NothinButSnow talk instructor courses, Canada, and much more

By natives_cs, 13 Aug '15 at 08:58

The guys from NothinButSnow have one of the most envious lifestyles you could imagine – spending half the year running instructor courses in Canada’s champagne powder, and the other half running kite surfing schools in the glorious sunshine.



Interview - Kaz Willmer

They may only be spending a couple of weeks in the UK each year but they still manage to run what we believe are the best ski and snowboard instructor training courses for anyone who wants to not only have an unbelievable season, but who wants to get qualified in the best possible conditions.

So when the opening of the new London Emirates Airway coincided with NBS’s Leigh and Sam being back in town, we decided it would be rude not to catch up with the guys for a ride on the cable car and a stack of BBQ ribs.

Not only did we have a rad afternoon on the windiest day of the year to be dangling over the Thames, but once the woman who was petrified of heights got off, we also managed to find some time to chat snow, for as long as it took the ticket guys to realise we’d been lapping the gondola on a one-way ticket. Here’s what went down.

Kaz: What is NBS?
NBS: NothinButSnow aka NBS is a ski and snowboard training course provider based in the UK, who operate in British Columbia, Canada. We run a selection of varying courses to qualify students as ski or snowboard instructors and greatly improve upon their skiing or riding abilities.



Kaz: Who are the faces behind NBS?
NBS: There are two of us behind NothinButSnow. Myself Leigh Mocock, and my business partner Sam Mocock. We are both Canadian qualified instructors, Sam’s a snowboard addict and I live to ski. It complements our business, as we have two perspectives from the two sports we offer.

Kaz: Where did the name come from?
NBS: What first started to be a big debate on the name, ended on the obvious. You see for us the draw to spending a winter season was the fact you have the most fun with the basic of things. Nothing ever maters each day but the snow conditions. It’s all you talk about every morning over breakfast, how it felt under foot during those first few runs at lunch to each evening before bed. NothinButSnow seemed to sum this up, nothing matters but the snow!

Kaz: Where is home for NBS?
NBS: Our main office is based in Ilford, Essex, but we also operate wherever there’s power and an internet connection. Work keeps us busy travelling and we love to meet people so we are pretty mobile.

Kaz: What courses do you offer?
NBS: Our courses run over various lengths of time from 4, 6 10 and 11 weeks long. You can get a taste of instructor training and get qualified in a month on our short course, spend 6 weeks working towards freestyle specific qualifications, become dual disciplined and be an employer’s dream applicant or go all out for a full seasons training and take your ability from novice to pro to return home with the much sort after level 2 cert.

Kaz: What qualifications can you come home with?
NBS: There’s a bucket load available. The standard and entry qualification is your CASI (Snowboard) or CSIA (Ski) level 1. It’s included within all of our courses, this progresses on to the more advanced level 2. A freestyle park certification for ski and for snowboarders which is set at two levels. You can come home with both ski and board qualifications if you’re up for the challenge and multi talented, along with avalanche awareness certifications for those looking to venture in to the back country.



Kaz: What makes NBS different from other courses out there?
NBS: It’s quite a saturated market so standing out from the crowed is important. Because courses can be expensive, value for money on our entire package sets us apart. We don’t hide costs in our courses. So many advertise programmes that seem such a great deal and you get excited and sold on the experience only to find out your return flight isn’t even included for instance! We truly offer the most training to give every student an ample amount of time to hone their skills to ensure they reach the standard to pass. So much in fact we offer free exam re-takes for their level 1, if they fail any part of it. That’s how confident we are in the training we provide and we stand at a 100% pass rate! In addition to all that is included, we ensure everyone has the most memorable, successful and fun time with us. We have been in their shoes and it’s important that this once in a life time experience is as good as it can be and more!

Kaz: What do previous NBS campers generally end up doing after they leave you?
NBS: I’d say roughly half return back to their jobs whilst the other pursues a career as a ski or snowboard instructors. It attracts such a diverse collection of people so it’s always interesting to find out what people do day to day outside of ‘living the dream’. From marketing, to students, train engineers, plumbers, lorry drivers, IT consultants the list goes on.

