Ski and Snowboard Technician jobs(Also known as Ski tech, Snowboard tech)
A ski and snowboard technician is responsible for repairing and servicing sets of skis and snowboards. A ski and snowboard technician can be based either in the UK, or as is more likely, in a repair centre at an overseas ski resort. The work is seasonal in the respect that the European ski season runs from November to late April, meaning that those working overseas will normally return to the UK for the off-season. These “dead busy and dead” spells have an equal impact on UK workers, as there is much less work during the summer months. The technician will be expected to work on both skis and snowboards, as the basic repair and servicing knowledge is common to both, and there is not normally enough work to specialise in one or the other. The technician will fix damage to the equipment, mount bindings, complete base waxing and organise general tuning of the customer’s winter sports kit. At non-busy times, the technician will often be expected to serve on the retail or customer service counters of the ski outlet.
SalaryIn resort, candidates can be expected to be paid higher wages compared to chalet hosts and travel agency “reps”, but the remuneration is not huge. For the most popular European ski resorts, the job is paid hourly, and gross pay commonly works out to around 8-10 Euros per hour. Candidates should be aware that on top of the basic wage, they will often enjoy subsistence allowance, meaning subsidised accommodation, lift pass and use of all their equipment, which equates to a considerable cash bonus value. For candidates who wish to remain in the UK and work in a ski and snowboard centre, it depends on the level of individual experience. Starting salary is usually around £15,000 and as the candidate’s skills and experience develop, this can rise to £20,000. Nearly always, the candidate must be prepared to diversify and be ready to do other retail and manual labour jobs within the retail store if needed.
- Service customer’s skis and snowboards (prepare them for their time on the mountain)
- Mount bindings on any new skis purchased
- Base cleaning
- Repair damage to the p-tex base (using p-tex gun/patching/epoxy)
- Sharpening edges (usually on a machine)
- Detuning tips and tails (in the quest for a great “set-up”)
- Waxing base (hot wax, either using an iron or workshop machines)
- Brushing, polishing and preparation
QualificationsThere are no real academic requirements; however, knowledge of the ski industry and ski construction is generally useful. Candidates will be fully trained in resort, and almost all ski techs in the UK will have started out by working seasons abroad. If looking for a job overseas, there are hundreds of people doing the same thing, so any knowledge or experience the candidate may have will put them a step ahead. There are a few 1 or 2-day courses in the UK that are recognised within the industry which can put hopefuls a step ahead of competitors (see www.bctt.co.uk). These courses will allow the candidate to gain experience of using workshop machines, and they also teach the techniques of servicing equipment.
- Ability to improvise repair techniques “on the fly”
- Strong enthusiasm for skiing and/or snowboarding
- Ability to remain away from (UK) home for long periods at a time
- Be able to tolerate cold and unpleasant conditions
- Engage in work which can be repetitive at times