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Ryan's journey to becoming a snowboard instructor

Ryan joined our 11 week snowboard instructor course in Banff last season. His career at the time, although well paid, was not enjoyable. It was at this point he decided he would rather make the mountains his office, and decided to train with Nonstop to become a snowboard instructor. Read his story here...

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What were you doing before the course started?

For a year leading up to the course start date, I was working a well-paid but tedious, tiresome job that I hated. I needed a way out, and it was during my  'annual one week snow holiday' in the French alps that I had a bit of an epiphany. I realised that snowboarding one week a year simply wasn't enough, and decided I wanted to pursue a career where I could be in the mountains all the time. What better way to do that, and get to snowboard at the same time, than by becoming an instructor? 

How did you hear about Nonstop?

I first heard about Nonstop through my friend Joe who had done the 11 week snowboard instructor course 2 years earlier, can't get better advertisement than word of mouth! When I told Joe I had decided I wanted to become an instructor he would not shut up about Nonstop! He had so many good things to say about his experience, and after talking to him at length about it over a couple of beers, I was sold. I trawled the Nonstop website, reading everything and finding out as much information as I could about the 11 week course. My mind was pretty much made up, but reading about the extra activities and social events included on the course sealed the deal. 

How would you sum up your time in Banff?

Banff is a magical place. I've never seen anywhere else quite like it. Everyone here is so friendly and helpful! The town is just the right size, it has heaps of 'small mountain town' charm, but also plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. It's the perfect place to spend a season snowboarding!

I've thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of the course, but if I had to pick 3 highlights, they would be Cat-boarding, the Revelstoke weekend, and the trip to Kicking Horse.

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Cat-boarding was probably the best day I've ever spent on a snowboard in my life. It was incredible, fresh lines every single run, so fun!

Revelstoke has some serious terrain, and we were lucky enough to get almost 2ft of fresh snow overnight!!! I'd never seen anything like it.

Kicking Horse is awesome as well, and perfect for a day trip as it's not too far from Banff. The back bowls and ridges there are legendary, and lots of fun to hike for the best line!

What are your plans now that your course has finished?

I was lucky enough to get a working holiday visa for Canada just before I left the UK, and I'm planning on staying out here in Banff over the summer whilst I wait for the snow to return! Summer in Banff is supposedly just as good as winter, if not better! Hiking, kayaking, BBQs by the lake...sounds good to me! 

With any luck I'll manage to get myself an instructor job at one of the hills in time for next season. That would be the perfect end to what has already been the best year of my life!

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What would you say to anyone thinking about doing a Nonstop course?

If you're reading this, you've already given it enough thought, just DO IT! I had the absolute time of my life, met a bunch of amazing people from all over the world who are now life-long friends and my riding improved more than I ever dreamt it could!

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Nonstop is the complete package; the best accommodation, the best instructors and you get to ride at all 3 of the resorts in Banff. Everyone at Nonstop does their absolute best to make your experience the best it can be, from the time you send your first email full of questions about the course, to your end of course leaving party. Your course hosts in Banff are legends, the course wouldn't be the same without them, and they soon become your good friends!

What are you waiting for?!

If you’re considering a Nonstop course, there are plenty to choose from. You should check out the range of career break snowboard courses, gap year snowboard courses or the snowboard instructor courses for those who want to work in the industry. If you’re a skier, there are gap year, career break and instructor courses for you too! 

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