By Ryan Thompson 2011

In an era of world travel offering many different leisure activities the snowboard industry is in an extremely competitive market place.

The challenge is to differentiate the snowboard industry from the other leisure and travel options to offer a world-class experience that meets and can exceed the expectations of the guest.

It is our role to deliver the best possible product, understand other products on our mountain and to invite our guests to return using best practices. There are key steps available to us in order to maximize guest experience and financial return for the mountain operator and the individual;

  • Rider analysis
  • Product Knowledge
  • Best Practices

 Rider analysis

 When analyzing a student it is important that we ask appropriate questions to build a solid lesson plan, when asking questions we will often learn of the students expectations and goals. Here are some appropriate questions;

  • What would you like to get from your lesson today?
  • How many lessons have you had before?
  • How long have you been snowboarding?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • How long are you on vacation?
  • Do your friends and family ski or snowboard?

 Finding out more about your students will give you the information in which to base your lesson. During the start of your lesson you will be able to observe what kind of clothing and where their equipment is from, is it rented, new or old? When providing a summary at the end of the lesson you should always invite your students to return, again the information from your analysis is vital and when added with product knowledge can create return business for you and the mountain.

Product Knowledge

 On the mountain there are a number of different products, as instructors we should understand and be able to educate our students and guests on the different lessons and workshops available, the cost and where to purchase.

Our knowledge should not stop there; we should know the mountain from the runs to the café and the restrooms to the retail store. When in uniform you are expected to know everything!

 Best Practice

 In order to achieve maximum return on effort following some practical steps will help ensure repeat business.

  • Always carry business cards and resort discounts, seek opportunities to hand them out. (E.g. During your summary).
  • Have the private lesson number in your phone, make it easy to extend or book another lesson.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and professional appearance every day.
  • Help other guests having trouble on the hill.
  • Offer to show students to the booking desk.
  • Be willing to travel to teach your student at another resort.
  • Recommend where to buy equipment, where to eat and drink while on their vacation.

 In summary

As snowboard instructors we are the face of its industry, interacting with guests on a daily basis. Impressions are created and cemented by instructors. We have the experience and knowledge to turn a first time snowboard experience into life long passion for the guest.