Get your head around BASI and what to expect on your way to qualifying as an instructor. BASI – the British Association of Snowsports Instructors – is one of the recognised bodies responsible for training and certifying ski and snowboard instructors. Made up of four progressive levels, our 10 week BASI course in Les 2 Alpes can take you to Level 2 and set you up with high-end snow skills to work in the mountains. With the help of BASI L4 Alex Chapman, we give you a quick rundown on the system.
What’s your level and how long have you been working with BASI?
I am a BASI Level 4 with full French equivalence. I have been fully qualified since 2011 and live in the Les 2 Alpes area. We have been a partner with BASI since 2015 and I head up Nonstop’s on snow program in L2A.
Talk us through the BASI Level 1 – what can you expect?
The Level 1 is an entry level qualification. It’s a five-day course and you will be expected to ski on piste in control and to be starting to understand using the side cut of your ski.
Your posture and balance will need to be good and your turns smooth, round and controlled.
Teaching wise you will fully understand how to keep your group safe and to structure a fun lesson.
What about Level 2 – how much of a jump up is it technically?
Level 2, as you would expect, is quite a jump from Level 1. But don’t worry, as part of the Nonstop course you have 3 weeks of skiing and 1 week of shadowing to achieve this after the Level 1 to prepare.
Don’t forget the Level 2 exam is also 10 days long so you will learn loads and improve during the exam as well – it’s a training course as well as an exam.
We will start to explore skiing in variable snow conditions and attacking moguls. Your piste skiing will go from strength to strength.
You will understand more of how the ski works and how your position on the ski can change this. You will also start to achieve tasks on steeper terrain.
Are there any requirements to shadow and what does this involve?
BASI require 70 “ski school experience” hours between the L1 and L2.
You will do this with local ski instructors. You will have 1 complete week shadowing an instructor and one week of mornings.
This is ski school experience so we will also get you to experience other areas of a ski school such as bookings, marketing, etc. This can be great fun and a fantastic opportunity to broaden your skills.
On course, what does a typical day of BASI training look like?
You will meet at the bottom of the lift at 9am. You will ski with your trainer (examiner) until lunch time. This will consist of drills, exercises, full performance and progressions. They may take some video of you as well.
You will break for lunch near a café and have an agreed meeting time for the afternoon. You will ski till about 3/4pm
The evening sessions will consist of video feedback and theory and will take up to 2 hours.
On teaching days, you will have your turn to teach your peers and will be a part of the group being taught at other times.
Are there any difference of BASI compared to other systems?
All systems are different, but skiing is skiing.
BASI, like several others, follow a progressive approach with four levels. In my opinion BASI have got it right – they start fairly easy and build you as a skier and teacher within the system. Each phase is designed to help you and broaden your ability and knowledge.
Where can you work with your Level 2?
You can work pretty much all over the world with your BASI L2 – Austria, Switzerland, Germany NZ, Japan, Canada to name but a few.
Of course, you can also work at a snow dome in the UK as well if you find yourself UK based in the future.
What about working in France?
France is a little trickier, and you need to have your BASI L4 with full equivalence to work as a fully-fledged instructor here.
There are other ways in – for example with the Test Technique (a slalom race) you can work as an apprentice is a ski school whilst you continue through the system.
What are the next steps after Level 2?
If you’re aiming to continue through the BASI system and work as an instructor, then training towards the Level 3 is the next step.
If you’re doing the course for personal performance and fun, then it’s all about putting your newfound skills into practice and of course continuing to augment them.
We look forward to speaking with you.