What keeps you from taking ski lessons?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by mister moose, Jan 10, 2019 at 6:48 AM.

  1. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    In another thread I read this and it's something I've heard in various iterations over and over:

    "As for me, I've had one lesson in my life, when I was 12, and after 37 years from that first day I still keep telling myself one of these days I'll take another. I can get down most trails pretty well but my mogul skiing is barely adequate and I'm sure I have flaws all over my technique."

    Why is that? Why do so many intermediate (and advanced intermediate) skiers not take ski lessons?

    Sure, it's some combination of time, money, and expectations. But I'd be interested in hearing specifics. Many skiers start out describing their skill level as "I can get down anything..."

    Well, I can type out any word, but I haven't sold any novels recently. I'd need some guidance. No one I know aspires to 'just getting down'.

    Are your ski days so limited that time in a lesson seems like too big an infringement?
    Is the cost too high?
    Is your expected result too low to bother with?
    Have you had one or more bad experiences and gave up?
    Underneath it all, you're basically satisfied with your current ability level?
    Something else?

    It's a bit of a paradox - you want to get better, but don't seek out a method to get there. Most posters here are passionate about the sport, yet it seems many don't seek formal instruction. If you want to get better, but haven't taken a lesson in a long time, why is that?
     
    Jean-Benoit, Slim, Ron and 3 others like this.
  2. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    Time and money. But I swear my daughter will take a lesson on Saturday.
     
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  3. Coach13

    Coach13 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Great topic and I’m anxious to see the responses on this. I’m a person who loves to learn and take lessons but I still don’t do it often. I did several private lessons early on with great results I think but kind of moved away from things over time. In the mid-Atlantic I think it got pretty stale after a while because I was to the point where I really needed to ski different snow conditions and terrain that didn’t exist at my local hills. When we travel out west I will usually take a lesson or 2 which is fun but probably questionable as to benefit in the long run. I always say that if I was in Colorado or some other mountain area full time that I’d dedicate my time to being a much better skier and do lessons on a regular basis but that’s a few years off.
     
  4. socalgal

    socalgal Out on the slopes Skier

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    For me, I love the idea of lessons, but my main hinderance is cost and time. I really wish there were more combo packs for lessons like there are for lift tickets. Or a more substantial discount for being a passholder. I know some mountains offer this, but not the ones I frequent :(
     
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  5. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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  6. martyg

    martyg Getting off the lift Industry Insider

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    GREAT topic!

    Let me add this: If you really want to improve your skiing, start teaching. Even at one day per week, you'll likely score a season's pass. That time on beginner slopes doing wonky little drills? That will improve your skiing tremendously. It is all about basics, and the better you can execute those basics, the more proficient you will be at your craft.

    Most importantly, you will be able to access clinics from some of the best in the business, at rates far lower than "lessons". Each region has a PSIA Division and its opwn criteria for certification, with Rocky Mountain likely being the most stringent - but also holding the best clinics.

    On the downside.... At some hills, instructors are treated like shit by management / ownership. This is unfortunate and short sighted (Yeah, I am biased, but I also retired early from building successful companies, so I must have done something right). Ski instructors spend the most time with guests, and we are the best brand ambassadors for the resort, and sport.

    Also note that as per OSHA's 2017 incident reports, working at a ski hill is the second most dangerous occupation out there - more dangerous than LE or firefighter.
     
  7. SSSdave

    SSSdave life is short precious ...don't waste it Skier

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    ElevatorShaft_011906.jpg Great question so ought be a lot of input. Over nearly 4 decades of skiing, I've never taken a ski lesson though doing so my first decade would have made some difference. During that first decade, my main issue really was a series of burly skis and cheap loose boots unfit for a really light male. But as someone able to read and digest technical info read a lot of skiing technique books including Jobert's and Lito's, watched ski racing that was often on tv, skied Alpine and Squaw in the era bumps were everywhere, and quickly developed good upper and lower body separation. So was satisfied with the skill level I had attained and from that point as a weekend rec skier was just interested in fun not challenge or improvement. However like most that do so it was mostly about doing so by what felt right on whatever ski at the time. Many of the best skiers of this er were never formally trained though all would probably agree a good biomechanics ski coach could help them some if that mattered.

    In this era am currently using a 3 ski quiver and looking for a 4th mid fat to fill a hole. My technique is loose, variable, unrefined, probably not always pretty or technically correct or most efficient but hey am an old guy having fun.

     
    Dave Petersen likes this.
  8. WheatKing

    WheatKing Ice coast carveaholic Skier

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    Time Money and well.. i don't really care..

    Usually i'm getting the kids to/from the hill with their gear for their lessons.. cause well, they need em. I tried teaching them and well, kids just don't listen.. so they learn from the "experts".. until such time as they're competent on the majority of the hills.. then they can decide if they want lessons or just go have fun.

    I do ok.. i ski everything relatively proficient.. and when i do get to go skiing with buddies or by myself.. i don't care to take a lesson. I probably have a host of issues but as long as i'm having fun.. there isn't a problem.
     
  9. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Have to agree with martyg. Become an instructor. The CSIA has similar programs too. And usually most schools offer "sessions" with the pros. I will say that I've done 2 weekend clinics at WB. They were great as we don't get the snow, trees, terrain that they have here in east that often. Also skiing with Lady_Salina helped.

