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Our Instructors

Meet some of the Cardrona Snow Sports School ski & snowboard instructors! Read about why they love their jobs & their top tips for skiing & snowboarding...

Naoko Usui

Hometown/Country: Osaka/Japan
Ski/Board/Adaptive: Ski
Qualifications: NZSIA Level 3, NZSIA Children Cert Level 2, NZSIA Free Ski Level 1, NZSIA Race Coach Level 1 and SAJ 
Languages: Japanese & Kiwi English
My top tip for skiing: Enjoy yourself... go fast! 

My insider’s tip for Cardrona: Head over to Captain's Basin as soon as it is open, do a couple of runs on the fresh groomers & then head to café for a coffee. It's an especially beautiful view if there are clouds in the valley.

Why I love instructing: Meeting new people everyday & sharing with people my passion. Everyone is on holiday & super happy with big smiles –that makes my day. 

What I love best about teaching at Cardrona: Great facilities; slopes, kids' centre, cafés, everything!! I have worked in so many different ski areas but Cardrona is always friendly, welcoming & feels like home.

Nicole Andrews 

Hometown/Country: Wanaka!
Ski/Board/Adaptive: Ski 
Qualifications: NZSIA L2, PSIA Kids' Cert, Freestyle & APSI Avalanche 1
Languages: NZ English 

My top tip for skiing: Whatever you're doing, just make sure you're having as much fun as you can – cause that's the reason we're all here to begin with!

My insider’s tip for Cardrona: Valley View chair to get away from the crowds.

Why I love instructing: Having the opportunity to work at some of the world's best mountains & resorts, while meeting people who love skiing just as much as me.

What I love best about teaching at Cardrona: I look forward to coming back & working at Cardrona every single year – the people I work with make it awesome. I've been skiing at Cardies since I was 4 so it has a really familiar / homely feeling to it. 

Sam Colby

Hometown/Country: Herts, UK
Ski/Board/Adaptive: Ski & Adaptive
Qualifications: NZSIA Examiner, BASI ISIA Adaptive, CADS 3 amongst others!!
Languages: English, Kiwi English & French!

My top tip for skiing & adaptive: Whether it's your first time sliding or you're a seasoned pro, the trick to skiing (& anything in fact!) is that with a positive & open mind, anything is possible.

My insider’s tip for Cardrona: Head down to Valley View to enjoy some awesome turns, peaceful slopes & great coffee!

Why I love instructing: Seeing the glint behind peoples eyes & smiles on their faces as they fall in love with the sport & realise they CAN achieve what they set out to do & much more! 

What I love best about teaching at Cardrona: The family atmosphere of our mountain – whether guests or staff, we are all doing this together! 

Emma Fordyce

Hometown/Country: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Ski/Board/Adaptive: Ski
Qualifications: NZSIA Level 3
Languages: English

My top tip for skiing: Find your centered skiing stance. This means a balanced position in the middle of your skis, flexing your ankles, knees & hips, & with your body lined up over your feet. From this position you are ready to move & can stay balanced no matter what the snow does underneath you, & when you want to step it up... take a lesson, we want to help you improve (we know all the best spots to go & get priority in the lift line)!

My insider’s tip for Cardrona: For the best view on the mountain head up to the top of Captain's Express & take Queenstown Return. On a clear day you get a spectacular view over snowy peaks towards Lake Wakatipu.

Why I love instructing: It's amazing to share with other people the sport, & the mountain, I love so much. I love being part of people's learning. Seeing the sense of satisfaction & achievement they get from improving their skiing is the best part for me. 

What I love best about teaching at Cardrona: It's the people! There are always new people to meet & there is such a fun team at Cardrona. Everyone is there to have a great time & enjoy the mountain. It's infectious, & makes it a really exciting place to be.

Campbell Mason

Hometown/Country: Wanaka, New Zealand
Ski/Board/Adaptive: Ski
Qualifications: NZSIA Trainer, Freeski Level 1, Children's Cert Level 2, Coach Level 1
Languages: Kiwi

My top tip for skiing: When in doubt, point it out. Then come get a lesson!

My insider’s tip for Cardrona: Ski on Mondays – the mountain is generally quieter. If it's busy, wait by the ski school line & help a group with little kids out. The instructor will be very appreciative & you can go in the ski school line!

Why I love instructing: I get to ski every day & meet some pretty rad people along the way.

What I love best about teaching at Cardrona: The best bit about teaching at Cardrona is the people. Staff are all super fun & easy to get along with, & the guests are all there for the same reason so it's just a good old time!

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