Would you consider yourself a good skier? Would you consider yourself a great skier? Even if you are a seasoned pro you know that there is always room for improvement and that there is a ski instructor for everyone. You’ve booked a ski holiday, and consider yourself ready to hit the slopes from day one… but how many bad habits have you picked up over the years? The truth is, we can always be better and we can always find new challenges that will excel our capabilities and open up new experiences.
Instruction doesn’t end at being signed off by ski school, saying you’re ready to enjoy your holiday. There are plenty of advanced classes out there, delivered by top-level, professionals. These instructors will assess you, go through your technique with a fine-toothed comb, to pick out the bad habits and show you exactly how to take the next step to becoming an exceptional skier. Your speed, style and control will improve significantly and you will thoroughly enjoy the process of becoming one of the stand out skiers on the slopes.
Perhaps you are already a fantastic piste skier, what about free-style courses? Everyone has seen some impressive people in the park but why not give it a try yourself? You might already be pretty savvy at hitting a kicker and landing with a smile on your face but have you ever pictured yourself doing a backflip and stomping it into the piste. Maybe rails are your thing, you can progress onto a 360 rail slide with the sunshine in the background…pretty fitting for cool photograph wouldn’t you say?
One aspect of skiing which certainly benefits from local instruction is off-piste and backcountry. There’s no better feeling than cutting through an open powder field or slaloming your way down a perfectly poised tree run. It can also be very educational as your ski instructor will teach you about the terrain, snow types and how to spot risky areas. You can also learn how to use life-saving equipment, like a transceiver, properly and what to do in the event of an avalanche. The general thinking is that heading off piste is for the most advanced skiers, but actually that’s not true. As long as you can control your turns and speed you are ready.
One-on-one or a group lesson? The general rule of thumb is the more one on one time you have with an instructor; the more positive impact a lesson will have on your technique. That said if you have a group of skiers or boarders who are at a similar level, then a group lesson can have its benefits too. While your instructor will head home at the end of the day, if you and your buddies have filmed each other during the lesson you can then de-construct each other’s style during après and remind each other of what was taught for the rest of the week. While this may not be the most effective approach, it will likely be good fun and get the banter going.
Whatever your preference is, there is always room for improvement. After all medal winning Olympians have coaches so why can’t you? However, don’t waste your time trawling the web, or leave it to luck once you’re in resort: a service like Ongosa will match you to the perfect instructor, based on your specific requirements and preferences. So let the best instructors observe you, and help turn you into the skier you ought to be!