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Maksim

Worth working s a ski instructor to Ski for free?

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I work from home and have a very flexible schedule (self employed).  Obviously part of moving here was to be able to ski more... wondering, does it make sense to go one further and work as an instructor at one of the local mountains?  Or too much BS, not enough pay to justify the passes?

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2 hours ago, Maksim said:

I work from home and have a very flexible schedule (self employed).  Obviously part of moving here was to be able to ski more... wondering, does it make sense to go one further and work as an instructor at one of the local mountains?  Or too much BS, not enough pay to justify the passes?

I can’t speak to this since I’ve never done it, and most people haven’t, but I’m sure everyone will give their opinion anyway... like I will. It doesn’t seem worth it. 

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Never done it so of course posting. Looked into it last year; there seem to be lots better, easier ways to get a season pass than instructing if that's what you're after.  Unless you really love instructing, which many do. If I had the money I would NEVER work during ski season. 

 

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If you’re a ski instructor you’ll ski less. 

If you’re a ski instructor( a few dollars here and there, you have to buy jacket, training, classes, a lot of hours standing around in ski boots on flat terrain, free season pass, discounts on passes for family). 

If you’re not an instructor can just spend several hundred on season pass and really take advantage of your flexible schedule by skiing a lot.  You live close enough to blue and camelback that you can ski if you only have a 2-3 hour window. 

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If all you are in it for is the pass, there are a lot of ways to earn $450 that would be much less of a drain on your fun time. To each his own though, let us know what you decide!

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i think it would depend upon the level of commitment needed to secure the pass.  Since my buddies did this at Frost, i can tell you i would not put up with what they went through, but i have no interest what so ever in teaching skiing.  There really was limited "free" skiing, due to an hourly check in.  It seemed like if they were there, they needed to do this.  There really wasnt, "im taking the day off to go skiing".  Basically, you might have some friends on powder days....meaning, lessons dont really stop just because its snowing, and you wanna ski pow.  

 

I think Doms words were, "dont turn your hobby into a job".  

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My mom always told me I should get a job in the ski industry since I like skiing.  That’s so stupid.  That’s like getting a job working at Dorney Park because you like riding rollercoasters. As Dom said,” dont turn your hobby into a job”

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I used to instruct at frost when I was in high school (snowmonsters program).  It was cool as a kid because you make a lot of friends that like to ski and then you could go to boulder at night after work and hang out.  The expectation was that if you were at the ski area, you would check in to see if they needed you to work.  It was usually pretty easy to get at least half the day off to ski, but it was still a bit of a drag.  Every once in a while, it would be really rewarding when the stars aligned for some kid who you just introduced to their new favorite sport (i.e., the best sport on earth), but more often than not, it was essentially glorified baby-sitting kids who couldn't care less about skiing.  No way I would do that as an adult.

However, I did take a side-gig this winter as a fill-in coach for my kids' ski team, (the all mountain free-ski team at Loveland).  I skied with the team a few times last season and those kids eat, sleep and breath skiing.  Free season passes for the whole family and a little bit of cash to ski with a group of little rippers that tear up the entire mountain.  I'll do that any day.   

  

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17 minutes ago, jordan said:

I used to instruct at frost when I was in high school (snowmonsters program).  It was cool as a kid because you make a lot of friends that like to ski and then you could go to boulder at night after work and hang out.  The expectation was that if you were at the ski area, you would check in to see if they needed you to work.  It was usually pretty easy to get at least half the day off to ski, but it was still a bit of a drag.  Every once in a while, it would be really rewarding when the stars aligned for some kid who you just introduced to their new favorite sport (i.e., the best sport on earth), but more often than not, it was essentially glorified baby-sitting kids who couldn't care less about skiing.  No way I would do that as an adult.

However, I did take a side-gig this winter as a fill-in coach for my kids' ski team, (the all mountain free-ski team at Loveland).  I skied with the team a few times last season and those kids eat, sleep and breath skiing.  Free season passes for the whole family and a little bit of cash to ski with a group of little rippers that tear up the entire mountain.  I'll do that any day.   

  

Jordan you have a kid??  How old??

