BASI Level 1 snowboard instructors practical test exam advice

So for those of you interested, the test or assessment part of the BASI Level 1 snowboard instructors course is split into two halves, the teaching exam and the practical exam. Here I am talking about the practical exam only. Here is the teaching exam.

It is done on the last day

The exam / assessment is done on the last day so that you have the maximum time to prepare for it.

What they are looking for

They need to see that you are performing the manouvours to a suitable standard 80% or more of the time. This means that if you get nervous an tank a run, take a hit or fall flat on your face, this will not black ball you out of passing. They are looking for an 80% consistency, get that and you will pass.

Top tips

  • Nothing compares with time on the slopes. If you are nervous about anything, stay after a session during the week, work on it, and nail it.
  • Do not fall into the mistake of doing a lot of what you are good at because, well, it feels good! Ride the stuff you are bad at. For me this meant ridding switch a lot!!! Think about this.
  • Relax. This is hard when you are being watched. The way they do it, you get to do multiple runs, so after the first few I started to forget that I was being watched, and that really helped me get into my groove.
  • Ignore everyone else. This is the time to forget your class mates, and just chill and enjoy the ride!

Best of luck! If you need any more tips, help or advice, feel free to contact me.

BASI Level 1 snowboard instructors teaching test exam

So for those of you interested, the test or assessment part of the BASI Level 1 snowboard instructors course is split into two halves, the teaching exam and the practical exam. Here I am talking about the teaching exam only.

You get to choose what you are teaching

You get to choose. That’s right! So you don’t have to choose to teach the part that completely intimidates you, but you do have to teach something that pushes you in some way. So whether that is a basic sideways slip, or the much more complicated “basic turn”, you can decide. Nice, right?

You teach your peer group

You will be asked to teach this to your peer group. This means that you have an open and friendly audience that actually will be very helpful to you when you teach your lesson.

Top Tips:

  • Choose a teaching section you are excited about teaching. Being enthused about the teaching is going to carry you over any mistakes that you may make, so pick something you can really get behind!
  • Practice your teaching like a speech from a play! No harm in even writing it down and “scripting” it if you like! This will really help you condense it down to the main points.
  • Make a bullet point version of your lesson. Again this will help you fix in your mind the main points, AND it will be a great go to if you get nervous and loose your place! Feel free to scribble this list on the back of your hand!
  • Remember to check in with the class for any questions. Really listen to the question and answer what they ask.
  • Control the environment. Think about whether it is better for you to be teaching it with the class facing up the slope or down the slope. Do you need to turn them around half way? Feel free to move the class. Control the space for a better lesson.

Any questions – message me

I nailed this. I could not have done better, and I aced it. If you have any questions I would be happy to help, so ping me on the contact us form.


Day 2 – Basi snowboarding course level 1 instructors

This is one dense course – packing in a lot of stuff! Here are the summaries of note:


Using the edge as apposed to the flat of the board all comes down to the position of the body. Getting the weight over either the toe or heel edge so that the centre of your weight is over the toe/heel. We were taught this by being shown how it feels – the exact position, and I believe that this is KEY to being able to action this. Keeping the pelvis forwards when moving the weight over the toe edge is key to stopping your bum sticking out!

I found that this was a point where I had room for improvement. I was using the rear foot to bring the board around and this was both breaking and taking me off the edge and onto the flat of the board. I know why I was doing this – fear. The breaking reduces speed and therefore fear… but I am no longer actually scared of the speed, so this is now an un necessary auto response from when I was a learner. Funny how these things hang around long after they are redundant!

Video Feedback

We had video’s made of us doing a run so that we could examine and then learn what we are doing wrong by looking at ourselves. This was far more effective than I thought! Being able to actually see yourself make mistakes puts you in a far stronger position to commit to the change, to action the improvement. I have fallen instantly in love with this technique!

Teaching Skills

We went through how to do a good introduction, how to handle a group class, how to introduce them to the board before moving on to early lessons. I won’t take you through the ins and out of this, as I think that words written are a poor reflection of the lesson. Interesting that “side slipping”, which is something that I have not touched since first learning, is such hard work on the muscles. Much like when you are snow ploughing on Ski’s, you are working against the mountain/slope to control your speed, which means it is hard work! So glad I am not a learner on this any more.


