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Teaching the Wife to Ski! - Page 2

post #31 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!
You may be the best skier in the world but you'd be smart to play dumb!

BE humble! The best thing to tell a woman is....."I wish I were good enough to teach you. Though I'm having fun skiing with my technique, I'm sure you could learn a lot better technique from someone who REALLY knows what their doing!"

Also as someone posted earlier, convince her that you could learn something from her when she is done with lessons. It will maker her feel confident and you may get a "special treat" for being such a "Nice guy"
post #32 of 58

Teaching Wife to Ski

When my wife wanted to learn to ski. I took her to Sun Valley(at that time the best ski school in the country). I got her a week of lessons and I skied with some buddies. At the end of the week, she was an intermediate. We enjoy skiing and I skied with her a lot. Then I started to move her to the next level myself. Bad Plan, it was very hard to push her beyond her comfort level. It often ends up in fighting. As we continued to ski with the family, we hooked up with a group of life long expert skiers(men and women, ex racers, mogul chums, etc). All of a sudden, she pushed herself and now she is fearless and will do about anything(except hucking off cliffs). We have a great time.

Anyway, leave teaching to a trained professional.

take care,
post #33 of 58
I taught my wife to ski from day one to being able to ski anything in-bounds easily. However, when she started (about ten years ago) I was a very good skier and I'm good at teaching people complicated things. Living at a ski area makes it MUCH easier as well.

It's not impossible but I think that unless you're a VERY accomplished skier, can get out a bunch of days per year, and are very good at teaching w/patience, you should leave it to professionals.

It's pretty amazing (and funny) what some intermediates, who are teaching others, tell their students to do. Truly, the blind leading the blind... Don't be one of them.

post #34 of 58
PSIA Friends Don't Let Friends Teach Friends.

Stay Friends with Your Friends -> click here
post #35 of 58


I have to say I find these teaching threads the most interesting to read. Seems I am really in the minority. I have taught two girlfriends to ski(one still does, the other lives in FL I think), I have taught my wife to ski, and also my two oldest children(8 and 5), I also plan to teach my youngest in another year or two. I haven't ever even come close to the problems outlined in some of these threads.

I am wondering maybe if it is the approach. First and foremost, I ALWAYS quit while we are at the peak of fun. Never when we/they are cold, tired or hungry. If you wait until then, it is to late. Leave when they are still having fun, and they will want to come back. I never rush, or make anyone feel like I need to be doing/skiing more, or getting my money's worth(this is an investment in my skiing future after all). In fact I don't give much instruction at all in the begining(especially with kids). I think it is important for beginers to get the FEEL of skiing, i.e. walking in boots, how it feels to slide on skis, being out in the cold etc. I have started both of my kids around 3. I let them walk around in the boots. I skied with them between my legs, I took them on the chair, we took lunch and snack breaks, and lunch breaks again. Sometimes we just played in the snow. I never had a crying/breakdown episode. Not one. Both of my kids love to ski, and beg me go each weekend. They are both progressing fine. To this point, there is not much they can't make their way down. When we go to bigger destinations(our local hill is all of 200ft of vertical) I let them chose what we are going to ski. I just follow them. If I put them in ski school, would they progress faster, and become better sooner? Maybe. But I know it won't be long and I won't be able to keep up with them anyway.

I have taken the same approach with my kids as my dad with did with me. Let them learn to love the sport at their own pace, and the payoff will be worth it in the end. My best childhood memories revolve around our family skiing.

All that said, what do I think about putting kids in ski school? Go for it, whatever it takes to get people skiing. I think skiing is the best family activity around, if ski school is what will make that happen for your family, by all means get the kids/SO/wife/husband in ski school.
post #36 of 58
Originally Posted by 12CSki
I have taught two girlfriends to ski(one still does, the other lives in FL I think), I have taught my wife to ski,......... I skied with them between my legs, .
post #37 of 58
If you must...consider joining her in a group lesson. This way when you are away from the lessons you can use the same teaching technique and instructions as the instructor. The suggestions will not be you telling her, but simply reminding her what the instructor was saying.

This approach works well for golf too!

