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Teaching a family to ski

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am by no means a trained instructor and only ski one week a year over each of the last 10 years.. I am able to comfortable ski blues and some blacks.  My family brought a friend this year and after attending ski school he was ready to quit. Both he and I were determined he would learn and so l spent the next day with him and was able to teach him the basics to the point he is now able to navigate most greens and some blues.  He wants his family to come next year and says that they should save their money and not go to ski school but have me teach them instead.  I have read in places that this is frowned on by the resorts.  I would not want to break any rules (written or unwritten) so would someone please fill me in on how to handle this.

post #2 of 13

If you're not getting paid, there shouldn't be any problem.

 

If you are getting paid, this usually varies from 'frowned upon' to 'illegal' depending on the setup of the resort.  In practice, what resorts don't want is for private instructors to be running a business where they undercut the ski school on a regular basis.  YMMV.

 

A possibly bigger concern is liability -- what happens if one your 'students' gets hurt?

 

As a side note, if your friend was unhappy with his lesson, he should have gone back to the ski school and talked to them about it.  They'll usually try pretty hard to try to make people have a good experience.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

There would be no payment, just an effort to help them save money.

No worries if someone got hurt.  Long time friends..

 

Just didn't know how the resort might respond if i take 3 or 4 people to the beginner carpet area and begin to talk and teach the about putting on ski's, wedging, etc.  Would probably get a few "looks" BUT, if i teach them well and they enjoy it, the resort would more than recoup their ski school loss through future lift ticket sales...

 

Thanks for the info and i would welcome any additional comments by others....

post #4 of 13

Be sure they have lift tickets--magic carpets are considered lifts.

 

Be polite about sharing the space with the ski school lesson folks.  If you watch, you can see when the ski school gets to the carpet and about how long they stay before moving onto the next level of slope.  If you go there before they come or after they leave, you'll have fewer skiers there.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Be sure they have lift tickets--magic carpets are considered lifts.

 

Be polite about sharing the space with the ski school lesson folks.  If you watch, you can see when the ski school gets to the carpet and about how long they stay before moving onto the next level of slope.  If you go there before they come or after they leave, you'll have fewer skiers there.


Different mountains have different policies for magic carpets as far as lift tickets. Be sure to check what they are at your mountain.
 

 

post #6 of 13

^ What she said. Our rope tow is free. This happens all the time, people teaching friends or family. Never seen anybody get a dirty look about it.

 

On the other hand, I will say that a beginner lesson is well worth it. We offer a rental/lift/lesson package for $48 (the same price as just the lift ticket). Very few of the "friends teaching friends" I see have much of a clue what they are doing themselves, let alone trying to teach it effectively.

 

Encouragement and mileage go a long way, but when you add in even an hour of lessons each day, the progress will be much greater and generally the frustration much lower.

 

 

post #7 of 13

Villagenut, to second what iWill said, the fact your friend had one bad experience with an instructor, should not forever color his opinion of ski instruction.  This is an issue to be dealt with, and discussed with the person you make an appointment with at the ski school.  Tell them there was a bad experience, and why it was bad.   They will probably bend over backwards to arrange a compatible and qualified instructor to work with you.  It seems you travel to ski at major resorts.  Getting a package deal for your friend on instruction will probably get him faster progress, and free you up to do skiing more in line with your ability.

 

Encourage them to take a second shot at it, and if there is a problem, go discuss it with the ski school.  You have the option of working with your friend, if that doesn't work out.  For the purposes of this thread, it would help to get some insights as to what went wrong in the first lesson that nearly provoked your friend to quit the sport.

post #8 of 13

villagenut, sorry to hear your friend had a bad ski school experience. I second (third?) the recommendations for your friend to talk to the customer service folks as he'd probably get some kind of comp for his time. 

 

As for teaching his family, the other ski pros have provided good insight into things like liability. For yourself, it may help to consider: are you comfortable trying to simultaneously teach multiple people while providing targeted development strategies for each? Not trying to crap on your enthusiasm--just wanted to share that in general it's much harder for a person to do group training rather than one on one, and I'd rather see people succeed in their endeavours... 

