Ski Technician Testimonies and Stories

Over the years Andy has trained probably over 3,000 ski technicians in the art of ski and snowboard servicing, base repairs, binding mounting and boot fitting. Many of these men and women, boys and girls have gone on the work in the ski industry in one way or another. Some have ended up in shops and workshops in the UK, others have worked abroad in places as far apart as the USA and Canada, New Zealand and Australia, Japan and of course the European Alps. Some attended the course to service their own or their friends skis whilst others came to further their knowledge of their sport and the equipment they use. All of them have in common a deep love of skiing as a sport and the splendour of just being in the mountains when they are covered in snow.

Last year we decided to contact Ski Technician Training course attendees to find out how they found the course and where they are now. Listed below are just a few of the testimonies and comments from them.

Eddie Clayton:

After completing your fantastic course I worked in la Tania for the season for alpine elements. Exactly what I was aiming for. Couldn’t recommend your course enough! Thanks, Eddie.

Edward Freeman:

I did the course years ago as I do ski tech for people in our ski club (lions ski club) and wanted to have the qualification for the club but also so I was qualified to do the ski prep for Snozone Castleford as the company decided it wanted to start offering a ski/board servicing product. I now service customers and rental equipment when I get spare time at work.

Pete Fletcher:

I attended your ski tech course back in 2012 or 13 (during the summer), I forget.  I went on to work as a Ski Tech for Ellis Brigham Manchester (that winter), then went on to be the Ski workshop Manager for all the workshops.  I still work in the industry (for EB) as part of their web-team, writing content, SEO and web admin. The course gave me an insight into the job role and definitely helped in applying for jobs. 

Terence Lowry:

I am living in Val Thorens, France. Working in a ski shop part time but found the course very useful in a few ways. The main one being able to practice on old skis that are never going to be used again. Maybe more of how or what mistakes people make would be helpful. You must have come across some really funny ones over the years. When you start work it’s always on new/rental or clients skis and is important not to make mistakes.

George Udale:

I got a job working for Whistler Blackcomb under a chap called Kevin, with over 30 years of experience, that had worked with the Canadian ski team. So as you might imagine, I learnt a hell of a lot over that winter season! Now back in Cumbria doing more mundane things dreaming of big mountain days. I would say that I found your course very informative at the time (coming from almost no knowledge) and it definitely gave me a foundation and confidence to be able to go and apply for the job in Whistler. I think it is a great course for someone wanting to learn how to maintain their own skis, it gives you that first insight into how it all works and would give you the ability to fix your own gear or that of friends. I also think it would be applicable if you go on to work in a low end, small workshop – it would give you a good initial grounding. Anything bigger requires a lot more knowledge and workmanship but I guess that is to be expected, your course was only 2 days if I remember.

Graeme Stenhouse:

The course was very beneficial! It helped me get employment at the Boot Lab in Meribel as a specialist boot fitter, fitting guaranteed custom ski boots with orthotic foot beds. Heading back for another season with them winter 17/18.

Nick Wilcox:

After attending your course I took a 6 month break from work to go to the Alps for just one season in 2012/13. Did not quite work out like that as I am still there and indeed home is now the French Alps. I have been working for a ski hire company, but not on the tech side as my previous career was in transport management and so they employ me in that role. Outside of that I have worked as a driver for a high end chalet company. 

The course I enjoyed and it was invaluable in assisting me in my own ski prep and maintenance. If I am completely candid the certificates did not seem to cut any mustard at all, but this may be just my shop being very well established wanting to train staff their own way etc. It could be that in a smaller resort with a newer company that it is different. However the knowledge form the course has given me a solid background in the tech side and probably did help me get my first job as I could talk confidently about skis and boots. This knowledge I have also found very useful in helping my friends etc as I have found that a lot of very good skiers do not actually know an awful lot about what is on and attached to their feet. I would not change a lot about the course but possibly would try and break the groups into those who want to service their skis/want to get a job for a season/start their own home company servicing skis etc as all 3 groups where on my course. I appreciate that filling courses etc and allocating is not as simple as that. I would recommend it to anyone trying to get some qualifications and experience for working in the Alps.

Karl Davies:

I’m now working fulltime at the Chill Factore as a Maintenance Technician & Snowboard Instructor. I use the skills learnt on your course more as an advisory role. One thing that might be useful in your course is what type of wax to use on different types of snow. This is something I do get asked by co-workers and customers alike.

Robyn Maddison:

I’m well thanks, currently in the recruitment process for the coming winter. I did your 1 day course to enable me to look after the test boards at the hostel my now wife was running in Bourg St Maurice, and of course for my own gear. I still repair friends equipment when I have 5 mins to disappear to the man cave! I work as the operations manager at CoolBus, a private Airport transport company.

