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Old 07.02.2008, 12:03
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how many skiing lessons do you need?

I recently started skiing lessons, and am not sure how many lessons I should take in total. At the moment, I am planning a total of about 12 hours (a mix of group and private lessons). Though, I don't know if this is too much or too little.

I am somewhat curious to know how many skiing lessons other people have generally required before they are comfortable with "hitting the slopes" on their own.

Would appreciate your feedback
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Old 07.02.2008, 12:41
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

There is no real answer to this. Only you will know when you are comfortable hitting the slopes without an instructor. I hit the slopes with no instruction, survived but was a rubbish skier. I have had students who are fine to find their way down a blue slope with a friend after two hours of instruction. I have had others who aren't anywhere near ready after 20 hours of instruction.

Don't worry about it. If you aren't ready after 12 hours then just book more lessons. If you feel ready before the 12 hours are up, then you can happily squeeze in a few cheeky runs between lessons, and the extra lessons will just improve your skills and confidence. As long as you are having fun it is all good.
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Old 07.02.2008, 12:47
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

How many lessons do you need to do what?

Ski instruction is a fine art of trying to get the punter never to quit taking more lessons. To this end they teach you things that in later lessons they teach you not to do - like the snowplough turn for example. So you could spend the rest of your life having lessons.

To be an average skier can take between 10 and 100 lessons - it all depends on you head (skiing is very much a head sport). If you are fearless, confident and fit and have the humility and time to put what you are taught into practice and not think you know better, or simply find 'your way of skiing' easier, then it will be nearer 10 lessons.

But be prepared to come back for more when you realise your technique and ability have reached a plateau...
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:00
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

I suggest you take enough lessons to feel comfortable finishing easy blue runs on your own. Next year take more lessons to better your technique and gain confidence to go down reds etc.

The most important thing about learning to ski is not the number of lessons you take, it´s the amount of time and effort you put into practicing what you´ve learnt during those lessons. You only become a more confident skier by skiing.
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:01
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

As a measure, I'd say that most people in the 16-20 range take about 3 hours of skiing lessons before being able to do a basic slalom on an easy blue. I would expect the twelve hours to include some slope time (that is, not just the "baby slope")
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:10
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

1 week of ski school, that is 5 days, 2 hours per day each morning and practising on my own in afternoon.

this got me to snowplough, then parralel turn by the end of the week. i did practise a lot in my own time, was fairly sporty, young, and fearless.

adjust to suit yourself.

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Old 07.02.2008, 13:11
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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To this end they teach you things that in later lessons they teach you not to do - like the snowplough turn for example. So you could spend the rest of your life having lessons.
That is priceless.

Seriously though, you can spend the rest of your life taking lessons. I taught skiing for 6 years almost 15 years ago and one of the most important things I learned was that we never stop learning. Whether you are a skier or a doctor, if you work in finance or in auto repair, there will always be something new to learn; those who want to stay on top of their game will not be afraid to go back and ask an expert to teach them.

As for the above quote, the snowplough, properly done, is the basis of a carved turn. As with many skills, you need a good foundation on which to build. Perhaps Abfab could do with a few lessons...
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:13
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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(skiing is very much a head sport).
I think another big factor is experience of other rolling/sliding sports. Skateboarding, rollerblading, waterskiing, ice skating etc. If you are used to "controlled falling" and that sort of "fluid weight transfer", it will all come much more easily for sure, even if there are some big technique differences.

If I werent an ingrained skiier I would probably think of learning snowboarding.. its much more accessible for beginners I think. As for skiis the modern carving skiis make it much easier than it used to be.. AbFab, Im not sure they've taught snowplough and stem turns for a few years now.

Daniel
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:19
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

I took 3 private lessons and was ready to go as a beginner.

I don't think it is worth to take many lessons at the beginning.

The first thing you have to learn is how to stand and how to stop with your skis on a gentle slope ( that is to do the "V" )

It takes time of practice to be ready to do that. To let your body learn how to stand, move, fall, stand up, break and stop.