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twin boys (12) and twin girls (9).  They are not my biological kids, but are my kids in every other way.  They all are good skiers, but one of the boys has really taken to it.  He is the one on the ski team.  Here he is ripping  Headwall at crested butte:

 

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10 minutes ago, jordan said:

twin boys (12) and twin girls (9).  They are not my biological kids, but are my kids in every other way.  They all are good skiers, but one of the boys has really taken to it.  He is the one on the ski team.  Here he is ripping  Headwall at crested butte:

 

Oh gotcha. Your wife must have had kids young.  I saw the pictures of them ripping at Bear tooth pass in the Teton gravity forums. 

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4 hours ago, GrilledSteezeSandwich said:

My mom always told me I should get a job in the ski industry since I like skiing.  That’s so stupid.  That’s like getting a job working at Dorney Park because you like riding rollercoasters. As Dom said,” dont turn your hobby into a job”

I'm gonna find out this season what it's like to work in the ski industry. So far the pros are:

1. 9-5 office job, but I can ski on my lunch break.

2. My days off will be weekdays, so no crowds.

3. Discounts on equipment plus free food at the lodge. 

4. I'm f/t salaried with benefits, so I don't have to deal with the unpaid shiftwork bs that ski instructors do. 

Cons:

1. Relatively low pay (compared to my previous job)

2. ? Not sure what else yet. 

 

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16 minutes ago, SallyCat said:

I'm gonna find out this season what it's like to work in the ski industry. So far the pros are:

1. 9-5 office job, but I can ski on my lunch break.

2. My days off will be weekdays, so no crowds.

3. Discounts on equipment plus free food at the lodge. 

4. I'm f/t salaried with benefits, so I don't have to deal with the unpaid shiftwork bs that ski instructors do. 

Cons:

1. Relatively low pay (compared to my previous job)

2. ? Not sure what else yet. 

 

Are you still working at the gym?  Any job will be a breath of fresh air not having to grade papers and tests evenings and weekends and dealing with rich kids parents.  Funny you also got free food as a teacher. 

Edited by GrilledSteezeSandwich

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1 hour ago, GrilledSteezeSandwich said:

Are you still working at the gym?  Any job will be a breath of fresh air not having to grade papers and tests evenings and weekends and dealing with rich kids parents.  Funny you also got free food as a teacher. 

Done with the gym; I've folded my share of towels for a lifetime. I'll be managing the ski school at Suicide Six this winter. 

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In theory it sounds like a great deal (free pass, paid to ski, discount passes for your family etc.) but in reality it, like anything else that pays you, is work. You have to be there at a certain time. Your name is on a schedule, there are shifts, tests, certifications etc. It becomes an obligation.

 

Part 2 of the instructor thing is the whole technique and training thing. Sorry but for me spending time on the hill, when not teaching, to focus on ankle flex or whatever the hell technique related activity that was going on that day is not for me. I found it to be a very "hey look at me and my awesome form and this is what you need to do to look like me" vibe. Then there was the infamous whirlybird session day that actually had me rethinking my life. Lol

 

Others may disagree and if you're cool with that then great. No judgement here. Truly. But my stupid ass just wants to get to the mountain without being on a schedule, ski until I'm ready to call it a day, not obsess about what I look like (granted I'm not trying to look like a shit head either), and have as much fun as I possibly can during that time. I don't regret it at all but I will say that I can't recall a day when I was busy with lessons or there as an instructor period, where I had that glow after leaving the mountain because of the ski day that was. It happens all the time otherwise.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, RidgeRacer said:

In theory it sounds a great deal (free pass, paid to ski, discount passes for your family etc.) but in reality it, like anything else that pays you, is work. You have to be there at a certain time. Your name is on a schedule, there are shifts, tests, certifications etc. It becomes an obligation.

Part 2 of the instructor thing is the whole technique and training thing. Sorry but for me spending time on the hill, when not teaching, to focus on ankle flex or whatever the hell technique related activity that was going on that day is not for me. I found it to be a very "hey look at me and my awesome form and this is what you need to do to look like me" vibe. Then there was the infamous whirlybird session day that actually had me rethinking my life. Lol

Others may disagree and if you're cool with that then great. No judgement here. Truly. But my stupid ass just wants to get to the mountain without being on a schedule, ski until I'm ready to call it a day, not obsess about what I look like (granted I'm not trying to look like a shit head either), and have as much fun as I possibly can during that time. I don't regret it at all but I will say that I can't recall a day when I was busy with lessons or there as an instructor period, where I had that glow after leaving the mountain because of the ski day that was. It happens all the time otherwise.

