What keeps you from taking ski lessons?

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

  1. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Obviously. Someone who has never skied has a lot to learn. Once they master the snowplow, that is one LESS thing to learn.

    ?
    That is exactly what I mean by law of diminishing returns.
    For a beginner, investing one day in lessons pays a huge return. You go from barely surviving the bunny hill too cruising the green runs.
    For an advanced skier, as you mention, it is far more difficult to refine their skills enough to make a meaningful difference in their skiing experience. Investing one day will not make a big diffence, in other words, the return on that investment is small.
     
  2. Slasher

    Slasher Booting up Skier

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    Let me approach this from another angle: how many of us take continuously take lessons in any other activity? My guess is "very few". We take just enough golf/tennis/running/cycling lessons to get us going, then we just chill and have a good time. So why do we expect skiers to be any different?
     
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  3. Ron

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

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    I will take exception to that to a degree. Again relevance, I have been working on some very specific movements that actually have significant impact on my skiing but to do that movement, it requires a lot of understanding and time on the snow. I do agree that I dont need as many lessons as when I was an intermediate or advanced skier but I have no issues skiing with those who have mastered those movements and learning from them. I will learn the movement pattern and then work on it.
     
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  4. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Yes we are talking about private lessons. Yes, for all day. In the US I have never heard of short private lesson, only half day (at 3/4 price;-) ) and full day. In France I have taken a private 1.5 hour lesson during their lunch time(group lessons there have a 2+ hour lunch break).

    In most places I have been the group lessons are aimed at beginners or low intermediates, The groups I have seen didn’t look inviting. Lot’s of people, very little feedback.
    Also, with 4 of us adults the private lesson is usually about the same price as 4x a group lesson. With 2 of us, it’s still more but more feedback too. When I have done solo lessons I have done the one day “camps”, in other words, group lessons. But those were only offered at specific dates.
    So if I say $700 for a private lesson, + tax +$100 tip, for the two of us, thats heading towards $900. If we can find the time, we can easily find 2 plane ticket for that price.


    A 2 hour group lesson? How lunch do you learn in that time?
    120 minutes:
    5 minutes to get moving(assuming they start on time)
    20 minutes to ride the lifts up
    5 minutes for the instructor to explain
    That leaves 90 minutes for 6 of you to take turns skiing by an instructor and getting feedback
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 1:23 PM
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  5. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Hmm, we must be misunderstanding as I don’t think our views of learning are actually any different. I’ll have to come out to the Boat again and ride a chair with you @Ron to discuss this in person. Surprisingly, the other days I saw tickets to Yampa(direct from Minneapolis) nearly same price as to Denver...
     
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  6. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    Golf and tennis lessons are probably as popular if not more so than skiing lessons. Just about any country club, tennis facility, resort I've ever been to has tennis or gold lessons if they have a golf course or tennis courts.

    Lots of folks who participate in triathlons have coaches. Most people who practice a martial art do so with an instructor.

    The thing about skiing is that it is mostly done infrequently. Either both in time between or number of times. You can ski 8-10 days a year, all during two months. You then have 355 days, ten other months, that you dont ski. That means you loose a lot of your gains and that it takes a loooong time to get good at it.
     
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  7. geepers

    geepers Getting on the lift Skier

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    Maybe ask the instructor what the drill is intended to do for your skiing.

    Really, the instructor should be letting the students know not only how to the drill but why (e.g. "...doing this will help you build grip on the snow earlier in the turn") and be providing some sort of cue as to what a successful implementation will feel like (e.g. "....when your foot placement is correct it will feel less effort to roll onto the new edges." ). After watching you do the drill they should be asking questions (e.g. "Do you notice increased grip earlier in the turn? Was your turn shape rounder?") base on what result they saw.

    Unless you understand something of the why and have some cue to feel, some result to expect, it will be hard to take that back into your skiing.
     
  8. Ron

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

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    Come on out! We had a great time last trip, oh, and bring another foot of snow with ya'
     
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  9. geepers

    geepers Getting on the lift Skier

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    It works ok for me.

    I tend to take at most one or two key things from a lesson. That doesn't take a huge amount of time and in fact I find if the lesson goes much longer than 2 hours, even in a group, I will not want more info until I've spent some time solo consolidating those key things.
     
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  10. Slasher

    Slasher Booting up Skier

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    Lesson popularity is not a direct indicator of lesson participation rate. I still contend that many people in other sports also do not take lessons.
     
  11. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    Is lesson popularity not basically the same thing as lesson participation? :huh: How can popularity be defined without taking into consideration participation? Does not participation / demand, or lack of, define whether something is popular / in demand?

