Local Kids’ Programmes

Cardrona’s local kids’ programmes are an awesome way for your child to learn & develop their skiing or snowboarding skills, & are a tonne of fun during the winter weekends. Kids get to develop skills, explore the mountain & hang out in a friendly team environment!

Hobbits/Hobblets is a great programme for kids of all levels & all ages. It’s Cardrona’s longest-running locals’ programme – the kids learn heaps & have a blast! Our qualified instructors are the pick of the bunch, specifically chosen for their kid-friendly teaching skills & technical knowledge.

The Academy (10yrs & up) & Junior Academy (7-9yrs) are local coaching programmes for skiers & snowboarders who rip & who want to do a bit of everything – big mountain, park, pipe & race. It’s the next step from Hobbits, &/or a stepping stone towards the High Performance Centre coaching programme. It’s perfect for kids who want to keep progressing but who are not necessarily wanting, or ready, to compete – or limit themselves to 1 discipline. See below for more details.


2016 Hobbits/Hobblets - 6 Sundays


6 Sundays: $304 (Register before July 18 & save $20 – pay only $284!)
11am – 3.30pm, July 24 – August 28
Add lunch: $68

Season Long Programmes, Cardrona Alpine Resort

The most FUN you can have on a Sunday!

Our Cardrona Hobbits/Hobblets programme is for local skiers & riders. Hobblets is for 4yr olds & Hobbits from 5yrs to early teens, snowboarders from 7yrs to early teens. There’s a group for every level from absolute beginners to all-mountain rippers & budding park specialists.

We are all about learning new skills in a supportive & social environment. With the same instructor & same age group of kids every week, each group soon becomes their own little team. Some of our amazing instructors who teach Hobbits went through the programme themselves back in the day!

For more detailed information on Hobbits download a Hobbits/Hobblets Registration Form.
For children under 5yrs please see Ski Kindy for under 5 group or private lessons. 
For further enquiries, email snowsportscentre@cardrona.com.

2016 The Academy - 10 Sundays

The Academy

Season Long Programmes, Cardrona Alpine Resort

10 Sundays: $655
9.30am – 3.45pm, July 17 – September 18

If you have kids over 7yrs who are intermediate/advanced skiers or riders, this is the programme for them! The Junior Academy (7-9yrs) & Academy (10-14yrs) coaches will help steeze up their lines through the park, shred big mountain with style & blitz the gravity cross course.

Our coaches are briefed & trained to deliver in a coaching style which creates a fun, open atmosphere. The success of the camps requires some self-motivation & responsibility from each participant. These experienced & older kids appreciate a little more freedom & specific input when being coached, compared to more formal ski/snowboard school programmes.
Helmets are required & BYO lunch (lunch vouchers are available)
This programme is subject to a minimum of 3 participants (half days for groups fewer than 3).

For more detailed information on The Academy download an Academy Booking Form
For children under 5yrs please see Ski Kindy for under 5 group or private lessons. 
For further enquiries, email snowsportscentre@cardrona.com.

Parents of The Academy / Junior Academy
This one is for you! Now that your little ones are sorted, make the most of your Sundays at Cardrona & sign up for our “Hobbits/Academy Parents” programme. Ski with the same instructor & same group each week.

The focus will be on skill development & increasing confidence to really improve your skiing in a no pressure, fun & relaxed social environment.

Meet the Coaches

Cardrona has a friendly, patient, enthusiastic & qualified bunch of coaches who will make sure your child is getting the hang of sliding on snow, progressing fast & having a whole lot of fun in the process!

Ski Coaches

Scott Palmer

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Scott learnt to ski on a pair of plastic skis and gumboots when he was 2yrs old. He’s been teaching for 9 seasons, most of them at Cardrona. Scott loves coaching worm turns! They are the best way to recover from a crash & anyone can do them.

A random fact about Scott is he can ride a unicycle on snow & play the didgeridoo at the same time. He loves coaching Academy & Ride Tribe because the students are always heaps of fun & you get to go places on the mountain that you don’t go in normal lessons!

Ben Darlow

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Ben is a Kiwi & learnt to ski when he was 2yrs old. He’s had so much fun instructing & coaching over the years he’s lost count of how many seasons he’s done!

Ben’s favourite trick to teach is either a Dead Sailor or a Stupefy (for the Harry Potter fans). He loves coaching Academy & Ride Tribe because it’s awesome getting to ski everywhere & everything with fun kids. As a sneaky side-note Ben is totally addicted to chocolate, so keep that in mind if you are in his Academy or Ride Tribe group!

Charlie Crawley

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Charlie was 10yrs old when she first learnt to ski, & has now been instructing for 10 seasons. Charlie has lots of tricks up her sleeve to help kids attack challenging terrain with more steeze. She also has a knack for being able to drink a hot chocolate with no hands!

Charlie loves Academy & Ride Tribe because the coaching style gives more responsibility to the students as they are more mature & understand the mountain environment. She thinks its great to help kids see all the mountain’s offerings – from big mountain shredding, to racing & through the park.

