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Lessons for beginner

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I will be in Tremblant for a long weekend in early March and have never skied before. I want to take some lessons and was wondering if people thought group or private lessons would be better for an adult beginner . . . ? I'm not sure which would be better or if it even matters seeing that I'm just starting out. What do people suggest? Thank you.
post #2 of 10
Privates are better because the instructor is focused on you and you alone. However the downside is that they cost more. Another option is to take a group lesson to get the basics and then a private. In the group, you'll learn the first steps to skiing and in the private, the instructor can help you apply what you've learned and make any adjustments to your stance so you're able to turn and stop more easily.

If you're there with other people, you can have a private with 2-3 people also. The cost is more then a group, but less then a private.

Tremblant has a great beginner area. Have fun!
post #3 of 10
Big question, how do you learn? I.e. what is your learning style? If you are a visual learner sometimes being in a group is a good way to learn. I've seen students pick up ideas faster when they watch other beginners learn.

If you dislike going first when being tasked with something, then a group might be a better learning setting for you.

If you learn through detailed discussion, or you need one on one instruction, then a private lesson might be the best setting for you.

All that said, I think a group lesson is a great way for a novice to go. Provided that you have an experienced instructor and a small group (4-5). Also, group lessons tend to be longer in duration which gives you more time to try out things and have the instructor available.

Also, check if they have a package deal. At one mountain I worked at they had a package consisting of rental equipment, lower level mountain ticket, and two hour morning and two hour afternoon lesson. This was aimed at beginners to introduce them to the sport and give them the best chance at success.
post #4 of 10
I am going to deviate from T-Square a bit here. I have never skiied at Tremblant so this is not first hand knowledge, but that being said, consider a few things.

I would visit a local shop to rent your gear. Most mountain rental shops are like cattle car slaughter lines where you get no attention to proper fit of the boots and the skis are often not waxed or sharpened.

Fit of the boots is one of the most critical issues and a half hour spent in a local shop where you have some time to keep them on your feet to get a pretty good fit is essential. It may cost a few more dollars but when you weigh that versus what you will be spending on tickets, room and meals it's peanuts and may make or break you skiing experience.

T-Square is right on regarding group size. If it is a small mid-week group of three or four the class can move along on schedule. A large group of ten to twelve students and the lesson can fall behind .... due to the needs of a "special individual" or two.

FYI ..... the only thing that goes in your boot is your sock (singular), and your foot! All of the other junk goes on the outside.
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by Miramar
I will be in Tremblant for a long weekend in early March and have never skied before. I want to take some lessons and was wondering if people thought group or private lessons would be better for an adult beginner . . . ? I'm not sure which would be better or if it even matters seeing that I'm just starting out. What do people suggest? Thank you.
How athletic are you? Do you do any other sports? What do you want to acheive from the lessons you will take?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
To respond to the above post, basically I just want to try skiing on this trip to see how I like it. If I do decide it is something I want to pursue, then I'll likely follow it up in the coming weeks at places closer to home-- more lessons and practice. I usually pick up new sports fairly easily and have pretty good balance. I do cross country skiing, so have been on skis before- just not downhill skis.
post #7 of 10
Go with the group lesson at first. I think people tend to be more comfortable if there are others around who are just beginning also. This comfort will let you relax and have fun while at the same time getting you used to downhill skiing. After a couple group lessons (depending on how quickly you pick it up) you could try a private lesson to focus on turning the corner and being able to link basic turns fairly consistently and keep up with a group of friends, at least on beginner/ intermediate trails.
As for the equipment- spend wisely. Going off mountain to rent can maybe help you find the right boot or ski, which will enhance the experience and keep you skiing in the future. The wrong boot at any level just ruins your day, and the run of the mill rental ski from the mtn may not be the right ski for you. Good luck, Tremblant is great for beginners.
post #8 of 10
Do the group lessons, make sure they know you can cross country. They will probably put you in a more advanced group -- no "never evers" -- since you will already be able to stop.

If you like it, then get private lessons at home.....

Have fun!
post #9 of 10
I'm going to take exceptions to a few comments.

First, for the lesson, since you cross country, take a private. In a group beginner lesson, the instructor will most likely not be able to compensate for your more advanced knowledge. In my experience, a student/customer that has experience with some type of snow skiing is much more experienced than the typical beginner. In a private lesson (for someone that has been on snow and some type of skis), you can expect to make much more progress than would be typical in a "learn to ski" group lesson. JUST LET YOUR COACH KNOW ABOUT THE CROSS COUNTRY EXPERIENCE.

Secondly, rentals. While you will get better value and fit from a shop outside the resort confines, if any fit changes (if is NOT unusual for the bindings to shift before/during/after skiing), the resort shop and/or employees will not be allowed to readjust them due to liability concerns. If you rent equipment at the resort, and something is wrong, it is much easier to get it fixed within the time you are actually skiing.

Most important, have fun!!
post #10 of 10
The rental shop at Tremblant is right in front of the beginner slope and is in the same room as the ski school sign up. Their rentals are good from what I've seen. You won't have to carry your skis far (a big plus) and they're there if you need help.

Private vs group is a balance of cost for the lesson, how much time you have and how much you want to progress. Ask at the ski school desk how many people are signed up for lessons. While they can't tell you your exact class size, they should have a good idea based on the age and level of the students. If it's a small group, consider a group lesson. I personally like a private because in groups, you only progress at the level of the worst skiier. Since you can cross country ski, you'll be an advanced "never-ever" and will progress quickly. If you do end up in a slow moving group, consider following it up with a private. If your goal is to get up to speed at quickly as possible, go with the private.

The bottom line is that Tremblant has a great school and the people you meet at the ski school desk and the rental shop there all do a great job. Tell the instructors that you can cross country ski. That proves you have balance and you're athletic. A big start to Alpine. Ask them any questions that you have and they'll be happy to answer. Also try to set up your rental and lesson when the people have time to help you.
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