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Tipping Ski Instructor

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

I'll be taking a lesson and was wondering what the protocol is in regards to tipping an instructor? If, so what is a fair tip?

 

Thanks

 

 

post #2 of 47

Why, they're getting paid for what they do. Free Pass, may be half off on the food...

 

I volunteer at the Mt helping guest and turn down tips. Yes I get a free pass and half off on the food.

 

I have friends that teach skiing. They do appreciate the tips. Sometimes they have to handle a lot of skiers or kids that are less then appreciative...

 

If your instructor gives you a good lesson and you want, I would guess 10-15% would be normal.

post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Why, they're getting paid for what they do. Free Pass, may be half off on the food...

 

I volunteer at the Mt helping guest and turn down tips. Yes I get a free pass and half off on the food.

so says the person who is a not a teacher and has another job that pays the bill.


 I dont want to tell you what to tip but lets just says most places might  pay the instructor 15-20 bucks an hour and that would be on the extremely high side, most are making much less than that.

 

If like you instructor and want to keep them around a tip of 20ish bucks for an hour is awesome, maybe 50 for a half day and 100 for a full day. Assuming privates. Those are guide lines for a bigger resort and were what the average tips were where I was working in utah.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 47

Hopefully we'll get more reply's,

 

(Devils advocate)

post #5 of 47

I'm not really savvy with tipping instructors, but I've tipped at little as 25 and as much as 100.  Depends on the venue, the coaching and your budget.

 

post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm not really savvy with tipping instructors, but I've tipped at little as 25 and as much as 100.  Depends on the venue, the coaching and your budget.

 

 

Can I teach you a thing or two...

post #7 of 47

I usually tip $20 for half day group if it is a small group or $15 for larger group lesson.  Privates I tip 20% of price.  I also tip the instructors for my kids $10 to $20 a day depending on half day or whole day.  My impression is that the instructors are very appreciative and I've never really had a bad lesson. They almost always give me extra time too.

post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm not really savvy with tipping instructors, but I've tipped at little as 25 and as much as 100.  Depends on the venue, the coaching and your budget.

 

 

Can I teach you a thing or two...

You have taught me much. 

Didn't I tip you with Butt Rub?

THAT's a tip!

post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm not really savvy with tipping instructors, but I've tipped at little as 25 and as much as 100.  Depends on the venue, the coaching and your budget.

 

 

Can I teach you a thing or two...

You have taught me much. 

Didn't I tip you with Butt Rub?

THAT's a tip!

 

I'm still enjoying that, Butt Rub. 

 

post #10 of 47
Usually if I feel the instruction is good about $10/hr is what I've been tipping instructors.  They seem to be appreciative of it, and it seems most don't give them anything.   I'm sure most don't get paid nearly what people think.
post #11 of 47

The pass and food discount don't begin to pay the rent.  I wish there was a stronger culture of tipping instructors but it doesn't even cross the minds of most, especially first timers.  $15-20/hour is after you have put in the time and training to become certified level II or higher, before that its at most a wash.  Most teach because they love to, not because it pays; unfortunately the landlord expects the rent on time either way.  A second job is an essential ingredient in any instructor's tool kit.

post #12 of 47
If a good lesson is given 15%-20% is appreciated.
post #13 of 47
you buy me lunch for a morning lesson, beers for an afternoon lesson. lunch dinner and beers for a full, multiple days.

though the meals arent tips,

i usually get tips from 50 chf to sometimes extraordinary amounts if the conversation during the day shifts to me talking about how im trying to make it through school, have 3 kids alone with the mother long gone, a wooden leg because i lost mine in a war i didnt believe in...
post #14 of 47
Although a tip on the spot is always appreciated, a much better way of showing your appreciation is return business/recomendations.

Most ski schools pay more to instructors for privates and even more for requests (i.e. specifying the instructor).   Tell your friends how good the particular instructor was, etc, etc....

If you can help the instructor build a client base, it'll be worth far more in the long run.... 
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzee View Post

Although a tip on the spot is always appreciated, a much better way of showing your appreciation is return business/recomendations.

Most ski schools pay more to instructors for privates and even more for requests (i.e. specifying the instructor).   Tell your friends how good the particular instructor was, etc, etc....

If you can help the instructor build a client base, it'll be worth far more in the long run.... 

Nice - and true.

If I get a $10 tip I'm happy, so many students don't tip, they either don't know they should, or it's just too expensive for the lesson, lifts, rentals to add a tip to it (or my teaching sucked and didn't deserve one I guess  )

I never hold it against someone for not tipping, and as you say if they come back and request me (which is happening often these days) and still don't tip me, I still don't mind.

