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I know this is a website drawn up by a Ski academy, but it often seems very esoteric and I have trouble following some of the technical points people are trying to make.

That started me thinking about the formal ski tuition I have had over the years and how it might differ from other people on this site.

I thought that I should exclude people living by a ski area because they would have access to regular tuition as well as regular skiing . They are not therefore strictly comparable.

Most English speaking skiers on my side of the Atlantic will be destination skiers , typically going away on ski holidays for a week or a fortnight at a time. Some may use dry slopes or ski domes as well.

Most would be in ski school for the first couple of years, but I suspect many don’t bother too much after they are capable of finding their own way round.

Absolute beginners is straightforward. You tell the school your standard and you go straight into a beginners class. Second year not too different. After that, in Europe, they line folks up on the hill and tell them to ski down. You get allocated to a class on that basis. You may possibly get moved to a different group the next day .

As to what level you are, I would have no idea. I vaguely recall French numbering going one way and the Austrians in a different direction. From what I read, Americans seem to be able to put numbers to this.

Reasons for not continuing lessons

1) In big European resorts with hundreds of lifts, you have a huge area to explore. You may prefer to ski with friends and family or feel you are missing out..

2) A feeling group lessons go over the same ground after a while and do not genuinely address the needs of more advanced skiers

3) Although the standard of English on the continent is reasonable, it may not be good enough to explain advanced concepts

4) If advanced group lessons do not deliver, private lessons are expensive.

5) No lessons does save money. This could be reason number 1, but given tuition costs in Europe I think that would not be fair.

Alternatives are

1) Independent ski schools. I never got round to investigating these.

2) Ski tuition holidays. These are often expensive. If you book in advance to do a powder week it is a double whammy if there is no powder. It is difficult enough to guarantee snow, never mind powder.

Other alternatives are books which I have never found that useful, or videos/DVDs. DVDs at least demonstrate what they are saying but you obviously have no feedback on your attempts to emulate the demonstration.

Many people have never had a ski lesson in their life. Particularly the older crowd who grew up with leather boots.

I don’t know what the situation in North America is. Perhaps if the resorts are smaller there are less distractions over in the next valley and people may choose to focus on improving their technique. When I skied in smaller French resorts I did all the runs fairly quickly, so I thought I would try snowboarding. With hindsight, it just proved that private lessons are not necessarily the answer. I had a ski instructor who used poles in a snowboard lesson. I was in ski boots on a board with no stomp pad and I had both feet in the bindings riding the Poma lift. I tried a group snowboard lesson in St Anton that was no good. It was memorable only for myself and the instructor both riding the same T bar , one on either side.

US tuition is expensive compared to Europe, but Americans may be prepared to splash out if they are just taking one destination holiday rather than several. I am not sure if clients ever cut a deal with an instructor and pay cash in hand for lessons with someone they know. It would make sense to cut out the middleman

I also think if it was like golf and you could see the same pro over the years you may keep coming back to lessons. On the other hand, although some people return to the same resort year after year I think most Europeans like to try somewhere new.