Every skier has to start somewhere. Whether you’re looking into going skiing for the first time or want to improve your already decent abilities, a lesson can help you become a better skier. There are different types of lessons and different ways to go about learning new skills on the snow.
One question I often hear from many types of skiers is, “Is it worth it to take skiing lessons?” Let’s analyze that question here to clarify a few things and point out some considerations worth thinking about in regards to ski lessons.
The quick answer to if you should take skiing lessons is yes. It’s definitely worth it to take skiing lessons. That’s especially true if you’re a beginner skier and want to improve your abilities without feeling stuck or frustrated.
Even if you’re an intermediate skier, a lesson can help you push through a plateau and get your skills to the next level. If you’re considering taking lessons, I would always suggest giving it a try because it’s almost always a good decision.
Why Skiing Lessons are Important
You don’t have to take ski lessons when you’re first learning how to ski. You can get all of your rental equipment and catch the lift up to the top of the bunny hill and just go for it. Trial by fire is one way to approach the sport, but I’ve personally never met any great skiers who didn’t take lessons at some point in their career.
Skiing is a highly specialized skill. You need to know aspects of form and technique that are difficult to pick up or be aware of if you don’t have someone coaching and instructing you through them. It’s not like other sports like running where things are pretty intuitive. Knowing important techniques and learning how to approach different conditions is a crucial aspect of becoming a good skier. Lessons can equip you with this knowledge.
As a beginner, you’ll struggle to make turns, navigate various conditions, and perform basic maneuvers like stopping if you don’t have someone showing you how. You could read about it or watch a video, but you’re not going to get real-world experience without spending time on the snow. Skiing lessons will give you all of the basics you need to succeed and once you know the basics, you can then spend some time alone perfecting them.
Skiing lessons aren’t just important for beginner skiers, however. Intermediate and advanced skiers can benefit from lessons as well. Let’s say you are pretty comfortable skiing on steeper groomed conditions but want to be able to tackle bumps and trees. A ski instructor can help you build the courage and skills necessary to do that. If there’s another area of focus that you want to have, like improving your abilities in the park, a lesson can help with that as well.
Types of Ski Lessons
There are two main types of ski lessons: individual or group. Individual lessons are a private lesson where it will just be you and an instructor. That will give you a chance to work on improving your skiing technique and you can tell the instructor exactly what you want to improve on. That’s an awesome way to improve your skiing and definitely recommended. The only downside is that private individual lessons are usually the most expensive option.
Group lessons are exactly as they sound. You’ll be part of a group with other skiers taking a lesson and a single instructor. Even with others it’s a great way to improve your skiing abilities and you will get the chance to watch other skiers around your same ability level. I personally like group lessons for that reason. Watching others is a great way to learn, and you also have the chance to make some friends along the way.
Another option that isn’t quite an official ski lesson is to have someone who’s better than you give you some pointers while you’re on the snow. I have helped many beginner and intermediate skiers over the years. Most of these people were friends and family who didn’t want to pay for a lesson but needed one, and I was happy to help.
If you have a friend or family member who’s willing to take the time to show you some pointers or even just spend time with you on the snow, take advantage of that because it can be a very comfortable situation where it’s easy to improve. Just make sure you get along with the person because learning is never easy and can become frustrating. A little patience and a lot of practice go a long way.
Skiing with other skiers who are better than you is another way to improve your abilities. Consider that an advanced ‘trial by fire’ sort of situation. Being with other skiers is always fun, and when they’re just above your skill level, you’ll be challenged to push your limits a little bit and do things you probably wouldn’t do on your own. That helps you quickly improve.
Skiing lessons are a great way to advance your abilities and become more confident in the snow. While they do cost money, it’s more than worth it when you consider how difficult it is to teach yourself how to ski. If you want to improve quickly, lessons are your best option. No matter what level of skier you are, they can always help you become even better.
If you choose not to take ski lessons, you risk the chance of hitting a point where you become stuck and frustrated. You can also develop bad habits that will come back to affect your abilities later on. I took ski lessons for most of my childhood and I directly credit that with giving me my expert abilities today. If your goal is to be the best skier you can be, skiing lessons are vital.
Did you take skiing lessons when you started? Where did you take them and did they help? Let us know below.