Of course I'm a part time instructor with another source of income and teach not to make money (although i do like the money, it offsets a lot of my other ski related expenses.)

If I depended on teaching skiing for my living I guess I'd feel differently.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzee View Post

Although a tip on the spot is always appreciated, a much better way of showing your appreciation is return business/recomendation.
If you can help the instructor build a client base, it'll be worth far more in the long run.... 




Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post




Nice - and true.

If I get a $10 tip I'm happy, so many students don't tip, they either don't know they should, or it's just too expensive for the lesson, lifts, rentals to add a tip to it (or my teaching sucked and didn't deserve one I guess  )

I never hold it against someone for not tipping, and as you say if they come back and request me (which is happening often these days) and still don't tip me, I still don't mind.

Of course I'm a part time instructor with another source of income and teach not to make money (although i do like the money, it offsets a lot of my other ski related expenses.)

If I depended on teaching skiing for my living I guess I'd feel differently.
 


Kind of refreshing to hear. 

I remember a previous thread where there was a "no tip=no second lesson" consensus.
post #17 of 47
This has been covered numerous times in numerous threads.  You might consider using the "Search" function.  Briefly, beginning instructors are paid an average of about $9 an hour.  The most experienced and most requested are paid around $19-$25.  Do the math.  The resort gets virtually all of the price of the lesson, especially privates.  If you received a lesson that exceeded your expectations, a tip is always appreciated.
post #18 of 47
I'm of two minds on this.  Allow me to rant:
  • Ski instructors claim to be professionals.  Lesson rates ($60 to $100 an hour) reflect a professional price.  I'm not expected to tip my car mechanic, my dentist, my investment advisor, or any other professional who is charging professional rates for doing what they do. Why should ski instructors be any different?
  •  

  • The reality is that instructors only gets a small fraction of the lesson price - ten bucks an hour or so, and given the fact that they only get paid when they actually have a lesson they're not making anything close to a professional salary. Without tips, they would have a hard time making ends meet.
  •  

So, what to do?  Well, of course I tip the instructor.  I'm not going to stiff the instructor any more than I'm going to stiff the waiter at dinner.

But that doesn't mean that I'm happy with the way things are done.  The simple fact is that the ski instruction system is hugely profitable for the resorts and stinks for the instructors and the students.  I don't expect that anything I write here will change anything of course.

One simple thing that you can do to mitigate the price inequity is to request a particular instructor.  Most resorts will pay the instructor extra if the lesson is a request, so by requesting someone more of your instruction fee will go to the person doing the work instead of the ski school.  Don't know who to request?  Pick one - most ski schools have a picture wall so you can get a few names from it, and it shouldn't be any worse than getting randomly assigned an instructor.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

I'm of two minds on this.  Allow me to rant:
  • Ski instructors claim to be professionals.  Lesson rates ($60 to $100 an hour) reflect a professional price.  I'm not expected to tip my car mechanic, my dentist, my investment advisor, or any other professional who is charging professional rates for doing what they do. Why should ski instructors be any different?

     

  • The reality is that instructors only gets a small fraction of the lesson price - ten bucks an hour or so, and given the fact that they only get paid when they actually have a lesson they're not making anything close to a professional salary. Without tips, they would have a hard time making ends meet.

     

So, what to do?  Well, of course I tip the instructor.  I'm not going to stiff the instructor any more than I'm going to stiff the waiter at dinner.

But that doesn't mean that I'm happy with the way things are done.  The simple fact is that the ski instruction system is hugely profitable for the resorts and stinks for the instructors and the students.  I don't expect that anything I write here will change anything of course.

One simple thing that you can do to mitigate the price inequity is to request a particular instructor.  Most resorts will pay the instructor extra if the lesson is a request, so by requesting someone more of your instruction fee will go to the person doing the work instead of the ski school.  Don't know who to request?  Pick one - most ski schools have a picture wall so you can get a few names from it, and it shouldn't be any worse than getting randomly assigned an instructor.
 

What a great idea ....pick one from the wall. LOL I love it
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
 Don't know who to request?  Pick one - most ski schools have a picture wall so you can get a few names from it, and it shouldn't be any worse than getting randomly assigned an instructor.

lol, I love it.  or ask who is really good, then walk away and then come back and request that person.

