Let’s talk skiing lessons! Some of us out there find them entertaining and love being taught the technique. Others find them tedious. Many prefer a lesson-free holiday, with just the open slopes in front of them.
But is skiing without lessons a good idea? With all the advancements and improvements to ski equipment- is it worth it to go without teaching? To answer this for you, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons.
What are the pros of skiing without lessons?
For those of us who have fond memories of ski-school or who are dedicated to improving our technique, lesson-free skiing may seem like anarchy.
However, there are some undeniable perks. Most people prefer ski-holidays when they no longer need lessons. So, why not skip them completely?
It’s the cheaper option
For those who want the skiing experience without the hefty price tag, skipping the lessons will save you some money. Who doesn’t love to save money?
Whilst there are many ways to make your holiday cheaper, it can’t be argued that skiing lessons are expensive. Skiing without them avoids this!
Many are willing to sacrifice the best technique for a more affordable price. We can’t really blame them.
Your holiday has more freedom
Hitting the slopes should be about fun and excitement, right? Lessons get in the way of this.
With a lesson-free holiday, skiers are free to follow their own schedule. Want to get up a bit later? You can! Fancy hitting a new slope? Go for it! Want to go wherever the mood takes you? That’s fine too!
Skiing without lessons offers a sense of freedom you won’t get otherwise. It’s just you and the slopes!
Do it your own way
Some people are really against being told what to do. They reject having to take lessons while on holiday- ‘it’s not what holidays are for!’
So, freestyle skiing is the perfect solution. Playing by your own rules is a much more appealing option. You are free to ski however you choose, without being constantly corrected.
You don’t have to be an expert
Skiing without lessons is appealing because not all of us are trying to be a pro. Many are perfectly content with simply having fun.
Some people ski simply as a one off, so lessons seem like a waste of money.
Particularly for child-less groups and university trips, skiing is mainly about the après. So, who cares how good you are on the slopes?
As long as you’re enjoying yourself- that’s all that matters!
Too old for ski-school?
Many people don’t go skiing until they are an adult, and it’s fair to assume that adults don’t want to take lessons.
It’s not about arrogance! Rather, ski lessons are simply off-putting for adults, especially if travelling with a group that have all been before.
So, one huge pro of skiing without lessons is just that. No ski-school for you!
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There’s a consequence for everything…
Unfortunately, first-time skiing without lessons has its downsides. While some people might be self-assured in their natural abilities, this is not true for everyone. Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world!
To the question ‘Should I get lessons before my first ski holiday?’ our answer is yes, definitely. Here are our reasons why:
You might get left behind
One major con of skiing without lessons is that you may be left out. If everyone you are on holiday with has been before, you may find yourself skiing on your own. At least if you’re in a group lesson you’ll be surrounded by people with the same abilities!
Skiing is a fun and sociable activity, but skiing without lessons may cause it to be the opposite. Who wants to be the last one down the slopes every time?
Burden on family and friends
Sadly, your family and friends won’t want to spend their holiday teaching you. They may not mind giving the odd coaching tip, but eventually you will become annoying. It’s sad but true!
Also, the rest of your skiing party will want to maximise their time on the slopes. So, no one will want to spend their time waiting for you.
You’ll miss out!
Want the full experience? Many of the best skiing experiences are only for intermediate level and above. Skiing lessons make these possible!
While for some, skiing may mean freedom, without lessons, you won’t be able to go on the tougher pistes and the black runs. Off-piste skiing? Forget it!
For intermediate and advanced level skiers, there is the opportunity to try heli-skiing. Ever wanted to see the mountains like never before? Unfortunately for those who skipped their lessons, this exhilarating experience will be out of reach.
We don’t recommend any adrenaline junkies skip lessons.
You might end up red-faced
No, not from the slopes.
Without lessons, it’s likely you will end up fumbling and falling about with no clue how to get back up again.
Clearly, this will be quite embarrassing. Skiing is a stylish sport!
It causes bad habits
No matter how confident you are of your natural ability, skipping the lessons can lead to bad habits that are hard to break.
This is a concern for those who want to ski regularly, and look good doing it.
