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Northeast Instructors for Cost-Minded

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I haven't taken a lesson since I was a little kid.  I ski most everything comfortably and well, but do find myself making the occassional awkward move/inefficient movement/ugly turn in rough conditions, particularly when I start going too fast for my own good.For example, I might do a big speed check by throwing skis sideways, as opposed to making an arced turn when I find myself in a dicey spot going too fast.  I am certain there is so much I can improve.  I guess, as I've gotten a little older, I've been less interested in jumping off of things and going as fast as possible, and am more interested in skiing as pretty as possible.

 

Is a private lesson a good way to go?  Not sure where to start, particularly given that I cannot really spend $500 on a day lesson.  Thanks!


Edited by Adrider83 - 12/16/13 at 1:06pm
post #2 of 11

Woah, $500 would be the cost of a full day private at most areas. Most ski areas sell private lessons in 1 hour increments. It sounds like you're looking for more of a tune up, maybe not an intensive all day deal. You'd probably be better off with a 1 or 2 hour private. The prices of those vary. I looked at a few different mountains really quickly just to give you an idea of what you'd be looking at for cost. At the top end, you'd have a place like Stowe, where the first hour of a private costs $155. A lower end would be a place like Bolton Valley, where the first hour costs $70. The areas I saw fell in that range, most of them in the $100 area. The price for multiple hours is usually less than a straight per-hour calculation. For example, at Stowe a 2 hour is $270, not $310. Also, be sure to tip your instructor at least $10 for a private 1 hour lesson. The instructor is lucky if he sees 10% of the lesson fee you just paid.

 

If you're looking to get the most out of your lesson, I have some advice that might sound contradictory. First, have an idea of what you want to get out of the lesson, and communicate that to the instructor. The instructor can help you a lot more if he knows what you want to work on. At the same time, don't be married to the reason you came to the lesson. The instructor might watch you ski and realize you have another, more pressing need in your technique than what you had in mind. If that's the case, go with it. The instructor isn't rejecting your desires for his own agenda. He or she has probably made the evaluation that you will be unable to achieve this goal if something else isn't addressed first.

 

Another way to pick up pointers on the cheap is to attend some of the EpicSki Gatherings. There are always a plethora of instructors and high level skiers at these gatherings, and when we get together we tend to talk tech a lot. Ask questions, ask for pointers. Be prepared to buy some people some beers at the end of the day.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  That is very helpful. 

post #4 of 11

Excellent value programs in the northeast, taught by very experienced teachers (L3, examiners).  http://www.asiaski.com/  Try the February Bumpfest at Belleayre.

post #5 of 11

Where do you ski Adrider?

post #6 of 11

There are deals to be had. For example, my home resort (Whitetail) offers an early season special: $10 for a 90 minute group lesson. At anything above a level 4 intermediate lesson, this is typically a private lesson in the early season. It's the perfect cost conscious option for someone in your position. You may not get as much personal instruction in a group lesson, but you should be able to get a better idea of things you can work on and how much work you need to get to where you want to go with your skiing. Then you'll have a much better idea of whether a private is how you want to get there.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm from the northeast...generally follow the snow...occasional touring...mainly Adirondacks and VT.  

post #8 of 11

1 hour privates at Middlebury Snowbowl are $57, not the biggest of terrain but we can find you stuff to work on and be challenged

post #9 of 11

If you can ski mid-week, a group lesson could end up being a private or semi-private.  Especially early or late season.  A friend was the only one taking a lesson at Whiteface in early Dec.  $49 for 2 hours.

post #10 of 11

I've found the best bang for my buck occurred in two ways:  Programs with low base cost, and 'group' lessons at times of low demand.  Combine for great effect.

 

In Vermont:

 Mt. Snow offers three different 2 hour sessions every day, for $48.  I took one solo last Sunday.

 Stowe offers a Mountain clinic daily - and that's ~120 for two and a half hours.  When I took mine I was one of two students in the group (And the intermediate lesson was a private).

 Magic Mountain has 2 hour private lessons for $105 (3h for $150, all day for $250)

 

In Colorado:

 Arapahoe Basin was a half day "group" (read - 1 student) lesson for $78.

 Keystone offers three all day lessons for the price of two.  They'll also give you a lift ticket on all three days for an additional $36.  Three lessons, three lift tickets for less than $300.

 

If you can devote the time - multi-day clinics/camps can also offer great value.  I can personally recommend Winter Park's mogul related offerings.

 

The final point I'd echo, is I've gotten more value from multiple short lessons, than long ones.  Use an instructor to baseline you, and point out what you need to change, drills to help you, and enough time to learn to do the drill correctly  (practicing bad technique just cements it).  Then drill on your own. and check back.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

I've found the best bang for my buck occurred in two ways:  Programs with low base cost, and 'group' lessons at times of low demand.  Combine for great effect.

 

In Vermont:

 Mt. Snow offers three different 2 hour sessions every day, for $48.  I took one solo last Sunday.

 Stowe offers a Mountain clinic daily - and that's ~120 for two and a half hours.  When I took mine I was one of two students in the group (And the intermediate lesson was a private).

 Magic Mountain has 2 hour private lessons for $105 (3h for $150, all day for $250)

 

In Colorado:

 Arapahoe Basin was a half day "group" (read - 1 student) lesson for $78.

 Keystone offers three all day lessons for the price of two.  They'll also give you a lift ticket on all three days for an additional $36.  Three lessons, three lift tickets for less than $300.

 

If you can devote the time - multi-day clinics/camps can also offer great value.  I can personally recommend Winter Park's mogul related offerings.

 

The final point I'd echo, is I've gotten more value from multiple short lessons, than long ones.  Use an instructor to baseline you, and point out what you need to change, drills to help you, and enough time to learn to do the drill correctly  (practicing bad technique just cements it).  Then drill on your own. and check back.

 

Buttermilk has some sweet deals during X-games week.  There is still plenty of great terrain and you get to watch people huck their meat while riding the chair.  Highly recommended!

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