Tips from a Professional Snowboard Instructor

an interview to Ettore Stramignoni

@gabrielefacciotti on IG

Hi Ettore! Your instagram username does explain pretty well your lifestyle: Boards and travel. How are you?

Yes, that’s why I decided to use that username! I am well, recovering from an ACL injury ๐Ÿ˜‰

Outch! How much will you need to recovery?

Well the doctors told me it will take about 6-8 months to be back 100%, starting from the surgery date

That’s a long time! Where are you right now? traveling? At home?

Yes it’s super long. I think it’s the first time in my life I cannot do any kind of sport for such a long time. I just got back home from a couple of weeks traveling around Slovenia and Croatia with my Van ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh nice! Tell us a little bit where do you come from and how long are you over a board?

Yeah sure! So I come from Italy, Torino: that’s very close to the mountains so it’s always been easy for me to ski or snowboard. I reckon the first time on a board was when I was 13 or 14 yo. I was in a friend’s garage and he let me try his skateboard. It was just super fun. Then it was just a matter of time before I started skateboarding everyday, windsurfing, snowboarding and wakeboarding. Snowboard and wakeboard are my main focus and my job right now!

What kind of certifications are necessary to teach?

To teach snowboard, especially in Italy, is not really easy. Here we don’t have levels, but you can just get the full certification of Maestro that equals APSI level 4. It’s a 2 years long course that needs a very good riding level to get through the exams.

Ok, right. And with this is possible to teach in other countries? What is your experience traveling?  Any advice for newbies?

Yes sure, most of the countries around the world will accept the italian certification. They will just ask to speak english and to have some certificated teaching experience. Last summer I spent 5 months in Australia and I have been working there as a snowboard instructor at Perisher resort. That’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I would definetly recommend to train a lot and always remember that the board sports are based on one simple goal: having as much fun as possible ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hahaha

That’s what I like to teach in my lessons hahahaha.

I think that is one of the key things that makes beginners get involved. When you see your coach having fun! Are you more into Freestyle, Freeride, Alpine? Which type of groups do you normally teach? Kindergarten, Children, Adults, Adaptive, Beginners, Advanced, Private lessons, Group lessons?

Sure, that’s it! I am definitely more into freestyle, I love jumping and spinning. I have been teaching any kind of level but I would say I prefer teaching to adults than kids. That’s probably because of my degree: I like being pretty technical in my lessons. But TBH I love teaching in general. I don’t mind spending all day teaching to beginners. It’s always fantastic to see them improving with the right tips ๐Ÿ™‚

How is a normal day working as a snowboard instructor?

Well, it is not normal! ๐Ÿ˜†

Hahahaha

I will take Oz as an example: you wake up at 6.30-7 AM in order to go training in the Half Pipe from 8.30 to 9.

At 9.00 get ready for the meeting at the group lessons. Then you spend 6-7 hrs teaching with 30 mins lunch break.

Then training in the terrain park until the closing time.Then go for a beer with the other instructors, dinner and….party or sleeping ๐Ÿ˜Ž. In Italy it’s a bit more relaxed but in the end it’s pretty much the same story

Are there good parties on the snow instructors scene ๐Ÿ˜…?

Definetly yes! In Oz there where good parties. In Italy we have CRAZY parties. Wendesday is the party day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jesus! Ah, of course. Weekends are more busy right?

Yes, that’s it. So better get a good rest and be ready for the “carpet times” ๐Ÿ™‚

and Netflix I guess ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Wich advice would you give to others that want to work in Australia?

Well, to work in Oz you need to have at least 3 seasons of experience. That’s the mandatory point. Then, do it if you really love teaching and you are ready to work really hard for 3-4 months in pretty freezing conditions. It can be the best or the worst time of your life. Depends on how much you love teaching and snowboarding. For me it was really fantastic ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you travel with your snowboard gear? How it is to travel by plane with it? Any advice?

Yes, last year I went to Perisher with 2 boards, 2 binding and 1 pair of boots. The sport stuff was included in the flight ticket so it was not a problem at all. I had a big snowboard bag with wheels with everything inside it. It’s not a problem! Better have your own stuff than renting or buying something that you would not like IMO ๐Ÿ˜‰. After Oz I went for 1 month to Bali so I didn’t want to have all of the snowboard stuff with me: I shipped a 25Kg bag back to Europe for 200$ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Credit @cebeeyewear

Great! Wakeboarding in Bali??

I have been wakeboarding a bit but most of all Bali is the Surf Island. And the parties and fun and an exploring Island hahahah

hahahahaha. And a bit of rest I guess! 

To do some great wakeboarding there’s the Thai Wake Park in Bangkokj, just 4 hrs flight from Bali ๐Ÿ˜‰

@gabrielefacciotti on IG

Ok, we have come to the end of the interview. Before would you like to say anything? Which are your future plans? Any advice? Promote something?

Great it was a pleasure! Well I hope I can recover soon and get back teaching asap. This summer I would also teach wakebord at the Turin Wake Park. I would like to say thank you to my sponsors Custommade Snowboards and Cebรฉ Eyewear. They keep supporting me even if right now I am not very productive ๐Ÿ˜‰. To everyone else: keep riding and don’t forget to have as much fun as possible!