Life as a skier
Leander Dagn has taken the time to talk about his life as a ski instructor.
Conjuring up turns in the snow
Not only since the Piefke saga has the profession of ski instructor been surrounded by countless myths and legends. Everyone knows them and marvels at them from afar as they conjure up their turns in the snow. Both on the slopes and at après ski, the absolute eye-catcher and dream of every ski vacationer (and politically correct: also of every ski vacationer).
That's right, ski instructor life
But what does a typical ski instructor's life actually look like and what is behind the "ski gods" in red/blue? I set out to find a typical representative of his profession. Leander (Leo) Dagn, state-certified ski instructor, ski guide, tandem pilot and state-certified rafting guide has been working in Kitzbühel for 6 years and thus fits into the typical image of a Tyrolean ski instructor.
The way to become a ski instructor
Of course, you have the best prerequisites if you ski from an early age. At the age of 2, my father (ex-ski racer) and my uncle (also a state-certified ski instructor) already taught me how to ski. The first time I worked as a ski instructor was during my school and university years. You're out in the fresh air, the vacations coincide perfectly with the main season and you earn a little extra - the perfect vacation job. In my circle of friends there are also many passionate skiers, including several racers and enthusiastic ski instructors. We have always pushed each other, so we have completed training after training and at some point you reach the highest qualifications and of course want to pursue the dream job as a ski instructor.
Basically, the training is divided into 4 major sections. This is associated with different rights and obligations. The first, the so-called candidate training lasts 10 days and represents the basis for the profession of ski instructor.
The second block, the so-called national ski instructor training, contains three parts and lasts in total about 5 weeks (including entrance examination). After this training, one is authorized to carry out off-piste skiing with guests in the vicinity of the lifts. The top class is then the state ski instructor training with approx. 80 teaching days. If you want to spend even more time in off-piste terrain and also do ski tours with your guests, you can apply for the so-called ski guide training.
A ski instructor in summer
Many colleagues move to the southern hemisphere and continue to pursue the profession of ski instructor, while others have classic trades or an agricultural business. Personally, I also look forward to a few warm days for a change and stay in the beautiful district of Kitzbühel. The elements of air and water also accompany me in my summer jobs as a paragliding tandem pilot in my own company and as a rafting guide. So I'm a "full-blooded tourist", so to speak. I love being in direct contact with guests all year round.
Tips for going out
The pleasant thing about Kitzbühel is that, unlike other ski destinations, it is not limited to just one target group when it comes to après ski. There is actually something for everyone and therefore it is never boring. From the cozy Irish pub to high society meetings to the club, you can actually find everything in Kitzbühel. The best thing to do is to take your ski instructor with you, and he will show you the best "shot spots". In principle, there is nothing to be said against a stop after the lesson in uniform. In the evening or at a late hour, however, one should not wear the ski instructor's clothing. One should also always be aware that one represents both the ski school and the entire profession and must therefore behave appropriately.
In our ski school (note Rote Teufel), twice a week a ski instructor training for all takes place (start 08:00 Hahnenkammbahn). Mostly on the Streif, the own skills and the topics relevant to the lessons are repeated and trained. For the ski instructors it is a great chance to be the first to master the Streif early in the morning. In addition, there are regular mandatory training sessions, depending on the level of training of each ski instructor.
Be a ski instructor in Kitzbühel
The ski area is definitely special - not without reason awarded 3 times in a row as World’s Best Ski Resort. You can see the continuous pursuit of excellence (top groomed slopes and state-of-the-art lifts definitely make life more pleasant for the ski instructor, even if the somewhat more leisurely Bichlalm lift has just as much appeal). The excellent offpiste possibilities are also an absolute highlight in Kitzbühel. Even with relatively little snow, it is possible to ski off-piste very early due to the many meadow slopes. This is especially appreciated by the guests. For those who are not familiar with the area, orientation in the freeride area is often more difficult than in other ski resorts, as many runs end in the forest. However, this is a great advantage for the resident and local terrain guides.
Our guests ski especially well...
The skill of our guests must also be emphasized - the skiing level is very high compared to other ski resorts, which also makes it very attractive but also demanding for us ski instructors - there even we have tired legs now and then in the evening.