No matter how many lessons more you take while you are learning this, it will not help you, you'll only waste your money.

Then when you can do that you have to learn how to turn, that is made applying preasure on the ski that is turning and let the other ski float, and move your body with the turn to place you ready on the other turn.

This too. one or two lessons are enough, then you have to practice and practice on gentle baby slopes first, green after, blue after.

Then you'll need a lesson to manage your turns and speed on more difficult slopes.

I sincerelly advice you to go little by little. Your body has to learn and develop a mechanical memory and adapt to the sport, slowly... the teacher can't do that for your body.... you can if you know what you have to do and do it slowly and with patience.

For example

Go on day 1, take 1 or maybe 2 hours lesson and then spend the rest of the day practicing on the baby.

next time, no lesson, just practice

next time, take the lesson on turning, 1 hour at the begining of the day. practice the day long. then take another lesson at the end of the day ( or next day in the morning ) to check if you are doing it right.. spend the rest of the day practicing your turns.

etc.

There is a wonderful series of 3 DVD I have called Breakthrough on Skis by Lito Tejada ( from beginner to advanced). He teaches you what you have to do on the skis and why you have to do it so you can have your mind and body into it.

i learned more with that DVD than in my 3 lessons. and the dvd will cost you less than 1 hour of instruction. you can get it from amazon.com I think.

I am able to go down up to the red slopes with this learning approach.
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:29
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

Wow! Thanks for everybody's advice so far.

I've only had 1 lesson so far, which was a bit scary, but I felt a big accomplishment by the end of the afternoon when I was able to ski down the baby slope without falling.

But when I see the actual blue slopes, they look amazingly scary! I guess it's baby steps for me
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:35
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

Yes, It is baby steps. So there is no need to get that many hours of teaching, it is better to get much more hours of patient practice.

You have to be patient. Your body has to learn how to move, how to balance your weight, with subtle preasure and resistence on the right points at the right moment, and this until it does it in an almost unconcious automatic way, then little by little you'll be doing more and more difficult slopes with ease.

Yes.... sking is dancing with the mountains
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:44
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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But when I see the actual blue slopes, they look amazingly scary! I guess it's baby steps for me
When you've done a blue, go back the learner slope, it will look and feel flat...
... before you know it you will thinking of the blue's as flat motorways and the reds as scary. But leave the blacks for a few seasons, they tend to be black for a good reason and much harder than red than red are to blue, sometimes steepness but often because there is little bail-out room. And nothing spoils skiing more than having the confidence knocked out of your by trying something too hard.

Be aware, not all teachers are alike... sadly too many of them, particularly for beginners, are kids doing the Swiss equivalent of having a "gap year". If you don't feel you are learning, dont automatically assume it's you, dont be embarrased, just try a different teacher.

Daniel
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Old 07.02.2008, 13:48
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

I learned snowboarding first. It was painful and still is. This is my second season. I learned how the different conditions and types of snow react to the board. This was a good thing to learn.

Then I tried skiing. I will probably never go back to boarding as skiing for me is so much easier, so much more intuitive. We walk facing forwards on two legs. Boarding for me is uncomfortable and difficult.

For skiing I spent one day on the training piste learning to turn and stop. The second time I went skiing I could manage a blue, fell quite a bit and struggled on red pistes. The third time I went skiing it all came together and I found I could control more or less any situation I was in.

I can now manage all the blues and reds at Flums. I never took lessons. i just figured it out. I ws not afraid of falling, god knows i've seen stars so many times on the snowboard. So not falling all the time and it not being anywhere near as painful has made skiing accessible for me.

Lessons are a good idea though, I'm doing something right, but I have no idea what it is.