    Some sports just lend themselves to lessons more than others. Hundreds of thousands of people take tennis and golf lessons. There are six squash courts at my club. At least one or two courts are always occupied with lessons. We have five golf pros.They are usually booked solid with lessons June, July and August (when most folks play). Same goes for tennis. Does that mean everyone who plays those sports is taking lessons. Of course not :doh:. No need to contend. It's common sense :)
     
  12. Thread Starter
    TS
    mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    Not sure what that is, but I'm interested.
     
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  13. Jersey Skier

    Jersey Skier aka RatherPlayThanWork or Gary Skier

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    After reading through this thread I just spent 5 minutes researching what type of lesson I could possibly take up at Hunter or Windham on any given Wednesday. Really not much to choose from unless I want a private lesson. Windham has a bunch of interesting options which are apparently sold out for the season. Hunter has a mogul clinic that will be available "if at least 5 people show up" for it. Otherwise it is cancelled. Not sure I want to pay $120/hour plus tip for a private.

    So you can add that as a reason I haven't taken lessons in over 30 years.
     
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  14. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    And one hour is almost worthless. You want two hours, which including a tip would likely run you close to $300 at either Hunter or Windham.
     
  15. Corgski

    Corgski Putting on skis Skier

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    For $400 dollars a day, I can get taught all that in a private lesson by a North Face sponsored athlete who has several first ascents and books to their name. The athlete also gets most of that money. At a ski resort I will pay much more for an instructor who will get a fraction of the money and may also have very limited experience themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 2:17 PM
  16. Slasher

    Slasher Booting up Skier

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    Using your squash example. 1.5 (average of "one or two") out of 6 active courts being used for lessons = 25% lesson participation rate, aka 75% non-participation. Popular or not popular? It's subjective.

    Using your golf example, there are 5 pros booked at any given time during peak season. Let's say the driving range accommodates another 20 people, and the course accommodates another 72 (foursomes on all 18 holes). That's about a 5% lesson participation rate. Popular or not popular? Again, it's subjective.

    Glass half-full or empty? My point is still I don't think it's drastically different between skiing and other mainstream sports.
     
  17. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    certain they know how to MA and teach people because they have first ascents....translation some of the worst coaches I have ever seen are "pro" with the exception of Glen Plake. If they had no name, no one would ever book a lesson with 99 percent of "pro" skiers.

    I am also not saying PSIA instructors or PMTS instructors are any better, there are L3 and Ed staff member I know I would never recommend to anyone and some I know wont mesh with some people.

    I do agree with you the money, curious where can you ski with north face athlete for 400 a day?
     
  18. VickieH

    VickieH Out on the slopes Skier

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    From a presentation many years ago on business/process changes:

    "People will change when the pain of not changing is greater than the pain to change"
     
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  19. LKLA

    LKLA Out on the slopes Skier

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    You said "Lesson popularity is not a direct indicator of lesson participation rate." So popularity and participation are not related? Is lesson popularity not basically the same thing as lesson participation? How can popularity be defined without taking into consideration participation? Does not participation / demand, or lack of, define whether something is popular / in demand?

    You said "I still contend that many people in other sports also do not take lessons." But yet, there seems to be a fair amount of demand for lessons. Vail just reported ski school revenue was up over 9% (they did $190 million in lesson revenue last season). Hundreds of thousands of people take tennis and golf lessons on a regular basis. As an example I stated my experience based over two decades related to squash golf and tennis. Three sports. Btw, your assumptions are wrong. You incorrectly assume the other four squash courts are occupied. They are not. You also incorrectly assume the driving range can accommodate another 20 people. It can not. Maybe another 5-8 at most.

    You said that you don't think "it's drastically different between skiing and other mainstream sports." Yet, some sports lend themselves to have more lesson participation (fencing, sailing, skiing, golf) and some not so much (running, basketball, baseball, cycling).
     
  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Honestly from what I saw this past holiday at Vail/BC most of the lessons are just expensive "daycare" on the hill.

    Several people I know (wont mention any names) pay (directly) former instructors (from South America, that no longer work at Vail) to have them "teach" their kids and significant others on the hill during their entire vacation (10-14 days) and for them its MUCH cheaper than paying Vail for the lessons directly and the "instructors" get much more money. So some people have indeed gotten tired of the Vail ski school model and found alternatives.

    That said, after a certain point one really needs advanced instruction to improve one's skiing. That means real time motion analysis and other teaching tools. AFAIK Vail et al do not offer that in their ski school for their guests. They still do the same thing, send you out on the hill with an instructor that shows you around the resort and gives you tips.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, please.
     
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