How long were you an instructor?  I remember that it was tough for phillycore to quit because he believed they depended on him.  I just couldn’t imagine being at the mountain for 8 hours. 

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My mom always told me I should get a job in the ski industry since I like skiing.  That’s so stupid.  That’s like getting a job working at Dorney Park because you like riding rollercoasters. As Dom said,” dont turn your hobby into a job”
You're right. In addition to the teaching thing I also did the ski marketing thing. Same premise certainly applies

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20 minutes ago, RidgeRacer said:
12 hours ago, GrilledSteezeSandwich said:
My mom always told me I should get a job in the ski industry since I like skiing.  That’s so stupid.  That’s like getting a job working at Dorney Park because you like riding rollercoasters. As Dom said,” dont turn your hobby into a job”

You're right. In addition to the teaching thing I also did the ski marketing thing. Same premise certainly applies

I can’t have a job where everybody is having fun while I’m working.  My job is great cause even if I’m having a bad day, my customers are having a worse day. 

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How long were you an instructor?  I remember that it was tough for phillycore to quit because he believed they depended on him.  I just couldn’t imagine being at the mountain for 8 hours. 
PC being there made it much better (although he was in different group than me). I was jealous of Dan who just skied and didn't have to check in on the hour.
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I'm probably the one who said don't turn your hobby into a job.
I have had a habit of doing this and every time it sucked.
First I did it with drag racing, the next thing I know I'm running events and a club with over 3000 people in it, doing magazine interviews and all kinds of bullshit that took away from the fun of....racing my car.
Now I don't want anything to do with any of it.....

Then skiing....became instructor and had fun at first as the people in my group were awesome. Then it started getting old, I wanted to ski not do wedge drills and whirly birds.
Took the fun out of it until I said fuck this...bought a pass to blue and started skiing with my PASR family again.
In the end.... I ski a lot less than I used to and while I did improve my own skiing doing it as well....I lost a lot of the fun aspect of it.
I ski a lot less than I used to unfortunately now....

My take..
Don't do it until you're old and slow and deliberate turns seem like your pace....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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jordan's experience is probably most similar to my own. I taught in blue's explorers program when i was in college. When you're on winter break and planning on skiing every day anyway, and it worked out alright. Get there for opening, ski a few laps, check in to explorers before lessons start to see if you have a lesson or not, and if you don't get you'd get paid for an hour, then go ski with whoever else wasn't teaching. I got lucky in that I didn't teach all too many first time lessons, and usually got groups of less than four who could actually ski and had interest in doing it. There were definitely days when it was glorified babysitting though. Ultimately, there were some broken promises and what I had thought I signed up for didn't actually pan out, but I'm glad I did it. 

If you're interested in teaching as a way to get better yourself? I guess that depends on where you're at, ability-wise. For me, pretty much everything I was "taught" about how to ski was worthless, however, learning how to teach was useful. As others have said, there are cheaper ways to get a pass, if that's all you're interested in, and you can get last season's gear just as cheaply as you'd get things on pro form. If you're still thinking of doing it, do it somewhere that is more lax than JFBB about checking in every hour, and I would recommend working with the kids program. Sure, you get some crappy lessons, but I think overall it's more rewarding teachings kids something you're passionate about, an appreciate for being outside in pseudo-nature, etc whose parents are also probably skiers, than dealing with the craziness that is an adult first-day-on-skis lesson with 10+ people straight off of a bus from NYC.

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I taught snowboarding for 13 years...When I started snowboarding wasn't so popular and you only taught a couple of lesson a year...That made the getting the free pass great ..cause most of the time you just snowboarded...But as it got popular it kinda sorta started to become a job..The aha moments are great when you see someone get it...but when you get kids that are the devils spawn it's fucking harsh..plus all the clinics and other bullshit ...it sucks..or when its a pow day and you gotta teach..it's raining you gotta teach ..I said fuck it..all I want to do is ski/ride then leave..Don't do it..it's not worth it

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