 

It might be worth checking to see if the hill has "learn to ski" packages for cheap. Sure, depending on the resort some lessons are hit and miss, but if it's only a few bucks more to include a lesson, maybe it's worthwhile and would help to reduce stress for you. 

 

Best of luck! 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks a gain for all the information.  I will say that when i learned, i had an awesome experience with a ski instructior.  I really think my friend had unrealistic expectations of how he should be sking after one day of ski lessons.  In the past, anytime we have brought newbies i have ALWAYS encouraged them to attend ski school.  Mostly because i felt unqualified to teach them and also because i did not know the rule of thumb here.  In my opinion, i think he should encourgage the family to go to ski school for a day and then let me help them out with any questions or difficulties that they may be having BUT he is hung up on the price.  I think he is forgetting, like has already been said, that the difference in price of a lift ticket vs a Lift/Lesson ticket is minimal.  AND, i am all about not having to give up a day of my skiing to help them.  This trip, i spent almost all of one day and part of another helping him so i missed out on some "ME" time on the slopes....

Thanks everyone....

post #10 of 13

villagenut it sounds like you are looking for a tactful way to get them to take a lesson? Your post sounds like he took an all day lesson?   Does your friend, or you, really believe that you could have done what you did for him if he hadn't taken the lesson first? Skiing with one person, offering encouragement and a pointer or two while he gets some mileage is way different than taking ??two or three ??never-evers?? and trying to teach them to make turns and stop, load and unload the chair. Suggest he gets them a one hour group beginner lesson and then HE can ski with them while they get some mileage, same as you did for him.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Jimmy he did take an all day lesson.  He seems to believe that he could have done without it.  I have no clue, i'm simply going on what he said.  I tend to agree with you that i probably could not properly communicate the very basics as good as a qualified instructor.  I think it could have possibly been a simple communication problem.  He said the instructor never "said it in a way he could understand it".  We are from Arkansas and i told him " i guess the instructor didn't speak enough arkansas".....LOL  anyway, we will discuss the pros and cons of a lesson before next year and we will see what happens...

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by villagenut View Post

No worries if someone got hurt.  Long time friends..

 

Don't count on that.  People have sued relatives over seemingly inconsequential things.

 

Even before I became an instructor I thought it was a bad idea for people to teach friends or relatives.  It just isn't worth it.

 

Your friend should definitely have talked to the ski school director or the resort's customer service people.  I really have trouble understanding how he didn't learn anything in an all day lesson.  It sounds like he didn't even learn to do a wedge or a turn?  I've only ever had two students who didn't learn at least that much during the 90 minute lessons we give, and they both had issues far beyond what I could solve.
 

 

post #13 of 13



I am not an instructor, I ski double diamonds, and haven't taken a lesson in decades (I did race in my youth and I do a considerable amount of reading about technique, ski philosophy, etc.).  I would never consider teaching a never-ever how to ski  for one good reason: The "professionals" out there likely have better ideas or teaching methods than I do.  Eariler this year I took my 7-year old to a ski school (The Canyons) to help him get forward.  The instructor had some ideas I never through of, and in one day the little guy was balanced.  Yes, I help out my kid (who can ski any black diamond at Squaw or Heavenly) every time we ski together with one idea, but that is different than teaching the right fundamentals (like balance) to a beginner.  I'd interview the head of the ski school and find competent instructors, since your friend likely had a poor one.  Your friend's family should not expect to save money by having you teach for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by villagenut View Post

I am by no means a trained instructor and only ski one week a year over each of the last 10 years.. I am able to comfortable ski blues and some blacks.  My family brought a friend this year and after attending ski school he was ready to quit. Both he and I were determined he would learn and so l spent the next day with him and was able to teach him the basics to the point he is now able to navigate most greens and some blues.  He wants his family to come next year and says that they should save their money and not go to ski school but have me teach them instead.  I have read in places that this is frowned on by the resorts.  I would not want to break any rules (written or unwritten) so would someone please fill me in on how to handle this.



 

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