Kaz: Seasons in Canada are different from anywhere else - what's life like for campers in Big White?
NBS: Insane! Questions like these just get me excited, so bare with me whilst I try and find the words to convey the experience. Big White is one of those resorts, which is a gem. It has the most incredible snow and terrain, the most chilled and relaxed atmosphere, superb accommodation that is ski in and out. It never gets busy apart from big holidays like Christmas and New Year, so queues just do not exist. The people that work, live and play here are really cool and living on this slightly isolated mountain with snow under foot everyday just immerses you in a village winter life. It’s just awesome!



Kaz: Where do campers stay?
NBS: Our guys and girls get put up in some super pimped housing. All ski-in, ski-out, private hot tubs on balcony’s, private cinema’s, games rooms. There a pretty pleasant place to relax at the end of the day. Home away from home and more!

Kaz: What size are the teaching groups?
NBS: Sizes range from 4 – 7 people.

Kaz: What level of skiing or riding do you need before heading to Big White?
NBS: Not as much as you think, we say between 2 – 4 weeks, but as long as you can link turns and control speed down a blue run gets you a spot on a course. If you’re looking for the freestyle specific programme then you do need experience in freestyle. Surprisingly those with less experience do better as they don’t have too many bad habits ingrained in them.

Kaz: How physically fit do you need to be?
NBS: The courses are intensive so the fitter you are the better really. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.

Kaz: Describe an average day on the NBS course.
NBS: Soap dodge the shower, eat breakfast, throw on your gear and have a warm up ride straight to our meeting point. Grab a coffee and head out on your morning session. Lunch rolls in before you know it so to the village for some much needed carbs or a detour home for that left over dinner. Lunch is an hour long so plenty of time to eat and drink before meeting for your afternoon’s lesson. By the end of the day the class meets back in the village for the lessons wrap up. Goals and schedules are confirmed for the following day, training schedules are completed if required, then to the closest bar for an après beer and a game of pool. Arriving home, legs feel like they need a bit of TLC so a 30min hot tub session followed by dinner and a movie. Could life get much better?



Kaz: Do you ski or board yourselves?
NBS: As long as there is snow on the ground you will find us both riding.

Kaz: What got you into snowsports?
NBS: I think snowsports gets you. Forever since I can remember it’s always been a part of my life.

Kaz: What do you enjoy most about your jobs?
NBS: For me I get to share my winters with a bunch of cool new friends and old ones, all sharing in a sport I love.

Kaz: What was your most memorable day with NBS last season?
NBS: For me the highlight was the final results day and party. Seeing everyone achieve their goals and walking around with a massive smile on their faces was brilliant. Knowing we were part of something very special for each person was a massive highlight.

Kaz: Do you work with any other brands or are there any collabs you would like in the future?
NBS: We do work with other brands and are in the process of launching a student exclusive, can’t say to much now but it’s going to be pretty rad. There’s loads of things we would love to do with so many companies out there, but finding the time is another story!

Kaz: What kind of people do you generally find come on your courses?
NBS: The main groups are people on GAP years, young and old and those looking to fulfil an ambition of completing a winter season. Going home with a few qualifications which can be used for employment next season truly is making the most of their time.

Kaz: Why do people typically come on your courses – i.e. is it to attain a teaching job, improve their riding or just to do a season?
NBS: You’ve answered all three. Some look to it as a great way to improve, which it is. Others are looking to start working in the industry and others realise it is the best way to do a season. Get looked after, meet fantastic people and return with that qualification.

Kaz: You sound like you've the best jobs in the world… what do you do the rest of the year?
NBS: Apart from continually working on NBS, we go kite boarding!

Kaz: Where do you see NBS in the future?
NBS: Expanding at a rate which does not impact the services and quality we provide.

Kaz: What advice would you give someone looking to do a season?
NBS: Just do it! Life is far too short and completing a season is too much fun to miss out on.



Click the link for more information on NBS Snowboard Instructor Courses or NBS Ski Instructor Courses.

You can follow NBS through their website , Facebook and Twitter

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