You are in the process of booking a ski holiday and are trying to work out the budget for your trip. Accommodation, travel, ski hire and lift passes are all elements you automatically factor in, but you haven’t completely decided on whether to take ski lessons. Do you really need them? It can’t be that hard, right? If you are a beginner you might be tempted to try and get by with a few tips from your friends. Or, you might think that because you have skied before there is no need for lessons, but are you right and what could a lesson or two bring to your ski holiday experience?
I’m an advanced skier, why would I book ski lessons?
Well, in theory you don’t NEED lessons. But what could you get out of a ski lesson if you were to have one? As an advanced skier it is probably safe to say that you love skiing and when you love a sport you want to get as much out of is as you possibly can. What you found enjoyable earlier in your skiing career might not give you the same thrill anymore and you might find yourself wanting to push your boundaries a bit further. If that’s the case, booking yourself a private instructor could be the thing that keeps your passion for skiing fired up. With a private instructor the resort is your oyster. You can explore areas that you’ve never dared explore before, ski off-piste itineraries you have only dreamed of attempting, hone your technique on the steeps, sharpen your slalom turns, conquer moguls, have a fling with freestyle, you get the picture. Booking a lesson can broaden and deepen your experience of skiing.
I’m an intermediate skier, do I need ski lessons?
Intermediate is a very broad term that includes the majority of skiers. Intermediate could mean you no longer consider yourself a beginner, or you mostly ski on blue rated ski slopes, or you have a certain number of week’s skiing under your belt or perhaps that your technique has plateaued and you don’t think you will ever progress beyond being an average or intermediate skier. Would lessons be useful in any of these scenarios? The answer is yes and here’s why…
[bctt tweet=”Anyone can benefit from ski lessons and here’s why” username=””]
Ski lessons are an investment in yourself
When you book your ski holiday you do so for various reasons; to spend time with friends and/or family, to experience the beautiful mountain scenery, the fondue, the cosy chalet, the apres-ski but you also book for the skiing to which you commit a (not-insubstantial) sum of money (lift pass, equipment, clothing). Rather than seeing any money you might spend on ski lessons as unnecessary spend look at this spend as an investment. By continuing to take ski lessons as an intermediate skier you are investing in improving your technique and feeling more confident on the mountain. With this improved technique and increase in confidence you will be able to make more of the skiing and your time on the hill. In investing in your experience you will see new views, experience different terrain and have more fun. If this does not represent a fantastic return on investment we don’t know what does.
Group lessons are a good option if you are an intermediate skier who has progressed from beginner status but hasn’t yet mastered all the elements of good ski technique. Group lessons are also valuable if you want to ski with other people of similar level and/or want a couple of hours of instruction each day. Adult group ski lessons tend to take place every morning. Simply check the level finder of your chosen ski school and book into a level that suits your needs.
Private lessons can be helpful if you want more of a ‘ski MOT’. By this we mean if you would like to ski with an instructor on a one-to-one basis and have them evaluate your technique and make personalised recommendations for improvement then a private lesson is for you. This is a great option if you want to work on a particular element of your skiing or have lost a bit of confidence.
I’m new to skiing, do I really need lessons?
If you have never been on skis before or only given skiing a go on a dry slope or in an indoor snow centre then the answer is a simple YES. Skiing can be immensely enjoyable both whilst learning and once you have acquired some skills. Skiing can also be challenging to learn and without proper tuition can be frustrating and, let’s be honest, dangerous both to you and other ski slope users. Learning in a group with a fully qualified instructor is the quickest, cheapest, most effective and arguably the most enjoyable way to learn how to ski.
Can my friend teach me to ski?
The alternative to taking ski lessons might be being taught by a friend (or family member) but is this really going to give you the result you’re looking for? Before you try to convince your friend or family-member to teach you to ski ask yourself these questions:
- Are they going to be able to offer you good advice?
- Will you have their undivided attention?
- Do they know the resort and the right slopes to take you on?
- Do they have any bad techniques / bad habits that they might pass onto you?
- Will they be patient if you don’t pick it up straight away?
- Will they be able to spot any errors you make and advise you how to correct them?
- Will they build your confidence?
- Do they really want to teach you? (After all, it is their holiday too)
You get the picture. If you are a beginner skier, don’t rely on the ‘expertise’ of someone in your group, book a week-long course of 5 or 6 ski lessons and put yourself in the hands of a professional. You won’t regret it. Your professional instructor will have trained for 4-8 years (yep!) and will have the tools and skills they need to start you on the road to skiing competently.
Can Beginners Take Private Ski Lessons?
Yes, beginners can take private ski lessons. If you don’t feel comfortable in a group environment, prefer one-to-one attention, are particularly nervous or have any other special requirements, private lessons are ideal. Also, you won’t need as many hours of private lessons as group lessons to progress as the tuition you get is tailored to you, rather than to the group as a whole. You can also team up with another beginner in a private lesson and the instructor will usually teach both of you for the same price.
So should I take a lesson?
What this article is trying to say is that nobody (or hardly anybody anyway) who takes a ski lesson with a professional instructor, regardless of their level, would consider it a waste of time or money. Ski lessons are an investment in yourself and your holiday experience. They have the potential to turn your ski holiday into something extraordinary, in which you achieve something tangible, explore new horizons and experience sensations on snow that you have never felt before. Whether those sensations came from your first turns, mastering a black rated ski slope, successfully sliding across a box in the snow park or floating across a powder field depends on your motivation and abilities but they are there for the taking. So stop thinking about whether you need ski lessons and start thinking about what ski lessons can add to you ski holiday experience this year.