“This season with The French Snowsports Academy was incredible. To have the opportunity to train with coaches of that calibre for that long was such a valuable experience that I don’t think you can get anywhere else. I feel so much more confident going for my next Canadian levels.”
Signing up for this course is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Your skiing will be taken to a whole new level and you get to spend the season living with a great bunch of people. It’s not easy, and there will be days when you have to physically and mentally push yourself to the limit, but it’s so worth it. The coaches are amazing, definitely some of the best in the world! They are incredible skiers, great teachers and if you show up with a smile on your face and are willing to have a go every day, they will support you and you will reap the benefits. This course is awesome; if you love skiing and you’re up for a challenge - do it!
“I went there for a short break after uni, just for a bit of a change for a few months. Pretty soon I knew I’d be going back there for round two. It was just addictive - bring on next season!”
“I had an amazing winter in Serre Chevalier achieving things on skis I never thought I would. It’s such a unique experience to train with the AJ and I’ll never forget the people I met there!”
“I took part in the 20 week Test Technique Course in the 2014/15 season with the aim of improving my short radius turns for my BASI level 3 exam. I had been struggling to pass this exam for some time. Despite not passing the Test Technique, I did go on to smash my BASI level 3 two weeks after the course finished. This was really thanks to the excellent tuition from the French trainers.”
“The instructors are all so friendly and so are the people involved in the training. I think this is because everyone shares a mutual love and passion for the mountains. It might not be the easiest of courses but it’s definitely one of the best.”
Our son is off to university this September, having taken two years out to study (yes, I use that word correctly) skiing and the mountains with Christian Delafield’s French Snow Sports Academy.If you want a lifelong passion and living relationship with the mountains, there is no better course than this. It is built around the Test Technique – the French slalom test for would-be ski instructors - but that makes it so much more than just a skiing exam.The Test Technique, the infamous and much debated slalom test, is not about the French being protectionist; they too have to pass the necessary standard. This is about learning to ski properly – not just how to properly carve once, but to do it 60 times continuously against the clock over different terrain.In the mountains this is how the locals are taught, their weekends spent competing in regional slalom races, and it shows in their ability to glide naturally round the slopes across all terrains and snow conditions. Without excellent technique, fitness and experience, you cannot ski slalom.Unfortunately most of us Brits don’t have this opportunity to be brought up on skis, and that is where TFSA comes in. The key is not just technique or indeed fitness; it is also experience, and that is why this course specifically is not just day in day out slalom training, it is so much more. At lunch, pack up the slalom skis and head off for an afternoon of free skiing with the instructors – hiking to hidden couloirs, learning how to properly ski moguls (can you ski 10 moguls blindfolded?), or ripping big pistes with perfect hip-to-snow carves. And still more - proper avalanche training, ski preparation and of course a day trip to La Graves, the Mecca of off-piste.All this whilst living with a tight-knit group of like-minded people. You will find new friends for life.The Test Technique is tough, as is this course, but that’s the point. It takes training and commitment, focus and hard work. But, regardless of whether you pass – and be under no illusion, few do after one season without any previous slalom expertise - the skills and experience will live with you for the rest of your life.
Whether you are organising a gap year or aiming to commence or continue your professional journey towards becoming an officially recognised ski instructor in France and beyond, I can recommend Christian’s program. Not only can it result in job opportunities you may not now think are possible, you will have the life changing chance to spend a winter in a house full of international people with a shared interest. Fun, to say the least!
“I would recommend The French Snowsports Academy to everyone. It’s a place were you meet amazing like-minded people, ski every day in a unique resort and learn to push yourself both physically and mentally to achieve your goals. It is a rollercoaster of a winter with the highest highs and hardest lows but that is what makes it so addictive and enjoyable. In the three winters I spent training with the academy I can honestly say I have some of my best memories, met friends for life and learnt about the importance of challenging myself and pushing to achieve your goals.”
“The 4 winters I spent with The French Snowsports Academy were the best of my life so far! I had more incredible experiences on snow than I can remember. The coaching staff are some of the best people I have ever meet. It was such a pleasure and honour to learn and ski with them. I turned up thinking I could ski and was shown very quickly that they have high standards and more knowledge of the sport than I could ever have dreamt of. I would recommend The French Snowsports Academy to everyone, because the people you meet and the things you learn are incredible. It is the most addictive thing that I have ever done!Christian Delafield is a guy who has helped me throughout my time with the academy and is always looking out for everyone. When I look back now and think about all that was done over those 4 years I can’t help but smile from ear to ear, and wish I could do it all over again.