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Group lessons for advanced skiers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A question for the combined wisdom of the forum:

I'm an every-weekender at Killington. I'm a generic advanced recreational skier. I've had no formal instruction since some junior racing at Stratton 30 years ago. Last season, I skied with a small group of strong skiers for 3 days at Snowbird with a private instructor and got some valuable pointers (and got to cut the tram line on a couple thigh deep powder days). I've concluded that I really should try to get some ongoing instruction and I'm looking for the most cost-effective way to do it at a mountain that gets $78/hour for a private lesson.

Killington offers a fairly inexpensive season pass to their Perfect Turn group lessons where break-even is 6 or 7 lessons. The restriction on the pass is that there has to be at least one other "paying" customer or they won't offer the class. I'm wondering if this is the way to go or if I should do privates and/or one or two 2-day advanced clinics.

post #2 of 5
I love to teach privates. Our privates are the basic one hour lesson. However, just as we get on a roll, the hour is over.

The advanced group lesson is two and one half hours. Most level 7-8 group lessons have only one or two students. I feel that much more is accomplished with a small group lesson. Moreover, even with 2 or three students, group dynamics come into play. This is where the real advantage of group lessons takes place. Besides group lessons are cheaper!

post #3 of 5
Welcome back to ski class(es)! Skiing will get to be even more fun now...

The most important thing is the relationship between you and your instructor(s). And you may want to consider getting more than one guru. Be selective and picky. Certifications mean a lot, but longevity and passion mean as much or more. How many students has this instructor helped, especially at your level or interests?

Privates, when the relationship clicks, are very effective. They can cost a lot.

The ski camps, various types, are really nice. You are hooked up with folks of similar abilites, and learn together over a series of days.

Sometimes this kind of group happens in upper level group lessons, especially at a destination resort. But it's a catch and miss thing.

Semi privates are overlooked. Do you have another ski buddy (or 2-3) that are very close in ablility and desires? Most ski schools let you hire a Private Instructor, and have a rate for adding people that lowers the cost per person.

I have done that trick with friends in the past, on vacation. Works well. Especially if you posse up with a few friends for a ski vacation from time to time.

I strongly suggest that you get a chance for video feedback, during a series of lessons. This will really speed up the learning process.

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver <A HREF="http://communities.msn.com/SnoPeople

" TARGET=_blank>http://communities.msn.com/SnoKarver

post #4 of 5

If you do go to K every weekend, then I don't think it would be a stretch to get in 7+ lessons in a season. And if you take them at about 11am or 1-2pm, you can work around the crowds.

The big question I have, is can you request to have a specific, or at least the same, instructor every time?

If not, you may be better off taking privates or semi privates, since you don't want to spend time in each lesson reviewing or repeating what you may have done in past lessons, or end up with an instructor you have a hard time learning from, and wasting a couple of lessons.

If they don't let you request specific instructors, and you can find an instructor you like, you might be able to set up something with him, so that he is always available when you are going to be there, and you'll end up with him every time. I've done that at regular group lesson times, where I know who is coming, and when I see them, I sort of magically appear there, and tell the line-up "I'll take this group". The ski school mgt doesn't usually mind, because the instructor is volunteering to take a lesson, and the instructors love upper level lessons, and even moreso when they have been with the student a few times.
post #5 of 5
Anytime you take a group lesson with other participants you gamble. This isn't saying group lessons are bad. A worthwile instructor can work with splits in the group. Meeting new folks can be great too. But you do risk a different pace from what you desire.

Some areas offer Custom Groups; if you get together a minimum number of people, you can pay the group rate, ski with familiar folks, and sometimes even get the instructor of your choice.

The semi private mentioned above is a great way to go; keeping the group small and familiar while cutting cost.

Try a group lesson. Try a private. Talk to the sales desk wherever you go to find out what products they offer before deciding. Many places offer price breaks if you buy private hours in blocks. You can also find out valuable info like the most requested instructor. Line privileges are a gas aren't they! Sounds like you scored on that day. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 04, 2001).]</FONT>
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