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Is this cheating?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Group lesson just are terrible around here IMO. It takes forever to do anything and literally 70% of the time is spent riding the lifts, waiting for people on the lifts, waiting for someone to gather the ski pole they dropped, or someone falls down, everyone stops, instructor helps the person get up and gather their gear. I would rather pay the money for one-on-one lessons.

The problem is private lessons are very expensive - $150 for an hour usually. With that being said I figured out a trick to get a private lesson for the price of a group. At my local hill(Pk n Pk in NY) They have lesson signs based on levels 1-9. I usually prefer the level 5 lesson. Often I notice level 5 is very full but nobody is ever in front of the level 6 sign so I move one over. Really is no difference in what I have been taught in the 2 different level classes - we go on the same blue terrain and do the same things.

If I am there and want a lesson I will scope the lesson pool for volumes by resective level and find an empty level sign so I get a private 1 hour lesson for $25. In fact, I have the times and relative class sizes figured out by the day of the week and time so I know when to do this and have a good chance of getting a private lessson. Forget about this on Satruday afternoons but Sunday evenigs usually work and also weekdays if I can go. Is this cheating?
post #2 of 24
Not cheating, but the hill supervisor will (or may) merge the lessons if he sees that you are a clear fit for the 5s.
post #3 of 24
No, but don't whine if a real 6 shows up and you get moved. Way to pay attention. Thanks for taking lessons.
post #4 of 24
It's not cheating at all; it's smart.

Cheating is shadowing a group.
post #5 of 24
It's not cheating, but if the instructor is certified the area is probably paying him/her more than the cost of the lesson. Also, I believe instructors usually get paid more for teaching privates than groups. No worries though they make up for it with those large groups :. If you think its a good deal & a worthwhile experience you might want to tip the instructor.

Another good deal is to take lessons early or very late in the season. Usually the top instructors & supervisors are the first & last on staff.

Sounds like you haven't had very good luck with the groups . Sometimes when a group gels, it can be a lot of fun!

JF
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
It's not cheating, but if the instructor is certified the area is probably paying him/her more than the cost of the lesson. Also, I believe instructors usually get paid more for teaching privates than groups. No worries though they make up for it with those large groups :. If you think its a good deal & a worthwhile experience you might want to tip the instructor.

Another good deal is to take lessons early or very late in the season. Usually the top instructors & supervisors are the first & last on staff.

Sounds like you haven't had very good luck with the groups . Sometimes when a group gels, it can be a lot of fun!

JF
Yes, I always tip if the instructor was good. One time I was so happy with a lesson (the best lesson I ever had) that I gave the guy a $40 tip. He was a young guy probably 20ish and seemed thrilled he got a large tip. Only two times have I not tipped - In a group lesson the instructor showed up late and had to keep getting paged, kept forgetting my name, and seemed disinterested like he wanted to be anywhere but there. Another time the instructor just walked away after the class was over before you could even give a tip.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Not cheating, but the hill supervisor will (or may) merge the lessons if he sees that you are a clear fit for the 5s.
That has hapened before the lesson started. Once there were 4 skiers in group 5 and I was standing by myself under group 6 sign. The guy asked what I wanted to work on and after my response said go with 5. I think he knew what I was up to. Actually though being in both 5 and 6 classes I see no difference of any kind - same terrain at PeaknPeak, same lesson plans(paralell stance, moving down the hill etc, jump while turning etc).
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
It's not cheating, but if the instructor is certified the area is probably paying him/her more than the cost of the lesson. Also, I believe instructors usually get paid more for teaching privates than groups. No worries though they make up for it with those large groups :. If you think its a good deal & a worthwhile experience you might want to tip the instructor.

Another good deal is to take lessons early or very late in the season. Usually the top instructors & supervisors are the first & last on staff.

Sounds like you haven't had very good luck with the groups . Sometimes when a group gels, it can be a lot of fun!

