Do you need ski lessons?
It might have been a few years since your last skiing holiday or maybe you've never been before but you're confident in your sporting abilities. You might be dreading the idea of joining a group of skiers as you'd rather learn in private or because you think there's nothing left to learn.
So do you really need ski lessons?
Today's ski schools offer a whole variety of options and have something to offer even the most experienced skiers.
From small to large groups, in as many languages as there are pistes, ski lessons are not just for children. You can learn a new style of skiing or improve your technique with a host of qualified instructors.
What a ski instructor can teach you
On the official Val d'Isere website there are 16 different ski schools listed operating in Val d'Isere along with hundreds of independent ski instructors. Although they all fall under the category of ‘ski schools', we know that each and every one of them offer something different and to make the most out of your time on the mountain, it is essential that your needs are matched to the correct school or instructor.
As a beginner, your instructor will teach you everything you need to know from how to put your boots on, skiing on flat surfaces and the basics of turning. As you progress you'll start to use ski lifts and move to some of the beginners' slopes.
You might have been skiing for years but feel like your progress has stalled. A few lessons are the perfect way to get yourself up to the ‘advanced' skier category.
Your instructor will help you identify the areas you need to improve on, whether it's your technique, fitness or your confidence over certain terrain and help you improve to become an all-round better skier.
If you're already really comfortable on the slopes, an instructor could help you try to master a new skill. There might be a terrain you're not too comfortable with, or maybe you could try your hand at a different style of skiing or even snowboarding.
Remember: Even the professionals have coaches to improve their technique and fitness so there's always something you can learn.
How to find the right ski instructor
Before finding an instructor, first you'll need to identify which of the groups above you're in. If you're an intermediate or advanced skier, try to list some of the areas you'd like help with. This will help you identify an instructor of the right level for you.
You might also be able to get help with finding an instructor at your accommodation. At Le Chardon Mountain Lodges, our concierge team will discuss with you your level of skiing and ability, what you would like to achieve from a week of ski lessons and make recommendations appropriate to you.
How many ski lessons do I need?
There's no easy answer to this question.
If you're a beginner, you're the only one who will know when you're ready. You can book a number of lessons, then if you don't feel ready yet you can book some more. If you feel ready before your lessons are over, then you can hit a couple of slopes in between lessons.
If you've got some experience, the number you need will also depend on what you want to achieve and the types of lessons you have too. Look around for the different lessons available, these may be group lessons from beginner to advance level, a one off refresher lesson to find your ski legs, one to one private lessons with an instructor or a day with a highly qualified local mountain guide who knows where to find the best off piste snow conditions on the mountain.
As a more experienced skier, like most people, you've probably questioned why you would ever need a ski instructor, knowing fine well that you can get from the top of a piste to the bottom – surely that's the aim!
But this is where people get it wrong, there is so much more to skiing and this is why we would always recommend lessons – there is always room for improvement beyond the parallel turn.
Find a different style of skiing
Whether you're an experienced skier looking for a new challenge or a beginner trying to figure out where to start, there are a number of different styles of skiing you can try.
The last 20 years has seen the complete transformation of skiing thanks to the introduction of the parabolic ski. The change in shape from the traditional straight ski means that skiing has become more accessible for all.
If you're a more experienced skier, why not use ski lessons as a way to introduce you to new styles of skiing that you haven't tried before. There's so many to choose from including snowboarding, telemark, cross country, off piste and touring.
In the pursuit of all round excellence, this little conundrum prompted the Chardon team to have a little fun with the concept of ‘ski lessons'. Enjoy and do let us know what you think.
This infographic is lovingly brought to you by Val d'Isere skiing enthusiasts and luxury chalet experts, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges, Val d'Isere. And yes, if it's confession time …. some of us do still have a one piece suit in the cupboard.