Take on board these 5 essential tips to get the most out of your ski and snowboard lessons:
Take it from me, don’t get your first ski lesson from a family member or friend. Even if you think your relationship is 100% indestructible, trust me, it’s not – you’ve never been skiing together before. Skiing is a lot of fun but the enjoyment can be sucked out incredibly quickly when your partner or friend gets bored and frustrated trying to teach you when all they want to do is go fast. Do yourself a favour and get a lesson from a professional snow sports instructor, they are trained to get you skiing confidently in the quickest way possible while ensuring the learning process is both safe and fun!
Everybody wants to be hitting up the double black diamond runs like a pro, but try not to get caught up in the different run colours when you’re learning. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, if you’re taking a lesson you will most likely be on green or blue runs, working on perfecting technique and learning new skills, neither of which can be done on the steep (unless you’re tackling moguls!). Effective learning requires a more gentle and easily controllable environment, so trust your instructor when they steer you away from the steep stuff and put your effort into perfecting any flaws in your technique. This way when you do hit those double blacks, you know you will be 100% in control.
Everybody on the slopes is looking for a slightly different experience, know what you’re after and choose the right lesson accordingly. If you are a sociable person and looking for something a little more laid-back while you’re getting to grips with skiing, go for a group lesson. The learning process in a group is generally a little more relaxed and social. Your instructors are adept at dealing with groups of students and getting everyone skiing together for a fun and effective introduction to the sport.
If you are feeling especially anxious, or are perhaps wanting to work on some specific skills and techniques for your own improvement, you may want to consider booking in for a private lesson. This is a much more intimate learning environment and gives the opportunity to really focus on improving and paying special attention to any flaws or skills you would like to work on.
HOT TIP: If you’re in a group lesson, be sure to speak up! If there is something you don’t understand, if you’d like to know why you’re learning a specific skill – let your instructor know, they can’t help you if you don’t tell them when you have a problem.
The most difficult part of a ski school’s day is line-up, when everyone is being sorted into the right group for their lesson. In order to be placed with the right group of skiers and the best instructor for your needs, you may be asked a few questions about your snow experience. Be honest and don’t try to either up-skill yourself or downplay your experience – you may be asked questions relating to how many days skiing you have had, what sort of terrain you have skied previously, any specific skills you are aiming to work on etc. It is important that you answer honestly so that you are placed with a group and instructor that will be the best fit for your ability and ambitions.
That feeling when you first make it all the way down a run without a fall is one of the greatest highs you’ll experience on the snow, but try not to let all that new-found confidence go to your head! One of the great things about skiing and snowboarding is that there is always more to learn, always harder terrain to conquer, and always the opportunity to go just that little bit faster. Embrace everything about the sport and aim to continue developing your skills. The more you learn, the more enjoyable the snow is – take an extra lesson, book into a development clinic, continue pushing yourself that little bit further every time you’re on the mountain and you will have found a sport that will keep you blissfully happy for decades to come!
At Ski New Zealand we know that simply selling you one of our Ski Packages isn't enough to ensure a great experience.
That’s why we take the time to prepare our suggestions to include the things we know our guests want and will enjoy. Almost 90% of the SKI NZ packages we create and book are tailor-made for our guests. We take the time to consult with you, learn about your group’s abilities, the kind of place you enjoy staying in, how you want to travel up and down the mountain and of course how you want to feel about your Ski Holiday. By this we mean some people want to be completely exhausted and exhilarated at the end of each day, some want to take it easy, enjoy a few runs and then a coffee or a wine. Everyone is different.
Our team of New Zealand specialists are based in Wanaka which if you didn’t already know is probably the best location to be in if you enjoy winter snow sports. Nearly everyone here enjoys skiing or snowboarding, some to extreme levels and others enjoy a more relaxed and family approach to the slopes. This means we have people who with real-life, real-time experience located right in the heart of New Zealand’s ski area. The advice they give comes with true local knowledge.
So if you want to explore Coronet Peak or the Remarkables in Queenstown, Cardrona, Snow farm or Treble Cone in Wanaka, Roundhill & Mt. Dobson in Tekapo or Mt. Hutt near Christchurch then talk to the team at Ski New Zealand before you book your next winter holiday.