Snowsport Leadership Training

Want to become a ski or snowboard professional?

Learn more about the Snowsport Leadership Training program and download the 2019/2020 season information package. 

Higher Education

Developing all mountain skiers & boarders while building strong leaders

Since the 2008/09 winter season, we've been running our signature Snowsport Leadership Training program for aspiring ski and snowboard professionals. 

The 18 week 'SLT' course combines ski and snowboard instructor training with outdoor leadership and adventure education.

Section 8's passionate team of ski and snowboard coaches, patrollers and mountain guides set the standard when it comes to developing versatile all mountain skiers and riders with exceptional teaching and leadership skills. We offer comprehensive training to complete industry recognised certifications including: 

  • CSIA - Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance
  • CASI - Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors
  • CAA - Canadian Avalanche Association
  • Wilderness / Occupational First Aid

Unique Location

Based on Vancouver Island on Canada's west coast our instructor training mountain leadership programs attract those looking to get off the beaten path.

The rugged mountain terrain on Vancouver Island serves some of Canada's best kept snow secrets (often home the deepest snowpack on the continent), pristine wilderness rainforests, and of course views of the ocean make for a unique snow sliding experience.

Oh yeah, and you won't find any fur coat clad tourists in this neck of the woods. Just friendly locals who know how to have a good time!

The Snowsport Leadership Training Program

The SLT schedule is modularized to group relevant courses and training together. Training typically takes place three days per week and is designed to allow you to work part time throughout the ski season gaining valuable real world experience. Options are available to take the full program or specialize and do just the instructor training and certification modules.

Apprentice Instructor - Level 1 Module

This module begins with team building, problem solving and leadership theory... Then moves quickly into training for CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructor's Alliance) or CASI Canadian Snowboard Instructor's Association) level 1 certifications.

You'll receive coaching from highly experienced course conductors to improve your ski or snowboard skills while developing a clear understanding of technique and teaching methodology. You will have the opportunity to shadow real lessons before sitting exams for this apprentice level instructor certification.

12 week Snowboard Leadership Training - Instructor training and mountain leadership
ESL - SLT Study English and become an ski instructor in Canada

First Aid Module

Non-Urban Occupational First Aid Level 3 certification is a requirement for ski patrol, mountain guides and many outdoor leadership positions. This intensive course teaches you how to manage injuries and illness in a remote wilderness setting. You will learn how to improvise treatments and evacuations with limited supplies. It is jammed packed with realistic simulations. 

Backcountry Basics Module

Learn the fundamentals of safe travel in the winter mountain environment. Begin by refining your navigations skills with map and compass workshops, then gain avalanche awareness during the AST 1 (Avalanche Safety Training 1) certification course. Finish off the module by putting your skills to the test on a winter survival themed backcountry excursion.

Race & Performance Carving Module

The aim is to develop well rounded skier and snowboarders... and we believe the opportunity to train in the gates with expert coaches will translate into your all mountain skiing and riding abilities. You'll improve your carving skills, push your speed threshold, and have a truck load of fun!

Race Training
7 week CASI level 3 Snowboard Instructor training course

Freestyle Module

Skiing and snowboarding isn't just about going left and right... and sometimes you need to break the rules!

This is where you'll learn to get a little airtime; slide a box or rail; and express your creativity on terrain park features and natural hits. You'll also learn to safely teach others while gaining the CSIA Free Tactics module or the CASI Park certification.

Section 8 snowboard instructor courses in Canada - Train to become a snowboard instructor

Level 2 Preparation Module

At this time we'll continue to develop your all mountain skiing or riding while beginning to focus on the technical aspects of the CSIA/CASI level 2 certification. You'll consolidate your demonstrations and adapt tactics for varied terrain and conditions. From a teaching perspective you'll learn to assess the technique of your peers and build your toolbox for training others. You'll also complete the CSIA Teaching Children Module.

3 week CASI level 1 snowboard instructor course in Revelstoke, Canada

Patrol 101 & Advanced Backcountry Module

Under the guidance of experienced patrollers and mountain guides you'll learn rescue skills and rope work for the resort and backcountry. You'll have the opportunity to shadow ski patrol as they go about their day on the hill and get in on all the action. The module culminates in a five day backcountry ski trip to the northern part of the Vancouver Island where you'll practise advanced route finding skills and increase your avalanche knowledge during the AST 2 certification.

Ski touring in Strathcona Park

Level 2 Certification Module

This is time for final level 2 preparations heading into the exams. You'll be refining your technical demonstrations and pushing your all mountain skiing and riding abilities. Your course conductors will allow some time to practise your teaching and give you guidance through exam simulations and ensure you're at your best for the final assessed training. Successful completion of this module will culminate in the CSIA or CASI level 2 certification. 

7 week CSIA level 3 ski instructor training boot camp

Heli Accessed Ski Tour (Optional Add-On)

For students who thrive in the backcountry modules this trip is a great add-on to gain some extra ski mountaineering experience. Fly into a remote mountain environment via helicopter, then tour, climb and ski... pushing your limits under the supervision of professional mountain guides.  

Ski Leadership Training Explorer - Ski instructor training, mountain leadership and an epic road trip all rolled into one

Surf Week (Optional Add-On)

Also known as the Relaxation Module, the bonus surf week is a fantastic way to wind down at the end of a full season on snow. It's also an essential for anyone visiting Vancouver Island for the first time. You'll take a road trip to the Pacific Rim National Park on the Island's west coast and try your hand at surfing, whale watching, sea kayaking, or just 'sea fooding' in this spectacular setting.

Tree Hugging in Cathedral Grove
Sea Kayaking in Ucluelet

The Course Details

  • Inclusions
  • Dates & Prices
  • Accommodation
  • Prerequisites
  • oFF sNOW fUN
  • gETTING HERE

2019/20 Course Dates

Full SLT Program

  • Arrival Date: Sunday, November 24th, 2019
  • Departure: March 28th, 2020 - (Optional Surf Week finishes: April 13th, 2020)

Level 1 & 2 Instructor Season

  • Arrival Date: Sunday December 8th, 2019
  • Departure: March 28th, 2020 - (Optional Surf Week finishes: April 13th, 2020)


2019/20 Course Prices

Full SLT Program: Early Bird Pricing

  • Course Only: $13,800 CAD
  • Full program with shared room & meal plan: $17,250 CAD
  • Full program with private room & meal plan: $19,000 CAD

Level 1 & 2 Instructor Season

  • Course Only: $9,000 CAD
  • Program with shared room & meal plan: $13,250 CAD
  • Program with private room & meal plan: $15,000 CAD

Optional Add-Ons

  • Heli Accessed Ski Tour: $1,300 CAD
  • Coastal Surf Week: $500 
  • NHL Hockey Trip: $ Approximately $400 (depends on ticket availability)
  • Powder Hunter Road Trip: (Depends on weather and decided locations)


Note* A non refundable deposit of $1,500 CAD will be required to confirm your space.

(All Prices in Canadian Dollars)

Want to become a ski or snowboard professional?

Learn more about the Snowsport Leadership Training program and download the 2019/2020 season information package.