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Best Ski School Advice - Family of Beginners

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So in Feb. half term I'll be going skiing with some friends who've never skied before, 2 adults skiing, an 11 year-old probably skiing and a 13 year-old boarding.

My gut feeling is that standard ski school will be best for them, especially given the mix of boarding and skiing but wondered if anyone thought private family lessons might be possible/a better option?

I'm trying to get them to do some time in a snow dome before we go but they are rather hockey obsessed so unlikely they will have any free weekends.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I can highly recommend the MK fridge and their private lessons. I took the kids for just an hour last September in readiness for their first trip to Norway over the New Year. The instructor was excellent, very personable and put my 7 and 11 year old at ease. To me it was good to get them over the worries and concerns while we were there (although the 7 year old was fearless on the slope he was nervous about putting everything on and starting off). All 4 of us were in the lesson and the kids had tumbles and the chance to get encouragement and support from us. If they’re in regular ski school then any initial worries won’t get supported well as they have 8-10 other kids to look after.

If you book before the end of Sept it’s quite cheap. I’m taking my partner to there on Sunday for an all day beginners snowboard course for £91 (10.15am-6pm) as she wants to learn it. I might spend a few hours skiing or boarding while she’s in there as it’s just £25 for 3 hours.

I think one of the key points for me was my daughter (11) ended up turning round accidentally and skiing backwards, fell over and somehow managed to get the ski on edge in between her legs as she fell over which really hurt her. She had a couple of minutes comforting and then the instructor taught her how to ski backwards and to the side so she could turn round again. She went from enjoying it to hating it to enjoying it again and was confident when she finally hit the real slopes.

If the resort has small groups then book these. They can be more expensive but not by a great amount. Whistler (where I used to live) used to have supergroups (no more than 3 skiers to an instructor) and I’ve seen some Alp resorts limit groups to 5. Otherwise they get lost in the 8-12 kids groups.

Also check lesson times. Some are only 90 minutes and for quick progress I think the 3 hour lessons are better.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
As I said snow dome lessons are really unlikely to happen - we're talking about a family where someone's playing hockey 5 days out of 7, and in Kent so 1.5hr each way to HH/2.5hr to MK. And given this is half term not expecting any of the ski school groups to be small, which is why I was looking at the economics and practicality of private lessons as a small, family group.
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@Mjit, just concentrate on finding a good ski school and book them in for a week of morning lessons.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mjit, do you now which resort you will be skiing at?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
If they are in Kent - They should go to at least one session (family session/lessons available) at the Chatham Dry ski slope (https://www.jnlchatham.co.uk/slopes/ski/])
Quote:
Private lessons are available at times to suit you, so long as we have an instructor available
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Mjit, making use of the summer discounts on lessons (be snowdome or dry ski slope would be a good idea) as that is outside of hockey seasons, lessons are much smaller and cheaper! My daughter is currently learning to snowboard in private lessons as they are working out at ~£20 a lessons at the moment and group lessons are on while she is horse riding Happy.

In terms of where to go holiday wise. First time I went as a child, we did all day lessons in Austria. My niece and nephew went for the first time last Feb and we did same with them which they got on with nicely (before they went they did a course of dry slope lessons).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I wouldn’t put them together- one will whine, one will be the bag carrier etc. put them into adult and child group lessons and let them have a break from each other. They can ski together in the afternoon.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
It would help if you gave us an idea of where you're going.

If France, I'd probably avoid ESF at half term. All the ski schools fill up quickly at half term and ESF tend to be less strict about keeping the class numbers manageable. So avoid ESF if possible and book early.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We're going to Oz en Oisans so a bit limited on ski school choice and yes, likely to book up early for half term, but that's the reason I'm trying to get my advice sorted, so I can poke them to book as soon as bookings open.

We're actually a bigger group and one of them learnt to ski with EFS in Oz and was very happy with his lessons/the coaching and care their then 3/4 year-old recieved, also with EFS. Of course that was when they could still go outside school holidays so it was dead quiet!

NickyJ wrote:
@Mjit, making use of the summer discounts on lessons (be snowdome or dry ski slope would be a good idea) as that is outside of hockey seasons


Nice try but the summer is just outside the winter hockey season. The summer hockey season is still in full flow though, so both parents are playing most Tuesdays, the youngest plays I think once during the week/the eldest 4 times between school and county, and both have club training, coached by their dad on Sundays.

Like I said, they are a little hockey obsessed Very Happy
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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@Mjit, Happy tbf when I was able to play (before damaging my reconstructed ACL) I used to play in the summer league as well as winter league so probably should have guessed.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Agree with @Nadenoodlee, go for standard ski school rather than private. Kids have to get on with it and adults get to focus on themselves. If your friend liked the ESF then go for it as the service provided is very resort specific. In our resort they also offer min-collectif during the school holiday - which gives smaller classes, I'd not be overly bothered though with an 11 and 13 year old. They are used to school trips and needing to do what they are told. I often wonder if some British folks do not like ESF as it is what it says on the tin - French ski school - and so uses French teaching methods. There are options in each resort, so it is your call but they will also be busy in half term. Our experience with ESF was/is fantastic. Ours graduated at 9/10 but all of their instructors still look for them on the slopes, say hello and comment on how they have progressed style wise. Last Easter we caught up with one old instructor in a linked resort. He was skiing back on his own and so opted to ski back with our big group, showing them new routes and having a laugh.
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