While lessons seem tedious, you only need a few to pick up the technique.
What’s involved in turning? How do you brake? These questions can be answered in lessons.
On paper, skiing without lessons may seem like a great idea. However, once on the slopes it will probably be daunting to not know where to begin.
Consider those around you
Possibly the most important reason to take lessons is that they make you safer around others. Hurtling down the mountain can affect those around you!
Did you know there’s a technique for falling safely? Do you know how to carry your skis correctly? All these safety tips will be missed without lessons!
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Here’s how it’s done
If our list of pros and cons has convinced you to go ahead with skiing without lessons, we’d like to offer some advice on how to do it. We’re not always sensible either.
While we probably wouldn’t recommend it, if you’re going to try, try it safely. There’s still some things you need to remember!
Avoid injuries at all costs
Chances are, avoiding lessons will increase your chance of injury. But there’s no stopping some people!
Injuries ruin holidays. So, with or without lessons, follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
- Wear the correct boots- ski boots aren’t like other shoes. Make sure they fit properly to avoid injury.
- Get fit- skiing uses muscles that you won’t use often. Train these before you go to avoid pulling something!
- Don’t show off- if a piste looks too hard for you, it probably is. Stick to your level.
- Borrow all the correct kit- goggles may not be a fashionable item but they are essential! Your ski pants shouldn’t be flapping about above your boots. Tuck them in!
There’s no shame in copying
You’ll be surrounded by the plenty of skiers, and most of them will likely have been before. Use them!
Watching the technique and style of good skiers is a great way to learn. Study their every move! It’s surprising how much you can pick up.
Be confident in your ability
Sometimes, the worst skiers are those who doubt their abilities. It can be as simple as mind over matter.
Without any lessons, it’s likely your first time on the scopes will be a scary one. However, if you believe you have natural ability, it’s likely you will pick it up quicker.
Ski with confidence!
Put technology to good use
In this day and age, technology is a great teacher. While it can’t give you the time and expert guidance that lessons can, it is an excellent substitute.
- Watch videos- YouTube has a video for everything. There are plenty of great skiing videos out there, with surprising amounts of information. We recommend Ski School by Elate Media for in-depth advice and quick tips. Videos are the next best thing to lessons!
- Apps- again, there is an app for everything you could think of. Ever considered using your smart-phone as a ski teacher?
- Sportswatches- how can a watch help you ski? Well, they can map your location, check your heart-rate and count your calories. This is bound to help your technique. They don’t have to break the bank! TomTom have a wide range of activity trackers for all levels.
- Film yourself- ask someone in your party to film you skiing. That way, you can watch your technique back and see what was good or bad.
Keep asking questions
Don’t be afraid to ask for tips and advice. While no one wants to be your full-time teacher, most people will happily give you some help.
Ask strangers also. It’s likely if you compliment their technique and say you’d like to ski like them, they’ll happily give you some pointers!
Use any relevant experience
Are you strong athletically? Ever been ice-skating? Do you play hockey?
You have probably picked up some transferrable skills that will be useful on the slopes.
Try and tap into these to avoid blindly hurtling down the mountain!
Try an indoor slope
If you are against lessons, maybe try out an indoor ski-slope. Any practice is good practice! This is a great way to get your wobbly first-time out of the way as soon as possible.
Although these slopes are very short, they are the best way to simulate the experience of real skiing. Be the best beginner you can be!
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How many lessons to learn to ski?
If you’re now convinced that first-time skiing without lessons is a bad idea, you may be wondering how many lessons it takes to learn to ski.
The amount of lessons you’ll need will be impossible to tell until you’re on the slopes. However, if you’re active and agile, you should pick up the technique quickly. So, you shouldn’t need too many lessons!
If you’re only looking to learn the basics, a handful of lessons should do.
However, confidence and further skill can only be gained with more lessons!
Let us help you get you from the airport to your resort! Here at Alps2Alps, we specialise in bringing you affordable ski transfers. We believe your transfer should be easy and hassle-free, which is why we run to and from all the main airports in the Alps. Save yourself time and money! Find more information on low-cost ski transfers here.