JF
I loathe group lessons. It takes forever just to get everyone on the lifts and meeting up at the top if there are 5 or 6 in the group. Then someone is fooling around with their boots or drops a pole when we start downhill etc. One time a younger kid in the level 5 group started crying because his hands were cold and we had to stop while the instructor paged someone. Its like in groups we are always getting interrupted for something. I have been to maybe 5-7 group lessons over the past 2 years and none of them were worth much IMO. I took away a few drills to work on but thats about it.
post #9 of 24
Not that much, but the lesson would be bumped down to one hour if only three people came .... they would deem it a "semi-private".
post #10 of 24
As Yuki notes, where I work, if only one person shows up for a "class" lesson, the length of the lesson goes from two hours to one.
post #11 of 24
I'm planning on taking a group lesson with my daughter this winter, just because I've never had a group lesson, I think she could benefit from some added instruction. I taught her how to ski, and just taught her to tip and ride the edges in a carve, and do hockey stops. I didn't do a whole lot of wedges or skidded parallel turns or pivots, so there are big gaps in her knowledge base. I want her to benefit from the lesson and I want to ski with her too. I am wondering about the social aspect of a group lesson. I hope the lesson won't turn out to be too boring.
post #12 of 24
And if we know you are cheating ... we take the slowest lift .. :

Just kidding.

Ghost ... go to the lodge and toss down a few stiff ones, stay outa' your daughters lesson. Now you know your kid better than I do, but having someone correct them ..... especially .... when dad said .. "do it this way" .. will put a kid in brain freeze. Just my guess. I had an Austrian couple tag along behind a private for their two daughters (teens) ... and I had to ask them to please leave ... those kids were so stiff ...
post #13 of 24
I hear what you're saying. I will ascertain as best I can if she would rather I not be there. I know enough not to interfere in the lesson. Maybe we can pretend to be strangers during the lesson.

She knows her Dad's an anomaly, and that the instructor will be teaching his way of skiing, which could be quite different than mine. It would be nice to compare notes afterwards.

Still have the age-old question of what level lesson to take. At last count she was typically carving unless spooked, but when spooked she would revert to parallel skidded turns. However her skills at feathering an edge and blending steering into the mix were way behind most people who could carve. Comfy on blues when not overly crowded, uncomfortable on blacks, but thought that beat the heck out of elbowing and hip checking with boarders on a crowded blue.
post #14 of 24
At one hill, we had an old Austrian who would send the whole pack of victims up before the lesson and have them ski down (class assembly was at the top of a short rise) .... then he just pointed to the instructor he wanted you to be with.

The old bird had a keen eye and his "ski off" was way better than any "self rating" system.

You could tell her to go "warm up" by the assembly point before the lesson and have one of the senior instructors (I'd be looking for a gold pin) .. give her a quick look over. Even if it is "the bunny hill" they will be able to spot a lot regarding her movement patterns.
post #15 of 24
Ghost,

How old is she? If under 11, why not put her into Nancy Greene Development Team?

Once a week for 9 weeks and 1/2 the cost of the two day travellling team.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
As Yuki notes, where I work, if only one person shows up for a "class" lesson, the length of the lesson goes from two hours to one.
I was told this was going to happen to my class, but we were having fum ripping around, that we did the 2 anyway.
post #17 of 24
The situation is that you are not cheating the ski area you are cheating yourself.
Don't feel to bad, most (high percentage) people do not know how to take a lesson. The first thing that the instructor should ask you is "What do you want to learn today?" If you don't come to the lesson with a specific goal than the instructor can do anything he/she wants and you have to be happy with it. Speak up! There is nothing better for an instructor to hear than someone who knows what they want. The instructor can now assess your skills (watch you ski) and develop a lesson plan based on your goals and objectives and his/her knowledge of drills and exercises to bring about a positive outcome. A good instructor can deal with many different goals in a group lesson.
Use the others in your group as part of your lesson. See if you can tell what the other students are doing right or wrong. Developing your eye will help develop your skills.
Do your homework.
Go to your local ski school director, explain your situation (I mean tell them you can't afford to take private lessons). If your desire to learn and your enthusiasm for the sport can come through, most will be sympathetic and try to make something good happen for you. Be a ski school regular. If the instructors see you around often enough they will get to know you and take more of an interest.
Find out who is the most requested, most seasoned, number one instructor on the hill. Find that instructor. Ask them when they will be teaching their next lesson at your level or can he/she reccommend another group lesson instructor.
Ask questions during the lesson. If something is not clear, (the instructor should be checking to make sure you understand what is going on). The fact that you may not be able to do the drill or exercise is usually because you don't understand it the way the instructor explained it. Don't be afraid to say "I'm not getting it".
A good instructor should have several different ways to accomplish the same goal. When you do "get it", let the instructor know. A good instructor will know that you "Got it" before you do. I have seen many a student practice a drill or exercise and get very good at it, only to be disappointed to find out that what they thought they were doing was not what they were supposed to be doing. Drills and exercises are either developmental or correctional, know which area you are working with.
Make sure the instructor tells you how what you have been working on will help you to accomplish your goals and how what you have learned will dovetail into your next lesson. Tip the instructor! Even if it's a buck. It shows you appreciated the time if not the content. Let ski school director or supervisor know how the lesson went and that you will be back.

