Guide to Skiing – Skiing Schools

In this installment of our guide to skiing we look at skiing schools…

Taking lessons at a ski school from a professional instructor, will allow you to correctly ski within one week. You will need these basics in order to truly take advantage of what a resort has to offer, and to do so safely with the skills and confidence you need. It is important, however, to make sure you look into any ski school’s reputation for quality, the cost of its services, and what purpose it hopes to serve, all of which can vary considerably. You should enquire about at least the following…

Ask them if they offer private lessons and group lessons, or just one or the other. Private lessons are much more expensive than group ones but all of the ski instructors attention is concentrated on you and you’ll make quicker progress. Group lessons, however, can offer the fun of meeting new people and can give you an added benefit of hearing the experiences of your classmates. First timers, in particular seem to prefer class instruction.

Finding out the number of students are generally in a class is advisable, however. While it is dependent on how the school manages the students, an ideal class size should be no larger than seven or eight students. For quality ski instruction, shy away from schools that have larger class sizes, as this is a red flag that profit is the school’s primary motive.

In addition to class size, the experience level the school focuses on is also important; do they cater to beginners, intermediate or expert levels, or maybe all levels? You should always be assigned to a class where everyone is roughly at the same starting point. In order to assess your abilities before placing you in a class, a school might ask you to participate in an instructor-supervised test of sorts where you will be asked to ski down a couple of slopes and show them how well you are able to turn. If you don’t know exactly where you are skill-wise, underestimate a little; if you find the class is too easy for you, you can always asked to be bumped up to the next level.

Inquire as to whether the school offers gender or age-specific classes. Some will be targeting specific groups, whereas others will have an ‘everyone welcome’ policy. In order to receive a high quality learning experience, you will want to attend a ski school that narrows its instruction focus in order to put you in a class that is age appropriate (kids or adults) and appropriate for how your gender typically learns.