Or you could not.
post #38 of 58
The boyfriend tried to teach met to ski and it was not something I'd like to repeat. I wasn't thinking to highly of the boyfriend and I didn't like skiing. I was doing soooo well, that he took me off the bunny slope and to a run I couldn't handle. Then there was the kid who ran over the back of my skis.....

We managed to overcome all of this and married, but I didn't like skiing until I went many years later with the offspring to a small mountain where the lessons were reasonable. There was a woman instructor who was a great instructor and I took lessons every other weekend.

Go for a lessons. Privates are the best, and ask for an instructor you think she'll be comfortable with.

And if you fall madly in love an marry....send the kids for lessons too. They just want to push your buttons and won't do that with a stranger.
post #39 of 58
I'll tell you, I tried to teach my fiance last year and I must say, she really sucks! I mean, I was ULTRA PATIENT. Simply taking the magic carpet at Wachusette up 100 yards and coming down. Over and over. I tried to impart my complete and total knowledge but she needs more than that. Way more than that. Lessons are in her future.....and not from me!
post #40 of 58
I've heard people say the most rediculous things to their GF/BF and seen the looks of death that came from the disgruntled party.

I'm an instructor and I end up teaching a lot of girlfriends and wives of other instructors. Even the supposed professionals, don't teach their own signifgant others well. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but not many.

I think morning instruction works best. You get to go out and ski the hard stuff in while the snow is still good. Then you can spend lunch and the afternoon together.

Allow her the choice to get involved with this. I know how much some guys want their GF or wife to ski. So they make all these arrangements for a trip and buy equipment without consulting them.

Then they feel pressured to like it, instead of choosing it as something they want to do. Involve her in discussions about trips, include activites that she likes. It's just like skiing sometimes letting something develop naturallly is better then forcing it.
post #41 of 58

Boot on the other foot ...

18 years ago, my GF (now my wife) tried to teach me to ski ...

We were celebrating New Years with friends in North Conway, NH and I had never been on skis before. We started at Sunday River where I completely failed to impress my new GF with my athletic prowess. After 2 very frustrating hours, she abandoned me to the ski school.

Having now "mastered" : the snowplow, my "friends" took me to the top of Wildcat the next day for a run down Polecat. 2 hours later, we finished our first run and the day. My GF was frozen solid from standing around waiting for me to inch my way down Polecat.

At that point I decided if the relationship was to be saved, I was going to have to figure this out on my own. I spent the next few weeks at Mt. Wachusett in their ski school and haven't looked back since.

Now I'm the one completely hooked on skiing and my wife no longer has any interest in the sport. She's starting to take it back up because the kids are learning to ski and she wants to be able to enjoy the family aspects of the sport.

After buying new skis and boots, I've been trying to coach her back into skiing again ... but she finally admitted the other week that the only way she was going to "get it" again was with some private lessons.

The more things change, the more they remain the same
post #42 of 58
You'd better be a darn good teacher. The overriding questions are:

Can you make your lessons fun for her?

Can you guarantee that the lesson will have a successfull outcome?

Will she believe you when you say "Your doing great!" and she feels she is struggling?

Can you explain when she asks you "Why am I doing this?" for every drill, with a simple direct jargon free explanation?

Are you willing to see her fail and get frustrated and not be upset? (It WILL be your fault she feels that way....)

Can she forgive you for making her feel like that fast enough to do another drill?

If so, go for it. I'd not do it.

Here's the best thing to do;

Hire a level 3 private instructor for her -- minimum two hours. Then, do it again when she is ready and she wants another two hour session. More than two is too much, less can be too little.
post #43 of 58
My wife was a terrific xc skier for 20 yrs and has always stayed in shape and had good balance and turning skills from XC.

As a professional educator with over 30 yrs experience in teaching i was intelligent enought to put her in a professional ski instructor's care last yr when she decided it was time to try downhill .

After that experience --very positive i might add, she wanted me to ski with her so i devoped a series of follow the leader exercises which were appropriate to her speed and skill level .

After that i began to slowly ENCOuRAGE her to follow me down some Low level BLUES and after SHE felt comfortable she was able to negotiate some higher level blues . BUT all the time SHE ( also an educator) told me when she was ready to progress to the next challange .

