I am a ski instructor working in Switzerland. I get paid to teach people to ski so naturally, I think everyone should have ski lessons. However, it really is true no matter your ability you can always benefit from the odd ski lesson. So here are my responses to some common situations and what ski lessons can offer to different ability skiers.
Beginner – Safety
I’m a beginner, but I had lessons in a snowdome before my holiday do I really need lessons in resort?
Having lessons on a dryslope or in a snowdome before a holiday is a great idea, however, you can’t learn everything on a small dry slope. I would still certainly recommend getting lessons in a resort. Firstly the initial lesson is a great refresher to back-up what you have already learnt. Secondly, an instructor can help you get around the mountain safely and navigate the sort of runs you will be most comfortable on – something you cannot learn in a snowdome. If you are any sort of beginner I would always recommend lessons – you do not want to be that person who has to take the chair back down the mountain because they thought they could ski down a red after their first 2 hours on skis.
Intermidiate – Efficiency and Comfort
I’m an intermediate skier and I can pretty much go most places on the mountian, should I still get lessons?
Of course! This is a very important stage of learning. A few lessons with an instructor can make your day on the mountain not only that much more comfortable and easy but fun as well! The more you improve your technique the more energy efficient you will be when you ski. That horrible red run that kills your legs and leaves you breathless at the end will only get easier and easier. Joining in group lessons is also a really good way to meet people and find people of a similar ability to ski with.
Advanced – Enjoyment and skill
I’m an advanced skier I can do any run on the mountain I haven’t needed lessons for years! Surely I don’t need lessons!
No of course not. You’re a pro, the best skier on the mountain! Oh, wait that’s not you? Do you want to look like that person? Yes? Have lessons! If you enjoy skiing enough to spend money on a holiday doesn’t it make sense to spend money on improving your skiing? There are so many ways to do this as an advanced skier. You can book into advanced classes or organise a private class. The benefit of private ski school classes is that you can guide your own learning and work with your instructor as a coach rather than a teacher. If you want to try something different you can hire a mountain guide or a freestyle instructor, your knowledge of skiing will certainly help you to learn new skills quickly. Alternatively, you could book on to a skiing course. There are so many courses out there ranging from off-piste to racing, from 3-day to 2-weeks. Maybe you have started thinking of becoming an instructor yourself. (If so keep an eye out for my article on instructor courses.)
Skiing holidays can be expensive so making the most of your time in the mountains is essential. Ski lessons are not only about making progress but about having fun and experiencing being in such a beautiful natural environment. So whatever your ability go out there and have some fun!
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