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How long did you do lessons for?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mrs H and I did 5 weeks of ski=ing lessons before striking out for a week on our own - is this unusual?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ian Hopkinson, 25 years, still having lessons. Not all the time obviously, but a couple every season. Basically I get a private lesson, practice what they've told me to, until I think that I've got it right, then get another lesson. Repeat process as required.
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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?
Ian, same as Kramer really, although i haven't ben skiing anything like as long as he has. Only 23 years, and still no good.
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Also skiing for 25 years and still having lessons. Unfortunately I stopped having lessons after three years and I'm still trying to undo all the bad habits I developed. Returned to ski school about 6 or 7 years ago and since then I've have had a mix of private lessons and classes. Now I try to have a week's ski school each year with www.snoworks.co.uk Just wish I'd not been so conceited that I thought I no longer needed lessons (although in my defence I was a stupid 16 year old at the time).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skied for nearly 30 years and am always trying to improve technically. I take lessons, ski with top skiers/instructors who pass on tips, read, listen, anything to try to get that bit better. You can never know too much.
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I did 3 weeks of lessons before trying a week without. Since then it's been mostly private lessons/clinics most times I've been. I also did a very useful series of lessons on dry after I'd done 5 weeks on snow. I've still got a long way to go learning to ski but also if I don't take lessons I often don't realise that I'm reverting to my old weaknesses, or developing new ones.

What I'd like to know is if the very experienced skiers who posted above still need lessons, how about instructors? Do they continue to NEED lessons? Who puts their bad habits right? (or don't they have any wink ?) Is it a question of healing thyself? I'd be interested to hear what any Snowheads who are professional instructors do.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
marc gledhill, I'm not nearly as good as I would like to be either. In fact for someone with 25 years skiing experience I would say that I'm pretty rubbish.
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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!
10 years, and still taking lessons.
slikedges, the instructors (certainly in some of the US resorts) do spend time skiing together and working on technique. At the EpicSki Academy this year (will I ever shut up about it?) My group had two level 1 instructors in it as students.
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slikedges, in general one of the duties of higher level instructors is to give lessons to the lower level instructors. But as for who gives lessons to the highest level instructors . . . no idea. Maybe they just watch each other ski and give tips?
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'm aware of the need for continuing education and we're playing on carrying on with privaste lessons! My question was really directed to that specific early period when we scarcely skied independently...is that common?

(Don't I sound snooty there snowHead )
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I had group lessons for the first two years (four weeks), then went independent. Had a private lesson on the following holiday, and another week in a group two years after that.

I'd like to go back into lessons, but must admit that cost is a factor - no lessons = one extra skiing holiday every third year. Having said that, we will try to get a priovate session in on the holiday we're abot to reschedule having cancelled this week - maybe even look at going with equity or the like who inclide lessons in the price
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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.
Ian Hopkinson, Don't stop ! Like just about everyone else on this thread...I still take lessons.

Been skiing for 20 years, teaching for 15 (on snow and plastic). You'll get better value from private lessons/clinics on snow, rather than regular group lessons, or with a specialist UK instructor (Snoworks etc). Don't forget your local artificial slope either !
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Ian Hopkinson wrote:
I'm aware of the need for continuing education and we're playing on carrying on with privaste lessons! My question was really directed to that specific early period when we scarcely skied independently...is that common?


It was for me, but we tended to have two week trips. Class lessons for the first week and independent skiing the second.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
slikedges, on my last trip I took a private lesson and the bloke who went out with me was a Canadian level 4 instructor, I'm not too sure what that means but he was fairly high up in the system. As we skied he was pointing out defects in other peoples styles - including other more junior instructors. At one point he stopped to talk to another instructor to pass on tips.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'm about to go skiing for my third year - 1 week per year. Being a student in London, cash is a little tight and other than a couple of hours on a dry slope some two years ago, I've not had any lessons. I'm planning on staying on piste. So my question is, am I in danger of developing really bad habits which are going to take a long time to fix by not having lessons? In a couple of years I'll be perfectly happy to have lessons after I graduate and some pennies start arriving. I'm just wondering whether you think I should go the extra mile and have lessons now before I develop bad habits? Obviously, the point of having lessons is to improve technique and become a better skier, and I would certainly chase those goals too.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
matthew, yes is the short answer. it's easier (and cheaper) to learn correctly rather thasn develop bad habits and try to wipe them out