So it s the old teacher drill again ____tell em , show em let em try, redirect if necessary-- BUT ALWAYS USING POSITIVE FEEDBACK even when redirecting or correcting.

Make it fun , we started with "this is how you ride and get off a chairlift "--she already had pretty good turning and balance skills from her XC experiences ion the Lake placid Olympic trails nearby so i was fortunate

BUT hey I'm withj the rest of you She's going to take additional lessons on our 2 week trip in Feb
post #44 of 58

Friends dont let friends teach friends.

I love my wife dearly, but after trying to teach my 9 year old and 5 year old I will only ski with her. If she wants to improve I will ask her to get lessons. I almost drove my boy to ask for a snowboard. Once he started eyening the kids on boards i decided to hire things out.
post #45 of 58

post #46 of 58
Originally Posted by JoeB

Please do say no.

My husband has had nothing to do with my ski instruction, but we did rock climb together for many years, back in the day. He's stronger and had more experience with placing pro, so he often *played instructor.* Although I had done less lead climbing, I am the more flexible/fluid/light on my feet, which stood me in pretty good stead. Ultimately, however, even though I knew intellectually that he had some specific things to teach with regards to climbing, something about him telling me what to do when just rubbed the wrong way. Seems to be something about the significant other. . . the girlfriend/wife might KNOW you know more, but she doesn't want to be told to do it your way, especially right when she is feeling threatened by a steeper slope or (in my case) a 60+ foot drop.

Feeling threatened + husband got you to this place where you feel threatend + now he's telling you "you're fine, just put your foot RIGHT THERE" = cry or call husband something unsavory.

For some reason having a paid instructor telling you you are doing something wrong or could be doing it better doesn't make you want to scream at him/her. But the husband/boyfriend? That's another matter.

I will say that I married this college sweetheart of mine. . . but we don't really climb anymore. And he's a snowboarder now, so he *can't* critique my skiing. . . although he did make what I considered an unflattering comparison the other day on the slopes and guess what? I yelled at him and there were some *blue* words involved!

post #47 of 58
Originally Posted by carbonissimo
Just wondering about who has taught their Wife to Ski from day one and how it went.
Tell me a story.
Did you see the "Do not attempt this at home" is claimer. Thread above sums up my wifes feelings.

A friend and I would call the lift line "divorce court". You can hear couples fighting in the lift line or at the lodge. The wife feeling pushed the husband feeling like the wife does not get it or is a wimp.

I helped to teach my wife (at the time girlfriend). Did this off and on for about 1.5 seasons, finally one day she told me to stop. Know I will only offer advise when asked. She just wants to go ski and have fun. I try everyday to get better and have high expectations. Two distinctly different personalities.

Get her in lessons and find her someone else to ski with.
post #48 of 58
I love teaching lessons where a guy tries to "help" his girlfriend/wife. It is kind of funny, because in most cases the advice he gives her is much more applicable to his skiing than hers. I usually go up to the guy and say in a sincere tone "you are giving good advice, but I like to focus on one thing at a time, so if it's alright, do you mind if I limit the tasks we work on?"
post #49 of 58
I taught my wife (then-fiancee) to ski. I was young and silly. We spent our honeymoon in the Carpathians, where she got a bad whiplash after a fall and could not ski after that. Fortunately, the next day and all through our honeymoon the snow started to melt, and we ended up traveling more than skiing. In US, I was still teaching her most of the time - just by skiing with her and doing the pep talk along the way. When she considered herself a beginner/intermediate, we took a 2-hour class in Kirkwood. The instructor told her after the first hour that he had nothing to teach her, but that she was welcome to stay for the duration of the class. Ever since, she's been skiing with us (me and our daughter) and gradually learning to ski. Today she only falls when someone crashes into her (unlike me, khe-khe); her technique is great, and she is in full control on black-diamond runs. Did I mention that we are still married after 18 years?
post #50 of 58
Who'd have guessed...carbonissimo a troll. Even with your charisma and charm, you wouldn't really consider this would you? And within site of the Stein Erisksen lodge? :

Originally Posted by carbonissimo
Just wondering about who has taught their Wife to Ski from day one and how it went.
Tell me a story.
post #51 of 58
Thread Starter 
Really enjoyed the comments.
Look at the smile on my Wife's face as she stands on top of Empire Canyon,Deer Valley this past Sunday.
12 days of lessons by yours truly.
It can be done.
post #52 of 58
The first word I said to my wife were,"I'm John and I will be you instructor today."

