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Top 10 Tips – What you should know before your residential course

Verbier Team photo gap 2018

We picked the brains of our current Level 3 ISIA students to find out what advice they would give someone considering taking a 10 week BASI 1 & 2 residential course.  These are their top ten tips!


  1. Fitness is always important as you do a lot of skiing over the season” – Matt Kirkland, Courchevel.  Check out the Fitness section of our Journal for a pre-season/summer programme to get you up to scratch.

  2. Join a ski club in the UK and try to get into dry ski slope racing.  This is what I did for two years before I did the gap course and I found it unbelievably helpful.” –Matt Kirkland, Courchevel.   You can sign up with your local club via Snowsport England, Snowsports Scotland, Snowsport Cymru and the Ski Club of Ireland.

  3. Get started learning your chosen language early on” – Tori Redmond.  If you want to become a fully qualified Level 4 instructor, you need a second language. Our programmes now offer French lessons to get you up to scratch – check out the DuoLingo app in the meantime to get you started.

  4. Make sure you have the right sort of skis and boots.  One of the girls turned up to ours last year with Full Tilt boots and they were just too soft” – Andy Grey.  Get the right advice from Ellis Brigham in the UK or the knowledgable chaps at The Boot Lab in resort (Meribel) and online to make sure.

  5. Bring home comforts i.e. sweets/particular brands of tea – it’s a lot cheaper than getting someone to send out a home comforts package to you” – Kieran Loveridge, Meribel.  The Europeans haven’t quite gotten their heads around the importance of Yorkshire Gold, Cadburys or proper Cheddar so if you’ll miss it, bring it!

  6. Make a point of introducing yourself and chat to as many people as possible in the ski industry, offer your help wherever you can.” – Yasmin Basan. In-resort you’ll have loads of opportunities to meet people who have completed the instructor pathway and are full of great advice!  Make the most of it.

  7. Keep an open mind – lots of people from all different backgrounds and walks of life thrown in a chalet together may have differing opinions/experiences from you” – Kieran Loveridge, Meribel.  This one’s pretty cool – you get to meet new people and in our experience, make friends for life.

  8. Make sure you focus during shadowing as you pick up great ideas and tips and behind the scenes try and pick up extra shadowing if possible. Practice with your friends in free time, if you with friends you can make it fun, video each other, give each other pointers and tips. Free skiing is so much fun but we were always told at the weekends when there is no training spend a couple of hours with a focus on something you need to improve on… this really helped me in the long run.” – Yasmin Basan.

  9. Prepare to get frustrated at yourself. There was parts of my skiing I wasn’t able to change straight away and it took ages for me to make the changes necessary”Andy Grey, Verbier.  This is pretty normal – there are always peaks and troughs when training.  Keep your spirits up – marginal gains are not to be sniffed at!

  10. “Lastly I would advise all students to enjoy the training as much as they can as it was the best winter I have ever had!” –Matt Kirkland, Courchevel.


So there you have it – inside knowledge from those who have done our courses and have come back for more! If you’re ready to join us and begin your instructor journey, check out our courses here.