Originally Posted by chanwmr
The only place where I think 1-hour lessons can be bad is with true beginners.
First of all the exact opposite is true. In general true beginners are very easy to work with and can accomplish a great deal quickly. They can easily go from walking to skiing in an hour. They camoe away with an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment.
In general, intermediates or aspiring advnaced skiers on the other hand can get very little out of an hour because their bad habits are so ingrained it takes a lot of coaching and mileage to change or learn a new skill.
Some advanced skiers can get a quick tip or two and apply it but they are rare.
Originally Posted by ghost
However, in another thread someone said that they were a waste.
What is wrong with the 1-hour lesson?
What is the best lesson to take for someone who doesn't have a lot of skiing time, and doesn't want to spend too much of it standing still?
I was the guy and I will explain to you why I feel that way. But in addition you have made one of the most insightful comments on this board. It illuminates all that is wrong with PSIA and ski teaching in this country and gives an insight into the history of how things came to be this way. That staement was:
"What is the best lesson to take for someone who doesn't have a lot of skiing time, and DOESNT WANT TO SPEND TOO MUCH OF IT STANDING STILL?"
Once upon a time ski instruction in this country was a sought after commodity. Skiing was viewed as a sport that was a bit dangerous and required a high level of skill, The way you got good at it was to take lessons. During this time you could take group lessons for a full or a half day or when you went on your ski vacation you would take a week long lesson called a ski week! The ski week served as much more than a series of lessons, it was the entre into a glamorous and adventurous lifestyle. There was the camaraderie of the group, the ski race, the dinner and the establishing of a bond between instructor and students. It was a real experience. (you can still do it up in Canada)
Somewhere along the line resort marketing geniuses decided that the way to sell skiing and get more people involved was to pitch it as an easy to learn sport. Equipment makers went along and everything from GLM to PMTS was the result. The unintended consequence of this was the devaluing of ski instruction. After all, why would you need instruction for a sport that was so easy to learn. This has continued to the present day. The new sidecuts turn themsleves don't they? As a result, what has happened is that there are a lot of expert skiers out there who are terminal intermediates.
Coinciding with this devaluing was the rise of PSIA as an organization. As with many small groups what initially was a great idea got turned on it's ear by the petty politicians and wannabes that inevitably join and rise to the top, more concerned with how they look in a uniform and what pin they have on then actually skiing. The rise of the talkers and pontificators was inevitable.
If you go to any PSIA event that is not a national one you will see the groups doing what they do best. Standing around talking. They're all over the hill discussing in depth the percentage of pressure they should have on the outermost hair follicle of the pinkie toe. Perhaps they will even discuss what the true definition of follicle is. This is a disease that spreads faster than a Harb bashing thread on this forum. All across the USA you can see the talkers and they are responsible not only for the death of ski instruction but ultimately the death of skiing.
I can't say that your impression of a ski lesson being a waste of your time because you will be standing around talking or waiting is wrong. But to anyone who has grown up in skiing, it's hurtful because it shouldn't be that way. PSIA has fostered this. It's amazing that in this day of 6 packs that they still find a need to stand around on the hill.
Now back to your original question. Skiing well is not easy, It requires good instruction and mileage. You simply cannot get that in an hour. It was funny reading an earlier thread about a woman complaining about an ESF instructor because all he did was ski! You need a combination of knowledge and mileage as well as feedback and an hour can't provide this except to the best students.
I can only recommend that you try and find an area that offers longer format instruction and try it. Canada would be a good place to start or out western US. Avoid the East and middle of the country.