Top gun to ski fun

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Former high-flying fighter pilot Scott Griffith has made a maverick career move and retrained as a snowboard instructor.

The 41-year-old spent 20 years with the Royal New Zealand Air Force and RAF in the UK.

He was stationed at bases in England, Scotland and Wales and served in Afghanistan, as well as the Falkland Islands and Baltic nations.

But he’s now flying down the slopes at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak, operated by NZSki.

“I’m a Kiwi but have been living in the UK for 17 years and only just returned home in time for the ski season,” he says.

“I’ve had an extraordinary career with the military but it is a challenging job and I knew it was time for a change.”

Griffith skied as a youngster and snowboarded in his 20s, and enjoys the ski lifestyle, particularly in Queenstown.

“As part of leaving the RAF they offered some funding and extra leave to retrain so I decided to do a snowboard instructor course.”

Coronet Peak is worlds away from his previous life spent in war-torn countries, but Griffith says it’s exactly what he needed.

served the Queen and country for a long time and, while I still value the concept of ‘service’, I needed to do something for myself. Becoming a snowboard instructor seemed like a great way to do that,” he says.

“I’m doing the sport I love in the country that has always been home.

“Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when I’ve taught them well and watching the fun they are having is very special.”

ed@scene.co.nz