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Teaching the Wife to Ski!

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Just wondering about who has taught their Wife to Ski from day one and how it went.
Tell me a story.
post #2 of 58
I'm not married, but I have heard enough stories to know never to attempt teaching a girlfriend or wife to ski or ride. It's one of the 10 Commandments of instruction. Unless you've got an extremely strong relationship, a mountain of patience, and possibly a rock solid prenup, I wouldn't try it!

Better to leave the initial introduction and instruction to a neutral party. You can provide tips and advice later on.
post #3 of 58
In the interest of saving your marriage do not attempt to due this!!!!!!!! Put her in ski school or private lessons.
post #4 of 58
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u
You can provide tips and advice later on.
Even providing tips and advice later on is ill-advised. Just tell them they look great and you'll be fine.
post #5 of 58
I've tried teaching friends, and all they want to do is go fast and turn like I do. I try to explain that I have been doing this for 15 years and have had extensive coaching, but usually people just want to go fast and ignore technique. I try to teach edging by going very slow and doing stem christies, but people usually get bored and discouraged fast, as it is significantly harder to do it right, using the edges.

I basically gave up last year and told anyone who asked me for tips to take a lesson.
post #6 of 58
I'm afraid, very afraid. My girlfriend has asked me to teach her. She's not a complete novice but........

I hope all goes well!
post #7 of 58
Originally Posted by Klimski
I'm afraid, very afraid. My girlfriend has asked me to teach her. She's not a complete novice but........

I hope all goes well!
If this is a long term relationship - pay for lessons. You can ski with her at the end of the day and have her show you what she learned. Then you can tell her how great she is doing. It WILL be cheaper in the long run.
post #8 of 58
Originally Posted by moguljunkie
Even providing tips and advice later on is ill-advised. Just tell them they look great and you'll be fine.
I dated a girl once who was a non-skier (note I said once!). I wisely had her intro'd by a female trainer at my home area over the course of several weekend private lessons. It worked out great, but one day we were skiing together and she suddenly became angry with me b/c, "You helped that girl in the liftline yet you can't help me?!"

After explaining to her that all I told the "other girl" was that her day would turn out better if she put the right boot on her right foot and the left boot on her left foot instead of the opposite, she was still peeved for some reason. I broke up with her the next day.

I've since stopped looking for love at the bottom of the mountain...
post #9 of 58
I would strongly suggest getting her in a womens' ski program if possible. Women seem to find the environment of skiing with other women much better for having a positive experience and leaning more. After years of attempting to teach my wife to be a better skier with limited success (and much personal strife) she made huge improvements in a one-day a week group of 7-8 women with a woman instructor. She came home spouting virtually the same things I had been telling her for 10 years like they were new revelations when uttered by a female instructor.

Martians should not attempt to teach Venutions to ski. When you are "instructing" her neither of you will be having a good time. IMHO skiing and love are both too sweet to pollute with the teaching experience.
post #10 of 58
In general, I agree with everyone else. However, my case seems to be different. When I met my wife, I already had my Level 2 (Associate) cert. She had been skiing once in her life prior to meeting me (she could make wedge turns). A few months after we started dating, I moved from MD to Summit County CO, and taught for Breck. She came out to visit a couple of times and I taught her. The problem is, that not only do you need to set their expectations to a reasonable level, you need to do the same for yourself. The times I skied with her out there, I never expected to get off the beginner hills or get anything accomplished very quickly.

About 3 years after that, we got married, and have been married for over 12 years.

As a matter of fact, one of the reasons she says she knew I was "the one", was the patience and effort I put into teaching her to ski way back then. She told me this in the past couple of years.

So while it's not generally recommended, if you know how to teach skiing and handle it the right way, you can use it to your advantage and it can work.

If you do decide to try and teach her, you need to set a lot of disclaimers up front, and you need to have good communication between you.

Just food for thought.
post #11 of 58
Originally Posted by JohnH
So while it's not generally recommended, if you know how to teach skiing and handle it the right way, you can use it to your advantage and it can work.

If you do decide to try and teach her, you need to set a lot of disclaimers up front, and you need to have good communication between you.

Just food for thought.

Ditto. When I met my wife, she already skied. She never really wanted any pointers from me. However, she wanted to try snowboarding so I taught her. We were the exception to the rule - she loved it and we did not have any problems. Now she snowboards and doesn't even own skis.

I have seen literally hundreds of couples on the slopes trying to teach skiing and snowboarding to each other and I would definitely recommend lessons instead.

I had already taught hundreds how to snowboard by the time my wife wanted to try, and she trusted me to teach her.