She skiis well enough now that I don't teach so much as help her discover thing to do on skiis.
post #53 of 58
Do not do it, it's lose- lose. You lose ski time, and they lose a SO.

I've always taught my friends girlfriends, and they've taught mine. When I met my wife, it was her second year of skiing, and she was barely a novice. I either had my circle of instructor friends teach her or I put her in lessons. Every time I tried to give her a pointer, she took it as an insult, or complained that I was too competitive. Even a couple of years ago, when she was an advanced skier, we were at Killington for a week in the spring with soft bumps and she told me she wanted to advance to doing zipperline bumps. If there's one thing I now about skiing, it's doing zipperline soft moguls. I started giving her a lesson that soon developed into an argument. That afternoon, I found out who the best bump coach at K-mart was, and put her in a private for the next day. She had a great time and learned a lot. When I asked her what he worked on, she smirked, and told me "almost exactly what you were telling me yeaterday" .
We spent the rest of the week exclusively on Outer Limits having a great time, and she even accepted my pointers after that, but I gave them very sparingly. She now keeps up with me, and at times skis better than I do, but I'm finally smart enough to not comment on her skiing.
post #54 of 58
Originally Posted by 2-turn
but I gave them very sparingly.
That, my friends, is the key.

Make sure any pointers are wanted and constructive.

The only times I give input to the boss is when she asks for it or when I think I can increase her enjoyment signifigently(sp?). No nitpicking.
post #55 of 58
Ski school is day care for spouses and kids.

When I ski with my wife I am very supportive saying things like;
"You are doing fine, I ski in the trees quite often"
"You are doing well, that ski patrol should not have been standing there"
"You are doing great, thats why you have all that padding there"
post #56 of 58
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
Just wondering about who has taught their Wife to Ski from day one and how it went.
Tell me a story.

I did. Starting 27 years ago. With mixed success. We're still married, but she's still on green circle runs :-(
post #57 of 58
I was dumb enough to try but smart enough to know that it wasn't working.

I had recently met my future bride. We decided to go skiing.

I remember me saying, "Patty, you are not doing what I am telling you to do." She would say, "I'm trying Rob. It's hard." Things got dark after that.

We sought professional help. We both enrolled in the night adult program at Jiminy Peak. She took her lessons and I took mine. We would stop for a bite to eat or a drink on the way home. It was just a fine way to spend a winter night in the northeast. We did that for a few seasons.

Our lives became filled with jobs and children and night school, etc. Skiing was not a priority with us for a number of years.

When our two boys were old enough, we put them in one of the greatest programs I have ever encountered. Freddy Andersen of the Schenectady Ski School, runs her kids groups at Maple Ski Ridge - a converted farm of 250 verticle feet. It perfectly fit my nostalgic image of where I grew up skiing. It turned out that she is a pretty famous figure. I would bet she has taught about 80 percent of the capital region to ski.

The boys had graduated from Maple ski ridge and I was shopping for programs. I told my wife that this skiing family thing is too expensive. I was ready to walk away from skiing. It was Patty who talked me into it. She convinced me that we could make it work.

We signed them up at Jiminy Peak for a multi week program. One of the guys who taught me was now running the kids programs and suggested instructing to me.

Since then (two seasons ago), our boys have become hill rats. They think I am just too cool - being an instructor and all.

I think what I am most proud of is that my wife has taught our four year old to ski - demonstraing infinite patience through innumerable runs down the cricket while sliding as Emily held onto the pole. Our littlest angel now wedges from the top squashing bugs all the way.
post #58 of 58
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
Really enjoyed the comments.
Look at the smile on my Wife's face as she stands on top of Empire Canyon,Deer Valley this past Sunday.
12 days of lessons by yours truly.
It can be done.
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