Next year I'll take some instruction for specific techniques to get down very steep slopes safely.
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Old 07.02.2008, 14:14
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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AbFab, Im not sure they've taught snowplough and stem turns for a few years now.
The Snowplow and stem turns are still the basis of most modern ski teaching. Carve skis just make things easier and speed up the learning process. But there are a number of ski schools which are having a lot of success with starting their guests on short skis (120cm) and starting them straightaway on parrallel turns. For most people this is fairly easy on a baby slope with short skis and develops their technique faster, skipping the bits that you then have to unlearn as AbFab points out. But it is not as successful if somebody is a bit timid and is still trying to find their balance as generally they can't learn anything until they know that they can stop when they want to.

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Detailed description of a very gentle approach to learning to ski
Although I don't disagree with you about taking things at a steady pace and not moving on until you are ready. I also agree that breaking the lessons up with private practice, lesson in the morning and practice in the afternoon is good (Don't tell my ski school boss I said that, he might rupture a blood vessel in his wallet). But I don't think you should spend as much time as that on the snowplow stop before you start turning. Two reasons for this. Firstly, snowplowing requires a lot of strength and is very tiring. The sooner you can turn the sooner it will stop hurting. Also, turning is by far the best way of controlling speed, the snowplow is of limited use. The sooner you get turning, the more likely it is that you will instinctively use a turn to keep things under control rather than falling back on a snowplow and learning how ineffective that is on a steep blue or red slope.

But, at the end of the day, there isn't really a right or wrong way of learning how to ski. Just a lot of different approaches. If you are having fun and are progressing at a rate that you are comfortable with, it's all good. Even if you only spend and hour on the slope and go straight to Après.
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:00
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

A ski instructor once told me that you make great progress on the first two days because you go from zero to probably being able to get down a nursery slope on your own and maybe tackle a T-Bar lift.

Day three you hit a plateau because you are tired and achey from the first two days efforts and the progress slows down a bit because you have picked up the basics.

Learning (for me) has taken years because I am total scaredy cat on the slopes and have all the coordination and grace of a five legged horse.

Stick at it and get to the level where you feel confident.

Good luck.
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:18
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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I recently started skiing lessons, and am not sure how many lessons I should take in total. At the moment, I am planning a total of about 12 hours (a mix of group and private lessons). Though, I don't know if this is too much or too little.

I am somewhat curious to know how many skiing lessons other people have generally required before they are comfortable with "hitting the slopes" on their own.

Would appreciate your feedback

Divide your height (cm's) by your shoe size (US sizes) - FACT.
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:21
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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Divide your height (cm's) by your shoe size (US sizes) - FACT.

...and add your age.
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:23
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

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...and add your age.

Why that would just be totally made up.
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:48
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

I fondly remember my first experience on skis many years ago - I took off down the slope Franz Klammer-style and then quickly found you need to turn. I could turn in one direction slowly and the day was exhausting but hilarious

Needless to say the next time I went, I took a three-hour private lesson with a couple of friends and, 2 hours 50 into it, it "clicked". I then quickly progressed to the mogul field under Titlis.....and never went back...

I switched to snowboarding and had 3 x 2 hour lessons with friends. I then took to the powder and did not look back until I smashed my leg in utterly shit conditions.

I'm now taking a career break
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Old 07.02.2008, 15:51
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Re: how many skiing lessons do you need?

I think the best advice so far has been to split the lessons up. Once you've been told how to stand, shift your balance and string together some plough (or parallel) turns, depending on your aptitude it will take you one to ten hours of practice before you're comfortable getting from top to bottom of a baby slope. There's really no point paying for lessons during this time, you just need to practice.
When you're happy with that, get more lessons to show you parallel turns, carving, better technique etc and keep practicing what you learned.
When I started, I had a week of all-day group lessons and I would have been better off having a one hour lesson each morning and practicing on my own for the rest of each day, which is effectively what we did, except we ended up paying an extra 5 hours each day for the teacher to watch us practicing what he taught us that morning.

Obviously if you're rich, by all means have permenant lessons. Even pros have coachs and can benefit from lessons, but I'd say the most cost effective way to learn is to have an hour or two of lessons and follow up with private practice till you feel ready to learn more.
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