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Looking for good lessons.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! This is my first post here.

      I am 28 years old and have just started skiing again for the first time in nearly 9 years. Unfortunately at 6feet and 270lbs I am overweight and def. out of shape. Never the less the first time hitting the snow has recaptured my love of the sport and motivated me to get fit, and learn how to ski better.

     For the most part I am self taught. I can ski intermediate trails pretty decent, make it down the diamonds, and somehow manage not to eat snow down these weak NJ-NY double diamonds. Bumps make me squeal (and not in a good way).  Now, while some people that think making it down a double diamond indeed makes them an expert, I am not delusional.  I can feel that my technique is dismal at best, and in fact do not know what good technique is. But i want to learn. I want to get better. I want to be able to ski with authority.

      I live in NJ and am looking for good professional ski lessons. I think i would enjoy private lessons even though i don't have a TON of money to spend on them. I feel I am a better learner one on one, and most likely would take more out of 1 hour of private lessons that 3 hours of group lessons. Heck, even if i only took 1, 2 hour lesson a year i feel it would give me a base to work on for the rest of the year. Perfect what i was taught and be ready to progress next year, or halfway through the season take a second lesson if the budget allows.

      Once again I want to learn it right this time, because i feel that i will enjoy skiing so much more. What advice can all of you recommend to me? Are there any recommendations for ski instructors in my area? Cost is also a concern but i can be flexible. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

       Am i better off seeking lessons from a resort, or would it be more cost efficient to seek out an instructor that does not work for the resort? (Id rather pump money into a good individuals pocket then a big money making resort!)

Well thanks all from me for now, Thanks in advance for the help!

post #2 of 8
What you really want out of a first lesson(s) is an instructor who isn't going to try and quick fix your superficial technique issues, but provide a learning framework for you to improve and understand good skiing with when you are outside of lessons. You seem to be on the right path already, but just make sure to level set your expectations and realize that one lesson or tip by itself won't make much of a change in your skiing. Really improving your skiing takes a lot of personal dedication to practice, practice, practice on your own time the things you learn in the lessons.

Leverage the internet too. Take a lesson, spend some time working on the advice, get video and post it on the forums. That way you can get constant feedback in between lessons. 

Good luck!
post #3 of 8
Welcome to Epic 92!

Am i better off seeking lessons from a resort, or would it be more cost efficient to seek out an instructor that does not work for the resort? (Id rather pump money into a good individuals pocket then a big money making resort!)

It probably is more cost efficient to seek out an instructor that does not work for the resort when you look at it from a dollar per hour perspective. However, EpicSki does not allow people to make such arrangements through our community unless the services are provided "above the table". There is a more important reason to work through a resort and a better way for EpicSki to help you improve. Ron White is an instructor at Hunter. We provide an Instructor Listing to make it easy for you to find a good ski coach. If you learn best one on one, this is the best way for us to help you.

Now, if you want to be cost efficient, the most cost efficient way to get help is to get yourself video'd, post it to youtube/vimeo and then start a thread in the analysis forum asking for help.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies.

       The nearest mountains to me that have instructors listed on this website are Mountain Creek, and Blue Mountain. Is it safe to say that any instructor listed on this site is highly qualified to teach me the proper way to ski? Are any of the instructors at these two resorts highly recommended over the others?

       At first glance it would look best to take lessons at blue mountain, being that their private lesson are $30 less for 2 hours, and $50 less for 3 hours. This is all most likely advanced research for next year. I don't want to take a lessons at the end of the ski season only too forget everything i have learned over the off season. But its never too early to get informed and have a good game plan for next year.

       As for video taping, i think i will leave this till after a lesson. I feel there is too much to work on most likely via Internet teaching. LOL.  After I have taken a lesson and practiced what i have been taught, I'm sure video taping it and having the experts look will help me tweak things better.

      Are there any things that can be done off the mountain, in the off season?

Thanks for all the help so far. Seems to be a great community here!

post #5 of 8

Highly qualified is often a matter of opinion. At Epic, instructors need only to be active in the community and supporters of the community in order to get on the instructor list. One of the neat features of EpicSki is that you can look at the instructor profile and read their posting history to determine for yourself how capable an instructor is. Another way to find a highly qualified pro is to check their certification level. A certified pro is not necessarily better than an non-certified pro, but certification demonstrates a level of commitment and that the pro has met a certain standard. If you blindly ask for anyone who is level 3 certified, the odds are that you'll get an eye opening experience.

Don't be afraid to take a lesson this year. I've had plenty of students kick themselves for not taking a lesson sooner because we'd made big changes that made skiing a lot more fun. If anything, the increased motivation could be helpful over the summer. Warren Miller said "if you don't do it this year. you'll just be another year older when you do". When you do take a lesson, don't be afraid to take notes or ask your pro for drills that you can do to reinforce what you've learned.

Try in-line skating as an off season activity. Get a 5 wheel model and don't forget to wear pads, wrist guards and a helmet if only to set a good example for the kids. Find some hills and get a good low impact cardio workout climbing up and practice skiing movements with your feet side by side coming down.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
^^^ I think i may have left out that another reason I'm not seeking lessons this year is do to my financial situation. Being the first year back skiing, there we some expenses that have worked this years skiing budget very thin.  New ski pants, gloves, hat and socks. Not to mention it cost me nearly double to get my ski gear tuned up do to excessive rust on the edges and the need to have my bindings and boots checked an adjusted. Fact is I still need some new goggles (ones i have at cheap and scratched up) and from what i have read its time to get new boots. Not to mention my skis that are outdated, being the first generation shaped skis.  I will be looking to get one more season on my skis and boots next year, and concentrate on learned to ski better instead of making myself feel good with new gear.

    The inline skating is a good idea. I have a pair of inline hockey skates that are really nice. They don't have 5 wheels, but they have really fast bearings and force you into a forward stance similar to a ski boot. I think these will do just fine. Heck, they even hurt my feet like my ski boots!  HAHA.

Thanks once again for all the help!
post #7 of 8

Don't discount the importance of properly fitted ski boots. Your boots are your connection to the skis and while good fit might not make you a better skier a poor fit can prevent you  from being a better skier. If you have a tight budget wait for the end of the season to look for boots. If you do go for new boots go to a reputable fitter. Your feet will thank you.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Through some recent research i know that i am in trouble with my boots. If i land too far forward on a small jump my toes jam into the front. I can feel my heels lifting and i tend to have to leave the bottom two buckles loose than i would like or the middle inside of my feet will hurt very much. I know that i need new boots, but the problem remains money to some extent, and a wife that thinks my boots "LOOK" fine.

In these tough economic times it seems as though next year may be get good boots but don't ski, or try and deal with these boots one more year and be able to afford a few good ski days and a professional lesson. Making both happen in the budget next season is going to be very hard for me.
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