Unless you are certain that you both have an understanding of what is going to happen, I would say don't try it. It is not worth the hassle.
post #12 of 58
I gave mine right to a professional. Its the best thing you can do. From the first day, I enrolled her in a private class with a woman instructor and she met with her twice a week for a month. It set a good foundation, that was 20 years ago. Now every year, her, her mother and our niece go to a womans "Alpine Adventure" every year at Okemo and it does worlds for their conficence.

Leasons with a professional, whatever the cost is..will come back to you 10 fold.
post #13 of 58
The all-day privates for her may prove cheaper than the divorce settlement I find even the smallest tip at the (perceived by her) wrong time could mean no-speaks from the other-half for an hour or two.
post #14 of 58

Pay for lessons

Save yourself the aggravation and get your SO lessons. I tried for several years to teach my wife to no avail. Finally a friend of ours who used to be a ski instructor offered to give her a lesson. She improved significantly from that one lesson. When I asked her what he had taught her I could only groan as he basically showed her and told her the same things I had been trying to convey for the past three years! Save the time and aggravation and sign them up for lessons. They will pay attention to a ski instructor and the instructor will have little tips and drills that us non-instructor types might not use or be aware of to get a student over the hump and on their way to the black diamonds.
post #15 of 58
You are not an instructor.

You may be an ok skier ..... but still, you are not an instructor.

Believe it or not many instructors who are good with beginners are only marginal skiers ..... but good teachers.

Friends or family .... instructors dread those words .... "Can you teach me to ..."
post #16 of 58

Teaching Wife

My wife and I both learned from instructors. I had been married for awhile, so had enough insight to take separate lessons.

A few years after I started skiing I saw a young couple very much in the "honeymoon" stage at the base of the mountain. He was telling her how he'd have her skiing in "no time" and she was smiling at him as if her was her knight in white armor. About an hour later I was skiing down the bunny hill to catch a lift and she was sprawled on her back cursing at her "knight". I got a good chuckle out of that. Later that afternoon I saw her skiing with an instructor. She was in a much better mood, and I'm sure her "knight" was enjoying himself without the damsel in distress.
post #17 of 58
I taught my wife to ski and she became a decent intermediate. Then she divorced me. Hmmm....
post #18 of 58

I have seen literally hundreds of couples on the slopes trying to teach skiing and snowboarding to each other and I would definitely recommend lessons instead.


This is usually the blind leading the blind scenario. I see it every day.

If you don't know how to teach, don't try it. Just because you can ski, doesn't mean you can break it down to a non skier and teach it. Leave that to someone who knows how to's much better for your relationship & sanity.
post #19 of 58
Are we seeing a pattern here????????
post #20 of 58
My wife has been on the snow five times in the past 8-10 years, both skiing and snow boarding. Truly, zero motivation on her part to be there, except to be with me. She has no intention of becoming a skier, she says, because she derives no pleasure from the sport (she used to say the same about mountain biking, but after much labor on both of our parts she sings a different tune now!).

Her best day on the slopes by far was the last time out (2 years ago, ugh!), when I spent the day with her on the flattest of green. I know very well I am not an instructor nor qualified to teach, but she has been very timid every time and has frustrated her instructors in group lessons, who push too hard. So I found it quite remarkable that she skied the entire day (with a few breaks) and was linking turns and controlling speed by the end of the day, with a fairly positive attitude. I'd like to do it again...

That said, I know the real answer is booking a few consecutive days with a private instructor if I expect her to become confident enough to begin enjoying herself. Until that happens, once every two years isn't going to cut it and I'll just be wasting my time.
post #21 of 58

Concensus, we don't need no stinkin' concensus

Am I the only one wondering what ELSE there could be that would bring in such a unanimous one-sided agreement/response?

DON'T DO IT. No. don't.
post #22 of 58
Originally Posted by Posaune
I taught my wife to ski and she became a decent intermediate. Then she divorced me. Hmmm....
hey me too
post #23 of 58
I wouldn't recommend it, but it isn't impossible it's just hard if you don't know what you are doing.

Not everyone in the world is intolerable and has communication problems with their significant others. Just don't take out your frustration at your teaching failures on the other person and recognize your limitations.
post #24 of 58
While not from day 1, I did start to ski with my wife when she was a low end intermediate.

A few things:

1. I talked her into lesions. At first she did not want to spend the $. I did no instructing with her. (note: I met her at her river guide training and was one of her instructors. But as soon she became the GF, I would not dare do any instructing whether it was on the mtn or the river.) You do need to ski w/ her and you must at least act like it is fun. J Only make positive comments. With my wife the only thing I ever said was hands forward, look down the hill and of course “you look great.” And only occasionally did I say the first two.

2. Made sure she was on the correct equipment for her level/stage. This makes skiing more fun for everybody. Get off the rental stuff, particular the boots.