George Ruxton:

I found the courses very useful and informative with a great balance of ‘classroom’ and practical session time. I managed to get offered a job about a month after the course as a ski technician for a company that ran ski trip for schools and I would have been setting up boots and skis for each of the kids. They offered me the job both on previous experience  and having done this course. My previous experience was not actually snow sports related so the course was critical in this offer. Unfortunately I couldn’t follow through with the job in the end for personal reasons but have since been skiing in Alps and Japan where I was told i was a ‘useful friend to have on the trip’ (don’t get compliments like that everyday), and now working in New Zealand and off snowboarding tomorrow so set my board up this morning, all with the help of the course. Like anything you learn a lot on the job but I certainly think this course would have been a good basis for beginning a job and contributed to a job offer, and I have certainly put some of the learnt skills to use since.

Keith Irvine:

Hi Andy I am still working for Scottish Borders Council outdoor education looking after skies for dry slope.

Stewart Adams:

I have been living and work in Canada for the last 7 years as ski instructor/ instructor trainer in beautiful BC. Loved your course and Kendal.

Michael Chau:

Since taking your ski technician course few years ago, I have been working part time (until couple of months ago) in a ski shop run by a friend in Hong Kong. Couple of years ago, I took another ski tuning course with Jon Coster at his place near Nottingham. In my opinion, I think your ski technician course taught me all the basics that I need to work as a ski technician. The 3 hours workshop with Jon taught me the finer art of ski tuning, the use of different stones to sharpen the ski edges.

Tim Longstaff:

Your email ended up going to my Mum’s email who bought me the course as a gift! Thanks for getting in touch. Where am I now: After completing the course I spent to Winters living in Bourg Saint Maurice as a ski tech & boot fitter. I then went onto work for Mountain Boot Company working in Marketing. I am now based in Chamonix doing Digital Marketing for a company called Action Outdoors.

Graeme Stenhouse:

The course was very beneficial! It helped me get employment at the Boot Lab in Meribel as a specialist boot fitter, fitting guaranteed custom ski boots with orthotic foot beds. Heading back for another season with them winter 17/18.

Richard Egan:

Thanks for your email since the course in 2015 I have done two winters in Verbier as a ski instructor. I have used the course for my own, and friends skis. I spent a bit of time with a boot fitter in Moutain Air, Anya, trying to expand my knowledge. This year I am back in Verbier mainly training, I have applied for a ski tech job with Mountain Air who are aware of your course and I am hoping that is my way in!

George Long-Howell:

Since your course I went back to work in the store where I set up a ski and snowboard service for guests. After a year of working there I left the company and became a snowboard instructor. I’ve been teaching back to back seasons since 2013 and will be joining the GB snowboardX team for the coming winter.

Denise Lewis:

I went straight to work as a technician at Turoa skifield in New Zealand. The course was a good grounding for the experience that I then gained that season. We used machines for base prep and doing edges etc and I think that if I now went to work in an environment which used entirely manual processes, the course notes may be insufficient. An improvement to the course would be to give a short video as an addition to the notes.

Simon Crudge:

I have fond memories of the course, which helped me secure a job as a ‘mobile ski technician’, with Freeride in Meribel. It was a job I absolutely loved, but only did for a season. I’m currently in the military and have used my skills from time to time taking groups out to the alps, telemark skiing.

Ant Perry:

I took the course as I had just come back from two seasons away and wanted to make sure if I went away again I knew some more about the equipment I was using. After the course I landed a full time job in IT on the south coast in Bournemouth. I also then got in touch with Snowtrax, a ski shop and dry slope just out of town where I have been working part time over the winter on top of my day job. It’s a lot of fun still being in the industry and I spend a lot of my day bootfitting or giving recommendations on ski / board hardware… We are lucky to go out to spring break each year and also have a test night in October at the dry slope.

Ben Baccas:

I went to Australia for a while then Spain for a while as well. Then went to uni to study law after I lived in Mexico. I then went back to uni for a masters in law and do so the legal practice course. Next.. I am currently saving up for a ski instructor course.

Charles Andrews:

For two winters I worked for Freeride.Fr chalet fitting company in Les Trois Vallees; managing it in the second winter. I’m sure the qualification assisted in securing me the job. Although not directly waxing, edging and repairing skis as part of the job role, it was very useful knowing how to and it made me a bit of extra money on the side when servicing friend’s skis. The boot fitting part of the course was useful for encouraging clients that they had the right boots on even when they didn’t think so.

Will Fowler:

I work as a ski instructor in both hemispheres. The qualifications sadly weren’t recognised by tech shops in NZ where I tried for work. Still very useful for maintaining my own skis though!

Leon Butler

I just randomly came across your testimonial page and noticed one from a guy called Will Fowler who says that the qualification is not recognised in New Zealand. I would like to re assure you that is 100% not true. I did your course and have been the manager of a workshop here in Wanaka, Japan and France where the qualification is recognised.  In face that bit of paper gets me my sponsored visa for NZ each winter. Maybe let Will know 😉 P.S. i’m always looking for good techs in my workshops.