In regards to the "Child"
First I'd like to know, How old is this "child"? Second, What does the "Child" want to do. Third, What is it that Dad thinks this child should be doing?
Most ski parents that try to establish goals and objectives for their child in skiing (or any sport) usually find that their expectations will always fall short of the actualization. Father/child/mother/child lessons work best as privates. If the focus is going to be on the child than the instructor can explain to the parent what they are seeing and explain the lesson plan. It is probably one of the most touchy situations that an instructor has to handle. Most times it is convincing the adult of the benefits of what is being taught. One of Warren Millers great quotes, "You ski as well as your children, the first day you put them on skis. From than on, you will spend the rest of your life chasing them."
It goes back to the original first questions.... why are you taking a lesson today? How can I help you.?
C ya
post #18 of 24
To Wrangler: Very good response. Too many students don't let us know what they need or want from the lesson. We can watch, but we're not mind readers. In most cases a good coach can make a very good lesson for you regardless of how big the class is and how varied the students...IF we know what you want, not just what we see. Too many students don't relate this to the instructor, even after asked multiple times. I know, been there, done that. The student that relays their desires/fears/problems gets the best lesson. It helps us better know why we see what we're seeing and adjust the lesson for you.

To the OP: We see poachers all the time, you're certainly not the first. Read Wrangler's post.
post #19 of 24
The OP's complain isn't so much about the lesson itself being out of focus. It's about having to wait on others in the class. I must say I share some of that sentiment.

I took a "powder intruduction" once. And it was the most frustrating experience of all my lesson experience! Everyone knows how long it takes to get up when one falls on powder... now imagine you have 5 people in the class and every 5 minuites one of them would fall! I'd say over 50% of the class time was spend waiting for my fellow students getting back up from their falls. (and I did my share just the same)

I don't have quite the same problem on all my other lessons. It maybe due to the level. The OP was at level 5, give or take 1. There apparently many student who're not comfortable out on the snow at those levels. I usually take classes at level 7, give and take 1. Fellow students tend to be quite efficient in moving about at lifts and getting going. So we do get to work on a lot of stuff.

Except that one "powder lesson"!!! I basically learn very little (ok, I learn how to get up!) I end up biting the bullet and paid for a one-on-one. And I'd say there's no way the two can compare, whatever the price difference.
post #20 of 24
I can't believe PeaknPeak is that high on prices. Here in ohio the one hour private is $40.00.
post #21 of 24
There's no way P&P is charging $150 an hour for privates.
post #22 of 24
(Maxwell Smart voice)
Would you believe $55?
post #23 of 24

Advanced clinic

I undertook what they call their "Top of the Hill" clinics at White Pass last year and was overwhelmed by the quality of teaching. I was in one of the 2 very top level clinics and came away with increased skill each lesson. Cost last year was $50 per day plus lift ticket. Group size was about 10 per group. We got to scoop the lift line so wait times were minimal. The scheduled the classes for alternating Saturdays starting at 9am till about 2pm with an hour for lunch and video review of ski run(s). I would recommend this to anyone in the Pac. NW who wants to upgrade their skills.
post #24 of 24
Not cheating....Do it till the supv figures it out.

I am very, very sure your instructor appreciates the one-one aspect.
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