Campbell Mason

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Campbell was 7yrs old when he started skiing & has now been instructing for 9 seasons, 5 of them at Cardrona.

Campbell is stoked on all aspects of freeskiing but old school stunts like shifty-shifty spreads, cossacks & pole tricks are his favourites right now. Campbell loves coaching Academy because he gets to charge about with rippers that enjoy skiing as much as he does. His coaching style is high energy, & his sneaky trick to keep this up is a love of pink wafer biscuits!?! Something to keep in mind if you are in his group!

Sam Lee

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Sam was 2 1/2 when he learned to ski & had his 1st ski lesson at Cardrona! He has now done 4 seasons ski instructing at Cardrona.

Sam’s favourite tricks are back flips & hand drags & his all time fav to watch is a big ol’ cork 3 off a cliff. Keep your change handy because Sam is still collecting coins for his piggy bank, & is a huge fan of Japanese food!

Sam loves coaching Academy & Ride Tribe & his aim is to show new ways of approaching old features & to encourage kids to be more creative with the way they use the mountain.

Scotty Denis

Ski Coaches, Cardrona Alpine Resort

Scotty is a Kiwi born & raised, & started skiing when he was 4. He has been instructing for 6 seasons now, 2 of them at Cardrona.

Scotty’s favourite tricks are a slow-mo switch 360 & scorching through the park in a train with some good mates. Scotty is amped on coaching Academy & Ride Tribe because it means hanging out with kids who are as stoked on skiing as he is. His coaching aim is to help improve kids technical skills so they can express their own style better.

Snowboard Coaches

Josh Barkman


A bit of a late comer to the winter and snow scene, Josh started out on skis at the age of 13. He made the transition to the dark side around 3 days later, because snowboard boots felt good & it looked cooler. Josh has taught in NZ, Canada & the US and is currently doing back-to-back winters.

Josh’s main interests are in park riding & big mountain. His favourite tricks are a slow back 5 or anything with a styled Japan grab. Josh loves coaching Academy & Ride Tribe because it allows him to give young riders tools they can use in their own time to improve their riding. He also loves that he gets to take what he is passionate about within the sport & help riders find what they are passionate about &/or what motivates them to get better.

Sam Windsor


Sam has been teaching for 7 seasons in NZ & North America, & was previously a wilderness guide for a high school. Growing up in Wellington, he did weekend missions to Ruapehu before moving to the South Island when he was 16.

He loves to ride park & pipe, but is also a big fan of charging cliffs & chutes on a powder day! He’s also never been beaten in a penguin sliding competition & is always ready for challengers! Sam loves to coach Academy & Ride Tribe because he likes that the coaching environment allows students more freedom in their riding choices. He also thinks it’s awesome to watch his students progress.

Dan Hopkins


Dan started late, learning to ride on a dry slope in the UK at the age of 15. He spent a few winters in the French Alps washing dishes in hotels before coming to NZ to train as an instructor. He liked it so much he’s been doing it ever since!

Dan can mainly be found shredding in the park, off-piste or even the odd mogul run. Dan loves teaching Academy & Lowriders as he gets to ride with kids that love snowboarding, helping them progress in the way that suits them best.

Greg Samson
Cardrona Snowboard Academy and Lowriders Coach, Greg Samson

Greg’s a snowboard addict & has been since he first strapped a board to his feet back in 2002. He has been instructing back to back winters since 2011 in Japan, Canada & the USA as well as at home at Cardrona. If he’s not snowboarding he’s eating, sleeping or watching the Lego Movie. He enjoys all aspects of snowboarding from park & pipe to shredding pow or carving up fresh groomers!

Greg thinks coaching kids is so much fun! He enjoys seeing the kids getting stoked on learning something new. whether it be riding down a new run or getting a new trick, & just having a rad time riding with other kids (including himself).


Pavel Marusov

Pavel academy coach

Pavel, born and raised in Mother Russia, moved to Canada in 2009. He decided to take a snowboard instructor course there just for self-improvement, but instantly got hooked on the idea of teaching other people which he hasn’t been able stop doing since then! Living in the endless winter between Whistler, Canada & Wanaka in New Zealand, Pav likes all sorts of riding: park, pipe, powder, carving on corduroy, racing the boarder cross track or bank slalom… you name it!

Pav loves coaching Lowriders & The Academy because nothing is more rewarding to him than seeing the kids develop into life-long snowboarders & hopefully better humans under his guidance.

Tagan Young

Cardrona Lowerider's Snowboard Coach

From Auckland, Tagan grew up doing every board related sport, but it wasn’t until he was 12 that he had his first snowboarding trip to Mt Ruapehu. Since then he’s been hooked!

He has taught for 6 seasons in New Zealand & Canada & plans to do more back-to-back winters. He’s also done a bit of teaching at Auckland’s Snowplanet between seasons. He likes to ride big mountain as well as park & pipe, & lay down styled carves. He loves to teach Lowriders because the kids get to learn so much over the programme & have a bunch of fun doing it. He hopes to create that same buzz for his students that keeps him coming back every year!