I make $11/hr for a non-request and $30 (1/2 the lesson price) for a requested private. Needless to say the request without a tip is better then the non-request in most cases.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boot View Post




 LOL I love it




Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post




lol, I love it. 


 jinx!
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post

This has been covered numerous times in numerous threads.  You might consider using the "Search" function.  Briefly, beginning instructors are paid an average of about $9 an hour.  The most experienced and most requested are paid around $19-$25.  Do the math.  The resort gets virtually all of the price of the lesson, especially privates.  If you received a lesson that exceeded your expectations, a tip is always appreciated.
oh wow

in the alps beginning instructors get paid 26 chf per hour for a non requested general group lesson, which is about equal to 25 US dollars.
beginning instructors are like 20 to 25 year olds who just got their basi 2 and have no teaching experience. they teach the little kiddies

i wont even mention how much the ski schools pay the most experienced and most requested instructors.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boot View Post

What a great idea ....pick one from the wall. LOL I love it

Pick me!  Pick me! (waving right hand & arm up in the air) 
http://www.4squareheadgear.com/wp_instructors/index.html 
post #24 of 47

The Ski Resort does get the bulk of the profit for lessons, but they also create the market in which an instructor can work.  Anyway, I took a lesson once, the instructor ended up tipping me.

post #25 of 47
The photo wall idea works for smaller ski areas with a staff of maybe 50-75.  Larger resorts usually have several lesson points of departure and hundreds of instructors.  They don't put up a photo wall.
post #26 of 47
 We're a small area and don't have a photo wall.   
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Boot View Post




What a great idea ....pick one from the wall. LOL I love it
 

Hey- if we had a photowall at Vail (we used to), there are a few cute blondes on our staff I would book!  ;)
post #28 of 47

 

Yes my job is one of the best a girl can have and yes I am a full-time ski instructor. We are paid quite minimally, usually not issued health insurance, and yes we do it for the love of the sport. I do expect to be tipped and usually am tipped $10 to $20 for a two hour group lesson, more for an all-day or private lesson ($40-$50), still more for consecutive programs, $100-$200 for 10 week programs. My job is to keep folks safe, show them a good time, be their concierge, and of course to improve their skiing. I do not use my clients as excuses to play around the mountain; I take their physical and mental conditions into account, adjust to their needs, desires and learning styles, and to boot I need to understand the psychology of skiing as well as the physical anatomy of a skier. I act as baby-sitter, friend, and ersatz mother. I carry candy, prizes, hand warmers, snacks, ski wax in my pockets for you, I'll even give your child my gloves to wear because theirs didn't get dry the night before. Training and education, books, ski association membership dues, and equipment are costly. Do you know that I pack out a pair of boots in under two seasons?
So I ask, if you were happy with your or your child's lesson, that you please tip your ski and snowboard instructors at the end of a lesson - it's an investment that comes right back at you.
post #29 of 47

When you're considering tipping after receiving a lesson consider this:

  1.  Most instructors make an hourly wage, NOT a portion of the lesson fee you pay.

  2.  For instructors who teach children: they teach your child how to ski, make sure they have a good time and keep them safe (sometimes in extremely crowded trails), deal with sick, crying and uncooperative cases with a smile on their face. Could you do the same?

  3.  For instructors who teach adults:  they teach you in a way that is possible to learn/perfect a sport at an age when you can get seriously injured, they watch your back and make sure you do it safely and correctly.

  4.  As an instructor who teaches children, when I receive a tip I consider it an acknowledgment of the effort I put in to bring their child back with a new found love of skiing and safe!

This being said, if you truly have a poor instructor for you or your child don't tip, customer service is the job and if they don't meet that service level, then they are in the wrong business.

Ski on!

-K

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post


lol, I love it.  or ask who is really good, then walk away and then come back and request that person.
 


Or if the resort has a guest services department ask them to suggest someone. They will get good and bad feedback from the public, as well as ski with, and take lessons from, most of the full time instructors. Asking at the ski school desk they will do the best job they can matching students to teachers, but if you ask for a recommendation, then come back later the same day to book the lesson, most desks will not record it as a request. 

 

As many have noted the economics of ski instruction stink. Yes Max Capacity and others, I love my job and would do it for free if I could afford it. I can't afford it. When people ask and I have time I'm always open to a run with a pointer or two and never expect (nor ever received) a tip for that. I likewise do not expect tips for paid lessons. I do not think worse of people who do not tip, and can see no reason to try to duck a client with a history of not tipping. Over 30+ years of doing this the only client I ever did think about ducking was a good tipper, but it always seemed he felt he was buying  his way out of bad behavior, rather then showing appreciation for a job well done.

 

I realize lessons are expensive. A large proportion of the public, if they think of it at all, think the instructor is getting a fair percentage of that. At most places in the US we are not. I do not expect my clients to make up for the shortcomings of an industry but keep in mind the old show business saying....."Anyone can clap and cheer, but real appreciation is green and folds"

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