Today got me improving my own riding in terms of edge control, and also got me excited about delivering my first class by hand holding me through what I might be doing when I teach. It was a good day!

The Secret to being good – which isn’t really a secret at all

Time on the slope. It is not just about time, 3 hours spent practicing a poor technique will only get you good at being a bad rider, but 3 hours spent practicing a good technique will make you a better rider. You need the skilled guidance, but combine that with practice time and that is when you will become a master.

After the class finished I was in the snow dome till nearly 8pm, and all I did was do runs down the slope in switch practicing turns. This extra time I believe will stand me in great stead later this week when we are assessed on our ability to ride switch – which up until the start of this week was one of my weaker areas.

Day 1 BASI Level 1 snowboard instructors course review

Today I was made to feel like a total beginner snowboarder again… and it was not just me, one of my course colleague’s is a professional Ski instructor, and I saw her tank like a total stranger to snow! This is through no lack of skill, it is because this course does something I never expected…

Stripping you down to build you back up again

We all build up “bad” habits when snowboarding. Some of those can come from a poor teacher, or perhaps just old or out dated teaching techniques, most of them come from snowboarding lazy. The main thing from today’s session was a totally stripping back of everything we were using, in order to re learn the most correct and sustainable way to snowboard. Whilst this meant I was left adrift feeling like a total looser on the slopes, this quickly progressed over the day to leaving me feeling like I was building a stronger than ever foundation with which to progress my later skills with. A huge amount of this comes down to the total competence and skill oozing from our instructor (Ash). We were also given the chance to really try and prove to ourselves physically that everything that he was proposing was grounded in truth – not just theoretical, but practical.

Creating the PERFECT turn (for flow)

Have you ever managed the *perfect* turn? If you snowboard enough, you will by luck at some point, but this is generating the perfect turn by intention, and that is a totally different thing. It is really hard to express/share this with text, I think you may need to be shown, but here is a short bullet point of the elements of the perfect turn. I assume that you are starting sideways on the mountain from either stationary or in motion from the end of the previous turn.

  • You start in a perfectly balanced position, body neither forward/backward in both the vertical/lateral field of movement.
  • Up and down movement – move your body upwards 1 or 2 points (could be more or less based on the terrain and environment of course!). The points are if you imagine standing straight upwards all the way is “10” which you would never do. We found on a blue with no complications we moved up to an 8.
  • Fore and Aft Movements: Shift Forward, moving some of the weight towards your leading foot – this will help start the turn
  • Control and drive the turn with your feet, yes that is right, your feet! So if you are starting heel edge, raise your front foot toes, then your back foot toes.
  • Fore and Aft Movements: Once into the turn shift your weight back to center.
  • Up and down movement: When you are past the downward line pointing directly down the mountain, move your body downwards by 1-2 points – on our blue we were dropping only from an 8 to a 7 or a 6 at most.
  • As the turn really comes around, you can use your rear foot to keep twisting which ever way that little bit more so that the back edge really grips and completes the turn nicely.
  • #Repeat

This is obviously a lot to think about if you are doing it for the first time, and you would not dump all of this on a new student all at once, but this is what we are trying to master. No, this is what we must master. If we are to be examples to our students, we must be able to demonstrate exactly how to complete a decent turn, and if we can not layer the techniques ourselves, how can we hope to impart this on others.

My general feelings

This is a good course – made good by a great teacher. This is also harder than it seems. Whilst we are not wizing down blacks, we are being watched carefully, and the precision being asked of us is at a high level. I do not know whether I will pass this, and the truth is by half way through the day this ceased to be my focus. That is not to say that I don’t want to pass – of course I do! Only that my focus became to really master this. My whole drive to do this is rooted in wanting to become a great snowboarder, and master this is the path to building an indestructible foundation. Master the turn perfectly, with precise balance and intentional shifts in weight and movement, and there won’t be a mountain you can’t ride.


Snowboard settings for a 5 foot 8 inches man


I am 5 foot 8 inches so I have gone for 21″ wide – this is slightly wider than recomended (20″) but I think that this will work for me.



Again there are a lot of people that do this differently! I have gone for forward 15 degrees and rear 12 degrees based on my mate Ben who uses +15 / -10 (I can not get 10, so I have gone for 12 on mine.