turning noble thoughts into reality is a damn sight harder Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We have been skiing for 9 years and we are lucky enough to get away twice a year usually - I'm not a great skier (too nervous). We didn't have any lessons for the first couple of years after we initially learn't - big mistake in my opinion - I might be more confident if we had. However, we now book a couple of private lessons for our first week of the season and work on what we have been taught. Had great fun learning to mogul in Alpe D - would't probably have attempted it without the lessons. There is always something to learn or to improve on.
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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?
Two evenings on Brassingbourne Barracks dry ski 'slope' before my first skiing trip 7 or 8 years ago scince then none! I might go on a telemark course as I have taken up telemarking this year and am finding it hard to telemark down anything steep and steep moguls on my nordic touring skis were a real pain even sticking to paralell turns. Did manage to telemark all the way down an easy red at Alpe D'Huez (Alpette into Oz en Osians) on the last afternoon. Was skiing my AT skis most of the time, but in the afternoons if we were skiing with the younger kids and were sticking mainly to blues and greens I used my nordic touring skis (Fischer Boundless waxing, Cripsi CXT boots). I could telemark down the easy stuff, but if started to get steep and or moguly I had to switch back to parallel turns. Did some blacks on the teles but they had been pisted - wouldn't have wanted to attempt Tunnel on the teles though had no problems doing it on the AT skis.
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matthew,
I can't say I'm a fan of group lessons except when a rank beginner or if it's a specific clinic or just fine tuning, but then I haven't had group lessons for a while. If class sizes were limited to 6 then they'd be ok, but at 10 or 12 as often they are, you learn only by imitation - and you can do that without paying wink I feel that what lessons need to do is to offer you a more personal analysis of where your technique is weak and then offer you a solution. I don't know how much of a natural you are, how relaxed you feel skiing, but I think a lot of bad habits do get ingrained early on from a defensive posture due to suboptimal technique, particularly if you're young(-ish) fit and like going fast. They still creep back into my skiing first chance they get now! I guess I'm saying go the extra mile snowHead

And think about 3 one hour long private lessons over the week instead of a daily session of group lessons.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
slikedges, you should try the ESA - group sizes are limited to 4 or 5, and they aren't like your standard classes either.
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Still taking lessons (mainly group), and I cant imagine I'll give them up. I generally find them fun as well as instructive.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Wear The Fox Hat wrote:
you should try the ESA - group sizes are limited to 4 or 5, and they aren't like your standard classes either.

Are group lessons worth the money? Or, to put it another way, does the amount of instruction/learning/improvment you get out of a private lesson outway the extra cost of a private 1on1 lesson? I realise this is a somewhat ridiculous question as it's all down to a) who else is in your group b) how well the instructor interacts with the group c) how much extra private lessons cost d) how well you get on with the private instructor e) everything else. So maybe just from peoples' past experiences? I guess that really what I'm asking is is it more efficient to have private 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!
matthew, one of the things I like about small group lessons, compared to 1 to 1s is that if you have others there, they may ask questions you were thinking about, but didn't ask, or of questions you hadn't even considered, but that can help you. Where you have something which is pre-organised, rather than you turning up on day one for a ski-off, and where you have the cream of instructors, rather than just whoever is available, it does make a big difference.
Also, part of the problem with package tour instruction is that you may have people in the class who are there, not because of an eagerness to improve, but maybe because it was free with their booking, or because their SO is having some, so they are doing it to put in the time.
Where you have a group of eager students and a good instructor, then you have a great learning environment.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
matthew, Did you say you are at Uni. - Join the ski club there and do some racing....that'll be the best investment you can make in your skiing, and it 's fun too, Twisted Evil
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Group or private? It depends on what you want. If you want focused feedback on specific technical aspects of skiing and perhaps to cover a lot of different points a private lesson might be best. If you want some feedback on your personal performance and lots of opportunity to be taken to appropriate terrain where you can practise your newly learnt technique then perhaps group lessons are best. At the moment I prefer group lessons giving me about 15 hours of tuition in a week. I find this gives plenty of time for personal feedback from the instructor, as well as plenty of time to be taken on appropriate terrain to embed these skills into my skiing.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Wear The Fox Hat, My group lessons are max 4 people (lift priority too)!

Do ski teachers take lessons? YES. but they may not be in the same formal way as holiday skiers. Often we are (I'm talking about Nationals here) sensitive enough to change something on our own, or a friend or colleague makes a comment, or we go ski-ing with other instructors etc. However the need to demonstrate constantly also helps our ski-ing, as we must be correct for our students.

matthew, I appreciate that as a student money is hard to come by, but without lessons your bad habits will become terrible and you'll spend loads more putting them right - what's more you'll probably have to go back to square one to do it. How many beers does a private lesson cost? OK lots if you go to the posh expensive resorts, but in a cheaper resort? Not many - probably one beer less per day would do it. (I may be being unfair here and assuming you're like most students .........)

ski, The problem with most Uni Ski Clubs is that they're more interested in beer than ski-ing!
ski holidays     
 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.
easiski, and your problem is ? Confused
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
easiski, yes I appreciate that. However, at the moment, I'm going skiing with my gf and her family and they do like to go to the posher places, last year we were at verbier, this year at nendaz. I don't get to give any input on where we should go unfortunately. In a couple of years though I should be able to go away just with my gf and then we will be able to go to more affordable places.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One day of lessons. 15 years of skiing (limited race coaching for part of a year). One week of guiding that wasn't really a lesson. 15 more years. Then, PSIA clinics. I have learned more in the last year than I did in 32 previous seasons. I have transformed my skiing. Amazing... But, it was the quality and focus of instruction, plus on-line conversations all mixed together.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ssh, thanks. I mean, I know you didn't specifically name me as one of the people who has brought you on so much this past year, but we both know it's true... Wink Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Wear The Fox Hat, yes, my friend, we both know what is true... Twisted Evil snowHead Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ski, I don't think ski-ing and alcohol mix! (If you think that's a problem). Puzzled
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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?
Opps...!!! No lessons bar 3 on a dry slope at the very beginning and one private on my very first week..we told the instructor we wanted to learn paralell, he responded by skiing backwards better than we could ski forwards...but he was Italian..!!
Next private lesson was to learn to carve 2 years later and what he gave us to practise in a two hour lesson took us weeks to get to grips with.

