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Son thinking about ski patrol...or should I say board patrol!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My 15 year old son is thinking about doing ski patrol in the future (say 2-3 years out). At this stage, he's a very accomplished snow boarder...did the whole competition program in southern VT and now an assistant snowboard instructor on the mountain. We have a neighbor who's kid is only 17 and he's on patrol and both my son and I thought that this was a great way to help others and be on the mountain.

 

Obviously, I can start with simply speaking to my neighbor or call the mountain directly, but wanted to get some input from the "experts" here about what the best way to get him prepared for the job and what steps he should take over the next couple years if in fact he goes for it.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 18

It sounds as if he already knows how to board well, and frankly the test for becoming an active patroller is not strenuous. That being said, the best way for him to begin the medical training is to contact the local patrol, either pro or volunteer and start up with the medical training with the incoming newbies. The patrol director will have the most information.

post #3 of 18

Make sure he is involved in leadership roles in any area possible, like his position as assistant instructor.  He needs to be ready to step into the role of ski patroller and show that he is competent and capable of being in charge, not reticent at all, at least in his image to the public.  You can have all of the boarding and med skills down pat, but if you don't give confidence to the patient and the public you're in trouble.  It takes practice, and it's best to practice before you hit the hill for the first time.

 

Of course, as a young rookie he won't be asked to handle situations alone, but it is still an eye opener when you get your first accident and he should be as ready as possible to assume the role.

post #4 of 18

 

Tell him to study math and science and computers...and make something of his life, not to ruin it by patrolling.  

 

wink.gif


Failing that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiism View Post

....contact the local patrol, either pro or volunteer and start up with the medical training with the incoming newbies. The patrol director will have the most information.


^This.  

 

post #5 of 18

Maybe your son can contact one of the Young Adult Patroller coordinators, as identified on the the southern VT NSP web site:

 

http://www.nspsvt.org/patrol.htm

 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 

Tell him to study math and science and computers...and make something of his life, not to ruin it by patrolling.  

 

" rel="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif">wink.gif


Failing that:


^This.  

 


Uhm...are those two things mutually exclusive?
post #7 of 18

I am a snowboarder patroller in NC, I have been doing it for 4 years. My advice would be to tell him to learn to ski. Snowboarding has its advantages but I find it annoying to be a ski patroller on a snowboard. It takes longer to clip in on a snowboard compared to a skier. Which depending on the situation can be a huge disadvantage. The majority of the time I will pass a sled ride off to a skier. The skills that it takes to run a sled are very basic skills. While sitting up the mountain which is a big part of a ski patroller (depending on if he becomes just a volunteer or a pro), skiing is much easier. Currently I am learning to ski but still a few seasons out from passing the basic sled test. Snowboarding as a patroller is fine but just let him know he will face more challenges than a skier patroller. Plus if he really likes it and wants to patrol out west most ski resorts do not allow snowboarder patrollers. This is the major challenge  I am facing now.

post #8 of 18


Tell him patrollers get all the babes while the math, science and computer geeks not so much. Unless you go to Boston University where its 70% women. 

 

Seriously here is a great video on student patrollers.

NH Chronicle Student Ski Patrol

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 

Tell him to study math and science and computers...and make something of his life, not to ruin it by patrolling.  

 

wink.gif

 



 

post #9 of 18

He should approach the patrol director, and ask if he can job shadow. 

 

He also might be able to spend a little time in the first aid room.

 

Regardig snowboard vs ski- snowboarders are an asset on patrol.  They see the hill from a different vantage, and understand a large part of the sliding population.  While there are some disadvantages to a board, there are advantages, like comfy boots, less gear to worry about, and an awesome tool for running sleds.

 

Of course, they suck on the flats- that's where youth and strength come in.

 

 

post #10 of 18

He does not have to wait, he can learn all his skills now as a Junior Patroller. Check to see if your local hill has this program, the earlier he gets his training the better Patroller he will become. If he wants to keep snowboarding, let him. Some of the most amazing slad handlers I have seen have been Snowboarders. If I am in the sled, I want who is most competent at it to take me down regardless of their discipline.Regards,  Dave

post #11 of 18

Consider this - Most Junior Patrollers don't stick with the program. (would probably be NSP Volunteer, don't think pro's have juniors)

And then consider this. 80 to 100 classroom hrs of OEC and probably that many hrs of practical study. $250 + for the course depending how far the drive to the class location. Patrol parka, first aid belt stocked - $400 + Membership in NSP $75 to $100 yrly dues depending on local dues part.

 

First yr cash outlay $700-$1000, later years about $150 per year minimum.

 

The OEC part is first - the skiing/boarding training is after - however most patrols will have a ski along (1 or 2 days), before asking for the investment in OEC.

