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Group or Private Lesson

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So this is my first post and I am not sure if I am posting in the correct spot.  But I am going out to Keystone and Breck in mid-March and am debating about doing a group lesson or a private lesson at either resort.  This is my first time in about 12 years to ski out west and only my second time skiing in Colorado.

 

I am probably a level 5-6 skier and will be travelling with my G/F(ski level unknown), would we be able to to do a group lesson together?  Or would have to schedule a private for the two of us since we might be varying levels.

 

Any recommendations tips are appreciated.


Thanks!

post #2 of 7

It would probably be better to do separate lessons if you are two different levels. You will each benefit more. 

post #3 of 7

Welcome to Epicski rfetters2,

I am one of the top instructors at Keystone and I want to say we at Keystone would love to help you. A group lesson is certainly more affordable but as you correctly noted different ability levels can be a challenge when it comes to skiing in the same group lesson as your GF. The easiest and most affordable way to assure you of being in the same lesson is to have the better of you ski down to the level of the other. Interestingly enough, the same would hold true for a private lesson since the instructor would by necessity move only at a speed and level appropriate for the slowest of the two of you. So the question really becomes do you want to share time together (but not with others), or would others enhance that learning experience?

 

As an ambassador for my school and my home, Let me invite you to join me for a fun filled vacation. I will send you my personal contact information and if it works for you I can also help with the arrangements.

 

JASP

Alpine Staff Trainer

Keystone Ski and Ride School

post #4 of 7

As an instructor at Breckenridge I can tell you the staff at Breck would love to help you, too.  As justanotherskipro stated a group lesson certainly is more affordable.  If the two of you were to do a group lesson together you would have to go with a group that is comfortable for which ever of you is the lower level skier.  This is doable during the slower periods of the ski season, but in mid-March the resorts' busiest time of the year (other than X-mas/New Years) it is not really advisable (it can be done though).  The higher level skier would not get as much out of the lesson as they would in a lesson of the appopriate level and they can become a distraction for other students in the group as well as the instructor.

 

Taking a private lesson with both of you together is an option.  I teach many privates with people of different ability levels.  In this case you will stay on terrain that is properly suited to the lower level skier, but the instructor can give both of you individual attention and instruction.  The instructor will be able to give the higher level skier exercises/drills to do on the easier terrain that still have the potential to have a great effect on their skiing.

 

When I teach privates I always tell the clients they hired me for the day it is up to them to let me know how they want the day to go and I will tell them the options they have.  In a case like yours (with the little information I have and not having seen either of you ski) we would start the morning together doing a warm up run giving me a chance to assess both of your's skiing.  During this time I would also talk with both of you to see what each of your's motivations are for taking the lesson and what each of your's goals are for the day.  If your skiing levels are close together we would all stay together all day.  If one of you is quite a bit better than the other I often recommend the lower level skier and myself spend the first two or three hours together while the stronger skier goes off skiing.  This allows the lower level skier to get full attention without distractions and without the concerns of being watched & judged while trying to meet the expectations of the stronger skier.  After this period of time the stronger skier meets back up and we all ski together with both getting instruction.  It is not uncommon the lower level skier will tire out earlier than the stronger skier and want to quit for the day.  If this occurs then the stronger skier can stay out for the remaining time going to the terrain they want and receiving all the attention/instruction.  Again I leave it up to the client to tell me how they want the day to go when they book a private lesson, the above scenario is just one of the more common ways clients choose they want the day to go.

 

Another option is to take an "Ultimate 4" lesson (at least at Breck, Keystone should have a similar program).  This option is quite a bit less expensive than a private, but more than a group.  In an Ultimate 4 the group size is limited to a maximum of four students all of a similar ability level.  Think of this as a sort of semi-private lesson.  If both of your skiing levels are not too far apart you could both go with the same Ultimate 4 group.

 

In my opinion, if you have the financial means the private lesson is the way to go.  The day is on your schedule taking breaks when & where you want and using the instructors time between the two of you however you want.  If the private lessons are financially not possible then I would recommend the Ultimate 4 program.  In March the resorts and ski schools are busy, group sizes in group lessons tend to be larger than other times of the season.  If you plan on taking a private lesson or an Ultimate 4 at Breckenridge I would encourage you to book it in advance (a minimum of 2 days prior, preferably earlier than that).  Breck ski school does have days it sells out and they cut off sales of private, Ultimate 4 and kids lessons.

 

Enjoy your vacation and ski safe!

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfetters2 View Post
 

So this is my first post and I am not sure if I am posting in the correct spot.  But I am going out to Keystone and Breck in mid-March and am debating about doing a group lesson or a private lesson at either resort.  This is my first time in about 12 years to ski out west and only my second time skiing in Colorado.

 

I am probably a level 5-6 skier and will be travelling with my G/F(ski level unknown), would we be able to to do a group lesson together?  Or would have to schedule a private for the two of us since we might be varying levels.

 

Any recommendations tips are appreciated.


Thanks!


Welcome to EpicSki!  How many ski days will you have this trip?  Where and when has your GF skied before?

 

I've done private lessons with a friend or two who was at a similar level that worked out well.  Have also had a few "group" lessons at my home mountain (small place) where the other participant was more of an intermediate.  Since I didn't take lessons as an intermediate, I learn a fair amount as well.  When I set up semi-private lessons, I get a recommendation for a PSIA Level 3 instructor.  My experience with very experienced Level 3 instructors is that they find ways to make all the participants get enough individual attention so that the lesson (2-3 hours) is worthwhile.

post #6 of 7

Depending upon the issues that a skier may have  and the cohesion of a potential group, sometimes a group lesson can be better than a private, it depends.  When I teach  a private lesson it can  be easy to overwhelm a student with feedback.  A student needs the right balance of feedback and practice.  Too much feedback without enough practice could be as counter productive as not enough feedback.  Sometimes in a group lesson, one of the students can provide an insight with their experience  that can help another of the students.  One student struggling with fear can gain confidence from another student in a group through a kind of sharing and bonding.  An individual in a group can be swept up in group energy and benefit from the experience.   YM

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input!  We are planning on doing one day at Keystone and the other at Breck.

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