. Leave your boots all undone so that we have to bend down and do them for you, like you’re five. My knees are sore and bruised from this.
  2. Carry your board into the lift line and then suddenly realise you need to put it on to ride the lift, holding everyone up in the process
  3. Take off your board at the top of a hill and put it down. On its base. So it slides down the entire mountain, wiping out a dozen small children along the way.
  4. Sit on your snowboard and ride it like a toboggan. There’s a reason tobogganing has been banned at most Aussie snow resorts.
  5. Tell us how skiing looks easier and you’re going to try that instead.
  6. Ask us why the snow isn’t soft like in the photos.
  7. Ask us why there isn’t snow on all the trees like in the photos.
  8. Ask us why it isn’t snowing right now like in the photos.
  9. In a lesson, ask us to repeat where we are meeting on the hill or what exercise we’re doing. Because we literally just told you. Twice.
  10. Come into the group and try to spray everyone, but just end up sliding into them at a million miles an hour.
  11. Grab on to us when you are about to fall and take us down with you.
  12. Run into us when you’re getting off the chairlift and take us down with you.
  13. Ask “So what do you do for work?” Because you are looking at it.
  14. Ask, “No, but what’s your main job?” Because, again, you’re looking at it.
  15. Ask us how much money we make. This is an awkward conversation because we literally make less than $30,000 a year.
  16. Find out how little money we make and still not tip us.
  17. Ask if we can do a black run on your first day.
  18. Demand to know why your child hasn’t done a black run on their first day.
  19. Tell us that you/your child should be in a higher level because obviously instructors don’t know what they’re talking about.
  20. Take your spouse/friend/child on a black run on their first day, terrify them, and then dump them back in our lesson to deal with the consequences.
  21. Throw some slush into the air and say, “Wow the snow is so powdery!”

If you need me I’ll be at the beach, thawing out between seasons and ramping up to hit the Japow and do it all again. Why? Because, seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a snowboard instructor?

It really is, the life. The rich life. Not financially, though. Let’s be clear about that.

Alex is a writer and snowboard instructor. After throwing in a desk job and leaving her home town of Sydney in 2014 she's snowboarded and worked in Canada, Australia, South Korea, the US and Japan. She is also the name behind www.bigworldlittlecat.com

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