Not against lessons at all but after a while you know what you should and should not be doing, you only have to watch people for that. And would I swap my experiences I've had over the years. Well, no I wouldn't, I think I've done the right thing but it is a trade off.
I may or may not be a better skier had I had more lessons but then I probably would not have done the type of things I've done.
There is never enough time on the slopes.

The biggest factor in improvement for me is physical condition and as I made a big effort on condition this year I made big strides IMO
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Isn't it stating the obvious that a good instructor will make any ability skier better? From complete beginners through to the current racers on the World Cup circuit? As JT said, it is a trade-off between time spent improving your technique and time spent free-skiing, but for me a good lesson is just as rewarding as a day in untracked fresh (of course, these two things are not mutually exclusive).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
JT, for me, I believe that what I'm able to get out of my free skiing is considerably enhanced by investing a proportion of the available time in lessons. There's no way I would have progressed as quickly teaching myself by observation and trial and error. Perhaps that is viable for someone with greater natural ability, but I think I would have spent years terrified of ice, avoiding moguls, floundering in powder, etc, rather than enjoying the terrain and conditions as they come.
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First week- had somethign mad like 5 hrs a day of lessons (group), Second week skied 3hrs in the morning in lessons then my uncle took us here there and everywhere all afternoon around Alpe D'Huez, from then on skied on our own with sporadic weeks of group lessons here and there. Im the first to admit I hate lessons as I get very easily wound up by people who are scared ( yes im mean) however I tend to (really) like most of the intstructors wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
laundryman,

Yes, I agree, but we didn't avoid any of that and being terrified only works for me if I know I can't do it - in a skiing sense!
Generally I may get apprehensive about a new route as you don't know what to expect but the only thing that I can say terrifies me
is the exposure. Rocks below tends to concentrate the mind, and you are trying to go around them or you need take some sort of precaution. And if we on a hill like that we should be prepared etc!
I am at the stage where I know what I can do, what I can take on. And I have good days and bad days and sometimes it may not be pretty but mostly I am pretty confident. And all our excursions over the years had given me this confidence.
I can go piste skiing with very competent skiers who look fantanstic but get them up on a ridge and it may be a different ball game.
There are plenty better skiers than me but we know what we can do and it is our past experimental forays that have built up a solid...er, capability.
That is the trade off that I refer to. I may be a technically better skier, but where..??

As I say I am not against lessons and would recommend them to anyone, but each to their own. If anyone is unhappy with their skiing then get booked up. I am more likely to get a guide booked up. And as I have said before they can be an education in themselves. This is why I am not so hung up on my technique in that I don't know what to call some modern turns. I don't care, I can do the ones I need to do. I have taken note of the discussions on this board and am now looking at more economical turns as at 4200 plus it is a bit thin up there but you gotta go there to know what works.
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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!
Ian, I have just done 4 days (of 4hrs/day) of private tuition in Lech (my 7th week skiing). I think I've had enough of ski lessons for a while. I'm exhausted! The instructor I had was really good - improved my skiing - but he really made us work hard. I mean, why come down the mountain on the pistes, when you can go in a straight line from top to bottom ? He decided that I needed to learn to ski moguls (why?) and we spent many hours doing this. I don't want to be good enough to ski a mogul black run. I can ski the reds and blacks if needs be. We're off to the 3V on Sat. and I see I've booked us a private lesson for 4hrs on the Sun. with NewGen. starting at 9.00am Sad
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
We're off to Oburgurgl on Saturday - no lessons booked although taking the snowboarding padding and leaving it open as to whether we book one later in the week. 4 hours of lessons in a day is a bit much for me!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Since I work in education, I'm a strong advocate of taking lessons, and in lifelong learning. (Actually, education is largely wasted on the young). So, when I started, I took a 3-day programme and backed it up with lots of practice. (Down the same bunny run over and over again to get to parallel turns as soon as possible).

Now, 8 years down the line, I usually go for a 2-week ski holiday, and take a 3-day programme in the first week (I invariably ski in North America, and I need that long to make the jet-lag worth while). This gives me time to refine what I've learnt during the second week.

When I take a shorter trip (like my 3-day stopover in Colorado earlier this year), I generally don't take lessons, but just concentrate on having fun.

The 3-day programmes across the pond are usually high-quality and small-group, and if they're not as high-end as the ESA (next year maybe, Foxy: depends on the timetable!) I've yet to experience anything better in the context of a group lesson.
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