Here are how the proffesional snowboarders do it:

Pro Goofy or Regular? Stance Width Front Foot Angle Back Foot Angle Set Back?
Ben Ferguson Regular 22″ 15 -10 Reference
Benny Urban Goofy 51.5cm 9 -6 Centre
Billy Morgan Goofy Reference 15 -15 Centre
Bode Merrill Regular 23.5″ 15 -3
Boris Mouton Goofy 52cm 18 -12 Centre
Chloe Kim Goofy Reference 15 -12 Reference
Christian Haller Regular 58cm 15 -12
Clemens Millauer Regular 56cm 16 -14 Centre
Dan Brisse Red 23″ 15 -15 Centre
Danny Davis Regular 22″ 9 -9 Likes ‘more nose than tail’
Desiree Melancon Regular 22″ 15 3 Set back 1.5″
Devun Walsh Regular 23.5″ 27 -15 Centre
Eiki Helgason Regular 59cm 15 -15 Centre
Enni Rukajarvi Regular 51cm 15 -9 Setback 2cm
Eric Jackson Regular 22.5″ 18 0 Yes
Fredi Kalbermatten Regular 21.5″ 21 -6
Gigi Rüf Regular 15 0 1″
Hailey Langland Regular 11 -9
Halldor Helgason Regular 24″ 15 -3
Helen Schettini Goofy 21.25″ 15 -6 Allow about 1.5 to 2 inches more nose than tail
iPod Goofy 60cm 12 -9 Forwards of reference to align heels with centre
Jake Blauvelt Regular 22.5″ 21 6
Jamie Anderson Regular 21.5″ 12 -12 Centre
Jamie Nicholls Goofy 22″ 15 -15 Reference
Jenny Jones Goofy One back from reference on back foot 18 -9
Jeremy Jones Regular 22″ 24 5 Varies by board
Jess Kimura Regular 20″ 15 -3
JF Pelchat Regular 21.5″ 18 -9 Centre for park and 1/2″ to an 1″ back for pow
Katie Ormerod Goofy Reference 18 -12 Centre
Kazu Kokubo Regular 21.75″ 15 -15 Centre
Kjersti Buaas Regular 21″ 21 -6
Louif Paradis Regular 18 -6
Marcus Kleveland Goofy Reference 7 -3 Centre for park and setback for anything else
Marie-France Roy Regular 21.5″ 15 -15
Mark McMorris Regular Reference 9 0
Max Parrot Regular 21.5″ 13 -13 Centre
Mikkel Bang Regular 24.5″ 20 -5
Nicolas Muller Regular 22.5″ 18 0
Nicholas Wolken Regular 52cm 21 6 Centred
Nils Arvidsson Regular 53.5cm 12 -9
Pat Moore Regular 21.5″ 21 -3 1″ back from reference
Peetu Piiroinen Goofy 55cm 6 -6 A little back from the reference
Romain de Marchi Regular 59cm 15 -9 Reference (on YES boards)
Roope Tonteri Goofy 57cm 15 -9 Setback 2-3cm from reference
Sage Kotsenburg Goofy 22.5″ 15 -12
Sami Luhtanen Regular 55.67cm 6 -3 Centre
Scott Stevens Regular 22.75″ 18 -6 Centre
Sebbe de Buck Goofy Doesn’t measure 12/15 -9/-12 Depends on board
Seppe Smits Goofy 58cm 15 -12 Reference
Silje Norendal Regular 20.5″ 12 -9
Stale Sandbech Goofy Reference 12 -12 Centre
Stephan Maurer Regular 57.5cm 18 -6 On powder boards mount as far forwards as poss then adjusts back accordingly
Terje Haakonsen Goofy 53.5-55.5cm 18/24 4/8
Tor Lundstrom Goofy Bataleon reference 15 -9 A little
Torah Bright Goofy 21.5″ 18 -9
Torstein Horgmo Regular 22″ 3 (park), 15 (pow) -3 (park), 0 (pow) Set back in pow
Travis Rice Goofy 23″ 19 -9
Tyler Chorlton Regular 53cm 12 -12 Set back an inch
Victor de le Rue Regular Uses a mark on his phone cable! 15 -3 way back
Wolle Nyvelt Goofy 56-58cm (depending on board) 12/15 0/-3 2-5cm back from reference
Xavier de le Rue Regular 59cm 18 3 Reference

Travis Rice is Goofy?!