3. When she seemed to plateau, she took a private lesson w/ a female instructor. I also took the lesson so I could hear what the instructor said. I watch an amazing break through moment. It was all because the instructor was similar sized woman (small). In 30 minutes, my wife went from ok on single diamonds to very solid on single diamonds and never looked back. (Props to MJ at Alpine Meadows.)

4. Final push to expert: A ski week at Taos turned my wife into double diamond bump girl. I think a ski camp is also a good way to go.

5. I made sure I never dragged her down any terrain that was significantly above her ability. Slightly challenging yes, but nothing I thought might scare her or result in numerous yard sales.

So, it worked out for us. My wife will ski just about anything I will and she definitely wants to ski more double diamond bumps than I do.
post #25 of 58
When I first met my wife she didn't ski. She had tried the lesson thing and just had a miserable time. I however was severely addicted to skiing. She came along with me a few times, and I taught her to ski, up to intermediate level. She could ski blue squares all right, but not blacks. She couldn't carve, but she did use tipping the ski and for-aft balance as the main means of controlling turn shape.

We didn't do much skiing for a while (career change, more starving student days), though I still went occasionally. A few years ago I decided it was time to take the kids skiing. My wife, now out of shape and over weight could not get her form back. She just stood there on the (green) hill frozen in fear:. It was just so damn frustrating for me and unpleasant for her, that I just decided that if she didn't want to do this she could stay home. She is afraid of getting hurt. All the other skiers and boarders whizzing by scare her silly. If she wants to go skiing, I 'll get her some lessons, but she usually finds some excuse not to go (like we can't afford it, but we can afford fast food 5 times a week: ).

In summary be very attentive and take a hint. If it's working Good. If not bail out!
post #26 of 58

Suicide-Teaching Wife to Ski

I can't think of a dumber thing to do than teach your wife/girlfriend or fiance to ski. Get her a lesson, pay for it (10 times if necessary). Its \cheaper than divorce lawyers, counseling or the Diamond you will have to buy her. STORY. While traversing thru the beginner area at Homewood Ski Resort (Tahoe) I heard some unusual Berating going on and moved my attention toward the noise. I observed a Male, berating either his wife or girlfriend who was sitting in the snow crying. This was an unbelivable scene. I would bet a months pay (real pay) that this lady does not ski today. Although this was the worst, the common mistakes are taking her to terrain beyond her ability, lack of patience, the "husband/insructor"doesn't have a clue as to how to teach a never/ever etc. DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #27 of 58
Piece of advice: "Make the F***ing Turn is a really bad cue!

As seen in St. Moritz. Last Sunday, Mark and I were skiing in St. Moritz with Matteo. All of a sudden, we hear him telling off some guy in Italian. It seems that the guy had brought his girlfriend, a first time skier, down a RED slope. This particular trail might have been rated black in Colorado, or even double black in some smaller New England areas. The girl was trying to walk down the slope. Later on, she and her friend were sitting in the lodge alone!
post #28 of 58

My wife tried to teach me to ski

STORY: After an absolutely MISERABLE day, we were making that 'last run' down and I just couldn't figure out why skiing was such hard work. I fell in the middle of a pretty steep section and her father came up behind me to hear me yelling at the top of my lungs every swear I knew in rapid succession for at least an entire minute (try it sometime without pausing).

So much for the honeymoon with my in-laws.
post #29 of 58
Don't even think about it. It's a fool's errand, like teaching your teenage daughter how drive a car - emotional suicide!

All the personal issues will emerge the moment you give her an instruction. You have territory and power issues with your wife. Tust me, you do.

The instructor doesn't. That's why you pay him/her. It's the best $$ you'll ever spend.
post #30 of 58
Don't do it. It WILL be a disaster. You might think you know how to ski, but you definitely don't know how to teach (anyone). A wife/girlfriend is the most delicate of situations and you REALLY have to know how to teach to pull it off without having a divorce or breaking up.

The only way I would ever tell someone to even attempt it is if they have a GREAT relationship with their significant other, they both have the same understanding of how the teaching session is going to work (meaning if it doesn't work an instructor is in the cards), and that the guy teaching KNOWS HOW TO TEACH AND HOW TO SKI AND THE FEMALE COUNTERPART IS AWARE OF BOTH OF THOSE FACTS (adds credibility).

I taught my girlfriend to ski. She is skiing great. She began last year. Her first time out this season she got back into it pretty quick. She has been learning carving and bumps. She is probably a 6 or 7 at this point after about 17 days on the snow. We have never fought at the ski resort (almost nver fight actually), or had a discrepancy over her skiing or my teaching. She is a special case though. I would never try this with anyone else (did teach another friend to be a pretty good skier - girl, not gf - but she didn't fall in love with the sport like my gf has).

BTW, I am not an instructor - but don't go thinking that because you aren't an instructor it will still work. It won't. I just got very lucky, and was able to pair it up with the skills that I do have.


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