 

Alot of luniors are looking for a cheap pass - buy a season ticket in the late summer - it's a hell'va lot cheaper.

post #12 of 18



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2ski View Post

Consider this - Most Junior Patrollers don't stick with the program. (would probably be NSP Volunteer, don't think pro's have juniors)

 

And then consider this. 80 to 100 classroom hrs of OEC and probably that many hrs of practical study. $250 + for the course depending how far the drive to the class location. Patrol parka, first aid belt stocked - $400 + Membership in NSP $75 to $100 yrly dues depending on local dues part.

 

First yr cash outlay $700-$1000, later years about $150 per year minimum.

 

The OEC part is first - the skiing/boarding training is after - however most patrols will have a ski along (1 or 2 days), before asking for the investment in OEC.

 

Alot of luniors are looking for a cheap pass - buy a season ticket in the late summer - it's a hell'va lot cheaper.


True, most junior patrollers don't last since they usually move on to college, but some come back. They also learn a skill, mature in a positive way and develop some strong leadership ability.  

 

All hills are different, but the only cost to our candidates/Junior patrollers are for the books, NSP dues and an empty pack. All our training is done on-hill during the season in a mountain supplied trainee jacket, with sled/medical training concurrently. When he/she passes the course, the mountain supplies a patrol jacket. If there's no extra packs laying around, he'll have to buy one, but we stock it from the first aid room.

Our total is less than $200 - $75 for the OEC manual, $55 NSP dues and $35-50 for the pack (which they won't need until they turn 18).

That's not so bad considering they get free breakfast and lunch, and, oh yeah, get in some skiing.

All of our volunteers have real jobs and can easily afford a seasons pass. They are doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, company owners and executives, an army major, etc., most have kids of thier own and all are generally very successful. We are also a big family and genuinely care about each other.

Your kid can hang out skiing and learning with us every weekend, or you can buy him/her a pass so he can hang out in the terrain park with the other 17 y.o. park rats.

Our junior patrollers can start at 16Y.O. and can be a patroller at 18.

post #13 of 18

Quote:

Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

Uhm...are those two things mutually exclusive?

Naah, I'm an engineer and I make it work out OK.

 

But I imagine that that was a rhetorical question.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2ski View Post
First yr cash outlay $700-$1000, later years about $150 per year minimum...

Mine was a lot less, and was spread out a bit. At my hill, post-OEC candidates can get by fine with a blue jacket from Eddie Bauer and a yellow duck tape cross. The outlay was well under $100, and you don't need to get it until after you pass OEC. Plus, it's deductible on your federal taxes - I write off all of my NSP related expenses.

 

But yes, as for the overall point that it takes a lot of dedication to make Basic, there's no doubt about that. Like we all say, it's very expensive free skiing... but worth every dime. I LOVE patrolling.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreddagnar View Post

I am a snowboarder patroller in NC, I have been doing it for 4 years. My advice would be to tell him to learn to ski. Snowboarding has its advantages but I find it annoying to be a ski patroller on a snowboard. It takes longer to clip in on a snowboard compared to a skier. Which depending on the situation can be a huge disadvantage. The majority of the time I will pass a sled ride off to a skier. The skills that it takes to run a sled are very basic skills. While sitting up the mountain which is a big part of a ski patroller (depending on if he becomes just a volunteer or a pro), skiing is much easier. Currently I am learning to ski but still a few seasons out from passing the basic sled test. Snowboarding as a patroller is fine but just let him know he will face more challenges than a skier patroller. Plus if he really likes it and wants to patrol out west most ski resorts do not allow snowboarder patrollers. This is the major challenge  I am facing now.


What Shreddagnar said.

 

A boarder can do most patrol related tasks as well or better than skiers in some cases, but if your son ever wants to do control work, skis win hands down purely because a board traverses like a heap of shit.

post #15 of 18

Better check with the local hill where your son is planning to register a big variance in cost - Parka (specified by the area or patrol) is a large part of it, as well as the required travel to the OEC classes. And everyone is forgetting Professional CPR (RC or AH) unless your patrol picks up that cost also.

And Yes, Boards are acceptable at most areas - requirements(end result) are the same as for skis, techniques and skills are different.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by disoriented View Post

A boarder can do most patrol related tasks as well or better than skiers in some cases, but if your son ever wants to do control work, skis win hands down purely because a board traverses like a heap of shit.
Where I work people doing control work are required to have releasable bindings. I have no idea if that's the case other places, so I'm just sayin'.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


Where I work people doing control work are required to have releasable bindings. I have no idea if that's the case other places, so I'm just sayin'.


It depends on the area, I do not require my staff members to use releasable binding for any work, mainly because they (releasable tele bindings) pretty much suck.

 

I allow snowboarding at work but never for A/C work. Wrong tool for the job.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunion View Post

It depends on the area, I do not require my staff members to use releasable binding for any work, mainly because they (releasable tele bindings) pretty much suck.

True for most, but NTN has changed the game. Those things are so good for patrolling. Got a bunch of the patrol where I work on 'em.
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