Who knew?!?!! 🙂

1 Day training plan

In order to be ready for the BASI course I put together the following 1 day training plan. Drill drill DRILL!

I sent it to an instructor for approval:

Hi instructor!
I am keen to do well at the coming course, and to get the most out of it. As such I spoke to Roy about preparing. I plan on doing a day at a snow dome next week to try and practice and “drill” the weaker elements of my snowboarding technique in order to be in a better state for the course.
Having looked over the course material as Roy suggested, my thoughts are to go to a slope and just drill the following in the order and priority of my weakest first:
  • 180’s weak side (prymary)
  • 180’s string side (prymary)
  • Riding switch (prymary)
  • ollies/nollies (secondary practice)
  • presses (Secondary practice)
Does the above sound okay – and if so any advice or anything further that you would want an ideal student to drill in the run up to training with you?

His response:

Hey Sanjay,

Ash here, just got your message pinged to me from the BASI office, no worries to help out.

I think your plan works well. Switch riding will get better and better the more work we do on your “normal” way around. The drills that help your regular riding can be applied to switch so the feedback from students on previous courses is they feel so much better at switch.

180’s would be good to work on as there is a lot of technique to apply to them, but once that technique works they are not that hard. We will be trying a few so some frontside and backside and switch as well, but again I will go through a progression, I won’t just tell you to do a 180 😉

The combo’s just mean trying a few together, what I normally do is get you to ride down say switch do a few turns, do a 180 and then do a few turns your normal way around then 180 back to switch also we try doing a backside 180 and then a frontside 180 so it’s just combining it with riding and other 180’s. These are all done on the flat and across the hill so not of kickers/jumps.

The presses, again just looking at shifting from one side of the board to the other so you do a tail press or a nose press (sometimes called butters) I will do these with the ollies and nollies and run a little fun session trying them all – again there is a progression to this which I will show you all.

If it helps we are doing a prep day this Sunday 7th at Hemel Snowcentre, will be Olly taking the course who knows inside out about the Level 1 and he is a full cert Level 3 as well. We have guys on there looking at doing the L1 in the future so if that suits more than welcome (a PDF attached to this). You would be the 4th person so a pretty small group for the day if you can make it, will be an awesome heads up and will save you practising on your own. It will also give you some feedback on your riding style and what to practice before the course.

Let me know if you can make it.

Thanks Sanjay, hope this helps,

Speak soon

The best Snowboarding workout routine

If you are preparing to snowboard you need to be fit. In my case I am prepping for the BASI Level 1 instructors course, but you could be preparing for anything. The important thing is that you need to be fit and ready physically. This is a physical sport, if you are not up to it, you will have a lot less fun doing it! So you need to prep. So what should you be doing?

After talking to the BASI head of training, he advised focusing on plosive exercises – that means exercises that involve exploding movements. When you do a jump on a board general cardio is helpful, but you need to be able to explode into movement, you need to be able to launch yourself (and your snowboard) into the air. I spent a lot of time looking at building a routine. I am going to give you two options.

Option 1 – a video:

If you want an easy plug and play option, use this video 3 times a week and you will be in good shape! It is a little same same, but it works and that is the main thing.

Option 2 – a more complete work out option.

Here is a custom routine created by a fitness professional (a PT) especially for building up to a snowboarding trip. A big thanks to Carrie Baxter for creating this awesome routine, you can check out her stuff on instagram here.

Warm up :

the pulse raiser

  • 20 squats
  • 20 back Lunges
  • 20 front Lunges
  • 20 squat pulses (hold the squat at 90 degrees and bounce )


Glute activation:

Lie on the floor face down squeeze both glutes to maximum tension. Lift left leg for 10 seconds , then right leg ,then start again 3 rounds.


Set 1 :

  • 5 squats
  • 10 power Lunges
  • 30 second wall sit
  • X 3 rounds.
  • 20 second break in between each


Set 2:

  • 20 back Lunges on right leg
  • 20 back Lunges on left leg
  • 20 jump squats


Set 3:

Walking lunges around the space of the room / gym your in .

30 secs on 10 seconds of 5 rounds  – add weight if needed.


Set 4:

Box jumps (if you have one ) if not you can just do tuck jumps or go outside and jump on a wall or something

  • 12 reps
  • 3 sets
  • 1 minute break in between sets