    I just looked into a Boomer Camp at Tremblant. It's a 3 day clinic with one instructor and only 5 participants. Too costly!! I could take a couple of private lessons for that. Or the L3 ski course from the CSIA. So I would have to agree with "it's too expensive" option.!!
     
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  10. Coach13

    Coach13 Getting off the lift Skier

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    With all due respect, if the answer to “What keeps you from taking ski lessons?” is become a ski instructor, that may be indicative as to why most people don’t take lessons.
     
    Sibhusky, VickieH, Slasher and 6 others like this.
  11. river-z

    river-z searching for seasons Skier

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    Money is definitely an issue for me.

    BUT I personally enjoy figuring things out for myself. I figured out surfing by just going out there and doing it. I figured out fly fishing the same way. And I figured out skiing well enough to carve adequately and feel plenty comfortable skiing double-blacks on powder days (which I did last weekend in the Sierra). My main strategy is to read a lot about a topic and then go out there and do it till I get it.
     
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  12. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    For the first 4 years into my 6 years of skiing, I took lessons 2-3x times for a 10-12 day season. I would also prepare for the lessons by studying the Elate Media Videos. It gave me (more than) enough to practice when not in lessons.

    The last couple of years w/o lessons have been more fruitful in that -
    1. I've started skiing with better skiers (current/former racers/L3 instructors) and their tidbits have borne more fruit,
    2. I've got a enough fundamentals (via miles/time on snow) now that I can sometimes see what I need to do from videos, or self evaluation, to correct or re-train myself.

    That said, it's still a goal of mine to take a lesson 1-2x per (10-15 day) season, but if #1 keeps happening, that need may be fulfilled by fellow pugsters.

    (Yeah, I've also a family that distracts and money is usually hard to part with... ;-)
     
  13. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Mostly money, but also I'm happy enough with my current skiing ability (although there's always room for improvement).
     
    Slim likes this.
  14. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    The expected outcome is zero additional enjoyment and huge additional self criticism.

    And I have a mountain of paid-for lessons to show me that the expected outcome is highly likely to be the same as all the previous outcomes.
     
  15. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    It's sort of the same, a lot of us just might not be motivated to take a couple hours from our ski day and pay an extra couple hundred bucks. The idea did get me thinking about teaching a the local hill, but again, the motivation factor.
     
  16. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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    There's diminishing returns. If I do nothing but lessons, there's not really a chance to practice perfectly to make the new info automatic. And it feels like a waste of $$ to pay for someone to watch you practice...if the lesson really worked, I should be able to keep practicing independently, no?

    When I have felt 'stuck' on something, that's when I take a lesson. But I already know what I need to work on... why do I need to pay an instructor to hear the same things again? If I can change things on my own that make skiing feel weird and perhaps overall better, then I don't need to take another lesson yet.

    In general, there is a limit for me as to how much gain I get out of lessons. I only get 6-15 days on snow a year. Taking more than one lesson per ~5 days on snow feels like I didn't really get a chance to practice what I learned.

    Other reason to not take a lesson is that I won't have a chance to practice. Like, if I take a lesson on the last day of the ski season, it's can be fun for that day, but completely useless for next season.
     
  17. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    my in laws were just here. Terminal intermediates, level 5-6. They ski about 5-7 days per season (avg) and have ZERO interest in improving. they like to shuffle around and take in the scenery, shared family time and the enjoyment of skiing. None even have interest in getting boots setup correctly. Yes, it kills me :)

    I totally agree that resorts should give group lessons at a loss (to the mtn, not instructor) on days when there aren't enough paid lessons and they have instructors sitting around with nothing to do. I am sure they could structure some kind of shortened lesson or focused lesson plan teaching one or 2 aspects. I have to believe it would lead to more lessons and more days on the snow..
     
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  18. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    MONEY

    :micdrop:
     
  19. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    for those who say money, is it money or priorities? Devils advocate, what are you spending on beer or another pair of ski's when you could do one group lesson and take valuable info that lasts a lifetime? Steamboat has a 10-3pm lesson for $200
     
  20. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Expert...only in my mind Skier

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    Maybe the next time you quote me in another thread you could tag me like this @mister moose to let me know?

    You're taking "just getting down" a bit too literally. Let me clarify...

    I say without ego that I ski well. I get complimented on occasion for my skiing but I refuse to call myself an expert because while I can ski steeps, groomed or not, fly down groomers, carve turns of all shapes and so on I struggle in the moguls. Why? Some of it is technique but mostly I'm out of shape and overweight. I don't advertise that typically because it's embarrassing. Because of those facts I struggle with the physical requirements of skiing moguls.

    When I say I have flaws all over my technique I'm talking about things like, maybe I don't always have my foot in the right position (forward or back) at turn initiation, or maybe I tip my skis to initiate the turn but not enough, or my angulation isn't as strong as it should be, or when I get tired I end up in the backseat sometimes, or I get lazy with pole plants.. Etc. and so on.

    As for why I never took lessons, that's easy.

    1. Money in the early years
    2. Later years I've only been able to get maybe 10-15 days a year in.
    3. Because I have a great time even though I may have flaws and I'd rather spend those precious few days on-slope with my son or just skiing.

    Sorry for the rant, but I don't appreciate the implication that a quickly typed phrase "just getting down" means I'm satisfied or that I'm not above intermediate.
     
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